Is Islam a political religion? If so, what elements of it make it political?

Does Islam have a political system in itself for governing people?

Please provide reference to verses of the Quran in your answer.

  • What do you mean 'political religion'? Jun 24, 2012 at 23:32
  • 1
    @muntoo A religion that also has systems to govern people
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 24, 2012 at 23:50
  • There are more than one question in your post. Please move them to separate questions and focus on one question in each post, bundling several question in one questions is not a good practice.
    – Kaveh
    Jun 25, 2012 at 0:33
  • It would also help in answering the question if you explain the words you are using like "politics" since they may not have the same meaning for everyone. My guess is that you want to know either about Islam's view regarding political systems or about Islam requiring particular rules regarding non-personal matters in a society.
    – Kaveh
    Jun 25, 2012 at 0:35
  • 1
    @Kaveh SE does not accept quesiton with short text. and in fact other questions are regarding main question. no I do not want view of Islam regarding politics. does Islam has political system inside itself for governing people? Jun 25, 2012 at 0:43

2 Answers 2


Allah SWT describes Islam as been a deen in the Qur'an, an accurate translation of which is "a way of life." To submit to Allah is to live life and worship Him the way He wants us to. As such, Islam includes directives to us about conducting ourselves as a society.

Politics and government are not exactly synonyms of each other. I would say there are more concrete directive on government than there are about politics in Islam. For example there are numerous ayaat and ahadith on whoever is in charge of a community on having to establish justice and equity and judge by Allah's Law. There are also ayaat about members of a community obeying those in authority. Allah established Himself as the Lawgiver and Legislator, both for ritual worship and for other things in life, and associating partners in him in this Name of his would be shirk. This is the government aspect.

For politics, the Qur'an talks about shura, or mutual consultation that the leader calls. Apart from that, the scholars have attempted to frame politics through a fiqhi approach. Mawardi is an excellent example of someone who advocates this approach. Ibn Taymiyyah calls for a more pragmatic approach to politics based on ground reality and thinking in terms of the aims of Shari'ah.

For more, I recommend reading this recent book by Prof. Ovamir Anjum.

For your other questions - the decision to go to war is obviously political. Islam lays down very clear and specific rules about when and how to go to war. And finally, qisas is part of criminal law.


The word for politics in Islam is Siyasah this means simply, to look after the affairs. The point isn't the word it is the definition and how you define it (and i know that's not what you are asking).

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the head of state when he migrated to Madinah and from there he spread the deen to vast parts of the World. And he commanded as we can see in this Hadith:

"The tribes of Israa'il were ruled by the Prophets, every time a Prophet deceased he was followed by another Prophet, and there will be no Prophets after me, and there will be Khulafaa (successors) and they will be many." The companions then asked "What do you order us?" To which the Prophet replied "Fulfil your pledge of allegiance to them one after another, and give them their rights, and truly Allah will ask them about their responsibilities" (Bukhari / Muslim) Hadith related to ruling

In the Arabic of this hadith: The verb " تسو سهم " - to manage the affairs - indicates that the Prophets before the Messenger of Allah also used to rule their followers, managing their affairs according to whatever had been revealed to them by Allah.

Without politics a state isn't able to function properly, the politics and it's ruling need to be wholistically taken from the Islam i.e. it's legal sources. It cannot be a mix of divine law (shariah) with others such as socialism, capitalism etc although some things may be similar.

The system of Politics is very different in Islam as it doesn't leave it to the whims and desires of the human to come with law which will naturally have disparity and bias. In fact it is forbidden in Islam to seek other than Allah's law. As Allah (swt) says:

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers.

Sura maida

  • thanks for this useful answer. about those Khulafa was Yazid among them also and according this Hadith should have Imam Hussain and other Muslims given pledge of allegiance to Yazid? did not said prophet more signs of Khulafa to we can distinguish real and fake Khulafa? Jun 25, 2012 at 1:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .