By Ali Bulac
July 26, 2015
The Quran states that Muslims work things out through a Shura council.
When Muslims intend to engage in work or an action, they must make a decision in consultation with others. Council and consultation have been key terms for the Islamists since the 19th century. Considering this understanding of “Shura,” Muslims affected by modernity inferred that democracy exists in Islam, though this analogical reasoning is open to discussion. However, there are other key terms that can enlighten us for the shaping of everyday social relationships and political order in the general sense; such as understanding, negotiation and agreement. As negotiation involves mutual consultation, it also involves common association of ideas, understanding one another, criticism, testing and bargain of ideas and views. That's why I think that Islam sets forth “deliberative politics”. Today, Muslims neither consult one another nor negotiate. Because they do not refer to these things, Muslims miss out on the blessings of the holy concepts of understanding and agreement.
Unfortunately, most common methods used by Muslims are “discussion and debate.” As it is well known, there is a sect in Islamic history called “followers of debate.” Both “Mutezile” (Separatists) and “Kelamcılar” (Rationalists) say that the name is an epithet used by those who oppose them. Those, who support understanding existence and religion with reference to rational and abstract concepts, face this accusation, because they take spirituality and rationality equally as points of reference. No matter how viewpoints and experiences occurred in history, we can say this with comfort: Discussion in Islam is negotiation, not debate. No matter how rational and intellectual concepts are essentially rational and abstract, the rational is considered to be prior to the spiritual, which is what is transferred to us by the Quran and accurate Sunna and as a result, an endeavour emerged to prove that every rational thing fits perfectly to the spiritual things. Key concepts like thinking, contemplation, comprehensive analysis, deliberation, meditation and consciousness do not point at a debate taking place in two different minds. These are all personal and they point at mental processes belonging to human's inner world. Discussion and debate appeals to a person's Nafs (desires), commands a swelling ego and a desire to win the debate. The platform where two different minds are not debating, but establishing dialogue and interactive relations, is the ground for negotiation.
There Are Three Important Factors In Negotiation:
Reminding, advising and interaction through interchange. In this respect, the Quran invites people, especially believers, to invocation; names itself as “Ez-Zikr” (the invoked). However, this is a form of argument that takes place between a Muslim mind and a mind that doesn't take Islamic revelations as reference. This ground might be wider than it is considered to be because the opposing mind will desire to make a point of contention out of your basic beliefs at first, followed by revelation itself and the righteousness of the Quran.
We have two options in front of us: Either you stay absolutely away from arguments like these, exercise influence over those who oppose you and those who don't think or believe in the same things as you, or engage in the discussion, having confidence in yourself and your religious references. Our most important thesis that shows an argument can worth be engaged with is the Quran's invitation to talk to those who oppose it, in order to prove their reasoning.