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Was Nouman Ali Khan right in claiming there are no political verses in the Qur'an?

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In a Nutshell:
The political dimension has always been fundamental to Islam, never a secondary matter. There are many verses arguing the great importance and priority of political power for regulating, shaping and protecting an Islamic community, which is why the Prophet (saw) targeted Quraysh elites from the outset of his call. The Prophet (saw) applied that very well in establishing the first Islamic State.


Nouman Ali Khan has a video that is circulating about how the Qur'an doesn't consider politics very important.

Quite an astounding statement to make he then partially quotes an ayah claiming that there is only one verse that mentions governance in Islam.

Firstly there are numerous ayat that discusses politics and rulers in the Qur'an however even if there is only one verse that doesn't mean we neglect that ayah of Qur'an. Similarly, from what I know, there is only one verse that obliges fasting yet we don't now consider it to be of little importance.

Was Nouman Ali Khan right in claiming there are no political verses in the Quran?

Secondly, the partial verse he quoted was from surah hajj verse 41:

"الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ
Those who should We establish them in the land, will establish the prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah's is the end of affairs."

Referring to these four actions mentioned in the Ayah Dahhak mentioned it is a condition placed by Allah upon whoever He (swt) gives ruling authority (mulk).

The seera is categorical stating the Prophet (saw) targeted Quraysh elites and power from the outset of his call and throughout his time in Mecca approaching over 40 tribal leaders seeking power and support until he established the first Islamic State in Medina.

Imam an-Nasafi further detailed the role of the Khaleefah by stating:

َالمُسْلِمُونَ لابُدَ لَهُمْ مِنْ إِمَامٌ يَقُومُ بِتَنْفِيذِ أَحْكَامِهِمْ، وإِقَامَةِ حُدُودِهِم، وسَدِ ثُغُورِهِم، وتَجْهِيزِ جُيُوشِهِم، وأَخْذِ صَدَقَاتِهِم، وقَهْرِ المُتَغَلِبَةِ والمُتَلَصِّصَةِ وقُطَاعِ الطَرِيقِ، وقَطْعِ المُنَازَعَاتِ الوَاقِعَةَ بَيْن العِبَادِ، وإِقَامَةِ الجُمَعِ والأعْيَادِ، وقَبُولِ الشَهَادَاتِ الوَاقِعَة عَلَى الحُقُوقِ، وتَزْوِيجِ الصِغَارِ والصَغِيرَاتِ الّذِينَ لا أَوْلِيَاءَ لَهُمْ، وقِسْمَةِ الغَنَائِمْ، أيّ ونَحْو ذَلِكَ مِنَ الأمُورِ المُتَطَلَبَة لِوُجُودِ الحَاكِمِ
'The Muslims simply must have an Imam (Khaleefah), who will execute the rules, establish the Hudood (penal system), defend the frontiers, equip the armies, collect Zakah, punish those who rebel (against the state) and those who spy and the highwaymen, establish Jum'ah and the two 'Eids, settle the dispute among the servants (of Allah), accept the testimony of witnesses in matters of legal rights, give in marriage the young males and females who have no wali (responsible person), distribute the booty and many other matters that require the Hakim (Imam or Khalifah)' Aqaa'id Al-Nasafiyyah, p. 142.

Do the Qur'an and the sunnah as explained by classical scholarship indicate that politics is unimportant?

Classical scholarship considers the Prophet (saw) as the best one who applied the Qur'an and the Prophet (saw) was a political leader. He (saw) also sought political power from the outset of his mission. The political dimension was fundamental to Islam, never a secondary matter. The way of life could not be established without it. The Prophet and the Caliphs after him always maintained political power to serve theological interests.

The Prophet (saw) did this because Allah ordered him to do so:

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ وَاجْعَل لِّي مِن لَّدُنكَ سُلْطَانًا نَّصِيرًا
"And say, "My Lord! Cause me to enter an entrance sound, and cause me to an exit sound and make for me from near You an authority helping." (Al-Isra` 17:80)

For a full discussion on the application of the Prophet (saw), read this.

Conclusion

The political dimension was fundamental to Islam, never a secondary matter. There are a lot of verses arguing the great importance and priority of political power. The Prophet (saw) applied that very well in establishing the first Islamic State.


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