Democracy in Islam
In one of the leaflets Hiz-ut-Tahrir had criticized the democracy as the Western form of government and promoted the concept of Khalifat. In this leaflet, they posed democracy as a delusion which does not match with the ideology of Islamic government. According to Hizb-UT-Tahrir, democracy is an exploitative form of government; on the contrary Khalifat is opposite to the concept of democracy and falls within the Islamic ideology. It was asserted in the flyer that establishing Khalafat means getting a Caliph who is intelligent and pious who will serve the interests of the people.Reading such type of articles does not resolve the issues rather make them more complicated. For example, they admit that Caliph will be chosen by the people so the question is: if a Caliph is chosen by the Muslims then what is the difference between Khalafat and democracy? Similarly, promote the concept of Majlis-e-Shoora, which is quite close to the modern concept of democracy. Talking with any member of the Hizb-UT-Tareer won’t give you a clear answer whether members of the Majlis-e-share would be elected or selected. In depth of analysis of their views on the form of government depicts that they favor a form of government in which one person gets absolute authority. Granting absolute authority to one person is a distorted concept of Islam.
First and foremost, Islam has not given any specific form of the government except telling how the ruling class should behave with the masses. And, if it has given, it is none other than the Democratic form of government. Studying the life of the prophet Muhammad shows that he had only rejected once the majority opinion in his whole life. Similarly, when people requested him to nominate Caliph, when he was on the death bed, he refused to do so and suggested that Muslims must select their own Khalifa themselves.
Interestingly, Islamic organizations like Hizb-UT-Tarir do not let any opportunity to criticize democratic form of government but never criticized the monarchy so vehemently, which is the most popular form of government in the wealthy Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia etc. Monarchy is clearly opposite to Islamic Ideology as Islam does not allow that any race or family has a right by birth to rule the people. For example, it was Abu Bakar who became the first Caliph and not any of Prophet Muhammad relatives after his death.
It is not form of the government that most of developing and Muslim countries are suffering from economic crisis; rather they are suffering from economic agony because of a corrupt system that has been promoted by the corrupt elite class over the period of time. Unfortunately, the elite class considers its prerogative to exploit the resources of the country for personal gains. They gain power to protect vested interests instead of serving the interests of the people. They will not change their behavior by only changing the name of the form of government. Moreover, corruption is not phenomena of secular elite class but Mullahs and religious organization are not an exception to it. They always find a reason for their own actions. For example, the Muslim religious-political parties never restricted themselves sending women member in the parliament in Pakistan though they always oppose women’s emancipation movement and political power. It is also an interesting fact that the most of Women Parliamentarian elected on specific women seats belong to main leadership of the party – it is a big question to these so called religious parties as to why they cannot find capable women from the ordinary members.
In short it can be said, the religious organizations like Hizb-ut-Tahreer present a distorted view of Islamic ideology to benefit themselves. They do not mind to exploit the emotions of the masses in the name of Islam. They are well aware of the fact that criticizing the West will readily give them popularity in the innocent masses.
The author believes that Muslims would be better off if Mullahs and the like minded people spend more time in improving the civic sense of the Muslim community instead of only criticizing the West and emphasizing only on offering 5 time prayers and fasting in the month of Ramadan. Similarly, it would be much better for the common Muslims to study Islam themselves instead of blindly relying on the sermons of the Mullahs and their so called religious organizationns.
Published Urdu version of the article is available here http://nyousaf.com/urdu-articles/islam-and-democracy/