A world system

Do you know what the system of this world is? Tajudeen bin Tijani writes that the Quran claims to ha

Those of us who are curious enough to find a "winning formula" for success in this world engage ourselves in all sorts of activities such as observation, investigation, evaluation and so on. This in turn leads to selecting from the options made available as a result of these activities attempted. It is definitely worth mentioning that these activities lead us to choose what "winning formula" we put into practice. We keep on trying and tweaking whatever options we select until it proves to be deemed as a "winning formula" to us.

Guess what, the Quran claims to inform us on the system of this world, for we are informed as per the Quran that God is the initiator of this world and designed a system therein.

So let us examine some of the claims of this system:

  • The Absolute Authority is in full control of the system, also known as the best provider, protector and supporter.
  • The Absolute Authority endorses divine law whereby no human can make illegal such laws.
  • Law and guidance is delivered to the human inhabitants of this world via messengers chosen by the absolute authority.
  • The messengers’ role is to deliver this message, and choose to follow it for their own individual good.
  • The essence of the message is the same- One Absolute Authority to revere (i.e. God, The Almighty, The Creator, The Most High etc.), other than this is detrimental to the human.
  • Humans are allowed ‘freedom of choice’ to willingly believe or disbelieve in God, however, with this freedom comes the responsibility.
  • This world is temporary, and death is inevitable for humans, however, there is a hereafter of eternity in heaven or hell.
  • No nation or community is destroyed without prior warnings.
  • Tribulation directly incurred should trigger a change in the human condition to ponder and do better, and more importantly turn to God.
  • Humans are rewarded for being obedient, steadfast, persevering, patient, calm, honest, humble, truthful, equitable, charitable etc.
  • Humans with the abovementioned traits maintained are always in the minority.
  • Humans are given a lifetime opportunity to do better and develop their essence.

Do we think these claims stand up to some scrutiny? Well, I think it does, and please ponder on the following:

  • We are informed to trace back homage to the only one whom homage is truly due.
  • We are informed to follow the source of inspiration, and not the inspired to go no wrong.
  • We are informed to play our individual part, however, it is not our responsibility to try to save the world.
  • We are informed to submit to the absolute authority and His divine law in order to be in harmony with the system of this world.

Regardless of this straightforward and clear account, many of those who call themselves Muslims and should know better about God and His system as per the Quran are second guessing and even worse attributing lies, or rejecting and disregarding His system. Can we blame anyone but ourselves, if we use up this opportunity to develop as humans to second guess whom God will or will not punish, whose prayers will be answered, how long is long as per the dress code or beard of others and so on?

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As long as Jeremy Corbyn's Labour opponents are divided, he will rule

The leader's foes have yet to agree on when and how a challenge should take place.

Labour MPs began plotting to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader before he even held the position. They have not stopped since. From the outset, most regarded him as electorally and morally defective. Nothing has caused them to relinquish this view.

A week before the first major elections of this parliament, Labour found itself conducting a debate normally confined to far-right internet forums: was Hitler a Zionist? For some MPs, the distress lay in how unsurprised they were by all this. Since Corbyn’s election last September, the party has become a mainstream venue for hitherto fringe discussions.

Many MPs believe that Labour will be incapable of rebuilding its standing among the Jewish community as long as Corbyn remains leader. In the 1930s, Jewish support for the party was as high as 80 per cent. “They handed you your . . . membership just after your circumcision,” quipped the father in the 1976 television play Bar Mitzvah Boy. By the time of the last general election, a poll found that support had fallen to a mere 22 per cent. It now stands at just 8.5 per cent.

Corbyn’s critics cite his typical rejection of anti-Semitism and "all forms of racism" (as if unable to condemn the former in isolation), his defence of a tweet sent by his brother, Piers (“Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine”), and his description of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”. The Lab­our leader dismissed the latter remark as a diplomatic nicety but such courtesy was not displayed when he addressed Labour Friends of Israel and failed to mention the country’s name. When challenged on his record of combating anti-Semitism, Corbyn frequently invokes his parents’ presence at the Battle of Cable Street, a reference that does not provide the reassurance intended. The Jewish community does not doubt that Labour has stood with it in the past. It questions whether it is prepared to stand with it in the present.

MPs say that Labour’s inept response to anti-Semitism has strengthened the moral case for challenging Corbyn. One shadow cabinet minister spoke of how the fear of “enormous reputational damage” had pushed him to the brink of resignation. As the New Statesman went to press, Corbyn’s first electoral test was looming. Every forecast showed the party on course to become the first opposition to lose council seats in a non-general-election year since 1985. Yet Corbyn appeared to insist on 3 May that this would not happen, gifting his opponents a benchmark by which to judge him.

Sadiq Khan was projected to become the party’s first successful London mayoral candidate since 2004. But having distanced himself from Corbyn throughout the race, he intends to deny him any credit if he wins. Regardless of the results on 5 May, there will be no challenge to the Labour leader before the EU referendum on 23 June. Many of the party’s most Corbyn-phobic MPs are also among its most Europhile. No cause, they stress, should distract from the defence of the UK’s 43-year EU membership.

Whether Corbyn should be challenged in the four weeks between the referendum and the summer recess is a matter of dispute among even his most committed opponents. Some contend that MPs have nothing to lose from trying and should be prepared to “grind him down” through multiple attempts, if necessary. Others fear that he would be empowered by winning a larger mandate than he did last September and argue that he must be given “longer to fail”. Still more hope that Corbyn will instigate a midterm handover to the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, his closest ally, whom they regard as a beatable opponent.

Those who are familiar with members’ thinking describe many as “anxious” and in need of “reassurance” but determined that Corbyn receives adequate time to “set out his stall”. One shadow cabinet minister spoke of being “caught between Scylla and Charybdis” – that is, “a Labour Party membership which is ardently Corbynista and a British electorate which is ardently anti-Corbynista”. In their most pessimistic moments, some MPs gloomily wonder which group will deselect them first. The possibility that a new Conservative leader could trigger an early general election is cited by some as cause for haste and by others as the only means by which Corbynism can be definitively discredited.

The enduring debate over whether the Labour leader would automatically make the ballot if challenged (the party’s rules are ambiguous) is dismissed by most as irrelevant. Shadow cabinet members believe that Corbyn would achieve the requisite nominations. Momentum, the Labour leader’s praetorian guard, has privately instructed its members to be prepared to lobby MPs for this purpose.

There is no agreement on who should face Corbyn if his removal is attempted. The veteran MP Margaret Hodge has been touted as a “stalking horse” to lead the charge before making way for a figure such as the former paratrooper Dan Jarvis or the shadow business secretary, Angela Eagle. But in the view of a large number of shadow cabinet members, no challenge will materialise. They cite the high bar for putative leaders – the endorsement of 20 per cent of Labour MPs and MEPs – and the likelihood of failure. Many have long regarded mass front-bench resignations and trade union support as ­essential preconditions for a successful challenge, conditions they believe will not be met less than a year after Corbyn’s victory.

When Tony Blair resigned as Labour leader in 2007, he had already agreed not to fight the next general election and faced a pre-eminent rival in Gordon Brown. Neither situation exists today. The last Labour leader to be constitutionally deposed was J R Clynes in 1922 – when MPs, not members, were sovereign. Politics past and present militate against Corbyn’s opponents. There is but one man who can remove the leader: himself.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 06 April 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The longest hatred