Politics & Religion
Dr.M.Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti

    In the Name of Allah,

The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All praises be to Allah, and prayers and peace be upon His chosen Prophet, and His other Prophets and Messengers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Though I meditated long on the words style and politics, I found no difference in sense between them, because both indicate following a certain method for reaching some purpose. Politics, however, might be more particularized nowadays, for it has become a science to be studied. It also frequently means The art of plotting and deceiving others . The word politic , or politician , does not mean merely policy in its general sense. Both also refer to The Cunning man and the opportunist politician.

From this perspective we have to discern the attitude of religion - when it is really considered as religion - toward politics, and politics attitude toward religion.

We had better first get acquainted with the encyclopedic and comprehensive meaning of the word religion.

Religion inclusively means: The absolute submission to The Absolute Possessor, bearing in mind that the absolute submission is, undoubtedly, worship, and that The Absolute Possessor is, certainly, Allah. I am sure that this definition comprehends both religions: Islam and Christianity. Religion, therefore, is the behavioral and doctrinal practice of what the human s identity demands, being a servant of Allah, The Great and The Almighty. In other words, religion is the human s practice of his servitude to Allah through optional behavior, the same as he has been created as a servant through the reality of necessity.

Being one under the dominion of this truth, religion has been split into several religions by way of human judgments regardless of the extent of their justifications. The important point in this regard is that religion in the human s life is a purposeful demand and a truth which is settled and fixed. It is not an approach to an aim, a style or policy for realizing an aim.

Policy under the dominion of the economical, cultural and civilizational neocolonialism - has become nowadays an art of plotting. It is also the art of the styles of enticing which is followed by trapping. Such arts are used as instruments in the hands of the strong greedy minority to dominate the feeble majority coveted for. This bitter and awful reality is interpreted by the emblem of The New World System, followed by the emblem of Globalism!

The political plotting utilized today, which aims at realizing this aim, practices miscellaneous styles which all in all meet at one broad methodology springing from the policy of division, disuniting powers and instigating the categories of the single society against one another. The most valuable tool and the most dangerous weapon used to this end is, certainly, represented in inventing sectarian sensitiveness, reviving racial disputes and rousing the doctrinal points of view.

Let us in this regard hearken to a testimony declared by a Jewish Western researcher, called Bernardo Lewis, when he says in a book he entitled The Middle East and the West, As a matter of fact, it was impossible to append the Arab area to the West but by means of dividing it and disuniting it. Had any politician in the whole world been asked to seek appending the area to the West, he indeed wouldn t have selected a style other than that selected by the West; i.e. disuniting the area with sectarian tumults, social and cultural tearing, inventing differences and conflicts, expanding the issues of controversy and the exaggeration in giving special prominence to them. Those who strive to do this are displeased with witnessing peace prevailing among the sects, and pleased with sighting fight erupting among them, whereas he who believes it unlikely for the West to play the role of setting fire to the primer of such tumults will be, certainly, either deceiving himself or being deceived.

But we never believe it unlikely for the discourse of that Jewish British researcher when he tries to make us love peace and take care of the fight which the West never stops heating its ardor- to be for promoting peace in the form that Israel is calling for today. But the sage Arab listener to the above mentioned extract has to pick the testimony which represents the kernel and essence of the discourse and turn away from the sequence which the researcher aims at.

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Having discerned these facts, it gets clear enough that religion, which is a demand and a goal, is to be far supreme above politics, which is an instrument and approach. This makes it clear that the logic of reality demands employing politics as being at the service of religion. It never demands employing religion as being at the service of the plotting and tricks of politics.

Should the followers of a religion be veracious in embracing it, religion then ought to be the strongest means of reuniting, creating cordiality and cooperation, and overcoming the factors of disunion and dispute. Moreover, multiple religion will never result in decaying a bit of its inclusive dominion, or in annihilating any of its secrets which develop true intimacy and cooperation when based on veracity in embracing it, because the single solid pillar of religion is able to overcome the controversy in its minute points and matters.

Religion, therefore, should have caused the souls of its followers, who represent that efficient role, to overcome the policy of division, tearing and the tools of wasting powers. It also should have been strong enough to reunite its followers in the face of the attempts of alienation practiced nowadays, the same as it was at the time of their predecessors in Sham lands when they faced the invasion of the crusades in the past. In reply, I may say, These two prerequisites of religion should have been realized if many of those who call themselves Islamists had not sought politicizing Islam, and if many Christians had not inclined to respond to the policy f alienation.

I would like first to make the sense of politicizing Islam clearer in order not to make what I mean (though I reject it) equivocal with what I believe in, throw light on it and call others to it. The verdicts of the Islamic law undoubtedly comprehend what is called today the constitutional regimes, the relation between the nation and the governing power and the relation between the Islamic nation and other nations in war and peace.

Accordingly, the Islamic System incorporates a religion and a state. The books of the Sultanic Verdicts (Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyah, as it was called before) are abundant with clarifying this in detail.

Such characteristic in Islam will never appear clearly when Islam is allowed to rule and when its verdicts are made operative. But the first and most important warrant of the success of such strife at the stage of the call to Islam and paving the way to understanding it and realizing conviction of it, just before applying it to the Islamic societies the stage within which the Islamists and the Islamic governments operate is represented in exalting the Islamic Call affairs over the political windings that lie up on its way and the political ambitions represented in taking hold of the reins of control. Alas! It is a point of view which a lot of Muslims hitherto have not been convinced of. Hence the term of The Islamic Call, according to their activities, is interpreted as creating the political movements which hold the purpose of attaining the seats of power. This is what I imply when I say politicizing Islam, whose more exact term might be politicizing the Islamic Call.

Two serious ailments lie up on the path of this approach:

The first ailment is represented in the fact that the political aspiration to the seat of power necessarily causes the bearers of this aspiration to incline to one or another of the political trends, which will certainly entail antagonizing, or conflicting with, the other trend. Moreover, it is well known that the political schools in our area are exposed to foreign powers which may creep stealthily into them, control them and move them in consistent with their interests even if those powers are unable to get them under their c. It will be then so easy for the foreign powers to make the differences among those schools into struggle and dissension, and it will be so easy for them to exploit such dissension to open a gap through it in order to creep and rob us of whatever they find useful of our rights and wealth. But I see that due to the above mentioned known fact, the Islamic powers participating in this struggle will certainly turn into what may almost be as a piece of apparatus inside that circle, where it possesses no voluntary movement of the least value, but moves automatically with the whole set. The reality we sight represents the most evident witness for that.

The second ailment is that such political aspiration will change those who work in the Islamic field into miscellaneous groups, far from one another, by means of the various, and even contradicting, political windings. How great is the number of the people who watch and wonder about the reality of Islam! It gathered the scattered Arabs in the past and then interlaced the Muslims and the Christians in the Islamic society by deep intimacy and serious cooperation. At last Islam itself has changed into a cause which divided it and tore it into pieces!!

But the one who meditates well will realize that Islam as a religion has not changed. It was, and is still, bearing the components of union and reunion. It was, and is still, joining and taking care of the society with all its sects and categories; a fact testified by the prolonged centuries and the golden time of the Islamic civilization. But outsiders have crept and divided. Had there been no politicization assimilating the Islamic Call, those outsiders would not have crept and crumbled its known single approach into miscellaneous separated paths which seem to the observer as schools in the Islamic affairs, but they are indeed political paths.

The Western efforts, which aimed at splitting the single Islam into contrasting Islamic schools, have failed. They have also failed in resurrecting the buried Islamic groups, which prevailed and extinguished before the golden time of the Islamic civilization came to an end. Instead, the pioneers of those efforts have induced politicizing the movements of the Islamic Call. In other words, they substituted what they had not been able to do by directing the Islamists to turn away from the Islamic Call affairs such as identifying Islam, endearing it to the others and removing the dubieties which may affect it and strove to replace them by political Islamic activities. Having connected directly or indirectly to the manufacturers of the political plotting in the West, the leaderships of politics, which move in the Middle East, have therefore caused the activities of those Islamists willy nilly to fall in the range of the Western attraction.

When we review the antagonizing Islamic intellectual views, the forms of exaggeration which Islam disowns, the schools of accusing of disbelief and how much diverse they are and the non-Islamic malicious attitudes in the name of Islam towards the adherents of the other religions here and there, we have to bear in mind that such situations have all been the outcome of the fall of many organizational Islamic activities in the orbit of the Western politics. Had they not descended from the peak of the Call to Allah to the field of the intricate political battles, that attraction would not have been given way to reach the Islamists movement and activities.

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I still have to say a final short statement about the Christians who are pleased with responding to the policy of Westernization. I suppose that those Christians are faithful to their Christianity and proud of their religion. In this case, I can say: Had the West been interested in religion and in the belief in Allah at the political and leadership level, I would have said that the policy of Westernization to which some Christians incline might not have been of evil results on their religion. Nay, it might be an assistant for them to grasp it more firmly, and to be more faithful to it. But the manufacturers of the Western policy are not interested in religion as a religion. Nay; they take the path of sacrificing any religion and striving for exploiting the biggest Christian Religion establishments in the world and subduing them to their interests and frivolities.

It does not mean the West anything to prefer one half of our Arab World to the other, because it does not want to bear the expenses of taking care of any. What concerns it is to strike both parties, one by the other, disregarding the defeated party whatever it might be, and it consequently wins the advantages resulting from their quarrel.

Anyone can discern the truth of what I say when he/she reads the secret report of The American National Security Council issued in 1991, and whoever reads Who Protects the Christians from the Arabs? by Victor Sehab, can pick more details and proofs.

Our Islamic Nation, therefore, has to seek immunity within the hedge of its religion and make a barrier from its tissue to protect itself from the desires of every outsider. Should they all be veracious in their belief in Allah and in clinging to His teachings and guidance, plurality among the faithfully rising schools which are veraciously seeking Allah s Pleasure and making their way to the field of servitude, will never disturb its unity, blemish the feeling of cordiality which joins its categories or deprive it of the mutual cooperation.

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