Towards an Islamic Restoration

  • Hussein Solomon
  • Arno Tausch
Part of the Perspectives on Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region book series (PDMENA)


Having explored the concept of an Islamic democracy at a theoretical level, this chapter examines the underlying theological justification for it as well as how it might be practically manifested in specific Muslim-majority countries. Utilizing insights of ijtihad, the chapter notes that shari’a is far more nuanced than Islamists would have us believe and creates the conditions for legal pluralism. This legal pluralism is seen in the contending schools of jurisprudence in Islam as well as the fact that shari’a exists on two levels—siyasa and fiqh. Whilst fiqh constitutes the interpretation of legal scholars, siyasa belongs in the realm of the state. The primary purpose of such state law is the public good of all the country’s citizens. Such law is pragmatic and is not necessarily sourced from the Qur’an or hadith. As such, it is infinitely possible for a country to be Islamic without even being inhabited by a majority of Muslims. The chapter then goes on to examine four country case studies. Three of these—Tunisia, Malaysia and Indonesia—are attempting to promote an Islam which is both emancipatory and forward-looking. The fourth country case study, Saudi Arabia, however, seems to be undertaking superficial reforms for the purpose of public relations in an effort to endear it with the West and for the Crown Prince to consolidate his diminishing political power.


Islamic democracy Tunisia Malaysia Indonesia Saudi Arabia Shari’a Hadith 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hussein Solomon
    • 1
  • Arno Tausch
    • 2
  1. 1.University of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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