Jobs @ MG
Positive way of life - ii
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
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. q