If Islam Were To Be Established in Iraq

Combating Corruption

It is necessary for the Islamic government established in any country to fight corruption in its various forms, such as social and economic corruption as well as corruption in various government offices and the civil service, etc.Corruption causes deterioration and backwardness of the nation after its confidence in the government is lost.

Corruption at the level of government offices and agencies results from bribery, favouritism - patronage and nepotism - and procrastination, which consequently result in wastage of time and wealth. It eventually causes public dismay and, in many cases, leads to the downfall of the government. Imam Ali has been quoted as saying: "Four factors contribute to the downfall of governments: Abandoning the principles, Adhering to arrogance, Favouring contemptible individuals and Disposing the praiseworthy".

He has also been quoted as saying: "When contemptible individuals or the young and inexperienced are put in charge of government affairs, it will lead to its disintegration and downfall". A prominent figure of the Omayyad dynasty was asked for the reason the dynasty fell from grace and government. He replied: "they entrusted major tasks and affairs to the young and inexperienced and assigned minor tasks to prominent figures. Neither the young were competent enough to discharge their duties with respect to the tasks they were assigned, nor the prominent figures carried out their duties because of their disdain and self-esteem . . . and between these two the government was lost.

But why did the Omayyads do that? This is because the young are more susceptible to flattering and obeying orders without questioning whereas the elders are experienced and appreciate the realities and therefore criticise when need be. Hence they removed the elders from major positions and assigned them minor tasks in order to keep them at bay.

This is what we have seen with all despotic regimes, and we saw their disgraceful fall from power. However, if those governments conducted their affairs properly they would have survived many times their lifetime and this is what is expected for the remaining dictators. As for social and moral corruption, there are issues such as uncontrollable spread of alcohol consumption, gambling, adultery, homosexuality, fraud, deception, lie and defamation, etc. As for economic corruption: examples are deviation from capitalism such as monopoly, the unbalanced control of the wealth and resources of the nation by a few, improper distribution of the wealth, in a way that the rich die of indigestion and the poor of hunger. Imam Ali (A) is quoted as saying:

"Suffice (for you) your disease of indigestion While there are around you those who yearn for a portion of meal"

Social Reform

As part of its program of reform, the Islamic government must address the issue of social reform. It must amend the sources of deviation and perversion and direct social perversity towards sound and honourable practices by providing righteous environments. For example transforming wine bars and brothels to places of honourable and decent businesses and extricating those in deviation and helping them to become good and useful members of the society. This means that one may not be prosecuted for practices committed in the past. Furthermore, their practices may not be suspended without providing honourable alternatives, to prevent them from going back to the same practice again.

The prosecution of those who had, in the past, engaged in such practices means the government would fall into the circle of revenge, and we mentioned in a previous section the need for the government to give general amnesty. On the other hand, if the government bans their practices and abandons them to their affairs without providing honourable alternatives, this would cause increased unemployment. At the same time it would mean a quick return to their previous practices. It is reported that Imam Ali (A) arranged for a prostitute to get married (and lead an honourable life).

Of course such a program of reform is regarded as one of the stages of "Enjoining and forbidding evil". If the government commissioned a committee to address these issues, it would be possible to rectify them quickly and without further problems. The same goes for the usury-based banks. The remedy is to change the current system to that based on Mudahrabah, and this should be carried out under supervision of a panel of experts in economy as well as religious scholars. To suspend the interest-based banking system at the stroke of a pen and without a careful study and without the provision of a better alternative - such as regulation of the Mudahrabah etc. - would result in:

Capital drain abroad, which would bring about inflation and its consequences, People withdrawing their assets from the banks leaving the banks, which are important mainstay for the government, with insufficient funds to function. This would in turn result in discontent, which would subsequently undermine the reputation of the government and its economic status.

Justice and Equality

Justice is to assign something to its rightful situation, whether in equal ratio or not, and therefore there are a few factors that justice and equality have in common. For example: a tall and large built person would require four yards of fabric for his garment while a small built person would require less than that. Justice is to give each what they require while this is not equality.

Of course equality must be upheld with respect to general issues such as the judicial system, fines, job opportunities, education, health and other similar issues. Injustice and inequality, in their respective domains, are the most severe kind of oppression. Oppression could be to oneself or to others and the latter is of greater severity and worse outcome. People cannot tolerate injustice and inequality as they see themselves - by their nature and rationale - "equal like the teeth of a comb" and they see that "there is no merit for an Arab over non-Arab, nor for a white over a black except for righteousness", as reported in the traditions.

And these two issues are rational before they are doctrinal. In fact the Islamic jurisdiction is based on the nature (of mankind) which itself is based on reason. Allah the Almighty states: "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 (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full Knowledge and is well-acquainted (with all things)."74 And Imam Ali (A) has been attributed the following poem:

The holy Qur'an, the Chambers [^49]: 13.

The people are equal in comparison Their mother is Eve and their father is Adam Therefore the newly established Islamic government must uphold this Islamic and humanitarian principle with power and resolve, and discharge its duty. In this way it will attract the hearts and minds around to its establishment, which results into more security and more stability.

This is the end of what we wished to state in this book, and Allah is the Facilitator and the Supporter. Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! He is beyond what they ascribe (to Him)! And peace be upon the Messengers and Praise to the Lord of the worlds and Blessing of Allah on Muhammad and his purified descendants.

Muhammad Shirazi The holy City of Qum 5th Rabee' II 1415 Hejri.