The Politics of God

I believe that the best way of doing things in life is by reflecting what Allah has Ordained upon mankind and with the adoption of our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) traditions and sunnah.

The redundance of information and doctrines that are disseminated through cyberspace may lead us to confusion. Each time when I am led astray by the Western dominated realm of ideas, I would deviate from the flow to return to my Ultimate compass : Quran and Sunnah. It keeps me in line and focused with an objective rather than clamouring for the unknown.

When one mentions of the word Politics, it conjures a negative connotation to each of our minds. People say that “Politic is dirty” but Al-Ghazzali asserts that “Politics is the highest form of art”. Paradoxical as it may seem but why and what are the two contradictories?

Definition of Politics and Wants
Politics is about who gets what, when and how? This definition would definitely involve at least two actors attempting to achieve their ‘WANTS’*. Their wants may be of the same thing or different. The most important basis is that their wants would be something that they value most at that particular time. This is where Economy comes in with the Barter trade system.

In another aspect, the understanding of human wants could be reflected by referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. How about the history of wants as related in the Quran? I recall when Adam was yearning for companionship. Hence, the creation of Hawa. The conflict of interest between Abel and Cain which turned ugly is also another example of “wants” or nafs as a significant feature of human beings.

Politics is about A being able to make B do what A wants. To make another person do what we want could be achieved through various measures; A) Coercion, B) Influence directly-persuasion, C) Influence indirectly-manipulation of the human existence and their needs.

All these while, our daily conversations would only involve the politics of amongst us. I wondered whether there is such thing known as “God’s Politics”. Does our Creator Himself practice politics to His creations? Indeed, we really are political animals by nature.

God’s Politics
Allah has created us to serve (sembah) Him in this life. He wants us to serve Him and be close to Him. How? Let’s say for example by basically fulfilling those 5 commandments of Islam. Amr ma’ruf nahi munkar. In order to make us obey and do what He Wants, He Promises us of punishments and rewards in the Hereafter. Logically, if He is the Most Powerful Entity, why should He provide us with both of these conditioning stimulus to encourage and discourage our behaviors?

This is one illustration of God’s politics with His creations. His politics is a blessing that enables us to make sense of reality by the nature of causality (cause-effect) that he has devised. I wonder, what are the other reasons for His Politics with his Creations?

*For the purpose of this writing, Needs is included as wants because when a person is in need of something it becomes a wanted interest.


3 thoughts on “The Politics of God

  1. Al-Ghazali of the opinion that “politics is the highest form of art” for it involves the management and administrations of all human’s life and the universe. Al-Mawardi also concurs with Al-Ghazali, defining politics as “the establishment of religion and administration of the world.”

    However, human being is fallible (as the hadith said “likulli ibni adam, khata’). Therefore, their politics as well imperfect and full of flaws and misjudgment.

    Given that situation, what should we do? who should we refer to when we want to practice the true politics?

    I believe that the God’s politics is most perfect politics in its form and substance.

    To observe God’s politics, witness the orderliness of the universe and the law of nature. They are operating in perfect balance, coordination and equilibrium. It human being which is upsetting the nature leading to worldwide natural disasters.

    I think the best way of looking at God’s politics is through understanding of His Names and Attributes. Allah (swt) has ninety nine names, reflecting His Essence and Attributes.

    One of God’s Names is Oneness (al-ahad). The Oneness of Allah signifies strength that He shares with nobody. He govern this universe singularly. No other entities are with Him, share the power with Him. He is One and One only. In politics, this indicates the need to have a strong government to establish order and unity.

    Justice (‘adil) is another Names and Attribute of Allah. He rules this universe with justice to all creatures, animated and unanimated. Same goes to other Names and Attributes such al-Rahman, al-Jabbar, al-‘Azim, etc.

    All these Names are reflecting in the way He governs the universe. God’s politics, is therefore should be emulated by Muslim politician.

    Thank you.

  2. Some one told me about the politic of Religion. Obviously when there is human, there is politics. Religions are basically for human, so how would religion be in existence without being political? I vividly remembered a book entitled 100 most influential men (maybe women) of the century. The 1st to appear in the list is the Prophet, notably equals in his administration of his fellows believers of the Book as well as his ability to run a nation under the emblem of Islam.

    A Muslim friend of mine has reminded me this. Why search for the truth, when there is so much untruth within oneself that is required to be purged? Only then would light be radiate through our hearts and souls. This is GOD’s blessing.

    True enough, I begin to understand the calling of GOD, is not to act as though one is a divine being, but simply being human being, having humanity and live among other humans of various races and believes. This is GOD’s politics.

  3. I can see that the issue of God’s politics may be deliberated from different approaches.

    Edward views it in the sense of stability and order in governance which is reflected from God’s Coordination of this Universe.

    He asserts that the asma’ul husna and the 20 sifaat of Allah signifies His Principles (or bases of politics if you prefer) that could be pondered as guidance for the human politics.

    David has also enlightened us on the politics of multiculturalism. I totally agree on the part “calling of GOD, is not to act as though one is a divine being, but simply being human being, having humanity and live among other humans of various races and believes.”

    As it is illustrated in the Holy Quran “Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other…. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (The Qur’an , 49:13)

    We are created to learn from our differences and to appreciate God better. How does one go about facilitating this objective is also a point of consider. Now, that could be another aspect on the politics of God. May God Give us further Guidance.

    Thanks Edward and David for enlightening us on ur views.

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