Socialist Islam

Islam has been associated with socialism for about a century, and this involves the principal of ‘Zakat’, which is the distribution of wealth. Zakat is one of the ‘five pillars of Islam’, and has only ‘Salah’ – prayer) as being more important. Socialist Islam is mixing Islamic ideology with social equality, but only started gaining momentum in the 1950s when it became a legitimate ideology in the Middle East and parts of Africa. Its roots are claimed by several historians to have begun in the ‘Soviet Union around the time of the 1917 revolution. Farmers and peasants in ‘Tatarstan’, which is a republic located in western Russia, had become tired of the way the monarchy treated common folk. They attempted to create an independent state, but were crushed by the ‘Romanovs’, and survivors went underground to coerce with communist and socialist forces who were preparing to overthrow the monarchy. After the revolution was over, the ‘Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic’ was established. The Muslim movement that was known as the ‘Waisi’ began in the 1906 revolution which was the first attempt to dismantle the Romanov monarchy in the 20th century, and when ‘Vladimir Lenin’ finally toppled the regime, the Waisi joined forces with him and gave him their full support. After Lenin died in 1924 the Waisi attempted to start separating from the Bolsheviks and become their own socialist identity, but ‘Stalin’ had other ideas and wiped them out.

“The basis of social solidarity in the Islamic socialist model is a combination of equality, justice, mutuality, and responsibility.” – Source

Some historians claim that Islam is itself a socialist religion, as many Muslims are anti-Capitalism, and are perfectly happy in a theocratic authoritarian rule where Sharia Law needs to be strictly observed. Despite many socialists not understanding the reason for belief in God, if there even is a reason, then Islamic socialism is there to fill in a gap in a socialist society body with a religious skeleton. According to Islam, every man, woman and child is equal before God, regardless of class, or race.

One of the most religious countries in the world is Pakistan, and they’ve had their fair share of socialism running through their governments, since they broke away from India in 1947. ‘Liaquat Ali Khan‘, who was Pakistan’s first Prime Minister took office during much turmoil, and having Marxist influences, and interests in the Soviet Union, Iran and China and wished for Pakistan to adopt Islamic Socialism, after studying parties like Iran’s ‘Movement of God-Worshipping Socialists.’

The problem here is despite him being a devout Muslim, socialism was linked to atheistic ideas, and secularism, and many Muslim leaders not only saw this as anti-Islam, but also anti-Pakistan. The stigma that surrounds socialism and communism is going to take a long time to die away, if it ever does, as almost every religion seems it a threat to society and society’s moral fabric. Yet Islamic states are generally about the whole, as opposed to individuals, which is exactly what socialism is – for the greater good (derived from ‘sociō’, meaning unite, associate), which goes against the greed behind capitalism, and stands for equality and justice (allegedly).

Here is an argument against communism and socialism in Islam, and with it being from an Islamic perspective there are the typical common fallacies about atheism and communism. Enjoy!

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