A Muslim Cleric Confirms Islam And Democracy Are Not Compatible

This is response of a Muslim Cleric, Mazin AbdulAdhim, to Mehdi Hasan’s video that was broadcast on Al Jazeera TV:

“This video does not discuss whether Islam is compatible with democracy, rather he is discussing whether Muslims can handle living under a democracy. These are two very separate issues.

“If we are going to discuss whether *Islam* is compatible with democracy, we need to define the two systems properly first.

“More specifically, we must define:

“1) Who is the “sovereign” (meaning, who has the right to legislate laws) in both systems, 2) who has “authority” (meaning, who has the right to choose the ruler) in both systems.

“The issue is very simple:

“1- Sovereignty: In a democracy, man is the sovereign legislator, so laws are legislated based exclusively on the will of the people. In Islam, on the other hand, Allah (swt) is the Sovereign Legislator, so laws are legislated based exclusively on the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah; the people have no right or capability to make Halal into Haram, or Haram into Halal, no matter how many people vote in favor of it.

“2- Authority: In a democracy, man has the right to elect his ruler. In Islam, man has the right to elect his ruler.

“So, people tend to confuse these two things. Yes, people can elect their ruler in both Islam and democracy, but no, people cannot legislate their own laws in Islam, whereas they can in a democracy.

“Therefore, Islam and democracy are contradictory and absolutely incompatible, because Islam forbids mankind from legislating laws in the place of the Creator, even if the overwhelming majority of the people vote in favor of it…


Reading the Koran. 9

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 3 (continued)

The Meccans said that there was no Day of Doom. The Koran:

83:1 Woe to the cheaters who always demand full measure from others, but skimp when they measure out or weigh to others. What! Do they believe that they will not be resurrected on the great day when all men will stand before the Lord of the worlds? Yes! The register [a record of actions] of the wicked is in Sidjin [a place in Hell where the sinners’ records are kept]. And who will make you understand what Sidjin is? It is a complete record.

83:10 Woe on that day to those who deny Our signs, who regard the Judgment Day as a lie! No one regards it as a lie except the transgressor or the criminal, who, when Our signs are recited to him, says, “Old wives tales!” No! Their habits have become like rust on their hearts. Yes, they will be veiled from their Lord’s light that day. Then they will be burned in Hell. They will be told, “This is what you called a lie.”

83:18 No! But the register of the righteous is in Illiyoun [a place in Paradise where the actions of the righteous are recorded]. And who will make you understand what Illiyoun is? It is a complete record, attested to by the angels nearest Allah.

83:22 Surely, the righteous will live among delights! Seated on bridal couches they will gaze around. You will see the delight in their faces. Fine wines, sealed with musk, will be given them to drink. For those who have aspirations, aspire for wine mixed with the waters of Tasnim, a fountain where those close to Allah drink.

83:29 Sinners used to jeer at the believers and wink at one another when one passed by, and they jested as they returned to their own people. When they see believers, they say, “Those people have gone astray.” And yet they were not sent to be the guardians of those people.

83:34 On that day the faithful will mock the unbelievers, while they sit on bridal couches and watch them. Should not the unbelievers be paid back for what they did?

Not only were the present day Meccans going to Hell if they did not follow Mohammed, history was full of those who were doomed to Hell for ignoring the message of Allah.

69:1 The Inevitable! Who will make you understand what the Inevitable is?

69:3 The people of Thamud and Ad [Ad lay on an old trade route north of Mecca. It was abandoned in Mohammed’s day] regarded the Judgment Day as a lie. The people of Thamud were destroyed by crashing thunderbolts. The people of Ad were destroyed by a roaring blast of wind. The wind did Allah’s bidding against them for a full week. During that time you could have seen the people laid low, as if they had been the trunks of hollow palms. Could you have seen any of them surviving?

69:9 Pharaoh, too, and those who thrived before him, and the overthrown cities, all committed sin, and disobeyed the messenger sent by their Lord. That is why He punished them with an accumulated punishment.

69:11 When the flood rose high, We carried you in the ark so We could use that event to warn you and so the hearing ear might hear it. But when one blast is sounded on the trumpet, and the earth and the mountains are shaken, and both are simultaneously crushed into powder, on that day the woe that must come suddenly will come, and the sky will be split in two, because it will be fragile that day. The angels will align on the edges of the sky and over them. Eight will carry up the throne of your Lord.

69:18 On that day you will be brought before Him and none of your secrets will remain secret. Those who receive their book in their right hand will say to their friends, “Take my book and read it. I always knew that I would come to my reckoning.” And he will have a life of bliss, in a lofty Garden, with clusters of fruit nearby. Eat and drink with satisfaction. This is the reward for the good acts that you performed in the past.

69:25 But those who receive their book with their left hand will say, “Oh, I wish that I were never given my book and that I had never heard of my reckoning! I wish that death had been the end of me! My wealth has done me no good! My power has fled from me!”

69:30 Take him, and chain him, and cast him into Hell. Then fasten him to a seventy-yard chain, because he did not believe in Allah, the Greatest, and did not help to feed the poor. He will have no friends here that day, no food, only the pus that runs from sores, which only the sinners eat.

69:38 I do not need to swear by what you see and by that which you do not see – that this is surely the word of an honored messenger! It is not the word of a poet—you have so little faith! It is also not the word of a soothsayer – you heed little of Our warning! It is a message from the Lord of the worlds.

69:44 If he [Mohammed] had invented any of Our revelations, We would have grabbed him by the right hand, and cut his throat, and We would not have protected him from any of you.

69:48 But, surely, the Koran is a warning for the Allah-fearing. We know many think it is a lie. But it will cause grief for the unbelievers, because it is the absolute truth.

69:52 Praise the name of your Lord, the Greatest.

The Muslims went to the edge of Mecca to pray in order to be alone. One day a group of the Quraysh came upon them and began to mock them and a fight started. Saad, a Muslim, picked up the jaw bone of a camel and struck one of the Quraysh with it and bloodied him. This violence was the first blood to be shed in Islam.

When Mohammed spoke about his new religion, it did not cause any problems among the Meccans. Then Mohammed began to condemn their religion and rituals and worship. This was a new phenomena. New religions could be added and had been, but not to the detriment to others.

The Meccans took offense and resolved to treat him as an enemy. Luckily, he had the protection of his influential uncle, Abu Talib.

Some of the Quraysh went to Abu Talib, Mohammed’s tribal protector, and said to him, “Your nephew has cursed our gods, insulted our religion, mocked our way of life, criticized our civilization, attacked our virtues, and said that our forefathers were ignorant and in error. You must stop him, or you must let us stop him. We will rid you of him.” Abu Talib gave them a soft reply and sent them away.

The Quraysh saw that Abu Talib would not help. Mohammed continued to preach Islam and attack them and their lives. Mecca was a small town, everybody knew everybody. Islam had split the town of Mecca and divided the ruling and priestly tribe. The Quraysh were attacked at the very ground of their social being.

Things got much worse. Now there was open hostility in the town. Quarrels increased, arguments got very heated. Complete disharmony dominated the town. The tribe started to abuse the recently converted Muslims. But Mohammed’s uncle Abu Talib was a respected elder and was able to protect them from real harm.

Reading the Koran. 8

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 3 (continued)

Mohammed’s task in Mecca was difficult.

52:29 Therefore, continue to warn men. By the grace of your Lord, you are neither insane, nor a soothsayer.

52:30 Will people say, “He is a poet! Let us wait until his fortunes turn.”? Say: “Wait,” because truthfully, I will wait with you.

52:32 Is it their dreams that cause them to do this? Or is it because they are a perverse people? Will they say, “He has written it [the Koran] himself?” No! It is because they did not believe. If that is true, let them write a book like it.

52:35 Were they created from nothing? Did they create themselves? Did they create the heavens and the earth? No! It is because they have no faith. Do they possess your Lord’s treasures? Do they have absolute power? Can they communicate with the angels? If so, let them bring proof.

52:39 Does Allah have daughters while you have sons? Do you ask them for a payment so that they are weighed down with debt? Do they have secret knowledge that they can write down? Do they try to set traps for you? The unbelievers are the ones that are ensnared. Do they have any gods besides Allah? Glory be to Allah above the false gods they join with Him. If they saw a piece of the sky falling, they would say, “It is only a dense cloud.”

52:45 Ignore them until they meet the day when they will swoon with terror — a day when their tricks will avail them nothing and no help will come their way. Truly, there is another punishment for the evildoers, but most of them do not know it.

52:48 Wait patiently for your Lord’s Judgment, because you are in Our eye. Sing Allah’s praises when you rise up, and give Him praise at night and when the stars are setting.

The Koran contains encouragement for Mohammed:

94:1 Did We not open your heart for you [Mohammed] and relieve you of the burden that hurt your back? And did We not improve your reputation? So, certainly, with every hardship there is relief. Certainly, with every hardship there is relief.

94:7 When you are through with prayers, you should continue to work. Do everything you can to please your Lord.

Mohammed spent a great deal of time arguing with the Meccans and telling them that they were doomed to Hell if they rejected him and his message.

84:1 When the sky is split in half and obeys its Lord, as it must; when the earth is flattened, and has cast out everything it contains and is empty [the graves deliver the dead], and obeys its Lord, as it must; then certainly those who want to meet their Lord will meet Him.

84:7 He who receives his book [of life’s deeds] in his right hand [saved in Paradise], his account will be taken by a quick and easy reckoning and he will return joyously to his people. But those who receive their book behind their backs [damned to Hell] will invite destruction. They will burn in the Fire. They lived joyously among their people because they did not believe that they would return to Allah, but their Lord is always watching them.

84:16 So I do not need to swear by the glow of sunset, and by the night and everything it conceals, and by the moon at its fullest. You will certainly travel from stage to stage.

84:20 What is wrong with those who do not believe? When the Koran is read to them, why do they refuse to bow down? The unbelievers call it a lie.

84:23 But Allah knows their secrets, so announce to them a painful punishment. Those who believe and do good deeds, they will have a reward that never ends.

Reading the Koran. 7

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 3 (continued)

Since the word was out, Mohammed began to openly preach his new doctrine. He had been private for three years before he went public.

The first of many parables was given:

68:17 Surely, We have tried them [the Meccans] as We tried the owners of the garden, when they swore they would harvest its fruit in the morning; but added no exception [by saying, “If it is the will of Allah”].

Then an encompassing plague from your Lord swept through it while they slept, and by the morning the garden was barren, as if all its fruit had been cut.

68:21 At dawn they called to each other, “Go to your fields early if you want to cut your dates.” So they went, quietly whispering to each other, “No poor man will enter your garden today.” And so they went out at dawn to their fields with this purpose in mind.

68:26 But when they saw the garden, they said, “Surely we have gone astray. Indeed, our harvest is destroyed.” The best among them said, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you refuse to praise Allah?’” They said, “Glory to our Lord! Surely we have done wrong.”

68:30 Then they began to blame one another, and they said, “Woe to us! We were insolent! Perhaps our Lord will give us a better garden in exchange. Surely we beg this from our Lord.”

68:33 This has been their punishment, but the punishment of the hereafter is even greater, but they did not know this. Surely the Allah-fearing will be in Gardens of Delight in the presence of their Lord. Should We deal with those who have submitted to Allah like We do those who offend him? What has happened to you [unbelievers] to make you judge as you do? Do you have a Scripture from which you can learn how you can have the things that you choose? Or have you received an oath from Us, binding until Judgment Day, that you will have everything you demand? Ask them [the unbelievers] who will guarantee this? Or do they have other gods? Let them bring their other gods if they are telling the truth.

The Arabs had always believed in jinns, invisible beings created from fire.

Now they appeared in the Koran.

114:1 Say: I seek protection with the Lord of men, the king of men, the judge of men, and from the mischief of gossips, who whisper into the hearts of men tales against the jinn and men.

51:56 I created jinn and man only to worship me. I need no livelihood from them, and I do not need them to feed me. Truly, Allah is the sole sustainer, the possessor of power, and the unmovable!

51:59 Let those who injure you share the fate of the sinners of old. They should not challenge Me to hasten it. Woe to the unbelievers, because of the day they are threatened with.

The other deities in Mecca were attacked.

53:19 Do you see Al-Lat and Al-Ozza, and Manat [Arabic deities] the third idol? What? Do you have male children and Allah female children [Arabs called angels the daughters of Allah]? That is an unfair division!

53:23 These are mere names. You and your fathers gave them these names. Allah has not acknowledged them. They follow only their own conceits and desires, even though their Lord has already given them guidance.

53:27 Surely, the ones who give female names to the angels are the ones who do not believe in the hereafter, but of this they have no knowledge.

They are following a guess, and a guess cannot replace the truth.

53:29 Stay away from those who turn their backs on Our warnings and desire only the present life. This is all that they know. Truly, your Lord knows everything about those who stray from his path, and He knows everything about those who have accepted his guidance. Whatever is in the heavens and on the earth belongs to Allah. He may reward evildoers according to their own deeds and those who do good will be rewarded with good things.

53:32 Surely, your Lord is filled with forgiveness for those who avoid great sins and shameful acts and only commit minor sins. He knew you well when He brought you out of the earth and when you were in your mother’s womb. Do not try to justify yourself. He knows the Allah-fearing people the best.

Reading the Koran. 6

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 3 (continued)

Mohammed preached the doctrine of the Day of Judgment.

88:1 Have you heard the news of the overwhelming event?

88:2 Some faces will be downcast that day, troubled and weary, burnt at the scorching Fire, forced to drink from a fiercely boiling fountain, with only bitter thorns for food, which neither nourishes nor satisfies hunger.

88:8 Other faces that day will be joyous, and in a lofty Garden, very pleased with their past efforts. No vain talk will be heard there. There will be gushing fountains. There will be raised couches, and goblets placed nearby, and cushions arranged, and carpets spread out.

88:17 Will they consider the camels and how they were made? Or consider how the sky was upraised, and how the mountains are rooted, and how the earth is spread?

88:21 Warn them, because you [Mohammed] are merely a warner. You have no authority over them, but whoever turns back and disbelieves, Allah will punish them terribly.

88:25 Truly they will return to Us. Then it will be time for Us to settle their accounts.

After the day of doom would come Paradise and Hell.

56:1 When the inevitable day of terror arrives, no one will treat its sudden arrival as a lie. That day many will be crushed! That day some will be exalted!

56:4 When the earth is shaken to its core, and the mountains crumble to powder and become scattered dust, and the people are divided into three groups, the people of the right hand—Oh, how happy the people of the right hand will be!

56:9 The people of the left hand—Oh, how wretched they will be!

56:10 The people who were foremost on earth [the first to follow [Mohammed], they will be foremost in the hereafter. A large number of those who lived before are the people who will be brought close to Allah, in Gardens of delight. A few of those who lived later [after Islam was well established] will be on decorated couches, reclining on them face to face. They will be waited on by immortal young boys with goblets and ewers and a cup of pure wine that gives no headache nor muddles the mind, and with fruits that are most pleasing, and with the flesh of birds that they desire. In compensation for their past good deeds, they will have houris [heavenly companions of pleasure] with big, dark eyes like pearls peeking from their shells. They will not hear any vain or sinful talk, only the cry, “Peace! Peace!”

56:27 The people of the right-hand—Oh! How happy the people of the right-hand will be resting on raised couches amid thornless sidrahs [plum trees] and talh trees [banana trees], thick with fruit, and in extended shade and constantly flowing waters, and abundant fruits, neither forbidden nor out of reach. And We have specially made for them houris, companions, chaste and pure virgins, lovers and friends of equal age with them for the people of the right hand, a large number of the people of old, and a large number of the people of the latter generations.

56:41 The people of the left-hand—Oh, how wretched the people of the left-hand will be amid scorching winds and scalding water, and in the shade of black smoke, neither cool nor refreshing. Formerly they were blessed with worldly pleasures, yet they persisted in terrible sin and used to say, “What will be resurrected after we have died and crumbled to bone and dust? What about our fathers, the men of old?”

56:49 Say: Yes, the former and the latter. They will all be gathered at the appointed hour.

56:51 Then those who denied [Mohammed was a prophet] and erred will certainly eat from the Ez-zakkoum tree [a tree of Hell], and they will gorge themselves with it. Then they will drink scalding water and will drink like a thirsty camel. This will be their feast on the Judgment Day!

There was added a new element to the religion. Any person who rejected the revelations of Mohammed would be eternally punished. The culture of religious tolerance in Mecca now had a new religion which preached the end of tolerance. Only Islam was acceptable.

Reading the Koran. 5


A famine overtook the Quraysh and Mohammed’s uncle Abu Talib had a large family. Abu Talib was a well respected tribal leader, but had fallen on hard times. Mohammed went to another uncle, Al Abbas, and they both went to Abu Talib and offered to help raise two of his children.

Ali went into Mohammed’s house to be raised by him and Khadija. When Ali turned ten he joined with Mohammed in his new religion, Islam.

Mohammed and Ali used to go to the edge of town to practice their new ritual prayers. One day Abu Talib came upon them and asked what were they doing? Mohammed replied, “Uncle, this is the religion of Allah, His angels, His prophets and the religion of Abraham. Allah has sent me as an apostle to all mankind. You, my uncle, deserve that I should teach you the truth and call you to Islam.” His uncle said that he could not give up the religion of his ancestors, but that he would support Mohammed.

The native Arabic religions were tribal in that every tribe had its deities, but the ceremonies and traditions were passed down by oral tradition, not in writing.

Mohammed lived in Mecca, which had been a religious center for many generations. It had a stone building that was roughly shaped like a cube and was called a Kabah. There were at least five other Kabahs in other towns in Arabia. The Kabah was a religious center for many of the native religions. Some sources say that there were as many as 360 deities worshipped in Mecca, a city that was profoundly polytheistic and tolerant.

There were religious festivals that involved pilgrimages to Mecca, so at different times of the year, many tribes would gather to trade and do religious ceremonies.

One of the many gods in Mecca was Allah, a moon god. The native religions did not have any formal structure to the many deities, but Allah was a high god. Allah was the primary god of the Quraysh tribe of Mohammed, and Mohammed’s father was named Abdullah, slave of Allah.

The idea of having an Arabian prophet was new. The sources of the native religions were unknown, but the new religion of Islam had a self-declared prophet. The Jews had prophets, and now the Arabs had a prophet in Mohammed.

87:1 Praise the name of your Lord, the Most High, who has created and proportioned all things, who has determined man’s destinies and guided them, who brought forth the pasture, and reduced it to dusty stubble.

87:6 We will teach you to recite [the Koran] so that you do not forget, unless Allah wishes. He knows everything manifest and secret, and We will make it easy for you [Mohammed] to attain a state of ease. Therefore give warning because the warning is profitable. He who fears Allah will receive the warning, and only the most unfortunate ones will avoid it.

They will be flung into Hellfire, in which there is no death or life.

Since Mohammed was a prophet, it was natural that the Koran should pick the thread of the history of the Jews and their prophets, such as Abraham and Moses.


51:24 Have you heard the story of Abraham’s honored guests? They went to him and said, “Peace!” And he replied, “Peace, strangers.” And he went among his household and brought out a fatted calf, and he set it before them and said, “Do you want to eat?” They did not, and he became afraid of them. They said to him, “Do not be afraid,” and gave him the news that he was going to father a wise son. Abraham’s wife came forward with a cry, striking her face, and said, “But I am old and barren!”

51:30 They said, “Your Lord says it is true, and he is wise and knowing.”

51:31 Abraham said, “What errand are you on, messengers?” They replied, “We are sent to a wicked people, to shower them with stones of clay, sent by your Lord for their excesses.”

51:35 We went to evacuate the believers in the city, but We only found one Muslim family, and We left signs warning those who fear the painful punishment. Moses was another sign. We sent him to Pharaoh with manifest authority. But Pharaoh was confident of his might and turned his back and said, “You are a magician, or insane.” So We seized him and his army and cast them into the sea, and he had only himself to blame.


79: 15 Have you heard the story of Moses? How his Lord called to him in the sacred valley of Tuwa, saying, “Go to Pharaoh. He has rebelled, and say, ‘Do you want to be purified?’ Then I will guide you to your Lord so that you may fear Him.”

79:20 And Moses showed Pharaoh a great miracle. But Pharaoh denied it and disobeyed. Furthermore, he turned his back and rebelled against Allah. He gathered an army and made a proclamation, saying, “I am your lord, the most high.” So Allah punished him and made an example of him in this life and the hereafter. Surely this is a lesson for those who fear Allah.

Reading the Koran. 4


Mohammed’s wife, Khadija, was the first convert. From the first she had encouraged him, believed him. She knew him to be of good character and did not think him to be deceived or crazy. Soon he stopped hearing voices or seeing visions and became depressed and felt abandoned. Then his visions started again and said:

93:1 By the brightness of the noonday sun and by the night at its darkest, your Lord has not forgotten you, and He does not hate you.

93:4 Certainly the future will be better than the past, and in the end your Lord will be generous to you, and you will be satisfied. Did He not find you living like an orphan and give you a home? Did He not find you lost and give you guidance? Did He not find you poor, and did He not give you enough?

93:9 Therefore, do not oppress the orphan, and do not scold the beggar. Instead, announce the bounty of your Lord.

Then Mohammed began to tell others who were close to him of words in his visions.

1:1 In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

1:2 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. The Compassionate, the Merciful. King of the Judgment Day.

1:5 Only You do we worship, and to You alone do we ask for help. Keep us on the straight and narrow path. The path of those that You favor; not the path of those who anger You [the Jews] nor the path of those who go astray [the Christians].

107:1 What do you think of him who treats Our religion as a lie, who trusts that others will raise the orphan, and does not urge others to feed the poor? Woe to those who pray, but whose prayers are careless and to those who make a show of devotion, but refuse to help the needy.

70:22 Not the devout, who pray constantly and whose wealth has a fixed portion set aside for beggars and the destitute, and those who believe in the Judgment Day, and those who fear their Lord’s punishment – because no one is safe from their Lord’s punishment—and who control their sexual desires (except with their wives or slave-girls, with them there is no blame; but whoever indulges their lust beyond this are transgressors), and who keep their trusts and promises, and who tell the truth, and who are attentive to their prayers. These will live with honors in Gardens.

92:5 He who gives alms and fears Allah and accepts the good, to him We will make the path to happiness easy. But he who is greedy and does not think he needs Allah’s help and calls the good a lie, to him We will make the path to misery easy. And what good will his wealth do him when he dies?

92:12 Certainly it is up to Us to guide man and certainly the future and the past belong to Us. Therefore I warn you of the blazing Fire. Only the most wretched will be thrown into it, those who call the truth a lie and turn their backs.

92:17 Those who fear Allah will escape it and so will those who give away their wealth so that they may be purified; and who give freely without hope of reward, except seeking the pleasure of his Lord, the most high, certainly in the end they will be content.

95:1 I swear by the fig and the olive, by Mount Sinai, and by this inviolate land [Mecca]! We have created man in a noble image then reduced him to the lowest of the low, except those who believe and do the right things, because their reward will never fail.

95:7 Then, who can convince you that the judgment is a lie? Is Allah not the best of judges?


Mohammed began to do his prayers with his new understanding. At first he did two prostrations with each prayer. Later he understood that he should use four prostrations per prayer and use two prostrations when he was traveling.

Then when he was on a mountain he saw a vision in which Gabriel showed him how to do ritual ablutions as a purification ritual before prayer. He went home and showed his wife, Khadija, how he now understood the prayer rituals to be done and she copied him.

Mohammed, his wife and nephew, Ali, started praying at the Kabah with their new rituals of ablutions and prayer with prostrations. A visitor asked about this new ritual and was told that it was a new religion and that Mohammed said that he would receive the treasures of Rome and Persia.

73:1 You [Mohammed] wrapped up in your robe, awake half the night, more or less, to pray and recite the Koran in a measured rhythm, because We will send down to you a weighty message. Certainly nightfall is a time when impressions are stronger and speech is more certain. Obviously, the day is filled with constant work.

73:8 Remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with complete devotion. Lord of the east and the west; there is no god except Allah. Take Him for your protector.