were expressed by Ibn Taymiyah,
and a number of other scholars. Such an attitude toward the state is quite natural sinceIslam advocates certain goals and ideals which would be difficult of realization without a value- and goal-oriented state. This idea wasexpressed beautifully by the famous Muslim poet-thinker MuhammadIqbal (d. 1938) when he stated that "the state according to Islam isonly an effort to realize the spiritual in human organization”
Thus the state is viewed by Islam as an instrument for therealization of the ultimate goals, both spiritual and material, of theIslamic society. However, the authority exercised by the state is notabsolute. It is a trust from God and is to be exercised in accordancewith the terms of the trust as laid down' in the
Two of themost important terms of this trust are that the state should. bedemocratic and welfare-oriented.Sovereignty, according to Islam, vests in God. It is only HisWill that should prevail in this world. Says the Qur'an:Is it not His to create and to govern? (7: 54)Sovereignty is for none but God. (12: 40)Follow the Revelation sent to you from your Lord, andfollow not, as friends or protectors, other than Him (7: 3).The sovereignty of God implies the rule of the Divine Law asrevealed by Him in the Qur'an to the Holy Prophet and as elaboratedin the Prophet's
during the course of his mission. Man asvicegerent of God on earth (2: 30, 6: 165) can neither make nor abrogate the Divine Law. Man must necessarily submit to it if herealizes that the All-knowing God in His Great Wisdom is the bestguide of man in all his affairs. Given the Divine Law, all individualswho submit to it must be partners in its implementation. Hence, oncethe sovereignty of God is recognized, the authority for itsestablishment is vested in the whole
and is to be exercised inthe light of the Qur'an and
through the democratic process of consultation with the
(or its rightful representatives) as theQur'an enjoins:And consult them in affairs. (3: 159)And they conduct their affairs by mutual consultation.(42:38)The mission of the Holy Prophet is. defined by the Qur'an to be a merciful blessing
for all mankind (2: 107). Somemanifestations of this merciful blessing are stated explicitly in theQur'an. These include, among others, the fostering of "good life"
provision of ease andalleviation of hardship,
generation of pl'osperity.