What is the process of the formation of government in an Islamic country?

Is there any democracy in Islam?

  • From my understanding democracy would not be compatible with Islam. Similarly Christianity is not compatible to democracy - however it has been morphed to work.
    – user206
    Jun 30, 2012 at 0:02
  • 1
    @DanAndrews. I once read that the Christian scriptures always assume Christians will be in a minority, and give no guidance on how to behave in power, while Islamic scriptures are pretty much the opposite. It's one of the major differences between the religions.
    – TRiG
    Jul 17, 2012 at 17:35
  • @TRiG I can see where they were coming from.
    – user206
    Jul 17, 2012 at 18:27
  • Also this answer might contain some useful points for you, in shaa' Allah ;)
    – owari
    Jan 15, 2013 at 5:15

3 Answers 3


There are no direct instructions on what form of government is considered Islamic. The closest thing in the Quran in regards to government is this ayah:

And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend.

Ash Shuraa (42:38)

Some scholars have interpreted this as proof for a representative government.

Other people will point to these two ayahs as proof for the Caliphate style of government:

'And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."'

Al-Baqara (2:30)

'[We said], "O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of Allah ." Indeed, those who go astray from the way of Allah will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account.'

Sad (38:26)

However, these two ayahs are about two very special cases (Adam and David) who were directly appointed by Allah. There is no mention on how a leader may be chosen without the miraculous intervention of Allah.

In fact, if we look at the history of the Caliphate (even the first four Rashidun Caliphs) there was no uniform way of choosing a Caliph. Appointing the Caliph was actually dictated by the current affairs of the time.

All of this has lead many scholars to conclude that Allah has left the matter of how to rule themselves to humans. A democratically representative government is not un-Islamic in the view of many (but not all) scholars.


in Islam the ruler of Muslims is called Caliph

according to shia Islam Caliph only can be selected by God and so do not recognize Abubakr and Umar and Uthman as real Caliphs appointed by God.

but according to sunni Caliph can be selected by people (can be considered democracy) but in fact above Caliphs were not selected by vote and for first was selected by a limited meeting with absence of Ali S.A. and second was by will of first and 3th was by another meeting.

do you believe prophet talked about every detail part of life and did not said anything about political leader of Islam Ummah and left it for people to themselves select any one they like by voting or any other way they wish? Caliph literally means deputy. and is representative of God in earth for political leadership of Islamic government.

shia Muslims for proving their claim about Caliph use some verses of Quran and Ghadir sermon of prophet:

Quran 6:57 says:

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ "The command rests with none but Allah:" (the word حکم in this verse (command) has same root and meaning of word حکومت meaning government)

so if prophet is really messenger of God so according to above verse did appoint the Caliph or not? or left it for people select it?

Quran 2:30 says:

"I am appointing Caliph on earth" إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً

this verse uses exactly the Arabic word for Caliph. if God appoints Caliph so did God appoint the Caliph after prophet? or left it for people select it by voting or shura (meeting) or etc. anyway voting shura,.. are not appointing by God and are appointing by people.

also this verse:

يَا دَاوُودُ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاكَ خَلِيفَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَىٰ فَيُضِلَّكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَضِلُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ بِمَا نَسُوا يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ

[We said], "O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth [Caliph], so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of Allah." Indeed, those who go astray from the way of Allah will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account. [38:26]

uses exactly the Arabic word for Caliph. and God says: WE made you Caliph. so did God do the same for Caliph after prophet? or this time God chaged his mind and left it people make Caliph by voting or shura or etc?

if Imams could not be political Caliph it was because Umayyids and Abbasids did not let them and kept them in home arrest or killed them and warned them to not have any political activity. what you think? Imam Husain (sa) go to Yazid and say: please give me the politial power. and Yazid say OK come sit here in my chair and I go home good bye?!! you are so simple thinking. who Killed Imams of Shia? they all were killed by fake Caliphs because they wanted to be political leaders.

shura is for when God did no specify some thing or any part of religion? for example can some Muslims make shura and change Zuhr Salat to 2 rakah? or remove fasting from Islam by shura?

more info:

Hadith of the pond of Khumm



No, democracy is not compatible with Islam.

وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ 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.
Enam 116 (6/116)

The word "Ard" written in bold face symbolizes Dunya in Quran. Dunya is the apparent surface of what we sense and perceive about this world in our lives. There is another word "Sama", which symbolizes the understanding of the facts behind the apparent surface called "Dunya".

Eating sugar is a delight for human. It is a delight of Dunya.
Knowing that sugar is not actually beneficial, and avoiding excess usage of it is a decision taken with a knowledge from Sama.

In this ayat, Allah says that if we take our paths according to the decisions of majority of people living in Dunya, then we enter wrong paths. Allah wants us the avoid the decisions taken by the majority of people living in Dunya. Democracy is applying decisions of all people in the world; decisions of both living in Dunya and Sama. Then the problem is, if we take decision of all people on Earth, would we accidentally take decisions of majority of people in Dunya?

The answer lies in another ayats. There are tons of ayats stating that most of the people will be in the wrong path, most of them will be indulged into Dunya. Thus, taking opinion of majority all people on Earth will lead to wrong decision. Democracy is not compatible with Islam.

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