A lesson that most people learn in life is that you should think before you speak, Islam takes the concept further and suggests staying silent in certain circumstances.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:
“Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent” [Hadith 15, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi]
Unfortunately for some, both basic human etiquette and Islam have passed them by: enter Boris Johnson.
The man who once equated Muslim women to letterboxes and bank robbers, suggested he would rather be found dead in a ditch than push Brexit back (which he did), joyously boasted about shaking hands with Covid positive patients whilst presiding over 120,000 deaths from the disease in the UK.
Contrary to common opinion about Johnson being a bumbling buffoon he is simply a man who says what is on his mind, palatable or not. This is the only explanation to the latest leaks which suggest that Johnson said he would rather see the Covid “bodies pile high” than engage in a third lockdown. The motivating factor being that he could not bear the economic turmoil a third lockdown would create.
This comes on the back of him being accused of many other misdemeanours whilst in government: tax breaks for Dyson employees, claims by once close friend Dominic Cummings that Johnson wanted to secretly get donors to pay for his flat refurbishment etc.. All this added to the allegations against the former Prime Minister David Cameron who lobbied the government on behalf of Greensill Capital, a company in which Cameron had a financial interest. In fact Cameron was set to make $200 million from a possible flotation of Greensill, if this wasn’t bad enough Cameron has also been accused of introducing an old Etonian school friend to senior government advisers so he could pitch for a Covid testing contract.
There is a pattern to the behaviour of politicians in the Capitalist system: a disregard the Western world is quick to accuse others of whilst trying to paint Democracy as the panacea of transparency and upright conduct. These are not just a few bad apples within the Tory party, historical accusations of cash for questions and the MP’s expenses row shows it is a cross party disease.
The government has been quick to deny the latest allegations which is par for the course. However with Dominic Cummings giving evidence to MP’s next month regarding the UK’s Covid response more revelations are bound to come out. Former party leader William Hauge feared that Cummings would come “armed with audio recordings, screen grabs, email chains and other partial but revealing evidence”.
The Covid crisis worldwide has been mismanaged by politicians who have used the chaos to attempt to cement their political positions or make a quick buck. In India where Covid infections and deaths are now at record breaking levels, political rallies continue unabated.
In Scotland Nicola Sturgeon took political advantage with Scottish elections due on the 6th May by saying
“With each day that passes, further details of the Tory sleaze engulfing Westminster come to light. Reports of Covid contracts for cronies, donations for decorating, and texts for tax breaks, simply cannot be brushed under the carpet.”
The irony being her party the SNP has been accused of just as much impropriety as the Tories in England.
So whats the solution ?
It’s simple a benefit centric system such as Capitalism will always create benefit centric politics. No amount of realigning of the moral compass will remove corruption and irresponsible behaviour from Democratic politics.
Contrasting Islamic politics with the status quo it is clear that the motivations of the ruler is totally different. It is not a matter of getting away with it as Boris Johnson has been trying to do , but a position of ruling is seen as a responsibility.
Mohammad (ﷺ) said in a Hadith:
“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects……. “ [Muslim]
So what motivates a ruler to stick to the Haq and not manipulate and take advantage of this position ? The fear of Allah (swt)! Mohammad (ﷺ) said:
” I heard The Messenger of Allah say in my house that, O Allah! Be harsh with the one who is charged with the affairs of the Muslims and is harsh on them, and Allah be gentle with the one who is charged with the affairs of the Muslims and is gentle on them.” [Sahih Muslim].
And for those who cheat the people in this world , then for them their fate is with Allah (swt)
“There is no governor/wali who takes charge of Muslims and dies cheating them, except that Allah prohibits him paradise.”[Bukhari]