The following is the first part of the serialisaion of the book 'Political Concepts' produced in 1425 H – 2005. The book provides a basis to understanding world politics, introducing the requirement for strong political thinking within the Muslim ummah in order to meet the demands of carrying the Islamic Da'wa on an international level as well as developing a strong attitude to looking after the affairs of the world. This book is invaluable for those who carry da'wa today and desire to see the application of Islam on a state level. It aims at developing a mindset and discipline to international politics, removing the incorrect 'models' of analysis that are based upon biased viewpoints.
Politics is taking care of the affairs of an ummah, internally and internationally. This is conducted by the state and the ummah. The state conducts this practically, whilst the ummah takes the state to task over its responsibility.
Taking care of the affairs of the ummah internally by the state is discharged through the implementation of the ideology internally; and this represents the domestic policy.
As regards to taking care of the affairs of the ummah externally, by the state, it consists of her relations with other states, peoples and nations and conveying the ideology to the world; and this represents the foreign policy.
An understanding of foreign affairs is fundamental for safeguarding the existence of the state and the ummah, it is essential for enabling the delivery of the da’wa (invitation) to the world and it is crucial for the sound regulation of relations of the ummah with others.
Since the Islamic ummah is entrusted with carrying the Islamic da’wa to the whole humankind, it is essential for Muslims to stay in contact with the world, where they comprehend its state of affairs, understand its problems, be aware of the motives of states and nations and pursue the political actions that take place in the world. Taking this into consideration, the ummah has to pay attention to the political plans of states in terms of the styles they use for the execution of these plans, the relations between these states and the political manoeuvres they use. Consequently, it is indispensable for Muslims to understand the situation in the Islamic world in the light of understanding the global international situation. This is vital for us so that we can determine the style of work to use to establish our state, and to convey the da’wa to the world.
It must be understood that the position of any state would not remain constant internationally. It rather fluctuates, in terms of strength and weakness, power and influence or their absence, and in terms of change in its existing relations with other states. Therefore, it is not possible to draw constant and general guidelines for the international political position (of states), nor establish a constant thought about the position of any of the established states in the world. However, it is possible to give a general guideline about the international political situation during a particular period, keeping in mind the potential of this situation changing. It is also possible to establish a specific thought about the political position of any state at a particular period, keeping in mind the potential of this position changing. Therefore, it is necessary that the politician pursues the ongoing political activity in the world and links them with previous political information that has been acquired. This is necessary for him so that he can properly understand politics, understand whether the international political situation remains the same or has changed, and understand the political position of every state and whether this position remained the same or has changed.
A change in the international political situation is subject to change in the political position of some states. A change can occur in the political position of a state if either it becomes strong or weak, or when its relation with other states strengthens or weakens. In such a case, an alteration in the international balance would result due to a change in the balance of powers existent in the world. Understanding the position of each state that has influence upon the international situation is the basis for understanding the international situation. Attention must be focused on obtaining information about each of these states because this is the first pillar of political understanding. Understanding the state of affairs of each state is not related to its position in the international situation; it is rather related to gaining information that is required to understanding its domestic and foreign policy. Thereupon, it is necessary to be acquainted with the thought upon which the policy of each existing state in the world is built; particularly those states that might have influence and the Islamic ummah must form a position towards them. It is also necessary to appreciate the plans and styles used by such states, this appreciation can only truly be realised after constant pursuance of these plans and styles and their changes. Furthermore it is necessary to analyse the motives behind such changes or the reasons that forced these states to change these plans and styles.