Everything that opposes the rule of Allaah constitutes the rule of
Jaahiliyyah. [Also the evidence for this] is the definitive consensus that it is
not allowed to rule by other then what Allaah has revealed. Therefore the one
who considers it lawful and permissible to rule by other then what Allaah has
revealed has contradicted this definitive consensus and such a person is a
kaafir and an apostate. This [is similar to the case of one] who considers
fornication or alcohol to be permissible or considers bread or milk to be
When he believes that ruling by other then what Allaah revealed is equivalent
to ruling by the rule of Allaah.
When he believes that ruling by other then what Allaah revealed is better
than ruling by what Allaah has revealed. The evidence for this lies in the
saying of Allaah,
"And who is better than Allaah in judgement for a people who have
certainty?" [al-Maa`idah (5): 50]
So this verse states that the ruling of Allaah is the best of rulings as is
further proven by the saying of Allaah, endorsing this,
"Is Allaah not the best of judges?" [at-Teen (95): 8]
So when Allaah is the best of the judges in ruling and He is the most just of
the rulers then whosoever claims that the rule of other than Allaah is
equivalent or better than the rule of Allaah is a kaafir because he has denied
[One] becomes a dhaalim When he believes that ruling by what Allaah has
revealed is the best of judgements and the most beneficial for the servants and
the lands and that it is obligatory to apply it. However hatred and jealousy
lead him to rule by other than what Allaah revealed over his subjects - such a
person is a dhaalim.
[One] becomes a faasiq When he follows his own desires. For example he rules
in favour of a person due to being bribed by him, or due to his being a close
relative or friend, or [because the ruler] seeks the fulfilment of a need from
his comrades or the likes. This along with the belief that the rule of Allaah is
the ideal and it is obligatory to follow it - such a person is a faasiq. Even
though he is also a dhaalim, describing him as a faasiq is more befitting.
The strongest opinion is the second that these descriptions are distinct and
that they are [applied] in accordance to the situation. As regards the one who
lays down legislative laws, despite his knowing the judgement of Allaah and that
these laws are contrary to Allaah's judgement - then this person has substituted
these laws in place of the Sharee`ah. Therefore he is a kaafir - this because he
does not choose these laws and turn away from Allaah's Sharee`ah except due to
his belief that they are better for the people and the land than the law of
Allaah. But when we say that he is a kaafir, then the meaning of this is that
this action leads to disbelief. 
However the one who [legislates these rules] may have an excuse - for example
he may be one who has been deluded: such that it has been said to him that this
does not conflict with Islaam, or that it is something allowable as a case of
benefitting the people (masaalih al-mursala), or that it is something that
Islaam has left up to the [custom of] the people.
So there are some scholars - even though they are in error - who say that
social transaction (mu`aamalaat) is something not dealt with by Islaam, and that
rather it is referred to whatever is found to benefit the economy in each
particular time. So if the situation requires us to establish usury banks or to
tax the people then there is no problem with this.
There is no doubt concerning the error of [such a claim]. So if these people
performed ijtihaad then may Allaah forgive them. Otherwise they are in a
situation of very great danger and it is befitting that they are entitled
`scholars of the state' and not `scholars of the Religion.'
 Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (hafidhahullah) said (commenting upon some words of Shaikh Albani), "And these words of Shaikh al-Albani are very good indeed, however, we would differ with him on the issue where he does not make a ruling of disbelief over them (the rulers) except when they held that to be permissible (as a matter of belief). This matter needs further investigation [*], because we say: Whoever rules by what Allaah has revealed yet he holds that something other than the rule of Allaah is better or more befitting, then he is a kafir - even if he judged by the rule of Allaah - and his kufr is a kufr of belief. However, our discussion here is concerning an action. And it is in my opinion (dhann) that it is not possible for a person to apply and establish such laws that oppose the Shari'ah and which are referred to by the slaves of Allaah for judgement except that he declares this to be permissible (istahallahu) and holds the belief (ya'taqidu) that such laws are better the Shari'ah laws. Hence, he is a disbeliever. This is what is apparent, and if not then what [motive] is it that carried him to undertake this? [Fitnah of Takfir pp.75]
[*] Shaikh al-Albani replied to this point saying: "I do not understand from which angle this opposition [to our view] can be sustained. Since I say, that if any person - even someone other than a ruler - considered a rule other than Islam to be better and more befitting than the rule of Islam - even if he acted by the rule of Islam - then he is a kafir. Therefore, there is no difference at all, since the original point of reference is what is in the heart."