In an Islamic state, can the non-Muslim citizens of the state make a deal with the Khalifa to get ‘full citizenship’ and same (equal) rights as the Muslim citizens of the state?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

I am a university student writing a research paper on Secularism and Islam. I would appreciate that you give detailed answers to the questions below so that I may know the right answers to each of these questions, Insha’Allah. I would also appreciate the earliest possible response. Q1: In an Islamic state, where the Shariah is implemented, can the non-Muslim citizens of the state make a deal with the Khalifa whereby they get ‘full citizenship’ and the same (equal) rights as the Muslim citizens of the state? Q2: Can non-Muslim citizens in an Islamic state (where Shariah is implemented) preach their religion? This is an important question because if tomorrow a country like France were to forbid Muslims from preaching Islam, we would most definitely object. However, wouldn’t it be hypocritical of us to not allow non-Muslims to preach their religion in Muslim lands (assuming of’course that they can’t preach their religion in an Islamic state)? Q3: Can a non-Muslim ever be a ruler in a Shariah based Islamic state, especially if the non-Muslim candidate is likely to be more just in his rule than the Muslim candidate(s)? Q4: If the majority of people in the Islamic state are against the rule of the Khalifa (due to whatever reasons), can the Khalifa be replaced?


1. We do not understand what you mean by ?making a deal with the Khalifa?. A non-Muslim living in an Islamic state also enjoys the same rights of freedom and protection as enjoyed by the Muslim citizens.

2. Yes, they may preach their religion amongst the non-Muslims but not amongst the Muslims as they are preaching a baatil (false) religion amongst believers. This is unacceptable to us. Where it becomes difficult to practise Islam in a non-Muslim country, the Muslims have an option of migrating to another country where they can practise their religion freely. Your contention of a non-Muslim country like France prohibiting the preaching of Islam is not relevant because France is a secular country where all citizens rightfully and constitutionally enjoy the right to practice and preach their religion. On the other hand, an Islamic state is structured upon religious law where politics and religion are intertwined.

3. One of the prerequisites of leadership in an Islamic country is that the leader be a Muslim. Hence, a non-Muslim cannot be elected as Lead of an Islamic state.

4. In an Islamic system of leadership, majority opinion is not take into account when electing a leader as is dome in democratic dispensations. Therefore, where the majority of people are against the ruler, they have no right to depose him from his post. Yes, where the ruler has become unfit to rule, he may be removed in a systematic manner.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Muhammad Kadwa

checked & approved by: mUFTI EBRAHIM DESAI (FATWA DEPT.)

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