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Should Muslims who live in a secular democracy (like the United States) attempt to turn the country into an Islamic state? For example, should Muslims support ammendments to the U.S. Constitution that abolish the separation of church and state and that establish Islam as the national religion of the U.S.? Should they vote for political parties that would legislate based on Islamic teachings?

  • related links for answer:kalamullah.com/manhaj21.html regarding obligations:khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/issues/… The first link (scholarly) suggests to not use democratic means to achieve this. Democracy is also considered Shirk , hence participation in democracy is frowned.
    – user940
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 2:39
  • Note that this question was asked before the terrorist organization known as the "Islamic State" declared itself a world-wide caliphate and became widely known throughout the world.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Absolutely they should!

Contrary to popular belief, God (through His Quran) promotes a democratic system where participation of all citizens is encouraged and facilitated (58:11). Furthermore, He requires election of officials based on qualifications and principles of justice (4:58), and consultation and representation in public affairs (42:38).

58:11 O you who acknowledge, if you are told to make room in the councils, then you shall make room. God will then make room for you. If you are asked to step down, then step down. God will raise those among you who acknowledge, and those who acquire knowledge to higher ranks. God is fully aware of everything you do.

4:58 God orders you to delegate the responsibilities to those who are qualified. If you judge between the people, then you shall judge with justice. It is always the best that God prescribes for you. God is Hearer, Seer.

42:38 Those who have responded to their Lord, and they hold the contact prayer, and their affairs are conducted by mutual consultation among themselves, and from Our provisions to them they give.

In fact, the first democratic system was established when Muhammad was elected as a revolutionary leader by those who accepted his message on their own free will. Even women enjoyed the freedom of voting and pledging for him as recorded in verse 60:12:

60:12 O you prophet, if the acknowledging women come to make allegiance to you that they will not set up anything beside God, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their born children, nor fabricate any falsehood, nor disobey you in any matter which is righteous, then you shall accept their allegiance, and ask God to forgive them. God is Forgiver, Compassionate.

After Muhammad, the election continued for about thirty years with the elections of Abu Bakr, Omar, Ali, and Usman. Usman's weakness and nepotism lead the Umayyad tribe to take over. Thus, the democratic system, which started with Muhammad, was replaced with monarchy several decades after his departure.

Further reading on how The Quran describes an Islamic state and human rights:

I would vote for that! Wouldn't you?

  • I think the problem is what kind of Islamic state? Like you said, there were democracies like this and the Regency of Algiers that came later and the first unique Islamic sect after Muhammad's death was the Bedouin nomads of the Kharijites who were considered a form of anarchist democracy that opposed tyranny, but you have others who believe in a state similar to a religious dictatorship or something ISIS has. Just like many other religions and philosophies, what is considered a 'correct' Islamic state varies from group to group.
    – user56061
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 14:08

First there are many Islamic opinions which consider Democracy to be Shirk.

An excerpt from the fatwa at Islamqa says:

Undoubtedly the democratic system is one of the modern forms of shirk, in terms of obedience and following, or legislation, as it denies the sovereignty of the Creator and His absolute right to issue laws, and ascribes that right to human beings. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged) — you and your fathers — for which Allaah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allaah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism); that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not”

[Yoosuf 12:40]

“The decision is only for Allaah”

[al-An’aam 6:57]

But the same fatwa also quotes another scholar which hold elections obligatory with the only intention to establish the Shariah, by appointing a Shariah friendly member:

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on elections, and he replied: I think that elections are obligatory; we should appoint the one who we think is good, because if the good people abstain, who will take their place? Evil people will take their place, or neutral people in whom there is neither good nor evil, but they follow everyone who makes noise. So we have no choice but to choose those who we think are fit.

So based on the above fatwa , if there is such a legislation to establish Islam as a national religion than Yes it is obligatory to support it and those (even among the Muslims) who oppose it would be approaching Kufr.

A relevant fatwa was asked, from which it is very clear that it is an obligation to support all such endeavor , there should not be any fear of political correctness to achieve this :

As you know, here in Algeria we have what are called legislative elections. There are parties which call for Islamic rule, and there are others that do not want Islamic rule. What is the ruling on one who votes for something other than Islamic rule even though he prays?

They replied:

The Muslims in a country that is not governed according to Islamic sharee’ah should do their utmost and strive as much as they can to bring about rule according to Islamic sharee’ah, and they should unite in helping the party which is known will rule in accordance with Islamic sharee’ah. As for supporting one who calls for non-implementation of Islamic sharee’ah, that is not permissible, rather it may lead a person to kufr, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And so judge (you O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) among them by what Allaah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) far away from some of that which Allaah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know that Allaah’s Will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly, most of men are Faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allaah).

  1. Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people who have firm Faith”

[al-Maa'idah 5:49-50].

Hence when Allaah stated that those who do not rule in accordance with Islamic sharee’ah are guilty of kufr, He warned against helping them or taking them as allies or close friends, and He commanded the believers to fear Him if they were truly believers. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Take not as Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers) those who take your religion as a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before you, and nor from among the disbelievers; and fear Allaah if you indeed are true believers”

[al-Maa’idah 5:57]

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (1/373).

Allah knows best

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