Islamic republic

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Not to be confused with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
For other uses of "Islamic republic", see Islamic republic (disambiguation).
Islamic republics shown in green.

An Islamic republic is the name given to several states in countries ruled by Islamic laws, including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Mauritania and The Gambia. Pakistan first adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty. Afghanistan adopted it in 1992 (in 1996–2001 the Taliban was ruling as an Islamic emirate (monarchy)) upon Jamiat-e Islami seizing capital Kabul from the Communists. Despite the similar name the countries differ greatly in their governments and laws.

The term "Islamic republic" has come to mean several different things, some contradictory to others. To some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East and Africa who advocate it, an Islamic republic is a state under a particular Islamic form of government. They see it as a compromise between a purely Islamic caliphate, and secular nationalism and republicanism. In their conception of the Islamic republic, the penal code of the state is required to be compatible with some or all laws of Sharia, and the state may not be a monarchy as many Middle Eastern states are presently.[citation needed]


Two months after victory of the Islamic Revolution on 1979, the new government held Iranian Islamic Republic referendum on the 10th and 11th of Farvadin (30th and 31 March) for changing the Pahlavi dynasty with an Islamic Republic. On 12 Farvadin, it was announced that 98.2 percent of the Iranian voters wanted to establish the "Islamic Republic".[1][2]

Before Islamic Republic referendum, some political groups suggested various name for ideology of Iranian revolution such as the Republic (without Islam) or democratic republic. But Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, asked people to vote to the "Islamic Republic", not a word more and not one less word.[2][3]

According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:[4]

  1. the One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah"), His exclusive sovereignty and right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
  2. divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
  3. the return to God in the Hereafter, and the constructive role of this belief in the course of man's ascent towards God;
  4. the justice of God in creation and legislation;
  5. continuous leadership and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
  6. the exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before God; in which equity, justice, political, economic, social, and cultural independence, and national solidarity are secured by recourse to:
  • continuous leadership of the holy persons, possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis of the Quran and the Sunnah, upon all of whom be peace;
  • sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;
  • negation of all forms of oppression, both the infliction of and the submission to it, and of dominance, both its imposition and its acceptance.


Afghanistan is an Islamic republic consisting of three branches, the executive, legislative, and judicial. The nation is led by President Ashraf Ghani with Abdul Rashid Dostum and Sarwar Danish as vice presidents. Abdullah Abdullah serves as the chief executive officer (CEO). The National Assembly is the legislature, a bicameral body having two chambers, the House of the People and the House of Elders. The Supreme Court is led by Chief Justice Said Yusuf Halem, the former Deputy Minister of Justice for Legal Affairs.[5][6]


Pakistan was the first country to adopt the adjective "Islamic" to modify its republican status under its otherwise secular constitution in 1956. Despite this definition the country did not have a state religion until 1973, when a new constitution, more democratic and less secular, was adopted. Pakistan only uses the "Islamic" name on its passports, visas and coins. Although "Islamic Republic" is specifically mentioned in the Constitution of 1973, all government documents are prepared under the name of the Government of Pakistan. The Constitution of Pakistan, part IX, article 227 says "All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions".[7] In 1974, Pakistan declared Ahmadis as being outside the pale of Islam through the 2nd Amendment.[8] Since the 1980s under General Zia's dictatorship however Pakistan is said to have taken a definite theocratic color.

East Turkestan[edit]

The Turkic Uyghur- and Kirghiz-controlled Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan was declared in 1933 as an independent Islamic republic, by Sabit Damulla Abdulbaki and Muhammad Amin Bughra. However, the Chinese Muslim 36th Division of the National Revolutionary Army defeated their armies and destroyed the republic during the Battles of Kashgar, Yangi Hissar and Yarkand.[9] The Chinese Muslim Generals Ma Fuyuan and Ma Zhancang declared the destruction of the rebel forces and the return of the area to the control of the Republic of China in 1934, followed by the executions of the Turkic Muslim Emirs Abdullah Bughra and Nur Ahmad Jan Bughra. The Chinese Muslim General Ma Zhongying then entered the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, and lectured the Turkic Muslims on being loyal to the Central Government.

The Gambia[edit]

In December 2015, President Yahya Jammeh declared The Gambia to be an Islamic republic. Jammeh said that the move was designed to distance the West African state from its colonial past, and that no dress code would be imposed and citizens of other faiths would be allowed to practice freely.[10] However, he later ordered all female government employees to wear headscarves[11] before rescinding the decision shortly after. The announcement of an Islamic republic has been criticized as unconstitutional by at least one opposition group.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iran Islamic Republic Day". The free dictionary by Farlex. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "The first election held after the revolution / day when the government took the poor". Fars News Agency. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Islamic Republic Day". Islamic Revolution Document Center. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Constitution of Iran Unofficial English translation hosted at University of Bern, Switzerland (with good summaries)
  5. ^ "The Supreme Court Chief Justice Biography". 
  6. ^ "Database". 
  7. ^ "Part IX: "Islamic Provisions"". Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Damnation of Pakistan's Second Amendment". The Huffington Post UK. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Chahryar Adle; Madhavan K. Palat; Anara Tabyshalieva (2005). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: Towards the contemporary period: from the mid-nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century. UNESCO. p. 395. ISBN 92-3-103985-7. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Gambia declared Islamic republic by President Yahya Jammeh". BBC. 12 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Female government workers in the Gambia told to wear headscarves". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Rifai, Ryan (12 December 2015) "Gambia's president declares Islamic statehood". Al-Jazeera. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  • Ankerl, Guy (2000). Global communication without universal civilization. INU societal research. Vol.1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations : Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. ISBN 2-88155-004-5. 

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