The Implications of the Representation Rule in Democracyand the Shura System: A Comparative Study

Volume 19, Issue No 2, 2016

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Pages: 59 - 81


This study sheds light on the democratic system, the Islamic shura system, , the concept of representation in both systems, and similarities and differences between representation in both systems. The significance of the study stems from the reality of functional development of the representation concept in Islamic shura as modified by the “people of contracting and uncontracting” and as compared with the representation concept of the representative democracy of the parliament. The comparison reveals discrepancy between both concepts, considering the difference underlying the ideological thought of each – a difference that results in some visions that yield to certain privileges and functional specificities. The study, as such, aims to underscore the real political dimensions of shura and democratic representation through introducing the implication of both types of representation relative to the philososphy upon which each is based, points of agreement and disagreement between the two, how abiding each is in terms of the link that each has with the grassroots, the extent to which each complies with the intellectual and philosophical principle of representation, and the crucial importance of adopting the best type of representation. The study was actually inspired by the question as to whether there is a link between representation in the shura system in Islam, on the one hand, and the liberal system, on the other, and whether representation helps truly to promote social welfare and self-fulfillment.

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