Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVRH, Fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat writes:
According to the Holy Quran, people have a free choice to adopt any system of rule which suits them. Democracy, sovereignty, tribal or feudal systems are valid provided they are accepted by the people as the traditional heritage of their society.
However, it seems that democracy is preferred and highly commended in the Holy Quran. The Muslims are advised to have a democratic system though not exactly on the pattern of Western style democracy.
Islam does not present a hollow definition of democracy anywhere in the Holy Quran. It only deals with principles of vital significance and leaves the rest to the people. Follow and benefit, or stray and be destroyed.
Two Pillars of Islamic Concept of Democracy
There are only two pillars to the Islamic concept of democracy. These are:
1) Democratic process of elections must be based on trust and integrity. Islam teaches that whenever you exercise your vote, do it with the consciousness that God is watching over you and will hold you responsible for your decision. Vote for those who are most capable of discharging their national trust and are in themselves trustworthy. Implicit in this teaching is the requirement that the ones entitled to vote, must exercise their voting right unless there are circumstances beyond their control or impediments exist in the exercise of that right.
2) Governments must function on the principle of absolute justice. The second pillar of Islamic democracy is that whenever you make decisions; make them on the principle of absolute justice. Be the matter political, religious, social or economic, justice may never be compromised. After the formation of government, voting within the party should also always remain oriented towards justice. Hence no partisan interest or political consideration should be permitted to influence the process of decision-making. In the long run, every decision taken in this spirit is bound to be truly of the people, by the people and for the people.
(Islam’s response to contemporary issues, p. 226-227)