What Are the Types of Politics According to Ibn Khaldun?June 27, 2021
According to him, there are three types of politics:
Intelligent politics: It is the rule of the state by means of the laws that people find and set with their minds. A politician is a person who sometimes investigates the goodness of the administrator, and sometimes the goodness of the administration/system, based on reason. Ibn Khaldun divides this policy into two. The first type is good because it is based on knowledge and reason. In another form of rational politics, state administration is based on violence and coercion. Although this form of politics is a bad form of rational politics, it is applied in many states, both Muslim and non-Muslim.
Civil politics: It is an ideal form of politics put forward by philosophers and is irrelevant to reality. It is a system in which people live in peace and tranquility without a governing authority (cf. Anarchism). . As a matter of fact, philosophers also accept this fact.
Religious policy: It is the administration of the state by the commands of God revealed by the prophet. Religious rules not only show people’s behavior, but also show the way the state should follow. It is carried out by the caliphs after the Prophet. Therefore, it is a beneficial policy for both this world and the hereafter. According to Ibn Khaldun, Islamic states followed a reconciliatory path, firstly they tried to comply with the rules of sharia and then with the ethical rules put forward by the philosophers. As an example, he cites a letter of Sultan Tahir bin Hussein during the reign of Caliph Memun, which contains advice to his son on how to run the state.
Ibn Khaldun, who dismissed civilized politics by defining it as an imaginary style, compares the types of mental and religious politics and argues that religious politics is superior to rational politics. In Ibn Khaldun, the idea of separating religion and state affairs, which developed later in the western world, is not encountered at all. In this sense, orthodox Islam depends on political thought. Seeing that there are many mental/worldly politics in the world, Ibn Khaldun distinguishes Islamic societies from them. He states that the way for the Islamic society to continue is to maintain the rules set by the prophet, and that the institution of the caliphate is necessary for this. In this context, Ibn Khaldun examines the stages of the Islamic state. According to this, while religious policy was applied in the process from Muhammad to Caliph Omar, the Umayyad dynasty and the Islamic state separated from religious politics and switched to mental/worldly politics. Therefore, it was destroyed and the power passed to the Abbasids. A similar situation was experienced with the reign of the Abbasid caliph Mutasim and after that the Arab asabiyya was broken.