Recently, fears related to the large-scale Islamization of many regions of the world, including Russia, and the implementation of the project of the so-called Islamic state or Islamic government have become increasingly frequent. The events in Egypt not only put on the agenda the question of the future future of the countries of the “Arab spring”, but also identified a serious theoretical problem of the Islamic project. Is it possible in connection with the resignation of President Mohammed Mursi to talk about a temporary crisis of government or the problem lies in the fact that, like in Algeria (and earlier in Sudan), having come to power, the Islamic party will not be able to offer a worthy alternative to the authoritarian the government itself will go the way of usurpation of power, repeating all the mistakes of the previous government?
State structures in the countries of the Arab East underwent significant changes, the essence of which throughout the twentieth century was the modernization of traditional forms of government under the influence of Western models of development, not only democratic but also totalitarian. However, the introduction of elements of democracy did not lead to the formation of a Western-style parliamentary democracy. At the same time, often radical changes in state institutions of governance and democratic norms of modern constitutions continued to be accompanied by centuries-old cultural-religious and political traditions of power, and ideological slogans and programs of political leaders and leading parties sometimes hid the limits of their real power capabilities.
In the 2005 year, when the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the official ban of its organization, won a major victory in the parliamentary elections, having won more than 1 / 5 seats, their program appeared. The main emphasis in it was placed on the need to reform the state system of the country, which should be based on the Islamic model and sharia (for which it was supposed to carry out constitutional and political reforms to ensure the primacy of sharia law). At the same time, the state itself in the political system was obliged to play a limited role, and its functions were limited to controlling the development of society in accordance with Islamic laws. But in the field of economics, according to the ideologists of the Muslim Brotherhood, the state should dominate, fulfilling the regulatory function, and follow the principles of the Islamic economic system, and this, they believe, is a kind of intermediate option between the socialist economy (with its state regulation) and market (whose goal is to maximize profits).
Does such a program fit the classic Sunni concept of an Islamic state - the caliphate? (Immediately make a reservation that the Shi'i concept of the Imamate represents a different theoretical construction, different from the Sunni one.)
Islam and secularism
Issues of state organization have always stood before Muslim theologians, historians, lawyers and philosophers, and they were associated primarily with the fact that Islam during its centuries-old development was not able to develop clear regulatory ideas related to issues of state, government and relations between the state and personality. Tying the sociopolitical and religious aspects together in the person of Mohammed was, on the one hand, solving the problem of the relationship between the religious and secular, but on the other - gave rise to political contradictions that will manifest themselves in the subsequent stage of the development of Arab statehood.
In the Qur'an, as a source of Muslim law governing the relationship of people, prescriptions regarding the structure and activities of the Muslim state are very limited and actually amount to three provisions: to consult and make decisions based on the general opinion, to rule and resolve disputes "by right and justice" and the need for the faithful to obey the Messenger of Allah and those with power and authority in the affairs of the community. Such limited prescriptions predetermined the decisive role of legal doctrine in the development of the theory of the state, giving it room for interpretation of these provisions, which later resulted in a considerable variety of schools on these issues, which were transformed throughout stories Islam and differently manifested in specific political conditions.
In the 9th – 11th centuries, the formation of a feudal society and the state in its Muslim form was completed. The caliphate gradually disintegrates, and against the background of this decay, the secular and spiritual spheres of life are separated more clearly than before, and secular power is separated. After 945, the caliph was left with only religious authority, the real power passed to secular rulers - the sultans. The term "Sultan" in the X century received the meaning of the sole secular ruler, in contrast to the spiritual lord - Imam.
This was largely due to the inclusion of elements of non-religious origin, primarily Persian bureaucratic traditions, into the Muslim state organization. Representatives of such traditions, not only in life, but also in their theoretical constructs, carried out views that had nothing to do with religious precepts. “It would have been difficult to find in the Koran,” writes V.V. Barthold, “a confirmation of the view expressed already in the 11th century, according to which the official stands below the sovereign, but above the subjects”.
In the future, many philosophers and political thinkers tried to combine the ideal of a single power with the already real secular power allocation. In the Middle Ages, when there were small and medium-sized states, the merger of secular and spiritual power remained an ideal, almost unattainable. The Amirs of the Middle East lived secular politics, Muslim Qadi and fakikhs regularly sanctified their political and class interests, only occasionally trying to bring the character of political power closer to the Islamic ideal in its “sacred” form.
In the XVII – XVIII centuries, the Ottoman authorities already initiated the revival of the merger of the secular and spiritual. The Islamization of power begins from above, the sultans take the title of caliph and strongly emphasize the role of the ulama and faqih in government. A religious and administrative hierarchy, headed by Sheikh Al-Islam, is being created, which greatly increased the role of the clergy in the state and society and at the same time contributed to the further separation of secular and spiritual in political power, the separation of religion from politics.
In the first half of the 20th century, the distinction between secular and spiritual was perceived not only by politicians, but also by Muslim ideologists as a given, during this period completely secular states were created and secular culture was stimulated. However, if secularization took place, then secularism is still rejected by the majority of the Muslim population. In other words, historically, the transformation of the state took place, as it were, in addition to Islam, while society could not exist outside of religion, and Islam continued to perform the functions of the main regulator of social relations.
In the 70 of the twentieth century, many Muslim political movements were revived. New, conservative in essence, but skillfully combining Muslim political traditions with Western principles and ideas reworked in the Muslim spirit, appear. In an effort to restore the norms of "correct" Islam, plans and attempts to restore a single power that does not discriminate between spiritual and secular began to occupy a large place. At the same time, the restoration of a single power meant the power of the caliph, who primarily possessed spiritual power.
The caliphate was thus considered (in particular, by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna), rather not as a form of government, but as the essence of power in a single Muslim community. The state must have an Islamic order and meet three main principles: the Qur'an should form the basis of the constitution, governing should be carried out through an advisory meeting (shura), executive bodies be limited to the teachings of Islam and the desire of the community. At the same time, attempts were made to give the concept a specific outline, up to the formulation of an action program aimed at its implementation. But the spiritual revolution was put forward as a top priority, understood primarily as a radical restructuring of the education system and propaganda with the aim of deeper spreading of Muslim culture and strengthening the role of Sharia in public life.
Model of the Islamic State: ideology or reality
The model of the ideal Muslim society for centuries was the community of Mohammed. Theoretically, the political and social structure of the Muslim society should reproduce exactly this model. However, as history shows, in practice the ideal model existed only in the consciousness of Muslims, in real life, it began to be modified immediately after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. This was primarily explained by the fact that Muhammad took on a complex of social functions (the researchers of early Islam call at least eight such functions, the main one being the mission of the Messenger of Allah), which even his first successors, the righteous caliphs, did not fully fulfill. Subsequently, as the Muslim community developed and the Caliphate was formed, the main problem was that the functions of the head of state and “people of religion” were constantly changing, often dramatically.
If the first caliphs personified supreme political, military and spiritual power, then in the Abbasid caliphate the power of the caliphs was not theocratic in the full sense of the word: they did not recognize the exceptional ability of contact with the deity and the transfer of power was a political act without the ceremony of transferring grace. They did not have the right to make changes to the Shari'ah or the exclusive right to interpret it (it already belonged to the faqihs), and their legislative acts were recognized only by administrative orders. From the middle of the 9th century, the caliph generally loses political power and the reins of government over the main part of Muslim dominions and gradually becomes only the spiritual head of the Muslim world. By the middle of the 10th century, mercenaries from the Turks, on which the caliphs began to rely, acquired more and more power in Baghdad, themselves elevated the caliphs to the throne and removed them, intervened in their activities. At the same time, the Muslim world is faced with the need to simultaneously recognize three dynasties of caliphs - the Abbasids, the Fatimids, and the Umayyads of Spain. At the same time, the struggle for power in the community often took on the most violent forms. Thus, from the 72 caliphs, starting with the first righteous caliph - Abu Bakr and before Mohammed XII, seven caliphs were killed as a result of a direct attack, five were poisoned, twelve died as a result of insurrection or at the hands of an opponent.
The new type of Muslim state that emerged, the highest embodiment of which was the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt, differed in its structure from the Abbasid caliphate. The power in it belonged to a military group, whose members were Turks, Kurds or people from the Caucasus. All administration was carried out by this layer. Sultan seized power by force, but the caliph officially appointed him to this post, then notable people of the community recognized him in a solemn procedure, thereby legitimizing his power.
In the Ottoman Empire, in which already in the first half of the 16th century, a significant part of the Muslim world turned out, in the initial period the religious beliefs of the sultans were a mixture of Sufism and other traditions. Only after the Ottomans captured Syria and began to feel the opposition of the Shiite state of the Safavids, they began to pay more attention to Sunni. The Ottoman Sultan Selim I, after the conquest of Egypt in 1517, ordered to transport the Caliph to Istanbul. The banner and cloak of the prophet, relics, the possession of which symbolized the status of the sultans as defenders of the holy places of Mecca and Medina, and, consequently, of Islam as a whole, were also moved there. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520 – 1566) already had the title of master of the faithful, at the same time the subjects of the Ottoman Empire called him Suleiman the Legislator, since it completed the formation of a code of laws of the state, which operated practically unchanged until the middle of the XIX century. At the same time, Suleiman relied on two main pillars of Ottoman statehood: the institution of administrative and military administration, which had a secular character and was formed from people who were not necessarily Muslim in origin, and the Muslim institution was a religious legislative and educational institution. Judges and lawyers, God’s words, mosques of Khatib and imams, teachers of educational institutions constituted the class that was responsible for maintaining and functioning of the entire structure of education and religious institutions, as well as legal proceedings throughout the empire. Sultan was simultaneously the patron of the Islamic world, the defender of his faith and the executor of his sacred law, given from God and sent through the prophet. But the sultan did not have the power to change or ignore the principles of Shari'ah, guided by which he had to take into account the opinion of Muslim jurists and theologians.
In the Turkish Republic, Sharia (as well as the caliphate itself) was officially abolished in 1924 and replaced by European legislation. The disputes began no longer about what the caliphate should be, but whether it is necessary or not to restore it, but politicians who did not have a common opinion about what the state should be, for whose construction they lead, began to develop the theory of power in the Islamic state. the fight. They also had very different ideas about how to achieve the final goal, with the help of what forms of struggle, through what stages it is necessary to go through in the process of creating an Islamic state. Moreover, Islamic movements were formed in the framework of existing states that had already been established, from which they perceived the historical style of using power, strategic attitudes and national ideas. However, in the specific political conditions of individual Arab countries, each concept began to play the role of force, which guides the population under the influence of Islam in the ideological struggle of various political forces; the concept of Muslim rule began to be involved in political confrontation, often having a serious impact on state-building and the system of state bodies (as exemplified by the new “Islamist” constitution of Egypt, which was approved by a referendum in December 2012, can serve as an example).
At present, the Muslim world is again faced with the choice of a model of organization of a social structure, which is connected with the historical and civilizational foundation of society and cultural, ideological and religious attitudes that dominate society, predetermining the form of behavior of various social groups and the model of their self-organization. However, Islam, without answering the question of how Sharia law is combined with modern norms of Western democracy, is not yet able to offer such a holistic model.
One can agree with Bernard Lewis, who considers the activity of the Islamists to be aimless and amorphous. In his opinion, the struggle is being waged against two enemies - secularism and modernization. The war against secularism is conscious and obvious, but the war against modernization is mostly unconscious and not obvious, as it is directed against the very process of change that took place in the Islamic world before, as a result of which the political structures of Muslim states were transformed. This judgment can serve as evidence in favor of the doom of the Islamists, because their main task is unattainable. But, on the other hand, the struggle against modernization is an endless process, which in turn turns into a response hypertrophy of one’s own values. Therefore, the eternal striving for modernization will equally always support the Islamists in their desire to offer it their Islamic alternative.
In any case, the coming to power of the Islamists is not identical to the creation of an Islamic state. Their victory almost inevitably, although not immediately, leads to the erosion of the very idea of Islamism, demonstrates the instability of the Islamic political structure, its institutions, which is primarily due to the vague theoretical positions of the very concept and interpretation of the Islamic state in the modern world. However, in a particular political situation, those militant religious organizations that do not care about theoretical subtleties are often the most successful. In other words, a militant who came to an Islamic organization is not at all interested in a topic for a dissertation.