According to Islam, Adam is the first human being and the first prophet of Islam. The Quran relates that when God created Adam, there were two other creatures present — the angels and the jinns. God ordered the angels and the jinns to bow down before Adam. The angels obeyed this commandment of God, but Satan, who was the head of the jinns, refused to obey this order. And so he became a rebel against God. This was the first incident of revolt against authority in human history. This political revolt, or the ‘politics of opposition’, is undoubtedly the practice of Satan. To focus on one’s work without confronting the authorities is the method of the angels. And confronting the authorities and agitating and making a big hue and cry, fired by the ‘politics of opposition’, is the method of Satan.

Strangely, this negative politics of Satan has prevailed throughout almost the whole of human history. The direct result of this negative politics is that instead of becoming a history of construction, human history became a long tale of destruction.

The solution to this problem is explained in the Quran and Hadith in terms of what can be called the 'politics of patience' or sabr. The 'politics of patience' is not politics of defeat. It is but another name for political status-quoism — that is to say, to accept, in practical terms, the status quo as far as the issue of political power is concerned, and without confronting the political authorities, to avail the opportunities present in the non-political sphere. It is this formula that is expressed in a Hadith, according to which the Prophet indicated: God grants to non-violence what He does not grant to violence. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 2593)




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