Quranic guidance on good governance

The Holy Quran is a complete guide in each and every aspect of human life and hence it is impossible that Quran will not cover one of the most important aspects of the human life which is governance. The Holy Quran and Ahadith give some very specific instructions on the way through which the rulers will behave with the public and the way through which public will abide by the laws formulated by the rulers for the collective welfare of the community and state. From the guidance given in the last book of Allah regarding this all-important matter of the human life, we can derive some very basic conclusions.


The Holy Quran
The Holy Quran


Sovereignty belongs to Allah

The Holy Quran clearly lays down this rule of governance by saying,” The rule is only for Allah” (Quran).  This verse tells the Muslims that whenever they establish a state in any part of the world the foremost source of the law will be the Holy Quran.  It makes it obligatory upon the Muslims not to deviate from the laws of Quran and not to make laws which are contrary to the teachings of Allah (SWT) and his Prophet (S.A.W).  When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) passed away, Hazrat Abu Bakar (r.a) was chosen as the leader of the faithful. He in his very first speech asked the Muslims to follow him in the rulings which are in accordance with the law of Allah and to condemn him and try to bring him on the straight path when he deviates from what is in the Quran.

Consultation

Though Quran says that the ultimate guidance in the affairs of a state will be the last book of Allah yet it also gives secondary importance to the will of the public in the matters which are not clearly defined by Allah. Thus one of the features of the ideal state which Quran mentions is that the rulers will follow the will of the public keeping in view the limits that Allah has set for them. The Holy Quran defines such a society by saying,” their affairs are based on consultation among them” ( Surah Al-Shura). This model of consultation was practically manifested during the Caliphate of the first four rightly guided Caliphs.

Accountability

One of the main pillars of the governance in an Ideal state is the accountability of all without any distinction. The government officials are held questionable to the common public as well as to the lord on the day of Judgement. Allah ( SWT) says in the Holy Quran,” Every soul has to taste the death” (Surah Al-e-Imran). Under the guidance when the first Caliph of Islam took the oath, he appeared before the people and asked him to make him accountable if he strays away from the path shown by Allah and his prophet (s.a.w).

Justice

Justice is the very basic tenet of a healthy society and Islam stresses upon the ruler to deal justly with the public. The fourth Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Ali (r.a.), while telling us about the importance of justice in a state says,” A state can survive under an idolator ruler but cannot survive under cruel leadership”.  The Quran says,” O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Justice” ( Surah Al-Nisa).

Obeying the leader

While the Quran has provided a detailed guide to the leadership of how to rule over a section of society or a state, it has also provided a code of conduct to the public. According to this code, the general public will obey each and every law which is not against the spirit of teachings of Islam and the public will listen to the instructions of the leadership and will act upon them. The Holy Quran says,” Obey God and his Prophet and those who have authority over you” ( Surah Nisa).

The Quranic model of governance was implemented during the era of first four rightly guided Caliphs and the result was a true welfare state. Now it is time again to move back towards the original principles of Islam and form a welfare and peaceful state for all without any distinctions based on religion, caste or sect etc.

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About Muhammad Asim

Muhammad Asim is a passionate blogger and the founder and editor of the Politicalaxis.com
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