Review. Muhammad Shiddiq Al Jawi. The concept of civil society in Islamic perspective. Part I
Muhammad Shiddiq Al Jawi. The concept of civil society in Islamic perspective
Konsep Civil Society dalam perspektif islam
In this article Indonesian representative of the party Hizb ut Tahrir Muhammad Shiddiq Al Jawi criticizes the reactionary Nurcholis Madjid for his lumping "Islamic" society of Medina, which was established by the revolution led by the prophet Mohammed, together with civil society, which was established by French revolution of late 18th century. In spite of its religious color and the snort at socialism, this criticism is socialist in fact, because Al Jawi contrasts "Islamic" society, which is free of contradictions (i.e., in actual fact, socialist one), with "civil", i.e. bourgeois, society, which got bogged down in contradictions.
However, it is clear that Al Jawi makes inaccuracy, saying nothing about the contradiction between Hegel and Marx, attributing Marxist views to Hegel, when he (Al Jawi) states briefly all existing concepts of civil society. Al Jawi rejects all these European "Kafir" concepts - unfortunately, including Marxism (however, by "Marxism" he means the "state" capitalism of eastern imperialist bloc, but we shall say about it below).
The criticism of democracy. In fact Al Jawi's assertion that "the power must emanate not from people, but from Allah", i.e. must be based on Shariah, on Quran, not on majority rule, if one looks not at religious form of this assertion, but at its content, agrees with Marxist-Leninist teaching about proletarian dictatorship. Indeed, Marx wrote that proletariat may be not aware of its class interests at first. Lenin in his work "Constituent assembly elections and proletarian dictatorship" criticized sharply Kautskyists and Mensheviks who asserted that the majority's support is needed for proletarian dictatorship. I.e. in fact Leninist formula "proletarian power must be based not on the will of majority, but on proletarian ideology elaborated by Marx" (if to say summarily) agrees with Islamist formula "Islamic power must be based not on the will of majority, but on Islamic ideology elaborated by the prophet Mohammed". The weak aspect of Islamist formula is the assertion that revolutionary ideology was put into Mohammed's mind allegedly by Allah, while Marxists think that Marx' views and Marxism in general were ultimately caused by the development of productive forces. But opportunistic "Marxists", who transformed Marxism to neo-religion, reduced productive forces to the meaning "god", attributing their (i.e. opportunists') labor-aristocratic consciousness to them (striking example of it is USSR where the ruling elite alleged that Soviet society would come to communism through smooth, evolutional development, without revolutions; another example is the fact that rich nations, including Russia-USSR, are declared by "Marxists" to be "the select" ("Peculiar People") for "civilizing" poor nations). Thus, when we criticize Islamists for their allegation that Allah put into Mohammed's mind his (Mohammed's) views, we must not forget that "Marxists" in this respect are no better than Islamists, only religiousness of "Marxists" is veiled.
Of course, our attitude both towards Quran and towards writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin must be critical (and Islamists have in part this critical attitude, contrary to cries of our Islamophobs and pseudo-Islamists like Heydar Gemal that "the disclaimer of Allah's existence is punished with death penalty in Islam"; for example, the site "Indian Muslims", where M. N. Roy's work "Historical role of Islam", where Roy asserts that Mohammed's "talks" with Allah are hallucinations, is placed). On the other hand, liberal "freedom of criticism", which is in fact the rejection of revolutionary ideology, is inadmissible. In this point Al Jawi's views agree with Lenin's position, which was stated in his work "What is to be done?"
The question of democracy is topical in Russia today in connection with the parliament election of December 2011 and protest actions following them. Let's examine "The resolution of December Plenum of Central Committee of RCP-CPSU (Russian Communist Party-Communist Party of Soviet Union)" of the 24th of December 2011. It is said there:
"We support the common struggle of all branches of opposition for the fair (honest) election, for democratic reforms of political system, for the removal of tandem [i.e. Putin and Medvedev - A. G.]. However, it is necessary not to forget that in bourgeois country the fairest election will always give false results, because the decisive word will belong to those who have money, real power and mass media".
We see that the wording is ambiguous throughout. Indeed, what does it mean - "the fairest election will always give false results"? Let's assume that the election will reflect public opinion objectively. Would they really "give false results" in that case too, as according to RCP-CPSS? It is nonsense. "Communists" conceal the fact that in addition to oligarchic elite in Russia there are also vast masses of labor aristocracy which get a share of super-profits gained from colonial plunder, and, owing to this share, they are carriers of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois consciousness, and they poison proletariat with this consciousness.
We see that "communists" move away not far from liberals: while the peak of liberals' desires is the "fair election", the peak of "communists"' desires is "the election which will give faire results".
Let's turn to Al Jawi.
We see that Islamist criticism of democracy is the criticism not of abstract democracy, but just of bourgeois democracy. On the other hand, early Islam which is taken as an example by Islamists was just proletarian democracy, even if at primitive level. The presence of the practice of collective discussions, mutual consultations of Caliph with Muslims, which is mentioned both by Al Jawi in this article, by Tan Malaka (see my article "On proletarian dictatorship and Islamism"), by Mawdudi in the article "Political Thought in Early Islam" website Chapter 33) point to this fact. The main principles of early Islam, mentioned by Mawdudi, also point to this fact - one of them was: "The least fitted for responsible positions in general and for the Caliph's position in particular are those that covet and seek them" (ibid.). In the same place Mawdudi wrote:
"Although the Prophet had bequeathed no decision regarding the question of his successor, the members of the community were in no doubt that Islam demanded a democratic [emphasized by me - A. G.] solution of the issue"
Mawdudi also wrote in that work that inhabitants of Madinah represented the country "for all practical purposes". Take into account that Madinah was economical, trade and cultural center of Arabian Peninsula. This also corresponds to what Lenin wrote in his work "Constituent assembly elections and proletarian dictatorship": although the majority of population of Russia didn't support Bolsheviks, they were supported by population of metropolises, i.e. of Moscow and Petersburg which were the centers of concentration of proletariat.
Analyzing Al Jawi's criticism of secularism we must take into consideration that in oriental languages the words "religion", "faith" and the like make the sense which corresponds to our sense not quite. For example, the term "aqida" in the dictionary is translated as "faith", while it rather means "doctrine", "ideology", as we see in the context of Islamists' works: for example, "aqida of capitalism" "aqida of communism". There is also another example: the founder of the ideology of Pan-Islamism Jamal-Ed-Din Al-Afghani, about which in Big Soviet Encyclopedia ("Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya"), 3rd edition, is noted that the title of his work "The refutation of materialism" is translated literally as "The response to naturalists".
I think, here it would be appropriate to cite Tan Malaka, the place from his work "Madilog":
"The enemies of proletariat usually translate and distort the meaning of the word "materialism", representing it as the science which based on the endeavor of finding of unlimited pleasures, on the desire for eating until vomiting, for drinking until getting drunk, for marrying and divorcing frivolously; while idealism is translated and respected highly as science which based on the highest spiritual purity, which devote more attention to thoughts than to eating, and the culture which stands aloof from women, like recluses, pilgrims. But in reality, in life we often see the followers of idealist ideas who act contrary to this assumption, while in many materialist circles we see the people who live really in modest manner, as faithful husbands and fathers".
"When labor movement is very influential as in Germany before World War I (1914-1918), in proletarian circles themselves idealism don't dare act openly. Many different "isms" which have the shape of materialism, however manifesting themselves as idealists in their essence enter into proletarian circles themselves" website
In fact, it is our "communists" who distort the sense of the word "materialism", substituting economism, i.e. the struggle for "unlimited pleasures", for the struggle for communism. The criticism of secularism as separation of religion from the state and from social life by Islamists is in fact the criticism of idealism of capitalists who in word devote more attention to thoughts than to eating, but in deed "eat until vomiting, drink until getting drunk, marry and divorce frivolously"; this criticism is in fact the criticism of inactive moral, of separation between theory and practice, between word and deed; this criticism is the criticism of European (meaning both American, Russian too, and today also Chinese and Indian) bourgeois and "socialist" (opportunist) theories for their "assumptivity" (speculativeness), for the fact that they based on speculative hypotheses which aren't confirmed by experience, in the manner of Greek philosophy and logic which proved that the runner will never overtake the tortoise. In general, the early Islamic thought was dialectical negation of Greek philosophy which was the philosophy of nobles, who despise the experience and were estranged from the masses (of course, in Greek philosophy there was materialist current too, but it was probably weaker than idealist one). But that's just the point that modern "European" (in abovementioned sense) social science, philosophical thought has inherited that Greek speculative approach in many respects, moreover, it has inherited Greek idealism much more than Greek materialism. Hence, modern radical Islam is dialectical negation of European social science and philosophical thought which has played out its progressive role from 18th to early 20th century, but in last decades has transformed into pseudo-science, into the servant of bourgeoisie.
Incidentally, early Islamic thought was also dialectical negation of Christianity. One Indonesian Internet-user said about it quite good in one Internet mail-list, when analyzing Tan Malaka's work "Madilog":
"Islam itself is the part of dialectical historical materialism.
It is clear that historically Islam is dialectical negation of Christianity.
Jesus considered himself to be god's child.
Mohammed objected openly that god can't give birth to anybody nor can be born...
This is the proof of the fact that Mohammed struggled ideologically, in fact carrying out dialectical negation, looking at Christians historically"
So, Islam was dialectical negation of Christian Trinity, i.e. of non-rigorous monotheism, which was mentioned by Tan Malaka in his work "The Philosophy of Life". M. N. Roy in his work "Historical role of Islam" noticed rightly that Mohammed's strict monotheism which has "thrown" god far into the sky, was the step towards materialism; actually early Islam was primitive materialism. Rating: Please Rate: Processing ... (Average: Not rated) Views: 355 Print Email Report Share Tweet Related Articles
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