This article will discuss select, basic principles of Islamic law relating to democratic governance, pointing out in the process certain areas of disagreement surrounding them in the literature and the grounds for such disagreements. Part II of this article presents a brief overview of Islamic law in order to provide a foundation for later discussion. The article then assesses the Islamic system of government in light of two major principles of Western democracies. They are (1) the principle that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government (Principle A) and (2) the principle of separation of powers (Principle B). In the case of Principle A, the discussion focuses on two topics: (a) the ability of the people to express their will in choosing a head of state and (b) whether the laws of the land rest on the consent of the people. Part III assesses the democratic character of the procedure for choosing the head of the Islamic state. Part IV examines the sources of Islamic law and studies the problem of combining the concept of democratic government with the concept of laws which embody the will of God. Principle B is assessed in Part V. Part VI summarizes the conclusions of this article.
Azizay Y. al-Hibri, Islamic Constitutionalism and the Concept of Democracy, 24 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 28 (1992).