Theories Of Al-Ghazali's Theory Of An Islamic State

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Al-Ghazali did not present any theory on political state but defined the features of an Islamic State and the characteristics of an Islamic Rulers. His political thoughts are based on the concept that there is model of state and its ruler, present in the heavens as Divine Law, which is to be applied in this world without any interference. His theory may have been successful in the era of Caliphs and Imams and Sultans, however, in the modern world his theory isn’t fully applicable.

Al-Ghazali says that an Islamic State should be a divine state ruled under the divine laws by a Muslim ruler who must be a lover of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Al-Ghazali defines an Islamic Ruler to be able to fight against invaders (able to wage jihad), should discharge
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(Kirabaev and Pochta) While the practical affairs of the State are to be left to the sultan or amir or the ruler, the imam or Khalifa should devote himself to religious and spiritual functions, for he is the “shadow of Allah” on earth. ("AI-Ghazaii’S Theory of Khilafat") He ordered the state ruler to listen to Faqihs and Ulama on religious matters and to seek advice from the Vizir in state matters. However, al-Ghazali put a condition on seeking for help from these people. He considered the Quran to be the ultimate and absolute source of law and guidance. And Sunnah is valuable only at the level at which it specifies and proves the existence of the order established by God. Therefore, he advised consulting Faqihs and Ulama who followed the order given by God in Quran and enforced by Sunnah. Al-Ghazali asserted the need for the public (umma) to follow Taqlid, which is blind following of authority, given that the authority follows divine law. Moreover, according to al-Ghazali political reforms are moral reforms. If you wish to improve the life of other, you should start with yourself first. (Kirabaev and …show more content…
He also gives the criteria to select the ruler and then tells how the ruler should select his experts and ministers, people to help him in religious and state affairs. However, his approach to governing an Islamic state takes an anti-democratic structure.
Al-Ghazali belonged to the era of Caliphs, Imams, Sultans, Kings and Princes. An era where a single person ruled with the help of a governing body, selectively chosen by the ruler himself. However, today the system of Caliphate, Imamate doesn’t exist. Even the power of kings and princes has diminished to a level that they are there as more of a royalty symbol then as a ruler.
The world follows democracy. Will of the people is considered as the right choice for constructing state laws and constitutions. What is right is decided by the people and is considered good. Rather than a ruler, a government is formed which is elected by the people and for the people. Honesty, fairness, common sense, morality and piousness are still the required attributes in the governor. But, now the judgement of these attributes are not done based on the provided Divine model, rather the people decide the definition and level of these required

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