The role of morals in politics
Sayyed Fadlullah: Lebanon cannot continue as a viable
civilizational model except under the formula of internal consensus, and
the principle of no victorious and no defeated parties. The Lebanese are
able to protect their internal stability and unity by resorting to
dialogue that represents a priority at all times and in all stages and
Asked in his weekly seminar the following question:
How does Islam view the role of morals in Politics.
The Religious Authority, Sayyed
Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:
Islam has laid much emphasis on the need to establish a moral system
that governs human life, lest it will turn into a society run by the law
Islam wanted this moral system to cover all aspects of
life. On the economic level, it prohibited greed and monopoly, while on
the social level it confronted hatred and called for mercy and love. It
also formulated moral laws for how to conduct wars, prohibiting betrayal
and mutilation and calling for respecting the rights of prisoners, and
prohibiting any maltreatment of them.
As for the political domain that has to do with
leading the nation and making critical decisions affecting its future,
Islam wants morals to govern the entire political movement in the
society. It wants the politicians to be truthful, humble and transparent.
It wants them to admit their mistakes before the nation and be ready to
be held accountable for them. Such accountability accompanied by modesty
and humbleness aims at protecting the society from turning politics into
a means of autocracy and dictatorship. Rather, Islam wants those in
charge to feel the grief, and the needs of the people.
We might be accused of being idealistic, since
politics is the art of the possible, but we believe that if politics is
void of moral values it is nothing but cheat and deceit.
Islam has felt how critical and effective power is,
since those in charge might take certain stands that affect the security
and the fate of the nation. Consequently, it instituted a set of moral
regulations that protects the nation from the tyranny of politicians.
First of all, it demanded that the ruler should be pious and just since
if he is unjust on the personal level he would not be accepted to
establish justice in the society.
We also consider that political piety is one of the
highest forms of piety. And there in a dire need these days for such
piety, to confront the sense of brutality and aggression that is invading
the world, in its security, economy and environment.
The danger lies in that this world is governed by
rulers who have no political piety. This is manifested especially in the
American Administration that was able to turn the world into a playground
for terrorism, and the Middle East into a region of turmoil that is on
the verge of a political and military explosion, having done away with
international law and the concept of justice. It has established secret
detention camps in many European courtiers, turning America's name from a
country that was concerned with human and nation rights in the beginning
of the twentieth century into a country that represents greed, killing,
torture and oppression of all the downtrodden nations.
As for us in Lebanon, we feel the dangerousness of the
US ongoing attempts to disintegrate the Lebanese national fabric claiming
that it aims to promote to democracy in Lebanon. It is also inciting some
of the Lebanese parties to go all the way in making Lebanon run by
foreign tutelage, whether these parties know that or not.
We are afraid that a dirty game is going on that, aims
at creating a rift between the Lebanese, by making the Lebanese groups
afraid of one another, while posing Israel as a caller for peace, or at
least to reduce the perceived intensity of its aggressions and demands.
We are also afraid that some Lebanese have begun to accept the American
proposals, which could tamper with the essential foundations of the
Lebanese entity, or make it vulnerable to political military
We say to all parties: Lebanon cannot continue as a
viable civilizational model excepts under the formula of internal
consensus, and the principle of no victorious and no defeated parties.
Any attempt of hegemony form any party will turn the
political tension into a military one; something that all Lebanese do not
want, just as they refuse the choice between depending on foreign powers
The Lebanese are able to protect their internal
stability and unity by resorting to dialogue that represents a priority
at all times and in all stages and especially today.