قال الله سبحانه و تعالى في محكم كتابه المجيد بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ
Our hadith and talk today is about majority and minority. And this Aya, which is Aya number 116 from Surat Al-An’am, tells us that if you follow the majority of people, they will lead you astray. Let us analyse the whole concept of majority and minority. For example, when there is a company with shareholders, who is going to decide and have the final say in running the company, its financial status and its projects? Of course, those who own 51% of the shares have the say even if 49% do not agree with that. For example, when they decide to expand the business or enter a particular contract with the government or with some other companies, if 51% of the shareholders go for it and 49% go against it, of course those who have 51% of the shares will have the final say. That is easy, it doesn’t matter because it is in a very private and narrow limit. But, when it comes to democracy and democratical system, let us see. Is it fair? Is it just? Is it logical that 51% of the citizens who are allowed to vote for example, they go for something but 49% don’t accept it? Let’s bear in mind that there is this proportional majority in another way goes into minority. Why? Because not everybody who is eligible to vote, they really participate in elections. And in many cases, we see I searched for that, in more than 20 countries, to see that it is usual, it is normal that sometimes only 40% of those who are eligible for voting really take part in the elections. So, if those who voted for a project or someone were 51% and in reality they were only 40% of those who were eligible to vote, participated, which means those who went for that project were less than 20% of the nation or of the people who are eligible to vote. The majority, so-called proportional majority turns into minority. In some elections, especially the presidency, we see that in many cases in the United Kingdom or even the United States that 50.5% go for a project and 49.5% go against it, and still the first one wins and gets all the votes. Which means that they denied the rights of those who were nearly the same as, because the margin between 50.5% and 49.5% is very, very insignificant. This is the way that sometimes people think that because it is democratic system, we have to accept it and no arguments about it. But really this is the case.
After this introduction let’s see what Allah tells us in the Quran. In my search for both concepts of majority and minority, I found, and you can do that for yourself, to see that everything about majority is in a dark picture, in error, and something wrong. Let’s examine them. First the Aya which I recited, sura number six, Aya 116, Allah (S.W.T) says that if you, and this is addressed to the Prophet (S.A.W.W), if you follow most of the people who are on earth, they will lead you astray, and they will follow only conjunction, which means that they do not base their judgements on certainty and something that is hundred percent acceptable. In another Aya, Allah (S.W.T), and this is in both Sura number two, Aya 243, and Sura number 12, Aya 38, Allah (S.W.T) says the majority of people do not thank Allah for his bounties. In another occasion, Allah (S.W.T) considered the majority of people to be sinful, that is in Sura number five, Surat Al-Maeda, Aya 59, and in Sura number 43, Aya 78, Allah (S.W.T) tells us that the majority of people deny the truth. Another similar thing in Sura number five, Aya 103, the majority of people do not comprehend. So, if we look at these and many more, when Allah (S.W.T) describes the majority as they are not telling the truth, they are sinful, they are not believers, they went astray they lead stray, do not thank Allah for his bounties and similar things. These are only to express that not necessarily the majority of people are following what is approved by Allah (S.W.T), what matches with moral values, not necessarily that to say that this is the path of truth and those who are in minority are wrong. On one occasion, Imam Ali (A.S) was addressing people in the mosque of Kufa, said (أيها الناس لا تستوحشوا في طريق الهدى لقلة أهله) when there are two parts, two directions, two roads. In one you see that the majority of people are walking and in the other one you see that only few are adopting that way, so don’t feel afraid, don’t think that “oh, how can I join these people who are only little and few whilst the others are going in a mass and great number of people?” The Imam says that don’t say that (لا تستوحشوا في طريق الهدى) “the part of the guidance, the path of obedience, the path of truth”. Sometimes people who walk on the path are few, don’t be confused, don’t feel insecure and don’t feel in a way that you are going to be in isolation, because the majority not necessarily for the truth. Again, we read in another Aya, that the majority of people tell lies, and the majority of people do not keep their words and so on. Now let’s go to the minority in the Quran.
Allah (S.W.T) in Sura number 11, Aya 40, tells us those who believed their Prophets were but few. Let’s see the history of the Prophets as mentioned in the Quran. Forget about the books of history, let’s stick to the Quranic verses about the nations before Islam and how they dealt with their Prophets. We see in many references that in most cases they rejected the Prophet, denied him, belittled him and in some occasions, we see that they kill him. And this happened to the children of Israel, so the children of Israel (بني إسرائيل) are mentioned at the Quran that whenever Allah (S.W.T) sent a Prophet or messenger to them, they belied him, they rejected him and sometimes killed him. So, let us remember what is supposed to be the majority of the believe of the Christians. We see that Jesus according to them was killed, was crucified, was not meeting their whims and their opinions and they decided to get rid of him. Although Allah (S.W.T), in the Quran says that (وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُم) “they did not kill Isa, they did not crucify him, but they were confused about it”, but the majority of people still have the cross as the very good sign of a person to be Christian. With full respect all religions. Don’t think that I am offending or criticising. No, I’m trying to see what the Quran says about most of the nations before Islam, they did not follow, did not accept and were few who were around the Prophets. The same applies to all in reality. In another Aya, we see that in Sura 38, Aya 24, “those who believe and do good are but few”. Sura 40, Aya 58, again talks about only a minority of people remain conscious to Allah or Allah’s signs.
Let’s conclude, if I’m asked that how these two concepts majority and minority are described in the Quran from whatever I traced and searched for, I see the majority always are described with negative attitude, with wrong ideas and something not approved by Allah at all. Whilst the minority were closer to the truth, to the path which was approved by Allah. However, if you think that this may be amended and waiting for a better deal with the majority and minority, especially about the proportional one, and at least allow those who have something different from what majority said, at least their sign, their work, their say to be respected and to be considered, that could be something acceptable or closer to logic.