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Islaamic Viewpoint On Voting

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Islamic Viewpoint on Voting

By Shaykh Mufti Zubair Dudha
Islãmic Tarbiyah Academy

A Muslim is that person whose every action is for Allah. Every single deed, every movement such as walking, sitting, worshipping, working, marrying, and dealing in business or politics, is done solely for the pleasure of Allah. Since voting during an election is also an action it is necessary for us to understand and learn about the correct Deeni position of the vote. Unfortunately very few people, if any, find time to think, ponder, enquire and learn about Islãmic rulings concerning our daily activities because most people indulge in innumerable actions which are useless and base, and can spare no time for anything else.

THE POSITION OF VOTING IN ISLÃM

In the 9th Verse of Surah Mã’idah Allah Ta’ãla says:

“O You who believe, stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing and let not hatred of others make you swerve and depart from justice.”

In Islãm, voting comprises of six elements viz.

1) That of giving evidence,

2) That of intercession,

3) The element of appointing some representative,

4) Mashwarah (consultation),

5) Wakala (Agency of proxy),

6) Bai’ah (pledging of allegiance).

1) Giving evidence encompasses a very wide field of definition and is not restricted merely to the Court House before a Magistrate or Judge as is the general assumption to-day. The terminology of the Qur’ãn and Hadith with respect to giving evidence covers a considerably broader meaning. Mufti Muhammad Shafi ® in his Ma’ãriful Qur’ãn, whilst commenting on the above verse, has written that the giving of evidence may be found in many other circumstances. For instance, a doctor who issues a medical certificate confirming
that some patient is so sick that he should not attend to his duties, is in reality giving a form of evidence. So too is the case of an adjudicator or lecturer assessing the answer papers of students. Allotting of marks is Shahãdah, and if he intentionally or carelessly either reduces or increases a student’ marks, he is actually giving false evidence, which as we know is Harãm and a major sin. In a similar manner voting for any Candidate to enter Parliament or other such Assembly is also a form of giving evidence. In this case the Voter is testifying that the Candidate for whom the Vote is being cast is trustworthy, Allahfearing, very capable and most suitable to represent the masses.

(Ma’ãriful Qur’ãn Vol. 3 P. 70/71).


2) The next aspect of the Shar’iah to be found in elections is the element of intercession. The role played by the voter in an election is one of interceding, for in actual fact he is intervening on behalf of some candidate who wants to be made a representative of the people. In this way the voter has a share in the good and evil actions of the elected person. Thus if the elected person carries out good work during his stay in office then whatever rewards he will benefit from this, a share will also be due to the voter. Similarly, if the elected candidate does wrong by indulging in un-Islãmic and non-permissible actions then the evil and sin from this shall reach the Voter.


3) Representation – The Voter appoints some person as his representative. If such a representation is only there for the benefit of an individual then the responsibility is limited; but where an entire community is implicated as is the case for elections and an ill-equipped or wrong person is appointed by means of this vote then the rights of the whole community have been usurped. This would mean that the sin of usurping the rights of the whole community falls upon the neck of the Voter, as mentioned in Ma’ãriful Qur’ãn Vol. 1 P. 73.


4) Mashwarah – Voting as a form of consultation. Thus a prospective voter is offering suggestion as to who, in his opinion is the most entitled to receive the vote.


5) Wakala – Agency of proxy. Where the candidate is made an agent/representative on behalf of the person that has appointed him by vote.


6) It is the form of political Bai’ah (pledging of allegiance) to the candidate, regarding him as most suitable for the post.



These elements of an election which govern voting in Islãm make it compulsory upon every Muslim to exercise meticulous care in ones choice of a representative in P a r l i a m e n t , Ma s j i d , Madrassah, Waqf etc. One must make a careful study of his candidate and ask the questions; What type of person is he? Is he trustworthy? Does he possess the ability to represent the community? Does he practise righteousness and piety?

VOTING IN NON MUSLIM COUNTRIES

It will be permissible to vote under such circumstances where we fear that our

religious rights will not be fully preserved and upheld unless we align ourselves with a movement all be it a non Muslim movement that will strive to protect and secure our religious rights. In reply to a query regarding participation in non Muslim politics, Shaykh Mufti Kifayatullah ® wrote; “The ideal situation would be that the political leader of Muslims should be a Muslim who strictly adheres to the injunctions of the Shar’iah and diligently follows the Commands of Allah. However, if a person with such qualities is unfortunately not available to fill the post, or the Muslim community, due to the misfortune of its inadequacies, is unable to recognise and nominate a person of such calibre to the post, then it would become permissible to align oneself with any political thinker, whether it be Jinnah or Ghandi provided that there is assurance of the legality and benefit of this political leadership.” (Kifãyatul Mufti Vol. 9).


Shaykh Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi ®, writes in reply to a query regarding the issue of voting; “If by voting there is some benefit to the Deen, nation and country and it is strongly hoped that the party or candidate voted into power will render correct service, then it will be permissible to vote.” (Fatãwa Mahmoodiyah Vol. 5 P.341).

In conclusion, one should be very cautious before giving their vote to any political party. If one finds all parties non beneficial to Deen and our rights then it will be better not to vote.

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Three Electoral Commitments Every Muslim Should Make

By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Islamic Da'wah Academy

 

Like the rest of the country, the UK’s Muslim community is gearing up to vote on May 22nd. The political parties have been campaigning in earnest for some time, outlining their policies and stressing their commitments to the nation. During the days preceding polling day, Britain’s Muslims should be asking themselves what commitments they have made when it comes to casting their votes.

Here follows a summary of a speech delivered by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh, containing valuable advice for the Muslim voter.

 

The Secret of Success

Allāh ta‘ālā has placed the desire for progress, and the spirit of mutual competitiveness that accompanies it, into the very nature of man. It is natural for individuals and communities to strive to better themselves and achieve progress. As Muslims, we should open the pages of history and discover and adopt those factors which make a nation prosperous, as long as they fall within the bounds of the Sharī‘ah, so that we too can reap the Dīnī and worldly benefits of progress.

Our study should commence with trying to ascertain the secret behind the success of the noble Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, for they are ideal role models of a community that attracted success in its every endeavour. A thoughtful investigation will reveal three prominent qualities which can be attributed to their success. In this election season every Muslim, no matter what his/her preferred party, should commit him/herself to observing these three principles in order to secure success and achievement, both on a personal and a communal level.

 

The First Commitment - Taqwā

The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum hated all disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā, they neither had a habit of sinning nor were they fond of any sins. Abstention from sins is the essence of taqwaa, and through it Allāh ta‘ālā has promised relief from every difficulty.

In dealing with the election issue, we must not say or do anything that displeases Allāh ta‘ālā. Of all the sins to beware of, backbiting and slander are major sins which are a particular threat at such times. One inclined towards a particular party should not backbite or slander a supporter of another party, for in doing so the requirements of taqwā will be compromised; and Divine assistance and blessings can not be expected in the absence of taqwā.

 

The Second Commitment - Ikhlās

Every decision taken by the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum was for the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, keeping in mind the life hereafter and the good of the community. They would be ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of Allāh ta‘ālā. Whether standing for election, supporting a party or voting, a Muslim must be pure in his intentions. This intention should be to elect the candidate who will best serve the Muslim community in common and humanity in general. If a Muslim has sincerity then his vote will go to the right candidate, for he will consider that he is voting to please Allāh ta‘ālā and therefore he will expend his energies in finding out who the best candidate is.

 

The Third Commitment - Unity

Unity is a key factor for the success of any nation; a truly united community can withstand any competition. Individuals should have the courtesy of mutual respect despite their political rivalries. Sadly, the Muslim community is a divided one. Every individual has the right to his own opinion and his own preference, within Shar‘ī boundaries, but our mutual differences transform into malice and enmity towards each other. Not even our masājid are free from our feuding. We can only hang our heads in shame when matters reach ahead and TV and press reports announce that political wrangling amongst Muslims has spilled over into fights outside a masjid after Friday prayers.

We go to the extremes; if we like something in a particular person, we praise him to the extreme, whereas if we disagree with someone on one issue, we become blind to all the good qualities he possesses. Our dealings are but a faint shadow of the Islamic concept of brotherhood our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam taught. True brotherhood demands that whatever our political stripe, we should be able to sit at a table and sacrifice our political allegiances for the sake of Allāh ta‘ālā and agree to support the candidate who is best for the Muslims in common and the country in general. We should be willing to marginalize our differences in order to progress in a common direction.

In fact, if the Muslims of a particular constituency were to unite on a single platform and form a committee, responsible for recommending the best candidate to Muslim voters, every party would turn to the committee and seriously consider its demands on behalf of the Muslim community. They would realise the importance of securing the Muslim vote. All that is needed to achieve unity is a little sacrifice and the willingness to swallow one’s pride. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the longing to strive for taqwā, ikhlās and unity. Āmīn.

 

Using Your Vote

  1. The vote is very important. It is a means of electing the person most beneficial for the community and our country.
  2. Voting is a big responsibility. Not voting or voting incorrectly will bring power to the wrong person.
  3. The best candidate deserves our vote.
  4. We should become politically aware.
  5. We should read every party’s manifesto.
  6. We should study party policies via the internet, radio, newspapers and knowledgeable people in our communities, who possess political acumen.
  7. We should find out which party offers us the best in all spheres of life; education, housing, health, social issues, international policy etc. Deciding on a party by just looking at one issue does not constitute farsightedness.
  8. We should think rationally, not make judgements based on emotions.
  9. Finally, we should make du‘aa to Allāh ta‘ālā, asking Him to enable us to make the right choice and that may He grant success to those who will serve the country and its citizens without any prejudice or wrong.

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Highlighted from:

 

Three Electoral Commitments Every Muslim Should Make

By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Islamic Da'wah Academy

 

 

1. The vote is very important.

It is a means of electing the person most beneficial for the community and our country.

 

 

2. Voting is a big responsibility.

Not voting or voting incorrectly will bring power to the wrong person.

 

 

3. The best candidate deserves our vote.

 

 

4. We should become politically aware.

 

 

5. We should read every party’s manifesto.

 

 

6. We should study party policies via the internet, radio, newspapers and refer to knowledgeable people in our communities, who possess political acumen.

 

 

7. We should find out which party offers us the best in all spheres of life:

education, housing, health, social issues, foreign policy etc. Deciding on a party by just looking at one issue does not constitute farsightedness.

 

 

8. We should think rationally and not make judgements based on emotions.

 

 

9. Finally, we should make du‘ā to Allāh ta‘ālā, asking Him to enable us to make the right choice and that He grants success to those who will serve the country and its citizens without any prejudice or wrong.”

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