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Epilogue

 
In the course of the foregoing discussions we started from ethics going toward politics and its connection to ethics. Then, we reverted to ethics and its station in politics. As we have seen, the Imām’s view on politics is an ethical one, and he regards it as an extension of ethics on a broader level.

From this perspective, precepts and moralities for politics that are separate from the general precepts of Islamic ethics cannot be found. Any attempt to make politics independent from ethics is, in effect, and in the long run the annihilation of not only ethics, but also results in obliterating politics. As such, from the Imām’s viewpoint, it is not only the other-worldly interests that require the statesman to be bound by ethics; even practical reason and political reason demand from him this abidance by ethics. Thus, in admonishing the lawmakers of the Islamic society, he says:
 
You ought to be the teachers of ethics of the society and the entire society ought to rally behind you… and if, God forbid, deviations arise and selfish motives appear… this, first of all, constitutes a grave moral degeneration and degeneration in the presence of God, and secondly, there is the fear that you will not be able to take this load home.[597]
 
Therefore, to behave ethically in all spheres, political spheres in particular, leads to emotional and spiritual loftiness and progress of man apart from being a requisite and demand of reason. One of the duties of the political authorities in the Islamic society is the preservation and promotion of Islamic values and slogans, and the best way to this end is for the authorities to observe these values, mottos and ethical principles and to reform themselves.
 
Today is the day when you ought to preserve Islam; you ought to preserve Islam. Preservation of Islam is that you should modify your actions, you should behave well with the people; be brothers to the people; you should not look upon the people in such a way.[598]     
 

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