By Dzenan Smajic
Abstract In this paper, we will try to explain how the idea of a state which is a servant of its individual citizens must be the supreme issue in nowadays Islamic community. The main thing is that we are not here to speak just about rights, responsibilities and obligations of the state and the community, but rather we are here to speak about the link between the state and the community. First of all, the main problem in Islamic history and in modern times is the question what should be the proper function of an Islamic state. If we give a definition, or a framework, of all these functions – rights, responsibilities and obligations – then we do not need to explain individual roles in an Islamic community, because when the key purpose of the State is known, then the responsibilities and obligations of individuals are also known. Qur’an and the Sunna teach us the fundamental rights of individuals: right to live, to have property and to freely choose what kind of life do they want to live, and it is well known that there is no place for coercion. Therefore, the supreme issue during the Islamic history, from early historical times of the sahaba to the present days is one question: what do we mean when we say “Islamic state” or “Islamic community”? We will explain in this paper that according to Islam the main purpose of a state is to protect individuals, first of all, their property, because we cannot speak about freedom without property rights. Therefore, we put the property right’ on the pedestal, and as we shall see, all other rights and obligations are derived from them. When we speak about property rights we speak about everything: abortion, banking, censorship, child custody, child- raising practices, conscription, contracting, copyrights, crimes, eminent domain, food quality, freedom of speech, press, religion, association, immigration, political systems, privacy, school systems, taxation, etc. We are told that we must sacrifice our personal needs in order to maintain order in a society, but in Islam, a state is not God, but rather just an institution which has an obligation to protect our lives, property and freedom, not to be the machinery of social control.