The Islamic System and Other Systems of Society
This is where Religion gets separated from politics. The social system which takes birth from the womb of politics only aims to achieve perfection in those parameters of life which is related to day-to-day physical needs of a human being. Like there is a system in a society which manages the traffic flow of vehicles on street to avoid disturbance on roads. The point to ponder over here is that even non-religious visions, thoughts and schools believe in a social system for human beings, but this is only for the sake of fulfilling the daily physical needs of a human being, to avoid disturbances, fights, tensions and to prohibit human beings from using force to take over the rights of each other.
But the system which Allah (s.w.t.) introduced for human being is not only to discipline his daily life but to ensure that human being gets educated spiritually and acquire perfection with the help of this social system. Hence the system which Allah (s.w.t.) introduced and made human being dependent upon, is a system that is in line with human being’s fundamental and survival needs. It is not that the social system is just aimed to arrange the basic necessities of life, fulfill the desires of human being, prevent disturbances and give protection from dangers. The primary and the main purpose of a social system are to create an environment for the growth and perfection of human being in its spiritual form. This system of society or governance in Islam is known as the system of Imamat and Ummat (Leadership and Nation), or also called as System of Wilayat (Guardianship). This is the system made for the social development of human beings, not just for an individual, but in a collective form moving the society towards perfection.
This is where the difference between the system of Wilayat and the other social systems in its opposition becomes explicitly clear. The difference between all other systems for a society as compared to the system of Wilayat lies in its very basic fundamentals. The intellectuals refer to this fundamental difference as the difference in the core. This means the difference is in the essence and not in attributes. It is incorrect to say that in principle all the systems are the same, but differences are there only in the implementation or attributes. The essence of a religious social system and that of a nonreligious system of social governance are different. The difference is to the extent of difference between human being and non-human being, between man and trees. Similar to this, the system of Wilayat and system of democracy are different; system of Wilayat and system of dictatorship are different.
The exact need of a system to be Wilayat or other man made systems can be realized only after a human being understands the essence or the reality of human being himself. Once a human being is understood in its real sense, then we will realize whether we need System of Wilayat or other systems to govern the society. The Holy Quran too refers to this same point in context with the narration of a story.