Democracy And Islam

13 Nov

I was asked question why people in Pakistan are fighting for Democracy. Are there intentions to get Islamic society or they just want more ‘free society’ or in other way do they want more westernized society?

My take on this topic is

Democracy is the tool to make an Islamic Society. ‘Democracy’ is a civilized method to decide what you want for your society.

So if people in majority want Islam (which I believe is true in Pakistan) then achieving democracy will be only way to make laws favoring Islamic Society. Otherwise you will end up with the version of Islam which dictators want or you will end up with no Islam if the dictator is un-religious in nature.

If however people dont want Islam (democracy is only way to know if they want it or not) , then we should be less worried about the ‘Islamic Society’ but more about how to make people understand Islam.

In both cases Democracy is the only way because
1) in first case it allows for making Islamic rules
2) in second case it allows you to change the views of Public

In religious theocracy or in dictatorship, Islamic society does not have any chance of survival.

Because there is no way  he/she  (self proclaimed ruler) can know what the people want, he/she will always think that what he/she is thinking is the what every body wants. Or as our rulers;  he can think what he is deciding is the right way and right thing to do even if whole nation is against it.

So he will either end up making people anti Islamic which our Zia-ul-Haq did or end up making them anti-west/anti-modernization which our dear Musharaf has successfully done.


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4 responses to “Democracy And Islam

  1. 4freepress

    November 17, 2007 at 2:06 am

    Khilafat: Islamic leadership and Democracy

    By Dr. M H Koya, San Francisco Bay Area

    With all the destruction and the ensuing intimidations looming large in the Middle East, a region misunderstood as Islamic State, the imposition of democracy in the area is bound create more serious problems among a people who are already torn by cultural differences and varying Islamic ideologies.

    What is often referred to as the Islamic form of government in the region is in effect the secular form of government the various Muslim nations subscribe to in the modern time.

    The Prophet of Islam stood as a perfect example of Islamic leadership left behind clear instructions and traditions in the form of “shoorah” for collective representation and consultation. The consultation, the “shoorah” is the congress and the central mechanism in a Islamic government with the difference that majority vote does not necessarily mean is the final and right act.

    Unlike in another systems, a leader in Islam, having heard all the views and votes, prays over the deliberations seeking God’s blessings and then makes a decision. Although in majority of the cases he is likely to approve majority view, however, he reserves the right to overrule it when it is clear that a minority view is based on “taqwah” (righteousness) and will better serve the interest of the people of his nation. It, therefore, prevents what can otherwise be a rally or campaign by a majority to kill a plan that would not serve their vested interest – a common failing in democracy.

    Islam thus offers a middle course between democracy and dictatorship where it is not mandatory to favor the majority view only. In the stride, Islam, probably takes the best of both the systems as a moderate form of government. Islam does not advocate extremism.
    Page 2 ……….. Islamic leadership and Democracy

    The Quran holds a distinct promise for those who obey God and His Prophet that they will be made “Successors” on earth as God did in the past. As a result the institution of “khilafat” (caliphate) came into being. A caliph (Khalifa) is essentially a spiritual leader. However, he cannot be precluded from being a head of state. Where there are several Muslim countries, a caliph may function as the spiritual leader for the entire Muslim world whose guidance is immensely important, and various Muslim leaders of the Islamic countries would owe him the allegiance to work with “righteousness” giving precedence to religion over all other matters as the religious code in Islam is central to all phases of life; economic, political and social.

    The present Muslim world is void of such a system. However, there is a great eagerness among them to establish a caliphate. While the Middle East Islam is dabbling with that concept not being sure of how it can be integrated with their existing practices, the imposition of western democracy will further disintegrate and confuse them giving rise to more problems and complexities.

    The only exception to this is the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which for the past 100 years has abided by the caliph system. Now under the leadership of its fifth Khalifa (caliph) Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community found in more than 120 countries commanding over 80 Million following is slated to celebrate their 100 years of Khilafat May 2008.

  2. mohsenali

    November 19, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Well according to my beliefs and many of the Muslim, Ahmadiyyanies are not Muslims. If you want to go over why please have a look at teh Molana Maududi’s literature regarding that. {I dont want to discuss this issue here, its not the place for discussing that. I allowed you to give your point and I added what I beleived }

    But I have following pionts about what you wrote.
    1) Caliphat should not be restricted to one family {which unfortunately had been in history}

    2) If someone is spirtual leader, which in Islam (I think) means directs the religious rules, then he/she becomes the leader of Muslims. Because then he is defining what is wrong, what is correct…. he is indirectly controlling government.

    3) If shoarah (or council) is doing something for their vested interest, then according to you the leader can decide something different. What ensures that he will not follow his own desires?

    4) Holy Prophet Muhammad (of Madina) was the PROPHET i.e. directed by Allah, so his power of making decision against the majority of his Sehaba {which I do not think happened much} can not be taken as the rule of what you are describing as ISLAMIC model. Islam just gives guidelines according to which we have to make a system, developing according to the time.

    Which right now is democracy. That is Congress decides what happens. And past laws act as inertia if sometime majority starts going in wrong way.
    These are laws that were able to protect blacks in White America.
    Making your Laws strong will stop people from abusing the majority.

    That’s why I dont think caliphat or the above mentioned system can work

    1) Due to huge diversity in the muslim world their problems, socio-economic issues, boudary decisions, I dont think that Muslims need unified Caliph

    2) If you give one person the authority to make all religious decisions, you will either end up with the Vetican where no government follows it or you will end up one person controlling all Muslims.

    3) Non existance of unified Authority on Islam allows different views to exist and survive; helping the ones that are not good become extinct with time without destroying the image of Islam.

    4) Democracy is not only system, its a thinking process also. Middle East needs the democracy to suvive in future not only as system but as the community mindset.

  3. Chuck

    November 28, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Call in and check out our interview tonight at 8PM EST with Dr. Paul L. Williams, author of The Day of Islam at


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