Rafed English

Form of Democracy Acceptable to Islam

by : Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi

The second meaning of democracy has been accepted with certain conditions and qualifications. No legislative authority has the right to oppose the definite laws of Islam which is how we accept democracy. Meanwhile, concerning democracy as a method of solving differences, it must be said that as long as Islamic values are sufficient to solve differences, they shall take precedence, but in case of differences where Islamic laws have no specific way of solving them and there is also no competent arbiter, the majority view shall be preferred.

For example, a number of people form a committee within the framework of law to decide an important matter and all believe in Islam and observe Islamic values, but do not arrive at a consensus on the issue as the majority has a certain opinion while the minority has another opinion and there is no basis to prefer one view over the other—the majority view will take precedence, and opposing majority view shall be considered an undue preference.

As such, whenever we have no preferable option, we can obtain a sound opinion from the majority view which will be credible and preferred. If through the majority view of ignoramuses, we can not obtain a sound opinion, preferring that opinion will be rationally reproachable and incorrect. This method is credible to a certain extent, but it is not correct to abuse it by placing the majority of people against a minority of experts. For example, let us assume that for sketching a military plan there are ten military experts and one thousand common people who are unfamiliar with military issues.

If attention is given to the view of common people who are unfamiliar with military issues while the view of experts is rejected, this act is unreasonable. Every intelligent person says that the view of the experts takes precedence over the view of non-experts. Thus, democracy as a means of solving differences with certain limits and conditions is credible, but as the basis of giving preference to every majority over every minority it is not credible.

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