Islam and democracy

11-5-2003 | IslamWeb

Question:

Does Islam allow democracy?

Answer:

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Democracy is a Greek word composed of two words "Demos" (people) "Kratos" (rule). It means the government run by the people of the country. It is a Western system that emerged in the wake of the tyranny practised by the monarchs with the support of church. So, the people staged a revolution against this system and called rule by the public. Therefore, democracy is contrary to Islam because Islam insists on the fact that Allah alone has the right of legislation while democracy means that the public has the right of legislation. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {… and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule."}[18: 26]. Allah also Says (interpretation of meaning): {… The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), …}[12: 40]. The Almighty also declares: {Do they then seek the judgement of (the Days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allâh for a people who have firm Faith.}[5: 50]. There are many other verses that prove the same fact. If it is said that there is no difference between democracy and the Islamic advisory system the response will be that the basic difference is that in Islamic system the advise is taken only in the incidents where there is no clear ruling of Shariah while democracy means that the public may cancel anything: well-established facts, rulings of Shariah, etc. In democracy the public is the highest authority to act as it wills. Moreover, the members of an advisory board have certain characteristics while there is no difference between people in the democracy system; everyone is entitled to give his opinion. Here, some people raised the following question "Why we should not take the merits of democracy and modify them to suit Islam and make it an Islamic democracy". We say that such claims are not correct and any benefit democracy could offer our religion possesses it perfectly and in a higher degree. However, if any democracy changes to suit Islam then it no longer will be a democracy, but a new system. For more details in this subject, please read the book "The reality of democracy" written by Ahmad Shakir . Allah knows best.

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