Islam & its Political Agenda
Islam was born as a religion and at the same time as a civilization movement in a corrupted tribal society. Muhammad had the idea of reform in all features of his Arab nation's life. He started his movement with religious ideas and profound theology obscure for his society. His community then drove him out and only a few went to him, a few who suffered the current social conditions. Muhammad’s point of success and the turning point for the triumph of Islam was his migration from Mecca to Medina, where its people embraced him as a means of hope for peaceful life with each other under the leadership of a man who had talked about equality and justice alongside theology in his new religion. Thus in medina, Muhammad transformed from a religious preacher to a leader and his Religion also made its way toward a more effective role in the society and politics. Thus the verses of Koran went from Theology to legal issues and even everyday lives of individuals in the society whose people saw Muhammad as a charismatic leader that had a solution to whatever the problem they would encounter. Being in this position made Muhammad know the fact that in his society, the only way toward a better life of the society and the only way to civilize them is to force them, probably by God! Religious tolerance meant nothing as far as Arabs were concerned. He was determined to unify the Arabs under the same Religion and alongside with it the same leadership. he had to fight with the enemies of Islam in Mecca and their allies around them, and the way he did this, was to tell his people by the verses from God to go to war for the sake of Allah, the only true God and this is the point that Islam in its true meaning has strong ties with society and politics. Islam is the only religion in which politics has explicit role in it. We have seen theocracies of Zoroastrianism in Iran and something similar in Christian Rome or further down to medieval Europe, but in these religions the political agenda was something secondary to the core of these religions, in contrast to Islam whose political agenda was a major element.
Islam in this view has a direct predecessor: Judaism. Indeed Islam can be viewed as an Arabic replica and a new version of Judaism. It may not be a surprise that these two are in struggle to this day in the Middle East.
Islam and its prophet dealt with whatever it came upon them in the leadership, society and defense. The verses of Koran were responsible for the constitution of this government. Social life of Arabs was accepted under Islam and only reforms were made. Anti-women Islamic laws are even reforms of traditional Arab laws. To Muhammad, slavery was a disliked fact! It was constituted to loot and enslave the defeated enemies of Koran and to take the advantage of their women without any limit.
Muhammad aimed to create a prosperous Arab nation by the virtue of Islam as a national Arab religion, as a spiritual and also a civilizing tool. He preferred peace as he did start his movement with just preaching, but he could also go to send troops to Arab tribes to whether convert to Islam or fight! It came to Koran to talk about war, its essence to first defend Islam and then spread it.
it comes to the mind that if Islam was a reform in medieval Arab society and its laws were suited to medieval tribal Arab society and even at the same time, there were more humanitarian cultural lives experienced elsewhere in the world like in Iran or Rome, then why Islam became a world religion, claiming to be the single true religion and its laws should be executed everywhere? The answer is the political power.
Indeed Muhammad was victorious in his movement. He did it! He made a unified Arab nation under Islam, but this happened only by force, invasion and violence after his death. Muhammad was victorious, but this came with a heavy price: The price of including violence in religion! in the last years of Muhammad’s life, most of Arab tribes in the Arab peninsula were converting to Islam, but as he passed away, large number of Arabs went away from Islam, but the political agenda intrinsic to Islam was inherited to prophet's successor Abu-Bakr who declared fight against them and finally unified all the Arabs under Islamic government of Medina! Thus Islam was introduced to the world as a political agenda for Arabs rather than a religion. Soon afterwards, under prophet's second successor, this political agenda went to the borders of Arab peninsula and its victim was Roman and Persian Empires.
This was the story of rise of Islam in a barbarian uncivilized society in a world that there was no place of any importance in terms of civilization or power for it. At the time, in the Middle East, two gigantic powers of Sassanid Iranian and Eastern Roman Empires were in struggle. And there was quite a surprise for the world history that out of nowhere, a unified people under a new faith started to conquer the world!