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IslamQA: Can a Muslim-majority country be run by a non-Muslim?

Assalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullah. Brother, can a Muslim majority country be run by a non-Muslim? Do the Quran have any specific verse that applies to the prohibition of the non-Muslim to lead them or do the Quran allows them to? (Be it as a President of the whole republic, or as a governor/mayor of the regional area.)

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

My view is that running a country is similar to running a family, a business or a village’s affairs. Nothing in Islam forces upon us a single form of government. Government, in my view, is just a tool for ensuring peace and prosperity, and whatever works best can be implemented. So there is nothing wrong with a non-Muslim president if he/she is the best that can be had. Rather than working for a fairy tale kingdom of caliphate ruled by a perfect person, I believe in each population doing what works best for them within the limits of their situation. Sometimes a non-Muslim leader can be better than all the Muslim alternatives. I would choose a kind, philosophical and pluralist non-Muslim over a radical and intolerant Muslim any day.

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