Democracy- an Islamic point of view [Archives:2001/33/Focus]

August 13 2001

Abdul-Aziz M. Saeed Al-Sabri
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It is just about one hundred years since we heard about democracy which widely spread all over the world. It has been popularized through the media. Every single hour we heard abut it on Television, Radio or read about it in Newspapers, Magazines and Books.
Democracy, in its political meaning is presented as a vital and vivid discipline. Abraham Lincoln made the first statement about it when he called it “Government by the people for the people of the people” it means freedom, freedom of speech, life property, speech and so on.
But it does not mean unlimited freedom. As claimed, in democracy people have their fundamental rights protected. Together with rights people to express their feelings and opinions publicly. Also it is described as the best way of ruling. Democracy, therefore, has been deeply fixed in the minds and hearts of people through the world. In fact it has been so deeply fixed in their minds that some people think that it is another name for unlimited freedom.
There is a tremendous number of Muslims everywhere in the world who have been influenced by this phenomenon and who proclaim and believe in it. Nevertheless, democracy is highlighted by the media, it is by no means connected by Islam for the reasons that I am going to mention herein later. Even here in Yemen (the country of wisdom and faith) the Experts in the EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, who are supposed to be more aware and conscious than others, do not forget to write about it in schoolbooks and talk about the achievements of democracy in their lectures and their speech. To add insult to injury, they decorate it in false garments, equate it with consultation and think that democracy is a synonym of consultation.
Before we go further, let us raise a question. So we know the deep, exact and real meaning of democracy? If we do, every thing will become clear. In order not to leave this question without an answer, let me say that it is neither an Arabic nor an Islamic word it is a combination of two Creek words the first word is “DOMES” which means people or community and the second one is “TRATIO” which means rule. The meaning of the whole word, in ancient Creek, is the rules of people or people’s rules. Islam, on the other hand, does not permit human being to rule themselves due to the weakness of mankind, their mature of committing mistakes, incline to one class to detriment of others, deviate form what they should believe in. they may have prejudices in favor of their own interests…etc.
In Islam are not allowed to rule themselves but be submissive. So there is no Democracy in Islam, to substantiate this point. let us have a look at the Quranic Verses where ALLAH the AL-MIGHTY says: “Do they seek other than the religion of Allah (the true Islamic Monotheism worshipping none but Allah Alone), while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens ad the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned”. (Al-Imran)
It is the mission of our credit to take us forms the false mental attitude towards the true attitude of judgment and unity. Our whole being should be permeated with Islam, it is not a mere veneer or outwards show. In the following verses, there is a warning to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and to Muslims body, that they should not repeat the history of the Jews and become so self-satisfied or arrogant as to depart form the spirit of Allah teachings. ” And so judge among them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of far away form some of that which Allah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know that Allah’s will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly, most of men are Fasiqun (rebellious and disobedient to Allah)” “(Al-Maaidah 49)
Islam, therefore is a complete way and code, which provides for all areas of life, either spiritual, intellectual-political, social or from a constitution for ourselves.
I am not being chauvinistic, I am just presented the teachings of Islam as they are.