The nature of Islam as a religion accounts for the reason why democracy is a distant vision in the vast Muslim world. Muslim scholars and political philosophers have conducted numerous empirical studies meant to establish the relationship between Islam and democracy. Most of these empirical studies are motivated by the fact that there has been a profound resistance of democracy by Muslims; thus indicating that Islam and democracy are not compatible.
As an illustration of the aforementioned incompatibility, we will discuss interaction of religion and democracy in modern Islamic states like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Admittedly, Saudi Arabia has been an absolute monarchy state since time immemorial. Citizens of Saudi Arabia have never participated in any political election (58-59).1 The only reason for this absence of participation is attributed to the fact that the absolute monarchy system in Saudi Arabia does not permit formation of political parties. The king, who is the leader of the royal family, literally rules the nation. However, the king must comply with Islamic law, commonly referred to as the Sharia. This means all functions and decisions of the royal leadership are made in accordance with provisions of Sharia. Influence of Islam remains fully practical particularly because the royal leadership performs all the executive, judicial and legislative functions.2 Presently, Saudi Arabia is an example of modern states where Islam remains fully influential in social, economic and political platforms.
Unlike Saudi Arabia, Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy state. Citizens participate in election of parliamentary representatives. However, the king of Malaysia is appointed by a royal council of hereditary rulers. Citizens have limited participation in high-level politics. Recently, political parties like the