In your earlier response, you wrote that Democracy is the recommended way of Islamic ruling according to the Quran. However, in yet another place, you wrote that a ruler is obliged to rule by Shariah otherwise he will be guilty of kufr. My question is, how will a ruler rule both by Shariah and also accept Democracy when the citizens of the country have no regard for Islamic values?
In our replies we had asserted that the Holy Qur’an exhorts Muslims to adopt any form of government, consented by the citizens of the state. Any system, which fulfills this condition of free and active participation of the citizens in the process of running the state’s affairs, can be adopted. Obviously this refers to a state where the majority of the citizens are true believers. Our statement that if a ruler openly and knowingly disobeys divine rulings commits Kufr also refers to a person governing a Muslim state. It should be appreciated that even in a Muslim state where the majority wants to live under the Islamic rule differences of opinions regarding the correct interpretation may arise. In this case the ruler is required to adopt the interpretation favored by the majority of the citizens.
The case of a country where people do not attach any importance to Islamic rulings and prefer legal codes and system other than Islam is different. Such a population is not expected to respect Islamic rulings. If a true believer gets the opportunity to be elected as a ruler of such a county then he should avoid forcing the subject to live under the Shari`ah. According to the divine directive of respecting the opinion of the majority of the citizens it would be absolutely wrong for him to promulgate his own interpretation of the Shari`ah in case of difference of opinion on the correct interpretation of the Shari`ah, or even to promulgate the Shari`ah in the land, in the first place, in case the majority does not attach any importance to the Shari`ah at all. He could either abdicate the office for the person of the liking of the citizens or he could try to educate people in this regard and inculcate the true spirit of Islam in the minds of the subject wisely.
I hope this helps
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
June 15, 2003