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Shura and Democracy

Shura and Democracy

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Published by Political Islamism
This short article examines the two concepts briefly, delineating the similarities and differences between them.
This short article examines the two concepts briefly, delineating the similarities and differences between them.

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Published by: Political Islamism on Sep 02, 2009
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02/01/2013

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Question and Answer Details
Name of
Questioner
Muhammad - Netherlands
Title
Shuraand Democracy
Topic
Imamate & Political Systems
Question
Respected scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. What is the difference betweenShura and
Democracy?
Date
04/Feb/2002
Name of
Counsellor
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we
implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
In response to the question you raised, we'd like to cite the following comprehensive fatwa issued by
the eminent Muslim scholar,Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi; it reads:
"Islam wants this nation to consult with each other, and stand as a united body, so no enemy can
penetrate it. This is not what democracy is for. Democracy is a system that can\u2019t solve all societal

problems. Democracy itself also can make whatever it wants as lawful, or prohibit anything it does not like. In comparison, the Shari`ah as a political system has limits. If we are to adopt democracy, we should adopt its best features. These are the issues of methods, guarantees, and manners of a democratic society. As a Muslim society we should adopt it in an Islamic context of a society that seeks to live with its Shari`ah laws. Our society should abide by what have been made lawful by

Allah and also what have been made unlawful by Him. In comparison democracy with a slim
majority can cancel all laws and rules. It can even eliminate itself with this type of margin. In fact,

in some case democracy may become worse than dictatorship. What I am for is a genuine type of democracy, for a society driven by the laws of Shari`ah that is compatible with the values of freedom, human rights, justice, and equity.

I am against this type of distorted democracy that is adopted by many regimes in the Arab-Islamic world. I am really troubled by the four digit results of elections. Most rulers in the Arab world, as well as in the Islamic world are elected by 99.99% of the people. What kind of democracy is this? The people can never consent to anything with this margin. Furthermore, I want draw the attention to the issue of the spread of deviance in the democratic societies. We should take the \u201cgood\u201d, and

abandon the \u201cbad\u201d. For instance, many democratic countries have allowed types of sexual deviance
to spread, and even legalized such behavior. Gays and Lesbians now can marry each other legally.
Our democracy is different. It is well connected to the laws of Shari`ah. Yes we adopt some of the

principles of democracy, but it is incumbent upon us also to uphold our principles. We have pillars of our Shari`ah that we have to abide by. We want the people to be consulted and participate actively in politics as well as in the process of decision-making.

Shurahas always been good for the Muslim society, and autocracy has always been evil since the

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