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Islam and Democracy - Research Paper Example

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The Paper Democracy serves as the most popular political system of the contemporary era, which has won tremendous acceptance and approval by an overwhelming majority of the sovereign states at large. It looks for the forming of government through direct and indirect elections, where every citizen who has reached the age of majority, contains the right to cast his vote in favor of the candidate or party of his choice in order to elect him as member of the parliament or president of the country in case of direct elections. Democracy is a form of government characterized by regular elections, universal suffrage, freedom of conscience and the universal right to stand for office or to form political associations.” (Giddens, 1994: 112) Hence, democratic government system allows every man, woman and elderly to use his right for the formation of populous government at state level. However, the concept of democracy in Islam is quite different from that applied and observed by the western societies. Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions, which provides complete code of leading a systematic group life. Its Holy Scripture, the Qur’an, provides the blueprint of social and political activities, and the sacred life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is regarded as the role model for the entire community for imitation and inspiration. The Prophet guided the humanity as mentor, spiritual leader, ruler, commander, community member and conciliator for the amicable solution of gravest

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issues and disputes even. The initial decade of the advent of Islam was extremely unfavorable one for the community, as every type of cruelty, torture and brutality was inflicted upon the Prophet, his noble family and dedicated companions. However, after his migration to Medina after thirteen years of the advent of Islam, the Prophet laid the foundation stone of first Islam state by 622 A.D., where the principles of political establishment were set up in the light of the holy revelation from Almighty God. Though Qur’anic verses are the final source for the Muslim community in respect of spiritual and worldly pursuits, and provides commandments regarding political structure of the state, yet Islam vehemently supports the people’s opinion regarding some important issues, and looks for finding solution of political issues through consensus. Hence, the concept of shoora and majlis (i.e. parliament) certainly prevails among the basic principles of Islam. It is therefore, the war plans and social problems used to be discussed in the mosques, the then center of political and cultural activities during the initial years of Islam. However, Islam does not present the same scenario of consensus as it is observed by the western societies, where the men, women, young people, prisoners, offenders, criminals and everyone reaching the age of majority casts his vote and gives his opinion in favor of or against a group or political party. On the contrary, Islam allows only the knowledgeable, wise, pious and rational male members of society to express their views regarding the political and cultural issues. It is therefore, the Holy Prophet used to seek counsel of Ali bin Abu Talib, Hamza, Salmaan the Persian, Ammar bin Yasir, Abdullah bin Abbas and such other intellectual, committed, dedicated, pious and highly sensible companions in
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Summary

ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY Abstract The present paper aims to explore the relationship between Islam and democracy. Being the second largest religious community, its followers live in all parts of the globe, whereas it enjoys the status of state religion in over fifty six sovereign states of the world…
Islam and Democracy
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