Islam and Democracy

„And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allâh's Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.“ (116)
[Sura 6 Verse 116]

Many people wonder how Islam deals with democracy. A single report about the Prophet s.a.w. clarifies this:
"I came to the Prophet s.a.w. together with two men, sons of my uncle, and one of these men said:
'O Messenger of Allah! Command us to rule over one of the lands that Allah the Powerful and Exalted has placed under your authority.'' He replied: "We will not give this position to anyone who asks, nor to anyone who desires it."

[Sahih Muslim, Sunan An-Nasai]

Basically, this is easy to understand: Someone who desires a leadership position cannot be aware of the responsibility he is taking on and that he will be called to account in the strongest terms to Allah on the Last Day for that very responsibility. So he lacks fear of God.

He also lacks modesty. Someone who says: "Choose me, I am the best, smartest, wisest and better than anyone else" is certainly not the best, but a braggart. He follows Satan, who said: "I am better than him!" One has to assume or know that he is seeking the position to gain power and influence, not to serve the people.

Unfortunately, the people do not go the right way in their majority as usual, but the majority of people follow their ego. As in the Qur'an, the Bible makes clear, for example, that the path to paradise is precipitous and stony and few find it, but the path to hell is wide and flat, and there are many who walk it. So if you let the many choose, the direction is already clear.

It is also worth noting that it is usually the person who is best placed in the media who is elected, and then we can again ask who owns these media and who controls public opinion. In countries like Indonesia, for example, where the election campaign is privately financed, the country with the best resources, which it has most likely built up through corruption, usually wins anyway. In other countries this is not much different.

From Abu Hurayrah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who reported that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said:
"You will indeed seek leadership, but there will be a reason for regret on the Day of Resurrection.“


Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Samurah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said: "O'Abdur-Rahmaan! Ask not for a leadership position, for if it is given to you because you have asked for it, you will be held alone responsible, but if it is given to you without you having asked for it, you will be helped (by Allah)".
[Bukhari (9/194 no.260) and Muslim (3/1013 no.4487)]

Some people who attribute themselves to Islam really believe that Islam and democracy are compatible, because Islam does indeed have certain democratic principles. There is a so-called shura, a council to which the best of a people belong, not in terms of material wealth and titles, but in terms of morality and religious knowledge. This council advises the leader (Amir) and can also choose him from among its members. The big difference here, however, is that not someone is elected Amir who has applied for this office. (There is also the appointment of an Amir by the still acting Amir, as was the case with Abu Bakr r.a., who appointed Umar r.a. as his successor.)

It should also be noted that an Amir cannot put himself above divine law (the Sharia), e.g. repealing laws that are prescribed and make laws that contradict the Sharia, this too is a clear contradiction to democracy: there is no secularism in Islam.

Through the establishment of the people as "sovereign", i.e. democracy or any other form of state that is not based on the law revealed by God, Allah s.w.t. is replaced as "sovereign" (Al-Malik). This means that all those who accept these forms of government have placed something other than Al-Hakam (the legislator) as the supreme authority. This is Schirk, idolatry, and one of those sins that Allah s.w.t. will never forgive.


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