First of all, we would like to highlight the fact that pluralism is something known to Islam and Muslim scholars a long time ago. Islam does not say that only one party should run the affairs of the whole state or seize power; rather, it leaves the matter to be determined according to the rules of As-Siyasah Ash-Shar`iyyah (Shari`ah-Oriented Policy) that vary according to time and place. Muslim scholars accept the articles of the democratic system that cope with the teachings of Islam.
Making this concept clear, Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, vice President of the European Council for Fatwa and Research has explained that: “To claim that Islam advocates monocracy is untrue. It is well-established that since the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, Muslims have known different political parties that have constituted in shaping political structure of the Muslim societies.
The Emigrants (Al-Muhajirun) and the Helpers
(Al-Ansar) acted as if they were two parties, still they were far remote from enmity known among the fans of each party. They (the Emigrants and the Helpers) differed concerning choosing the Caliph. This was the first political difference of its kind occurring among Muslims. Each party demanded that the Caliph was to be chosen from among them. This is not far different from the demand of any contemporary political party.
Yet, the emergence of real partisanship was remarkable after the assassination of Caliph `Uthman ibn `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him. The assassination itself was a form of a military coup against the ruler, another act that can be carried out by a political party.
Later, the Kharijites appeared during the reign of Caliph `Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, and were known as a political party as well as a sect. Many dynasties that appeared later including the Abbassyds, the Turks and the Mamlukis were no more than political parties taking power.
In fact, forming political parties or gatherings that call for political legal goals is completely Islamic. Muslim activists who hold the view that Islam allows one party are very few and even have no effect on the mainstream. Muslim activists who can win elections all believe in pluralism within the framework of Islam. In case those peaople come to power, there will be no fear of any political despotism.
As for the true concept of democracy, it is not our main concern. We, Muslims believe in pluralism and political freedom as part and parcel of Islamic teachings. It is worth stressing here that we accept the articles and the principles of democracy that cope with the teachings of Islam and reject those principles that are non-Islamic. Our main reference is Islam when deciding whether to accept or reject any new ideology.”
Almighty Allah knows best.