عنوان مقاله [English]
Democracy means rule of people and their role in determining their political fate. Based on this idea, anything contrary to the public votes and views shall be deemed unacceptable. On the contrary, the basis of Islamic system of governance is on Islamic Sharia and any verdict outside the Islamic rule and law will be nullified. In the contemporary world, democracy has turned into a heated debate among the Sunni scholars. Sunni scholars’ understanding of democracy (rule of people) is different. Depending upon the type of their interpretation of Islam, there are four different political thoughts, each supporting a different approach to democracy. This paper, developed through a descriptive-analytical methodology, has gathered data from written and Internet sources to find an appropriate answer to the following question: What understanding do the contemporary Sunni Islamologists have on democracy with respect to the Holy Quran and other religious and jurisprudential sources? In response, we can say that reason-based understanding of Sunni thinkers and scholars of the Holy Quran and other Islamic texts has resulted in formation of four traditionalist, fundamentalist, reformist and secular approaches vis-à-vis democracy.
Findings of the paper indicate that in view of traditionalists, the compromise between Islam and democracy will yield nothing but metamorphosis of Islam. Fundamentalists consider democracy a means of “aberrance from the path of religion”. Thanks to such factors as voting and role of people in determining their political fate, reformists believe in conformity and concurrence between Islam and democracy. Seculars, however, insist on separation of church and state and regard democracy as the best model of governance in the new age.
This paper intends to review in detail the four different opinions of Sunni scholars on democracy. The paper’s innovation, in comparison with previous works, lies in analysis of the views of four intellectual spectra of Sunni thinkers with respect to democracy.