Last week, an arab daily carried the remarks of former Deputy Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour who criticized the “extremist” discourse of several religious groups in Egypt especially recent statements on the ancient Egyptian civilization as well as Islam’s stance on democracy.
Ashour also criticized statements by several Salafi preachers about democracy being a form of apostasy and stressed that the concept of democracy is mentioned in the Holy Quran.
“Several verses in the Quran talk about the concept of ‘shura’ or consultation and the prophet applied this concept all the time. This is what democracy is about,” he said.
Ashour’s statements confirm earlier ones issued by Dar al-Iftaa, the official body in charge of issuing religious edicts on contemporary matters, which stressed that there is no contradiction between Islam and the multi-party system.
The irrational argument that the divinely legislated ‘shura’ is akin to the manmade democracy has been convincingly debunked by the imprisoned scholar, Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (may Allah free him) in the paper titled ‘Democracy a Religion’. In it the Shaykh argues:
“Some ignorant people took Allah’s saying about the monotheist believers: “… whose affairs are settled by mutual consultation” and His saying to the Prophet (saw): ”…And seek their counsel in all affairs”, as a support for their false religion (democracy). They called their putrid democracy a consultation (i.e. they are saying that democracy is the same as a Shura’ – the Islamic method of consultation) – to show and imbue a legitimate religious tinge upon this fake religion – to approve it and to make it permitted.
The comparison of the democracy of polytheist people with the monotheists consultation (i.e. Shura), and the similitude of the consultation council, with the disbeliever’s, sinful, disobedient councils is a vile similitude and false comparison.
……A Muslim must know that the obvious differences between the consultation that Allah legislated for His servants and the putrid democracy is like the difference between the heaven and the land or you can say, as the difference between the Creator and the created. So, the consultation is a divine method, and system… and democracy is made by the human who has corruptions and desires.
The consultation is from Allah’s decree, His religion, but democracy is a disbelief in Allah’s decree and His religion. It contradicts with that. The consultation must be in the matter that has no judgment, but when we have a text, evidence, or a judgment, then there will be no consultation. Allah said: “No believing men and women have any choice in a matter God and His Apostle have decided it.”
Democracy is a gamble on each side. And there will be no consultation for the decree’s judgments, and God’s judgments. The whole consideration on democracy is for the people’s judgment, the people’s legislation in each side. So, they identified it through their constitution saying: “The people are the source of all authority”. Democracy considers that the highest authority in existence is that of people. It is the judgment of the majority, the legislation of the majority, and the religion of the majority. The majority permits and forbids, so, the majority is the god and lord in Democracy. But in a consultation, people, or the majority is that who is under the obligation, commissioned to obey Allah and His Prophet (saw) than to the Muslims’ leader. And the leader is not forced to accept the majority’s opinion, or Judgment. The majority is forced to obey the leader even if he is wrong, unless he calls to the disobedience of Allah.
……Really! Islam calls to consultation, but what is the consultation that Islam calls to?
Allah says to His Prophet (saw):”and seek their counsel in all affairs. And when you have come to a decision, place your trust in Allah alone”. The meaning of this verse is very clear, and obvious. It does not need any interpretation, or any symbolic interpretation. It is an order to the Prophet (saw), then to the Khalifah after him: That is, to examine the opinions of his companions, who are the knowledgeable persons, men of intelligence – to examine their opinions on the issues and matters which can be argued and the matters in which they can exercise a judgement.
He then chooses what he thinks to be right, or in the best or most interest, useful, then to resolve on doing it, unlimited, unrestricted by the opinions of any group, or any limited number, or the majority, or the minority. When he resolves, he trusts in Allah alone.
If he resolves, he will trust in Allah, then do what he determines.
It does not need any evidence or proof that the people who the Prophet (saw) ordered them to consult – and to be models to the khalifahs after him – are the righteous men who apply Allah’s decree, perform Prayer, and pay the Zakat. The fighters, for the sake of Allah, that the Prophet (saw) said about them: “The men of gentleness, and of intelligence from you, must come after me “. They are not atheists, or fighters against Allah’s decree and religion. They are not the wicked who do every evil deed. They are not the people who pretend to have the right to legislate, or to put laws that do not agree with Allah’s religion, and destroy the Islamic divine law. The right place of these and those disbelievers is under the sword or the whip, not in the situation of consultation or the exchange of views.
And yet another verse – the ayah in surat ash-Shura – has the same clarity, clearness, and unambiguousness: “who obey the commands of their Lord and fulfill their devotional obligations, whose affairs are settled by mutual consultation, who spend of what We have given them”.
For a student of knowledge, it is shocking to note such naïve statements coming from those in charge of guiding the affairs of the Muslims. Al-Azhar Islamic University is considered as one of the top universities for Islamic education. It also trains Egyptian government appointed preachers in proselytization.
This also highlights the level of corruption among the scholars associated with the Tawagheet (false deities) who mislead the Muslim masses from the real nature of Islam. From grand mufti of Syria, Jordan, Pakistan to that of the Caucuses – same sickness…. mixing falsehood with truth to legitimize the rule of the rebels of Shariah.
Whereas in stark contrast, the truthful Scholars who do not compromise on their religion, are either in prisons or are waging Jihad in the field. They are the ones to whom the Muslim masses must look up to and follow.
For your information, the grand mufti of the Caucasus is a Rafidi……La Hawla Wala Quwwata Illah Billah !
‘Democracy a Religion’ by Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi