A Comparison of the Islamic Political System and Democracy – OPEd – Eurasia Review



The western world follows a modern system of government, in the form of democracy. To clarify, democracy was started by the former The Greeks, but it is no less modern because it is the main system adopted in contemporary times. Most of the countries in the world today follow democracy as their system of government, including the largest country with a Muslim population, Indonesia.

Currently, in the modern world, there are many perspectives on the relationship between Islam and democracy among Islamic scholars, political scholars, the Muslim general public, and Western authors. Some Islamic thinkers have rejected the notion of democracy as an alien idea and incompatible with Islam. Others have argued that traditional Islamic notions Likeshouted (consultation), Maslaha (public interest), and adl (justice) and representative government institutions are similar to Western democracy, but reflect Islamic rather than Western liberal values ​​based on pluralism and freedom of thought. A number of different attitudes regarding democracy are also represented among the mainstream Muslim public, some want democracy and others the Islamic system. And when they talk about the Islamic system, they mean caliphate (Khilafat).

Islam is not just a cult but a daily life, a comprehensive guide in all aspects. For a political system, he gives a guide by saying, whatever the mode of government of an Islamic state, sovereignty belongs to Almighty God, and authority must be delegated to the state through his people under the rules fixed by Almighty God. The ruler of the state is representative, elected by the people, and to serve them according to the laws of the Almighty. The State in Islam is obliged to administer justice and provide security and protection to all citizens, including non-Muslims. It imposes penalties for all crimes and punishes criminals that affect the security and integrity of society such as murder, terrorism, theft, rape and defamation.

We must understand that Islam does not give us any system of government. Islam only gives us a system of faith and ethics. Whenever he talks about the social life of humans, he just gives us a principle or a law from Almighty Allah. People themselves apply this principle in society and create a system. And when this principle is implemented in a society, social conditions, cultural requirements, cultural traditions, a nation, a country, what kind of people live, all of this will affect the creation of a system.

God created this universe on the principle that human beings have been given the right to choose which religion they wish to follow or not. The Quran has made it clear that this world is based on the principles of freedom of thought, freedom of belief, and freedom of opinion. People will make their own decisions. So either the people will decide who should govern it, which is a logical and sensible thing; or God, our Creator, who will decide.

When the Quran guides us regarding the system that would suit Muslims, it says;

(The affairs of Muslims are managed or based on their mutual consultation) (42:38)

This means that the governance system will come into existence by the opinion of the people. The Quran makes it clear that human beings have been given the freedom to make their own decisions. No particular person, no family, no force has the right to decide who will have the government but the people. And that’s what happens in a democracy. The Holy Quran had made this statement, when the idea of ​​democracy was quite vague. It is the people who decide and should decide what system of governance they want and who should be their leader. What is against the teachings of the Quran in these things?

When we implement a principle in a society, we must take into account the characteristics and customs of that society. The Arabs had a tribal system. The rulers after the Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not have assumed their positions by any type of force or kingship. People from the smaller tribes were chosen as leaders because people believed in them. The people elected their leaders without using swords or guns. The whole process was democratic. It was a tribal society and a rule was applied and implemented as required by those circumstances. When we talk about political leaders and the entire political system today, they got their leadership from the mandate given by the people. You can hold elections today after the industrial revolution, but 200 years ago it was not possible. In a tribal system, they adopted the best possible method of electing a ruler. They were people who had trusted him and elected them leaders. None of them have been named, not even by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

When it comes to the flaws of a democratic system or things that contradict Islam, remember that there are two different things; one is the principle and the other is the implementation. When applied, errors occur in the process of designing the systems for applying the principles. This is why no system will be perfectly developed by human beings. In the same way, there have developed political systems which are good but that does not mean that they are free from all faults. Even in the West, there is no single application of the principle of democracy.

Unfortunately, Muslims have not built any system on the principle given by Islam on the collective affairs of Muslims. In the modern world, we have a system based on the same principle mentioned in the Quran. So what is wrong with adopting this system when it is not against Islam. There is no doubt that many forms of democracy in the modern world are contrary to Islamic values, but we also have many models of democracy in the world. There are different models of democracy in Germany, Great Britain, the United States and France, where the application has been very different.

By seriously analyzing these facts in relation to democracy, one can drop the things that are contradictory to Islam, but the concept and the principle will remain the same. No force or a certain community has the right to have a government imposed on it by force. Only the people have the right to decide what kind of government they want, and we must not differentiate the status of the people with regard to superiority or inferiority, because we should not have a model for differentiation. We cannot make human claims based on the value of a person, because God created them all equal and gave them equal rights to decide who will rule them. As such, democracy has been accepted in spirit in Islam.

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