Political thought of Al-Ghazali on Imamah: Debate between theocracy and democracy

Keywords: Al-Ghazali; politics; Imamat; Islamic leadership; leadership; theo-democracy; Sunni Muslims.


Al-Ghazali is a Muslim scientist who masters almost all relevant Islamic scholarly disciplines. His analysis is so trenchant for every phenomenon that appears in society. The results of his thought are mostly applicable in several situations to Muslims. This study aims to uncover Al-Ghazali’s views about the concept of Islamic leadership. This study supports by looking at comments from figures about various forms of Al-Ghazali’s political thought. This study finds that Al-Ghazali’s political thought is theodemocracy, where the people must support the leadership under religion’s demands (Islam). Thus, Al-Ghazali did not replace one of the sects: Shi’a or Sunni, related to Islamic leadership, but he took to combine the two of them.

Contribution: Al-Ghazali is a scholar who is a reference for Muslims until today, especially Sunnis. Muslims can consider Al-Ghazali’s thoughts on the concept of theo-democratic leadership. It is usable for Muslims who live in countries that adhere to democracy or Islamic countries who want to build a democratic system.6


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-8050
print ISSN: 0259-9422