The true religion is God’s natural system:
"So you shall setup your direction to the religion monotheistic, God’s natural system that he originated people into. There is no substitute to God’s creation. This is the worthy religion, but most people do not know." (30:30)
God’s laws are natural principles that are permanent and unchangeable.
“Arrogance in the earth and the evil scheme. And the evil scheme does not afflict except its people, so are they waiting for the primitives’ law? You will not find for God's law a replacement, and you will not find for God's law an alteration.” (35:43)
“God's law applied to those who had past before, and you will not find for God's law a replacement” (33:62)
“God's law applied in the past, and you will not find for God's law a replacement” (48:23)
For example, killing an innocent person will always be against the law no matter what time or place one lives in.
The essence of a natural republic is that it is “government by natural, permanent laws.”
PRINCIPLE I: Equality
Most people would agree that the most important cornerstone of government is a fair and equitable justice system.
“Indeed, God commands you to fulfill the people’s trusts, and if you ruled between human beings, that you rule with justice. Indeed God advises you with what is favorable, indeed God is hearing, seeing.” (4:58)
The justice system applies to all human beings equally, and there can be no special laws for a certain group of people. In fact, the fairness of the justice system does not stop at the borders and the same principles apply even to enemies from other nations. Thus God says in the Quran:
“O you who believed, be upright to God, testifying with the equitable. Let not the hostility of other people towards you make you commit a crime by not being just. Being just is nearer to prudence/forethought, and be forethoughtful of God, for God is informed of what you do.” (5:8)
PRINCIPLE II: Presumption of innocence
The right to the presumption of innocence is central to the Quranic justice system. The example of David is given in 38:21-26 to illustrate this point. God rebukes David for assuming that an accused is guilty based on a subjective generalization. In addition, suspicion without solid evidence of wrongdoing is considered a sin as we see in 49:12:
“O you who believed, avoid much suspicion, for some suspicion is a sin…” (49:12)
PRINCIPLE III: Victim’s right to publicly seek justice
A victim who has been wronged has the right to publicly seek justice and remedy as indicated by 4:148. There can be no secrecy in justice:
“God does not like bad sayings publicized, except if one has been victimized by injustice, and God is hearing, knowledgeable.” (4:148)
PRINCIPLE IV: The accused has the right to be confronted by his/her accuser(s)
Verse 49:12 is one of the law verses in the Quran that have been traditionally narrowly interpreted as talking about personal conduct, however it does in fact have broad significance to government conduct. For example, it points out that the accused has the right to be confronted by his/her accuser.
“… and do not accuse others in their absence. Does anyone of you like to devour his dead brother’s flesh? So you hated it, and fear and obey God, indeed God is forgiving, merciful” (49:12)
In addition, hearsay is not admissible in court. We can only testify about things that we heard or saw for ourselves (see 17:36).
PRINCIPLE V: Everybody shall bear his/her own burden
Only the convicted person and not any other person or family member in his/her place, shall be punished (See 53:38, 6:164):
“No bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another.” (53:38)
PRINCIPLE VI: A witness cannot be harmed by his/her testimony
Witnesses cannot be harmed in any way as a result of their testimony. This includes being forced to be a witness against him/herself.
“…And no scribe nor witness is to be harmed, and if you do that, it is debauchery by you, and fear and obey God, and God teaches you, and God is all knowing.” (2:282)
PRINCIPLE VII: Equivalence
The punishment should be less than or equal to the nature of the crime (For example, see 42:40, 5:45, and 17:33).
“And a sin's/crime's punishment is equivalent to it. That who pardoned and corrected, his reward is on God, for He truly does not like the oppressors.” (42:40)
Therefore, excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
PRINCIPLE VIII: Sanctity of the home and personal property
Nobody shall enter any residential home, without the consent of the owner.
“O you those who believed, do not enter residences other than your residences, until you seek permission, and you greet its inhabitants, that is best for you, may you remember. If you did not find in it anyone, then do not enter it until you are permitted, and if it was said to you: "Go back," then go back, it is more pure for you, and God is knowledgeable with what you do.” (24:27-28)
Thus, people are to be secure in their homes and all physical and intellectual property within against intrusions, searches, seizures, and expulsion (for example see also 2:85). Additionally, people’s wealth is also to be secure (for example see 2:188 and 4:29):
“Do not consume your wealth among yourselves with falsehood…” (2:188)
Non-residential or public buildings or those where services are provided are not subject to this restriction:
“There is no offense if you enter non-residential houses wherein there are services for you, and God knows what you show, and what you conceal.” (24:29)
PRINCIPLE IX: Injunction against spying
Another law in verse 49:12 that have been traditionally narrowly interpreted as talking about personal conduct, when it does in fact have broad significance to government conduct is the injunction against any spying:
“… and do not spy…” (49:12)
The injunction against spying is general and is not limited to individuals. This means that government cannot conduct spying operations against its own citizens or for that matter against other nations, no matter how hostile they may be. The benefits of spying, if any, are highly suspect. The sort of people that are attracted to the so-called “intelligence” profession and form its leadership and cadres are, by the very nature of their job, untrustworthy and power-hungry characters. Moreover, in the absence of a real threat, they inevitably cause mischief to justify their ever-growing powers and budgets. Inevitably, at one point or another, they end up spying against and harming their own people.
PRINCIPLE X: Justice in international affairs
As outlined in principle I, the justice system applies to all human beings equally and there can be no discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or nationality. Thus a foreign national, even one from a hostile nation, would have the same rights in the justice system as a citizen of the natural republic.
The natural republic cannot be the aggressor in any conflict. However, due to the absolute injunction against spying, even against hostile nations, one might ask: how do we protect the natural republic from its enemies? The answer is “deterrence”:
“And prepare for them what you can from superior strength and horses’ restraint to frighten the enemy of God and your enemy and others that you do not know, God knows them, and whatever you spend in God’s way is fulfilled to you, and you will not be oppressed” (8:60)
The natural republic deters both its known and unknown (and possibly more dangerous) enemies by maintaining technological superiority that is carefully restrained and controlled. The word “horses” (a metaphor for technology) is plural while the word “restraint” is singular, indicating that the many, distributed, defense technologies should be restrained, controlled and coordinated by a unified command and control structure.
How does the natural republic achieve technological superiority? By adhering to God-given natural law and thereby freeing the minds of its people, the natural republic will inevitably achieve technological superiority. The example of Zulqarnain is given in the Quran to illustrate this point. In fact, the Quran boldly declares that believers in the Quran will be victorious (for example, see 30:47, 47:7).
In addition, treaties based on Quranic principles to cooperate for the benefit of humanity and to maintain peace can be made with other nations and must then be honored.
PRINCIPLE XI: Religious freedom
In the natural republic, there is absolute religious freedom:
“There is no compulsion in religion. The rational and the unjust had been made distinct. So whomever disbelieves in institutionalized tyranny and believes in God, had gripped the affirmed handle, no breaking to it, and God is hearing, knowledgeable.” (2:256)
In secular governments there is a wall of separation between state and church (i.e. organized religious clergy). The Quran goes even further by establishing that each individual is solely responsible for his or her own beliefs and salvation and there is absolutely no role for a church. Each individual’s mind is his or her church and there is no concept of a hierarchical organized religious institution in the Quran.
Although there are no restrictions on religious freedom, there is only one restriction on institutional religious power that hinders its ability to enslave people’s minds. This principal restriction is the injunction against profiteering from religion. True religious freedom cannot be achieved unless monetary gain is taken out of the equation. This is clear in 2:41, 2:79, 2:174, 5:44, 9:9, and 9:34.
“So woe to those who write scripture with their own hands then say: "This is from God" to accept with it a small gain. So woe to them from what their hands wrote, and woe to them from what they reaped.” (2:79)
From the Quran and from the history of all religions, it is clear that a corrupt priestly class, that hinders religious freedom, is the direct result of religious monetary gains.
“O you who believed, there are many among the clerics and the mystics who consume the wealth of the people with falsehood and hinder from the way of God...” (9:34)
In the natural republic it is unlawful for individuals such as professional clergymen to earn their livelihood by selling religion. It follows that government is not allowed to finance the clergy of any religion. This will ensure that government cannot enlist the clergy for propaganda purposes. This will also make it less likely that a powerful priestly class that is corrupted by wealth will have a strong influence on people and enslave their minds. As a result, true religious freedom will flourish.
People are free to organize and work as individuals or as groups on religious matters but they would have to do it purely on a volunteer basis without accepting any personal pay or gain (such as on this web site and many others on the Internet). Of course hypocrites who are profiteering from religion will not like this restriction. However, for people who place more value on spiritual gains this is not an issue.
As we saw earlier, according to the Quran, religion is the natural system that governs the way of life. Within this context, religious employment is meaningless. It is like being paid to do a natural everyday act like breathing. On the other hand, this will cause financial problems for many professional religious tradesmen who would now have to get a real job to make up for lost income from their lucrative religious activities.
Apart from the phony profiteering clergy, people from all religions will be able to easily follow God’s natural system. Other Quranic recommendations such as pledging allegiance to God alone at the start and end of the day are to be established by the believers. However, those recommendations are for each individual’s own salvation and thus are not to be established by force on society. Another example is intoxicants and gambling, it has been left for the republic to determine the measures to promote their avoidance according to its own circumstance (for examples laws to help people avoid hurting others by driving on the roads while intoxicated, etc.).
PRINCIPLE XII: The essence of government
God’s natural and permanent laws cannot be changed by either government or people, but must be observed by both. Government is essentially a convenient cooperative that represents the interests of God’s creation and can only be a vehicle for cooperation in constructive good as opposed to crime and aggression:
“… and cooperate on righteousness, and forethought (of God), and do not cooperate in crime and aggression, and fear/be forethoughtful of God, indeed God’s punishment is severe.” (5:2)
PRINCIPLE XIII: Open government
To represent the interests of the people adequately and to ensure that the scope of cooperation is limited to constructive and beneficial good to humanity, there can be no secrecy whatsoever in any government meeting or communication as indicated by the following verses:
“O you who believe, if you have to confer secretly, you shall not confer to commit crime, aggression, and disobedience of the messenger. You shall confer with righteousness and forethought (of God). You shall be forethoughtful of God, before whom you will be summoned. Secret conspiracy is from the devil, to sadden those who believed and he will not hurt them except with God's permission, and on God the believers shall depend.” (58:9-10)
To guarantee the openness of the government, all government assemblies or meetings should be open for observance by any of the people. Lack of space cannot be used as an excuse, especially in this age of the Internet and interactive technologies such as video conferencing. Thus it is said in 58:11:
“O you who believed, if it was said to you: "Make space in meetings." So make space, God makes space for you, and if it was said: "break off." So break off, God raises in degrees those who believed from you and those who were given the knowledge, and God is informed with what you do.” (58:11)
This injunction against secrecy in government extends to all matters, including full financial disclosure applicable to those in or who would like to run for government leadership positions to ensure that no money is given in exchange for favor:
“Do not consume your wealth among yourselves with falsehood and approach with it the rulers to consume a portion of the people’s wealth with criminal intent while you know” (2:188)
Open government also ensures freedom of the media and of any individual to have direct access to government information and to report on it. There is only one condition in the Quran, which is to question and thoroughly verify news. Seeking clarification is especially important in the case of those media outlets that have shifted their focus from accurate and unbiased reporting of news to advertising, entertainment, and propaganda:
“O you who believed, if a debaucher comes to you with news, seek clarification, lest you should harm people out of ignorance, and at first light you feel remorseful for what you have done.” (49:6)
PRINCIPLE XIV: Representation in government
The vote of a people, no matter how unanimous, or the decree of a dictator, cannot be used to change the principles of the republic. Therefore, voting in the natural republic is restricted to election of representatives. The concept of representation is established in 5:12:
“And God had taken from Israel's descendants a covenant, and We sent forth from them twelve representatives…” (5:12)
In the natural republic, representatives from the people form the different equalizing groups in government. Like anything else, government power must be diffused to equalizing groups that provide checks and balances to one another to prevent tyranny:
“…And were it not for God pushing the people with one another, places of storage, places of trade, places of allegiance, and places of prostration where God's name is mentioned/remembered a lot, would have been demolished, and God will give victory to that who gives Him victory, indeed God is strong, glorious” (22:40)
Power can be diffused not only through the branches of government but also through decentralization by placing executive, legislative, judicial, and economic power into local communities.
Within the framework of the natural republic, democracy can be tamed to provide effective representation and equal access to all of society as well as the checks and balances necessary to maintain justice.
Without the framework of the natural republic, democracy becomes tyranny of the majority and will eventually lead to dictatorship. Leaders become sleazy politicians who play on average people’s prejudice, arrogance, greed, and cowardice. Those politicians carry favor with the majority by giving them other people property or by creating a real or imagined threat that they then pretend to defend them against. Of course there is no better way to amalgamate the majority behind the politicians then war. That is why pure democracies are prone to war.
In the natural republic, the will of the majority or of the leaders does not override, under any circumstances, God-given natural laws. Those safeguards ensure individual dignity, equal opportunity, safety for minorities, and greater justice in government. The stable, permanent, and natural Quranic principles provide individual rights that cannot be abrogated by government decree or the vote of the majority. The resulting environment where people are secure in their self, property, and labor, encourages individuals to fully invest their energies and talents in pursuing their dreams and benefiting their communities. Both people and government’s obedience to the Creator’s natural law is what makes freedom.
Economic democracy is a byproduct of the safeguards to person and property for both rich and poor and the stable framework of the natural republic. Equal opportunity and financial aid to the disadvantaged (see 9:60) will enable individuals to constantly migrate from one class into another, making caste unthinkable (For example, see 59:7).
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATURAL REPUBLIC
“… Indeed God does not change the condition of a nation unless they change what is in their selves, and if God willed harm to a nation, there is no retraction of it, and other than Him, for them there is no guardian” (13:11)
Verse 13:11 clearly states the only prerequisite for the establishment of a natural republic. Individuals within a nation have to improve what is in them for their nation’s condition to improve. The Quran (God’s written word) and nature (God’s unwritten word) can provide plenty of guidance in that regard for those who are willing to listen to God above all other sources.
So don’t expect a promised one to come and establish the natural republic for you. This dogma serves only as opium for the nations. In fact, it can also result in the destruction of nations especially in a democracy where the majority are foolish believers in institutionalized tyranny who turn the lie of Armageddon into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Even if the natural republic is established, it is clear from the examples of the Quran that it can only last for so long and it will not be a utopian community. History and our own experiences tell us that utopia cannot be achieved in this low life and the Quran tells us that it is in the hereafter but only for the righteous.
The examples of the people of Aad, Thamud, etc., provide insight into how nations, even ones that started out right, become corrupted. There are always arrogant criminals who will try to undermine God’s natural system:
“And like that We allowed the bigger criminals in every community to scheme in it, and they do not scheme except with themselves while unaware” (6:123)
When the large majority of people in a community support those criminals, the natural republic will slowly become corrupted. When this happens, the first thing the criminals will try to do is create excuses to undermine the natural, Quranic constitution and adopt the discriminatory, devious, complex, and unintelligible laws of institutionalized tyranny. At first, minorities will suffer and the majority will be cheering. Eventually, the criminals will have enough power concentrated in their hands to control everybody.
How about the minority of people who cling to God’s natural system? The answer is prescribed in verses such as 4:97, 29:56, and 39:10:
“…Wasn’t God's land spacious so you immigrate in it? …” (4:97)
The most likely way that a natural republic can take root is for people to immigrate to a place where they can establish it. Once it is established as a loose federation between local communities, immigration and freedom of movement between those communities will help preserve the natural republic through competition. For example, a community that oppresses people will loose its most talented citizens to communities who still live by God’s natural system. This is why a one-world government or a large and powerful central government is a bad idea, they are prone to tyranny and once tyranny engulfs them, there are very few places left for people to immigrate to. This leads us to the following principle:
PRINCIPLE XV: No restriction on the freedom of immigration and movement
It is with this important principle that I would like to conclude this article. Thank you for your participation.
“This is the book, no doubt, in it guidance for the prudent/forethoughtful.” [2:2]
Tomorrow our understanding of the Quran and the universe will evolve, except if God wills otherwise. This article reflects my personal interpretation of the Quranic verses as of August 15th, 2002. Please be humble by following the example set by the angels in 2:32, verify all information within for yourself as commanded by God in 17:36, and remember that simply “none” is the prudent/forethoughtful answer to God’s question in 45:6.
By brother Ayman (e-mail: email@example.com)