Islamic socialism

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Islamic socialism is a term coined by various Muslim leaders to describe a more spiritual form of socialism. Muslim socialists believe that the teachings of the Qur'an and Muhammad — especially zakāt — are compatible with principles of economic and social equality. They draw inspiration from the early Medinan welfare state established by Muhammad. Muslim socialists are generally not as socially liberal as their western counterparts. Like Christian democrats, Muslim socialists found their roots in anti-imperialism. Muslim socialist leaders believe in democracy and the derivation of legitimacy from the public, as opposed to Islamic religious texts or claims to be Muhammad's successors.

History

Abū Dharr al-Ghifārī, a Companion of Prophet Muhammad, is credited by many as a principal antecedent of Islamic socialism.12345 He protested against the accumulation of wealth by the ruling class during ‘Uthmān's caliphate and urged the equitable redistribution of wealth. The first Muslim Caliph Abu Bakr introduced a guaranteed minimum standard of income, granting each man, woman, and child ten dirhams annually; this was later increased to twenty dirhams.6

The first experimental Islamic commune was established during the Russian Revolution of 1917 as part of the Wäisi movement, an early supporter of the Soviet government. The Muslim Socialist Committee of Kazan was also active at this time.

In the modern era, Islamic socialism can be divided into two, a leftist and a rightist form. The leftist (Siad Barre, Haji Misbach, Ali Shariati, Yasser Arafat and Jalal Al-e Ahmad) advocated secular proletarian internationalism and encouraged Muslims to join or collaborate with international Socialist or Marxist movements. Right-wing socialists (Mohammed Iqbal, Agus Salim, Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Musa al-Sadr, and Mahmud Shaltut) are ideologically closer to third positionism, supporting not just social justice, egalitarian society and universal equality, but also Islamic revivalism, and implementation of Sharia. They also reject a full adoption of a class struggle and keep a distance from other socialist movements.

Revolutionary activity along the Soviet Union's southern border, Soviet decision makers recognized, would draw the attention of capitalist powers and invite them to intervene. It was this understanding which prompted the Russian representation at the Baku Congress in September 1920 to reject the arguments of the national communists as impractical and counterproductive to the revolution in general, without elaborating their fear that the safety of Russia lay in the balance. And it was this understanding, coupled with the Russian Bolsheviks' displeasure at seeing another revolutionary center proposed in their own domain revolutionary, that galvanized them into action against the national communists.7

Islamic Socialist Ideologies

Gaddafism

Muammar Gaddafi outlined his version of Islamic Socialism in the Green Book, which was published in three parts (1975, 1977, 1978).89 The Green Book was heavily influenced by the pan-Arab, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and served as the basis for the Islamic Legion.1011

The Green Book rejects modern liberal democracy based on electing representatives as well as capitalism. Instead, it proposes a type of direct democracy overseen by the General People's Committee which allows direct political participation for all adult citizens.12

The book states that "Freedom of expression is the right of every natural person, even if a person chooses to behave irrationally, to express his or her insanity." The Green Book states that freedom of speech is based upon public ownership of book publishers, newspapers, television, and radio stations, on the grounds that private ownership would be undemocratic.

A paragraph in the book about abolishing money is similar to a paragraph in Frederick Engels' "Principals of Communism,"13 Gaddafi wrote: "The final step is when the new socialist society reaches the stage where profit and money disappear. "It is through transforming society into a fully productive society, and through reaching in production a level where the material needs of the members of society are satisfied. On that final stage, profit will automatically disappear and there will be no need for money."14

The RUF was influenced by Muammar Gaddafi's Islamic Socialist philosophy.15

Islamic Communism

Islamic Communism can be used to refer to a number of Communist ideologies rooted within Islamic thought. Islamic communism traces it's roots to late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Russia when a group of Muslim farmers, peasants, and petty-bourgeoisie in Russian Tartarstan founded the Wäisi movement. Members of the Wäisi movement would go on to establish an experimental commune in the town of Chistopol. Numerous movements and ideologies have appeared since then, each promoting their own form of Islamic communism.

The Wäisi Movement

Founded by Bahawetdin Wäisev, the Wäisi movement was a religious, social and political movement that took place in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Tatarstan and other Tatar-populated parts of Russia. Wäisi doctrines promoted disobedience to civil law and authority in favor of following the Qur'an and Sharia. Supporters of the movement evaded military service and refused to pay imposition or carry a Russian passport. The movement also incorporated elements of class struggle and nationalism. The Wäisi movement united Tatar farmers, craftsmen and petty bourgeoisie and enjoyed widespread popularity across the region.

Despite going underground in the aftermath of Bahawetdin Wäisev's arrest in 1884, the movement continued to maintain a strong following. Bahawetdin Wäisev's son Ğaynan Wäisev led the movement after his death in 1893. An estimated 100 members were arrested and exiled in 1897 after encouraging people not to participate in the population census. The Wäisi movement increased in size after the First Russian revolution in 1905-1907 and by 1908 there were nearly 15,000 followers in the Kazan Governorate, Orenburg, and other guberniyas, in Central Asia. Wäisi followers supported the Soviet government in the aftermath of the October Revolution of 1917 and organized a regiment in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. Members of the movement distanced themselves from the Russian Bolsheviks and founded the autonomous commune of Yaña Bolğar in Chistopol during the 1920s, but were persecuted and disbanded during the Great Purge of the 1930s.

Islamic Marxism

Islamic Marxism attempts to apply Marxist economic, political, and social teachings within an Islamic framework. Traditional forms of Marxism are anti-religious and promote state atheism, which has led many Muslims to reject Marxism. However, the affinity between Marxist and Islamic ideals of social justice has led some Muslims to embrace their own forms of Marxism since the 1940's. Islamic Marxists believe that Islam meets the needs of society and can accommodate or guide the social changes Marxism hopes to accomplish. Islamic Marxists are also dismissive of traditional Marxist views on materialism and religion.16

The term has been used to describe Ali Shariati (in Shariati and Marx: A Critique of an "Islamic" Critique of Marxism by Assef Bayat). It is also sometimes used in discussions of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, including parties such as the People's Mujahideen of Iran (MEK), a formerly designated terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Iraq, and the Islamic Republic of Iran that advocates of overthrow of the latter. The MEK is now, however, claimed to be democratic and secular.17

List of notable Muslim socialists

See also

References

  1. ^ Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. New York: Oxford University Press. 1995. p. 19. ISBN 0-19-506613-8. OCLC 94030758. 
  2. ^ "Abu Dharr al-Ghifari". Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  3. ^ And Once Again Abu Dharr. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Hanna, Sami A.; George H. Gardner (1969). Arab Socialism: A Documentary Survey. Leiden: E.J. Brill. pp. 273–274. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Hanna, Sami A. (1969). "al-Takaful al-Ijtimai and Islamic Socialism". The Muslim World 59 (3-4): 275–286. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.1969.tb02639.x. 
  6. ^ http://medialternatives.com/tag/social-wage/
  7. ^ Alexandre A. Bennigsen (15 September 1980). Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World. University of Chicago Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-226-04236-7. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  8. ^ John L. Esposito, "The Islamic Threat: Myth Or Reality?" Oxford University Press, Oct 7, 1999, Political Science, 352 pp., pp. 77-78.
  9. ^ John L. Espósito, "The Islamic threat: myth or reality?," Oxford University Press, Sep 9, 1993, 247 pp., pp. 80-82
  10. ^ "Socialism Islamic, WWH
  11. ^ "US Officials Regard Chad Conflict As Big Test Of Wills With Khadafy." Gainesville Sun, August 19, 1983. New York Times News Service
  12. ^ Vandewalle, Dirk J. (2006). A history of modern Libya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85048-7. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Principals of Communism, Frederick Engels, 1847, Section 18. "Finally, when all capital, all production, all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will so expand and man so change that society will be able to slough off whatever of its old economic habits may remain."
  14. ^ al-Gaddafi, Muammar (1976) The Green Book, The Solution of the Economic Problem: Socialism People's Committee, Libya.
  15. ^ Raymond D. Gastil, "Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights & Civil Liberties 1997-1998," Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1997, 610 pp., p. 453
  16. ^ http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1446
  17. ^ About So-Called Islamic Marxism
  • John Esposito, ed. (1995). "Socialism and Islam". Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. vol. 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 81–86. ISBN 0-19-506613-8. OCLC 94030758. 
  • Maxime Rodinson, Marxism and the Muslim world, Zed Press, 1979, 229 pages, ISBN 978-0-905762-21-0 (transl. from the French reference book Maxime Rodinson, Marxisme et monde musulman, Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1972, 698 pages







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