Islamic movements doesn't have a united systematic perception for political reformation issues. With much variation, the reform issue is being handled by the core trend by adopting reform using peaceful and legal means, casting away violence. I choose to approach the issue of nature of political practice in Islam through the prophet Mohamed's behavior and conduct as Imam. As various his behaviors may be, according to context, the systematic classification of Sheahb Eddin Elkerafi in the seventh century a. h. reveals the importance of studying and analyzing such behaviors. Firstly, it might be provisional conduct restricted by the prophet's time and place. Secondly, it might entail seeking the interest and the common good for the whole society. Thirdly, it might be jurisprudential interpretation and not a divined instruction. Fourthly, it might be life time interest conducts that is not related to the interests of the hereafter as ElKerafi notes. Taking the classification and the nature of the prophet Mohamed's conduct and behavior in mind and into consideration generates an important and basic approach for many current discussed political issues. It reveals that Islam recognizes the state to be civil, where no immunity whatsoever to be attached to ruler's behaviors, decisions and means. That ruler doesn't obtain his authority from metaphysical powers, but he is rather an ordinary person that obtains his authority from and accounted to his nation. Ideally, the relation between religion and politics in Islam will be based on distinction. Religion will be present in politics as guiding principles. However, the political practice will be independent from any religious authority. Islam didn't define a certain form for ruling and citizens' participation; instead it granted human creativity and evolution the opportunity to shape it according to the culture context. Any new form that can approach the ideal model is completely welcomed and ought to be benefit from. This is how the issues of political reform, such as democracy and human rights, should be approached.
Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID)
Seventh Annual Conference