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Shura (Arabic : شورىshūrā) is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who will be affected by that decision.
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters, which are subdivided into verses.
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbdul-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, commonly known as Muhammad, is the seal of prophets and Prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam. Muslims believe that the Quran, the central religious text of Islam, was revealed to Muhammad by God, and that Muhammad was sent to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Ibrahim, Musa, 'Isa, and other Prophets. The religious, social, and political tenets that Muhammad established with the Quran became the foundation of Islam and the Muslim world.
Shura is mentioned as a praiseworthy activity often used in organizing the affairs of a mosque, Islamic organizations, and is a common term involved in naming parliaments.
A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims.
Sunni Muslims believe that Islam requires all decisions made by and for the Muslim societies to be made by shura of the Muslim community and believe this to be the basis for implementing representative democracy.Traditionally however, the Amir/Sultan/Khalifa would consult with his Wazirs (Advisors) and make a decision, after taking into consideration their opinions.
Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah, referring to the behaviour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions.
Islam is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, universal religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.
Representative democracy is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy. Nearly all modern Western-style democracies are types of representative democracies; for example, the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, France is a unitary state, and the United States is a federal republic.
Shia Muslims say that Islam requires submission to existing rulers if they are correctly appointed, so long as they govern according to Sharia or Islamic law. This is a more traditional approach, characteristic of many centuries of Islamic history (see History of Islam).
Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident of Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed caliph by a small group of Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful caliph after the Prophet.
Sharia, Islamic law or Sharia law is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. In Arabic, the term sharīʿah refers to God's immutable divine law and is contrasted with fiqh, which refers to its human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim fundamentalists and modernists.
The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic and developments of the Islamic civilization. Despite concerns about the reliability of early sources, most historians believe that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century, approximately 600 years after the founding of Christianity. Muslims, however, believe that it did not start with Muhammad, but that it was the original faith of others whom they regard as prophets, such as Jesus, David, Moses, Abraham, Noah and Adam.
The difference between the two appears more semantic than actual—the latter accept that the rulers must be accounted in all aspects of ruling, to ensure affairs are managed in the best possible way whether decisions were taken through consultation or not.
"Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation among themselves; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance" [are praised]
Thus it is due to mercy from God that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in God; surely God loves those who trust.
The first verse only deals with family matters. The second proposed a lifestyle of people who will enter heavens and is considered the most comprehensive verse on shura. The third verse advises on how mercy, forgiveness and mutual consultation can win over people.
Muhammad made all his decisions in consultation with his followers unless it was a matter in which God has ordained something. It was common among Muhammad's companions to ask him if a certain advice was from God or from him. If it was from Muhammad, they felt free to give their opinion. Some times Muhammad changed his opinion on the advice of his followers like his decision to defend the city of Madinah by going out of the city in Uhad instead of from within the city.
Arguments over shura began with the debate over the ruler in the Islamic world. When Muhammad died in 632 CE, a tumultuous meeting at Saqifah selected Abu Bakr as his successor. This meeting did not include some of those with a strong interest in the matter—especially Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law; people who wanted Ali to be the caliph (ruler) (later known as Shia ) still consider Abu Bakr an illegitimate leader of the caliphate.
In later years, the followers of Ali (Shi'atu Ali) as the ruler of Muslims became one school of thought, while the followers of Abu Bakr became the Sunni school of thought.
The Sunni school of thought believe that shura is recommended in the Qur'an (though some classical jurists maintained it is obligatory), The Qur'an, and by numerous hadith, or oral traditions of the sayings and doings of Muhammad and his companions. They say that most of the first four caliphs, or rulers of Islam, whom they call the Four Rightly-guided Caliphs, were chosen by shura. (See Succession to Muhammad, Umar ibn al-Khattab, The election of Uthman, and Ali Ibn Abi Talib.)
The Shi'a school of thought believe that Muhammad had clearly indicated that Ali was his appointed infallible ruler of Muslim nation regardless of shura, a recommendation that was ignored by the first three caliphs. Shi'a do not stress the role of shura in choosing leaders, but believe that the divine vice-regent is chosen by God, or Allah, from the lineage of Muhammad (Ahl al-Bayt). The largest Shi'a sect believes that the current imam is in "occultation", hidden away until the last days, but there are minority Shi'a who follow leaders believed to be infallible imams.
During and after Imam Ali's tenure as caliph, the Muslim community fell into civil war. Power was eventually grasped by the Ummayad caliphs and then by the Abbasid caliphs. There were also rival caliphates in Egypt and Al-Andalus (today's Spain and Portugal), and in the Indian subcontinent. The Ottoman Caliphate was officially dissolved by the newly founded Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1924.
Few of the later caliphs had anything but nominal control over the many Islamic states, and none were chosen by shura; all reached power by inheritance. The Muslim clergy counseled submission to rulers but also stressed the duty of the ruler to rule by shura. They based this recommendation on the passages from the Qur'an mentioned above. The verses indicate that shura is praiseworthy but do not indicate who should be consulted, what they should be consulted about, or whether the ruler or the shura should prevail in the event the two do not agree.
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In some Muslim nations, shuras play a role in the constitution or governance. Some Muslim nations, such as Turkey, are secular republics, and Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. They could thus be said to be ruled by one version of shura. For instance, the bicameral Parliament of Pakistan is officially called the Majlis-i-Shura, although the Constitution uses various spellings of the term. In Egypt, the Upper House of Parliament is known as the Shura Council. The People's Consultative Assembly in Indonesia is called Majlis Permusyawaratan Rakyat in Indonesian language. The word musyawarat is derived from shura/syawara.
In some monarchies and clerical regimes, there is a shura with an advisory or consultative role. Saudi Arabia, a monarchy, was given a shura council, the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, in 1993; there are now 150 members. All real power is held by the King, who is elected by family members. Oman, also a monarchy has a shura council; all members are elected except the president, who is appointed by the Sultan. The council can only offer advice, which may be refused if vetoed by the Sultan.
In Iran, a council called the assembly of experts has the ability to impeach the supreme leader. In addition to that, a general shura wields legislative powers, equivalent to a modern-day Western parliament.
Shuras have also been a feature of revolutions in Islamic societies, such as in the Iranian revolution of 1979, where they were formed by workers and held considerable power over parts of the economy for a year before being dismantled. Shuras were similarly a feature of the uprisings in Iraqin 1991, where they functioned as a form of participatory democracy.
Many traditional Sunni Islamic lawyers agree that to be in keeping with Islam, a government should have some form of council of consultation or majlis al-shura , although it must recognize that God and not the people are sovereign. Al-Mawardi has written that members of the majlis should satisfy three conditions: they must be just, have enough knowledge to distinguish a good caliph from a bad one, and have sufficient wisdom and judgment to select the best caliph. Al-Mawardi also said that in emergencies when there is no caliphate and no majlis, the people themselves should create a majlis, select a list of candidates for caliph, and then the majlis should select a caliph from the list of candidates.
Many contemporary Muslims have compared the concept of Shura to the principles of western parliamentary democracy. For example:
What is the shura principle in Islam? ... It is predicated on three basic precepts. First, that all persons in any given society are equal in human and civil rights. Second, that public issues are best decided by majority view. And third, that the three other principles of justice, equality and human dignity, which constitute Islam's moral core, ... are best realized, in personal as well as public life, under shura governance.
Other modern Muslim thinkers distance themselves from democracy. Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of the modern transnational Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir, writes that shura is important and part of "the ruling structure" of the Islamic caliphate, "but not one of its pillars." If the caliph "neglects it," by not paying much or any attention, as happened after the first four caliphs, "he would be negligent, but the ruling system would remain Islamic."
This is because the shura (consultation) in Islam is for seeking the opinion and not for ruling. This is contrary to the parliamentary system in democracy.
The democratic parliamentary system being distinct from and inferior to the true Islamic caliphate system according to Taqiuddin an-Nabhani.
Under the Hizb ut-Tahrir constitution, non-Muslims may not serve a caliph or any other ruling official, nor vote for these officials, but may be part of the majlis and voice "complaints in respect to unjust acts performed by the rulers or the misapplication of Islam upon them."
Still others, such as the Muslim author Sayyid Qutb, go further, arguing that an Islamic shura should advise the caliph but not elect or supervise him. In a rigorous analysis of the shura chapter of the Qur'an, Qutb noted that Islam requires only that the ruler consult with at least some of the ruled (usually the elite), within the general context of God-made laws that the ruler must execute. In 1950 Qutb denounced democracy in favor of dictatorship, saying it was already bankrupt in the West and asking why it should be imported to the Middle East.
The practice of a consultative, but not bill-passing, caliph-electing or popularly elected shura, was adopted by the self-described strict Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. While the Kandahar Shura of the Taliban debated issues, in the end its spokesman declared, "we abide by the Amir's view even if he alone takes this view."
In Persian language and Dari in Afghanistan, the term شوروی, shuravi is used for 'Soviet' (the etymology being related to council). In Tajik language it is written Шӯравӣ.
The Khawarij, Kharijites, or the ash-Shurah were members of a school of thought that appeared in the first century of Islam during the First Fitna, the crisis of leadership after the death of Muhammad. It broke into revolt against the authority of the Caliph Ali after he agreed to arbitration with his rival, Muawiyah I, to decide the succession to the Caliphate following the Battle of Siffin (657). A Khariji later assassinated Ali, and for hundreds of years, the Khawarij were a source of insurrection against the Caliphate.
Political aspects of Islam are derived from the Qur'an, the Sunnah, Muslim history, and elements of political movements outside Islam.
Ali ibn Abi Talib was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam. He ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 to 661, but is regarded as the rightful immediate successor to Muhammad as an Imam by Shia Muslims.
The Rashidun Caliphs, often simply called, collectively, "the Rashidun", is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the 30-year reign of the first four caliphs (successors) following the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, namely: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman ibn Affan, and Ali of the Rashidun Caliphate, the first caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the later Abbasid Caliphate based in Baghdad. It is a reference to the Sunni imperative "Hold firmly to my example (sunnah) and that of the Rightly Guided Caliphs".
The Ibadi movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya, also known as the Ibadis, is a school of Islam dominant in Oman. It is also found in parts of Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and East Africa. The movement is said to have been founded around the year 650 CE or about 20 years after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, predating both the Sunni and Shia denominations. Modern historians trace back the origins of the denomination to a moderate current of the Khawarij movement; contemporary Ibāḍīs strongly object to being classified as Kharijites, although they recognize that their movement originated with the Kharijite secession of 657 CE.
A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a political-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah. Historically, the caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661), the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258). In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states, almost all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.
The Ahmadiyya Caliphate is a non-political caliphate established on May 27, 1908 following the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community, who claimed to be the promised Messiah and Mahdi, the expected redeemer awaited by Muslims. It is believed by Ahmadis to be the re-establishment of the Rashidun Caliphate that commenced following the death of the Prophet Muhammad. The caliphs are entitled Khalīfatul Masīh, sometimes simply referred to as Khalifa. The caliph is the elected spiritual and organizational leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is the successor of Ghulam Ahmad. He is believed by the Community to be divinely ordained and is also referred to by its members as Amir al-Mu'minin and Imam Jama'at. The 5th and current caliph is Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The succession to Muhammad is the central issue that split the Muslim community into several divisions in the first century of Muslim history, forming the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam. Shia Islam holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor at Ghadir Khumm. Sunni Islam holds Abu Bakr to be the first leader of the community after the Prophet on the basis of the decision at Saqifah.
Fadak was a garden oasis in Khaybar, a tract of land in northern Arabia; it is now part of Saudi Arabia. Situated approximately 140 km (87 mi) from Medina, Fadak was known for its water wells, dates, and handicrafts. When the Muslims defeated the people of Khaybar at the Battle of Khaybar; the oasis of Fadak was part of the bounty given to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who gifted it to his daughter, Fatimah. The Sunni view is that it was not given to anyone, but preserved for the maintenance of Banu Hashim. Fadak is said to have became the object of dispute by a group of Muslims between Fatimah and the caliph Abu Bakr after Muhammad died.
The term Islamic state has been used to describe various historical polities and theories of governance in the Islamic world. As translation of the Arabic term dawlah islāmiyyah it refers to a modern notion associated with political Islam (Islamism).
In Arabic culture, a Majlis-ash-Shura commonly called "Shura Council" in English is an advisory council or consultative council. In Islamic context, the Majlis-ash-Shura is one of two ways that a Khalifa may be selected, the other way being by nomination.
Ubayy ibn Ka'ab, also known as Abu Mundhir, was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a person of high esteem in the early Muslim community.
Qur'an 17:26 is the twenty-sixth verse of Al-Isra, the seventeenth chapter of the Qur'an, which relates to the controversies of the land of Fadak in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
The Rashidun Caliphate was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was ruled by the first four successive caliphs (successors) of Muhammad after his death in 632 CE. These caliphs are collectively known in Sunni Islam as the Rashidun, or "Rightly Guided" caliphs. This term is not used in Shia Islam as Shia Muslims do not consider the rule of the first three caliphs as legitimate.
The Mahdi is an eschatological redeemer of Islam who, according to some Islamic traditions, will appear and rule for five, seven, nine, or nineteen years before the Day of Judgment and rid the world of evil.
Islamic ethics, defined as "good character," historically took shape gradually from the 7th century and was finally established by the 11th century. It was eventually shaped as a successful amalgamation of the Qur'anic teachings, the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, the precedents of Islamic jurists, the pre-Islamic Arabian tradition, and non-Arabic elements embedded in or integrated with a generally Islamic structure. Although Muhammad's preaching produced a "radical change in moral values based on the sanctions of the new religion and the present religion, and fear of God and of the Last Judgment", the tribal practice of Arabs did not completely die out. Later Muslim scholars expanded the religious ethic of the Qur'an and Hadith in immense detail.
Shia Islam originated as a response to questions of Islamic religious leadership which became manifest as early as the death of Muhammad in 632 CE. The issues involved not only who to appoint as the successor to Muhammad, but also what attributes a true successor should have. Sunnis regarded Caliphs as a secular leaders,. To the Shiite, however, the question of succession is a matter of designation of an individual (Ali) through divine command. In the same way, Shias believed that each Imam designated the next Imam by the leave of God. So within Shia Islam it makes no difference to the Imam's position whether he is chosen as a Caliph or not.
Schools of Islamic theology are various Islamic schools and branches in different schools of thought regarding aqidah (creed). According to Muhammad Abu Zahra, Qadariyah, Jahmis, Murji'ah, Muʿtazila, Batiniyya, Ash'ari, Maturidi, Athari are the ancient schools of aqidah.