The Importance of Mashwara

Islam greatly exhorts the practice of Mashwara (mutual-consultation) in all matters of importance. Whether relating to individual issues, matters relating to the home, matters relating to the community or a country, Islam emphasizes the importance and great benefits of Mashwara. This meritorious practice of great benefit is strongly encouraged:

1. by the Quraan Majeed

2. by the Hadith Shareef

3. by the practical example of Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam)

4. by the practice of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu-anhum) and the Pious Elders of all eras

MASHWARA AND ISTIKHARAH
TWO INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS

All Muslims must strive to bring alive this vital practice in all facets and matters of their individual and collective lives. Whenever any issue of importance arises; before making any decision, always resort to
1. MASHWARA and

2. ISTIKHARAH

We have been informed by the most truthful of men, Sayyidina Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) in one of his gems of wisdom: "He who resorts to Istikharah will not be at a loss; and he who resorts to Mashwara will never regret."

QURANIC VERSES

(Relevant Quranic Aayaat regarding the importance of Mashwara:)

Aayah 1:

"And make Mashwara (consult) with them in affairs (of importance). Then when you have firmly decided, have trust on Allah. Verily Allah loves those who have trust (in Him)" -

Lessons from this aayah:

1. Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) was not really in need of the views and consultation of the Sahabah (radiyallahu-anhum), because he was educated and taught directly by Allah (Rabbul-Izzat) via the medium of Wahi. Allah Ta'ala could have guided him to the correct decision even without mutual consultation. Yet we find the Quran has instructed even Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) to resort to Mashwara with his companions. This alone speaks volumes on the importance of Mashwara.

2. What is the reason for Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) consulting and making Mashwara with his companions? In order to emphasize the importance of Mashwara, he practically carried it out and showed them the ways and etiquette of Mashwara. In this manner the importance and method of Mashwara was embedded in the minds of the Sahaba (radiyallahu-anhum) and thus this practice gained prominence and priority in the life of the Sahaba and those that followed their ways.

3. Islam has always advocated the policy of adopting the means first and then trusting upon Allah - Tawakkul. "Tie the camel first, then trust upon Allah." This is the true concept of Tawakkul from Quran and Hadith. It is this same principle as far as Mashwara is concerned; first adopt all the means: Consult, collect all the views and deliberate on the issue at hand from all angles, then take the decision and leave the rest to Allah (Rabbul-Izzat) - thereafter trust on Him alone.

4. Although this aayah is directed to Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) in the first instance, it applies to all Muslims in general by way of implication. By directing Rasulullah (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) firstly towards this command, the emphasis on this matter is trebled in importance.

5. A very important Hukm (directive) of Mashwara is laid out in this aayah - the final and binding decision lies with the Ameer. The aayah states:

"...then when you have decided..." - this implies that the decision lies with one person alone - not the entire Shura Body. The Quran does not say "when all of you have decided" or "when the majority of you has decided" etc. This points out the invalidity of the system of democracy or majority rule. Islam espouses the system of Mashwara. Unfortunately Muslims all over the world blindly follow and upkeep the invalid system of democracy in almost all their affairs - even as far as the affairs of the Masajid is concerned, the entire constitution and voting system is based on the principles of democracy to the letter! What a tragedy! Whereas Muslims should have been administering all their affairs on the basis of Mashwara and more than all the houses of Allah should at least have been administered in the way of the Quraan Majeed i.e. by Mashwara and not by the system of democracy. May Allah open the eyes of the Muslim Ummah to realize their folly.

Aayah 2:

In praise of the true Mu'mineen - Believers, Allah (Rabbul-Izzat) extols a unique quality in their lives. What is this quality? It is the quality of Mashwara or Mutual Consultation. Says Allah Ta'ala:

"And their affairs are decided upon by Shura between them"

This is another glaring aayah of the Qur'an that emphasizes the importance of Shura in the life of a Muslim, whose affairs of life pivot around Mashwara. May Allah grant all Believers this great quality

 

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