Integrating Islamic Principles and Values into the Fabric of Governance

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Daud AbdulFattah Batchelor

Abstract

Important Islamic principles and values in governance are identified from the Qur’an, Sunna and the essential Shariah objectives (Maqasid al-Shari'ah). The principles (vicegerency, rule of law, justice, social welfare,separation of powers, accountability, consultation, obedience, public participation, inclusiveness, equality, dignity, hisbah or enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, limiting money politics, and ensuring a free, independent media, and peace and security) have considerable bearing on the structure of government institutions and in ensuring good governance, while the values (trustworthiness, transparency, cooperation towards good, moderation, eagerness for knowledge, frugality and valuing time, and good neighbourliness) relate more to the moral qualities required by rulers, leaders and government
officers alike. The proposed process of integrating these into governance is based on a systems thinking approach which acknowledges that governance works in a systemic framework. It also stresses the modern discipline of change management but points out that both it and a systems approach were already
applied most successfully by Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. Working examples, which can be adapted for use in Muslim countries for government departments and civic society have been identified from Canada and Malaysia, respectively.

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