Article 181: Politics is taking care of the affairs of the Ummah domestically and internationally. It is performed by the State and the Ummah. The State takes on this task practically through government, and the Ummah accounts the State upon it.
This article is the definition of politics and this is a general definition held by everyone since it characterises the reality of politics as what it actually is. So it is similar to the definition of the mind, the definition of the truth, the definition of authority and other definitions from the meanings which have a single reality for all people which they do not differ over since it is a perceptible reality, and so rather they only differ over its rules. In addition to that, the linguistic meaning of politics (Saasa, Yasuso, Siyasah) is governing of the affairs; it is mentioned in the Al-Muhit dictionary: “I governed the citizens siyasatan – meaning I commanded them and I forbade them”, and this is the governing of affairs through commandments and prohibitions. Additionally there are narrations related regarding the actions of the ruler, accounting the ruler and concern for the Muslim affairs, and the definition has been derived from all of these; so the words of the Prophet in an agreed upon narration, the wording here from Al-Bukhari from Ma’qal b. Yasar:
«مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ يَسْتَرْعِيهِ اللهُ رَعِيَّةً فَلَمْ يُحِطْهَا بِنُصْحِهِ إِلاَّ لِمْ يَجِدْ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ»
“Any slave whom Allah makes him in charge of subjects and he is not sincer to them, Allah will make Jannah unlawful for him”, and his words:
«مَا مِنْ وَالٍ يَلِي رَعِيَّةً مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَيَمُوتُ وَهُوَ غَاشٌ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ حَرَّمَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ الجَّنَّةَ»
“If any ruler having the authority to rule Muslim subjects dies while he is deceiving them, Allah will forbid Paradise for him.”, and his words:
«سَتَكُونُ أُمَرَاءُ فَتَعْرِفُونَ وَتُنْكِرُونَ، فَمَنْ عَرَفَ بَرِئَ، وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ سَلِمَ، وَلَكِنْ مَنْ رَضِيَ وَتَابَعَ، قَالُوا: أَفَلاَ نُقَاتِلُهُمْ؟ قَالَ: لا مَا صَلَّوْا»
“There will be rulers (Amirs) and you will like their good deeds and dislike their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds, and tries to prevent their repetition by his band or through his speech, is absolved from blame. But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined. People asked (the Holy Prophet): Shouldn't we fight against them? He replied: No, as long as they establish their prayers.” (reported by Muslim from Umm Salamah), and his words:
«وَمَنْ أَصْبَحَ وَهَمُّهُ غَيْرُ اللهِ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللهِ فِي شَيْءٍ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَهْتَمَّ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ فَلَيْسَ مِنْهُمْ»
“Whoever wakes up and his concern is other than Allah, then he is not from Allah, and whoever is not concerned with the Muslims then he is not from them” reported by Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak from Ibn Mas’ud, and it is reported from Jarir b. ‘Abd Allah who said:
«بَايَعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ عَلَى: إِقَامِ الصَّلاةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَالنُّصْحِ لِكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ»
“I gave pledge of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah on the observance of prayer, payment of Zakah, and sincerity and well-wishing for every Muslim.” (agreed upon), and it is reported from Jarir b. ‘Abd Allah who said:
«أَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ قُلْتُ: أُبَايِعُكَ عَلَى الإِسْلامِ، فَشَرَطَ عَلَيَّ: وَالنُّصْحِ لِكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ»
“I went to the Prophet and gave him the pledge of allegiance upon Islam, and he made it a condition to give the advice to every Muslim.” (reported by Al-Bukhari).
The definition of politics deduced from all of these narrations, whether related to the ruler and his undertaking of ruling, or to the Ummah and its accounting of the ruler, or to the relationship of the Muslims with each other in being concerned over their issues and advising each other, is that it is the governing of the affairs of the Ummah, and therefore the definition of politics, which this article mentioned, is a Shari’ah definition deduced from the Shari’ah evidences.