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Discussion

The role of democracy has proved to an essential part in any religion of the world. It acts to be one of the best frameworks for the establishment of freedom for conscience in religion in order to exercise the practice of faith as well as pluralism in the religion. The religion, with the help of its moral as well as ethical commitment upholds its values, the critical approaches and expression can be the assistance of the democratic society. For instance, there are quite a number of perspectives regarding the teachings of Quran in order to establish the relationship of the religion, Islam, with that of democracy.

The concept democracy and the type of government conceived by Quran is not a pure form of democracy. Though, some of the Islam preachers like Ahman Moussalli argued that some of the concepts in the teachings of Quran pointed towards the principles of democracy as both of the concepts discard the theory of despotism. Therefore, the paper will be shedding light on the teachings of the Quran to check for its compatibility with the principles of democracy.

The relationship between the teachings of the Quran and the concepts of democracy is subjected to a topic of debate. There are some of the modern thinkers of the religion of Islam who discarded the notion as well as the existence of the concept of democracy in the time phase of 1970s and in 1980s. They claimed that the democracy is an idea of the foreign which is incompatible with the religion of Islam, as per the claims made by Ahyar (2017). On the other hand, other experts or thinkers have concluded that the conventional notions and concepts of the religion, Islam, as per the teachings of their holy book ‘Quran’, claimed that the concepts such as ‘shura’ which is means ‘consultation’, ‘maslaha’ which is means ‘public interest’, as well as ‘adl’ which means ‘justice’- are the concepts that regard to the enchantment of the representation of democracy in the governmental institutions, and these concepts of the teachings of Quran has a striking similarity with the Western democracy, however, they reflect the Islamic values rather than the liberal values of the Western democracy, as per the claims made by Ahmad (2016).

The concept of democracy had been on the rise since the time of the shift towards the waves created by the globalization in order to prove which side is on the mightier as well as righteous, wealthier or keeping at peace with the people of the democratic practice. The waves of globalization brought along an increased volume of the demands related to the democracy in every aspect of the human life in terms of democracy in the perceptive religion as well. The experts as well as the scholars like Esposito and Voll argued that the waves created by the globalization have had knocked the doors of the world of the Islamic religion by increasing the forces in order to urge the practitioners and the preachers of the Islamic as well as non-Islamic communities to be the followers of democracy by contrasting the views of the teachings of the Quran, as per the claims made by Voll (2017). The tensions and the concerns in between the democracy as well as in the liberty do incorporate a deeper root into the history which is visibly present in the world. The religion of Islam has been struggling to bring along the values of Islam for decades now in order to bear the politics of the societies in the democratic world. There are too many forms as well as shapes in the occurrences of the Islamists which have been advanced with the help of different models of politics which have been integrated with the values of religion, religious identity, as well as the politics related to the religion in its teaching of the Quran, as per the claims made by Menchik (2019).

Teachings of Quran Compatible with the Principles of Democracy

From the time of the collapsing of the government in the Muslim Brotherhood in the year 2013 in Egypt, the followers of the teaching of Quran, the Islamists had been assuming the mantle of the democratic religion and had been seeking for the democracy by disregarding the concepts of the authoritarianism. The Islamic theorists argued that the most essential principle of the Quran states that “Amr bil marouf wa nahy anil munkar” – “command good and forbid evil”, which justifies towards the creation of an ideological democratic state in order to establish the Islamic shariah, as per the claims and opinions made by Kadivar (2018). This principle has been quotes from Quran [3:100, 3:104, and 9:710]. The teaching of Quran also states that “You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) humanity; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong” [Quran 3:110]. The teaching of the Quran states in the Shariah the difference between the good and the evil so that the practitioners of the religion get to ‘enjoin the good’, as per the claims and opinions made by Farooq and Aktaruzzaman (2019). This implies that teaching of the Quran is compatible with the principle of democracy. There are many inputs by experts which have tried to prove in the past regarding the view of the Islams towards the democratic concepts. However, if the above mentioned teachings are considered, it is stated that a large segment of the religion believes in the prevalence of democracy, and accepts its view in unity, freedom of choices, expression and opinion.

Many theorists believe that in the teachings of Quran, there is very little room for the concept of democracy to be prevalent in the practice of the religion. It is a notion that the Quran is not a pure form of democracy or the non-promoter of democracy or the barrier of the constitutional theocracy or the promoter of the constitutional monarchy with the teachings of the Quran to be basis of the concepts of the constitution, as per the claims and opinions made by Ihsan (2020). It is also believed that there is zero room for the theocracy in the Islamic Republic because it considered the ruler to be one who obtains guidance from the God. It is known that after the death of Muhammad who had been considered the last messenger to Allah, nobody is considered to be in that position to be guiding messages from Allah, as per the claims and opinions made by Debate (2021). This implies to the concept that the opinion and views of the messenger or the Allah is the last as well as final verdict for the practitioners of the religion of Islam, as per the claims and opinions made by Zildjianda (2020). Therefore, this concept contradicts with as concept of democracy as the fundamental theory of the latter one is completely based on the fact that people have the right to have an opinion of them, can be able to pose for different views regarding matters and have the right to object regarding any view which contradicts.

Teachings of Quran Incompatible with the Principles of Democracy

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you. [Quran 4:59]”- according to this verse of the Quran, it is stated that the preachers, practitioners as well as the followers of the religion Islam should be following and act as per what their constitution, Medina, suggests, as per the claims and opinions made by Rahman (2020). There is an imaginary social contract as well as agreement with the people that through it, people get themselves surrendered with their sovereignty of individuality to become a collective one in order to create an Islamic state following the teaching of the Quran, (Azra 2021).

The progress, openness, modernization and development has proved to be slow as well as limited in the Islamic states which are not democratic, as per the claims and opinions made by Islam and Islam (2020). According to the teachings of Quran, women need to out Hijab to cover up them so that no other man has the chance to keep a glance at her apart from their husbands- “o prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be recognised and not be abused. And ever is allah forgiving and merciful.”- Surah al-ahzab, verse 59. Based on this facts established in the Quran, the Sharia laws have imposed on women certain limitations over them being modifying themselves like wearing fancy dresses, and putting on makeup as well as cutting of hair, as per the claims and opinions made by Butt and Siddiqui (2020). Not only this, there are certain rules in the Quran which have created the inequality among the two genders. For example, males are allowed to possess polygamy, have more testimony than the females, and have superiority over the females in the family, as per the claims and opinions made by Saada (2020).

Conclusion

To consider the compatibility of the Islam with the principle of democracy, it is false to put the claim that all the teachings of the Quran is away from the concept of democracy in the Islamic world. There are about 750 million of Islamic practitioners and followers who live in the societies in the democracy which includes the society of Indonesia, India, Europe, Bangladesh, Israel, Iran, and even North America. These societies offer democracy along with the favourable teachings of the Quran. However, there are certain values and rules of Quran that contradicts with the opinion, views as well as perspectives of the concepts of democracy. The main purpose of democracy is to establish the right to have opinion, views and freedom of speech regarding any matter of concerns in a democratic as well as secular nation. The concepts of Quran that states that people, who follow, practice as well as preach the teaching of the holy book of Quran and the religion of Islam are bound to follow the verses of Allah and Muhammed, the thoughts that the people must lose their individuality and sovereignty in order to follow the Medina contradicts with the concept of democracy.

In this essay, through the research it has been found out that the occurrences of the incompatibility of the principles of democracy with that of the teachings of Quran is more as compared to the occurrences of compatibility. Therefore, it can be concluded that the teachings of Quran is, to some extent, not compatible with the principles of democracy.

References 

Ahmad, I., 2016. Democracy and Islam. In Toward New Democratic Imaginaries-?stanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics (pp. 125-136). Springer, Cham.

Ahyar, M., 2017. Is Islam Compatible With Democracy? Islamist Movement’s Trajectory on Democratization in Indonesia. Walisongo: Jurnal Penelitian Sosial Keagamaan, 25(1), pp.139-72.

Azra, A., 2021. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation. Nearly 90 percent of the country’s total population of approximately 260 million adheres to the Islamic faith. At the same time, Indonesia has, since 1999, occupied the status of the third largest democracy in the world (after India and the Unit-ed States). This dual role is essential to the country’s unique position in the unfolding “war of ideas” taking place in the broader Muslim World between radical interpretations of the religion of Islam and those .... Wars of Ideas: Theology, Interpretation and Power in the Muslim World, p.73.

Butt, P.D.K.M. and Siddiqui, N., 2020. Compatibility between Islam and Democracy. South Asian Studies, 33(2).

Debate, A.N.E., 2021. Islam and Democracy. Islam, Justice, and Democracy, 18, p.15.

Farooq, O. and Aktaruzzaman, K., 2019. Religiosity and perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam: Evidence from the Arab world. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 31(2), pp.266-282.

Ihsan, A.B., 2020. Islam, Democracy, and Equality.

Islam, M.N. and Islam, M.S., 2020. Islam and Democracy: A Philosophical Debate. In Islam and Democracy in South Asia (pp. 67-101). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Kadivar, M., 2018. Islam and Democracy: Perspectives from Reformist and Traditional Islam. In The Politics of Islamism (pp. 23-45). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Menchik, J., 2019. Moderate Muslims and democratic breakdown in Indonesia. Asian Studies Review, 43(3), pp.415-433.

Rahman, M.S., The Compatibility of Islam with Democracy: A Review in the Context of Contemporary World Introduction.

Saada, N., 2020. Perceptions of democracy among Islamic education teachers in Israeli Arab high schools. The Journal of Social Studies Research, 44(3), pp.271-280.

Voll, J.O., 2007. Islam and Democracy: Is Modernization a Barrier?. Religion compass, 1(1), pp.170-178.

Zildjianda, R., 2020, November. Democratic System in the Indonesian Constitution According to Maqasid Shari’ah. In 1st Raden Intan International Conference on Muslim Societies and Social Sciences (RIICMuSSS 2019) (pp. 244-248). Atlantis Press.

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