I started this research based on two resources; the first is of course the holy Quran and Sunna, and the second based on the actual application of these two in reality and how did Muslims really followed the sacred texts beside the scripts written by relatively modern scholars as a rendition of the political conflicts aroused by the many sects that found its way through to existence right after the death of the prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
The reason behind this research is not only to understand the theory behind the Islamic radicalism approach to politics, but to find a way to incorporate it with today’s modern world that started to resent (somehow) the religious approach to many issues including politics.
The core of what I’d like to go through has two sides to it:
1- The Islamic political theory is one that is not written but enforced throughout history.
2- This theory is not responding to modernity standards imposed by the modern reality.
Islam has incepted about seven hundred and ninety eight cults (if I may call them that) throughout the time between the death of the prophet until our modern day; most of them vanished; and some of them still survive but in very small numbers. Most (if not all) existed for a political cause one way or another; while some (claim) to have no interest in any political concern of any kind even though their scholars and leaders did otherwise; you’ll see them claim the opposite.
The main sects that were incepted (as per historians) right after the death of the prophet are the Shiites and the Sunnites. The Shiites, a word derived from an Arabic word for following or tracking, meant for supporting Ali Ibn Abi Taleb and his descendants who was the prophet’s cousin and son in law; and the Sunnites, who are following the prophet and his commandments literally and supported his disciples. The word Sunnites is originally “Al Sunna wal Jama’a” Sunna which refers to those who are following the word of the prophet and Jama’a meant to the assembly that supported the acceptance of Muaweya Ibn Abee Sufyan right after the Al Hassan the son of Ali Ibn Abi Taleb stopped asking for leadership. Both sects had a disagreement on who will be the prophet’s successor, and that was the first real Islamic political conflict that in my opinion was the start of the downfall of what the prophet worked his entire life achieving.
The Shiites on one hand claimed that Ali Ibn Abi Taleb and his descendants are the only worthy people of heading the Muslims; while on the other hand the Sunnites demanded that democracy is the way, and that Muslims should decide for themselves who rules them; which in my opinion was the reason for many events throughout history between a group of people who still claim to be oppressed and the other that claim they brought it upon themselves.
In the following articles I’ll discuss each sect’s views, and try to reason with their actual application towards their own beliefs and attempt to understand if they were so accurate; why did they fail to make it a proper example?
Dr. Ahmed Alkhuzaie