Winston Churchill said, “There are two places only where socialism will work; in heaven where it is not needed, and in hell where they already have it.”

The relationship between the religion and socialism has always been a point of concern for the philosophers and socialists. Many of them supported the merging of religion and society and still many oppose this idea.

Religion must be declared a private affair. In these words socialists usually express their attitude towards religion. But the meaning of these words should be accurately defined to prevent any misunderstanding.

We demand that religion be held a private affair so far as the state is concerned. Religion must be of no concern to the state, and religious societies must have no connection with governmental authority. Everyone must be absolutely free to profess any religion he pleases, or no religion whatever, i.e., to be an atheist, which every socialist is, as a rule.

Discrimination among citizens on account of their religious convictions is wholly intolerable. Even the bare mention of a citizen’s religion in official documents should unquestionably be eliminated. (Lenin, 1965)

This is modern view of western socialists. But talking of a society like ours, where we have Islam as our major religion and it has already described the rules for living in a society. Islamic ideas about the religious socialism are quite different from the modern ideas. Islamic socialism is a term coined by various Muslim leaders to describe a more spiritual form of socialism.

Muslim socialists believe that the teachings of the Qur’an and prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) — especially zakāt — are well-matched with principles of economic and social equality. They draw motivation from the early Medinan welfare state established by prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

Muslim socialists are generally not as socially liberal as their western counterparts. Instead, they have found their roots in anti-imperialism. Now looking at the current scenario of Muslim societies, there seems no link between the religion and socialism. Most of the people are even unaware of the term “religious socialism”. Practicing Islamic ways in the social lives is rare and when someone does so, he is termed as stupid and backward. This is no doubt very wrong attitude that is leading the society slowly and ultimately towards destruction.

 

By: Aimon Tanvir Malghani