The economic system of Islam requires a specific governance environment, as no system, however good, can be effective outside its appropriate environment. Islam is the first religion of the world that:
Advocates a system of representative government, with the capability of candidate as the fundamental criterion for election.
Defines authority as a trust, not a right.
Declares that the basic goal of government must be to protect honour, life and property of citizens.
Enjoins the rulers to judge amongst individuals and communities with absolute justice and impartiality, reminding them that they are ultimately answerable before God.
In short, there is no room for hereditary kingship in Islam. It unequivocally declares that: ‘Verily, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them’. Hence, Islam does not approve of hereditary kingship. Instead, Islam enjoins that the trust of governance be given by elections to people who are most capable of carrying that burden. It is the duty of Muslims to evaluate carefully candidates’ capabilities and entrust the authority to govern to the best amongst them.
As long as Muslims abided by this injunction of the Holy Quran, they elected their rulers who met the prescribed criteria. In the future, too, when Muslims come to follow the injunction of the Holy Quran, they would be obligated to hold elections to choose people to run the affairs of the country. Moreover, they would be expected to abstain from electing someone solely on the basis of his family background, influence, or wealth. They should also not elect someone simply because he is backed by a powerful group. The basic consideration for electing someone should be his ability to manage the country’s affairs. At the same time, God enjoins the elected rulers that they rule with equity and justice. This was the spirit that kept Muslims inclined towards justice and democratic norms despite the rise of kingship among them.