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Democracy in islam

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Democracy in Islam

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Democracy in islam

  1. 1. DDeemmooccrraaccyy iinn IIssllaamm By - Hassan Taha The AWARE Center is a non-profit NGO that offers facilities and services related to Kuwaiti, Gulf, Arab and Islamic culture.
  2. 2. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Democracy literally means: rule by the people. The term is derived from the Greek root word ‘demokcratia’, which was coined from ‘demos’ (People) and ‘Kratos’ (Rule). Democracy was introduced in Greece in the 5th Century BC. The Greeks voted on all issues of government. However, women and slaves were not allowed to vote. Definition: According to Abraham Lincoln, democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
  3. 3. Compatibility: Is Islam compatible with Democracy? to answer this question, let us review the following pillars of Democracy:
  4. 4. The Pillars: The Pillars of Democracy according to Western references: A. Sovereignty of the people B. Government based upon consent of the governed C. Majority rule D. Minority rights E. Guarantee of basic human rights. F. Free and fair elections. G. Equality before the law. H. Due process of law I. Constitutional limits on government J. Social, economic, and political pluralism K. Values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise
  5. 5. In Islam: In Islam there is democracy but different from what the West propounds. Islam cares about humans whether rich or poor, efficient or inefficient. It also cares about them before they are born. In Islam, one can't gain legitimacy as a ruler unless people accept him - Islam does not accept any system which involves any kind of dictatorship. Democracy in Islam
  6. 6. Principals: Principals of the Western-type Democracy 1. Sovereignty of countries  2. Secularism 3. Freedom of religion/speech 4. Partnership/participation 5. Transparency 6. Justice 7. Development 8. National identity 9. Equality 10. Freedom to choose leaders         
  7. 7. Sovereignty: components of Democracy? Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy:
  8. 8. Sovereignty: Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy: A. Consultation (Shura) (Prophet Muhammad with his companions regarding encountering enemies out of Medina). God says: "It is part of the Mercy of God that you deal gently with them. Were you to be severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from you. So pass over (their faults), ask for God's forgiveness, and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in God. For God loves those who put their trust in Him." (3:159)
  9. 9. Sovereignty: Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy: B. Advice Advice (Camping near a well at Bader)
  10. 10. Sovereignty: Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy: C. Obedience to the leader God says: "O ye who believe! Obey God and the Messenger and those who have been entrusted with authority. If you are at variance over any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger if you truly believe in God and the Last Day." (4:59)
  11. 11. Sovereignty: Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy: D. To Enjoy To enjoy peace, security, and necessities of life. (Umar with an old Jew)
  12. 12. Sovereignty: Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy: E. Enjoining good and forbidding evil "The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin good and forbid evil…" (9:71) (People in a ship)
  13. 13. Sovereignty: Sovereignty of the governed people is limited in Islam and can be epitomized in the following components of Democracy: F. Pledge of allegiance (the pledge of Aqabah) G. Electing their leaders (not Prophets)
  14. 14. Rights: Human and Minority Rights: 1. The basic world document – The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights - states that all humans should be treated equally, with dignity and respect (when was it drafted? And is it implemented 100%)
  15. 15. Rights: Human and Minority Rights: 2. Minority rights refers to everyone being equal before the law regardless of race, ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age, mental and physical ability.
  16. 16. Rights: Human and Minority Rights: 3. If the majority has a right e.g. freedom of religion, then that same right must be extended to whatever minority exists in the society. (constitutions being changed to suit the aims of minorities / majorities neglecting the rights of others)
  17. 17. Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: Differences:
  18. 18. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 1. In the former, rulers/leaders are chosen by people through votes regardless of their status. whereas, in Islam rulers are chosen by honest, religious, sane, trustworthy, and the wise experienced elite. (Masses don't have enough information = Promising to bring electricity, which was donated by NGOs) In Islam, the law protects fools but…
  19. 19. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 2. If the ruler is found to have committed immoral acts after his election, then he should be deposed. (Abu Baker's inaugural speech) = "I have been appointed as your ruler, yet I am not the best of you. If you find me following the right way, support me. If not, correct me. Obey me as long as I obey God; if I disobey Him, my obedience is not binding upon you." (Ash'har Masha'heer Al-Islam by Al-Suyouti, vol. 1)
  20. 20. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 3. In present-day Democracy, a candidate cannot reach the parliament or attain leadership if he is poor. In Islam, to be voted as a ruler or governor doesn't require of you to be wealthy. Leaders like Abu Baker, Omar, etc. despite ruling Muslims for a long time, died while they were poor. The only qualifications that any candidate should have are: Piety, Knowledge, integrity, modesty, justice, wisdom, trustworthiness, bravery, etc. Continue……
  21. 21. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: …..We read in the Qur'an: …their Prophet (Samuel) said to them: "God has appointed Talut (Saul) as king over you." They said: "How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than him to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted with wealth in abundance?" He said: "God has chosen him above you, and has gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: God grants His authority to whom he pleases. God is all-embracing, and all-Knower." (2:247)
  22. 22. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 4. Laws are the externalization of conscience (morality and legality are one and the same in Islam) – Homosexuality + License for prostitutes
  23. 23. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 5. Constitutions can be changed according to the whims and desires of rulers in present-day democracy. Whereas in Islam, the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah are the main sources of legislation. No one can dare change them.
  24. 24. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 6. In Islam, God (Allah) is the sole legislator in Whom the sole authority rests, while man, as a collective body, interprets these laws as God's representative on earth. "O you who believe! Obey God and the Messenger and those from among you who have been entrusted with authority. If you are at variance over any matter, refer it unto God and the Messenger if you truly believe in God and the Last Day." (4:59) Laws in Islam are not made to protect the rights of one people while ignoring those of others.
  25. 25. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 7. Leadership is not sought after among true Muslims - None among the rightly-guided caliphs asked to be voted for. According to the Prophetic tradition, any person who presents himself as a candidate for any office abuses his trustworthiness and should be ignored (Story of the man who wanted to be elected as a governor) * Today, they follow the Western example and run for office.
  26. 26. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 8. In present-day democracy, people are free to behave as they like, whereas in Islam, we are commanded to enjoin good and forbid bad. "Ye are the best of the peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God…" (3:110) + Story of Muhallab and a scholar
  27. 27. Differences: Main differences between the Western-type Democracy and the Islamic Model: 9. Freedom and other principles of Democracy are God-given in Islam.
  28. 28. Islamic State: Principles of an Islamic State:
  29. 29. Islamic State: Principles of an Islamic State: 1. A state in Islam is founded on certain principles as laid down in the Qur'an and Sunnah viz. A. All authority in the universe lies in the hands of God. B. The Law has already been legislated in the Qur'an and Sunnah regarding human relations like marriage, inheritance, social issues like Zakat, business contracts and judicial matters like testimonies, punishments for crimes, etc. It also urges Muslims to pursue research and development in the fields of science, astronomy, psychology, etc. Continue……
  30. 30. Islamic State: Principles of an Islamic State: C. Muslims are obliged to enforce the already existing laws and regulations in all the spheres of life.. However, the ruler is authorized in certain exceptional circumstances, to alter or temporarily suspend some legislations. To do so, he has to appoint a body of advisers (shura) and then consult its members to determine the proper subordinate legislation. ** Umar ordered Muslims in military service to go back home after six months... ** Umar suspended the punishment of theft during the year of famine..
  31. 31. Islamic State: Principles of an Islamic State: 2. In the Islamic State Muslims are encouraged to constantly internalize spiritual values while performing their temporal obligations. (Story of Abu Dahdah)
  32. 32. Islamic State: Principles of an Islamic State: 3. A Muslim state is obligated to guarantee religious freedom to every citizen and endeavor to promote life standards of all its citizens. We read in the Qur’an: “Had God not checked one set of People (Pagans) by means of another (Muslims), monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure, would have surely been pulled down (22:40)
  33. 33. Islamic State: Principles of an Islamic State: Note: There is always a gap between the ideal and the real practice, in every country. Islamic Model Western Model Theocracy Democracy Democracy Theocracy
  34. 34. Food for thought: 1. Where in the world do you think democracy works 100%? 2. If your government does not provide you with the necessities of life, what would you think of it? 3. Should all countries in the world adopt a uniform system of democracy? 4. Why do people obey laws and regulations? 5. How would you like to see democracy implemented in your country?
  35. 35. TThhaannkk yyoouu ssoo mmuucchh ffoorr aatttteennddiinngg By - Hassan Taha The AWARE Center is a non-profit NGO that offers facilities and services related to Kuwaiti, Gulf, Arab and Islamic culture. www.aware.com.kw

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