Addressing Misconceptions: Governance in Islam

What is an Islamic government? Can Muslims live under a non-Muslim ruler? Is a non-Muslim ruler detrimental to our faith and ideology?
by Muslim.Sg 2023-05-23 • 38 min read
Muslim.Sg is a Muslim lifestyle platform that aims to deepen your understanding of faith, in collaboration with the Asatizah Youth Network (AYN). We are part of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
2023-05-23 • 38 min read

What is Islamic Government?

How we govern and manage society has been an important part of human history. This includes things like the type of authority, the different forms of government, power dynamics, the relationship between citizens and the government, and more. 

Islam recognises governance and politics as a means to achieve justice, which is a fundamental objective of the Shariah. Allah s.w.t. commands us in the Quran to return trusts to their rightful owners and to judge with fairness when dealing with others:

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤَدُّوا۟ ٱلْأَمَـٰنَـٰتِ إِلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ ٱلنَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُوا۟ بِٱلْعَدْلِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِۦٓ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا

"Indeed, Allah commands you to return trusts to their rightful owners; and when you judge between people, judge with fairness. What a noble commandment from Allah to you! Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing."

(Surah An-Nisa, 4:58)

The word ḥa-ka-ma (حكم) in this verse does not exclusively mean to judge, but it can also mean to rule or govern. Imam Ibn Kathir, in his exegesis, quoted Muhammad Ibn Ka’ab and Zayd Ibn Aslam[1]“This verse is revealed for the rulers”. This indicates that the government's role is to manage the system of rule over communities or its citizens with justice and fairness.

Islamic Government, islamic governance, caliphate, sultanate, caliph

Given that Islam is a religion which offers holistic guidance to humanity, what does it say about governance? What is the true model of governance in Islam? Can Muslims live under a non-Muslim ruler? Is a non-Muslim ruler detrimental to our faith and ideology?

This article aims to answer the misconceptions about governance in Islam.

Misconception 1: Muslims cannot live under a non-Muslim rule

Some may argue that it is essential for Muslims to live under Muslim rule as it is the only opportunity to practise Islam and establish Islamic values and systems. They also believe that Muslims should take the initiative to make hijrah (migration) from a non-Muslim country to a place that is ruled or governed by Muslims.

Read: Reclaiming The Narrative of Hijrah

This view takes reference from verses such as the following:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَوَفَّىٰهُمُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ ظَالِمِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا۟ فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا۟ كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ قَالُوٓا۟ أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ ٱللَّهِ وَٰسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا۟ فِيهَا ۚ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ مَأْوَىٰهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَسَآءَتْ مَصِيرًا. إِلَّا ٱلْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ وَٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلْوِلْدَٰنِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلًا

“When the angels seize the souls of those who have wronged themselves—scolding them, 'What do you think you were doing?' they will reply, 'We were oppressed in the land.' The angels will respond, 'Was Allah’s earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate?' It is they who will have Hell as their home—what an evil destination! Except for helpless men, women, and children who cannot afford a way out—”

(Surah An-Nisa, 4:97-98)

The view of most scholars

The majority of scholars from the Hanafi, Syafi’i and Hanbali mazhab view that it is permissible to live under a non-Muslim rule.[2] This is because the Quranic verse cited earlier[3] obligates migration only for those who cannot practise their religion, which suggests that it is permissible for Muslims who are able to practise Islam to live under non-Muslim rule.[4] 

Read: Can Muslims Live in a Non-Muslim Country?

What is required for Muslims to live in a certain country is not the faith of those in rule but the ability and freedom to practise Islam. 

The minimal requirement for Muslims to practise their religion is to testify the shahadah, establish prayer, give zakat, and observe the fasting of Ramadan. Hajj is only obligatory for those who are able to do it. If these pillars are fulfilled, then the basic requirement to practise Islam is achieved. The freedom to practise other aspects of faith would enhance the experience of life and citizenship as Muslims.[5]

This is exemplified by the companions of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, who migrated to Habeshah (Abyssinia, modern-day Ethiopia), a country populated by Christians and ruled by a fair Christian Ethiopian king known as Negus (An-Najashi), before the hijrah to Madinah. Despite being a minority, they settled there. Ummu Salamah r.a. described their time of residence as peaceful and free from persecution:

 لمَّا نزَلْنا أرضَ الحَبَشةِ جاوَرْنا بها خَيرَ جارٍ، النَّجاشيَّ، أمِنَّا على دِينِنا، وعَبَدْنا اللهَ لا نُؤْذى، ولا نَسمَعُ شَيئًا نَكرَهُه

"When we settled on the land of Abyssinia, we lived next to the best of neighbour, An-Najashi. We were safe to practise our religion. We worship Allah, and neither were we abused for it, nor do we hear anything which we disliked."

(Musnad Ahmad)

Read: What Does Islam Really Say About Muslim-Christian Relations?

Dar Al-Islam (Land of Islam) and Dar Al-Harb (Land of War) 

The classical dichotomy of Dar Al-Islam (land of Islam) and Dar Al-Harb (land of war) was a way of understanding the geo-political landscape of the world during mediaeval times. It was an ijtihad based on the socio-cultural and geo-political norms of that era.

Despite the differences of opinions, Dar Al-Islam is commonly referred to as countries where Muslims are in charge and follow Islamic law (Shariah) as their system of governance. These were considered peaceful and harmonious lands for Muslims. On the other hand, Dar Al-Harb was referred to countries where non-Muslims were in charge or where Islamic law (Shariah) was not the governing system. These lands were seen as potentially hostile or at war with Muslims. 

This concept was developed because, in mediaeval times, wars were common among states, and scholars needed to issue religious opinions (fatwas) based on the circumstances of the time. They recognised the importance of considering the context in their rulings. 

Read: Fiqh Al-Waqi': Understanding the context and reality

According to Dr Usama Al-Sayyid, the drafting of categorising the existing states at the time into Dar Al-Islam and Dar Al-Harb was particularly for religious jurisprudential matters to distinguish between the default (in Dar Al-Islam) and exceptional rulings (in Dar Al-Harb), and not for the inter-political relations between the two abodes.[6] He adds that the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims has been vastly interactive and rich.

Dr Usama Al-Sayyid clarifies his point by drawing an example of Muslims living in different parts of the world having different timings and way of fulfilling their fasting of Ramadan. Therefore, this binary approach was created to distinguish between two different contexts.

This was the philosophical background of how these concepts were initially developed by our classical scholars, particularly Imam Abu Hanifah, the leading jurists of his school of jurisprudential thought (a’immatul-mazhab), Imam As-Syafi’i, as well as other classical scholars.[7]

However, it's important to note that this concept is irrelevant in today's context. The world has evolved, and the political landscape has changed significantly since mediaeval times. The notion of categorising countries into solely Dar Al-Islam or Dar Al-Harb does not accurately capture the complexities and diversity of the modern world. 

In today's globalised society, where countries have diverse populations with various religious and cultural backgrounds and different systems of governance, it becomes essential for scholars to develop solutions that address the realities of their respective societies. However, these solutions must also abide by the principles of Shariah and how Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. applied them in his life.[8] 

In Islam, the idea of coexistence is not a departure from our faith, nor does it contradict our principles. It has always been an integral part of our tradition, rooted in the teachings of the Quran and the guidance of the Prophet s.a.w. Muslim communities throughout history have embraced this concept and incorporated it into their way of life, adapting it to their cultural norms.[9] Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that while their norms have remained the same for centuries, the rapidly changing world we live in today presents new challenges and considerations.

Since then, there have been many scholarly attempts to revise the concept of Dar Al-Islam and Dar Al-Harb to fit the globalised and increasingly diverse context of today. One fruitful ijtihad is by the Egyptian scholar Dr Ali Gomaa. He proposes to move beyond the dichotomy and to return to the prophetic guidance, drawing out four paradigms of coexistence which will remain relevant to all Muslim communities at any point in time:[10] 

1.    The paradigm of Makkah: Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and some of the earlier Muslim communities lived as minority Muslims under an oppressive rule and community, the Quraysh and polytheists of Makkah.

2.    The paradigm of Abyssinia: Some of the companions r.a. migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and lived as minority Muslims under the just Christian king, Negus. Justice was observed on the land.

3.    The paradigm of the early Madinan period: Madinah was fairly more diverse than Makkah, with many groups and communities living in the same land. This model marks the development stage of building the Constitution of Madinah and its administration. 

4.    The paradigm of the late Madinan period: The Constitution of Madinah reached its fruition to also include minorities from other faith groups, such as the Jews. Non-Muslim minorities coexisted peacefully and proactively (not in isolation) with the Muslim majority under Muslim rule.

Read: Religious Freedom: Islam and Religious Minorities

From the paradigm of Abyssinia, we can see how living under a non-Muslim rule which allows us to live peacefully as Muslims, has always been part of our tradition. In fact, it should prompt us to participate proactively as members of society so that we may contribute to its growth and development.

A study back in 2010 recorded that about 23.3% of the world’s Muslim population live in Muslim minority countries. This amounts to about 377.3 million Muslims, with an expected significant increase by 2030.[11] This means that there are a lot of Muslims who live in countries where most people are not Muslim, and it is essential for these communities to be able to live in peace and harmony with people of other faiths and backgrounds while preserving their religious and cultural identity.

The Hakimiyyah Theology

There are also some Muslims today who not only believe in denouncing any form of non-Muslim rule but also in denouncing (takfir)[12] all Muslims who support such governance and, by extension, including those who do not condemn them.

The Hakimiyyah Theology, which means divine sovereignty, was based on Sayyid Qutb’s[13] interpretation of the verse:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ

"And whoever does not judge according to what Allah has revealed—it is they who are disbelievers"

(Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:44)

Sayyid Qutb, in his books, ‘In The Shade of The Quran’ (Fi zhilal al-Quran) and ‘Milestones of The Path’ (Ma’alim Fit-Tariq) views that anyone who does not implement the Shariah Law, as how he understood it, becomes a disbeliever. And because they are disbelievers, all of them are permitted to be killed.[14]

This theological concept is argued to be the root of an entire spectrum of concepts developed, embraced and promoted by Islamist[15] ideologies.[16]

Militant Islamists misuse this interpretation as a justification for rebelling against established governments and committing acts of violence, often targeting Muslims who oppose their radical ideologies. This extremist mindset is rejected by the majority of Muslims who oppose such violent and intolerant beliefs.

Answering this misconception however, Dr Usama Sayyid, an Egyptian scholar from Al-Azhar, clarified that the verse was rather pointing to those who do not judge according to what Allah has revealed because of disbelief (جحد). Those who do believe in what Allah has revealed upon them but fell short in practising it is not a disbeliever.[17] 

In fact, this is the view of the majority of scholars throughout the history of our tradition. Just to name a few, Imam Fakhrud-din Ar-razi commented on this particular verse:

“(This verse) specifically refers to those who deny (what Allah has revealed) by their heart and openly denounce it by their tongue (verbal proclamation). Whereas for those who recognises it by their heart and testifies it ¬– despite committing in contradiction with it – They are considered to have observed their judgement based upon what Allah has revealed but chooses to abandon it (did not put it into action). Therefore, they do not fall under the category of people mentioned in this verse. And this is the right answer”.[18] 

The great scholar, Imam Al-Ghazali, also mentioned in his book, Al-Mustasfa:

“In our opinion, the verse is referring to ‘whoever did not judge according to what Allah has revealed, by rejecting it and out of disbelief’”.[19]

Misconception 2: Democracy is unIslamic

After the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan in 2021, they immediately implemented their interpretation of the 'Shariah Law' to govern the legal system. They asserted that the previous regime, despite also claiming to govern the country based on Islamic principles, was un-Islamic because it had democratic foundations.[20] It is little surprise that some Muslims around the world view democracy to be unIslamic. But is this true? What could be the reason behind it?

First, it is important to understand the nature of democracy. At its core, democracy, derived from the Greek word demos and kratia, is a system of government where power rests with the people. 

In a democratic system, citizens have the right to vote and participate in the decision-making process. The government is accountable to the people, and there are checks and balances in place to ensure that power is not concentrated in the hands of a few individuals or groups.

Some opinions believe that democracy is theologically against the Islamic faith, emphasising that sovereignty or power is only for God.[21] This argument is based on some verses of the Quran, amongst which are the following:

إِنِ ٱلْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ

"Sovereignty belongs to none but Allah"

(Surah Yusuf, 12:40)

According to this view, Islam’s only model of governance should be theocratic (the rule of God). However, as noted by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf; “...that is not an accurate definition, because, after the Prophet s.a.w, nobody can speak on behalf of God. All they can do is attempt to try and understand what God would have told them. That's called ijtihad.”

The verse above affirms that everything in creation (‘alam) belongs to Allah s.w.t. and that it exists within His sovereignty. The possessions we own are ours, yet it does not invalidate Allah’s sovereignty over it. Likewise, this is the case with understanding the term “sovereignty” from political and theological perspectives - These are two different things which should not be viewed in dichotomy.

Read: Preserving The Sanctity of The Shariah

Additionally, in the same chapter of the Quran, Allah s.w.t. tells us how Prophet Yusuf a.s. worked under the rule of the ancient Egyptian king of his time as the Minister of Finance:

قَالَ ٱجْعَلْنِى عَلَىٰ خَزَآئِنِ ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنِّى حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ

“(Yusuf a.s.) proposed, 'Put me in charge of the store-houses of the land, for I am truly reliable and adept.'”

(Surah Yusuf, 12:50)

The rule of the ancient Egyptian kingdom can be regarded as a theocratic state considering how a king is considered a divine intermediary for the ancient Egyptian gods.[22] However, most of what we know about the ancient Egyptian kings is that they are not Muslims. Scholars view from this verse the permissibility to live and work under non-Muslim rule,[23] which suggests that theocracy (according to Islamic faith) is not the only form of governance in Islam and is not essentially a requirement for Muslims to live confidently with their faith.

Beyond the story of Prophet Yusuf a.s, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was also recorded to have acknowledged different systems of governance during his time. He described An-Najashi as a righteous king who did not rule with injustice or abuse his people.[24]

In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. acknowledged the capability of the Quraysh to lead as leaders or the ruling representatives for the Muslim community.[25]

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. also prophesied in a hadith: 

 الخلافةُ في أمّتي ثلاثونَ سنةً، ثم مُلكٌ بعد ذلكَ

"There will be caliphates after me for thirty years, then there will be a monarchy."

(Sunan At-Tirmizi)

After the thirty years mentioned by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, new Muslim kingdoms and dynasties, such as caliphates, sultanates, and imamates, emerged from all around the world. 

From the different narrations above, we can see how Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. acknowledged different ruling systems. While Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. provided detailed guidance on various aspects of life, such as trade and inheritance, he did not institute a specific model of governance. This must have been intentional and providential, which indicates flexibility in the form of governance in Islam.[26]

However, two things are necessary:[27]

1.    A form of agreement amongst the people. During the Prophet’s time, this was expressed through the bay’ah (a pledge of allegiance) or the Constitution of Madinah (وثيقة المدينة). 

Some scholars today have said that this can be a form of consensus on a document like a constitution, and its legitimacy can then be passed on and inherited.

2.    Consultation (syura) amongst the people or by a representative group of people. This is witnessed in many hadith of the Prophet s.a.w. He would frequently seek the opinions of those around him on a wide range of topics, including political affairs, military strategies, and even matters pertaining to his personal life, such as marriage.

Despite being a prophet and having the authority to issue commands supported by Divine revelation, he actively chose to involve others, such as his companions r.a. and people of diverse backgrounds, in decision-making processes on many occasions.

Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:

وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِى ٱلْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

"…and consult with them on matters. Once you make a decision, put your trust in Allah. Surely Allah loves those who trust in Him."

(Surah Ali-Imran, 3:159)

So it can be said that a modern system of governance upholds Shariah values to the extent that these two requirements are met and practised in society.

As established earlier in this article, what is important is that the form of governance is able to deliver justice in the rule. The style of governance is not an end but a means to reach justice.

Democracy, with its emphasis on accountability and justice, is not incompatible with Islamic principles. In fact, democracy can be seen as a way to implement the principles of syura and consultation that are already present in Islamic tradition. By giving people a voice in the decision-making process[28] and ensuring that those in power are held accountable, democracy can help to create a just and fair society.

However, it is important to note that democracy is not without its flaws. In some cases, democracy can lead to the tyranny of the majority or the manipulation of the democratic process by powerful elites. 

To conclude, democracy is not necessarily unIslamic. In fact, the principles of democracy, such as consultation, accountability, and justice, are already present in Islamic tradition. By embracing democratic values and implementing democratic systems of governance, Muslims can work towards creating just and fair societies that are in line with Islamic principles. 

At the same time, it is important to be aware of the potential flaws and limitations of democracy and to work towards addressing these issues in order to create a truly just and fair society.

Read: Islam & Democracy: What You Need to Know

Misconception 3: Muslims need to live under a caliphate system

In December 2022 and January 2023, two Singaporean teenagers, aged 15 and 16, became self-radicalised and were subsequently issued an Order of Detention (OD) and Restriction Order (RO) under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Their beliefs included supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS propagandas with the aim of establishing an Islamic caliphate through violent means. It is disheartening to note that the 15-year-old male is the youngest individual to-date dealt with under the ISA for terrorism-related activities.[29]

This unfortunate episode prompts us to recognise that this dangerous ideology is not disconnected from our present reality. What is particularly distressing and alarming is witnessing how our youth can be manipulated and exploited by these propagandas, often utilising religious arguments. Today, radicalisation often occurs online, even through innocent-looking, unsuspecting platforms like Roblox.

Read: How Does Social Media Influence Online Radicalisation?

As responsible members of society, we can help to contribute by learning more about our religion from recognised asatizah, as well as looking for clarifications regarding these harmful ideologies. How do we make sense of this issue then?

Caliphate in Islam

The virtues of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (khulafa' ar-rasyidin) are widely recognised. In the Sunni tradition, they refer to the four companions of the Prophet s.a.w: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali r.a. Their exemplary qualities and actions serve as powerful evidence of the legitimacy of their governance in Islam.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said in a hadith:

فعليكم بسُنَّتي وسُنَّةِ الخُلَفاءِ الرَّاشِدينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ

"So hold fast to my sunnah, and the example of the Rightly Guided Caliphs."

(Musnad Ahmad)

Nonetheless, as established in the previous segments above, there is flexibility in the system of governance in Islam to the extent of how justice is achieved.

The term "caliph" is derived from the Arabic word "khalifah," which means successor. In this context, the caliph is the successor of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in managing the affairs of the Muslim community, but not as a prophet delivering revelations and religious guidance.

Contrary to common perception, the caliph is not a religious figure, but essentially, it is a political position. Religious matters are typically entrusted to the ulama' (religious scholars) who guide the Muslim community.[30]

The role of the caliph includes providing support to Muslims and protection to non-Muslims under their care. Additionally, the caliph is the custodian of three important Islamic places of worship: the Masjidil Haram in Makkah, the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, and the Masjid Al-Aqsa in Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem).[31] Many of these roles today are arguably fulfilled. Hence, there is no obligation to re-elect a caliph.

After the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Muslim monarchies emerged as prophesied by the Prophet s.a.w. himself.[32] In other words, the actual representation of the caliph has ended. Even then, the following monarchies continued the legacy of using the term “caliph” to represent the transregional political figure of leadership for all Muslims.

Despite the caliphate symbolising the unity and global leadership of Muslims, it was not always universally recognised by all Muslims, even during its historical existence. In fact, there was a significant period in history when the office of the caliphate remained vacant after the brutal Mongol invasion of Baghdad. Similar parallels can be drawn to the absence of a caliphate in today's modern world.

In the modern context, the political landscape is vastly different. Understanding this reality is crucial, just as the application of Shariah itself. Scholars agree that legislations of ijtihad which are based upon public interest (maslahah), can change due to its dynamic nature. This is because a ruling is determined by the presence or absence of causality (‘illah), unlike rulings based on absolute and indisputable scriptural prescriptions (nas qat’i).[33] 

Contemporary mainstream Muslim scholars follow the path laid out by premodern jurists in embracing new and evolving political configurations of power. They adapt to new political realities through jurisprudential principles and encourage others to focus on the everlasting Divine.[34] Therefore, it is evident that Muslims do not need to live under a caliphate system, as Islam allows for flexibility and adaptation in governance to the extent of how justice is achieved.


Let us take a moment to reflect on our role as individuals in building a prosperous and harmonious society, regardless of the governing systems we find ourselves under. Our faith teaches us the values of compassion, justice, and community, and it is our duty to embody these principles in our actions. 

Whether we reside in Muslim-majority countries or as minorities in diverse societies, let us strive to be active contributors in fostering unity, understanding, and positive change. As Muslims, we believe that it is our duty to contribute to the development and growth (‘imarah) of the place we call home. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:

هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱسْتَعْمَرَكُمْ فِيهَا فَٱسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى قَرِيبٌ مُّجِيبٌ

"It was He who brought you into being from the earth and sought you to develop it. so ask forgiveness from Him, and turn back to Him: my Lord is near, and ready to answer."

(Surah Hud, 11:61)

By embracing our civic responsibilities, engaging in dialogue, and nurturing mutual respect, we can play a vital role in creating a better world for all. 

Together, let's build bridges of cooperation and work towards collective well-being, guided by the principles of Islam and the commitment to serve others.


[1] Muhammad Ibn Ka’ab and Zayd Ibn Aslam are both scholars of the tabi’in generation; those who have met the companions of the Prophet s.a.w.

[2] Sh. Abdullah Ibn Bayyah, The Formulation of Fatwa and The Fiqh of Minorities, Al-Muwatta Centre, 2018 (Third Publication)

[3] When the angels seize the souls of those who have wronged themselves—scolding them, “What do you think you were doing?” they will reply, “We were oppressed in the land.” The angels will respond, “Was Allah’s earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate?” It is they who will have Hell as their home—what an evil destination! Except for helpless men, women, and children who cannot afford a way out— (Surah An-Nisa, 4:97-98)

[4] Pergas (Singapore Islamic Scholars & Religious Teachers Association), Moderation in Islam: In The Context of Muslim Community in Singapore, Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd, 2004


[6] Usama Al-Sayyid Mahmud, The Manifest Truth: A Refutation to Those Who Manipulate Islam, Dar Al-Faqih Publication & Distribution, 2015 (Second Publication)

[7] Ibid

[8] Sh. Ali Gomaa, The Four Paradigms of Coexistence From The Prophetic Guidance: The Principles and Objectives, Dar Al-Faruq, 2013

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid


[12] Takfir is the act of denouncing or anathematising a person from the Muslim faith, hence announcing apostasy upon the individual. In some extreme ideologies, as presented in this article, announcing takfir also means the permissibility to take the individual’s life.

[13] Sayyid Qutb was a prominent figure in the Muslim Brotherhood

[14] H.R.H Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam, Turath Publishing, 2017

[15] Islamists should not be mistaken to be referring to Muslims in general or everyone who adheres to Islam. Most Muslims are not Islamists and do not share their political aspirations. Islamists are individuals who emphasise the implementation of their version of Shariah, the creation of Islamic states and the rejection of non-Muslim influences.

[16] Usama Al-Sayyid Mahmud, The Manifest Truth: A Refutation to Those Who Manipulate Islam, Dar Al-Faqih Publication & Distribution, 2015 (Second Publication)

[17] Ibid

[18] Imam Fakhrud-Din Ar-Razi, At-Tafsir Al-Kabir, Dar Al-Ghad Al-Arabi, Cairo, 1992

[19] Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Al-Mustasfa 




[23] Pergas (Singapore Islamic Scholars & Religious Teachers Association), Moderation in Islam: In The Context of Muslim Community in Singapore, Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd, 2004

[24] “If you travel to Abyssinia, verily there is a monarch king who never abuses those under his rule. It is a righteous land, that Allah grants you a way out from your tribulation”. (Sunan Al-Kubra Lil-Bayhaqi)

[25] “The leaders are from among the Quraysh” (Musnad Ahmad)

[26] H.R.H Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam, Turath Publishing, 2017

[27] Ibid

[28] In the caliphate system, the task of electing leaders was formerly held by certain scholars who are qualified to collectively contribute in the electoral process. They are known as the Community of Solving Problems and Developing Contracts (Ahl-Hal Wal-’Aqd). This electoral system was derived from the decision-making process to elect the first caliph after the Prophet’s passing, Abu Bakr r.a. Some Companions r.a. representing the different tribes or factions were involved in the discussion to appoint the qualified person to hold the office. This can resemble modern day parliaments, according to some modern thinkers. See more: (, pg.9)



[31] Ibid

[32] There will be caliphates after me for thirty years, then there will be monarchy (Sunan At-Tirmizi)

[33] Strategies And Ruptures of Al-Qaeda: The Dangers and Errors, Obeikan Publisher, Translated by Dr. Muhammad Haniff Hassan (Malay), 2012 

[34] Mona Hassan, Longing For The Lost Caliphate: A Transregional History, Princeton University Press, 2016



All Asnaf Inspiring Muslims Dua Faith Family Ramadan Halal Malay Wakaf Travel Misconceptions
Join our mailing list