Since the fundamental principle of Democracy is rule by people whereas that of Islam is rule by Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى) alone, would this be considered shirk? Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى) is the only one who has the ultimate authority to legislate and in Democracy this authority is given to people. Hence, in countries where Muslims are a majority, however not necessarily Islamic as Western laws are implemented as opposed to Shariah as the law of the land, being Democratic, the elected representatives, although Muslim, may pass a law making Halal what Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى) made Haram and vice-versa. Hence can we say that Democracy is also diametrically opposite of Islam (as it is the case for Secularism)?
For example (this was mentioned by Dr. Bilal Philips in another class): The Prime Minister of a Muslim country a few years ago changed the law of inheritance from being women receiving half shares than that of men to equal shares for both. As this law was passed through Congress by means of voting by the elected Muslim representative, it is the essence of Democracy; however this is clearly not Islamic. I was wondering whether this would be considered shirk or not.
Kindly, no it would not be considered "Shirk" if it is used where it is permitted for reaching the goals of the divine religion not contradicting that which Islam teaches.
There are cases where the Almighty permits the judging/ruling of the human as the authority correlating to that which is permitted in Islam.
Furthermore, since it is a tool, it is also permissible in its usage in situations that correlate to the society, economy and livelihood of the population such as driving laws, laws of polluting, etc., if the method and means of it correlates to the general teaching and goals of Islam such as; safety, ease, etc. Furthermore, Scholars should also be sought for their advice, knowledge, and facilitation in the process.
The concept of a female receiving half the share of a man is not always the ruling. For example, if there is an individual with one daughter, and he passes away, then her inheritance will be more than the concept of what you have described. In the case where the inheritance involves males with females then the discussion of the distribution of shares, which you have mentioned, get involved.
Whatever the case, the point behind this observation is that a male has an obligation to spend upon certain individuals while the female is not obligated to do so, such as; the situation of a husband and wife etc. The knowledge and understanding of the "Mi-rath" is deep and full of information.
I think you mean to say certain laws if legislated and if it contradicts a correct specified ruling, then we can say that there may be a contradiction. So as such, though western laws may be implemented in certain countries, that does not necessitate complete wrong as we discussed before.
If a Muslim country takes driving laws from a non Muslim country and implements it into its civilization, this does not make it "Kufr". There may be a conclusion a person reaches due to interpretation, misunderstanding, and many other matters, and it does not necessitate "kufr" at an individual level. And yes, it may involve a ruler of a country.
Whatever the case, the concept of "Shari'ah" is an understanding of law by way of the Qur'an and Authentic Sunnah. How it is understood is through the understanding of the receiver of the information, his observation, and thereafter the implementation at a scholarly level the learning and observation of the Qur'an and Authentic Sunnah.
So there is not a book which is an obligation to adhere titled "Shari'ah book" which as a 1-2-3 etc, step process in implementing laws. No, there is the Qur'an and Authentic Sunnah, teachings which are extracted through the human eye.
In history among the great leaders of Islamic Civilizations, we had variances in certain laws, rulings, actions etc between Umar and Uthman (رضى الله عنهما) though both of their goals is to spread the goodness which is "Islamic". Through interpretation and his understanding, Ali (رضى الله عنه) implemented certain actions which certain innovators ruled him a disbeliever for. Of course this is wrong and a major fabrication.
Democracy is a tool of government. As we discussed before, if it is ruled through its use as permissible to bury your daughter alive, then it is not OK. However, if it is concluded through its use certain beneficial laws which is a means in reaching the goals of the Islamic teachings, justice, rights, etc., then this is good and okay.
And Allah knows Best.< Back to Questions