Islamic state

Q305 :Some of my non-Muslim friends question me about the nature of Islamic government and whether democracy can be accommodated in an Islamic system. Please clarify.

A305 : We can describe Islamic government as consultative by nature. There is no absolute authority vested in a person or an institution or even in a collective leadership. But when consultation over a certain issue has taken place and the Muslim community has had a chance to discuss that issue and make its feelings known, a decision may be taken by the ruler. When that decision has been taken, it is the duty of everyone in the Muslim community to facilitate its implementation. We speak of consultative government, but Islam does not lay down any form for how the consultation is to be made. Every Muslim community may decide what institutions to establish in order to achieve the requirement of consultation. If it opts for a democratic system of the type which prevails in Europe, then that system can certainly be accommodated within an Islamic government. On the other hand, a Muslim community may find no need for having different political parties. It tries to determine the course it wants to follow on the basis of consensus. That is perfectly acceptable. In a different set up, a Muslim country may decide to choose its overall leader by elections or by a referendum or by some other means which ensures that the feelings of the Muslim community are determined. Any of these methods is acceptable. What is most important to remember is that an Islamic government is an ideological government. It believes in the Islamic faith and it seeks to implement the laws of Islam, sparing no effort for the achievement of that goal.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )