Islamic Resurgence and Fazlur Rahman’s Case for Democracy

  • NAVIN G. HAIDER Assistant Professor, Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi, Pakistan.
Keywords: Fazlur Rahman, ‘Abd al-Hamid Mutawalli, Islamic resurgence, democracy, shura.


The period between the 1970s and 1980s witnessed the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam in a large part of the Muslim world, manifesting as calls in favor of a system of government based on an elitist rule in the name of Islam. The prominent Islamic thinker Fazlur Rahman (d. 1988) was considered by many of his close associates as part of this wave. The present article is an attempt to prove that this assertion is incorrect by highlighting Fazlur Rahman’s arguments in favour of the people’s right to rule during a time when both the ‘ulama’ and the global Muslim public at large believed the opposite. Fazlur Rahman’s strong faith in democracy could not let him sit idle, and he wrote in favour of the rule of the people and the role of the ummah in the business of the state through its elected representatives.

How to Cite
HAIDER, N. G. (2019). Islamic Resurgence and Fazlur Rahman’s Case for Democracy . Islamic Studies, 58(3), 423-438. Retrieved from