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Friday, July 19, 2024

Voting is not just a right, it is also a DUTY

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By Shaykh Abdul Raheem hafizahullah

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani, in his book “ASRE HADIR MEIN ISLAM KAISE NAFIZ HO”, writes:

“The lack of interest towards elections is because people have linked Deen (religion) only to Salah, Fasting, etc. They consider politics, economics etc. as totally ‘foreign’. This is why we see many in their private capacity dedicate and devote themselves to prayer but are quite reckless as far as other dealings are concerned. Such are the people who regard elections as merely something of the Dunya having no connection to Deen, and have introduced into Deen various evils…”

Hadrat Mufti Mahmood Hassan Gangohi Rahimahullah states in Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah:

“Votes are not given to a particular party based on their Islam or Kufr, rather individuals vote for a political party with the hope of them fulfilling the rights of the citizens, preventing oppression and on the basis of them serving and benefitting the citizens of the country. If there is hope of a certain political party fulfilling the above objectives, then one may vote for that party.”

[Re: – Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah Vol. 20 Pg.430]

Whether we like it or not, we have to deal with political campaigning, elections, voting and polling.

Should we call for refraining from politics these days because it is considered ‘dirty’ and ‘full of treachery’?

No doubt decent people of fine character shy away from politics nowadays because of its offensive look which has tainted the very idea of an election, to such an extent that whenever the subject of voting or election comes up, one’s mind immediately conjures up visions of treachery, lies, bribery and fraud. Therefore, many remain far away from politics and do not even exercise their right of voting. This attitude, according to Islamic principles, is wrong.

Allah says in the eighth verse of Surah Ma’ida in the Quran:“Believers! Be steadfast for (obeying the commands of) Allah, (and) witnesses for justice. Malice against a people should not prompt you to avoid doing justice. Do justice. That is nearer to Taqwā. Fear Allah. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.”

In Islam, voting comprises of five elements viz.
(1) that of giving evidence;
(2) Interceding for someone;
(3) appointing someone as a representative;
(4) Mashwarah (consultation);
(5) and Wakaalah (proxy or agency)

These elements, which govern voting in Islam, make it compulsory upon every Muslim to exercise meticulous care in his/her choice of a Representative in parliament.

People usually regard voting as a game of winning and losing. We must ponder how many voters are conscious of the fact that they are fulfilling a duty? “Whoever makes a good recommendation, there shall be for him a share from it (in the Hereafter), and whoever makes a bad recommendation, there shall be for him a share from it. Allah is powerful over everything.” Quran – An Nisa 4/85

Thus, if the elected person carries out good work during their stay in office then whatever rewards they will gain from this effort, a share will also be due to the voter. The voter has a share in the good works of the elected person.

Our friendship withh non-Muslims and voting for them is not on the basis of being from Christian, Jewish or Communist backgrounds. It is also not on the basis of showing approval to unislamic ideologies, but only on the basis that we secure our rights and perhaps show them through a practical example the beauty of Islam and its characteristic teachings. Taking part and being polite, is also a way of extending an invitation towards the beautiful guidance provided by our religion, Islam.

In a reply to a query regarding participation in non-Muslim politics, Mufti Kifaayatullah RA writes… “The ideal situation is that the political leader of Muslims should be a Muslim who strictly adheres to the injunctions of Shari’ah and diligently follows the commandments of Allah SWT. However, if a person with such qualities is unfortunately not available to fill the post or the Muslim community is unable to recognize and nominate a person of such calibre to the post, then it should vote for any political thinker, whether Muslim or not.”

Mufti Mahmood Hasan RA writes… “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 one should vote.”

THERE ARE 2 REASONS WHY MUSLIMS SHOULD VOTE.

  1. To secure adequate delivery of day to day basic necessities. (Water, lights, road construction, community development etc)
  2. To secure Islamic rights and the freedom to practise on Islam.

WHO TO VOTE FOR?

  1. At a party political level – such a political party that has the capacity to deliver and that is Muslim friendly. I.e. does not oppose the Muslim cause. E.g. certain political parties have openly supported the publication of the cartoons of Muhammad SAW; they have supported the invasion of Muslim lands; and have objected to the modus operandi of the Palestinian cause, notwithstanding the sensitivities of the Muslim community. However, on the other hand there are other political parties who have openly expressed their views against the publication of such cartoons, keeping Muslim sensitivities in mind. They have also opposed the Iraqi invasion and have straightforwardly supported the Palestinian cause.

To vote for a particular political party does not necessarily mean that one votes for their un-Islamic ideologies.

  1. At a candidate level – the candidate should have three basic qualities:
    A. Sound leadership skills – that ensures adequate delivery of services.
    B. Trustworthiness
    C. Ability to represent

The above criterion indicates that it is not necessary to only vote for a Muslim. One may vote for a non-Muslim candidate who possesses such criterion.

In his Tafsir Ma’ariful Quran, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ RA categorises friendship with non-Muslims into four components.
‎1. موالاة Muwaalaat – to develop a bosom type of relationship where one indulges in evils such as Zina (fornication); alcohol; interest etc. Such a relationship is prohibited.

‎2. مواساة Muwaasaat – to show sympathy and pity for the injustices and hardships afflicted upon non-Muslims. Such a relationship on humanitarian grounds is a must.

‎3. معاملات Mu’aamalaat – a relationship based on business or work. Such a relationship is permissible, provided there is no harm to the Muslim community.

‎4. مداراة Mudaarat – displaying good manners; politeness and courtesy towards non-Muslims in order to live harmoniously with them. This is also recommended.

So it is clear that voting falls in to one of the last 3 categories and it is a duty upon each individual and not just a right.

Allah Says in Surah Baqarah Verse 283: “Conceal not evidence, for whoever conceals it, his heart is tainted”

NB: We make Dua that Allah SWT provides the most suitable party and most suitable leader/s for our Great Britain. We are part and parcel of this great country so we have to get involved in the necessary activities. May Allah give us the correct understanding, wisdom and ability to think deeply and judge wisely. Ameen

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