The Republican Nature of the Muslim State According to Muhammad Rashid Rida
Pages 77 - 95
The Muslim thinker MUHAMMAD RASHID RIDA had an outstanding perception of the proper regime according to Islam. He developed a comprehensive concept of the Muslim government, the components of which much resembled Western democracy. At the head of the state, he put a president, chosen by the caliph for a five-year term, but not according to the caliph’s free will, but from three candidates offered to him by a council of representatives. The president was to administer all the civic matters of the state, the caliph only the religious ones. Rida’s desire for a democratic regime stemmed from his opposition to tyrannical regimes, in his times, whether of Abdulhamid II, of the Young Turks or of Sharif Husayn and his sons, and in the future Arab empire he envisioned. Rida believed that according to Islam the nation should govern itself, while tyrannical regimes were contrary to the spirit of Islam.