Skip Navigation Links

Social issues

I live in Canada. All the people here have equal rights, regardless of their religion. Anyone here can be a judge, a governor, or Prime Minister. I am wondering would this be allowed in an Islamic state? Are there any religious rulings that will object to the above?
الـجـــواب : فتاوى أمانة الفتوى
First, the concept of a ruler has changed in today's modern state and has become a set of systems and institutions (such as the constitution, laws, houses of parliament, government and the judiciary). The person who heads these systems and institutions is incapable of contradicting them whether he is a king, president, emperor or the like. Based on this, a person who occupies this position is like an employee who is charged with specific tasks; he is governed by the general system from which the other systems and institutions spring. Choosing a Muslim, non-Muslim, or woman for this position does not contradict the rulings of the shari'ah (Islamic law). This is because the ruler has become a set of legal entities and not an individual entity. Second, as for the judge's position, the criteria for which the Shafi'is and the majority of scholars prevented women from holding the office of a judge differ from those in the present civil state. • The office of a judge in the past was based on religious orientation: - The majority of scholars and the Shafi'is prohibited women from holding a judicial office as it was based on religious orientation such as the Caliphate and leading Muslim men in prayers. The rulings of the judge were derived from the Shari'ah and his verdict was effective if he followed any of the opinions of the followed schools of Jurisprudence as long as it did not contradict explicit texts [Qur'an and Sunnah] or a definitive consensus. • Criteria governing the judicial office at present [the civil state]: - In a civil state, the executive, legislative and judiciary authorities work together in one comprehensive system governed by conventional law that a judge must follow. - It is not a condition for a judge to implement his personal reasoning and issue a verdict based on what he sees as being of greater weight from among the schools of jurisprudence; - It is a condition for a judge to understand the law and possess the ability to apply it to incidents and the cases before him; - A judge must be part of a judiciary system that is not dependent upon him; - A judge is entrusted to apply these laws and conform to them; however his verdict may be overruled and the case may be brought before the courts of appeal and cassation. Ruling A group of Shafi'i scholars stated that if a powerful ruler appointed a woman as a judge, her judgment is valid. This is similar to what happens at present.