HADHRAT Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh), explaining the Islamic system of Autocracy, said:
Modernists are at pains to assert Islamic validity to the western concept of democracy. Their fallacious argument is that democracy is Shura. Then they proceed to substantiate this
‘shura-democracy’ on the basis of the Qur’aanic aayat: “And, consult with them in matters.”
However, the democracy form of government has its own principles of consultation (which are at variance with the Shari’ah). One of these principles is that in the scenario of difference of opinion, the majority opinion will prevail. The king (or the
president) is unable to veto the majority decision. If the king (or president) has the power of vetoing the decision of the parliament, then it will not be democracy (in the true meaning of the concept). It will then be a dictatorship. This establishes that a government will not be a democracy purely on the basis of shura.
They should now prove if this system of democracy had existed during the era of the Sahaabah. They should present even one instance of the Khalifah being compelled to submit to majority decision after having consulted with others. The Shar’i concept is Autocracy which is fully vindicated by the rule of the
Now, on the basis of the very aayat proffered by the modernists in support of democracy, is Islamic Autocracy substantiated. You, (O modernists!) in the citation of the Aayat, you have reached only as far as ‘Wa shaawir hum fil amr’ (And, consult with them regarding matters”.) On reaching this far, you conceal the other portion which states: “And when you have resolved – decided – then (proceed) and repose trust on Allah.” Either you have concealed this portion or the flight of your intellect could not traverse beyond this. This portion of the Aayat indicates with great clarity that in the Shariah it is Autocracy. After Mashwarah, the Aayat commands autocracy. It does not order the observance of majority opinion. The final decision was pivoted on only the opinion of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and thereafter on the Khalifah. After the autocratic ruler has made his decision, he should repose trust on Allah Ta’ala and proceed regardless of his decision being against the majority or against all. One does not become an Aalim by
merely referring to a translation of the Qur’aan Majeed.
(End of Hadhrat Thanvi’s exposition)
The Khilaafat of the Khulafa- e-Raashideen is conspicuous evidence for Islamic autocracy. On the issue of dispatching the army against the apostates immediately after the demise of Rasulullah – (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) – the attitude and action of the Khalifah, Hadhrat Abu Bakr – Radhiyallahu anhu – are roaring evidence for Islamic autocracy.
Every Sahaabi, including Hadhrat Umar – Radhiyallahu anhu – had advised against the dispatch of the army. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) firmly rejected their mashwarah and commanded that the army should move on the expedition. There are many such examples. In fact, the entire rule of the Khulafa was pure autocracy.
The first Khalifah himself was appointed and instated by just one man, viz. Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu), and the successive Khulafa thereafter were also one-man Installations. They were not the effects of majority vote or some convoluted system called ‘democracy’. Islamic Autocracy is the effect of a direct Decree of Allah Ta’ala
stated in the Qur’aanic Aayat: “Verily, I shall appoint on earth aKhalifah.” (Al-Baqarah, Aayat
Allah Azza Wa Jal did not say
that He will appoint a group or a
democracy consisting of baboons
to be His Khalifah. His Khalifah
is ONE MAN.