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Positive way of life - ii
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

5. Positive status quoism in Post Related Affairs:

During his life the Prophet of Islam was a messenger of God as well as the head of the state. After his death the question arose as to who should be chosen to be the head of the state. This issue was settled in the light of this guideline of the Prophet: "Head of the state will be selected from amongst the Quraysh."

Apparently it was a strange injunction. For, according to the teachings of Islam, all human beings are equal. None enjoys any superiority over another. In such a situation this guideline of selecting the leader only amongst the Quraysh was tantamount to a clear discrimination. But it was realism, not a case of discrimination. This was another example of positive status quoism. In fact, over the centuries, as per the ancient traditions, the Quraysh had acquired the position of leadership in Arabia. A sudden change in this status quo therefore would have created insurmountable problems. That was the reason why the Prophet advised the Muslims to accept the existing political system. As a result of this wise policy the Arab unity remained intact and the task of Islamic mission continued unhampered even after the departure of the Prophet.

6. Positive Status quoism in State Affairs:
Even after the demise of the Prophet of Islam this policy of positive status quoism continued in the early phase of Islam. One outstanding example is related to the policy adopted by the religious scholars during the latter half of the Umayyad period and the entire Abbasid era. Political system had been corrupted during this period. Yet almost all the great Muslim scholars of those times (Ulama, traditionists, jurists) did not opt for a collision course with the political system. Due to this policy followed by the religious scholars they were saved from the backlash of the Muslim rulers; while those who opted for the course of confrontation with the rulers were removed from the scene.

This policy of avoiding interference in the political system resulted in that great treasure known as the library of Islam. This is a historical fact that almost the entire classical Islamic literature was prepared during this period. The development of Arabic language, its grammar, its calligraphy, the exegesis of the Qur'an, the collection and editing of the hadith, development of fiqh, preparation of the literature of Kalam etc all was developed during this period.

It is a fact that had Muslim scholars and ulama of this age indulged in collision against the political system all this precious literature would never have come into existence. For instance the major part of the hadith, which enjoys the status of the second source in Islam would not have been safely transferred to the succeeding generations. Age of the press had not yet dawned. All the treasures were lying in the memory of the scholars. Had they engaged themselves in political confrontations with the rulers all the precious treasures would have been buried along with them in the wake of their assassinations.

Positive status quoism is thus a permanent policy of Islam in social matters. It was by opting for this policy that the Prophet and his companions forged the great history of Islam heralding a new era in all the religious and secular fields of human civilization. 

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