Shūrā (Consultation) and Democracy: An Islamic Perspective

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 205 (1/22)

Shūrā (Consultation) and Democracy: An Islamic Perspective

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, holding its 22nd session in Kuwait City, State of Kuwait, on 2–5 Jumādā al-Ākhirah 1436h (22–25 March 2015),

Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concerning

Shūrā (Consultation) and Democracy: An Islamic Perspective, Having listened to the in-depth discussions on the subject,


First: Shūrā is one of the basic rules of Islamic life and a fundamental aspect of the Islamic governance system. Muslims are obliged to observe it, as Allāh the Almighty said, «…who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation,» (Al- Shūrā, 38) and He The Almighty also said to draw the attention of His infallible Messenger SAW whose teachings are always derived from revelation, «…and consult them in affairs(of the moment) then when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allāh.» (Āl-ʿImrān, 159). The Prophet SAW carried out this divine order in the best way to the extent that his companion Abū Hurairah يضر هللا هنع said, “I have never seen anyone who consults his companions more frequently than the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings upon him.”

Second: In principle, there is no harm in benefiting from democratic mech- anisms for achieving private or public interests, provided that such mechanisms are taken in isolation from their underlying philosophy in non-Muslim societies, which originates from the principle of “Rule of the People,” and has nothing to do with compliance to rules and principles of Shariah. Besides the observation of Shariah norms, benefiting from democratic mechanisms in this manner would also entail observation of the unique characteristics of each Muslim country, in compliance to the principle of “interest recognition,” which constitutes a fun- damental basis of “derivation of rulings” in Islamic jurisprudence.


  1. Giving more care for dissemination of the culture of Shūrā in Islam by

indicating its original principles and applications through lectures, sem- inars, education curricula, media and other means of communication.

  1. Specialized scholars and researchers are called upon to conduct more research that could lead to new forms and applications derived from the principle of Shūrā within the framework of Shariah norms.

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.

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