Calamity of autocracy and the Islamic obligation
The Islamic agenda
Autocracy has never been a sign of civilised living; it indeed thrives in milieu of immorality. Hence it displays the worst brutality. This is why, it is incompatible with the people of enlightenment and higher values. Mere buildings, highways, economic affluence and luxuries can’t hide the wicked backwardness. In the early days of Islam, idol-worshipping, fire worshipping, sun worshipping were not the only marker of jaheliya (ignorance); tribal brutality was its worst expression. In those days, democratic norms exists nowhere. The rulers used to draw their legality only through blood relation with the previous ruler. Since blood doesn’t bear any moral, spiritual or educational attribute, such blood based inheritance of power is an expression of utter ignorance and racism. Hence, it is incompatible with Islam’s civilizational goal. This is why, while the followers of Christianity and Judaism made a peaceful co-existence with race-based autocracy, Islam dismantled it. Hence, none of the early rightly guided Caliphs needed to be the son of the previous ruler. They could be the Caliph only because of their piety, sagacity, sincerity, intellectual ability and sacrifice for the Islamic cause. Such a radical practice of higher democratic values could happen for the first time in the whole human history.
The prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) was fully aware of the evil project of autocracy. He knew that mere elimination of pagan religious practices is not going to help the mankind. It needs total elimination of autocracy and its evil institutions that promote vile beliefs and brutality against the Divine Truth. Otherwise, the toxic pagan beliefs continue to use the military and the civil institutions of the state for pulling people towards the hellfire. In the name of security, tradition and native culture, they raise huge barriers on the way towards the worldly peace and the paradise. Islam can’t help people getting free from the strong grip of the evil forces unless their power base is totally dismantled. This is why, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not only a preacher of Divine Truth, but a destroyer of autocracy and its institutions. So, in Islam, the highest ibada –as well as prophet’s greatest sunnah, is not 5 times prayer, month-long fasting, giving charity or haj, but engaging in jihad to destroy the bastions of the evil rulers. Otherwise, practice of Islam become restricted only within the private life or mosques; and Islam loses its place in political, cultural, educational and legal premises of the world –as is the case now. More than 70 percent of the companions of the prophet (peace be upon him) had to sacrifice their lives to carry out that prophetic mission.
The decline of the Muslims started when their rulers take them back to the oppressive prison of autocracy. Autocracy centralises all power in the hand of the ruler. Such empowerment of the ruler happens at the expense of de-empowering of the common people. So, in autocracy, the common people stand truly powerless. The early Muslims could build the finest and the most powerful civilisation on earth only because of massive empowerment of the people and the powerful state infrastructure of khilafa. The whole state infrastructure worked as the immense mobilising instrument to engage people doing the good and forbidding the wrong. Never in history, the common people were involved such massively as the soldiers of Divine Truth to fight the forces of falsehood. But whenever the state and its institutions get hijacked by the opportunistic autocrats, the people get robbed of the most important entitlement of pursuing such a sublime Divine goal. The Divine Truth then becomes the worst casualty; and the autocratic barbarity returns with full force. This is indeed the most catastrophic loss for the mankind at the hand of autocratic ruler.
The thriving pagan norms
The pagan backwardness survives not only in people’s beliefs, culture and religious practices; it thrives also in politics. Autocracy is indeed a definite marker of the pagan backwardness where the rule of law doesn’t work. This is why, whenever human civilisation makes some real progress, autocracy disappears and rule of law overwhelms. But for such civilizational progress, it requires some institutional build-up based on morality and higher spiritual values. Human body can’t survive with non-functioning or dis-functioning vital organs like heart, lung, liver and brain. Similarly, a civilised society can’t survive with the absence of basic human rights and value-based institutions. This is why, right of free speech and writing, right of forming organisation and right of practising religion are vital for civilised living. Free judiciary, impartial rule of law, free media and unbiased state institutions are also indispensable parts of it. But the autocratic rulers always stand as fierce enemy to such freedom.
The pagan ignorance survives only through brutal forces of the power-addict rulers; it has no inner truth or strength to survive on its own. This is why, autocratic rulers had always been the arch enemy of Islam. Instead of submitting to the sovereignty of Almighty Allah Subhana wa Ta’la, they enforce their own sovereignty. Pharaoh of ancient Egypt has been a classic prototype of such evil autocrats. It has always been impossible for a Muslim to grow up as a true Muslim along with ideological and political submission to an autocrat. The enforced allegiance to them indeed works as a bar to submission to Allah Subhana wa Ta’la. Such allegiance to autocrat make them soldiers against His Cause. Bangladesh under Shaikh Hasina is a modern prototype of such evil state. Those who are allied with the autocratic rulers show their stern enmity only against Islam and the Islamists and utter friendship with the kuffar regimes like the Muslim bashing rulers of India.
Elimination of autocracy: an Islamic obligation
Islam makes people fully incompatible with the political cum ideological project of all autocratic forces. Rather, it makes an Islamic obligation on every Muslim that he must deploy his physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual endowments to promote only the cause of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. It is indeed a heinous treason against the Almighty Allah if he invests His endowments in the service of any secular or anti-Islamic cause. And for promoting His cause, it indeed needs a friendly and promotive environment. It can only happen through elimination of autocracy; hence it becomes an indispensable Islamic necessity. This is why, the history of Islam is the history of fighting against the autocrats. Through ages, it has always been the moral and ideological binding on every Muslim either to dismantle the autocratic rule and build an Islamic state or migrate from the prison-state of the devil to a safer place –as did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions. It is indeed the greatest political sunnah of the prophet (peace be upon him) that shows how to play a civilizational role for the mankind and please Allah Subhana wa Ta’la. In fact, such a sunnah made the Muslims the greatest civilizational force in the whole human history.