Who Needs an Explanation of Islamic State (1)
Recently Abd Waheb al-Effendi’s book entitled ‘Who Needs an Islamic State’ has been publicized especially in Malaysia by a group who claim themselves as Malaysia Think Tank. Actually al-Effendi’s ‘Who Needs an Islamic State’ was first published in 1991, before Anis Ahmad had commented it in 1993. Then after almost 18 years later al-Effendi review his first edition book by updating his ideas as well as responding to Anis Ahmad comment. Whatever the purpose of the publicity, the book inevitably would spark a debate between those who uphold al-Effendi thesis and those who are not, or at least would make al-Effendi thesis green.
Perhaps, as a philosopher I do to agree with al-Effendi philosophical ideas about Islamic Politics especially whenever he calls the Muslim society to share political wisdoms with others non-Muslims. It is common for a philosopher like al-Effendi to limit himself by merely asking some great questions related to Islamic Politics and ignoring the details of the system. Even in Islamic tradition, this approach had been initiated by al-Farabi when he shared his political wisdoms with Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics in his political books like al-Siyasah al-Madaniyah and Fusul al-Madany.
Then in the modern age, al-Farabi approach was followed by Ali Abd al-Raziq when he wroted his Islam wa Usul al-Hukm. Al-Raziq who was once a disciple of Muhammad Abduh wrote his book to respond Rashid Redha (also Muhammad Abduh’s disciple) effort in reviving Khilafah after the demolition of Ottoman Empire. Redha pioneered a movement to restore Khilafah by expressing his stands in al-Manar and calling Muslim scholars across the Muslim World to attend a conference discussing the feasibility of reviving Khilafah. Indeed Al-Raziq was a philosopher although his first education in al-Azhar was Shariah.
Therefore al-Effendi thesis is not a new one as his philosophical approach to understand Islamic Politics has been applied previously by Muslim philosophers. Perhaps John Hosper’s book about philosophical analysis provides a very good answer for those who intend to understand al-Effendi approach towards Islamic Politics. Hosper in his book distinguished philosophical questions from non-philosophical questions, hence this discipline is called philosophy. Al-Effendi in this sense repeats the philosophical approach by answering philosophical questions of Islamic Politics and apparently refuses to answer non-philosophical questions.