Democracy is a man-made system, meaning rule by the people for the people. Thus it is contrary to Islam, because the rule is for Allaah, the Most High, the Almighty, and it is not permissible to give legislative rights to any human being, no matter who he is.
It says in Mawsoo’at al-Adyaan wa’l-Madhaahib al- Mu’aasirah (2/1066, 1067):
Undoubtedly the democratic system is one of the modern forms of Shirk in terms of obedience and following, or legislation.
It denies the sovereignty of the Creator and His absolute right to issue laws, and it ascribes that right to human beings.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
فَٱلْحُكْمُ لِلَّهِ ٱلْعَلِىِّ ٱلْكَبِيرِ.
“So the judgment is with Allaah, the Most High, the Most Great.” [Ghaafir 40:12]
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Yusuf (12:40):
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ إِلَّآ أَسْمَآءًۭ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَآ أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤُكُم
مَّآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَٰنٍ ۚ
إِنِ ٱلْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ ۚ
ذَٰلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ.
“You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged) — you and your fathers — for which Allaah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgment) is for none but Allaah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism);that is the (true) straight religion, but most menknow not.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-An’aam (6:57):
إِنِ ٱلْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ.
“The decision is only for Allaah.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat at-Teen (95:8):
أَلَيْسَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَحْكَمِ ٱلْحَٰكِمِينَ.
“Is not Allaah the Most Just of judges.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Ma’idah (5:50):
أَفَحُكْمَ ٱلْجَٰهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ ۚ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ حُكْمًۭا لِّقَوْمٍۢ يُوقِنُونَ.
“Is it the judgment of (the time of) ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allaah in judgment for a people who are certain (in faith).”
Ibn Katheer (Rahimahullaah) said in his Tafseer: “Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) rebukes those who abandon the Judgment of Allaah, the Almighty,
which includes every type of righteous goodthing and prohibits every type of evil, in favor of opinions, desires and customs that people themselves invented, all of which have no basis in Allaah’s religion. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to abide by misguidance and ignorance that they invented by sheer opinion and lusts.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
Allaah is the Creator of the creation. He knows what is good for them and what reforms them of rulings. And mankind differs in their intellects, morals and customs, and they ignore what does not suit them of laws but suits others.
Therefore, nothing but corruption, moral dissolution, etc. prevails in the communities in which the people are the ones legislating the laws.
With democracy, the supreme authority does not recognize any higher authority, because its authority emanates from itself. Therefore, it does that which it wills and legislates that which it wills, without being accountable to anyone.
This Supreme authority belongs only to Allaah (the Most High), Who is al-Hakam, al-Haakim and al-Hakeem:
وَٱللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ لَا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِۦ ۚ وَهُوَ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ.
“And Allaah judges there is none to put back His Judgment and He is Swift at reckoning.” [Surat ar-Ra’d 13:41]
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ.
“Allaah commands that which He wills.” [Surat al-Ma’idah 5:1]
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ.
“Verily Allaah does what He wills.” [Surat al-Hajj 22:14]
We conclude from this, that democracy ascribes the Attributes of Allaah to man, by granting him the absolute right to legislate.
Owing to this, it has made him a god besideAllaah and a partner with Him concerning the right of legislating for the creation.
To put it more precisely, the new god in democracy is the desire of man, who legislateswhat he fancies and desires, without being restricted by anything.
In the Qur’an, Allaah states:
أَرَءَيْتَ مَنِ ٱتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُۥ هَوَىٰهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا.
أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ ۚ
إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَٱلْأَنْعَٰمِ ۖ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا.
“Have you (O Muhammad) seen him who has taken as his god his own desire? Would you then be a wakeel (protecting guide) over him? Or do you think that most of them hear and understand? They are only like cattle – nay; they are even farther astray from the Path (i.e. even worse than cattle).” [Surat al-Furqan 25:43-44]
This is the truth about democracy; its judgment is for the people or for the majority of people.
It is the people’s legislation, but it is not Allaah’s Judgment. Allaah ordered His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to judge by what Allaah revealed unto him, and asked him not to be swayed by people’s desires, and not to be lured into leaving what Allaah revealed to him.
وَأَنِ ٱحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ
وَٱحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنۢ بَعْضِ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ
“Judge between them in the light of what hasbeen revealed by Allaah, and don’t follow their whims, and beware of them lest they lead you away from the guidance sent down to you by Allaah.” [Surat al-Ma’idah 5:49]
This is in the monotheistic religion of Islam.
In democracy, it’s slaves say: “Judge between them in the light of what has been accepted by people that follow their whims and desires and beware of them lest they lead you away from what they want and legislate.”
Democracy is the judgment of the masses, according to the constitution, but not according to Allaah’s Law, even though these laws are contradicting the Fitrah, the religion, and the intellect.
In these systems abortion is legislated, as well as marriage of homosexuals, interest on loans is lawful, canceling of legal rulings, Zina and drinking wine are permissible.
In fact by this democracy Islam has been fought as well as those who hold fast to the religion.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:11):
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ
قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ.
“And when it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth,’ they say: ‘We are only peace-makers.’”
Abu al-A’aaliyah said: “This means ‘do not disobey Allaah and His Messenger on the earth.’ For whoever disobeys Allaah on the earth or calls for disobeying Him, he makes mischief thereon. This is because the good that can be done either on the earth or in the heavens is only done through obeying Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The verse forbids spreading corruption on the earth, which includes seeking the judgment of other than Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).”
Abu Bakr Ibn ‘Ayyaash said regarding this verse: “Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) has sent Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to the people of the earth while they live in corruption, and thus He reformed them through him (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Whoever calls for what contradicts that with which Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has been sent, he is one of those who spreads mischief on the earth.”
Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Aal-Shaikh said in the book of Fat-h al-Majeed: “This shows that seeking other than Allaah’s or His Messenger’s judgment is one of the most abhorred sins that corrupts the earth; thus, the earth cannot be reformed but with Allaah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet (Salla- Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), which is the way of the true believers.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat an-Nisa’ (4:115):
وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ ٱلرَّسُولَ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ ٱلْهُدَىٰ
وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِۦ
مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِۦ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ
“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) after the Right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him on the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell- what an evildestination.”
In the religion of Islam the Mastership belongs to Allaah, as the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘The Master is Allaah.’ [Narrated by Abu Dawoud – Saheeh]
Man was created to be a slave of Allaah and Allaah ordered him to accept His legislation, but man rejected and exceeded the limits.
He wanted to equate himself with Allaah, and to participate in the legislation with Allaah, which is not allowed for anyone except Allaah.
If anyone transgresses the limits and does that, he makes himself a legislator, and he will be enacting the role of a deity.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “Everyone who exceeded his limits either worshipped, followed or obeyed – so, the deity of any people is the one they make a judge besides Allaah and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), or they worship other than Allaah, or follow without taking any consideration ofAllaah, or they obey in a matter that is a disobedience to Allaah.”
He also said: “Whosoever does not judge or turn to what the Messengers of Allaah brought for judgment is eventually following a deity.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat an-Nisa’ (4:61):
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَإِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ
رَأَيْتَ ٱلْمُنَٰفِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُودًۭا.
“And when it is said to them: ‘Come to what Allaah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam),’ you see the hypocrites turn away from youwith aversion.” Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) shows that this is one of the characteristics of the hypocrites and whoever does this or seeks it, is considered to be out of the fold of Islam, even though he might claim the contrary.
Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever is called to seek the judgment of Allaah’s Book and the Prophetic Sunnah, and he refuses, he is one of the hypocrites.”
1. Fat-h al-Majeed (Kitaab at-Tawheed) explained by
Shaikh ‘Aburrahmaan Aal-Sheikh.
2. Tafseer Ibn Katheer
3. Mawsoo’at al-Adyaan wa’l-Madhaahib al-Mu’aasirah
4. Islam Q&A by Shaikh al-Munajjid