Rule of Islam and Implementation of Divine Law

  September 08, 2021   Read time 3 min
Rule of Islam and Implementation of Divine Law
Imam Khomeini believed that one of the key reasons for revolting the Shah regime is the preparation of the ground for establishment of a regime the basis of which is divine law and its implementation.

Some people, whose eyes have been dazzled by the things of this world, imagine that leadership and government represented in themselves dignity and high station for the Imāms, so that if others come to exercise power, the world will collapse. Now the Soviet ruler, the British Prime Minister, and the American President all exercise power, and they are all unbelievers. They are unbelievers, but they have political power and influence, which they use to execute anti-human laws and policies for the sake of their own interests. It is the duty of the Imāms and the just fuqahā to use government institutions to execute divine law, to establish the just Islamic system, and serve mankind. Government in itself represents nothing but pain and trouble for them, but what are they to do? They have been given a duty, a mission to fulfill; the governance of the faqīh is nothing but the performance of a duty.

When explaining why he assumed the tasks of government and rule, the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) declared that he did so for the sake of certain exalted aims, namely the establishment of justice and the abolition of injustice. He said, in effect: “O God, You know that it is not our purpose to acquire position and power, but rather to deliver the oppressed from the hands of the unjust. What impelled me to accept the task of command and rule over the people was this: God, Almighty and Exalted, has exacted a pledge from the scholars of religion and assigned the duty of not remaining silent in the face of the gluttony and selfindulgence of the unjust and the oppressor on the one hand, and the wasting hunger of the oppressed, on the other.”24 He also said: “O God! You know well that the struggle we have waged has not been for the sake of winning political power, nor for seeking worldly goods and overflowing wealth.” He went directly on to explain the goal for the sake of which he and his companions had been struggling and exerting themselves: “Rather it was our aim to restore and implement the luminous principles of Your religion and to reform the conduct of affairs in Your land, so that Your downtrodden servants might gain security and Your laws, which have remained unfulfilled and in abeyance, might be established and executed.”

The ruler who, by means of the organs of government and the power of command that are at his disposal, desires to attain the exalted aims of Islam, the same aims set forth by the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), must possess the essential qualities to which we have already referred; that is, he must know the law and be just. The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) mentions next the qualities essential in a ruler immediately after he has specified the aims of government: “O God! I was the first person that turned toward you by accepting your religion as soon as I heard your Messenger (s) declare it. No one preceded me in prayer except the Messenger (s) himself. And you, O people! You know well that it is not fitting that one who is greedy and parsimonious should attain rule and authority over the honor, lives, and income of the Muslims, and the laws and ordinances enforced among them, and also leadership of them.

“Furthermore, he should not be ignorant and unaware of the law, lest in his ignorance he mislead the people. He must not be unjust and harsh, causing the people to cease all traffic and dealing with him because of his oppressiveness. Nor must he fear states, so that he seeks the friendship of some and treats others with enmity. He must refrain from accepting bribes when he sits in judgment, so that the rights of men are trampled underfoot and the claimant does not receive his due. He must not leave the practice of the Prophet (s) and law in abeyance, so that the community falls into misguidance and peril.”

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