Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ulama and Umara'

My FB friend; Rabbi Ben Abrahamson; had posted a nice question and an answer; which I had found interesting to share. There were many comments, which I chose some to interpret the theme..!

Q. Do you think democracy is the best system to choose the leader in country?

A. I don't know if this applies to every country, but in the Torah it is shown that the country must be run though agreement by two people: a King and a Prophet. The former represents the wants and desires of the people, and the latter represents the rights and obligations to God. In modern terms a king would be replaced by a democratically elected parliament. The prophet would be represented by the best and most worthy scholars of the nation. Together this upper and lower house, when they agree, this would be in my opinion the best system to run a country.

Adil Abdalla: This is a great question and greater answer.. yet; what are the governances and guarantees that the later; The Prophet Representatives; are truly capable to speak, advice or act on behalf of the Devine will..?

Ben Haryo: Rabbi Ben, while your system does has its merits, I respectfully disagree with the idea that a handful of scholars are equal to the entire Parliament. That would be like telling the people that "you are worthless compared to these scholars". BUT if the Parliament gets to elect the scholars, and the scholars has the right to criticize the Parliament, then yes, you have a workable system there, with checks and balances.

Adil Abdalla: Both parties, regardless how many; should have governance and guidelines for subscribtion and contribution, otherwise they worth nothing, and would lead to chaos..

Mohammed Emad Shahid: Ben Haryo, I don't think Rabbi Ben Abrahamson is saying that the handful of scholars are equal to the entire Parliament, but rather they are there to also make sure that mankind's obligations to God are also met alongside the other needs of human civilization. It is a co-operative system of "church & state" to speak of, where neither tries to out-rule the other but both take each other into account to create a system of order in society. And I'm not saying that is what I agree or disagree with but just thought I'd put my two cents in of how I understood what Rabbi Ben was trying to say with this posting

Adil Abdalla: Who will nimonate, elect and delegate powers to these scholars? This is the Governance I'm talking about..!

Nadeem Akhtar: People can nominate, elect and delegate powers to Scholars and members of parliament. But this should start from micro level of a neighborhood. This way you can somehow make possible the representation of people. See this:
Neighborhood elect their reps (Scholars, MOPs)
Neighborhood Scholars, MOPs elects from among themselves reps in city council
City Councils Elects from among themselves Provincial Councils,
Provincial Councils from among themselves elects country level Scholars and Member of Parliaments (MOPs).

Adil Abdalla: Assuming that people would know issues of knowledge; the naive majority of people already elect corrupt politicians everywhere.. What's the new in order to elect the righteous scholars..?

Ben Haryo: @Mohammed Emad Shahid: Dear sir, I understand your point of view. I do not disagree with the presence of scholars, yea, even religious scholars, within the Government. We need to hear their opinions, and they especially must be given the rights to speak freely against any government policy which are contrary to human rights and religious laws. They are, to coin a phrase "Our First Defense Against Tyranny Of The Government"..   But their voices should never be equalled to the voices of the Prophets, not even to the voices of the People. We should respect them as scholars, as learned persons, wise persons. Their counsels should be respected, but are not to be followed blindly.
And they must not come from one religious faction only, they must come from many factions, based upon the prevailing reality in the country. For example, in a country like mine, whereas our citizens are Sunni, Shia, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Christians and Catholics, then we should have representative scholars from each factions, not just from Sunni (despite Sunni majority).

Adil Abdalla: Today; the people worldwide know how to elect politicians, yet; the global chaos tells how incompetent we're when it comes to elections and delegations.. Therefore, the governance to name who will speak on “The Rights and Obligations to God” is greatly hard.. Considering the irreversible consequences for any bad choice or voting.. This is the true merit within, not systems or instruments.. Maybe to start with; to admit incapability to determine..!!

Ben Abrahamson: Most countries have a "Supreme Court" which is a body of scholars who are not elected and can strike down the legislation of a duly elected parliament based on their interpretation of a constitution, or their concept of "Internation Human Rights" and/or "Global Norms".
The difference between a Supreme Court and what I am thinking of as an Upper legislative House, would be their ability to initiate legislation, and greater in numbers to allow broader representation of the national goals of the country. IMHO of course I would like to see the document that provides the guidelines for the country to have basis in scripture.

Ben Haryo: @Adil Abdalla: Dear Sir, I agree with you. That is why, it is good to have representatives of religious scholars in the Parliament, BUT it is not good for us to have them speak "On Behalf Of God" or "On Behalf Of The Prophets", or even "On Behalf Of The People" (that's the job of the entire Parliament). The duty of religious scholars are to advise and warn the Government (and the Parliament!) in the matters of religion. This includes criticizing any proposed Bill Drafts which are contrary to Human Rights and religious laws. But, in the course of doing so, let them speak on behalf of their chosen profession: as religious scholars, whom are educated in matters of religion beyond the knowledge of the common people.

Ben Abrahamson: Instead of Judicial Activism where judges effectively create legislation in a round about way (without checks and balances) based on their concept of "Global norms" lets have an officially recoginized and regulated (with checks and balances) Upper House of legislature.

Adil Abdalla: @ Ben Abrahamson, most of the Judiciaries worldwide confront formation and integrity questions, due to the fact of appointment instruments. Therefore, the Governance question is nagging and irritating everywhere in our path to the legally stable future.. I guess it is not a matter of checks and balances, but to maintain the sacred merit of religion, as Devine guidelines towards our mission on earth..   @ Haryo These are not representing of Prophets or God, but representing of “The Rights and Obligations to God”, as how marvelously our dear Rabbi had put it.. Their mission is to assure that our theme in life matches what AlMighty swt had drawn to us.. They have nothing to do with politics, economics, war or peace, but with the merit within.. This was the unspoken governing system in early Islamic State; which most scholars could not comprehend or discuss..!!  

For more:!/ben613/posts/487423171288048?notif_t=feed_comment_reply  

Ulama and Umara', was the comment from Agung Wahyu Widodo; which is extracted into Bahasa from Arabic, means: Scientists and Inhabitents; or who know and who live.. I just liked it..

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