I just read this question which asks "What kind of government is suggested by Islam? Democracy or Kingdom or …?"

However, I thought it seems a little too broad or opinion-based at such level, because it already assumes (or have to assume) that Islam as a religion is inclusive of a theory of government. However the assumption I believe can be supported as a valid idea.

First, because Islam is considered by Muslims to be the source of ultimate guidance on every aspect of life. This indeed can be understood from various Quranic verses, the most explicit being the verse which asserts: "We sent down you a book that is an explanation for everything."

On the other hand, we also know that Prophet Muhammad himself established a government in Medina which he ruled and governed according to teachings of Islam with collaboration of his companions and followers. In fact, some historians of political theory argue that the formal agreement the Holy Prophet signed with tribes of Medina (known as دستور المدینة or Charter of Medina), can be regarded as the first formal Constitution in history. (See the wiki-page, Constitution of Medina).

Therefore, there does seem to be an actual doctrinal and historical basis for a government/political theory in Islam.

So the question is: what are the other doctrinal or historical evidences that can be used for elaborating a theory of government according to the teachings of Islam. And what are the existing theories of Islamic government, if any, as formulated by Islamic scholars?

Post-script: Please note that this question is not asking for opinions but

1) Quranic and narrated statements related to politics of Islam which may help us in postulating an Islamic political theory, and

2) existing theories on Islamic government.

  • I was wondering if there is any rational reason to close such a profitable question ? Since I assume that a reasonable response to the mentioned question can be so helpful to show which Islamic countries have more suited Islamic governments. (or actually "What kind of government is suggested by Islam?” Jun 30, 2014 at 12:15
  • this question requires a book to answer: khilafah.com/images/images/PDF/Books/RulingSystem.pdf
    – user4841
    Jul 1, 2014 at 12:43
  • and for summary see:khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/issues/…
    – user4841
    Jul 1, 2014 at 12:44
  • There are books on this topic. But except of handful sources such as the so called constitution of Medina and some "test cases" there's not much which would really show how a Muslim country or community should be led unless we'll have a similar religiouse leader such as the Prophet himself and that isn't actually the case.
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


This question is totally about opinion. The Prophet (PBUH) did not provide a way to rule or construct any sort of constitution for us to follow, it is truly up to the decedents for how to select a leader.

The companions did so by doing a Shura consul (constructed by a few people), not to say that what they did is a template for the future, as many other Caliphates to come were constructed differently.

All hadith's from the Prophet all point to the fact that you cannot disobey your Caliph as long as he does not disobey Allah once he is appointed (most of such hadith's can be found on the PDF posted in the comment to your question).

Many people say that Democracy does not work with Islam, which is farthest from the truth. A Caliph can definitely be elected democratically should the people wish for it, however, he is in office until the day of his death or until he disobeys Allah's commands in which the people can force him out by power.

Now on how the governance happens, it is all in the whim of the Caliphate. They even have the power to suspend Islamic sentences like Whipping, Hand cutting, stoning, etc... Or make changes to the Islamic rulings so they see fit. This was done in the time of Caliphate Omar where he suspended the hand cutting for stealing because people were stealing out of hunger and he toughened the divorce rules because the divorce rate was too high. The same occurred with the Prophet PBUH when he entered Mecca and he told his wife about his wish to reconstruct the Kaaba if it wasn't for her people being new to Islam

أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لها : يا عائشة لولا قومك حديث عهدهم بِكُفْر لَنَقَضْتُ الكعبة فَجَعَلْتُ لها بابين : باب يَدخل الناس ، وباب يَخْرُجُون .

I leave you with this Hadith from the prophet to explain how the transition occurs in Islamic Ruling (Prophethood -> Caliphates -> Unjust Kingdom -> Dictatorship Rule -> Caliphates). Many scholars differ on which is at which point of time, some say this was over Caliphate Omar Ibn Abdulaziz however, as time goes things are interrupted differently.

فقد روى الإمام أحمد عن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنه الله، قال: كنا جلوساً في المسجد فجاء أبو ثعلبة الخشني فقال: يا بشير بن سعد أتحفظ حديث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في الأمراء، فقال حذيفة: أنا أحفظ خطبته. فجلس أبو ثعلبة. فقال حذيفة: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: تكون النبوة فيكم ما شاء الله أن تكون، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها، ثم تكون خلافة على منهاج النبوة فتكون ما شاء الله أن تكون، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها، ثم تكون ملكًا عاضًا فيكون ما شاء الله أن يكون، ثم يرفعها إذا شاء الله أن يرفعها، ثم تكون ملكًا جبرية فتكون ما شاء الله أن تكون، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها، ثم تكون خلافة على منهاج النبوة، ثم سكت. قال حبيب: فلما قام عمر بن عبد العزيز، وكان يزيد بن النعمان بن بشير في صحابته، فكتبت إليه بهذا الحديث أذكره إياه. فقلت له: إني أرجو أن يكون أمير المؤمنين - يعني عمر - بعد الملك العاض والجبرية، فأدخل كتابي على عمر بن عبد العزيز فَسُرَّ به وأعجبه.

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