The Spirit Of “Legitimate Democracy” Stems From Sharıah And That’s Where It Lives!


Ediz SÖZÜER, Bağımsız Araştırmacı



The purpose of this study is to clearly reveal how wrong some radical people are in seeing democracy as a regime of blasphemy and to think that Sharia is an alternative and rival administrative system to democracy. In addition, as Bediuzzaman Said Nursi is a supporter of the concepts of republic and legitimate constitutionalism, the fact that democracy is an indispensable part of a real republic and that it is basically nothing but “constitutionalism without a sultan” has been examined in the most striking way and within a valid logical manner, with a view to revealing the serious mistake of a mentality that cannot object to these concepts but continues to see democracy as blasphemy (denial). An analysis has been made, in the most precise and clear way, to prove the facts that Sharia is not an administration system, but a set of basic principles and rules, that Islam does not recommend and set forth what and how the government will be, and therefore, that an administrative system (democracy) and the principles of implementation (Sharia) cannot be compared with each other, nor can they be alternatives or rivals to each other. In addition, our study has put forward, in the most reasonable way, the natural relationship between respecting divine wisdom & discretion and democracy and the fact that divine provisions can be voted. Finally, it has been most clearly determined that a “legitimate” (i.e., within the framework of shari’ah) government, that is, “legitimate democracy”, in which the people govern themselves, provided that everyone abides by the basic shari’a rules, is an administrative approach that is much more compatible with Sharia (compared to the constitutional monarchy).

Keywords: Legitimate Democracy, Constitutional Monarchy, Sharia, Freedom of Faith, Governance System and Regime.


“Meşru Demokrasi” Ruhu Şeriattandır; Hayatı Da Ondandır!



Bu çalışmanın amacı, bazı radikal düşünceye sahip insanların, demokrasiyi küfür rejimi olarak görmelerinin ve şeriatı ise, demokrasiye alternatif ve rakip bir yönetim sistemi zannetmelerinin, ne kadar hatalı bir yaklaşım olduğunun açık bir şekilde ortaya koyulmasıdır. Ayrıca Bediüzzaman Said Nursi’nin cumhuriyet ve meşrutiyet-i meşrua kavramlarına taraftar olup sahip çıkması nedeniyle, bu kavramlara itiraz edemeyen fakat demokrasiyi küfür (inkar) olarak görmeye devam eden bir zihniyetin vahim yanlışını ortaya koymak maksadıyla; demokrasinin, gerçek bir cumhuriyetin vazgeçilmez bir parçası olduğu ve temel olarak “padişahsız meşrutiyet”ten başka bir şey olmadığı, en çarpıcı şekilde ve sağlam bir mantıkî kurgu içinde incelenmiştir. Şeriatın, bir yönetim sistemi olmadığı, temel ilke ve kurallar bütünü olduğu ve İslamiyet tarafından yönetim şeklinin ne ve nasıl olacağının tavsiye edilmediği ve ortaya koyulmadığı; dolayısıyla bir yönetim sistemi (demokrasi) ile uygulama esaslarının (şeriat) birbiriyle kıyaslanamayacağı ve birbirinin alternatifi ve rakibi de olamayacağı, en kesin ve net bir şekilde çözümlenmiştir. Bununla beraber, çalışmamız ilahî hükümlerin oylanabileceğini ve ilahî hikmet ve takdire hürmet etmenin, demokrasiyle olan tabii (doğal) ilişkisini en mâkul bir tarzda ortaya koyulmuştur. Son olarak, temel şeriat kaidelerine herkesin uyması şartıyla, halkın kendi kendini yönettiği “meşru” (yani şeriat dairesinde) bir yönetim şeklinin, yani “meşru demokrasi”nin, şeriata (meşrutiyete kıyasla) çok daha fazla uygun düşen bir yönetim anlayışı olduğu en açık şekliyle tespit edilmiştir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Meşru Demokrasi, Meşrutiyet, Şeriat, İnanç Hürriyeti, Yönetim Sistemi ve Rejim.



1- The Relationship between Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy and Analysis of Their Nature

The spirit of constitutionalism (in current expression and in the way that gives the same meaning without a sultan and more perfectly “democracy”) stems from Shariah, and that’s where it lives.” (Debate, Said Nursi)

We felt the need to write out this very important article content because some people with radical thoughts and even some who have the accumulation of Epistles of Light try to portray democracy as if it is something very bad or a blasphemy regime and do this based on Master Bediuzzaman and Epistles of Light. It is said that “constitutionalism and democracy are different things and Bediuzzaman did not advocate democracy. It is only constitutionalism that complies with the Shariah.”

First of all, this is a rather groundless and ridiculous claim. Constitutionalism and democracy are, of course, different. Constitutionalism: It is the public’s participation in the state administration besides the king or sultan. As for democracy, it is a form of the state where the public governs itself. In other words, a sultan is needed in constitutionalism. When you remove the Sultan, there is a democracy. (We draw attention to the fundamental difference between the two, otherwise, in constitutionalism, democracy does not come as soon as the Sultan goes, of course)

But we ask according to these basic definitions: “What is democracy other than constitutionalism without a sultan (that is, the public’s having a say in administration in real terms and governing itself)?”

We want everyone to understand that democracy is only a form of government.

It is a system, a management tool, a tool. A democracy in which Shariah and Islamic rules are rendered dominant can easily be and is achieved.

As of now, the failure to implement these rules does not make democracy bad. Democracy is like a useful tool. It makes sense as per the way you use it. It’s like television. Watching good and bad programs is at your will. Or a knife. You can use it to cook or kill. The choice is entirely yours.

Blaming the most advanced system that humanity has reached so far and assuming that malignancies and all that are opposed to Shariah are its fault is helplessness and being devoid of discernment.

First of all, democracy is constitutionalism without a sultan. (i.e., this is their main difference.) The roots of democracy are in constitutionalism. Those who want to deny democracy must either deny constitutionalism or see this clear truth. After you see this clear truth, you will realize that, on condition that it is “legitimate” (within the scope of Shariah), management without a sultan (i.e. legitimate democracy) gives the same meaning more perfectly than constitutionalism complying with the rules of Shariah, accepted and defended by Bediuzzaman.

Calling democracy a blasphemy regime is making a very important category mistake. And when you hear denial in a television program, it’s no different than calling television a tool of blasphemy or heretic. Because television is a device, and devices do not have religious beliefs. They show you the program you installed.

In the same vein, democracy is a system of governance. Management systems have no religions. They do not swear, they do not leave the faith.

They take form as per the basic precepts you install and the practices you make, just as water taking the shape of the container.


2- The Analysis of Allegation that “Even Western Political Scientists Say Democracy Is an Ideology!” and of the Objection to this Allegation

They say that: “Even the Western political scientists say that democracy is an ideology.”

In return, we say: “Even so, will they impose on us how to define and produce our concepts?” See, the Theory of Evolution is ideological rather than scientific and has become an instrument in the hands of atheist ideology. Moreover, it was presented in the name of science and as a scientific fact. Should we now declare science as an atheist and become an enemy of science? Shouldn’t we do science with our approaches?

As we describe, apply, envision, and interpret, it will come to life within the scope of Shariah and a “Legitimate Democracy,” in which the rules and basic principles of Shariah are accepted as they are, the problems seen in other democracy practices will not be observed.


  1. B) Analyzing


3- Analysis of Democracy as an Indispensable Part of a True Republic

At this point, we also need to mention the relationship between democracy and republic. Because what is interesting is that some state that they accept the republic even though they do not accept democracy and that today, constitutionalism indicates republic. And, unfortunately, they implement these distorted and grave mistakes, again by associating them with Master Bediuzzaman.

First of all, it should be expressed that the Republic indicates the elective office of the person who is the first to represent the state. It should not be forgotten that if the public can elect the first man of their state by a multiple-choice procedure and “really”, then that nation can also elect a parliament that will make laws and limits the state with that democratic procedure. (In this sense, the first real president elected by “election with a rival” is Celal Bayar!).

Therefore, a real republic is only and only a democratic republic. The republics that are not democratic, that is to say, those carrying not the meaning but only the name and the picture of the republics are not republics but autocracy regimes. (In this sense, the republic was established in 1950 in our country!).

The opposite of the Republican regime is the sultanate. Therefore, a person who says “I am a republican,” cannot be a defender of the sultanate of any kind and cannot be content with neither absolute nor constitutional monarchy.

On the other hand, while democracy has many definitions, its essential and indispensable feature is the manifestation of the will of the majority in the form of law through free politics, free press, and free elections, and the administration’s compliance with these laws.

Constitutionalism is the regime in which the executive authority of the administrator is “constitutional”, that is, conditioned and under record. The parliament makes these recordings by the laws it makes. In constitutionalism, there is a democratic republic if the ruler at the top of the state who has the status of being the first man is elected. In cases where the first man who governs and represents the state under the laws is among the members of a dynasty, that is, a sultanate, there is a democratic sultanate/kingdom or constitutional monarchy.

Legitimacy means that the government is legitimate, that is, it complies with Shariah. The administration takes its legitimacy from the authority given to it by the nation, which is the real owner of the state it manages. The opposite of legitimacy is that the administration is an illegitimate administration that has been usurped unjustly. As for constitutionalism complying with the rules of Shariah, it indicates constitutionalism within the limits of Shariah pursuant to law.

In the early 1900s, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi claimed constitutionalism and freedom in the name of Shariah. However, he declared that he accepted and sued constitutionalism, that is one that complies with the rules of Shariah, by emphasizing that especially freedom should not be misinterpreted and stating that true freedom is one that is within the scope of Shariah.

Therefore, in light of all this information, it cannot be said that the current equivalent of constitutionalism complying with the rules of Shariah is the republic. But it can easily be said that “it is a democracy that has been adapted to religion”.

Therefore, if there is no throne and king in a country, and there is an elected president as the first man, a democratic constitution that restricts the administration, and a parliament that operates the constitution, then there is a democratic republic in that country. If there is no throne and king in a country, but the rulers have not acceded with a real election, and although there is a constitution, it is not democratic and if there is a parliament, but it does not have democratic power, it means that there is a pointless republic consisting of name and picture in that country.

Our review reveals that what is meant by constitutionalism complying with the rules of Shariah today, is not a “republic” but a “legitimate democratic republic,” that is one within the scope of Shariah.[1]


4- Not Applying Sharia Rules Doesn’t Mean their Denial!

And there is also that not applying the Shariah rules does not mean denying them. It only means they are not implemented (perhaps because it is thought that the circumstances demand so or due to neglect). The positive and negative beliefs of people about this are related to their preferences. It does not come into contact with the state administration in any way at the point of creed. (Since the state is an abstract concept and is not a living person considered to be a religious taxpayer, such a thing is practically impossible.)

Essentially, the famous “The religion of the state is Islam,” phrase should be conceived as an expression of the common acceptance of the majority of the community living in the state in question.  In other words, it is an expression of the fact that the implementation of the basic principles of Islam that apply to social life, the rule of state, and law are largely accepted by people who accept and affirm Islam in the state in question. This is, of course, ideal. But if there are deficiencies or disruptions in this matter, we should not find fault with the people’s creed and the management system.

Just like those who do not find fault with television, who only know that inappropriate programs need to be changed and are aware that only we can do it…

Note: When we say that “We should not find fault with the creed of people,” what we mean is the absurdity of seeing someone who casts vote by choosing a party in the current order although s/he accepts and acknowledges the rules of Shariah as a person who is inclined to shirk and blasphemy. Otherwise, a Muslim and a believer are of course, obliged to accept and acknowledge the Shariah principles of Islam.


5- Difference Between “Administrative System” and “Regime”

It is necessary to understand the difference between the “Management System” and “Regime” well (of course, “applications” should be considered separately).

Let’s think of a car engine. All parts that combine the engine form a system. However, the presence of the system is not enough to start the car. A set of rules to activate the system is needed for the car to be started. Which part will initiate the first movement? Piston, valves, or cylinders? Who will continue the movement; which part will pass to whom and when? When will the spark plugs ignite the fuel? When will the crankshaft become involved?

If the car engine is the government system, the engine’s operating mechanism is the regime.

The government system is concerned with the parts, which the power of the state is divided into; and the regime is concerned with how and in which intensity this power is used by the parts.

“And the profane and hypocrites who seduce you and confuse the judiciary and who are our opponents that keep the government occupied with us in a way that is harmful to the country and the nation, both seduce you, occupy the government and drag us down and strike a blow against the Islamic rule and the nation and the country on behalf of the foreigner, by naming absolute dictatorship “republic,” involving the heretic in the regime, naming absolute debauchery “civilization” and labeling arbitrary strain aimed at blasphemy as “law.”[2]

“Rejecting the regime is neither our duty nor something we have the strength for; we do not ponder upon it, and Epistles of Light does not allow it. But we do not accept, practice, or want it. Rejection is one thing, rejecting is another, and not practicing is something completely different.”[3]

The expression “rejection,” should be understood to mean that we do not accept this implementation and the management system’s being used as such. The statements in the previous paragraph confirm our verdict. Otherwise, it should be asserted that the republic equals absolute dictatorship. This is not the truth.

Already, even the regime, which is the form of administration system, is practiced differently from the way it is expressed (for instance, secularism, unlike the way it is expressed -its definition as separating religious-state affairs- is practiced as hostility against religion), as profaneness and “involving in the regime” is mentioned. Otherwise, he should have said “heretic regime.”

Furthermore, even if the regime is practiced as hostility towards religion, unlike its definition – for example, the definition of secularism, which is the distinction between religion and state affairs – let alone the administrative system, even the regime cannot be described as abandoning religion. Just the same, our Master meant the implementations by saying “involving profaneness in the regime.” Otherwise, he should have said “heretic regime.” So, let alone the administration system, even the regime does not use that phrase (that is, abandoning religion, etc.). (Yes, it does not accept the regime of separation of religious affairs from the state affairs and does not approve of its implementations in practice, but we can easily say that it has no problems with the administration system)

Yes, it should be emphasized that “disobeying, not practicing” does not mean denial. That there are shortcomings and omissions in practice and there is no exact compliance with the principles of Shariah under ideal conditions do not render the administration form a blasphemy regime. The state is again the Islamic state.

There is currently no Islamic system of governance to use. Those who advocate the Shariah against democracy and those who think these two are enemies should know very well that Shariah is not a system of administration, but a set of basic principles and rules. Therefore, even the expression “to be ruled by Shariah” is wrong. However, “an administrative system in which Shariah principles are accepted and tried to be applied” can be mentioned. (It is not possible to see a modern and sophisticated Islamic administration system to meet the need of the present time, which amounts to this and was specifically designed for this.)


6- Sharia is not an Administrative System, but a Set of Basic Principles and Rules. The Type of Administration and its Operation have not been Recommended and Set Forth by Islam!

What and how the management will be was neither recommended nor put forward by Islam. It was even left open-ended so that the principles of Shariah, which are like the water taking the shape of the container into which they are put can come to life at any time and place.

Therefore, the Ottoman state was ruled by fatwas indicating that the sultanate administration was Islamic. (Of course, human equality in Islam was ignored. Because in the words of our Prophet, people are equal like the teeth of the comb.) We are not going to use the legislation and administrative system of the sultanate period of hundreds of years ago, are we?

Anyone who cannot put forth an administrative system alternative and model, which will appeal to today should not oppose our idea of “legitimate democracy,” where the basic principles of Shariah are preserved and will be practiced as they are.

Here, we also want to give you a very important basic information: Shariah means divine law. The term meaning of this concept is synonymous with religion. It includes the principles of belief as well as the rules of worship and morality that regulate people’s behavior. It also includes the main principles that come into contact with social and political life. “Shariah belongs to morality, worship, afterlife, and virtue with ninety-nine percent. Its relation to politics is one in a hundred.”[4] Shariah, which is related to politics with a ratio of one in a hundred and which rather indicates revealing the main human, legal, faith-based, moral principles in universal terms has been a concept whose meaning is unknown or is abused.

Now, let us start reading the article entitled “Long live the principles of the Holy Quran!”, which is among Bediüzzaman’s famous articles published under the name “Makâlât” (Articles) and see how the second paragraph of the article begins: “…Its constitutionalism indicating the Republic and the democratic… ”[5] This article dated 1909 (which is just one example, there are so many similar articles) was published in 1951 after the correction of our Master. “The republic (Hashiye) consists of justice and consultation and delimitation of power by the rules of law. Footnote: It was constitutionalism at the time; the word is now replaced by Republic.”[6] In other words, our Master used the concepts of constitutionalism, which he developed under freedom and Shariah based on the concept of constitutionalism, for democracy and the republic in the following years and wrote many letters to the state authorities about this. Yes, he usually used the expression republic, but probably, there is no logical reason to think that this is a non-democratic republic. There are also numerous indicators and evidence that what is meant is the democratic republic. Because the work of debate, in which our Master described his understanding of constitutionalism complying with religious rules is seen as “a unique manifesto of democracy,” and it is so. The students of Epistles of Light even included signed letters in the Epistles of Light. And of course, our Master has criticized the abuse in the system and the practices that are opposite to the Islamic rules; he directed, encouraged, warned, and advised the administrators for the exercises and practices as per the rules of the Qur’an.

And there’s also that, constitutionalism that is in line with the principles of Shariah, as described by the Master Bediüzzaman, is much more advanced than the classical democratic republic of today. We want it, and we are in favor of it, and just like our Master, we say “Long live constitutionalism that is in line with the principles of Shariah! Long live magnificent and bright Shariah! Shariah came to the world to destroy oppression, tyranny, and tyrannical domination. If I said anything, if anyone has anything to say against any word of it, I am ready to prove what I say with absolute clarity. And I said: The origin of Shariah indicates the reality of constitutionalism complying with religious rules. So, I accepted constitutionalism with proof worthy of acceptance by Shariah. I did not consider it as an imitation and contrary to Shariah like some civilization defenders. I did not present Shariah as a bribe either.”[7]

Question: Where is the current constitutionalism, oppression? Where’s their operation? Where’s the Caliphate, where is the sultanate? How do you practice it? You’re letting the other one gets in touch and have contact; there are eras and ages between them.

Reply: The secret of constitutionalism is the law of force; the individual is nothing. The essence of tyranny is that the force is in the individual; it can subject the law to its pleasure; the right is defeated by power. However, these two souls always take shape and wear garments each. This is how the fashion of these times dress. It should not be assumed that when tyranny prevails, it has the absolute rule, and when constitutionalism is defeated, it is ruined. Never! As absolute triumph is of use in the universe, constitutionalism has ruled in many circles of social life. The struggle continues, sometimes with triumphs and sometimes defeats.

Question: Do some men say, “Is it opposed to Shariah”?

Reply: The spirit of constitutionalism is Shariah, and that’s where it lives. However, in terms of the requirements of the era, there may be specifications; the opponents shall fall temporarily. It’s also that, at any rate, constitutionalism comes to life on time! It does not need to stem from constitutionalism. It can also be asked, is there anything that complies with Shariah in every aspect; is there a man whose every state is in keeping with Shariah? If so, even the spiritual personality of the government cannot be innocent; it is only the ideal, imaginary civilization of Plato where everything can be perfect. However, together with constitutionalism, the roads of abuse are blocked; they are open to tyranny.[8]

“O the freedom of Shariah! You call with such a great but beautiful and precursory voice…” says Bediüzzaman. How can we reconcile freedom and Shariah?

“What freedom indicates is: It should not harm neither your soul nor else.”

“Since some of the miserable and reckless do not want to live freely, they want to live under the miserable slavery of the nafs that dictates evil.”

In other words, it should be said, “Long live freedom rendered decent by Shariah!”

“Question: Today, many things are done that do not fit Shariah.

Reply: In my opinion, things that are of Shariah in the reality of being opponents are even opponents to constitutionalism; it’s either their sins or things required by the time and conditions. Assume that politics is against Shariah; there is still no room for anxiety.  Because it is only one of a thousand parts of the bright rules of Shariah that concern politics. Shariah is not neglected when that part is neglected.

Yes, not to obey, not to practice do not mean to deny. Besides, fifteen times of Islam of those Islams subject to the Ottoman Empire are only under the rule of foreigners’ politics. Their religion is not harmed; moreover, in this government, which, itself is Islam, the rule of the nation is Islam, the procedure and principle of politics is this doctrine: The religion of this state is Islam; it is our duty to guard this principle. Because it is the maya of the life of our nation.”[9]

In other words, just as legitimate constitutionalism was envisaged as per Shariah, regarding democracy, which is the advanced version of constitutionalism without a sultan, we only accept it and consider it right if it is in compliance with the principles of Shariah. However, the actual meaning does not change with some shortcomings and inaccuracies in practice. The main principles of Shariah administered by the public, concerning which Master Bediüzzaman made a brand new interpretation, wholly form the main principle.  There are a lot of nuances here. Attention is needed.

That there are shortcomings and omissions in practice and there is no exact compliance with the principles of Shariah under ideal conditions do not render the administration form a blasphemy regime. The state is again the Islamic state. It is not an abode of war at all. These concepts and inferences are the interpretations and opinions of our Master shaped in his 90-year life and works. Yes, our Master does not tend to completely reject or accept anything. Truth requires it. It accepts and confirms right and good aspects, and criticizes and disapproves of wrong and bad aspects. His approach regarding constitutionalism, freedom, democracy, and the republic has always been in this direction, and this is what reason and foresight necessitate.

“If constitutionalism and the Ottoman basic law are what you have heard, they consist of actual justice and consultation in Shariah; Receive it favorably. Try to preserve it. Because our worldly bliss is in constitutionalism. And we are harmed by tyranny more than anyone.”[10]

“Accept and suggest constitutionalism with the title of legitimacy (compliance with the rules of Shariah). A new and secret and irreligious tyranny shall not dirty that sacred being by shielding it to cover its malevolence with its dirty hands. Delimit freedom by the customs of Shariah. Because, if illiterate individuals and the public are provided with unconditional freedom they become dissolute and disobedient people. Your kiblah shall be four sects in the justice prayer. Until the prayer is valid. For, I have argued that it is possible to deduce the truths of constitutionalism, explicitly and implicitly and with permission from the four sects.”[11]


7- An Administrative System (Democracy) and the Principles of Implementation (Sharia) are not comparable with each other and cannot be an alternative or a competitor to each other!

Shariah consists of principles of law, basic principles, and general rules. It is not a system of administration in itself and, frankly, there is no management system that Islam proposes and introduces other than the basic principles and rules. And this is the absolute form of a complete set of rules that will accompany humankind throughout its development and will prevail until the doomsday. It is now time to stop comparing democracy, which is an administrative system with Shariah principles, which only indicate one percent of the concept Shariah which has the same meaning with divine law and refers to “the principles of practice and a set of fundamental rules” that contact with politics. An administrative system and its implementation principles are not comparable and cannot be the alternatives or rivals of one another. Disruptions, inaccuracies and deficiencies in the implementation and legislation of the administrative system and even contradictions with the basic principles of the Shariah (if any) do not serve to discredit the administrative system in question, and those defects are not known to stem from that system. The existing deficiencies are corrected. Discrediting and giving up, and denying democracy in the name of Shariah is no different than tossing the television out because it shows inappropriate programs.

Yes, despite the detailed explanations in our article, it may be difficult to understand the subject. Let’s be more sincere: We also do not accept the practices or provisions of the law that are contrary to the basic principles and rules of Shariah within the democratic system and do not consider them right mentally. But we say: “What is the offense of democracy in this?”  You demand and offer, and if accepted by the majority, you replace these inaccuracies and omissions with the correct ones. The system and the practices and rules against the principles of Shariah that people bring with their hands and accept in that system are two different things.


8- The Reasonability Analysis of whether it is possible to vote on Divine Provisions or not

Now, maybe somebody’s gonna say, “No way! Are divine provisions voted?”

We say: Religion is an offer. Not everyone has to accept. If you try to impose it, you will turn it from a disbeliever to a hypocrite. This is more harmful. Besides, it is of no use or meaning to have these provisions are practiced in favor of the state and forcibly in a place where the majority does not believe in and live by the principles of Islam. On the contrary, it is harmful. Because it produces hypocrites. Therefore, it is in the interest of Islam that these provisions are put into practice with the acceptance of the majority. In the same way that having faith in God and praying are deeds that a person decides by his/her will and the secret of trial and the offer of religion necessitate this freedom, in terms of Islam, it is reasonable and appropriate for us that the society, consisting of lots of people, accepts the practice of the provisions of Shariah at least with the approval of the majority. We will return to this subject with strong evidence proving our claim.

We already stated that, when the principles of Shariah are not practiced in a country, it will not render the administration of the country in question a blasphemy administration, and those who vote for that administration heretics with the principle “that something is not implemented does not mean that it is denied.” Besides, we can also say that just as the people living in a country have the right to choose their administrative system and the people who will manage them, it would not be appropriate to deprive a majority of people who prefer the provisions of Shariah to have a decisive place in the public order of these rights, following the fundamental assumptions of democracy.

We accept and affirm Shariah. Humankind needs those divine laws. However, people are free to accept and affirm them. They decide and should decide about this with their will. It is again democracy, which will give the desired result, nothing else, that’s what we are saying. Now, we will share parts from an article that involves great replies to utter nonsense such as:  “The ummah does not have the right to dominate and does not have the right to make laws either!”

“… When you decide not to give the right to decide, that is to prefer and practice to the individual, there is no trial, which means the individual is not responsible. And here we say: “A regime that places the will of humans at the top of the hierarchy is precisely Islamic.  It is called democracy. In other words, in every stage (in the election of the rulers, in the form of elections, in the making of laws for the elected rulers to rule the country), foregrounding human will be God’s choice for trial. Of course, one will decide to believe in God first, and after deciding, s/he will believe, and after believing, s/he will try to follow the commandments of the religion s/he believes in his/her life. In all these stages, s/he should be free to receive rewards or be punished. This is what our Master said to reinforce this: “Freedom is the gift of the Compassionate (God).” Otherwise, what ensues is “it should be provided that everyone complies with this by order and force,” and we know that those with this understanding and practice are ISIS, Al-Qaeda. The Islamic system will be gradually introduced, and this will not be by force, but through persuasion and proof. Democracy will be sustained by remaining in it. The shape of that system is also clear. It is explained in the Master’s work named “Sünuhat.” It also is a two-chamber system. “High Islamic Council,” has the status of the elected president and the elected National Assembly, and their mufti. The first assembly (parliament) makes the laws as done by the parliament today, but the second assembly is in the office of the mufti, giving fatwa. It discusses the conformity of laws to Islam and concludes them. But it is not binding. The final will belong to the nation and its assembly, which is its concrete mirror. The name doesn’t matter, the important thing is the form of application.”[12]


9- The Natural Relationship between, on the one hand, Respect for Divine Wisdom & Discretion and, on the other hand, Democracy

Sure, it is good to have found and know the truth, to have the blessing of finding the true path, and to serve what one knows and believes to be true, and it is the most basic right of a person to live in accordance with his/her belief. However, this does not mean that it is his/her right to impose his/her truth on other people! We believe in the freedom of choosing good and evil, which is a right granted by Allah, as much as we believe in the truth itself.  And this is the way we should respect this freedom.

Allah has wished that people have their own will, whether they believe it or not by their own will so that they can make their choices freely and take responsibility for their actions. Sure, we will and should respect this divine wisdom and discretion. The duty of a believer is only to serve Allah, and his/her responsibility is limited by this. Interfering with the will of other people falls under neither his/her responsibility nor his/her authority. The outcome is not his/her responsibility.

Therefore, no one can be a better democrat than a person who has such a belief and can integrate it into his/her daily life. The important thing is that believers realize that the culture and maturity of living together is the most natural and indispensable requirement of their faith. Questions such as Sharia regulations in the public sphere and whether a Muslim may be forced to follow sharia rules, and how Sharia provisions are voted on should be answered in a separate context (We answered this question above.) The important thing is to understand and internalize this basic approach.


  1. C) Conclusion


10- “If and When We Defend Democracy, Do We Have to Adopt Laws and Practices that are Against Sharia Laws? “Do Constitutionalism and Democracy not Come to the Same Thing”?

There was an opportunity to reveal an important truth upon an objection to our statements above. The objection is as follows: “You said: ‘Questions such as sharia regulations in the public sphere and whether a Muslim may be forced to follow sharia rules and how sharia provisions are voted should be answered in a separate context. The important thing is to understand and internalize this basic approach.’ If we are defending democracy, you cannot object to any law, and you have to adopt it. Our Master, Said Nursi, is not an apostle of democracy. He used the term “legitimate constitutional monarchy”. However, constitutional monarchy and democracy do not come to the same thing.”

Our response to this is as follows: “You can’t insist that I want such a law (or the application of sharia rules) where you are not the majority! Think about it! Where you are not a majority, you don’t have either an obligation to apply the Sharia, or Islamic responsibility (theoretically) and the means and the power to make it happen (practically).

In such a case, you only have an obligation not to accept the practices and laws that are contrary to the rules of Sharia, intellectually and scientifically. You don’t have to embrace and accept them. You are not in a position to be the enforcer of those rules like a citizen of a non-Muslim state where Muslims are in the minority!

When the majority thinks and believes like you, then you will put forward your own practices and laws since you will become the implementer! In addition, the “legitimate democracy” we have described becomes even better than the “legitimate constitutional monarchy”! (As we have demonstrated this clearly in our study.)

As our Master said, we will never bribe the Shariah and express with evidence that the self-rule of the people is in conformity with Islam. But, of course, the basic Shariah principles consist of an uncompromising essence. The victory of democracy serves Shariah ideals, and ultimately this will be the ideal point it reaches. That’s how we see it. This is exactly the kind of horizon our Master has drawn for us. Please let us remember the promise and gospel “If God permits, those democrats will remove the absolute tyranny and conduce to the freedom of Shariah.

Freedom will come first, and then will come the true freedom in the absolute sense within the scope of Shariah. Mistakes and deficiencies in the implementations cannot be attributed to the system. Because it is you who fill it in. Democracy is an administrative system. Constitutionalism does not comply with Shariah more than democracy does. On the contrary, democracy is much more suited to the spirit of Islam. Because there is no sultan. Everybody is equal. However, practices such as enforcement and legislation are performed by people. They are shaped by the way people practice them.


11- Is Constitutionalism (or Constitutional Monarchy) or “Legitimate Democracy” More Appropriate to Sharia?

A serious problem is that we have an inferiority complex; while others play with concepts as they like, change, update, adapt, produce, and use them as they wish, when it comes to us doing something like this, the reaction is “Why. No way! We can’t produce. We only use and imitate what is presented to us.” The answer is very simple: “It is all right if you do it.”  Was what Master Bediüzzaman did in the early 1900s any different from this? Well, it was more than 100 years ago. There is no constitutionalism or sultan. We are not still going to produce concepts through constitutionalism, are we? We name ourselves “legitimate” and produce our concepts based on it. Frankly, we don’t see a problem with that. But still, some have difficulty accepting it. Whatever…

Here, we do not confuse concepts, we redefine them. What we are talking about is developing concepts that are suitable for ourselves and Islam, transforming the existing ones and our interpretation of “legitimate democracy” in this respect, and using a system only as a tool. In fact, since the concepts of democracy and constitutionalism are theoretical, they take the form of the container into which they enter, like water. That container is your basic principles and practices. There’s a problem here. This is not understood. At the time of the Master, there were many points in the practice and legislation of constitutionalism that did not conform to the Shariah, which led to the development of the concept “legitimate constitutionalism” compulsorily. Let’s agree on this first.

When Sultan Süleyman Kanunî brought the forty fountain waters to İstanbul, Şeyhülislâm Zenbilli Ali Efendi said to him: “By bringing the laws that do not comply with Shariah, you have brought such crap to İstanbul that the good you did by bringing those waters will never compensate for it.[13]

“How Islamic can a regime that puts individual will at the top of the hierarchy be?” are the words used to criticize democracy. But again (in addition to our other explanations and evidence), this is what we need to determine. Now democracy is not an administrative system of divine origin. It’s a human system. At this point we ask:

May Allah give you mercy. Is constitutionalism an administrative system with divine origins? Does it originate from Shariah? Did the Master lay claim to constitutionalism in the name of Shariah because it had divine origins? Constitutionalism was forgotten so quickly that a system taken from Europe, which was merged with Shariah and sultanate, reinterpreted and transformed, and its origin is again human.


 12- A “Legitimate” Self-Government Form, i.e. “Legitimate Democracy”, Provided that Everyone Follows the Fundamental Sharia Rules.

I wonder if this system, which includes and practices elements contrary to Shariah, whose origin is humanlike democracy, which comprises the element of sultanate, which is contrary to Islam’s principle of human equality and where only provisions of Shariah are accepted and respected, are in more conformity with the “legitimate democracy” we describe?

Or is a “Legitimate Democracy,” in which “a democracy, which is a public administration where the element of sultanate is abolished and everyone is the same” is accepted with its form that comes to life in the way we described, practiced, and pondered upon within the scope of Shariah, the rules and basic principles of Shariah more appropriate for Shariah? We’re referring to your mind and prudence. (we are not talking about the current, practiced democracy)

Note: Some say the principle of secularism is a sine qua none of democracy. We say: No, sir. It’s not that. It will not be in our interpretation of democracy and in the definition of democracy that we will adapt to ourselves and develop!

Provided that everyone abides by the basic Shariah rules, we defend a “legitimate” form of government, where the public governs itself, that is, “a legitimate democracy”. We’re waiting for this, and we want it. At this phase, it is important to remember that the mistakes and omissions in the exercise, which is never harmed, stem from the people, and that these mistakes and deficiencies will be corrected by the society and that we will correct and improve them.

Our last word:

Long live the “Legitimate Democracy” within the scope of Shariah!

Long live “True Freedom,” which has become decent with Shariah!

And long live all the democratic gains that will pave the way for us to achieve this ideal!



1- In the preparation of these statements that reveal the relationship between democracy and the republic, Ahmet Battal Bey’s article titled “What is the Republic? Where is the democracy? And others…” published in Yeni Asya newspaper and dated 13 November 2018 was used.

2- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Rays P.287

3- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Kastamonu Appendix P.265

4- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Divan-ı Harb-i Örfî (Military Commission) P.20

5- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The article named Makâlât, Long Live the Law of the Holy Qur’an.

6- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, Divan-ı Harb-i Örfî S.415

7- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Divan-ı Harb-i Örfî (Military Commission) P.81

8- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Münazarat (Debate), P.38

9- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, P.461

10- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, P.386

11- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, P.388

12- This is an excerpt from an article written by Nurettin Huyut on the internet, with his permission. I didn’t want to express it in my own words because it was so bright.

13- Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybî (The Document of the Approval of the Unknown), Eighth Flash P.161



[1]       In the preparation of these statements that reveal the relationship between democracy and the republic, Ahmet Battal Bey’s article titled “What is the Republic? Where is the democracy? And others…” published in Yeni Asya newspaper and dated 13 November 2018 was used.


[2]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Rays P.287


[3]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Kastamonu Appendix P.265


[4]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Divan-ı Harb-i Örfî (Military Commission) P.20


[5]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The article named Makâlât, Long Live the Law of the Holy Qur’an.


[6]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, Divan-ı Harb-i Örfî S.415


[7]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Divan-ı Harb-i Örfî (Military Commission) P.81


[8]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Münazarat (Debate), P.38


[9]       Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, P.461


[10]     Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, P.386


[11]     Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, First Period Works, P.388


[12]     This is an excerpt from an article written by Nurettin Huyut on the internet, with his permission. I didn’t want to express it in my own words because it was so bright.


[13]     Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur, Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybî (The Document of the Approval of the Unknown), Eighth Flash P.161