Home / Opinion / Islamic Principles of Democracy | By Irfan Nawaz
Generally, Islamic philosophy contains two categories of ruling; i.e. Shariah, the Islamic system of law based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, beliefs,

Islamic Principles of Democracy | By Irfan Nawaz

The Spirit Of Islam

Generally, Islamic philosophy contains two categories of ruling; i.e. Shariah, the Islamic system of law based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, beliefs, morals and worship those are characterized as fixed rules. Second one deals with customs, worldly matters and changing conditions by fewer detailed rulings. The foremost category has fixed rulings; however, second category is flexible in wording and means of execution. Therefore issue of state, governance, and politics comes in it. Moreover, it should be clear that flexibility does not mean to entail leniency in the obligation or application of these rulings. The general ruling should be strictly implemented and must be followed because they are supporting pillars of Islamic state, compromise of these may lead to collapse of entire building.

Furthermore, Islam gave fixed ruling in constant matters of people’s lives. However, it determines the principles, which is a sign of greatness of Islam, for those matters that are inherently variable, diverse and accepting from different interpretations. These can be modified as per situation of the time. So, it shows the perfection of Islam as it is flexible where it needs to be and have fix ruling where it feels fit to be strict and these matters are obviously non-variant with time.

Presently, justice is considered as a soul of civilized societies. Therefore, enforcing justice on earth should be chief commitment of Muslim rulers. For fulfilling this commitment, enforcement of justice among people, Allah sent His messengers, sent down His Books and legislation for establishment of justice on earth. In Surat al-Hadid, Allah, Omnipotent, says, “We have sent Our messengers with clear evidence, and sent down with them, Scripture and balance so that people may maintain [their affairs] with justice” (Qur’an, 57:25). So, the prime focus of the ruler to have Justice in affairs of people and for those who govern and judge between people. In brief, implementing legislative rulings of sacred texts is the first step to enforce justice, then, it should be practiced in their true sense and be implemented.

On the other hand, the sublime principle of Islamic welfare state is to have social justice in the state. Islam refers social justice as considering the public interests and rulers are accountable to public. It implies that rulers are not free to administer and manage people’s subjects. However, their decisions are cross checked by considering people’s interest. Thus, choosing between something good or something better, ruler is not allowed to choose what he feels good. Following Hadith showed strictness of Islam on the matter of public interests. The Prophet (PBUH) once said, “Whoever has been charged with running the affairs of my Ummah, but did not exert effort [constructively] for them, or did not advise [in accordance with the Shariah], then Paradise is forbidden to him.” with the reference of aforementioned textual evidence, Rulers and judges should be prevented, from use 1) greater harm, 2) fewer benefit, 3) equal benefit and harm, or 4) neither harm nor benefit. These, four outcomes, are not in the best interest of the people. Moreover, governance should produce pure benefit, greater benefit, and to avoid harm, or greater harm. The ruler is responsible to eradicate corruption in the state affairs and should avoid the marjûh, less preferred. In brief, no one is above law in political system of Islam whether ruler or layman.

Precisely, Islamic philosophy of politics is so simple and primarily laid emphasis on the issues for whom we as a nation have been striving since independence which are social justice, good governance and accountability mechanism. Thus, implementing Islamic principles of democracy is key to prosperity of Pakistani nation as Quaid-e-Azam, the father of the nation said while addressing the Karachi Bar Association on January 25, 1948, “I cannot understand a section of people who deliberately want to create mischief and make propaganda that the constitution of Pakistan will not be made, based on shariat. Islamic principles today are as applicable to life as they were 1300 years ago.”

Source: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=262660

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