While the issues of basic freedoms, human rights and democracy in the Muslim World have been debated by Muslim scholars, intellectuals and activists since the 19th century, the model of Islamic state represented by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has intensified this discourse. Some are more than ever convinced that there is no place for a shari`ah state in the modern world; others are divided between the traditional khilafat model and a modern form of shura.

This article sets out to analyse the prospects of democracy in the Muslim World in the light of recent political developments. As a prelude, the principle of shura, its relation with democracy and its role in Muslim history will be discussed. This will be followed by a general survey of the state of democracy in current Muslim regimes. Finally, the views of modern Muslim scholars on the issue of democracy will be presented.   

The Role of Shura in Islamic Polity

The term shura has generally been accepted by Muslim scholars as that which most closely approximates the notion of democracy. Though there are scholars who reject any comparison between the two, they accept the principle of shura as the cornerstone of Islamic polity.
The word shura means consultation; mutual debate in order that one may see another’s opinion; counsel; advice; extracting or drawing forth an opinion.1 In a general sense it could be defined as an obligation to engage in debate and discussion, and a corresponding democratic right to free expression of opinion.

The Qur’an (42 : 38) specifies shura as one of the major characteristic of believers :

They determine their affair by consultation (shura) among themselves??

In another verse (3 : 159) the prophet Muhammad is instructed to consult his companions when making important decisions :

“and consult them in your affairs”

It is evident from these verses that the Qur’an prescribes mutual consultation (shura) as the basis for decision-making.

Early historians of Islam and biographers of the prophet are unanimous that he regularly consulted his companions before taking major decisions.2 The Prophet consulted his companions with regard to the following :
... strategy to be adopted in battle against the Makkan army.3
... policy on captives in the battle of Badr and the Truce of al-Hudaybiyah4 and
...the manner of announcing the time of prayer5

He is reported to have said that whenever people consulted among themselves, they were guided properly in their affairs, and when they abandoned consultation, they were led astray.6 Furthermore, he declared :

“If your leaders are the best among you, your wealthy the most generous among you and your affairs are conducted after consultation among you, the earth’s surface will be better for you than its interior"7

When the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law `Ali asked him how Muslims were to decide, after his demise, on matters for which there was no direction in either the Qur’anic nor sunnah, he advised that they should not make decisions on the basis of a single opinion but after due consultation among his trusted followers.8 He further counseled his followers to canvass the views of people with sound opinion (ahl al-ra’y)9

In keeping with this advice, the companions - when they assumed the caliphate - consulted each other on issues such as war against apostates, appropriate penalty for alcohol consumption, etc.10 `Umar was known to have regularly resorted to shura and to have followed the majority opinion.11 As an example, he consulted the Muhajirun (Makkan emigrants to Madinah) and Ansar (lit. Helpers) of Madinah about the plague that had broken out in Syria.12 `Umar appointed a committee for the purpose of electing one among themselves as his successor on the basis of shura.13

The fact that the first four successors of the Prophet (Khulafa’) emulated him in respect of consulting knowledgeable and wise companions is well established. It could be said that shura was established as a fundamental principle of governance in Islam by the Prophet and his first four successors. The khalifah was to establish a consultative council, legislate in consultation with this council and administer the affairs of state with their consent.14

The tradition of shura in electing the khalifah was abandoned by the Umayyads who introduced the principle of hereditary succession.15 The hadith “the khilafat will last for thirty years in my ummah; thereafter, there will be kingship"16 is said to have been inspired by this deviation from established practice. Likewise, the hadith : “after me there will be caliphs, and after the caliphs, amirs; and after the amirs, kings; and after the kings, tyrants.“17 The Shi`ah, who were among the most ardent critics of this “innovation” of the Umayyads, themselves entrenched hereditary succession by claiming that Ali was divinely designated as the imam and that the imamate should be confined to his descendents.18

Since the advent of Umayyad rule, numerous dynasties and military authorities emerged and hereditary succession become the order of the day in the Muslim World. Though rule by succession was a reversal of the policy of free election adopted at the appointment of Abu Bakr as the first khalifah of the Prophet, it became entrenched as the norm. This system was followed by Muslim dynasties that came into being within the territory or on the margins of the caliphate, whether under its aegis or as independent polities.   

Nonetheless, early rulers had a sense of the public good (maslahah) in general. They safe-guarded the temporal interests of Muslims, and administered the state through a process of consultation.19 Even Mu`awiyah who had initiated the Umayyad dynasty consulted governors and other officers.20 The Abbasid caliph Ma`mun established a regular council of state, representing every community that had pledged allegiance to the khalifah.21  

From the ninth century AD, jurists opted for unity of the community over legitimacy of government and focused on the authority of the khalifah as a political symbol. Hereditary succession was legitimized.22 This attitude may be explained partly by the fact that the wazirs (viziers) who were appointed by the caliphs as advisers, administrators and policy-makers took over many of the functions of the caliphs. During later Abbasid rule, several major and many minor dynasties emerged. Though each sultan or malik administered his domain autonomously, he continued to act as a representative of the khalifah.23

However, the Fatimid khilafat established in North Africa and the Umayyad khilafat established in Spain at the beginning of the tenth century did not pay homage to the Abbasid khalifah. The principle established at the time of Abu Bakr’s election that there could only be one reigning khalifah at any particular time had to be revised by Muslim jurists who then declared it permissible for two imams/caliphs to rule simultaneously.
By the middle of the 10th century, the khalifah had lost all executive authority. Nonetheless, the fiction of the khalifah as the fountain of authority was maintained by his awarding of a diploma of investure to rulers who had seized power - even if by military force.24 The khalifah’s confirmation legitimized their authority; the defence of Muslim lands militarily against invaders was sufficient to win his approbation.25 Subsequent to the Mongol capture of Baghdad in 1258, effective power passed into the hands of the sultan; the khalifah became simply a figure-head. In the course of time, the sultan acquired a divine-like status. His rule was unlimited in both temporal and spiritual affairs.26

Most Sunni jurists accepted the status quo. They condoned cooperation with the government of the day, even if it was usurped. They reasoned that even if such a government fell short of the ideal, it was still better than fitna (disorder and strife). The Shi`ah managed to evade the issue of legitimacy by putting forward the view that all government in the absence of the spiritual imam was usurped; hence the issue of legitimacy was irrelevant.27  

When the Ottoman Empire came into being, the Mughals who had established themselves in India and the Safavids in Persia gave no recognition to the sultan. The early Ottoman rulers assumed the titles of ghazi and sultan until the advent of Salim who assumed the title of khalifah after his conquest of Cairo. Scholars now ruled that descent from the Quraysh was not an indispensable condition for the imamat/khilafat.28 The disintegration of the Ottoman Caliphate gave rise to numerous independent or semi-independent nation-states in the Muslim World. Turkey’s example of establishing a parliamentary form of government in the 20th century was emulated by the majority.  However, a minority continued to function as dynastic monarchies. 

When religious intellectuals began to retreat in the face of civil wars and the rise of ethnic forces and dictatorships, political leaders pressurised the religious leadership to support them. This led to the demise of the critical voice among intelligentsia who could have challenged the policy of dynastic rule as well as provided valuable guidance and ideas to the rulers.29

The State of Democracy in the Muslim World

Let us consider the state of democracy in the Muslim World. A brief survey of Muslim states reflects a wide diversity of forms of government. A multi-party system has been established in many countries, including the following : Egypt, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen and Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal. After the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Oman instituted shura councils.

Given the diverse nature of government in the Muslim World, Muslim countries could be classified into several categories : traditional monarchies, constitutional monarchies, secular democracies and Islamic democracies. Many of the current conflicts in the Muslim World could be traced to the contest between autocratic regimes, organs of civil society and Islamic activists.

Traditional monarchies

Many countries are even now ruled by monarchs (e.g. Saudi Arabia), amirs (e.g. Kuwait) and sultans (e.g. Brunei), all of who govern autocratically, or allow limited public participation. In Saudi Arabia, for example, there is an absence of political parties, elections and parliament. Members of the royal family have total monopoly over foreign affairs, defence, interior, public works and housing.30 Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are all governed by royal families.

Constitutional monarchies

Though Morocco is described in the royal decree promulgated by King Muhammad V in 1958 as a “constitutional, democratic and social monarchy”, where political parties are allowed,31the king has the power to dismiss cabinet ministers and house of representatives, and he presides over the Supreme Judiciary Council.32 Criticism of the king is considered illegal and he reserves the right to limit or stop political activities. Leading political opponents of the monarchy have been imprisoned for years, newspapers have been banned, journalists detained.

In Brunei, the cabinet is entirely managed by the royal family, and the executive council is presided over by the sultan who has ultimate authority. Kuwait is ruled by the Sabah family. Although it has a parliamentary form of government, an independent judiciary, a relatively free press, etc ultimate power rests with the amir who appoints the prime minister. Freedom of association is tempered by control over the activities of groups and organisations.33 Bahrain is another family dynasty - run by the Khalifah family. The amir has had the authority to unilaterally suspend the National assembly or dissolve the Council of Ministers.34 The amir has just declared himself as a king and the emirate as a democratic constitutional monarchy. 

Though Jordan has a parliament, political parties and multi-party elections, every decision of major importance used to be made by the late king, Hussein. It is apparent that the king ensured the continuation of the monarchy through a carefully planned strategy. It remains to be seen whether King Abdullah II will alter the balance of power in favour of the democratically elected representatives of the Jordanian people. 

Secular democracies

While secular democracies in the Muslim World contain the paraphernalia of a modern democracy - adult franchise, political parties, general elections, parliament, constitution - most do not tolerate serious opposition, especially if it has any association with Islam.

The annulment of the 1991 election results by the military junta in Algeria where the Front Islamique du Salut (Islamic Salvation Front or FIS) had clearly won the majority of votes in the parliamentary elections, exposed its sham adherence to the ideals of democracy. Furthermore, the state monopolises religious affairs; it controls Qur’anic schools, madrasahs and other educational institutes, and appoints imams.35

There is little opportunity for freedom of expression or political opposition. Press freedom has been severely curtailed. Algeria is the scene of massive human rights violations - thousands have been imprisoned, tortured and killed. Since the military take-over in 1992, Algeria has been embroiled in a war of attrition between the security and the Islamists - though FIS has declared its intention to enter into negotiations with the regime. 

The banning of Refah Partisi (Welfare Party) which had won the majority of votes in the municipal elections in 1994, and forced abdication of the leader of the Virtue Party in Turkey is another example of selective democracy. In both Algeria and Turkey, which claim to be democratic, the military wields tremendous power and has intervened to keep the secularists in power. The same is true of Nigeria. Though Nigeria now has a civilian government, it has been the victim of military dictatorship for much of its brief history after independence.

Democracy in Pakistan - which was established in the name of Islam - is continuously interrupted by the military and is characterized by nepotism where feudal lords and the wealthy elite still hold sway. For more than half of its 50 years since independence, Pakistan has been ruled by the military. The current ruler, General Musharraf, also came to power through a military coup. Bangladesh has been plagued with military coups in the past twenty years. Elections are generally characterized by fraud and intimidation, and successive governments have been involved in nepotism and corruption.   

In Indonesia, the philosophy of Pancha Sila was assumed to guarantee the loyalty of all ethnic groups that constitute the nation. Some analysts, though, viewed the Pancha Sila as an instrument to control Islamic opposition to Suharto. Indonesia’s wealth was monopolised by President Suharto’s family and friends, and his “throne” protected by the military. Arrests, detentions and clampdowns against opposition figures marked Suharto’s reign. Recent events have given a lie to the myth of a peaceful Indonesia; pent-up frustrations under authoritarian rule have exploded into violence between Christians and Muslims. Following the example of East Timor, several islands with Muslim majorities demand total independence.

The Ba`ath Party which rose to power in Syria in 1963, and in Iraq in 1968 has produced two of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East. Not only is power monopolised by this socialist party; it is further confined to a minor sect : Alawites in Syria and Takriti in Iraq.36 In both, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun is banned and outlawed, its leaders imprisoned and some executed.

The totalitarian nature of the Syrian regime was exposed when it systematically purged mosques, religious associations and professional syndicates after it was challenged by the Ikhwan at Hamah. Rafat Asad appears to have adopted a conciliatory approach to opponents of his late father??s regime. As yet there is little sign that Syrian society will become more open. The brutality of Saddam Hussein’s regime is well-known. Repression of the Shi`ah, Kurds and opponents of the president have been the hallmarks of the Baathist regime in Iraq. 

In Tunisia, despite the presence of a constitutional government, opposition figures are subject to harassment, the electoral system is designed to prevent the possibility of an alternate government, RCD loyalists infiltrate civil society and assume control from within, the regime creates duplicate associations in order to thwart the efforts of legitimate opposition. Parties are controlled, Al-Nahda has been denied legal status, hundreds of activists have been arrested, and associations have been purged of Islamist members. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are limited by laws which prohibit defamation of the President and the government. 

In Egypt, though there are several political parties, the Ikhwan - one of the chief critics of the regime - is not permitted to constitute itself as a party due to the restrictions on religiously based parties. The government can invoke emergency powers to curb citizens’ rights, including the suspension of their constitutional rights. It has introduced laws to curtail the freedom of political parties and autonomy of associations, disqualify candidates from general and local elections, and ban publications of views or comments on certain issues.37  

When the Yemen Arab Republic (formerly North Yemen) merged with the Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Yemen formerly South Yemen) to from the Republic of Yemen, elections and pluralism were part of the deal. However, there has been a regular crackdown on opposition parties, newspapers and associations which challenge the status quo. 

After the coup which ousted the last monarch in Libya, Colonel Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi developed his Third International Theory which was purported to provide an alternative to Communism and Capitalism. He rejects elections, political parties and representative assemblies because he believes they have failed to produce “true democracy”.38 In his new vision of democracy which he espoused in the “Green Book”, people were to rule themselves through popular committees and congresses.39 Despite these noble objectives, Qadhdhafi has turned out to be no more than a dictator. He is at the helm of affairs since the coup in 1969 and is not likely to relinquish power in the foreseeable future.
Afghanistan under the Taliban was declared an Islamic emirate. Despite their claim of implementing a shari`ah system, their intolerance toward men and women who did not conform to their interpretation of an Islamic Order indicated their authoritarian approach to government. The Taliban who dedicated themselves to the restoration of peace and order in the country, constituted themselves as the de facto government and ran Afghanistan as a one-party state.

Given the tribal nature of Afghan society, the Taliban came to seen by the majority of Afghans as representing the majority Pashtu tribe of Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see whether the proposed new Afghan government will be able to overcome tribal affinities and establish a truly democratic state or whether they will be compelled to accommodate the major tribes in any future political dispensation.

Islamic democracies

States which could be described as “Islamic” democracies, are Sudan, Iran, and Malaysia. When Sudan proclaimed itself as an Islamic state, it gained great support from Islamic movements, scholars and Muslims in general who view the shari`ah state as the ideal to which all states should work. Hasan al-Turabi was viewed as the supreme head of the Islamic Movement and his advice and wise counsel were eagerly sought. 

General Umar al-Bashir who took power in 1989, established a Revolutionary Command Council which immediately annulled the constitution, abolished the national assembly and banned political parties. The RCC saw democracy as an alien import.40 In the same year, at least 300 union activists were detained and imprisoned without trial, union heads and members of the Bar Association were arrested. In 1991 the government dissolved the Sudan Human Rights Organisation and established its own version under the same name.41

After the dissolution of the RCC in 1993, the National Islamic Front consolidated its control over the cabinet and Transitional National Assembly which was established in 1992. It transformed the legal system, gained domination over the security organs, infiltrated the civil service and controlled the media.42 Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of the National Ummah party and former prime Minister, was ousted by a coalition of Islamists and army officers and joined the coalition against the government.

There seems to be increasing intolerance of opposition within Sudan coupled with coercion. Only the official government perspective seems to be considered; any criticism is viewed as treason, and autonomous associations as anti-state. For a while the Islamic state appeared under threat of disintegration due to the power struggle between Hasan al-Turabi, the ideologue of the Islamic movement and General Umar al-Bashir the president.   

Likewise, Iran enjoyed tremendous popular support after the revolution. Ayatollah Khomeini was believed to be the man who would lead the Muslim world out of its current morass. Iran, too, was seen by many as a model Islamic state. Khomeini supported the principle of wilayat al-Faqih, meaning “guardianship of the jurist"43 In terms of this principle, the `ulama become the guardians and interpreters of the shari`ah in the absence of the imam.44 He was of the view that during Imam Mehdi’s occultation, only a faqih (jurist) or mujtahid is qualified to implement Islamic rules and regulations, to establish a righteous administration, and safeguard the security of Muslims.45

There is, of course, opposition by some traditional `ulama to the principle of Wilayat al-Faqih. They argue that there can be no legitimate and just ruler and government until the return of the twelfth imam.46 Some leaders - including several leading mujtahids - rejected the imposition of the faqih as head of state since they feared that it would seriously demoralize people if the faqih were to make mistakes.47 The post of the Supreme Leader - currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - is above that of the President. The Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are subject to the Assembly of Experts and the Council for the Guardians of the Constitution.48 Though popular sovereignty is vested in parliament, its legislative powers are subject to the approval of the faqih and the Council of Guardians.

Not surprisingly, after the Iranian revolution, religious scholars (ayatollahs and mullahs) dominated all levels of government. They soon became extremely authoritarian and marginalised all opponents and critics - real and potential. This included prominent Islamists like Ibrahim Yazdi who was an active supporter of the revolution. Popular leaders were imprisoned or dismissed from office; newspapers were banned, unfavourable candidates for elections were vetoed by the Council of Guardians, academics were prevented from lecturing, students were screened before being admitted to universities, etc. Recently, six Iranian intellectuals were arrested for participating in a conference on the future of Iran in Berlin. 

Malaysia was until recently showcased as a successful example of a modern, Muslim democracy, described by some as a consociational democracy. The current Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed proclaimed his intention in 1984 to “Islamize government machinery” However, the debacle involving the ex deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim has seriously undermined this confidence. PAS has come to be viewed as a serious threat to Mahathir’s authority. Mahathir’s office recently issued a directive barring 24 PAS leaders from delivering lectures at mosques. There is the additional problem of the sultans who wield some degree of power in the provinces.49  

The views of Muslim scholars on shura and democracy

The attitude of Muslim scholars to democracy falls into the following three categories :

1. rejection of democracy as inconsistent with Islam
2. identification of democracy with the principle of shura
3. conditional acceptance of democracy

In this section we will deal with the views of Muslim scholars on shura and democracy,  nature and constituents of shura, and unconditional allegiance to a ruler.   

Compatibility between shura and democracy

The hegemonic attitude of regimes has infected all structures of society with the result that most organisations and institutions in the Muslim World are administered autocratically. Not surprisingly, the authoritarian nature of Muslim governments and societies has created the impression among Western scholars, Middle East specialists and political analysts that democracy and Islam are incompatible.30  

The traditional view of scholars such as al-Mawardi and Rashid Rida51 that the khilafat is a religious obligation and the only legitimate institution for the ummah’s governance does enjoy considerable support from organisations such as al-Muhajiroun of Britain and Tanzeem-e-Islami of Pakistan, as well as the general Muslim public. In their view, the purpose of the state is to establish conditions that will facilitate the realization of the khilafat; the nation-state is unacceptable for it is contrary to Islamic political theory.52

The views of these scholars is best summed up in the words of Anjem Choudary of Al-Muhajiroun in the UK at a symposium on “Islam and the West” held at the Southwest Missouri State University in April 2000 :

“While the khilafat system shares with the democratic system the notion of election of the leadership, it is incorrect to make the assertion on this basis that there is democracy in Islam or that Islam was a democratic way of life. By comparing the notion of sovereignty in both systems, one could easily conclude that Islam and democracy are in diametric opposition to each other. While democracy is based on the notion of popular sovereignty, in Islam sovereignty was for the shari`ah.

Those who subscribe to the traditionalist view reject any equation of shura with democracy - insisting that the gulf between them is too wide to permit any comparison. They believe that Islamic government is not about participation. Two former Pakistani judges, Justice B.Z. Kaikaus and Justice A.R. Changez, argued that there is no place for democracy in Islam.

Even though Sayyid Qutb, the popular Egyptian scholar who has inspired many Islamists, accepted as legitimate any form of government that is the outcome of social agreement is legitimate,53 he argued that the concept of shura does not provide an Islamic vision of democracy.54 According to him, adult franchise, accountability through elections, multiparty system and an educated electorate are not to be found in Islam.55

In general, it can be said that though traditionalists accept the necessity for shura and that it is the duty of the head of state to appoint a shura council, they believe that he is not obliged to follow their advice and opinion. Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi, former grand mufti of Pakistan claimed that the ruler was entitled to select his own shura and it did not have to be elected by people.56 For some scholars, shura is the function of qualified `ulama’ 57 and not of the general populace.

Several contemporary scholars, however, use the word shura as a substitute for democracy. They believe that the Islamic principle of shura is the exact equivalent of the term democracy in its modern connotations. Khalid Muhammad Khalid described shura as “the democracy that gives people the right to choose their rulers and their deputies and representatives, as well as the right to practice freedom of thought, opinion and opposition”.58 Al-`Awwa argues that political, economic, religious and linguistic differences are “natural products of human nature”.59

El-Affendi is categorical that an ideal Muslim state must be based on the free will of its citizens and should also be plural.60 Al-Banna accepted constitutional rule as equivalent to shura.61 According to Muhammad Asad, “the Qur’anic phrase amruhum shura baynuhum (literally : their communal business is consultation among themselves) makes the transaction of all political business not only consequent to but synonymous with consultation…” 62 This verse, he argues, must be understood as “the fundamental, operative clause of all Islamic thought related to statecraft”. 

Mawlana Mawdudi, Kurdi, Olayiwola and `Abd al-Qadir `Awdah accept democracy conditionally. Though he was opposed to multi-party politics and pluralism in principle,63 Mawdudi described Islamic polity as a “theo-democracy”; theocratic because it basis itself upon Divine Commands, and democratic because it demands constant mutual consultation.6 4 `Abd al-Qadir `Awdah and Kurdi make a distinction between shura and the parliamentary system.65

Olayiwola states that Islam encourages the practice of democracy in all its ramifications : spiritual democracy, social democracy, economic democracy, as well as political democracy, although he concedes that there are fundamental differences between the Islamic and Western perpectives.66 This was the view of Malek Bennabi, the Algerian thinker, who distinguished between the Islamic democratic concept and western democracies :
The Islamic democratic concept sees in man the presence of God while the
others see in him the presence of humanity and of society….one has
a sacred type of democracy…the other, a secular type.67

Bennabi also argued that democracy could not simply be transplanted into “foreign” soil; after all, it is the product of social evolution in western societies. Maturation of attitudes, reflexes, and principles that produce the essence of democracy in the consciousness of a people and its customs are preconditions of democracy.68 He criticized western democracies because they do not embody social rights which would protect them against the power of cartels or interest groups. Islamic democracy as a synthesis between political and social democracy is genuine democracy.69

Al-Ghannouchi and Hasan al-Turabi advocate democracy as a means for achieving mutual goals : national solidarity, respect for human rights, civil liberties, cultural, social and economic development. For them, the central issue is no longer proving or disproving the compatibility of Islam and democracy, but whether Islam accommodates the emergence of a representative, pluralistic, and just political system in which the government is accountable to the people and the individual’s fundamental rights are respected.70    

For al-Ghannouchi, democracy is a mechanism for shura:

Islam, which enjoins recourse to shura (consultation) as a principle governing relations between the political authority and the people, finds in democracy the appropriate instruments (elections, parliamentary system, separation of powers, etc) to implement the shura.71    

He advocates the furthering of freedom of expression, association and political participation as a matter of priority.

In an Islamic government, al-Turabi argues, ??people can deliberate openly and agree and consult to ultimately reach a consensus and not simply assert or submit to a majority opinion??.72 The consultative process which was represented by ahl al-shura can be exercised through a parliament.73 Al-Turabi accepts the nation-state as the framework of the Islamic Order. He does not envisage national-states being absorbed eventually in an universal ummah state, but recommends their being incorporated as entities.74 In al-Turabi’s words, the Sudanese draft constitution

provided for basic freedoms, established representative government, and laid down the principle of (popular) selection and accountability of governments..75  

The Islamic Tendency Movement (Harakat al-Ittijah al-Islami), known as the MTI (Mouvement de la Tendance Islamique in French), the main Islamist organisation in Tunisia which now functions as Hizb al-Nahda (The Renaissance Party) is prepared to operate within existing systems of government and has committed itself to the values of democracy, pluralism, civil liberties and human rights.76 Al-Ghannushi’s commitment to pluralism extends to allowing secularists and communists to operate in or govern an Islamic state.77 The political party representing the Islamic movement cannot assume for itself the role of guardian of public morality; it should be treated as just another party with its own programme.78

Nature and Constituents of the shura

While the term ahl al`ahd wa??l ??aqd ((lit. those with the authority to loosen and bind), referring to those empowered to appoint the khalifah/ruler) could be likened to the electorate in modern parlance, ulu??l-amr (those entrusted with authority) and ahl al-shura (counsellors) are used interchangeably by Muslim scholars.

According to most traditional scholars, ulu’l -amr is used by the Qur??an79 to refer to rulers and `ulama. For al-Qurtubi, it includes, apart from `ulama, those “who are intelligent, *wise, and engaged in the management of public affairs.“80 He recommended that rulers should consult the `ulama on religious and juristic problems, military experts on military affairs, distinguished public figures on welfare, and ministers, secretaries and local governors on the country’s development. The ruler is obliged to implement their decisions and proposals.81

Javid Iqbal likened the ahl al-hall wa’l-`aqd to the modern senate.82 Some modern scholars identify the ulu’l amr with the ahl al-hall wa’l-`aqd. It is on this basis that they argue that the ruler’s authority is not absolute.83 It is evident that the current trend among reformists and revivalists is toward participatory democracy, inclusiveness and professionalism. 

On the issue of who constitutes the shura, modern scholars differ from traditionalist and reformist thinking. In Khurshid Ahmad’s view, the shura must consist of elected persons and its decisions are binding on the ruler. Furthermore, every member of the community has a right to express his/her views freely, and not a select few.84 Taqi al-Din al-Nabahani, founder of Hizb al-Tahrir in Jordan and Palestine, believes that the ruler and majlis al-shura must be freely elected by the people.85

For Muhammad `Abduh the shura consists of rulers, scholars, military chiefs, and people of distinguished rank and opinion-makers;86 for al-Nanawi, they were the leaders and the distinguished among the people, and for Hasan al-Banna they were jurists, experienced people in public affairs, and heads of families, tribes, or groups. In Asad??s view, the legislative powers of the state must be vested in an assembly chosen by the whole community, and the majlis al-shura must be representative of the entire community, both men and women.87

According to al-Turabi, shura does not negate the freedom of society to choose its rulers and representative bodies.88 A significant departure in Turabi’s thought is that ijma’ is not “the consensus of the learned elite” but “the more popular consensus of the Muslim community enlightened by its more learned members"89

In summary, contemporary Muslim scholars, while affirming that the `ulama - as experts in shari`ah - should constitute an integral part of decision-making process, argue that they must be joined by experts in economics, commerce, education, health, science and technology. The state could ensure that men and women with knowledge of Islam and modern instruments of government, as well as administrative experience who have earned respect due to their dedication and service are elected. Where differences of opinion arise between the ruler and the shura in matters of public interest, the views of the majority should prevail. It will be wrong to ignore majority opinion on how to manage material affairs and public benefits.90

This brings us to another contentious issue : the status and role of dhimmi in a modern Muslim state. The traditional concept of the dhimmi as a protected minority in a Muslim state based on the view that citizenship is doctrinal and not territorial, national or racial91 seems to find favour even with contemporary scholars. In deference to the right of non-Muslim citizens not to be subject to shari`ah ordinances, the Sudan Charter advocates decentralization, with areas containing non-Muslim majorities opting out of the shariah system.92

While this proposal may be workable in instances where a specific faith community is concentrated in a specified area, it is not practical where residential areas are fully integrated ?V containing citizens of all faiths and nationalities ?V which is the case in most Muslim countries today. Moreover, it does not address the critical issue of direct participation of dhimmi in a Muslim democracy. 

Non-Muslim citizens in Muslim states expect to be treated as full citizens, and would reject the status of dhimmi if given a choice on the grounds that it is demeaning and deprives them of equal status. The reality is that the traditional definition of dhimmi is no longer tenable. It is little wonder that among the greatest supporters of secular democracy in the Muslim World is its Christian citizens who constitute the majority of the dhimmi.
Is it possible for Muslim scholars to find consensus on a definition of dhimmi in which the bonds of citizenship transcend religious and ethnic affiliation?

Unconditional Allegiance to a Ruler

In theory, legitimacy implies that the ruler is qualified and entitled to office, and had succeeded to it by lawful means. If the ruler lacks or loses legitimacy, then the duty of obedience lapses.93 In terms of the classical doctrine of khilafat elucidated by al-Mawardi (d. 1058), if the head of state does not act in accordance with the shari`ah, he can be deposed by the council responsible for his election.94 In practice, however, any ruler who had the means to hold power, keep order and was Muslim - however nominal - was regarded as legitimate.95

This approach was adopted by the Companions to Mu`awiyah’s accession to the khilafah. They justified his appointment of Yazid, his son, as successor on the grounds that it would prevent conflict.  Subsequently, Muslim scholars considered obedience mandatory - even to a tyrannical ruler - in order to avoid the greater evils of sedition and anarchy.96 This effectively prevented subjects from substituting corrupt, inefficient and tyrannical rulers for whom shura had no meaning.

The traditional position articulated by al-Mawardi that the rule of an usurping amir is legitimate97 is now contested. Most modern Muslim thinkers maintain that the rule of autocratic kings is not allowed. `Awdah is categorical that if a caliph deviates from majority opinion, he is no longer entitled to obedience.98 They argue that a constitutional and representative form of government is the only type of government permitted by Islam. After all, the Prophet forbade allegiance to be given to any leader without due process of consultation.99 The exegete Ibn Attiyah declared :?? anyone who does not seek the counsel of learned and religious people should be replaced”.100

The Prospects for Democracy in the Muslim World

It is evident that in the majority of Muslim countries, masses are denied political participation, primarily because rulers have always considered their position as a means to wealth and power. Only in a handful of Muslim countries do we find a functioning, participatory political system which admits freedom of expression and dissent. Statistics computed by the Centre for Media Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa reveal that journalists have been imprisoned in the following Muslim countries for daring to criticize their regimes : Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Syria and Tunisia. In some Muslim countries, civil society has been eradicated from the public arena; in others, regimes have attempted to appropriate organs of civil society. 

A survey of Islamic history reveals that despite the fact that Muslims are required to employ shura in all their affairs, this principle was abandoned in regard to the election of rulers from as early on as the beginning of Umayyad rule. When the caliphate was abolished in 1924 and the World of Islam became carved up into nation-states, the majority of Muslim regimes continued to deny their citizens any role in electing their rulers or participating in government.

Many current Muslim rulers have assumed authority either through hereditary succession or through a military coup. Even those rulers who have ascended through elections
have a tendency to concentrate power and wealth in their own hands. And governments that claim to be Islamic have tended to be authoritarian in character. In summary, Muslim governments are averse to accept the advice and guidance of their citizens or to grant them freedom to criticize and oppose their policies. In this respect, the ruling elites, monarchies/shaykhdoms and secular-nationalists are not much different.
The major impediments to democracy in my view are the following :
?h the subservience of subjects to their rulers
?h lack of sustained opposition
?h yearning for the restitution of the caliphate

The authoritarianism that prevails in the Muslim World can be attributed to two factors : endorsement of the classical theory of caliphate and fear. In fact, the passive submission of most subjects to autocratic rulers and regimes is a legacy they inherited from the Abbasid period.101 Since al-Mawardi was a well-known jurist, Muslim scholars tended to simply adopt his theories, including endorsement of rule by succession. This has provided Muslim rulers today with a justification for their usurpation of authority.       

The main reason for a lack of a viable and sustained opposition in Muslim regimes is intimidation. Any opposition to oppression or demand for civil rights by individuals or groups is countered with ruthlessness and cruelty. Persecution, detention without trial, and torture of those considered a threat to the regime, are commonplace in the Muslim World. Those brave enough to continue their opposition face constant harassment and persecution Not surprisingly, many opposition groups are compelled to operate from foreign capitals. 

The demand for the reinstatement of the khilafah as a unitary state for all Muslims in the world, spearheaded by Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party) of Jordan,102 Tanzeem-e-Islami of Pakistan and al-Mouhajirun of Britain presents a problem of a different type. Though these groups are highly critical of the hypocrisy and corruption of current regimes, they actively promote the idea of the “return of the khilafah” who will restore peace and justice in the world. Those who accept this messianic position are not only lulled into waiting for the appearance of the khalifah; they dismiss the entire democratic enterprise in the Muslim World ?V even the model/s promoted by the Islamists ?V thereby, impeding the process. 

The demand for the recognition or appointment of a khalifah is unrealistic considering the history of the institution of khilafah, as well as its impracticality today. First, although the appointment of a khalifah was regarded as incumbent (wajib) by early Sunni scholars such as Al-Baqillani, al-Mawardi and al-Ghazali,103 and of the imam divinely designated by Shi`ah theologians,104 according to other scholars, including Ibn Khaldun, the khilafah is not mandatory. It was established as a matter of expediency.105 The conditions accepted as the basic tenets of the institution of khilafat : the khalifah must be elected, there can only be one khalifah at a time and the khalifah must belong to the Quraysh tribe106 did not survive more than three decades. 

Apart from hereditary succession introduced by Mu`awiyyah, the Umayyads founded a dynasty in Spain during `Abbasid rule.107 (Ali 1979. 474ff). Abdullah ibn Zubayr, one of the companions who refused to endorse Umayyad rule, was recognised as khalifah in Basrah, Kufah, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Emesa, Qinnasrin, Khurasan and the Hijaz.108 The Mughal Empire in India and Safavid dynasty in Iran existed at the same time as the Ottoman Empire.109 While the Mughal and Safavid rulers did not assume the title khalifah, the non-Quraysh Ottomans did so - with the “blessing” of some Muslim scholars.110

Second, it is unrealistic to expect all the current heads of state to surrender their positions - and with it their access to wealth and authority. If the Supreme Porte in Turkey was not given recognition by all sectors of the Muslim World, the prospects of a modern-day khalifah receiving unquestioning loyalty and obedience are virtually non-existent. What is possible is some kind of United Nations of Islam - along the pattern suggested by the pan-Islamist, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani111 - in which states are bound by common principles and objectives, but do not lose their autonomy.

Third, if the primary motive for appointing a khalifah was to prevent chaos and implement the shari`ah,112 it could be argued that if a modern parliament fulfills these two purposes, there is no need for a khalifah. After all, there has been no khalifah since 1924. We could just as well adopt the Kharijite position that the appointment of a khalifah does not constitute a religious obligation and that the civil administration of a state can be performed without a khalifah.

The following are the primary reasons for the rejection of democracy by Muslim scholars and activists :

?h it is a western and alien import and harbinger of promiscuity and permissiveness
?h it does not ensure the election of the best members of society who should govern
?h it aims only at achieving materialistic ends, it is incompatible with the notion of khilafat.

In this case, if the majority so desires, the caliphate could be adapted to modern democracy in a way that satisfies the basic conditions of shura. What is required essentially is a reformulation of democratic principles in Islamic idioms.

Despite the obvious lack of democracy in the Muslim World and the obstacles to democracy that we have outlined above, the prospects for democracy are, in my view, much brighter than they have been in the past. The reasons for this optimism are as follows : 

1. The existence of secular democracies, with parliament, regular elections, opposition parties, etc. Despite the drawbacks alluded to earlier, the democratic system is acceptable to many Muslim governments and peoples who support it, participate in it and actively promote it. Below is a list of Muslim countries that practice one or other aspect of democracy.

?h Though Jordan has a monarch who claims descent from the Hashimites (the Prophet’s family), it has parliamentary elections. 
?h Malaysia is a democracy, despite Mahathir’s attempts to cling to power at all costs. Malay, Indian and Chinese parties are represented in government. The Partai Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), the chief critic of the government, operates as a political party. The multiethnic and multi-religious Malaysia espoused by Anwar Ibrahim - former leader of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) - still enjoys popular support. 
?h Though Golkar has been the dominant party in Indonesia under Suharto, who was little short of a military dictator, the immediate past president of Indonesia - Abdur Rahman Wahid - was leader of the Nahdatul Ulama, the leading opposition party which has embraced democracy  

2. Endorsement of democracy as a legitimate mechanism of governance by contemporary Islamic scholars. They recommend that democracy as a representative form of government with participatory decision-making, accountability, and guarantees of human and civil rights should be applied in Muslim society, with modification.113 Provided that it recognises Divine sovereignty, the majority voice can constitute the basis for the legitimate exercise of political authority in the state. Shura and selection of a ruler must be based on the free will of the masses. The views of Muslim scholars on democracy have been cited above. 

The view of scholars such as al-Mawardi that the rule of an usurping amir is legitimate if he governs in accordance with shari`ah has no support, even in traditional circles today. Organisations such as Hizb al-Tahrir are scathing in their attacks on corrupt Muslim rulers. There is evidence of a change in the mindset of Muslims - even traditional `ulama are not hesitant to criticise authoritarian Muslim rulers. 

While accepting that obedience to the ruler is mandatory, Muslim scholars are of the view that this obedience is conditional, viz. if the ruler adheres to the Qur’an and Sunnah. This means that the ruler can be criticized, censured and reprimanded by the people for their deviation from shariah.121 This approach is likely to ensure that rulers govern with justice and consult their people. 

3.  Support by mainstream Islamic activists and movements for democracy and political pluralism, provided that it is regulated by a framework of values shared by the majority of people. They concede the right of secular systems to exist legally, provided that they do not attempt to undermine the Islamic system.114

?h Some Islamists in Morocco, influenced by `Abd as-Slam Yasin, former editor of al-Jama`a who has recently been released from prison, favour the establishment of a political party that would participate in the electoral process.
?h Islamists like Ismail al-Shatti, editor of al-Mujtama (Society), perceive the Kuwaiti State Assembly (Majlis al-umma) as an avenue for earning societal credibility. Abdullah al-Nafisi argues that Islam favoured political action and tolerated different interpretations and policies115
?h The reformist Jama`at -i-Islami of Pakistan is committed to using constitutional methods to achieve its objectives of putting righteous men in power116
?h Both al-Takfir wa’l-Hijra (Repentance and Emigration) and al-Jihad (Struggle) are committed to the establishment of an ideal state in the traditional mode in Egypt. However, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun has constituted itself as the main parliamentary opposition group, and some of its members have been actively participating in elections in order to have adequate representation and influence in the assembly.
?h The current conflict between the state and Islamic groups in Algeria, while presented by the international media as an attempt by “fundamentalists” to overthrow the existing regime, is in reality a campaign by the military junta to crush the Islamic movement. Despite all odds, the liberal democratic trend is strong in Algeria. The Jabhat al-Inqadh Islamic Salvation Front) has committed itself to free elections and political pluralism117
?h Al-Ghannushi’s commitment to democracy in Tunisia has already been cited above. 
?h The manifesto issued by the Islamic Front which was formed in Syria in 1980, comprising several revivalist groups (including the Ikhwan), advocates a relatively liberal political system, with a constituent assembly, constitution and government by shura 118  
?h The Muslim Brotherhood, established in 1954 with the object of creating an Islamic order in Sudan and which has great influence in Sudanese politics won a substantial number of seats in the People’s Assembly elected in 1980119
?h The major opposition movements to the Saudi regime, Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights and the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia are committed to democratic principles and social reform.
?h Despite restrictions (e.g. all parties must be committed to the Islamic Republic and to its constitution, and popular participation is limited to voicing opinion about government programmes or its officials) political parties are allowed to function in Iran120 (Hunter 1988 : 268). There is natural resistance in Iran to the above-mentioned restrictions imposed by the regime, the popular groups which have been organised to ensure compliance, and imposition of a moral code which is viewed as being too strict. The narrow view of democracy, freedom and political participation is being challenged. The reform movement in Iran is founded upon democracy. 

4. Establishment of shura councils. Important experiments with democracy are under way in Jordan and Kuwait. In addition, shura councils have been established in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Oman. In the last decade all the Arab states except Iraq, Syria and Libya have engaged in various forms of participatory politics.

5. Founding of movements for the promotion of democracy and human rights in the Muslim World.The emergence of civil society organs in many Muslim countries, especially where the vanguard is human rights activists, writers, professional groups, protest movements is very encouraging. These include the following :

?h Campaign for Human Rights in Tunisia
?h Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
?h Islamic Observation Centre
?h Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia
?h Arab Commission for Human Rights
?h Human Rights Watch
?h Centre for Balanced Development
?h International Movement for a Just World
?h Project on Democracy in the Muslim World

6. Pressure of international agencies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Front and the United Nations through its various agencies.The most recent example of the success of this type of pressure is the declaration by the Pakistani leader, General Musharraf, of his intention to return to civilian rule.

7. Establishment of Free Media. State repression has become one of the major topics of discussion in the Muslim World. Though state control of the media remains a problem, there have been notable successes of late. For instance, al-Jazira television station has had a tremendous impact on shaping public opinion and creating awareness on issues such as democracy, human rights and freedom.

The above factors favour the introduction and consolidation of democracy in the Muslim World. Muslim scholars, academics and activists are increasingly articulating the demand for the establishment of democracy. While national and international conferences hosted by Muslims tended to focus on a variety of issues in the past, they are now increasingly focusing on democracy in the Muslim World. The recent spate of publications on democracy serve to confirm the importance this issue has assumed for the Muslim intelligentsia. Despite its shortcomings, they consider democracy as the most desired sociopolitical order in an environment of religious and cultural pluralism currently.

Since the Qur’an has not prescribed a procedure for appointing the head of state, or for enforcing the shari`ah, it is left to the present generation of Muslims to evolve a suitable method and structure of governance in accordance with its requirements. The Muslim World can evolve its own style of democracy, suited to its peculiar needs and in conformity with Islamic norms and values.

The participation of ordinary men and women in the political and legislative decisions affecting their lives and their right to elect and depose their rulers, are fundamental issues that cannot be postponed any longer.


1 Edward William Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon (Lebanon : Librairie du Liban, 1968), 4 : 1617.
2 Abu’l Fida Isma`il ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-`Azim (Beirut : Dar Ihya al-Turath al-`Arabi, 1969),
1 : 420, 4 : 118.
3 Shihab al-Din al-Sayyid Mahmud al-Alusi, Ruh al-Ma`ani fi tafsir al-Qur’an al-`Azim wa al-Sab` al-Mathani (Beirut : Dar Ihya al-Turath al-`Arabi, n.d.), 25 : 46; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad (Beirut : Dar Sadir, n.d.), 3 : 105; Muhammad ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyah, ed. Mustafa al-Saqa, et al. (Cairo : Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, 1955), 2 : 63; Muhammad Isma`il al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jami` al-Sahih, ed. L. Krehl (Leiden : E.J. Brill, 1862), 4 : 443; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 1 : 420. 
4 Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 3 : 243; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 1 : 420.
5 Abu `Abdallah Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn Maja, Sunan, ed. Muhammad Fu’ad `Abd al-Baqi (Beirut : Dar Ihya al-Kutub al-`Arabiyah, 1952), 1 : 233.
6 Al-Alusi, Ruh al-Ma`ani, 4 : 106, 25 : 46.
7 Abu `Isa Muhammad ibn `Isa ibn Surah al-Tirmidhi, Sunan alTirmidhi, ed. `Abd al-Rahman Muhammad `Uthman (Madinah : al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, 1974), 3 :361.
8 Al-Alusi, Ruh al-Ma`ani, 25 : 46.
9 Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 1 : 420.
10 Al-Alusi, Ruh al-Ma`ani, 25 : 46.
11 Muhammad ibn Sa`d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, ed. Eduard Sachau (Leiden : E.J. Brill, 1904), 3 : 1 : 212ff.
12 Al-Bukhari, Sahih,  4 : 59.
13 Ibid., 4 : 402.
14 Amir Hasan Siddiqi, Studies in Islamic History (Karachi : Jamiyatul Falah Publications, 1967), 94.
15 Nazih N. Ayubi, Political Islam - Religion and Politics in the Arab World (London & New York : Routledge, 1994), 13.
16 Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, 3 : 341.
18 Syed Ameer Ali, The Spirit of Islam (London : Chatto & Windus, 1974), 122.
19 M.Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Muslim Institutions. 4th ed., translated from the French by John P. MacGregor (London : George Allen & Unwin, 1968), 109. 
20 Syed Ameer Ali, A Short History of the Saracens (Delhi :Kutub Khana Ishayat-ul-Islam, 1979), 82.
21 Ameer Ali, The Spirit of Islam, 284.
22 Ayubi, Political Islam, 14; Al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, 13, cited in Qamar-ud-Din Khan, Al-Mawardi?s Theory of the State, Lahore : Bazm-I-Iqbal, n.d., 29.
23 Gaudefroy, Muslim Institutions, 111.
24 H.A.R. Gibb & H. Bowen,?Islamic Society and the West?, Vol. I, Islamic Society in the Eighteenth Century, Part 1 (London : Oxford University Press, 1963), 1 : 31.
25 Ayubi, Political Islam, 14.
26 S. Khuda Bakhsh, Politics in Islam (Delhi : Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delhi, 1981), 128.
27 Ann K.S. Lambton, State and Government in Mediaeval Islam (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1981), 243ff.
28 Thomas Arnold, The Caliphate (London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967), 138; Hamid Enayat, Modern Islamic Political Thought (London : The Macmillan Press, 1982), 60. 
29 AbdulHamid AbuSulayman, Crisis in the Muslim Mind, Trans. Yusuf Talal de Lorenzo (Herndon : International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1997), 25-27.
30 Farouk A. Sankarie, ?Islam and Politics in Saudi Arabia? in Ali E. Hillal Dessouki (ed.), Islamic Resurgence in the Arab World, (New York : Praeger Publishers, 1982), 190.
31 Erwin I.J. Rosenthal, Islam in the Modern National State (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1965), 329.
32 Afzal Iqbal, Contemporary Muslim World (Delhi : Adam Publishers & Distributors, 1997), 295.
33 Ibid., 221-222.
34 Ibid., 64-65.
35 Jean-Claude Vatin, ?Revival in the Maghreb : Islam as an alternative political language? in Ali E. Hillal Dessouki (ed.), Islamic Resurgence in the Arab World, (New York : Praeger Publishers, 1982), 234.
36 Iqbal, Muslim World, 403.
37 Mustapha Kamil al-Sayyid, ?A Civil Society in Egypt??  in Augustus Richard Norton (ed.), Civil Society in the Middle East, Vol. 1, (Leiden :  E.J. Brill, 1995), 1 : 280ff.
38 Raymond N. Habiby, ?Qadhafi’s Thoughts on True Democracy? in Michael Curtis (ed.), Religion and Politics in the Middle East (Boulder : Westview Press, 1981), 264-267.
39 John Wright, Libya - a Modern History (London : Croom Helm, 1983), 192ff.
40 Ann Mosely Lesch, ?The Destruction of Civil Society in Sudan? in Augustus Richard Norton (ed.), Civil Society in the Middle East, vol 2, (Leiden :  E.J. Brill, 1995), 2 : 165 .
41 Ibid., 2 : 41.
42 Ibid., 2 : 168
43 Abbas Kelidar, ?Ayatollah Khomeini’s Concept of Islamic Government? in Alexander Cudsi & Ali E. Hillal Dessouki (ed.), Islam and Power (London : Croom Helm, 1981), 75-81.   
44 Shireen T. Hunter, ?Islam in Power : The Case of Iran? in Shireen T. Hunter (ed.),The Politics of Islamic Revivalism (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1988), 266-268.
45 Kelidar, Concept of Islamic Government, 83.
46 Hunter, Islam in Power, 268.
47 Kelidar, Concept of Islamic Government, 89.
48 Hussin Mutalib, Islam in Malaysia (Singapore : Singapore University Press, 1993), 65.
49 Ibid., 119-120.
51 Muhammad `Abduh and Rashid Rida, Tafsir al-Manar (Cairo, 1373/1954-1380/1961), 227-228; Al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, 3, cited in Khan, Al-Mawardi?s Theory of the State, 25. 
52 Louay M. Safi, ?The Islamic State ; a conceptual Framework? in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, (1996), 8 : 2 : 227-228.
53 Moussalli, Islamic Fundamentalist Discourses, 91. 
54 Nilufer Gole, ?Authoritarian Secularism and Islamist Politics : The Case of Turkey? in Augustus Richard Norton (ed.), Civil Society in the Middle East, vol. 2 (Leiden :  E.J. Brill, 1995), 26.
55 Mumtaz Ahmad, ?Parliament, Parties, Polls and Islam : Issues in the current debate on Religion and politics in Pakistan? in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, (July 1985), 2 :.1 : 16-17.   
56 Mumtaz Ahmad (ed.), State Politics and Islam (Indianapolis : American Trust Publications, 1986), 9. 
57 Rosenthal, Islam in the Modern National State, 16.
58 Ayubi, Political Islam, 64.
59 Moussalli, Islamic Fundamentalist Discourses, 107.
60 Abdelwahab el-Affendi, Who Needs an Islamic State? (London : Grey Seal, 1991), 90-91. 
61 Ahmad S. Moussalli, Islamic Fundamentalist Discourses, 100.
62 Muhammad Asad, The Principles of State and Government in Islam (Gibraltar : Dar al-Andalus, 1982), 43-50.
63 see Youssef M Choueiri, Islamic Fundamentalism (New Delhi : CBS Publishers, 1991), 110.
64 Charles Adams, ?Mawdudi and the Islamic State? in John L Esposito (ed.), Voices of Resurgent Islam (New York : Oxford University Press, 1983), 117. 
65 Abdulrahman Abdulkadir Kurdi, The Islamic State (London : Mansell Publishing Ltd, 1984), 73; Fahmi Jadaane, ?Notions of the State in Contemporary Arab-Islamic Writings? in Giacomo Luciani, The Arab State (London : Routledge, 1990), 260.
66 Abdul Rahman O. Olayiwola, ?Democracy in Islam? in Islamic Quarterly, ed. Dr A.A. Mughram (London : The Islamic Cultural Centre, 1993), XXXVII : 3 : 190.
67 Malik Bennabi, ?The Algerian Perpectives : Islam and Democracy,? trans. Asma Rashid in Islamic Studies 32 :2 (Islamabad : International Islamic University, 1993), 156.
68 Yahya Zoubir, ?Democracy and Islam in Malek Bennabi?s Thought? in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (1998), 15 : 1 : 109. 
69 Ibid., 110-111.
70 Emad Eldin Shahin, ?Islam, Democracy and the West : Ending the Cycle of Denial? in Mona M. Abul-Fadl (ed.), Proceedings of Muslim Social Scientists Conference,  Herndon : IIIT, 1993.
71 Rached al-Ghannouchi, Observer, Jan. 19, 1992. 
72 Hasan al-Turabi, ?The Islamic State? in John L Esposito (ed.), Voices of Resurgent Islam (New York : Oxford University Press, 1983), 244.
73 Ibid., 248.
74 Abdel Wahhab El Affendi, Turabi?s Revolution : Islam and Power in Sudan (London : Grey Seal, 1991), 177-178.
75 Hasan al-Turabi, Al-Mithaq al-Islami, 1968.
76 Rached al-Ghannouchi, ?The Participation of Islamists in a non-Islamic Government?, trans. Azzam Tamimi in Power-Sharing Islam? ed.`Azzam Tamimi (London : Liberty Publications, 1993), 62-63.
77 Abdelwahab El-Affendi, ?The Long March Forward? in Inquiry (October, 1987), 53-55; Ayubi 115.
78 El-Affendi, Turabi?s Revolution, 53. 
79 Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 1 : 518
80 see Fathi Osman, ?The Contract for the Appointment of the Head of an Islamic State? in State Politics and Islam, ed. Mumtaz Ahmad, (Washington : American Trust Publications, 1986), 77.
81 Ibid.
82 Javid Iqbal, ?The Concept of State in Islam? in State Politics and Islam, ed. Mumtaz Ahmad
(Washington : American Trust Publications, 1986), 41. 
83 Osman, ?Appointment of the Head of an Islamic State?, 60.
84 Ahmad, ?Parliament, Parties, Polls and Islam?, 20
85 Moussalli, Islamic Fundamentalist Discourses, 104.
86 Abduh, Tafsir al-Manar, 5 : 181-183.
87 Asad,  State and Government in Islam, 44-45.
88 Moussalli, Islamic Fundamentalist Discourses, 111.
89 El Affendi, Turabi?s Revolution, 160.
90 Osman, , ?Appointment of the Head of an Islamic State,?  70.
91 Sayyid Qutb, Ma`alim fi al-Tariq (Beirut : Dar al-Shuruq, n.d.), 136. 
92 El-Affendi, Turabi?s Revolution, 177. 
93 Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago & London : University of Chicago Press, 1991), 99.
94 Siddiqi, Studies in Islamic History, 94; al-Mawardi, ?al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya?, 31, cited in Khan, al-Mawardi?s Theory of State, 40.
95 Lambton, State and Government, 49.
96 Lewis, Political Language of Islam, 102.
97 Iqbal, ?The Concept of State in Islam?, 45.
98 Jadaane, ?Notions of the State,? 261. 
99 Ibn Hanbal, Musnad,  1 : 56
100 Osm