Addressing The “Halaal V Haraam To Vote” Question

The Akh received the following message in regards to my original question of “Why Do Muslims Conflate Voting As Being Against Their Aqidah?” Seeing that The Akh has spent the last 4 weekends out campaigning (more on that tomorrow) the viewpoint below is one that I have encountered on many a doorstep, from the “Anti-Voting Brigade”:

Salaams

Please allow me to attempt an answer using the ‘tawkeel’ argument.

Voting in the UK General Election is an act of delegation (tawkeel) where a delegator (muwakkil) appoints a delegate (wakeel) to act on one’s behalf.
Tawkeel (delegation) is a legitimate Islamic contract and is used in cases such as representing someone for marriage or for the guardianship of minors.

Tawkeel, as an Islamic contract, has to proceed according to the rules of Islam.

One pillar of tawkeel is that the delegator (muwakkil) can only delegate that which the Shari’ah deems permissible since the delegate (wakeel) acts on behalf of the delegator (muwakkil). So what is halaal for the delegator (muwakkil) can be delegated and what is haraam for the delegator (muwakkil) cannot be delegated.

For example it is halaal (permissible) for me to delegate another to buy me a pint of milk as it is halaal for me to buy a pint of milk. It is haraam (forbidden) for me to delegate another to rob my neighbours since it is haraam for me to rob my neighbours. This is known as Ghiyaab ul-Mawaani Ash-Shari’ah (the absence of any divine prohibition).

Returning to the fiqh al-mas’alah (or specific reality) of voting in the UK General Election we face an insurmountable obstacle. The problem is that this is a delegation for someone to represent them, according to manifesto of the delegate (wakeel), in a legislative chamber – in this case the UK Parliament as an MP.

Worse still, the delegator (muwakkil) cannot specify or hold the delegate (wakeel), in this case the MP, to only act on their behalf on certain matters e.g. against Israel or against foreign invasions such as of Iraq and Afghanistan. The MP will generally legislate, vote on legislation, debate legislation, help to draft legislation, amend legislation, propose legislation and defend legislation on behalf of the delegator (muwakkil).

Here we have to ask if it is halaal (permissible) for a Muslim to do any of the things that the delegate (wakeel), in this case the MP, will do.

It is a matter of ‘aqeedah that a Muslim does not have a say when it comes to legislation:

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision” (Translated Meaning of Al-Qur’an [TMQ] 33:36)

This is because the right of legislation is only for Allaah SWT (c.f. TMQ 12:40).

Muslims should look to the Shari’ah for all matters:

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission” (TMQ 4:65)

Not to man-made legislation, which is Taghut (an authority other than Allaah SWT):

“Have you seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which has been sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgment (in their disputes) to the Taghut while they have been ordered to reject them?” (TMQ 4:60)

So I disagree with your comment that “Voting and participating in the electoral process is not tantamount to legislating against Islam” because voting in the UK General Election and delegating an MP to act on your behalf is getting involved in legislation without doubt.

As Muslims we should stay with the halaal regardless of our desire (hawah) for any perceived benefits:

“Have you (O Muhammad SAW) seen him who has taken as his ilah (god) his own desire (hawah)? Would you then be a wakeel (delegate) over him? Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path.” (TMQ 25:43-44)

You are right that we face difficult times and you are right to call the Ummah to action and for that I applaud you but legislating by man-made law, in violation of the Islamic ‘aqeedah, is a line we cannot consider crossing. We should instead have tawakkul (trust/reliance) in Allaah SWT:

“Do they then seek the judgment of (the Days of) Ignorance (Jahiliyyah)? And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm belief?” [TMQ 5:50]

Best wishes

H

I would like to thank the brother for taking time to write in and usually due to the constraints I have I would not take the time to reply, or even give your view a platform on my blog, but seeing we are in the last throws of an election campaign and the “Anti-Voting Brigade” is starting to show it’s head yet again, I feel compelled to answer you.

If you had read “My Politiks” page you would see what my take on the political sphere is, I see little to no difference between the major parties anymore.

Whilst I agree to the principle in general that we should rule by Islam, we have to accept the fact that we live in a society where we have no choice, but we can be in a position of influence and given the circumstances we find ourselves in, as part of our duty of ‘amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar’ we need to prioritise and tackle the evils in society and try to steer it in the right direction the best we can, be that on domestic or foreign issues, as the decisions made here have disastrous repercussions the world over for Muslims, a fact you can attest to over the events of the last decade.

As Muslims if we interact more, we have the upper hand, being isolationist does not help our cause or the cause of Islam. We all participate in the system willingly, we live in a democracy and we obey the laws ‘WILLINGLY, we pay taxes toward maintaining it, and we use all the facets that democracy provides.

At no point have I ever stated that the administrative governance of this country is the perfect model that we should all aspire to, and I know that the morals and ethics that an Islamically inspired code of governance would benefit us all tremendously, but you have to face reality.

You can either position yourself outside the system like the communists and the marxists have done for the last 150 years (see where that got them?) or you get involved within the system and make it change, via a peaceful and democratic means, because that is the only way to achieve your means.

You will never overthrow the system by means of violent revolution, to think that you are only deluding yourself into becoming pacified through your inaction.

We can talk about the khilafah all day long but at the end of the day it doesn’t really change the reality that there is no khilafah at this moment in time, and their are millions of Muslims who reside in “Non-Muslim” countries. Our so called “Muslim Lands” have adopted the same structures of “kufr”, as the anti voting brigade would call it, to the point that you couldn’t name one Muslim country that is not ruled by a Despot, Dictator or Western backed Royal family to keep the population under control by denying them the rights of freedom of speech, freedom to protest and crucially the freedom to select who should govern them.

Chances are if we were to have this debate in most Muslim Lands, we’d end up being buried in the desert by the mukhabarat.

The issue of voting is clearly one of IKHTILAF, there are scholars on both sides, for and against.

I am not blinkered in my view, and I accept that both sides have a legitimate point of view.

To say there is only one opinion on this issue, is simply a statement of the typical arrogance (we know the reality and nobody else does), and denial of the fact, this in not a clear issue thus different opinions exists.
We do not debate number of prayers or fasting or Hajj – they have clear texts behind them, but not on this issue of voting.

The FUNDAMENTAL reason given behind the prohibition to vote in a non-Islamic society is participating/endorsing a man-made system. So, if that is the case then surely by greater reasoning one cannot go to the courts and seek Judgments, as you are now asking them to APPLY the man-made laws and you continue to benefit from these laws.

Not to mention there are other forms of participation greater than voting as well. This FUNDAMENTAL point will not be answered by the anti voting brigade, as it is conveniently classed (excused) as a separate issue by the anti-Voters – so I ask again –

So why is participating by voting a crime, but every other type of participation is allowed or CONVENIENTLY ignored, even if it makes greater contribution to the system.

How can it be that anti-Voters go to a non-Islamic court and seek remedy through applying non-Islamic laws are all excused, but not voting!

To vote for someone in a non-Islamic society, is not the same as voting for a Muslim within a Islamic society – the issue of man-made laws/legislation is not applicable to non-Muslims. Thus, voting here for a candidate is not endorsing the a man-made system, but rather trying to function within the existing framework imposed by the non-Muslims.

This is no different to lobbying MPs in the parliament, not to impose a ban on a political party. Again, this point remains unanswered. Similarly, HT are going to the non-Islamic courts to apply the non-Islamic laws, using the logic of voting/endorsement, this is the ultimate act of SHIRK!

Maybe, the ‘logic’ of the anti-Voters is this: only the process of legislating man-made laws is shirk, but applying it and benefiting from it, is ‘halal’….yeah go figure?

If voting inside a system is shirk, then how can one seek judgement and benefit from such a system all the time?

Where is the distinction?

Residing as peaceful citizens, obeying the laws and paying the taxes is itself an EXPLICIT act of endorsement of a system, UNLESS you make it known that you intend to oppose this.

Your opposition is what needs to be an explicit act, otherwise the assumption is you approve by your conduct of obedience.

The Prophet (SAW) opposed the system from day one and looked to establish the state in that vicinity. He did not reside in Mecca, like we are doing in the UK, in a peaceful and obedient manner!

There is no comparison.

Ironically, the anti-voters have not declared their intention to oppose the non-Islamic system. They go to lengths to show that they pose no threat to the System in the UK.

So, how is their conduct is like the Prophet in Mecca?

This proves the anti-voters have approved the system.

If you approve the system, you approve the mechanism of voting too, which is part of the system, even if you don’t recognise it.

The system is applied by the people willingly in the UK, and upheld by the vast majority of the population, otherwise it would have collapsed by now. Most of the Muslims are migrants, they came willingly, nobody coerced them to come here and no one is coercing them to continue to live here.

So it is nonsensical to suggest, there is coercion.

The only coercion is a self-imposed one for wanting to remain in the “kuff” but cushy west!

As for the minority of non-Muslims (anarchists/communists) they have made their intention know that they oppose the system, even though they live here.

To remind you again, the Prophet (SAW) never lived as a tax paying and peaceful person in Mecca, like we do in the UK. He worked actively to alter the situation in Mecca and then the entire Arabian Peninsula. As a result of this friction some of the Muslims took ‘TEMPORARY’ refuge under the King of Ethiopia. This shows He endorsed Muslims living under a non-Islamic system, abiding by their rules.

The conclusion from the anti-Voting camp is still the same and I reiterate –

So they wont stand up to provide an Islamic alternative, nor will they seek to make changes in the UK (violating their own evidence of Makkah) to apply the divine laws, as only the Muslims countries are suitable, nor will they migrate there – what they say is, be here as long as you like, just don’t vote, and watch this space – because Khilafah is coming!

It does not matter if you vote or not – you will contribute to the election result.

You are participating by default unless you work to change the existing system.

If you think voting is bad for your health, then going to the same shirk-based system to ask them to apply those laws is fatal!

You may not want to implement something – that I understand.But to say its wrong to participate in it, when we all participate in the system indirectly and directly, and benefit from it – thus such arguments are flawed.

I have to make the assumption that you “H” are a model democratic citizen, after all you are living in the UK or US or in the West. You use the facility given by a democracy (freedom of speech) when you (presuming you are anti-voting HT brigade message) hold your conferences/lectures and seminars.

So if it is wrong to participate in a democracy, then what is the alternative?

You have none!

Allahu-Alim

Wa’Laikum As’Salaam

Akh The Angry Academic Activist

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6 Comments

Filed under Great Britain, Islam, Operation Muslim Vote 2010, Quran Hadith Sunnah

6 responses to “Addressing The “Halaal V Haraam To Vote” Question

  1. whilst the muslims are fighting a rear guard against the “voting is shirk , bidah kaffir” Hizb, the zionist are having a free run. Lee Scott is so unbothered about being unseated he is busy teaching students in Golders Green how to “Lie For israel”, even though he is the PPC for Ilford North
    http://ilfordnorthelections.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/lee-scott-lie-for-israel-election-campaign/

  2. Muslim Voter

    Jazak Allah Khairun Akhi for taking the time to explain to some of our people the nuances in the whole debate.

    This simply is not the case of aligning or favouring democracy over shariah.

    You have to understand that we are all here, in this country primarily out of choice, hence we need to wise up and make it work for us and our families.

    You are free to practice the deen and get educated by the state.

    We are enjoying the fruits that are on offer and must be fairly content otherwise why would we be here.

  3. Salaams, Akh

    Here’s a few quick points in response:

    – “being isolationist does not help our cause or the cause of Islam”-

    True, but I don’t advocate isolationism.

    I argue the Muslim community in the West can select from 3 options:
    1) integrate and lose its identity, handing ideological victory to the West in its efforts to seduce Muslims into its values and system
    2) isolate and fail to tackle the issues raised against us
    3) build a strong community as part of our duty of ‘amr bil mar’uf wa nahi anil munkar without falling into haraam or compromising the call to the Ummah to seek Islamic solutions

    I choose option 3. What about you?

    – “You will never overthrow the system by means of violent revolution”

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    – “So, if that is the case then surely by greater reasoning one cannot go to the courts and seek Judgments, as you are now asking them to APPLY the man-made laws and you continue to benefit from these laws”.

    Incorrect. The Muslims in Abyssinia are a proof that we can pursue civil rights without getting involved in man-made legislation.

    – “Chances are if we were to have this debate in most Muslim Lands, we’d end up being buried in the desert by the mukhabarat”.

    True and I oppose all unIslamic systems with all my strength.

    – “How can it be that anti-Voters go to a non-Islamic court and seek remedy through applying non-Islamic laws are all excused, but not voting!… Maybe, the ‘logic’ of the anti-Voters is this: only the process of legislating man-made laws is shirk, but applying it and benefiting from it, is ‘halal’….yeah go figure?”

    It is halaal to pursue civil rights without getting involved in man-made legislation but engaging in man-made legislation is haraam without doubt. Not even the jurists and scholars who argue for involvement in the UK General Elections argue against pursuing civil rights. Do you have an evidence, reference or quote to say otherwise?

    – “Thus, voting here for a candidate is not endorsing the a man-made system, but rather trying to function within the existing framework imposed by the non-Muslims”.

    It is tawkeel and is both endorsing kufr and referring to Taghut. We can function within the existing framework imposed by the non-Muslims without legislating and have done for decades.

    – “Residing as peaceful citizens, obeying the laws and paying the taxes is itself an EXPLICIT act of endorsement of a system, UNLESS you make it known that you intend to oppose this”.

    It is not and cannot be argued Islamically to be so. The Muslims in Abyssinia are a proof that peacefully residing temporarily in non-Muslim lands without an established Khilafah is halaal. If we chose to remain here under kufr law with a Khilafah available to return to we could all be accused of endorsing the system. However, today there is no Khilafah and nowhere of Dar ul-Islam to make hijrah to. We must be a strong, united community opposing and exposing the actions of the West to attack the Muslim world, while working to revive the Ummah until the promised return of Khilafah.

    – “Ironically, the anti-voters have not declared their intention to oppose the non-Islamic system. They go to lengths to show that they pose no threat to the System in the UK.
    So, how is their conduct is like the Prophet in Mecca?”

    I oppose it. There are multiple forms of opposition (intellectual, political, military). Intellectual struggle against this system is how Muslims must oppose the system here today but the direct comparison here is with first generation of Muslims (RA) in Abyssinia.

    The first generation of Muslims (RA) engaged in direct political struggle to change the system in Mecca and did not in Abyssinia. Today’s Muslims engage in direct political struggle to change the system in the majority-Muslim world and do not in the West.

    – “This proves the anti-voters have approved the system”.

    It does not and we do not.

    – “So it is nonsensical to suggest, there is coercion”.

    No one I know suggests it.

    – “As a result of this friction some of the Muslims took ‘TEMPORARY’ refuge under the King of Ethiopia. This shows He endorsed Muslims living under a non-Islamic system, abiding by their rules”.

    Khilafah had not been established yet. Therefore this was not an endorsement of a kufr system as better than the Islamic system. The endorsement you speak of does not mean a blanket endorsement. The Muslims were permitted to seek refuge from torture and abided by the rules.

    Crucially they did not and would never legislate as you call us to since it is against the ‘aqeedah of Islam.

    – “It does not matter if you vote or not – you will contribute to the election result”.

    The distinction is that those who did not vote are free of the blame and shirk of legislating by man-made law. Furthermore, it has been reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Umm Salamah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said:
    “Ameers will be appointed over you, you will recognise some of what they do and
    you will disown some. Whoever recognised (that) he is absolved from blame.
    Whoever disapproved (of their bad deeds) he is safe; but whoever consented and followed them (he is doomed).”

    See also how the people of Fir’awn (not just Fir’awn himself) were drowned for following and aiding the oppressor TMQ 8:54. Voting Labour or Conservative doesn’t seem so appealing now does it?

    – “You are participating by default unless you work to change the existing system”.

    True, but the change we seek is in the majority-Muslim world where the call for the return of Islam to power and ruling is the key. We do not seek the change we desire from within the kufr system since it will protect itself from such radical change. Chasing anything more than this is a little naive.

    It comes down to seeking a perceived benefit which I do not see despite the multiple harms of encouraging Muslims to refer to kufr at a time when we need Muslims to reject kufr and work to re-establish Islam in the Muslim world through peaceful, political means.

    – “So if it is wrong to participate in a democracy, then what is the alternative?
    You have none!

    You may not like my alternative but I have one. It may seem hard and too long-term considering the fashion today for short-term, pragmatism where Islam can be sacrificed in the hope for a benefit but I call you to have sabr and to examine a positive agenda for Muslims in Britain at http://www.hizb.org.uk/elections2010/action-not-voting/a-positive-agenda-for-muslims-britain

    Your brother

    H

  4. hotterthanapileofcurry

    @ HassanMac

    As’Salaam’Alaikum,

    Brother Hassan,

    Once again, I thank you for your considered post, one that I will attempt to reply to in the coming days.

    For the sake of posterity, this will be the last post on this topic.

    I have allowed you to air your views, ones that I do not agree to and under the rules of engagement, debate & advocacy I have been fair in accommodating you and your party view.

    Your brother in Islam

    Akh The Angry Academic Activist

  5. Pingback: Rebutting The HT Inspired “Don’t Vote” Arguement «

  6. Zainab

    This has been an interesting topic for me to follow, and as a first time voter, i’ve been accosted on the streets and within our sisters circles by the “anti voting brigade” as you succinctly put it.

    “Akh” you are correct in the majority of your reasoned arguments, especially that of not conflating voting as part of your aquidah.

    As a tool, voting, and doing so in a very informed manner, is a safe option which we should all take.

    Unfortunately the confused minds out there think that by voting you are going against the Deen of Islam.

    You are not voting in a referendum to decide whether you want Sharia or Democracy, so you are not going against the deen in any shape, way or form.

    By simply living here and taking benefit of every option that democracy affords you, but not voting, to me is a sign of complete cowardice.

    I was unsure whether to vote, but after following your blog, as well as MPAC’s coverage, I have decided to vote and have made sure everyone in my influence got registered and will be voting today too.

    Keep up the good work inshaallah

    Z

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