DEMOCRACY IN ISLAM

DEMOCRACY IN ISLAM

The relationship between Islam and democracy is a debated topic; Muslim thinkers argued that Islam and democracy were incompatible because of the Islamic concept of the absolute sovereignty of God, and democracies concept of the absolute sovereignty of people was contradicted. Also, the laws in Islam are laws by God that can not be altered. Even though the way The Prophet Muhammad ruled Medina was similar to democracy. It is exclaimed that most Muslim countries are failed democracies, but that is not entirely true as 750 Muslims live in a democratic society. Muslims scholars agree that the principle of Shura is like democracy. Prophet Muhammad and the way he established an Islamic state had similar instead of forcing the teachings of Islam on all the people of Medina, he gave people a chance and governed Medina with consent and cooperation. The state of Medina is a model for all Muslim states, and it reflected the ethics of democracy, so in that sense, democracy and Islam are compatible. 

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ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY

As we can say, Shura is a form of Islamic democracy, but most scholars still believe that democracy is anything but Islamic. The way the Prophet ruled in Medina is an excellent example of democracy, as he respected everyone and ruled with people over, thereby cooperating with them. The Islamic democracy, which can also be the Shura, is carried on by the Quran as the supreme constitutional norm, with an Islamic parliament with fair elections. Most Muslim countries, even though they might not be functioning with democracy, still follow it by using Shariah as a way to make the laws, conduct fair elections, provide proper judgment, and give the power to those who deserve it.

As most Muslim countries still follow democracy, they try to follow the state of Medina as a model as one argues that democracy is secular. An Islamic state should not be material. Pakistan is an excellent example of democracy as it is an Islamic state. Democracy talks about how it is by the people and for the people, which might go against Islam as Islam says nothing is for or by the people. Everything is by God. Still, most Muslim countries with a democratic system believe that sovereignty belongs to God. The west created democracy, and Islam never came up with democracy. Still, some of the fundamental ethics reflect Islam in a sense as Islam talks about tolerance and believes in consent and that everyone has a right to live the way they want to. They should not be forced into anything. That is also what the Prophet Muhammad did in Medina. He did not cause the teachings of Islam on anyone, nor were the non-Muslims told to leave the State of Medina that reflects a bit of democracy. Democracy, even though not preferred in Islam, is the widely used governmental system, and most countries, while following the Shariah, follow democracy. It is not forbidden but might be a bit against the teachings of Islam, but if followed correctly by following the Prophet Muhammad’s way, it can be used.

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Most Muslims around the world still consider democracy un-Islamic. It is still debated today; a good example would be the Taliban in Afghanistan, who do not believe in democracy. People of the world might consider them against their fundamental human rights. As democracy is directly linked to human rights, anyone who does not follow a democracy is considered against humanitarian rights.

So, Islam and democracy, we can say, have a complicated relationship and will be considered incompatible. It is debatable as democracies’ basic teachings go against Islam and its core message. So even though Muslim states do follow democracy, they do not follow the secular form of democracy. Some of the ethics that democracy talks about Islam also teaches that, such as tolerance and consent.

Conclusion:

 So, living in the modern world, one can not form the caliph system that Islam recommends; Muslim countries follow Islamic democracy and have adapted to that. So even though the debate of Islam and Democracy, as we can say, is never-ending, one can say that democracy is the best form of government, especially in the modern world and most of the Islamic states follow a democratic system while making it according to the rules of Islam.

By Michael Caine

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