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Is Voting Really Haram?

When we discuss the issue of voting, or any other (contemporary) issue of a similar nature, we should try to understand its reality before forming a conclusion regarding its ruling, a phenomenon termed fiqh al waqi’ (knowing and understanding the environment and factors surrounding the topic of concern). Ibn al-Qayyim considered one of the prerequisites of the mufti alongside fiqh al mas’alah (possessing proper perception of the issue at hand and its related rulings) as being fiqh al waqi’, given that it is also necessary in order to arrive at a legal opinion about a certain issue of concern.

Let us commence by considering the following scenario: There is, in a faraway land, a ruler who lives alongside his subjects. The ruler, in formulating his governance, leaves the matter to the people offering them two choices: they may choose either the law of God or secular law. This situation involves the following three parties:

Firstly, for the ruler who offers the implementation of the law of the Creator (Sharīʿah) and questions or debates between people; there is no doubt that this ruler has committed an act of kufr (disbelief) for he is obliged to rule by the law of the Creator. Allāh says, “Legislation is for none but Allāh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him.”[1] To him this ayah is addressed, “And whosoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed, such are the Kāfirūn (disbelievers).”[2]

Secondly, as for the subjects who are requested to select between the Sharīʿah and secular law; of course, it is incumbent upon them to opt for the Sharīʿah. The mechanism of choosing the Sharīʿah may take various forms such as voting, demonstrations, or lobbying through correspondence. No doubt, people must do their best in order to bring about the implementation of Islamic law, and thus, can anyone argue that it is impermissible for people to vote to choose the Sharīʿah since voting is an essential part of democracy which in turn is kufr? If such a claim were to be posited then it becomes evident that we have proved unable to conceptualise the issue at hand. To claim voting is an act of kufr is extremely inaccurate and, as a point in case, take the situation where a person is consulted (as happens in some countries including the UK) as to whether he would opt for a Sharīʿah court or a court that will rule on the basis of secular law. Should this person, in view of the aforementioned erroneous argument, declare that he refuses to choose since choosing is voting which in turn is part of democracy, a system of kufr?! What should such an individual do? Should he abstain from doing anything? What if the constitution states that the judicial system is to remain secular unless the person opts for the Sharīʿah? Can we say in this case that this person is obliged to vote or choose the Sharīʿah court? Can we also say that abstention from voting means that the person has implicitly accepted secular law as the basis of the judicial system which is an act of kufr?

From this discussion we can conclude three important points:

  1. Voting, in many cases, merely means choosing or selecting.
  2. Participation in a kufr system does not necessarily mean participation in kufr itself. It depends on the nature of such participation.
  3. Abstention from voting sometimes causes more harm than voting itself.

Thirdly, the people who want to be part of the legislative executive are like those who want to be members of parliament. This issue requires a separate detailed study and is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Another important scenario which must be highlighted is when the inhabitants of a country who have the Sharīʿah as the dominant system want to choose a leader – they employ elections as a mechanism selection; can we say this is democracy and thus an act of kufr?

From the above discussion we may conclude that it is absolutely wrong to generalise the ruling by saying that democracy is an act of kufr. Instead we should say things that makes sense to people and reflects our correct understandings. We should be extremely careful in accusing individuals of kufr. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “The one who accuses his brother of kufr then surely one of them is as has been claimed.”

The word democracy was originally coined to mean the rule of the people, however, these days it has various connotations where it can be used to merely mean a selection mechanism. That is why we see the introduction of the term liberal democracy. Some observers believe that this new term was introduced in order to emphasise that Muslim countries should be democratic in their selecting rulers as well as constitution. So from this perspective, a liberal democracy entails that the constitution itself has to be subject to selection through a democratic mechanism.

Muslims living under a Kufr system

Muslims living in a liberal democracy should understand their situation in all of its various facets. Muslims believe that ultimate justice, peace, and reason cannot be achieved unless the divine system is dominant. In many cases they are unable to achieve this in the foreseeable future. So what should they do until they reach this stage?

Abstinence from voting will not realistically lead to change and any sane person would say that abstaining from selecting the least evil option would only leave room for the more evil option to win.

Here I would like to respond to the various arguments posited by those brothers who are against selection through voting. What is important is that we identify why we are against voting, is it because it is an act of kufr or because it is harmful and damaging for Muslims? Having responded to the first claim let us now focus on the second. It may be argued that:

Selecting one of these parties ultimately endorse their policies that are based on man-made laws (kufr law).

This is not necessarily the case for the following reason: choosing an option means that you endorse it only if there are better options offered. But if the other choice is worse, then you are actually endorsing the difference between this option and the one that is less harmful. Take for example eating un-slaughtered meat for a starving person, he is allowed (or even obliged) to do so, yet does that mean that he is endorsing eating un-slaughtered meat? Of course not; he is endorsing the difference between these options which, in this case, is saving his life. Saving his life by eating un-slaughtered meat is better than starving to death. That is why this is an agreed upon principle. So quoting each party’s statement that they are going to do so and so if they win separately and without comparing this with what other parties say is not a very honest approach since it does not give the audience the full picture. This becomes worse when the alternative presented is just a hypothetical solution.

So I urge the brothers and sisters not to accuse anybody of kufr or sins just because they vote for one of these parties in such a situation. Such accusations reflect ignorance as well as naivety in comprehension.

By voting you are involved in the political system – a step towards integration which ultimately results in the loss of Muslim identity whilst living in western countries.

I agree that integration in its wider meaning leads to the loss of Muslim distinctiveness and it is a hidden agenda by the enemies of Islām to deceive Muslims so that they lose their identity. However, this is not necessarily an implication of voting. I agree that full political participations might lead to major problems for Muslims and we have to be very careful when stepping into this arena. However, ticking the box for one of the candidates in no way qualifies as full political participation.

I would like to mention here that I also advise our brothers who are involved in leading Muslims in terms of politics to be aware that some Muslims might understand that voting means full involvement in the game of politics, a realm that is full of deception and cunning, a fact realised by many non-Muslims themselves. So they should use cautious language when encouraging Muslims to vote. Statements such as “voting is the only way for Muslims in this country”, “voting is the lifeboat”, “voting is part of our belief”, “voting means citizenship” and so on should be avoided. Such emotional and excessive statements lead to contrary statements and reactions that are equally emotional and extreme.

It is not true that we do not have another option. We have to strengthen our Muslim community and work hard for our independence.

I think all agree that the Muslim community needs to strengthen itself and its own organisations. However, this is not an option that is incompatible with having party A, B or C in power. We can vote to select the best option while we are working for our community and our future.

We are not going to get anything by voting while it might be impermissible so it is better to abstain from it.

It is not easy to come up with such a conclusion. We need a thorough analytical study that can confirm that all parties are nothing but different faces of one coin. I agree that voting is not the lifeline for Muslims in this country as represented by some Muslims and I have asked parties on both sides of the voting argument to come up with an academic study to prove their points. However, it is difficult to say that all parties are exactly the same in internal and external policy. Logically, not all non-Muslims are the same, even the kuffar of Makkah were different. Abū Ṭālib, the uncle of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), was completely different from Abū Jahl. Abū Ṭālib helped the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and sheltered him while the other uncle would torture the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and his companions. Should we not do our best to choose the one that is less evil and better for humanity? Indeed, abstention from voting is essentially indirect voting. Let me explain this by the following example:

Imagine that 6 people were to vote for two parties named A and B. A states in his manifesto that he will legalise pornography, ban faith-schools, kill 1000 Muslims, and prevent Muslims from adorning the hijāb. B states that he will legalise pornography but allow faith schools and kill 500 Muslims. 3 of us vote for A and 2 votes for B and I, in believing that voting is kufr, abstain from doing so. What will happen?

Inevitably, A will win, but if I vote for B, then no one will. So by participating I lessen the evil. Let us now say that we have 2 more people, either they vote for B or abstain. Abstention will not change the situation while encouraging them to vote for B, who will do all these filthy things, will mean that A will lose which means that we saved the lives of 500 Muslims and had a chance to have faith schools and practice hijāb! So whether we vote or not, we actually vote since we are part of the population. This is how the system works, at least in Britain. If someone disagrees with this then they should provide proof bearing in mind that they should be systematic in their approach and clear in presenting their case. In his abstaining to vote he has implicitly accepted the principle of voting when it is proved that abstention from voting is indirect voting.

If we vote we will not bring any Muslim to power.

It is indeed correct, but who said that our aim (in the near future) is to bring a Muslim into power. Our realistic aim in the near future is to have a better person with a better system in power. It is impractical to think of having a true Muslim leader in the near future in most non-Muslim countries. Our ultimate aim is to help those who are better than their co-politicians.

Boycotting elections is better for Muslims since it sends a strong message to the politician that we are not happy with them and their system. Moreover it will show the ineligibility of this round of elections.

This might be true but as I said earlier we need a deep study and understanding of the complicated political situation to confirm such conclusions. I urge those brothers who believe in this to produce a provisional work proving this point. In the meantime we should know that such boycotting will not be effective unless all Muslims do so. That is why, before we arrive at such conclusions a deep discussion with all Muslims involved in politics and other related fields should take place. It should not be an individual opinion of a single party. However, we should bear in mind that if a decision were taken to boycott elections, then we should be clear why we do so. Is it because of the original ruling of voting and elections or because of the impracticality of it?

Conclusion

I would like to conclude by urging the community to be united in their decision. Such unity is the only way for their voice to be effective. Unity here means following one strategy whether we decide to vote or boycott elections. Once we decide to vote, which in the UK is the decision at least for the moment, we should appoint one main body to lead us in the political process.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān, 12:41

[2] Al-Qur’ān, 5:44

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

69 comments

  1. “Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm faith?” [Al-Qur’an 5:50]

    There is a concept called hukm al jahiliyyah in Islam.
    If democracy isn’t hukm al jahiliyyah then what is?

    Very poor arguments presented in this article and I would argue it lacks any scholarly qualities in the arguments presented.

  2. I feel like voting is haram especially on matters where it does not concern the muslims. Obviously as muslims, we should never promote democracy as it is complete kufr and we should advocate for shariah always. However, since the time of the Prophet PBUH, the muslim ummah is following lusts of this world and have forgotten the true meaning of being a muslim. We have allowed ourselves to become too westernized therefore the matter of democracy and voting is no longer black and white. Even though democracy is haram, voting is…also haram. However, since no country in the world practices true shariah, we must what we can to survive. Therefore as it is written in this site: https://islamqa.info/en/3062
    We should not support voting nor should we really talk about it because democracy has nothing to do with us. If we are living in a place where the majority of the population is non-muslim and any law that has an impact on us muslims or Islam, we must either vote for the less evil option or option that helps us rather than supporting the evil option. Of course this is only in the case where such a law could affect us or our religion. If the laws don’t impact us, better to not vote at all.

    May Allah SWT guide the unmah and make them understand the truth

  3. The issue with living under Sharia, or divine law, is that most of the current proponents of this system are less than divine themselves, meaning pure of intentions. In this day and age, many of the pro-Sharia parties are dangerously dogmatic and not well versed themselves to make unbiased, level headed judgement in most cases involving the society they so desperately want to rule. Look at Sharia and its application in many Muslim lands, and you will find it manipulated to punish the weak and disenfranchised. If councils existed where they feared Allah more than the parties they represented, I’d be in favour, but in this day and age where the Sahabah and their purity is long gone, I fear what Sharia means to the average common Muslim. Its not Sharia which is the danger here, but the application of it by those with agendas other than serving Allah (swt).

  4. I do not agree that Muslims living in the west are at risk of losing their Islamic identity through integration. Only Allah will cause someone to go astray. The fact is our ummah has grown Masha Allah and integration is imperative to continue our growth. Allah made us into nations and races so that we may know one another. Separating and having an us vs them mentality will only bring about more problems. Getting involved in the political process only helps for non believers to see the truth and insha Allah be guided or in the very least begin to look at Muslims as fellow human being and not “the enemy”. Until these sentiments can be felt on a global scale nothing will change to benefit or encourage the Divine Decree sent by Allah. Even countries that boasts Shariah as it governing process are inadequately ran. As a Muslim American revert I can say with certainty that my involvement in any political process is solely to spread awareness regarding Islsm and to change any act of oppression I see with my hand my and my voice. Quietly though I am very conservative I follow the Quran and Sunnah to the best of my ability. I will never say that the democratic process supersedes the laws of Allah. However to reach a point where those laws are applicable on z governmental scale you have to have a voice and fight against the oppression that has become commonplace. That!… Is our duty as Muslims!!

  5. We are not utilitarianists. We cannot see the full ramifications of any action we perform which is why our actions are judged by intentions. Likewise we do not know what the pen has written, so we must make decisions based on our best judgement. Obviously a secular authority is not going to make laws according to divine scripture. However, we do operate under their authority do we not? There is no written contract between the Muslims and the secular government as there was with the Constitution of Medinah. So by being under their authority does this mean we take them as gods besides God? When we pay our taxes, do these taxes not go towards paying the salaries of the secular authorities? And in so doing are we not providing partial funding for the haram activities of the same? And as for the oft quoted spaciousness of the earth, where on earth today is it really practical for Muslims to flee to for the security of their faith? There is no legitimate caliphate anywhere. There is no place that the vapour of riba has not reached. What are we supposed to do, take to the root of a tree and be there ’till we die?

  6. salam,
    What if the govt is corupt and they choice who wins, I know this for a fact that they steal votes and elect the people they want, We have no control of this, all we can do is pray and hope that allah will guide us to the right path, but allah said he will not guide the bad people meaning that the bad people the run this world will never let muslims or any religion to take over, meaning theres nothing we can do but help ppl and be better muslims and pray and help the orphanes and we need to keep talking abt islam until we have fulfilled our mission in the Dunya, PLease allah help us, we are in a time where its evil and the people have been deceived , please allah forgive us and forgive the kufar cuz they have been blind since they was born. please allah give us one more chance to change, I hope the day of judgment isnt soon but i can fee something is bad going to happen this year or the next, America will lead us to failure, we have to overcome this evil, we have to stop worrying abt what ppl think, live for allah and only allah, dont sin if u have control, its not worth it, we need to make it to the heavens with allah cuz thats where we belong, Allah plz forgive me and everyone thats blind, we all love you even tho we dont know how to show you.

  7. The following article by Abdullah al Andalusi shows why voting is bad using the argument of the secular liberal philosophers who created the modern system in the first place. It also deals with some of what the Shaikh mentioned.

    abdullahalandalusi.com/2015/05/07/should-muslims-vote-in-secular-liberal-democracies/

  8. Peace be upon you,

    Besides the shirk aspect of voting…

    The other point most people don’t mention is – who in the world should you vote for?!

    Even entertainers like Russell Brand and George Michael realise the foolishness of voting because all political parties (except perhaps the Green party or Respect), they are all the same, same lies and promises, and when they’re in power, they do anything that they desire (or rather, anything that they are paid to do (by multi-national corporations)). Thus Russell Brand actually tells his followers not to vote!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqsFp0J22Hc

    George Galloway said it best when he said the 3 parties were basically “twiddle dee, twiddle doo, and twiddle dum” – they are all the same.
    And Galloway said it best when he compared Labour and Conservatives as “two cheeks of the same bum!”

    As Russell Brand said, it’s pointless to vote until we have a revolution!

    • Assalamwalikum dear brothers and sisters

      After reading the comments below I would like to share my thoughts and concerns. Whilst we all have the right to our own thoughts and opinions I think it is important that we show respect to the sheikhs islamic verdict, whether we are inclined towards it or not. The sheikh is fulfilling his obligation as he is in a position of trust and responsibility, furthermore he is more more qualified than many individuals around. Whether he is wrong or right, Allah swt is the judge of that, and Allah swt knows best. We ask Allah swt to reward the Sheikh for his efforts. Furthermore, based on a hadith we learn that he will inshaAllah be given one reward even if he is wrong and two if right. However, us as laymen are more likely to fall into sin as we will be held accountable towards what we say and express.

      Our duty as non- qualified individuals seeking the truth, and a verdict to this issue of whether voting or not is acceptable for us in the UK, is to ask the people of knowledge. Allah swt also tells us in the quran to ask the people of knowledge if we do not know.

      If you are not happy with this verdict than you have the choice to follow the advice or not.
      Moreover, if you choose to vote or not, based on your understanding and reading of this article, and further research on fatawaa from other authentic, realiable and authoritative people of knowledge, then inshaAllah you have still fulfilled your obligation by asking the people of knowledge. However, one must be sincere, strive to seek the honest truth, and keep away from following his or her desires.

      And Allah knows best.

  9. Most of those.commenting must hate living in the west. They sprout such strong rhetoric against the “kuffar system” and “kufr laws” I would imagine they hav no desire to be in this country?

    And yet they stay, earning their living from kuffar companies driving to work obeying kuffar traffic laws paying taxes to the kuffar government which they use to promote their kuffar policies. Most likely they are instead receiving benefit payments from the kuffar government while living in social housing and having 10 children claiming they are unable work. Then Whenever any of these people are to be deported they soon forget about only following Allah’s laws and run for legal aid pleading for the kuffar justice.

    For the Muslims to prosper in the west, we need people to engage with wider society and try to change it for the better. We are a minority and we have enemies who are against us, but other minorities have shown how money and wealth can gain influence if used with clear purpose.

    The “voting is haram” brigade will prefer to sit in their isolated bubbles disengaged from the kuffar society (apart from picking up the kuffar benefit payments) until the far right kick them out and the rest of us, as we couldn’t unite for.our common good.

    • Assalam u alaikum Katie

      What you have demonstrated through your comment is a shallow understanding of what you term the “viting is haram” brigade and the reality of Muslims living in the West. I for one was born here, I work and and as a result pay taxes, as a Muslim living in a non-islamic country I am obliged to obey the law of the land, but I am not obliged to vote, and you can read my comment below as to why that is.

      If you broaden your understanding no one is saying it is haraam to vote, it’s a question of what you vote for and whether that is legible in Islam. For which there is obviously a difference of opinion!

      And before you jump on the band wagon and suggest we go to an Islamic Country I’ll point out that there isn’t one in thus world.

      And as much as Muslims (who choose not to vote) benefit from the state, the state also benefits from them, Your crude generalisation is akin to a Farage type statement. I know many non voting Muslims who lobby and organise pressure groups to influence and effectively make changes that benefit the community, funded from their pockets. Muslims who run charities that bebefit non Muslims as well. So before you blurted generalisations, try and understand the reality.

      jazak’Allah khair

      • The reality is only things that gain influence in local and general government is money and votes, especially in areas with marginal constituencies. Your friends who lobby without delivering votes will simply be ignored.

        Muslims voting in some ukip infested area in rural England may not make a difference, but in innercities marginal seats it’s a different story.

        You can’t win it if your not in it. You just end up a looser.

  10. Probably not the best article written by the Sheikh. I for one will not be voting, I take a textual understanding which some elements of the article above have helped me cement that idea. Furthermore the evidence quoted about eating from haram in a life and death situation does not apply in this situation, unless someone can explain what the life and death issue here is….understandably subsequent governments have netted out death and destruction on the Muslim ummah, I even recall in the U.S. Muslims lobbying for Bush, Clinton and Obama, who have all come and gone, but in each case the Mumsim nationally and internationally have suffered.

    Also it is naive to think that policy is influenced by a political party alone, the various departments, ministries, civil servants, think tanks and party donars are the real influencers in terms of policy.

    Lastly it is disingenuous to say that the non voting Muslims suggest voting is haram, voting is an accepted method to select leaders etc, the issue is what you vote for and quite frankly I won’t be for a party or body as the sheikh suggests implement other than Allah’s law and work tirelessly against muslims and Islam.

    My final question to the sheikh is; who would you vote for and why, and how have MRDF politically participated and influenced policy?

  11. I can’t believe what I just read. Although I have no affiliation with any pro- or anti-voting group, I’ve held the opinion that voting to elect someone for any legislative assembly (a body that passes laws) is not allowed. And having read the article, Sheikh Haddad has only strengthened my belief that I’m following the right sharai opinion. In fact the pro-voting opinion seems more like a secular opinion devoid of any sharai evidence. I don’t wish to be disrespectful, but the examples given in the article can only be described as childish. Very disappointed.

  12. Mace Abdullah

    As Salaamu alaykum war Rahmaatullaahi wa Barakaatuh…indeed the condition of the Muslims in a non-Muslim land is one of particular and peculiar circumstance. It is by definition, an exception to the desired state as ordained by Almighty Allaah. May He reward the Sheikh for addressing the issue of voting in those circumstances. Of course, the larger issues loom as to whether voting in a Muslim land is permissible and under what conditions. In sha’a Allaahu Ta’alaa the Sheikh can address those issues at some latter time.

    For now, I’d like to know, if the Sheikh has time, what the thought is regarding the manhaj of the prophets, AS, e.g. Yusuf, who served in an administrative and authoritative capacity in the government of ancient Egypt. I ask this question because if it is plausible, even permissible for Muslims to vote in non-Muslims lands, as a reasonable attempt to influence legislation and to protect their essentials, does it then follow that those same Muslims should “field” candidates to pursue such legislation and to seek to safeguard those essentials?

    Shukram wa jazaka Allaahu khairan katheiran

  13. Asalamualaikum,
    It seems the best part of this article were the comments in which the Writer was refuted!

  14. Salaam and utmost respect Sheikh.

    HT’s aim as a party is to establish Khilafah in a Muslim country, so inevitably they have NO solutions for the Muslims of the UK. Hence they should let others who do get on with it, whilst they are busy establishing khilafah abroad. HT also spend their whole time being critical of Muslim organisations here and Muslim countries abroad e.g. Turkey, no matter what anyone does it is NEVER good enough. Yet they themselves have delivered very little of substance either here or anywhere else.

    On top of that only THEY have a valid opinion and instead of accepting a difference of opinion from others, they outright refute their opinion as haraam. SubhanAllah.

    Then this concept of, if you vote for a party which supports homosexuality that means you also support it. That is so flawed. Let’s imagine you are a school governor and one of your colleagues proposes that Jumma prayers be held in the school. He then presents that at the governors meeting and asks people to vote on it. You as a governor also know that the same person has previously voted to allow some kind of sex education for children, which you disagree with. Will you now abstain on the Jumma issue, believing that if you vote for Jumma, you have voted for sex education for young children??

    Defies any kind of logic, Islamic or otherwise.

    All you guys are doing is bringing disunity and fitnah in the Muslim ranks at a time when unity is so important.

    Another example, in our area we have a known blatant Zionist who is always talking up the terror threat, should we just let him continue to Lord it over us or use our numbers to replace him with someone better?

    May Allah swt guide you.

  15. With all due respect to the estemed scholar who for me is a reliable reference point on most matters he writes about, may Allah protect him.

    Others have mentioned the invalidity of using the lesser of two evils argument when it comes to voting in UK elections. To quote the sheikhs conclusion reads –

    ‘Conclusion
    I would like to conclude by urging the community to be united in their decision. Such unity is the only way for their voice to be effective. Unity here means following one strategy whether we decide to vote or boycott elections. Once we decide to vote, which in the UK is the decision at least for the moment, we should appoint one main body to lead us in the political process’.

    In reality, we are sadly unable to unite upon the haqq, do we really expect to, or even desire to, unite upon kufr politics?
    The entrenchment of doeband, barelwi, salafi, naqshbandi, tablighi, ahl-hadith, wahabi, sufi, dawate islami etc etc in our community is extreme. The imams who lead us are responsible for these divisions, Allah protect us from this fitna, as they encourage their following and discourage people from praying in masjid of differing fiqh, mixing inter-marrying and many fitna related to these groupings.
    The political allegiances to labour, conservative, libdem, SNP, UKIP etc etc creates further division. It is fanciful to even suggest we can (or should wish to) unite us on this baatil.
    Allah save us all from these fitnas.

  16. I loved reading the article – finally somebody opening up this debate – when I read the comments I loved it even more. I think there are two pointst that haven’t been mentioned yet that are relevant.

    The argument that you are responsible on the day of judgment for voting for a party that leads to evil or harm – can be looked at the other way in that you could be asked that you had the ability to vote i.e. to change something (a munkar) but you did not forbid it.

    Secondly, the act of voting or not voting on its own is not enough. How many Muslims actually wrote to their MPs, met with them, spoke to them expressing actively forbidding an evil or enjoining a good – how many? I think this is something that should be obligatory on anyone who is voting especially where manifestos in the context of benefit to Muslims are not as clear cut.

    Choosing the lesser of the evils by voting is not enough – one must actively speak to the representative they vote for to work or make intention at the very least to change their heart of mind on aspects that relevant to Muslims. And I think if you cannot resolve to do that then you shouldn’t vote because then you leave yourself open on the doj.

    Currently – I am still undecided which is probably where the majority of Muslims sit today in Britain.

  17. HT seems to be hugely against it and are spewing leaflets in our local mosques. I’m going to vote inshallah, I’m not doing it for any kufr authority but our local councils are UKIP majority based so am putting my mark on the lesser of two evils. I think I’m hugely appreciative to be given the chance to vote, because in other Muslim countries, if people are given a chance to vote, corruption is the rule and their citizens often vote for a leader that is not so different than some of our non Muslim candidates. Sorry to offend, but I feel it’s true.

  18. I want to know if a muslem can involve him/herself in political campaign?

  19. IMO this idea of benefitting the Muslim community by working within the democratic system is flawed. A prime example is when the ulema of America were saying that if you don’t vote for bush, dick Chaney is going to come in to power and cause more harm to the Muslims. The Muslims voted for bush and look what happened!

    Another example is the ulema encouraging Muslims to vote for Barack the bomber. I dunno whether it was his ability to actually pronounce Iraq properly, the fact that his middle name was Hussain or because he said he would close down Guantanamo. Whatever it was, let’s be honest, it hasn’t quite worked out.

    This is the problem with having benefit/harm as your criteria for deciding your actions. History tells us and the very nature of our perceptions tell us that what we consider beneficial today we may consider harmful tomorrow. We have to ask ourselves who decides what is good or bad for us.

    The key reference to answer this question is in the quran where Allah says:

    ‘…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’ (Surah Baqarah: 216)

    As Muslims our criteria should simply be halal and haram. This gives us a certain level of stability as well as an objective and timeless base to work from. Partaking in a system of governance that does not recognise Allah as the sovereign legislator is haram. This is an aqeeda issue.

    Even if your justifying it using the principle of choosing the lesser of two evils, the ulema have clarified this issue. It applies only if it is a life and death situation and when there are only two options. Even if these conditions are satisfied, you still have to hate it in your heart. The two evils (harams) in this context are partaking in a kuffar system and abstaining (which apparently means you’ve isolated yourself and rendered yourself inoperable in society). Can someone please explain how the current reality is a life and death situation? And what makes you think there are only two options available to achieve our objectives (whatever they may be)?

    Can we not be active in society outside of the political system? Erm, well, the simple answer is yes, yes we can.

    What about this argument that the ulema have come to a consensus that voting is permissible. Well, my question would be how exactly have you quantified that? Who are these exclusive set of ulemas? As far as I’m concerned this is a complete falsity as there are many ulema in the muslim world that say voting is haram. There is no consensus.

    Even if the majority view it as permissible, we need to understand that we respect our scholars and place them on a lofty pedestal because they follow the wahi (revelation). Our reference is the revelation not the scholar. Scholars are fallible.

    We have countless sects amongst the Muslims. Do you think these sects were started by layman? No, they were started by scholars – even the sects that have deviated. It’s like we’re living in an age where people are completely stricken by paralysis and have lost the capacity to think critically. Snap out of it!

    • Ya Allah give this commenter (Next Man) al jannatul firdaus for clearly calling the truth the truth and falsehood as falsehood. And Ya Allah guide the poster (Dr. Haitham) to the truth and clarity so as to avoid leading his numerous followers and himself astray. آمين يا رب

    • I have a question: If participating in a kuffar political system or kuffar system is haram and that becomes an aqeedah issue then isn’t staying put in a kuffar country and enjoying the benefits and other freedoms associated with that country haram too? How can we be part of a society and not get involved in the political affairs of that place while we take up jobs in companies that run by these people, follow non islamic rules & culture like dress code etc

      By the above logic, muslims in kuffar countries should abstain from that country as soon as possible – that is leave the country!

      Please advise. Please opine.

      May Allah guide us all to the truth and grants us His Hidayah! Ameen.

      • Hussain Fahmy

        The logic of, if I live in ‘Kufr’ system I should be obedient to it or leave; is a self defeating argument unless you are forced by it. Muslims are increasingly being gravitated towards placing their trust in a system of governance other than the Islamic ‘Shariah’ due to the pressure of satisfying the needs of a limited life on earth. The Islamic way of life can be practiced; no matter where we reside. It all boils down to our individual choice of ‘Akhira’ (eternal life) or ‘Dunya’. (limited life) Choose well.

  20. I have noticed that HT bros are the ones who love to troll a lot. They want to be your friends on facebook- even though you dont know them, so that they can troll you and lecture you how voting is haram. Thankfully, they do not represent the majority, despite their online activeness.

  21. One of the Shieks students who is mastering Constitutional law.
    @Fatimaa, May 16, 2010

    Dear sister in islam, i love you for the sake of Allah but must put you in your place.
    #1The shiekh is qualified to speak about the political process, but given the fact you display an evident bias i will rebut your childish (

  22. muslim brother

    if we all practised the way of live Allah ta ala has mentioned in the holly Quran, before the eyes of the non-muslims aound us e.g. neighbours etc.. then maybe they will want to know more about our way of life and we will one day insha allah have a majority for shariah law. just by not voting you cant get shariah law. The Prophet (SAW) achieved success through their character, honesty, Showing Mercy etc…. Lets try to sort ourselves out in our primary defects then move on to the nitty gritty thinks…Forgive me if i have said anything wrong….

    • My brother, who will let us “sort ourselves out in our primary defects”? The alternative lifestyle (homosexuality) promoting government? The freedom-of-speech-except-Islamic supporting government? Or the government that allows easy access to beastiality and pornography while closing down any website remotely threatening its sovereignty? My brother, we are stuck in a loop that will NEVER allow us to “sort ourselves out in our primary defects” by bombarding us with only that which achieves the exact opposite in every billboard and ad medium. Allah created us weak:

      (يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ ۚ وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا) [Surat An-Nisa : 28] And Allah wants to lighten for you (your difficulties); and mankind was created weak

      Our government knows that more than we do my brother. And the only way out of this loop of weakness is by fully embracing The Qur’an and Sunnah. Call where it calls black as black and where it calls white as white without letting learned-enough-not-to-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-them scholars create murky grey areas to confuse us laymen. Ours is a deen for laymen as well as scholars. The sahaba were not great philosophers, they merely didn’t waste time in acting.

  23. Poor Fatwa using weak evidences
    Having being a flag bearer of ‘you can vote to minimize harm or lesser of to evils’ I have changed my view that you can only vote if your life is at threat (hihrah is best!!). I changed because I have looked into voting over a week and the evidences provided for pro-voting were generic ones which do not answer the specific and are very fragile and out of context. The ‘fatwas’ by the likes of Haitham al-Haddad and Abu ‘Eesa Niamutallah are not convincing at all.
    The fatwas fall flat on the first premise if you are faced with evil choose lesser of the two (or x election part!!) – you are not forced to vote!!! Abstain because all parties have proven to lie, are not trustworthy and go against their covenants after being elected.
    Also we can eat pork in a life or death situation – how can this be analogised and reconciled towards voting? The Muslims rejoiced when an enemy of my enemy got defeated – how can that be analogised and reconciled. I love England to beat Pakistan in cricket – can I use that to reconcile towards voting?
    Don’t forget brother Saleem, the examples you have used for example are for a specific singular incident in a hadith (or ayah) and not to with law making.
    When you state, “Ibn Taymiyyah gave a verdict to refrain from stopping the Tartars from drinking alcohol (despite the obligation of forbidding this evil) since their drunken state would prevent them from slaughtering people and raping women”
    I would agree it is the wise and correct thing to do.
    But by voting any – any party, they go on to cause corruption by making halaal what is haraam and vice versa for years and years- so surely by voting you have aided and abetted them! This is different to one off incidents like the examples you have given.

    Can I use this principle of lesser of two evils or attaining benefit via haram means in everything now?
    Can I go to a pub and drink alcohol with people and play poker so to stop them going out and stealing from other people or even worse?
    Can I now go and make 4 girlfriends in that way it will stop these girls from sleeping with other men (or women) but I won’t be sleeping with them but chatting and holding hands only in the hope they may accept Islaam and I can marry. Well I can marry them anyway if they are People of the Book!!
    Get my logic?

    Finally if they make voting obligatory or threaten your life to vote (really do you think so??) the answer is in the Quran…

    Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): “In what (condition) were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on the earth.” They (angels) say: “Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such men will find their abode in Hell – What an evil destination!
    An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #97)

    Also what happens if any of theses immoral and corrupt parties get in, we should know…

    HADITH 19
    On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, who said : One day I was behind the prophet and he said to me: “Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice] : Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”
    Narrated by Tirmithi

  24. Another method
    Here is the problem I face in Canada.

    One party is for homosexual marriages.
    One party is for bombing Muslim countries.
    Another party is for a mix of both.

    I came to the conclusion that I cannot vote for any of them. How will I face Allah having voted for any party that condones the above?

    My solution, I go to the ballot box, my Muslim name is crossed out. I take my ballot in the voting area and mark nothing on the paper. I fold my ballot and go deposit it in the ballot box.

    The advantage of this?
    1) The politicians see the Muslim turnout and hence can be more sensitive to Muslim needs. They do not know whom I voted for (in my case none of them).
    2) I did not vote for any of this parties.

    This is a gesture waiting for Sharia law to come inchaAllah.

    Allah Alim.

    • Exact same is in uk infact all party support sodomite practices so how is it possible to vote for such people

      Abu talib didnt support any of these things other then his religion he was like a muslim in all action we cany compare him to likes of today even gandhi cannot be compared to the likes of abu talib greatness

      I believe muslim shouldnt vote as sheik bilal philips said if sodomite is involved then we are not allowed to vote

  25. Questionable views…
    I personally think the shaikh has a child like grasp of democracy and voting.

    The most basic of political texts (A Heywood for example) will explain that sovereignty is with the people and through elections it is transferred to the rulers – how’s that for just a simple non-consequentialist selection process!

    • The problem with this position is that modern democracy has at best an extremely tenuous connection with the ideology that spawned it. If you truly believe that in modern political set up, democracy is but a tool of control maintained through manufactured consent, than I would strongly recommend that you do some serious background reading. Start with Chomsky, Fareed Zakaria and many others. The view that modern democratic set up actually reflects ideological aspirations of the ideologues is simply too divorced from reality.

  26. Evidence
    As far as i understand the author has written what he “Thinks” we should do when we’re confrontend with voting. It does lak of islamic evidence. Why are the arguments not provided with evidence?

    I think voting itself is not an act of anything. It’s just a way of making a chose. But what’s very important is what you chose for. Democrasy says the people should decide what’s right or wrong. The Qoran says it’s Allah who desides that. So if you vote in a democratic system you are a part of a system that replases the legislation of Allah.

  27. dear convert brother
    If you aren’t content with them, then why are you helping them? Think about this.

    Akhi, I agree that there are many approaches we can utilise and some will be more effective than others. Our intention and choices are upon our own shoulders, but this issue should not be clouded by playing the “k” card.

    Firstly, it’s not good practice to loosely use Islamic terms such as “BAYAH”, this has a specific shari understanding. If by bayah you mean allegiance to the political system then note even by [b]choosing[/b] to live in this country you show a level of allegiance to the system and the laws etc, whether you agree with them or not. To keep this concise, you can’t use your own mind to decide what level of participation is halal or haraam, you need to bring a [b]specific[/b] evidence to classify that actually voting in a non-Muslim country is haraam, for which there isn’t. I encourage you to look in to this further if it is still unclear. Wslm.

  28. convert brother

    to faysal
    Akhi, nobody is saying we are content with zionist lapdogs or bnp limesuckers. I am saying that as someone who votes in an election of kufr, I will be held responsible for the actions the candidate I GIVE BAYAH TO that go against Islam.

    Also, once again, votes don’t go as far as the Pound of the dollar do. This is reality.

  29. Fahad Abu talha

    The Sheikh is weak in Usul
    Salam Ikhwan

    I belive the Sheikh is weak in Usul. Please visit the website below to listen to those who are strong in Usul and understanding the manat (reality).

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/elections2010/

    • Your comment is weak in link. It doesn’t exist.

    • learn how to respect our scholars just because you disagree or they are wrong in one area doesnt make them weak whats weak is the aqeedah of ht who are corrupt in this area due to sheikh taqiuddin wrong aqeedah who himself was a man of great knowledge but weak in aqeedah

      • Muhammad Rafat Alamgir

        Voting is Shirk. Those who vote are that’s why Mushrik.

      • What a contradiction,
        You advise the brother to respect yet you have shown none in your comment and attacked another scholar. Questioned their aqeeda , a far more serious matter and accusation than the person you responded to.

      • What a contradiction,
        You advise the brother to respect yet you have shown none in your comment and attacked another scholar. Questioned their aqeeda , a far more serious matter and accusation than the person you responded to

  30. Worth it?
    Jazakallah khair Shaikh for another informative discussion.
    An apathetic and complacent attitude on this matter is not doing anything for this ummah, rather it is helping those that don’t want the Muslims to vote. Even if we can lessen the evil by one degree, this should not be frowned upon or ignored. Voting is very key in many Muslim areas, this can be summed up by a recent text message…”If you are content with pro-Zionist Friends of Israel as yr MPs in Ilford, then don’t vote, if you don’t mind the BNP, who want to kick you & yr children out of this country, being elected in Barking then don’t vote, otherwise VOTE.”

    • It’s truly sad and pathetic that there are instances in places like ilford and Barking where the Muslims could make a decisive verdict on whose elected for their own benefit but many will choose not to. They will sit and complain how the kufr are doing this and that, the fact that they had chance to take action against it they will ignore.

  31. golden duas
    Our LORD Appreciated Christians as per Quranic Verses 3:55,5:82,57:27,28 Except Quranic Verses 5:14,15,16 & 57,9:31. As per Quranic Versus 4:59 and 83, it is our duty to spread the following messages to all concerns towards public peace, security, health and wealth of mankind in the world as per our website ————-. The following message ought to have published to all the members of the group so far.As per quranic versus 4:59 and 83 it is a duty tospread the following messages in the interest of public peace, health and wealth. “please download from web site ———— for peace, security, health& wealth for mankind and the same may be published as news to all members of the community through government websites, all medias in the country in its local languages and also other websites in the country based on quranic verses 2:2,10:57,17:11,16,28:59,39:55,57,13:37&65:8. Otherwise it will amount to refusal to follow our Lord Order, guidance and direction as per Quranic verses 6:26”

    With kind regards
    U.IBRAHIM ALI

  32. Admire the Sh but not this opinion/article.
    Salamalaikum,
    [b]Though it was an interesting read, I have to agree with the majority of people here. I do respect sh haitham so much and benefit greatly from many of his talks, and I have awaited his clarity/explanation of his opinion on voting in the UK for some years now – but having read it at last, I do not find it convincing nor applicable.[/b] If I were to face Allah on yawm al qiyaamah, these arguments would not give me confidence to believe what I did (concerning a doubtful matter) was worth the risk of it being a mistake. If it makes sense to some, then I can appreciate that, but it doesn’t counter any of the arguments I have heard/read/squestioned on the other side, and thus I am now firmer on the understanding that it is not permissable to vote in these elections.
    Wallahu Alam.

  33. Very poorly written argument
    Sorry, but this is a very misleading and almost childishly thought-out argument. I say this because of the large number of clear red-herrings and non-analogous analogies that are brought throughout.
    In fact, the entire first section has to be thrown out as a red herring, since in no election are we being asked to choose between implementing Shariah, or the Constitution of the country. When we choose between candidates or parties, all of them are clearly operating under the same umbrella of the governmental system which is not Shariah. So the entire example and discussion is ridiculously irrelevant. It is a logical fallacy to prove a premise regarding a special case, and then propose that as proof of the same premise applying to the general case.

    If we go through like this and eliminate all such logical fallacies from the article, the end result will not be very much said at all…

  34. A note to adamt
    Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu,

    adamt, you said:
    [quote]Tell me something, how did they go to Iraq? Did they cast a vote? Yes they did!

    And none of us had power to say “NO!”

    No one was there to speak for us, for Muslims in Iraq, for Occuppied Palestine. No one. [/quote]

    This is not entirely true. In fact, the opposite was. They did hold a vote, that’s for sure, but there were ‘Muslim MPs’ who said they would vote against it. As far as I can remember, 4 of them were absent from the vote and 2 of them voted for the war!

  35. Convert Brother

    @Nozrul Hussain:

    Yeah, you said it, that is a terrible anaolgy.

    And I agree with you though, people should understand how the political system works… including Shaikh Hadad. Understanding academically/theoretically is different than understanding what happens in reality.

  36. Can we have some Shara’i perspective
    Salaam, thanks for the article, i was just wondering if you could provide some evidences from the Quran and Sunnah for this, as this is no different from any other issue in islam. If it had been an article on divorce or salah im sure you would have quoted tons of Quran and ahadith, so why does this differ, you only give mere analogies, which in my view are very easy to counter. Take you argument about lesser of the two evils first of all who decides whats more evil? is it the mind or the shariah texts? From party manifestos you can see that all major parties support the foreign occupation, whereas the BNP yes the BNP say they will withdraw the troops and have a peace treaty with the Muslim world! so who’s the lesser of the two evil if that condition qualifies. And im not even a scholar, please dont act like a democracy and ignore these comments.

  37. Nozrul Hussain

    Voting in a secular political system
    In response to what was posted below:

    The key point for those who believe it is Kufr and shirk that they should understand is that…

    ‘voting is a means to choose a person to legislate by other than Allaah’s Law’

    just as…

    ‘walking is a means to get to the Christian church in order to commit shirk’

    So if you see a Muslim walking to a church does it automatically mean he is going there to commit shirk? No, for he may have the intention to go and speak to the Priest about some necissity such as to tell him that some of his congregation are vandalising muslim homes.

    Likewise you cannot assume that a person is voting to choose a person to legislate, rather he could be voting because he sees a necessity that needs to be fulfilled such as making sure that the a person who will impose islamophobic rules doesn’t get there.

    It’s about the intention of voting… no one doubts the kufr of taghut.

    The above analogy of a Muslim walking to a church and may or may not got and worship at the Church is flawed.

    As the Sheikh said correctly people need to understand how the political system works. No one casts a vote not knowing who or what they are doing. Everyone knows that they are voting for someone who will, if they win the parliamentary seat/constituency that they are contesting, represent them and their interests in Parliament when it comes to passing policies and making laws. This is not an assumption. This is the job/duty of an MP. So there is no assumption here. A person does not become an MP not to take part in the making of legislation. If that was the case then that person sdould not be an MP.

    And Allah knows best. Salaam.

  38. Votes can say yes to “war.”
    It is a very well written and deep post. Jazak Allah Khairun.

    [quote]”This cannot be applied to casting a vote in these elections as no one is claiming that it is a life and death situation. Of course casting a vote is better than dying – but unless there is a rule in this country that people who do not vote will be executed I don’t see how this is being claimed here.”[/quote]

    Tell me something, how did they go to Iraq? Did they cast a vote? Yes they did!

    And none of us had power to say “NO!”

    No one was there to speak for us, for Muslims in Iraq, for Occuppied Palestine. No one.

    Yes, voting depending on certain matters, can cause life and death. It already has, it already doing so right now.

    What gets me and it really confusing, is I see organisations saying, “It’s Haraam to vote,” and yet, they use the same system they call kufar system to ask prime ministers, mps for help about their leader, or about staying in UK.

    I don’t think the so called “kufar” will have a problem with lots of seats taken by Muslims.

    Why?

    We cannot even celebrate Eid together. When time comes for real, we use our own self motives and call it Islam.

  39. Good article
    Well said, however there are a lot of articles like this. Maybe we can comprehend what you are saying but there are a lot of people who will be looking for answers which they may not find straight away or understand.

    You should have had a clear cut answer in your conclusion.

    i.e. “Voting is not haram in Islam”

    None the less keep up the good work.

  40. Good article
    Well said, however there are a lot of articles like this. Maybe we can comprehend what you are saying but there are a lot of people who will be looking for answers which they may not find straight away or understand.

    You should have had a clear cut answer in your conclusion.

    i.e. “Voting is not haram in Islam”

    None the less keep up the good work.

  41. A Quick Question
    Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu,

    JazaakumAllaahu Khayran for this article Shaykh; a couple of points that I was unsure of previously were made clearer for me walhamdulillaah.

    A quick question however:
    You stated that
    From this discussion we can conclude three important points:
    1) Voting, in many cases, merely means choosing or selecting.
    2) Participation in a kufr system does not necessarily mean participation in kufr itself. It depends on the nature of such participation.
    3) Abstention from voting sometimes causes more harm than voting itself.

    I understand the first two points given the information provided, however the third one is very vague. For instance, how do we apply it in our current climate? We have three parties who forward their own agendas, and we all know that the majority of things that each party claims they will do, most probably they won’t as evidenced from years and years of politics. For this reason, the claim of ‘more good than the other’ or ‘the lesser of the two evils’ is incongruent to the reality of our situation since their is no assurance that they will even make well on their claims.

    Similarly, since the Muslims as a whole are divided on this issue, first on whether to vote or not, and then a subdivision of what party to vote for, and practical application would be too small to make a difference anyway. Unless the whole body of the Muslims is clear on a certain party being more beneficial/less evil then the act of our voting will not produce a change since we would not be influential enough to cause that change.

    So the question still stands; will voting actually cause any good/less harm? Or will our act of voting cause harm that we will, in turn, be called into account for on the Day of Resurrection, abstaining from which, we would not?

    WasSalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullaah.

  42. Convert Brother

    If my kafir mother can utter such a profound statement as “Why do people even bother voting? Its not like they look out for anyone’s interests but their own.”

    When we get into maslahah/rukhsah then how do you take this? Is it Lib Dems/Labour who talk cute about the muslim communities here while they are silent on moral issues (sodomy, khamr, abortion) and raise the banner of war on our brothers and sisters overseas? Is it the BNP who openly dispise muslims here and wish them gone but are against interference in our lands?

    No, I will not take a maslahah/rukhsah here. I won’t even get into the issue of bayah as well.

    If we want some form of political clout here, there are other ways. Throw some money around like certain advocacy groups and see what happens. Won’t happen though.

  43. The key point for those who believe it is Kufr/Shirk..
    The key point for those who believe it is Kufr and shirk that they should understand is that…

    ‘voting is a means to choose a person to legislate by other than Allaah’s Law’

    just as…

    ‘walking is a means to get to the Christian church in order to commit shirk’

    So if you see a Muslim walking to a church does it automatically mean he is going there to commit shirk? No, for he may have the intention to go and speak to the Priest about some necissity such as to tell him that some of his congregation are vandalising muslim homes.

    Likewise you cannot assume that a person is voting to choose a person to legislate, rather he could be voting because he sees a necessity that needs to be fulfilled such as making sure that the a person who will impose islamophobic rules doesn’t get there.

    It’s about the intention of voting… no one doubts the kufr of taghut.

  44. Voting
    I’ve always adopted the opinion that voting for non-Islamic law as Shirk and Kufr based on the evidences in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. However, most Muslims would think this is only the opinion of certain groups. I’m not affiliated with any group but seeing the evidence it clearly outweighs the opinion of those who say is permissible.
    It is a very detailed topic and would take awhile to discuss, but the main issues with voting are:
    *Attribute of Allah (swt) i.e Al Hakim.
    *Shirk of allowing others to make law.
    *Making Halal Haram and vice versa.
    *Limiting Allah’s (swt) Legislation to time and place i.e. During the time of the Prophet (saw) and companions, only in Muslim lands.
    *Allah (swt) puts in authority whom he wills (evident from Qur’an and sunnah) voting can not change Allah’s (swt) decree.
    *Political parties policies against Islam and Muslims.

    If I was to vote I believe I would be accountable on the Day of Judgment for the above points I made.

  45. A little confusion
    Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh,
    Jazakumullahu Khayran Shaykh, I just have a small issue with this:

    If we consider voting to be permissible but we find little benefit in doing so, should we not then consider ourselves to be assisting corrupt politicians in gaining power by voting?

    Also, by then abstaining, are we not just distancing ourselves from this? I can’t really see how it can be said that by abstaining you are actually involved because at the very least, you would not be participating in electing any of these corrupt individuals.

    A little more clarification please…

  46. Principle of Lesser of Two Evils
    Sh. Hadad states:
    “This is not necessarily the case for the following reason: choosing an option means that you endorse it only if there are better options offered. But if the other choice is worse, then you are actually endorsing the difference between this option and the one that is less harmful. Take for example eating un-slaughtered meat for a starving person, he is allowed (or even obliged) to do so, yet does that mean that he is endorsing eating un-slaughtered meat? [b]Of course not; he is endorsing the difference between these options which in this case is saving his life. Saving his life by eating un-slaughtered meat is better than starving to death[/b]. That is why this is an agreed upon principle. ”

    He has mentioned an agreed upon principle – and the circumstances in which this rule of lesser of the two evils applies – one in which someone needs to save his life, in other words a life and death situation or something similar.

    This cannot be applied to casting a vote in these elections as no one is claiming that it is a life and death situation. Of course casting a vote is better than dying – but unless there is a rule in this country that people who do not vote will be executed I don’t see how this is being claimed here.

    And so therefore the refutation given by the Sheikh is inapplicable here, and the original point still stands.

  47. Questions and an Objection
    I agree with most of what the Shaykh has said.

    1) If there are three parties; one less evil than the other and you know/think the party with the lowest evil will not be able to win, is it allowed to vote for the second least evil party in order for the most evil not to win whilst not choosing the least evil?

    2) Why is it not made clear for the Muslims who they should vote for? In the age we’re living in you have to be an Usooli to work out which harm is greater than the other and consequentially who to vote for thereafter! So in places like Bow and Bethnal Green where you have multiple Muslim candidates there will be a split in the voting which may lead to neither of them winning. Why is Muslim voting being propagated before a ‘main body’ is appointed to guide us?

    Objection:
    The claim ‘abstention from voting is essentially indirect voting’ is only accurate in certain cases like the analogy Sh. Haitham mentioned, however the reality is not analogous to that so I put it to you that it is not the case currently where abstention is the same as participation.

    And Allaah knows best.

  48. Questions and an Objection
    I agree with most of what the Shaykh has said.

    1) If there are three parties; one less evil than the other and you know/think the party with the lowest evil will not be able to win, is it allowed to vote for the second least evil party in order for the most evil not to win whilst not choosing the least evil?

    2) Why is it not made clear for the Muslims who they should vote for? In the age we’re living in you have to be an Usooli to work out which harm is greater than the other and consequentially who to vote for thereafter! So in places like Bow and Bethnal Green where you have multiple Muslim candidates there will be a split in the voting which may lead to neither of them winning. Why is Muslim voting being propagated before a ‘main body’ is appointed to guide us?

    Objection:
    The claim ‘abstention from voting is essentially indirect voting’ is only accurate in certain cases like the analogy Sh. Haitham mentioned, however the reality is not analogous to that so I put it to you that it is not the case currently where abstention is the same as participation.

    And Allaah knows best

  49. Very Innovative post
    Very innovative post about voting and islam keep on sharing more like this. eagly waiting for your next blog post.

    Jazakallah!!!

  50. Jazakallah
    Jazakallah for the article, good read and informative.

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