If Islam Were To Be Established in Iraq

Combating Unemployment

One of the causes that contribute to the spread of social vices is unemployment, which leads the society towards destruction and disintegration. Unemployment drags the unemployed to moral deprivation, theft, crime, disease, suicide, ignorance, anarchy, etc. One who does not have a job sells his body to earn money, or steals for that purpose or engages in various crimes and even infidelity, the Messenger of Allah (S) is reported as saying "Poverty leads to infidelity". He is also quoted as saying, "Poverty is the shame of both worlds".

Abu Tharr is quoted as saying "It surprises me how the poor do not rise against the rich with their swords!" An example of the aspect which surprised Abu Tharr has been manifested recently when Communism - which is the pit of poverty and corruption - came into existence but people did not tolerate the humility of captivity, poverty and repression (associated with Communism) for longer than a short period, compared to the lives of major countries and civilisations. The people relieved themselves from that misery and brought down the Communist regime.

A destitute person who is unemployed may develop a psychological complex, which would reflect on the health of the individual since body and soul affect one another. Furthermore, in many cases, poverty and unemployment directly cause diseases and illnesses such as lack of ability and means of receiving medical treatment, stomach ulcer, stroke, anaemia and all consequences of stress and nervous breakdown. That is why we read in our supplication: "O' Allah enrich every poor and destitute (person)."

Also, a poor and destitute person does not have the means to finance his education and therefore his situation is exacerbated by ignorance even further. This subsequently gives him the potential to move towards instigation of anarchy, uprisings, wars, etc. This is the cause in majority of cases, although unemployment may not always be associated with poverty and destitution, but we are talking about the majority of cases.

Therefore it is imperative upon the young Islamic government to plan effective solutions to eradicate unemployment. This could be through measure such as: giving freedoms, permissibility of ownership and revitalisation of land and all that Allah has created for the benefit of mankind - those which are not already owned by others - on the basis of the law of "Precedence" within the framework of "for you". Job opportunities could also be created through encouraging the wealthy to invest in the production sector in order to create employment for those without jobs and other similar measures. If some people still remained without jobs - after all those measures - they must have the provision to lead an honourable average life until they find a suitable job. This may be through the support and facilities of the Bayt_el_Maal and the encouragement of philanthropists to take part in this cause to eradicate deprivation. For this Allah states "And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent!"69 And He has made this to be one of the causes of ending up in the hellfire.

The holy Qur'an, The Certain Hour [^69]: 34.

Civil Service Reform

It can be argued that the swelling of the civil service is worse than inflation of the economy or it can be one of its causes. This is because the inflation of the body of the civil service turns the producers into consumers and leads to domination of bureaucracy that limits people's freedoms. In this way the country heads towards deprivation and poverty after the ruling system takes over the wealth (of the nation) and denies its people the freedom of work and production. Every surplus civil servant becomes a burden to the people and a barrier to their freedoms.

The role of the civil service is to secure the safety and security of the people as well as their welfare and to guard their interests. The size of the civil service that would accomplish such tasks adequately and at the same time not be a burden on the people nor a barrier to their freedoms is a size just adequate to manage the affairs of the government and serve its people. The civil service is there to serve the people and the civil servant has a role similar to that of a teacher or a driver or a pilot who the society needs.

However, to regard the civil service as a career would not serve the nation, nor it would protect its interest. It would become a job opportunity and a source of income, as is the case in many countries ruled by dictatorship. In those countries the civil service is the great calamity, since the civil service changes into a bureaucracy, which lays down laws that hinder the people's affairs and repress their freedoms. In such a case, the masses are transformed into subordinates to the civil servants instead of the other way round. The swelling of the civil service is clearly noticeable in democratic countries too. This is because they have distanced themselves from the teachings of the prophets, peace be upon them (pbut). Those countries legislated many laws, which are in fact harmful to the society from many points of view.

As for dictatorial regimes, the expansion is far greater. It is therefore imperative for the newly established Islamic government to commission working groups to eradicate surplus civil servants and transfer them to the productive sector.

As for members of staff that are removed from the service - because of being surplus to requirement since their role had changed to consumption (of salaries) and repression of freedoms - they must be transferred to a productive sector. The government must assist them to become productive elements in the economy or other profession so that they do not face poverty and unemployment. This may be accomplished through detailed studies carried out by experts who would base their correct criteria in accordance with rationale and Islamic jurisdiction.

In my view, if a government seriously and honestly addresses this issue, there will be none of this massive body of the civil service except for less than 10% of its current size, which is sufficient for the government to run the affair of the country. We have presented a detailed discussion about this matter in some of the works related to aspects of "Government in Islam"70.

M. Shirazi, al-Fiqh series, vol. 99. See also: "The Islamic Government during the Reign of Amir_ol_Mu'meneen", "The Government of the Messenger of Allah (S) and Amir_ol_Mu'meneen", "The Islamic System of Government" by the author.

Simplicity and Provision of Fundamental Necessities

The implementation of the policy of simplicity in various aspects of life brings about bliss as well as mental and physical comfort. In contrast, complicated life styles give an individual nothing but disease and illness, even though this kind of life style carries with it material beauty, grandeur and vanity.

For this reason, Islam insists strongly on simplicity in all affairs; personal, social, through to national and governmental. For example, a judge takes up a position in a mosque and uses the mosque as his site to make his judgement where people can clearly see and hear him. People can look at the details of his judgements and his dealings without any cover or division, or any guards, pomp, ceremony or any delay in the judgement or its execution and without any fees or charges. These will give the people total assurance to the validity of his judgement. People are also assured that it is not possible for the judge to deprive their rights nor is it possible for him to favour one group over another. Similarly simplicity should be adopted in other aspects of life, such as birth, marriage, death, hospitality, travel, house, shop, and a thousand and one other things. For example the Messenger of Allah (S) said: "The best of my nation's women are (those who have the) least dowry". The Messenger of Allah (S) has also been quoted as saying: "those people are blessed whose best utensils are clay".

The Messenger of Allah (S) also said: "Make things easy, not difficult".

The noble Qur'an states: "Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties."71 And the list goes on for hundreds of Qur'anic verses, traditions as well as policies adopted by the Messenger of Allah and his infallible progeny, Ahl_ul_Bayt, peace be upon them all. Therefore it is incumbent upon an upcoming Islamic government to use simplicity in its system of government to the utmost degree possible and to educate the people upon that policy too. If the ruling system uses simplicity in its affairs and conducts, then the people would follow suit, just as the saying goes: "People follow the religion (way) of their kings." Furthermore, simplicity reduces ignorance, disease, poverty and various other problems, because complexity transforms life into an unnatural system, which upsets the balance of its health and social vitality.

The holy Qur'an, the Heifer [^2]: 185.

Modesty of Leaders

It is incumbent upon the leaders in Muslim countries and especially upon those of an Islamic government who want to implement the teachings of Islam to adhere to the principle of modesty and abstention from worldly vanities and be content with essential basic needs of life. People are attracted by those who abstain from worldly vanities and comply with their commands. Through their modesty people realise the honesty of their leaders. As a result their places will be in the people's hearts . . . In one of the Salutations to Imam Hussain (A) he is addressed: "your grave is in the heart of whoever loves you." So all the splendour surrounding the caliphs collapsed and Imam Hussain (A) remained shining as a star, like a bright sun through history and he will remain so forever.

Despite the fact that the infallible imams (A) were created in the highest status of creation, we still read in the salutation of "Lamentation": " . . . after You (Allah) had preconditioned on them (the messengers) the asceticism from the vanities and splendour of this inferior world, and they accepted the conditions and You knew their honesty, and so You accepted them."

Therefore their asceticism was a precondition by Allah the Almighty to accept them even though Allah states in the noble Qur'an: "Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He has produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He has provided) for sustenance?"72 Furthermore, the modesty of a leader (and the governing system) saves the country many unnecessary expenses. The wealth and The holy Qur'an: the Ramparts [^7]: 32.

resources available to the leader does not belong to him, but to the nation. If the wealth (of a country) was to be passed around between the rulers and they were to use it as they wish and desire - clearly it isn't only ruler but the entire ruling elite and their entourage - there will be none left for the nation. This is clearly observed with despotic regimes in which the ruling dictators use the nation's wealth for their own pleasures, desires and fantasies.

The Imam (A) has been quoted describing the Omayyad rulers as: "they pass around the wealth of Allah73 between themselves." Abu Tharr (may Allah's mercy be upon him) also described them as: "those who passed around the wealth of Allah alternatively between themselves." Needless to say that one's intrinsic abstention together with the consultation (democratic) process which necessitates the monitoring of rulers by the nation, plus adherence to the guidelines on conduct and expenditure, then the leaders would not be in a position to misuse the wealth of the nation, and therefore meet the needs of the nation. Although it may be difficult on the body, but abstention from worldly vanities brings about the comfort for the soul just as it provides great pleasures unparalleled by the pleasures of the body.

i.e. the public funds.