بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم
A while back I was discussing with an agnostic concerning the subject of Islam, and I said that Islam was the only religion that consistently says that the human being is ontologically distinct from Creator. One way or the other, he understood that this was unlike what one has in Christianity (where it is proclaimed that Jesus Christ is a “unitary point” between humans and God) or in Hinduism (where there is a unity of all existence in an underlying Divinity.)
What happened next is that the non-Muslim said that he liked the “democracy” that Hinduism gave people, since apparently he did not wish to be under the Will of a God that he could not actually control.
It is obvious that the above was basically a type of posturing in order for the opponent to say that he understands the essence of Islam, but that he rejects it nonetheless – perhaps he did not consider any religion seriously, and made this statement out of mocking spite.
However, looking back at this incident, I cannot but see that the essence of this “appeal to democracy” is in fact found among many of those who understand what Islam is, yet do not wish to follow Islam at all.
For what can be said about the one who understands that Allah is the Creator who originates everything through His Will and Power, yet wants to turn to a religious ideology where he supposedly has independent will and power to influence the affairs of the Universe? It is clear that this is other than the inciting ego that has taken over the mind of such people.
It may be said that most people will not go to the extreme of saying that they are basically “gods”. Yet, many will still reject Islam as a religion to be followed on the basis of rejecting the Normative Decrees that Allah has sent to His Creation.
For such people, the “appeal to democracy” still extends to the point where Allah’s revealed Sharia for humanity is rejected. Thus, “democracy” as an excuse with respect to laws that have been decreed by Allah is basically the same as “democracy” as an excuse for saying that one does not like Allah to be the only Creator who originates and brings into existence every person and all the changes that occur to him. In both cases, the idea of “democracy” is used to reject the descriptive truth behind the “Creative Decree” and/or the “Normative Decree”, using it as a “weapon” in an area that has no relevance to it.
And the strange thing is that many people understand that things such as the tables of mathematics, or the apparent laws of physics have no democratic component to them. That is, even if the people were to vote for a different addition table, for example, their popular majority vote would not change the status of how objects add up in the Universe. (Sure, they can say that the symbols and words used for certain numbers have been changed, but this would still need to have a consistent basis grounded in reality for it to have any meaning.)
What happens is that unfortunately, when it comes to the Islamic religion, many of these same people are ever ready to use appeals to democracy to reject it, even though in here, the framework for Islamic theology and a lot of Islamic legislation is within the same ambit as that of “absolute truths”, those things that cannot be drowned out by majority vote.
If people wish to discuss about the underlying philosophical assumption of Islam in this case, this is one issue, but to automatically use phrases such as “popular voting” or “democratic process” in this area shows a certain haphazardness and overall neglect concerning this extremely important area.
The only advice I can give to myself to others is not to be sucked into adopting words, phrases, and slogans in places they definitely do not belong, but rather, to humble ourselves and to submit ourselves to Allah in the way that He should be worshipped, so that we may gain the pleasure of Allah in this world and in the next.