If Islam Were To Be Established in Iraq


Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Shirazi's reply to the question of a group of Muslims about his views and vision about the future picture of Iraq75 In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the Muslim brothers.

You have asked about (the situation in) Iraq and the state it must assume in the future after the fall of the current regime by the will of Allah. We shall point to some of the 'aspects' concerned on the basis of Islamic principles, which are in harmony with the human "nature" that is "the original nature according to which Allah fashioned mankind."76

  1. The majority (of the population) must form the ruling government while at the same time the right of minority must be secured. The majority had the greatest role in securing Iraq's freedom on several occasions during this century (20th century). One occasion was the 1920 revolution and the second during the second world war when the religious leaders decreed that the expulsion of the colonial powers from the country was obligatory on everyone.

On those occasions the Iraqi nation did not rest until they forced the colonial powers out of the country. On the third occasion it was the majority's Regarding the despot regime in Iraq, Imam Shirazi believes that not only the dictatorial regime must be removed from power but also a fundamental infrastructure must be provided inside the country, which is based on system of consultation, party political pluralism, respect for human right and the right of the minorities. 76The holy Qur'an: the Romans [^30]: 30. resistance to the rise of the communism in Iraq . . . and history has recorded those moves in detail.

Furthermore Allah the Almighty has stated in the noble Qur'an: " . . . who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation . . ."77 and " . . . and consult them in affairs (of moment) . . ."78 In the holy tradition, it has been reported: " . . . so that the right of any Muslim individual is not lost." 2. It is essential that the government is supported by constitutional establishments. This must be associated with the provision of freedoms for all groups, associations, and political parties that are not opposed to Islam and the interests of the nation. It is also imperative that there are free elections in the true meaning of the word.

Freedom must also be granted for unions, societies, and other similar organisations. There must be freedom of expression in terms of newspapers and other mass media. All the various groups of the society such as workers, farmers, professionals, etc. must be provided with their freedoms. Freedom and dignity of women must also be secured within the framework of Islamic and human rights. In this respect Allah the Almighty has stated in the Qur'an:

" . . . there is no compulsion in religion . . ."79 and " . . . He (the Messenger of Allah - Muhammad) releases them (the people) from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them . . ."80

Furthermore Imam Ali (A) is quoted as saying:

"Do not be a slave to others when Allah has created you free." 3. Non-violence should be the general policy for the government's home and foreign affairs as Allah the Almighty has stated: "O believers enter into peace entirely"81. The holy Qur'an: Consultation [^42]: 38. The holy Qur'an: the Family of 'Emraan [^3]: 159. 79The holy Qur'an: the Heifer [^2]: 256. 80The holy Qur'an: the Heights [^7]: 157. 81The holy Qur'an: the Heifer [^2]: 208.

This is a fundamental principle and any practice to the contrary is exceptional.

  1. Human rights must be respected with extreme precision as prescribed by the religion of Islam, which is superior to any human right convention practiced in many countries of the world today. (There is) absolutely no death penalty except if the (leadership) council of religious authorities decrees otherwise (in a specific case). Concerning a particular category of crime or a specific case, if, due to any particular doubt or uncertainty, there was any difference between (the inference and deduction of the relevant rulings of) the members of the council then "punishments are waived by doubts"82. Also the number of prisoners must be reduced to an absolute minimum, even to a level lower than that internationally accepted today. There can be no torture under any circumstances and absolutely no confiscation of wealth and property.

  2. As for past deeds, the principle of "(Allah) forgives what is past"83 must be adhered to, just as the Greatest Messenger (P) pardoned the people of Makkah: "Go! For you are at liberty." as well as pardoning many others. Amir_ol_Mu'meneen (P) also pardoned many people on various occasions. It is evident from reports from Imam Ridha (P) that the application of the hadeeth of "Waive" to Muslims has a higher priority than to others.

  3. The Kurds, Turkmans, and other ethnic groups have all the right to take part in the forthcoming government and the nation. Allah the Almighty has stated: "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full Knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."84

The Messenger of Allah has said:

Hurr_Aameli, M.H. "The Guide to Islamic Law", vol. 18, p 399. Also in it there is "Waive the punishments (if there were) uncertainties." 83The holy Qur'an: Table Spread [^5]: 95. 84The holy Qur'an: The Apartments [^49]: 13.

"There is no merit for an Arab over a non-Arab and not for a red man over a black man except for righteousness." 7. The forthcoming government must adopt the policy of "alliance" or "friendship" with all governments within the framework of the interest of the nation, just as the noble prophet (P) adopted such a policy with various non-Islamic sects including the pagans. The exception to this is aspects such as the occupation of Islamic countries by others as in the case of Palestine and Afghanistan. In this case it is incumbent upon all Muslims to defend (against aggression) since "(The masses of) the Muslims are like one body. As soon as one organ suffers pain, the rest of the body (organs) would respond through fever and vigil."

  1. In planning the general policy and the broad headlines, the final reference in the constitution of the forthcoming Islamic government in Iraq is the council of jurists or religious authorities, as prescribed by Islam. The noble Messenger (P) said:

"The righteous are masters and the jurists are leaders." Needless to say the religious authorities would co-operate with the universities for Islamic sciences as well as other professionals and experts in various fields. In fact this is the requisite of consultation and of the council as the Almighty states in the Qur'an: " . . . and consult them in affairs (of moment) . . ."85 and " . . . who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation, . . ."86 9. It is imperative upon all Muslims to do all they can to unify all countries of Islam and bring them under one Islamic government as the Almighty states:

"This, your community is a single community and I am your Lord; so worship Me."87 The greatest Messenger (P) established the foundation of the single universal government when states unified under the banner of Islam during his lifetime. In this century (20th century) India is an example of this and Europe is working towards such a state. The holy Qur'an: the family of 'Emraan [^3]: 159. The holy Qur'an: Consultation [^42]: 38. 87The holy Qur'an: The Believers [^23]: 52.

Needless to say that disunion of the Islamic states and the existence of geographical borders between them are one of the prime causes of underdevelopment and backwardness. From another angle they are also the causes of conflicts and disputes between them. And from a third viewpoint, such factors bring about the domination of the colonial powers and enable the latter colonise them.

  1. The international community must be urged to bring about the necessary pressures on any government that oppresses its own people. Since for a human being, there is no difference between internal oppression (oppression of a government to its own people) and external oppression (state to state oppression), as this is arrived at by reason. Sound reason as well as Islamic jurisdiction does not allow us to let the likes of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin to do what they like with their people in terms of persecution, forced exile, confiscation and murder under the pretext of "internal affairs". If a nation seeks help from the international community, the latter must provide lawyers and judges to investigate their plight and if there were evidence of oppression (by their own or external government) then they must be rescued from their oppressors.

O Allah, we earnestly request from You an honourable government through which You strengthen Islam and its people, and degrade hypocrisy and its followers. And make us in it amongst the inviters to Your obedience and the leaders to Your path.

Grant us through it the honour of this world and the hereafter.88

Supplication of Eftitah.