Caliphate and Western Democracy: A Comparative Analysis


By Afnan Wasif

According to contemporary times, human life is the amalgamation of individual life and collective life. Individual life is divided into three areas: dogma, rituals and social customs. Similarly, there are three spheres of collective life: the social, economic and political systems. It is believed that religion is only related to individual life and has no relation to collective life. As a result, secularism emerged. However, Islam is the perfect and complete code of human life and it provides guidance in all these aspects of life. In particular, Islam has a distinct and unique political and governmental system. This system is called “caliphate”. The caliphate is the protection of religion and the management of world affairs through it. The defender of the caliphate is known as the caliph.

Caliph (ruler) is chosen by the mutual consent of the intellectuals of the society alone and these intellectuals are those who are honest, wise and incorruptible. This system encompasses both individual and collective human life. Such kind of global political and governmental system is not given by any religion other than Islam. On the other hand, the western political and governmental system is “democracy”.

Simply put, democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people. This is not a sufficient system for humans. It has some definite downsides. The main flaw here is that everyone is equal when selecting a rule. His caliber or intellectual level is not taken into account. “Say, O Prophet, are those who know equal to those who do not know?” (Quran 39:9). Democracy is failing here.

Disadvantages of Western Democracy:

West believes that democracy is a typically and exclusively Western phenomenon with specific requirements. Democratizing non-Western societies should follow Western patterns and models. The country’s politics are separated between the opposition party and the ruling party. They are both trying to defame each other. They always try to create chaos. Consequently, no party can govern serenely. Due to western democracy and its chaotic culture, Pakistan was divided (fall of Dhaka). Provincial fanaticism reached its peak. Linguistic conflicts developed. Assemblies are bought and sold. Thieves kidnap and kill anyone whenever they want. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The whole nation has become a fan of athletes and movie actors and even leaders seem to be addicted to them.

Concept of opposition in Islam and democracy:

The opposition must exist in Western democracies. This democratic system is considered incomplete without opposition. Western powers are trying to induce the opposition to hold the ruling party in its cruel claws, conform to its demands and keep it as its slave. As a result, the ruling party operates at the behest of Western powers and in such a way that its power remains intact. And so the whole country becomes a slave to non-Muslim Western powers.

In the Caliphate, the Caliph is not absolute because the supreme power belongs to Allah. He works under the supervision and direction of the universal law of Quran, Sunnah and Shura (counsel).

This Shura is not the opposition but the group responsible for keeping the Caliph on the straight and narrow. Shura is the cabinet alternative. As there is no concept of opposition in Islam, Islam only allows constructive and corrective criticism. The Shura and the general masses have the power to impeach him if the head of state does not make the right decision. But he can’t remove the caliph for no reason. “If the situation of the caliph changes due to which he is not eligible for the office of caliph, then the Shura can depose him.”

Islamic and Western position on the Constitution:

The constitution of Muslims is the Koran and the Sunnah. It is the universal law. There is no doubt about that. This constitution is free from change and the world is unable to bring such a constitution. The Holy Prophet said, “I leave two things between you, one is the Quran and the other is the Sunnah. As long as you both hang in there, you won’t go astray. In a democracy, a particular segment of a country is its supreme ruler; let them be governed by the constitution they themselves wrote. This man-made constitution keeps changing day by day. Each successive ruler continues to disperse the first constitution.

The caliphate is not a dictatorship:

Some Western scholars and ideologues have attempted to portray Islam as undemocratic and inherently authoritarian. By thus distorting Islam, they seek to prove that Islam has a set of values ​​inferior to Western liberal democracy and that it is an obstacle to the worldwide progress of civilization. This misconception also promotes Israel’s claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East. Hazrat Umar (R.A) said: “The Caliphate is based on mutual consultation. It is necessary for the Caliph to consult the Majlis-e-Shura. The caliphate is not a dictatorship. People who defame the caliphate and say that the caliphate is the name of the dictatorship. In fact, they do not know the system of the Islamic caliphate. Allah Himself says that the work of Muslims is done by mutual consultation. Therefore, to say that the Caliphate is a dictatorship is an assumption based on ignorance of the Islamic system of government.

Reasons for the unacceptability of democracy:

The form of voting that prevails in the democratic world is unacceptable from an Islamic point of view. The reasons are as follows.

  • Candidates conduct election campaigns to obtain the majority of votes. These campaigns take place in the form of rallies, conventions and rallies which also sow chaos in the country. They spend most of their income to make these campaigns a success. After coming to power, they return to the national treasury to compensate for this economic loss.
  • Competition between parties or candidates turns into animosity. Competitive feelings arise against each other. Allah has forbidden it. “Believers are brothers, so arrange between your brothers. And fear Allah in order to obtain mercy” (Quran 49:10). As the ongoing democratic elections are destroying this brotherhood. This style of election is a vicious act. hatred through alcoholic beverages and gambling and turn away from remembrance of Allah and prayer. So don’t you give up? (Quran 5:91)
  • Voting is a precious thing. But ultimately, the public ignores its significance. Wealthy candidates buy their opinions for money. And people also sell their opinion and take the price of open corruption. Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, “curses those who offer bribes and accept bribes in judgments”.
  • In this democratic era, freedom of expression is openly allowed. Journalists attempt to suppress the truth by becoming spokespersons for certain ideologies. Journalism has also become a business. However, journalism is the voice of the heart and conscience. But in the field of democratic politics, it can be bought for a few cents. If you try to ban it, the requirements of democracy are flouted and you try to blackmail the government.
  • Therefore, the current democratic system is prohibited in any way. This system is contrary to the Islamic system. Islam does not need Western democracy.


The Quran, Sunnah and Islamic beliefs prove that there must be one Caliph or ruler of the whole Islamic world. And this rule can be called by any name. “Remember Allah’s favor upon you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so you – by His grace – became brothers.” (Quran 3:103) Following this command from Allah, first, Muslims should establish a great Islamic state by removing the borders between their so-called independent countries and appointing a single ruler. Third, build your own exclusive defense. And the fourth is to use the same currency and the fifth is to abolish separate passports and make our nationality the same and that is the nationality that Islam gave us. Because Allah has made us brothers in the firm relationship of Islam. And when we are all brothers, our nationality must be one. Tying Muslims to different nationalities is a flagrant violation of Islam. Muslims must put an end to these anti-Islamic conspiracies and restrictions. The greatest of these conspiracies is Western democracy.

The complete eradication of mutual disunity and external fear and danger is only possible with the establishment of this caliphate system. In today’s society where the murder market is in turmoil, bullying and unrest are endemic; all of this is a product of the western system of democracy. The only way to save society from all these tribulations is to push back this democratic system and establish an Islamic system of government, the caliphate, in its place.

Islam is not as rigid as people think.

“Don’t raise your children like [your] parents raised you, they were born for a different time,” Hazrat Ali (R. A). It is very clear to a large extent that Islam offers room for interpretation and flexibility. The presidential form of government needs some changes such as the procedure for selecting the president (ruler) which is also our core issue discussed in this article. By implementing and adopting all Islamic principles and especially by following the method regarding the selection of the president (ruler), the presidential form of government can prevail in contemporary times.

The author is a BS Strategic Studies student at National Defense University, Islamabad. He was reachable at [email protected]


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