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Al-Shura or consultation is a tool for reconstruction and reform, mentioned in the Qur’an and suggested in the practices of
the Prophet Muhammad (AAS)* and his Companions. At this time, Muslims remain largely unaware of al-shura’simportance and value, and Islamic scholars are uncertain about when the principle is obligatory and which matters call for consultation. In a modern context al-shura has been associated on the one hand with democratic participation in a decision- making process, with qualification particular to the Qur’an and the Sunnah; on the other hand critics challenge equating al-shura with democracy. The Muslim world, largely mired today in political authoritarianism, should adopt consultation as a way of life to protect individual and community interests and as a tool for reconstruction and reform. This book explores how the principle can be introduced and applied in Muslim society and life.
The concept of consultation (al-shura) remains obscure despite publication in recent decades of hundreds of books and articles on the subject. Numerous additional aspects of al-shura remain to be addressed. This book focuses on the fundamental concept and explains how the practice can activate and support efforts to benefit the Islamic community worldwide. The book’s source-based methodology and legislative principles derive from verses in the Holy Qur’an, events from the life of the Prophet, and examples set by the rightly-guided caliphs. A number of texts from the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic traditions connect consultation to all areas of life: spiritual and material, individual and corporate.