Mustafa Cerić, PhD
Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia
A MUSLIM SOCIAL CONTRACT
(A REFLECTION FROM A EUROPEAN POINT OF VIEW)
The most challenging question for us Muslims today is: How can we participate actively and faithfully in a democratic society? In fact, this question begs a much deeper one, for in essence it is at the core of human existence in terms of the relations of man to God and the relations of man to man. So, as much as it is about God, the divine message is also about man’s relationship with God and man’s relationship with man. As Professor Fazlur Rahman has put it: “The Qur’an is a document that is squarely aimed at man; indeed, it calls itself ‘guidance for mankind’ (hudan li’l - nās)”. It is this “guidance” that we need today in order to find the answer to the questions that have plagued man throughout his existence: What are we? Where are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going?
On the level of individual conscience, Muslims may find the answer in the meaning of their aqīdah (belief), which contains two principles: the principle of God, the Creator of the Universe, and the principle of the Prophet, the Messenger of God. For people of faith it is religious belief in the sense of the continuity of memory that determines the identity of man and the notion of him being aware: Where did he come from? And where is he going?
But as much as it is valuable for man’s identity, religious belief (aqīdah) goes beyond and is different from the limited use of the term “identity” which we normally understand as race, ethnicity, nationality or gender. Religious belief transcends individual boundaries in the sense of it being universal in meaning, containing within it the idea of the whole existence of God - Man - Community - Society.
Hence, the kind of transition of belief or doctrine (aqīdah) into the collective Muslim consciousness is one of the most challenging tasks we face today. Who are Muslims? Loose individuals with strong beliefs or a respectful community with a strong collective will? And where are the Muslims - in the world of isolation or the world of integration? We must seek the answers in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Indeed, we must come to a direct confrontation with the meaning of the Sharī‘ah rather than viewing it through outdated interpretations. In one’s efforts to grapple directly with the Sharī’ah one must learn how to appreciate it. Gai Eaton puts it thus:
The word Sharī‘ah means – ‘road or ‘highway’, but its derivation refers to beaten track by which wild animals come down to drink at their watering place. It is the road which leads to where the waters of life flow inexhaustibly.
In other words, the Sharī’ah is the inexhaustible source of divine guidance for humankind. It is available to man, like any other God given substance, for man to sustain his life. It is up to man to find in the Sharī’ah what he needs for his own benefits, not in the sense of his whims but in the sense of truth both for his own mental health and justice and for the health and justice of his community. God is not in need of man to tell Him what to do, but man is in need of God to teach him how to live. Thus, man has to exercise the fiqh, understanding, of the Sharī’ah. Again as Gai Eaton has put it:
The word fiqh, usually translated as ‘jurisprudence’, comes from the verb faqiha, which means neither more nor less than ‘he understood’. Fiqh, then, has to do with understanding the divine commands and their ramifications in the fabric of daily life… for the Muslim, the crystallization of the Qur’anic message and the Prophet’s example into a body of livable law has been the supreme adventure. Islam is ‘submission’ to the Will of God, and the study of this miraculously revealed Will is seen as the most important study open to man as a creature endowed with intellect and reason. Law, moreover, has to do with the art of living together. In its broadest sense, it is the science of human relationship.
Indeed, the Sharī'h is the Last Testament after the Old Testament (the Torah) and the New Testament (the Gospel). It is not only that Muslims have a right to remind others of the old and new testaments of the Abrahamic tradition, but they also have a duty to advance the inclusive concept of the Community (Gemeinschaft) , based on the covenant and the Society (Gesellschaft), based on the contract. It is the fact that the Muslim Community is bound by its covenant with God, postulated in the form and content of the Sharī‘ah, to advance and promote Society based on a social contract that respects and defends the human rights of all human beings everywhere.
The Muslims must understand that it is not enough to focus on their personal belief (aqīdah) only, nor to claim perfection of the Divine Law (Sharī‘ah). In addition to this, they must also demonstrate their ability to participate in society based on the contract both in terms of the government, the pacte de gouvernement, and the society, the pacte d’association.
Those who have the knowledge and will to guide Muslims to develop the concept of the Muslim Social Contract must also fulfill the right to develop within the Muslims the concept of civil life based on Islam and its morals, to lead to the realization of real multiculturalism.
Hence, to work towards the development of a Muslim Social Contract, it is incumbent upon Muslims today to find the right answer to the question: How can Muslims participate actively and faithfully in a democratic society?
The term “Muslim Social Contract” is not found in classical Muslim literature. It is a term I have borrowed to designate my own reading into the Islamic tradition in order to unfold its riches and to develop the conception of a Muslim Social Contract. I want to show that the Muslim faith īmān, the Muslim confession shahādah, the Muslim religion dīn, and the Muslim belief ‘aqīdah are the driving forces for the integrative function of both the Muslim personality and the Muslim community.
The meaning of the term īmān (faith) designates the inner security of the soul, which remembers that God, having drawn forth from the loins of Adam all the future generations of mankind, said to them, Alastu bi - rabbikum (Am I not your Lord?) and received the answer Balā (Yes). This primordial covenant of mutual recognition between God and man has provided the posterior compact of mutual trust (amānah) between God and man, based on man’s sincere confession (shāhadah). For, neither there could be sincere confession (shahādah) without genuine faith (īmān) , nor sincere faith without genuine confession. This interdependence between īmān as a transcendental gift of God and the shahāda as an immanent will of man is the foundation for the dīn – religion as the driving force for the integrative function of the Muslim community. The final Qur’anic declamation that “as of today God has completed your dīn – religion, has given you His favor, and has designated Islam to be your dīn – religion” - is a clear indication that the dīn of Islām is more than personal īmān (faith) and personal shāhadah (confession). The dīn is the mutual bond among the members of the unique compact which is derived from the covenant of faith of the prior as well as posterior confession. The prior confession (shāhadah) is the first confession of Adam’s progeny done on behalf of humanity as a whole, and the posterior confession is the second confession of each and every person who is aware of the fact of the prior confession. This person is called Muslim, meaning he who remembers the prior confession (shāhadah) as his or her own and submits his or her posterior confession as his or her personal commitment to the dīn of Islām, which means the religion of submission to the will of God, willingly or unwillingly, taw’an aw karhan, as it is stated in the Qur’an:
Do they seek for other than the dīn of God? – while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willingly or unwillingly, bowed to His will, and to Him shall they all be brought back.
Thus, the word dīn is the closest concept to the idea of the mutual compensation: “As you do so shall you be recompensed”, kamā tudīnu tudānu. It is on the notion of this mutual compensation that we should read Shahrāstanī’s account of the meaning of millah, community, when he says:
Since man needs to live together with others of his species to provide for his subsistence and also to prepare himself for his eternal destiny, this corporate living has to be of a kind that will ensure mutual defense and cooperation; by mutual defense he will be enabled to keep what is his, and by mutual co - operation to obtain what he does not possess. This form of corporate living is the millah. The special path leading to it is called the minhāj, shir’ah or sunnah. The agreement on that sunnah is called jamā’ah; as God says, “To every one of you we have appointed a right way and an open way”.
On the other hand, the word ‘aqīdah (pl. ‘aqāi’d - Muslim basic beliefs and attitudes) is the closest to the meaning of contract as a unilateral or bilateral agreement or promise to do or not to do something. The Arabic word ‘a - q - d (literally “knot”), which is the root for the term ‘aqd (pl. ‘uqūd, contract) as well as the term ‘aqīdah (belief or doctrine), implies both unilateral and bilateral obligations. If ordained by God, the obligations are unilateral, but if dictated by humans, they are bilateral and must be in accordance to the normative and moral principles of dīn – religion.
Based on what has been said so far, we can conclude that the core of Muslim belief, which is based on the notion of īmān (faith), shahādah (confession), dīn (religion) and ‘aqīdah (belief), contains the foundation for the covenant (‘ahd), which denotes a self - initiated commitment as is stated in the Qur’an: “Fulfill the covenant with God (wa awfū bi - ‘ahdillahi) when you have entered into it, and break not your oaths after you confirmed them…” as well as a commitment of man toward God imposed by God and accepted by man as it is said in the Qur’an: “Verily those who pledge their loyalty to you (Muhammad) do no less than pledge their loyalty to God. The hand of God is over their hands. Then anyone who violates his oath does so to the harm of his own soul, and anyone who fulfills what he has covenanted with God (wa man awfā bimā ‘āhada ‘alaihullahe) – God will soon grant him a great reward”. Hence, it is clear that Islam is the religion of covenant with God. Consequently, the Muslims are the community of contract with men. Thus, it should be no surprise for us to hear that Imam al - Ghazālī (d. 1111) had preceded philosophers Thomas Hobbes (d. 1679), John Locke (d. 1704), and Jean - Jacques Rousseau (d. 17789), in advancing the concept of the social contract, when he said:
Man needs to live in society to be able to perform his voluntary actions and profitable transactions. He needs the cooperation of others in order to make his own living. He needs that cooperation in mutual defense to protect himself, his family and his property… The mutual defense and cooperation must be for a just cause and a comprehensive law.
Hence, Islam is more than religion; it is law and morals. By law we intend to mean the blueprint of a social order which denies to its members the use of private force for attaining redress of wrong, and by morals we mean man’s knowledge and will to accept principles of right and wrong in behavior. Furthermore, the law of Islam is more than religious law; it is a covenant the terms of which are neither negotiable nor terminable, and it is a contract the terms of which are both negotiable and terminable. Thus, it is political theology based on Islamic legal and moral foundations that concerns us here. Obviously, there is a difference between the political theology of Islam and political Islam. The former is a concept of political prudence while the latter is thought to be politically radical.
It is not because of political Islam becoming an obsession both in the East and the West that we have chosen not to focus on it, but because we believe that the political theology of Islam is the challenge of our times. The political theology of Islam which we are talking about is close to political philosophy; it is close to political pragmatism but far from admitting of a political application too easily. The point here is that although Muslims are the most united religious commonwealth in terms of their doctrinal and practical faith, but, nevertheless, they are the most disengaged political group in terms of their theoretical and global politics.
Europe or the West in general is in contrast: it is politically united in spite of its diverse religious beliefs and practices.
Hence, when it comes to Islam the real issue, not only in Europe or in the West generally, but also everywhere, is not about the purity of Muslim belief (‘aqīdah) but it is about the prudency of political thought and the nature of political power. There is no reasonable Muslim who does not understand the idea of One God (tawhīd) as well as the argument for Muhammad being the last Messenger of God. But there is also no responsible Muslim who can comprehend the bloody political disputes that Muslims have been involved in. Although the argument that Muslim political disarray is due in part to Western unfairness has some merit, Muslims must likewise understand that it is their responsibility to secure their own rights by protecting the rights of others. Consoling themselves on the idea of being victims might satisfy some Muslims trying to justify certain conditions of their society, but it fails to provide us with an honest answer as to the real cause of our malaise, of what Muslims are and what they ought to do in order to change the world for the better. Therefore, it is up to the Muslims to define themselves either by their relationship with Almighty God or by their relation to their xenophobes. I found David Novak's account on the Jewish debate concerning the definition of Jews to be useful to our discussion on the definition of Muslims in Europe, indeed in the West as well as in the East. Thus, after quoting Jean - Paul Sarte's thesis that "The authentic Jew ... thinks of himself as a Jew because the anti - Semite puts him in the situation of a Jew“, Novak writes:
In other words, racial definitions of Jews are made by their persecutors, who frequently become their murderers. Jews who are alienated from Jewish tradition accept these self - definitions. Assimilated Jews even accept the pejorative value the anti - Semites build into these racial definitions of Jews and try to escape their Jewish identity. Nationalistic Jews invert this pejorative value, taking what was meant by anti - Semites to be a badge of shame and turning it into a badge of pride. But neither the assimilationists nor the nationalists know how to access the classical Jewish definition of »Jewishness, “ which is the doctrine of God's election of the Jewish people, collectively and individually. Only this definition enables Jews to transcend dependence on the world's opinions on them. Only God's opinion of the Jews should matter to them. This divine judgement is far more generous than any Jewish self - esteem and far more merciful than any Jewish self - hate.
Since all authentic Muslim thought must begin from the Qur’an, one sees that the Muslim Community is not a biologically selected entity, but a morally uplifted humanity with a precise historical task to promote what is recognized to be right and to prevent what is condemned to be wrong. The Qur’anic statement: “You have been the best of communities known to mankind because of your promotion of what is recognized (ma’rūf) to be good and your prevention of what is condemned (munkar) to be wrong…” - is a clear criterion on the basis of which “every deed has consequences of one kind in this world, and consequences of another kind in the world to come…”. Thus, for Muslims, writes Wilfred Smith:
History has meaning, ultimate meaning; but its meaning is not exhausted within itself. Rather there are norms and standards, standing above the historical process, according to which that process may and must be and indeed is being judged….
Thus, the brilliance of Islam is its resistance to subdue itself to an exhausted history which cannot reach out beyond its own exhaustion. Consequently, Islam is itself the biggest challenge to the Muslims themselves who have lost touch with the transcendental meaning of history because of their exhaustion in their own exhausted history. At the core of the Islamic worldview is the connection of the transcendental (ghāib or bātin) with the immanent (shāhid or zāhir). The ghāib is just absent; it is not nonexistent. And the bātin is just hidden; it is not dead. The shāhid is just present; it is not eternal. And the zāhir is just apparent; it is not essential. This world, al - dunya, is here and now present and apparent, but it is not eternal and it is not essential. The other world, al - ākhirah, is absent and hidden, but it is eternal and essential.
Hence, the mission of the last Messenger of God was not to invent a new faith but to affirm the old truth and to integrate the transcendental with the immanent, to assure man that he has purpose which goes beyond him himself. The Messenger was also to raise the Community that could play the role both of affirmative history and an integrative force. It has always been Islam’s ability to balance between seemingly excluding elements that makes it an attractive and inclusive force. This is true not only with regard to the theological or metaphysical worldview but also with regard to historical or political action. The integration of al - dunya with al - ākhirah is derived from the divine source, but the theological concept of it is a human act. Therefore, the act of integrating and balancing is not an accidental thought but a substantial divine concept on the basis of which human models can be made. In other words, the principle of the integration of the dunya with the ākhirah is a paradigm that calls for the integration of all extremes which break up the balance of the whole. Thus, since Islam is an integrative force between strongly related values, the Muslim is then the integrative agent between apparently interdependent realities. This makes us understand clearly why the Muslim Community has been given the role of the integrative position in history, as it is stated in the Qur’an:
It is God who has made you to be the Integrative Community (أُمَّةٌ وَسَطًا) so that you may be witnesses for men and that the Messenger may be a witness for you…
I have translated the Qur’anic word wasatan (وَسَطًا) as “integrative” rather than “justly balanced”, as it is Yusuf Ali’s translation of it, or “middle way”, as others would say, to give to the Muslim Community the meaning of the active rather than the passive witness. And this is what the Ummah (أُمَّةٌ) is meant to be: a Universal Community in the middle of the world affairs who has the active task of connecting, attracting and integrating the immeasurable greatness of the Divine with the immeasurable diversity of the human. Furthermore, the Ummah has the task of connecting, attracting and integrating the similar elements of the divine message of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, a. s., into the concept of a common human destiny based on a covenant that is morally binding and a contract that is legally workable. Indeed, the Muslim Ummah today has a historic opportunity to make a kind of reunion of the Abrahamic traditions that share the common word and a common destiny. Hence, the recent Muslim initiative: A Common Word between You and Us should be taken seriously and should be further developed to become the common sense of humanity. Indeed, the Muslims must act as an integrative force in the world and as an active witness in history. This is both their doctrinal obligation and their historical right. Their obligation is based on the doctrine of the position of the wasat, which requires a balanced approach to all aspects of human life leading to the integration of all good in the world. And their right is based on the historical fact of the integration of human thought which in Baghdad in the 8th century saw them translating Greek philosophy. This was followed by Cordoba, Spain, where the Muslims continued to play the role of the integration of rational philosophy through the work of Ibn Rushd (Averroes) in 12th century, the result of which was a catalyst for European humanism and renaissance. The West - Islamic cultural integration has been the most productive during the last two or three centuries. The initiative came from the West whereby major western universities open the departments for oriental studies, i.e., the study of Arabic language and Islamic culture in the broadest sense of the word. It is due to these oriental studies in the West that we have today valuable references on Islamic culture which are relevant not only for the West, but also for Islam. Works such as the Islamic Encyclopedia, the Index of Hadith and the production and translation of fundamental Islamic theological and philosophical works which are available to the academic community in the West are the undisputable proof of the western contribution to the development of the West - Islamic cultural integration.
Thus, we have the pattern of Muslims being both an integrative force and a historical witness to human intellectual progress in Baghdad and Cordoba when they had been obviously active, but also we have the example of Muslims being integrated into the cultural developments made by the West when they became noticeably passive. Today, I believe, Muslims are experiencing both the phenomenon of being integrative and integrated. The integrative are those who seek knowledge even if in China and the integrated are those who are doing little or nothing but complaining about everything and everyone who is doing anything that is out of their personal benefit. The Muslims in Europe have a unique opportunity to avoid being the integrated and to be the integrative. They have freedom by their moral obligations as well as their legal commitments to be an integrative force in Europe by the covenant of high moral standards and the contract of concrete legal norms. There cannot be real peace without morality and morality can only be maintained through covenant. Likewise, there cannot be security without law and law can be established and maintained only through a contract that is founded on covenant which is related to constitutionalism. All these values which have to do with human social life are interdependent in such a way as to indicate the necessity of integrating them into the whole of human understanding. Thus, the integration (wasat) or combination (tawfīq) of kinship and consent, community and society (gemeinschaft and gesellschaft), individual and society, rights and duties, claims and responses, and right and good is essential for us to understand that law cannot be just “human will” (Hobbes), cannot be just “human reason” (Locke), cannot be just “will and reason” (Rousseau), cannot be just “freedom” (Kant). In addition to that there must be law which is above and beyond human “will”, human “reason” and human “freedom”; there must be a Kierkegaardian “leap of faith”; there must be Ibn Khaldunian “group feeling” (asabiyya). As Charles Cooley put it: “One lives in the feeling of the whole and finds the chief aims of his will in that feeling.” Thus, the bond of kinship is a matter of “feeling” among relatives tied by blood relationships while the bond of consent is a matter of “faith” among rational people tied by moral obligation: Do not that to another, which you would not have done to yourself – is a universal moral imperative shared by Judeo - Christian - Islamic tradition with a slight difference as to the emphasis of the negative or positive imperative: Do that to another, which you would have done to yourself. Although moral promises are not always sufficient without some kind of interest, this self - interest must be within a moral framework. These two premises (kinship and consent) are integrative (wasat) motifs for obtaining a social contract in the sense of mutual affiliation to the fact of blood relationships and the reason for common moral commitments for the better of all. In times of assaults on their faith, Muslims in Europe tend to apply the strong consent based on the bond of their common faith, but when it comes to financial and other worldly affairs the bond of kinship is more prevalent. This is because as Ferdinand Tönnies has put it:
There are degrees of rationality of natural will and of the communities and groups which it forms. Thus, in order of the importance of rationality there are the Gemeinschaft groups based on friendship, on neighborliness, and on blood relationships. Groups in which natural will predominates may range from those held toghether by intellectual ties to those bound by the instinctive liking or sympathy of biologically related individuals. Thus, the businessman, scientist, person of authority, and upper classes are relatively more conditioned by rational will than the peasant, the artist, and the common people, who are more conditioned by natural will. In general, women and young people are conditioned predominantly by natural will, and men and older people by rational will.
Therefore, the real challenge for the Muslims today in Europe elsewhere is their ability to integrate their community (Gemeinschaft) founded “on the norms that are sanctioned by religion through its beliefs, faith, and creeds” with the society (Gesellschaft) which is based “on the norms of morality that are sanctioned by public opinion which arises from common interests”. This dichotomy of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft type is also the central idea of Ibn Khaldun in his famous Muqaddimah, Prolegomena to Philosophy of History. In fact, “his analysis of both types is one of the most penetrating, detailed, and enlightening”. We believe that the integrative force (the wasat) between these two types of association is the Rule of Law based on the covenant as “the background, the ground, and the foreground of any contract”. Thus, God is there not as a partner with man; the partner with man in the covenantal rights and obligations is God’s self - inscribed Mercy, as it is stated in the Qur’an: “Your Lord has inscribed for Himself (the rule of Mercy)”. Hence, the Muslim Social Contract is grounded on God’s rule of Mercy - the covenant, and the rule of law - the contract by way of which the Muslim Community has minimal claim to be free from interference in its religious and cultural life and its maximal claim to be recognized as well as supported of its religious and cultural autonomy because of its usuful contribution to the common good to society. And here is the meeting point between the Muslim Community and the European or Western Civil Society – the principle of covenant which has never lost its original meaning and significance either in European moral or political life, as Daniel Elazar has said:
The cleavage between the modern and premodern epochs is generally acknowledged. We may argue over the extent of the cleavage and the degree of continuity across the premodern - modern divide, but the fact that the cleavage was and is a reality for most people who have undergone modernization has been well - documented. Nevertheless, convenant is one of those concepts and its tradition one of the cultures that did manage to cross the divide and survive; transformed, indeed, but in the process having an enormous influence on the shaping of the modern epoch, especially in its political dimension, and continuing to compel certain populations or at the very least to serve as the rock of refuge to which they return for reinvigoration in times of need. It is no less important to recall that the political transformations of modernity were initiated by and achieved their greatest success in those countries where the covenantal tradition had been strongest, particularly Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland and England, and the United States.
Obviously, the scope of this lecture is limited and thus cannot focus on all the relevent arguments for the need of a Muslim Social Contract, but for the time being and the space available we can safley say that the Muslims of Europe, indeed in the Wesi as wellas in the East may not only find their rights in a civil society anywher, but may also accept their duties for it to be the society of the fulfilled covenant with God and the workable contract with men. Thus, the Muslim Social Contract is made up of a covenant with certain individual and communal prior rights and a contract with certain social rights and duties.
Here is a list of the prior rights for the Muslim Social Contract:
Right to life as the gift of God (nafs).
Right to religion as the need of heart (dīn).
Right to freedom as the essence of human being ('aql).
Right to property as the need of life (milk).
Right to dignity as the essence of human identity ('ird).
Right to biological reproduction as the need for human continuity (nasl).
And here is a list of social rights and duties:
That man is God’s creature and should not do harm to God’s creation –nature.
That every man work and live in peace with others.
That men defend freedom of belief and expression and work for freedom from fear and poverty.
That every one promote tolerance in society as a sign of human strength.
That people practice religious and cultural dialogue with religious and cultural solidarity.
That every man recognize another man to be free and his equal.
That every man keep his promise, fulfill his covenant and work out his contract to the full.
That no one seek revenge because of past evil, but look for a better future.
That no one spread hatred.
That every one respects the rights of others at every time and at every place.
That no member of the society use private force for attaining redress of wrong, but submit his right to the just rule of law.
That Europe is the House of Peace, the Union of Social Contract and the Abode of all peoples who take it as their home.
 Qur'an, 2:185; Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur'an, Biblioteca Islamica, Chicago, 1980, p. 1.
 Gai Eaton, Islam and the Destiny of Man, The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1997, p. 180.
 „Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of system of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust… the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests“. John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1971, p. 3.
 Gai Eaton, Islam and the Destiny of Man, The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1997, p. 181.
 I cannot but express my deep apprication of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams's Lecture: Civil and Religios Law in England: a Religious Perspective, which he delevered at the Royal Courts of Justice on Februray 7, 2008. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams has demonstrated not only his ability to read and understand the principles of the Shari'ah, but also his courage to tell his fellow citizens what they ought to learn about the faith and culture of others. This is a sign of strength not a sign of weakness.
 In his acount for the origin of the term, Steve Reilly had this to say: “An unwritten agreement between the members of a society to behave with reciprocal responsibility in their relationships under the governance of the 'state' which, in social contract theory is pressupposed by the existence of that society. The idea is of ancient origin (Plato, Lucretius, etc.), but it was chiefly used as a tool for criticizing established, traditional authority when the modern nation-state were breaking away from Christendom, and seeking both autonomy and just internal constitutions. Its chief exponents were Thmas Hobbes (1988-1679), who argued that the social contract created mutual obligations wich did not exist prior to the constituted state, John Locke (1632-1704), who argued that moral principles and obligations existed before the creation of the state, so that men could change the state if it failed to uphold these principles; and Jean Jacque Rousseau (1712-78), who developed a famous work to the subject“. See, The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, ed. Alan Bullock and Stephen Trombley, Harper Collins Publishers, 1977, pp. 799-800.
 Qur’an, 7:171; see R.A. Nicholson, The Idea of Personality in Sufism, Lahore, 1970, pp. 22-23.
 It is the qur'anic narrative that „God has offered the trust (amānah) to the heavens and the Earth, and the mountains, but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof, but man undertook it – he was indeed unfair (zalūm) and ignorant (jahūl)“ [Qur'an, 33:72]. The point here is that man became God's trustee on the Earth by his own will regardless of the fact that he was not fully aware of the burden of the trust he was undertaking.
 Qur’an, 5:3.
 „The etymology of the word dīn (religion) indicates binding and commitment... it also means to be indebted to others, to be subjected to them, obey them and owe allegiance to them...“. Quoted from Eltigani Abdelgadir Hamid, The Qur'an and Politics – A Study of the Origins of Political Thought in the Makkan Qur'an, The International Institute of Islamic Thought, London, 2004, p. 38.
 Qur’an, 3:83.
 Qur’an, 5:48; see Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Karim Shahrāstanī (d. 1153), Muslim Sects and Divisions – the Section on Muslim Sects in Kitab al-Milal wa ‘l-Nihal, translated by A.K. Kazi and J.G. Flynn, Kegan Paul International, London, 1984, p. 33.
 Quran, 16:91.
 Qur'an, 48:10.
 Quoted from Eltigani Abdelgadir Hamid, The Qur'an and Politics – A Study of the Origins of Political Thought in the Makkan Qur'an, The International Institute of Islamic Thought, London, 2004, p. 179.
 See Tocqueville's observation: „Islam is the religion which has most completely confounded and intermixed the two powers ... so that all the acts of civil and political life are regulated more or less by religious law“, quoted from Ernest Gellner, Muslim Society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1981, p. 1. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Islam in Modern History, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1957, p. 9.
 By the political theology of Islam is not meant a political theocracy in a sense of the rule of clerics. The political theology of Islam means the rule of law and morals not in the sense of posivitism which does not give proper space to morality, nor in the sense of naturalism which does not properly recognize the function of legal tradition. By the idea of the political theology of Islam I mean the political and moral tradition of the Muslim Community. In its substance it is moral and in its form it is legal in the sense that legal reasoning is not just a historical description, nor an abstract moral reflection on what rules or principles would be appropriate to a just world, but it assumes both.
 Suffice it to cite a few references: Oliver Roy, The Falure of Political Islam, translated by Caral Volk, Hravard University Press, 1994; Political Islam (Essays from Middle East Report), ed. Joel Beinin and Joe Stork, University of California Press, 1997; Peter Mandaville, Global Political Islam, Routledge, London, 2007.
 It is the fact of Muslim religious life that the Qur'an is the one and only Holy Book for all Muslims, that the Prophet Muhammad, a.s., is universally acknowledged as the last Messenger of God, that the Ka'aba is the universally accepted direction for Muslim prayer, and that the Muslim regular prayer is in Arabic, etc.
 „Christians are puzzled when told that jurisprudence, not theology, is the principle religiouse science in Islam and that the ‘ālim, the learned religiouse scholar. Is primarily a jurist who tells people what to do rather than what to belive. But for the muslim there is no problem in knowing what to belive; his concern is what to do under alll circumstances in order to conform to the Word of God and to walk without sumbling on the road which leads to Paradise“. See, Gai Eaton, Islam and the Destiny of Man, The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1997, p. 180.
 See, David Novak, The Jewish Social Contract, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2005, p. 15-16.
 Qur’an, 3:110.
 See, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Islam in Modern History, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1957, p. 25.
 Qur’an, 2:143.
 Here are some facts concering the Muslim initiative: A Common Word between You and Us. On September 13th 2006 – H.H. Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg University Lecture; October 13th 2006 – 38 international interdenominational leading Muslim Scholars release an irenic joint Open Letter to tke Pope in response to the Regensburg Lecture. October 13th 2007 – On the One-Year Anniversary of the joint Open letter to the Pope, the 38 scholars are joined by another 100 scholars (138 in total) and toghether issue the document A Common Word between Us and You to the Pope and all the leaders of the major Christian churches, worldwide. A Common Word between You and Us proposes Love of God and Love of Neighbor as the common ground between Christianity and Islam. A Common Word was written by Prince Ghazi of Jordan, and corrected by a number of Senior Muslim scholars including Grand Mufti Ali Jum’a, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Sheikh Mohammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Buti, Habib Ali Jiffri and Prof. Abd Al-Hakim Murad; it was released by all 138 scholars toghether. October 14th 2007-March 14th 2008 – The leadership of the Christian world issue around 50 different responses and reactions to A Common Word, these include Pope Benedict XVI; the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams; Lutheran Presiding Bishop Hanson; World Baptist Alliance President Coffey; World Council of Churches General Secretary Kobia; Cardinal Scola; Cardinal Pell; Leaders of the Mennonite and Quaker Churches; Unitarian Congregation President Sinkford; British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and a number of Orthodox Christian leaders. The document is also welcomed by a few Jewish leaders, including the Chief Rabbis of Isreal.
 I am aware of Edward Said's profound critique of western orientalism and one tends generally to agree with him, but one should be fair and acknowledge the fact that today many Muslim students are coming to the West to enjoy academic freedom and seek fundamental knowledge about Islam thanks to the Islamic oriental studies at many western universities.
 More on the integrative role of Muslims in hitrory see, Tim Wallace-Murphy, What Islam Did for Us – Understanding Islam's Contribution to Western Civilization, Watkins Publishing, London, 1988.
 See Lloyd L. Weinreb, Natural Law and Justice, Harvard University Press, 1987.
 Frdinand Tonnies, Community and Society,Dover Publications, New York, 2002, p. 5.
 See Ibid, p. 9.
 See, „Inrtoduction“ by Charles P. Loopis and John C. Mckinny, Ibid, p. vii.
 See, David Novak, The Jewish Social Contratc, Princeton University Press, 2005, p. 31.
 Qur'an, 6:54.
 Daniel J. Elazar, Covenant and Civil Society – The Constitutional Matrix of Modern Democracy, Transaction Publishers, London, 1989, p. 7.