In this question asking if a Muslim living in a democracy should turn it into an Islamic state, most of the answers seem to agree that the answer is yes, they should. But my question is, why is this preferable to simply emigrating to an already established Islamic state? Doesn't this allow the Muslim to live in an Islamic state as they desire, without having to impose it onto others?

  • The answers on that question actually completely miss one crucial nuance: the jurisprudence on this matter is different for Muslim majorities and minorities. Muslims living as a minority are under no obligation to "make it an Islamic state." Nowhere in the texts does it say to do that. The answer is different if they are living as a majority under a government not based on Islamic shari`a. In fact the precedent of Muslims living as a minority in Ethiopia peacefully and without political ambitions strengthens this argument. The obligation on minorities of course is to present the message.
    – Ansari
    Dec 18, 2013 at 1:58
  • I would question what does an Islamic state mean? Does it mean those which clearly state Shari'a as the source of jurisprudence, or simply any which apply Shari'a in parts of their jurisprudence.
    – Ghasan
    Dec 18, 2013 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


Quran says:

لَا إِكْرَ‌اهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّ‌شْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ‌ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْ‌وَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. http://tanzil.net/#2:256

According to this verse Muslims have no right to impose religion to others. But please note freedom of religion (beliefs) and establishing Islamic state have no conflict with each other. The best example is that many Jews and Christians and even idol worshipers were living freely at the same city of prophet and Muslims and prophet did not impose Islam to them. When an Islamic state is established there are some social laws made for people that all should respect them like laws in the any non-Islamic country but this does not mean all the people leaving in that Islamic state are imposed to accept Islam. They can be non-Muslim and believe in anything they wish but only should respect only to public laws of state. Anyway any state has some laws that is lined with basic ideologies of its rulers.

Another note is about duty of establishing an Islamic state. according to Islam when there are the minimum number of serious Muslim supporters required for establishing an Islamic state in a society, so establishing the Islamic state become obligatory for them. And if the mentioned number is less than the min. required it is not obligatory. This law has nothing to do with being majority or minority. But it depends only to determining that if there are enough serious supporters who can form the required power to establish Islamic state or not. Indeed such movements can have political dangers for Muslims living in such a society. So according to Quran if in a society exposing the beliefs can have danger of death for Muslim but has no benefit for Islam so the Muslim has the duty to hide his beliefs from public:

لَّا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَن تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُ‌كُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ‌

Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination. http://tanzil.net/#3:28

Exactly same as what did messenger of Allah did at first 3 years after recurring his first revelation in Mecca and only secretly invited trusted people to Islam without having any public political movements. But when he found enough supporters he declared his movement against the pagan state of that time publicly that resulted in actions against messenger SAWW and Muslims and they became enforced to live out of city and Meccans were banned to have any relation with them even selling food to them. so some of Muslims died from hunger during those sanctions.

There are many laws in Islam like Jihad, religious tax, Qisas, Hadd, Diah, Amr bi Maruf, Nahy an Munkar,... that make it clear that it is impossible to practice Islam completely without establishing an Islamic state.

Please note in establishing an Islamic state Islam has problem only with heads of non-Islamic states who resist and fight against inviting their people to Islam and establishing Islamic state. But Islam has no problem with people if they accept or not accept Islam. According to Islam people should be always free in religion. But heads of states are different problem and should be deal with proper methods like the letter messenger of Allah Muhammad SAWW sent to Kings of two main superpower of world at 1400 years ago i.e. Roman Empire and Persian Empire the only two main power of that time. And finally if they do not accept Islam logically Islam has Jihad for such Kings and dictators who are enemy of God.

Also there is no room for liberal democracy in Islam and based on Quran state is only for God:

قُلْ إِنِّي عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّ‌بِّي وَكَذَّبْتُم بِهِ ۚ مَا عِندِي مَا تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِهِ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۖ يَقُصُّ الْحَقَّ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ‌ الْفَاصِلِينَ

Say, "Indeed, I am on clear evidence from my Lord, and you have denied it. I do not have that for which you are impatient. The decision is only for Allah. He relates the truth, and He is the best of deciders." http://tanzil.net/#6:57

In Arabic language the word for State is حکومت which its root is ح ک م and the word حکم in this verse is exactly the root for state and means: “The decision/command/government/judgement is only for Allah." The main function of state is decision making. And any decision in state or government which is not Islamic is rejected in this verse.

Please note Islamic democracy is completely different of liberal democracy. Islamic democracy means giving choice to people from options that all of them are previously qualified by Islam. but liberal democracy is giving the choice to people based on no limitation and only based on what their "self" with and want that mostly the with of this "self" is same as with of Satan because Satan has been very active for thousands of years and most of people are deceived by Iblis and Satans.

أَرَ‌أَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? http://tanzil.net/#25:43

وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ‌ مَن فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُ‌صُونَ

And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying. http://tanzil.net/#6:116

وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَحَشَرْ‌نَا عَلَيْهِمْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ قُبُلًا مَّا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ‌هُمْ يَجْهَلُونَ

And even if We had sent down to them the angels [with the message] and the dead spoke to them [of it] and We gathered together every [created] thing in front of them, they would not believe unless Allah should will. But most of them, [of that], are ignorant. http://tanzil.net/#6:111

Also movement of Imam Hussain a.s. at Karbala for making Islamic state shows it is highly needed. (Battle of Karbala)

References and further study:

Islamic Government

  • 1
    I have to disagree with one point. The question was "Should we move to Islamic State or try and change the secular laws to Islamic" and you mentioned "Movement of Imam Hussain ra at Karbala" as an example but I have to disagree because correct me if I am wrong but there was no other Islamic state besides the current one and Imam Hussain ra didn't have the choice to move to a Islamic State. (Correct me if I am wrong) but the questioner says they have the option to move to an Islamic State. Which is much better. No one has the courage to stand up against a country like our Imam ra did. So ...
    – user14305
    Nov 22, 2015 at 15:14

The answer to this question depends on an individual's personal beliefs and perspective. Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of justice and the establishment of a just and equitable society. However, there is no specific directive in Islamic teachings that mandates Muslims to establish an Islamic state in a secular democracy.

In a secular democracy, Muslims have the right to practice their religion freely and participate in the democratic process to bring about change within the existing system. This may include advocating for policies that align with Islamic values and principles, such as social justice, equality, and human rights.

On the other hand, some Muslims may feel that moving to an Islamic state would provide them with a more supportive environment to practice their religion and live according to Islamic principles. However, it is important to note that not all Islamic states necessarily reflect Islamic values and principles in their governance, and that individuals should consider various factors when making a decision to relocate.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to work towards establishing an Islamic state in a secular democracy or to move to an Islamic state should be based on an individual's personal beliefs, circumstances, and the situation in their current location. It is important for Muslims to prioritize justice, compassion, and empathy in their actions and decisions, and to work towards creating a better society for all people, regardless of their religion or background. To find out the difference between the two please follow the link: https://www.islamiqate.com/81/whats-difference-between-islamic-state-secular-democracy

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