Hassan Dahir Aways, a Somali politician, has produced an audio message intended for Somalia’s youth: youth, according to Aways, is anyone who is under 40 years of age.
The audio was distributed to the media on an important day in the Somali history: a day when young people met and formed an organization that later led Somali people to an independence and unification of two regions, out of five regions inhabited by Somalis in Horn of Africa.
Aways thanked the youth in leading people to an independence, unifying them politically and in working to defeat tribalism and build a unified political state.
This represents a shift in thinking; certain groups, such as Shebab, a group with extremist social and political views, see nationalists of the former days as part of the people to whom they desire to defeat, not people to whom they acknowledge and thank them due to their work.
Aways appears to have left this camp.
Sheikh Aways claims that the laws of the new state, the Somali Republic, were not those of Islam, but those of the colonialists.
Moreover, he claims, people did not know this was so and when they were alerted they thought it was a joke. Thus, they did not mind it.
Some Saflists in Somalia and elsewhere claim that the Constitution of 1960, and other constitutions too, was not in accordance with Islamic laws. This is incorrect.
The Constitution was in accordance with Islamic laws. Evidence: Verse 38, chapter 42nd of the Holy Quran stipulates that the commands, amar, that people ought to obey are those that result from consultation among them. No any other command shall be taken from another human being, but that which has been reached after consultation.
People may dispute about the best way to ensure the commands or the laws people must obey ensue from consultations, but the stipulated end remains that the commands, amar, ought to ensue from consultation among the people. What is negated here is the obedience of commands or laws ensuing from an individual or group, like Shebab saying Sambusa cannot be eaten.
Shura was prevailing in Somalia from 1960-69; the method employed may be disputed but the spirit was consultative, shura, and consensus, ijma, in nature.
Such spirit was not prevailing during the rule of the military junta, nor after they have been removed from power by clan-based groups in 1990s, even though there are some exceptions, especially in the north and now the whole country is moving towards that direction, where a ruler comes and goes as decided by the voters, either directly (like Hargaisa) or indirectly ( like Mogadishu).
To Aways, the Salifst agenda was the establishment of an Islamic state in Somalia, and that goal, according to Aways, has not been reached.
First, many Somalis don’t see the Salafist conception of Islamic state as the Islamic state. Even if an Islamic state is established, to which the majority of the people shall assent to, still the question of power remains: who shall rule this state?
The Answer to this question takes us back to consensus politics, ijma, resulting from consultations, Shura.
Aways misses the most challenging question in Somali political life? Who will rule this country and for how long? Who shall elect this person and how?