Archive for March, 2009

In one Fatwa you have said, that it is kufrakbar to rule with other hukm than hukm of quran and sunna. so someone who involves himself into ruling by other than that of sharia,becomes a kafir. So what is the reason, that you said in another fatwa that going to a democratic election (which is another system than sharia), to elect someone who could help. This is kufr akbar. because participating in shirk is also shirk, and noone of the salaf participated into shirk-systems. why did you say in one fatwa, that it is no problem?? even shaykh ibn uthaymin said it would be no problem. but to participate in shirk is however not allowed only in ikrah, such as i know. And also Shaykh Gunayman said it is Kufr akbar to go on voting, here is the audio:

 you are on different opinion on this far-reaching subject. could you clarify these differences?.

Praise be to Allaah. 

There is no contradiction – in sha Allaah – between what we quoted about the definition of democracy and the ruling on it, and what we quoted from Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy upon him) and others, about the ruling on standing and voting in elections. That is because none of our scholars stated that it is permissible to work on the basis of democratic systems either to promulgate laws or implement laws. None of them issued a fatwa to anyone saying that he could be a judge passing judgement between people on matters of blood, wealth and honour according to man-made laws. Neither did they issue any fatwa saying that it is permissible to promulgate laws that are contrary to the laws of Allaah. Rather their fatwas had to do with joining bodies where the person who joins them is able to reduce the evil that exists or prevent whatever he is able to prevent of things that are contrary to the laws of Allaah, or he is able to achieve shar’i interests which the people usually cannot achieve otherwise. 

In fact, their fatwas went further than that. Some of them issued fatwas stating that it is permissible to elect a kaafir if he is less evil than others, if their voice will have an effect on the elections. None of this contradicts the opinion that democracy is contrary to Islam and that ruling belongs only to Allaah. 

There follows a detailed explanation of the above: 


In the answer to question number 107166 we said:  

Democracy is a man-made system, meaning rule by the people for the people. Thus it is contrary to Islam, because rule is for Allaah, the Most High, the Almighty, and it is not permissible to give legislative rights to any human being, no matter who he is.  

And we said: 

The one who understands the true nature of the democratic system and the ruling thereon, then he nominates himself or someone else (for election) is approving of this system, and is working with it, is in grave danger, because the democratic system is contrary to Islam and approving of it and participating in it are actions that imply apostasy and being beyond the pale of Islam.  

But as for the one who nominates himself or nominates others in this system in order to join the parliament and enjoin good and forbid evil, and establish proof against them, and reduce its evil and  corruption as much as he can, so that people of corruption and disbelievers in Allaah will not have free rein to spread mischief in the land and spoil people’s worldly interests and religious commitment, this is a matter that is subject to ijtihaad, according to the interests that it is hoped will be served by that. 

Some scholars are even of the view that getting involved in these elections is obligatory.  


In the answer to question number 118443, we explained that representative assemblies are no longer able to carry out their mandate of calling to account those who are falling short and to prevent corruption and evil. In the case of such assembles, we do not regard it as permissible to join them, because that does not have any effect on reality of the situation. But if in some countries these assemblies have a good effect of preventing evil or stopping corruption or calling to account for shortcomings, then there is nothing wrong with getting involved with them, for the one who thinks he is able to change things. In our answer, we stipulated that this person who gets involved should be a good person who has knowledge and experience. 


In the answer to question number 3062, we stated: It may be the case that the interests of Islam require Muslims to vote so as to ward off the greater evil and to reduce harmful effects, such as where two candidates may be non-Muslims but one of them is less hostile towards Muslims than the other, and Muslims’ votes will have an impact on the outcome of the election. In such cases there is nothing wrong with Muslims casting their votes in favour of the less evil candidate.


In the answer to question number 111898, we quoted the resolution of the Islamic Fiqh Council which belongs to the Muslim World League in Makkah al-Mukarramah on the issue of “Participation of Muslims in elections with non-Muslims in non-Muslim countries.” We quoted their opinion that it is permissible for Muslims living in non-Muslim countries to stand and vote in elections, where their participation in elections will bring benefits to the Muslims and ward off harm from them, and that the fatwa concerning that varies according to different times, places and situations. All of that is conditional upon the Muslim’s participation in the election not leading to any neglect of his religious duties. 

This is a summary of what we have mentioned on our site of these fatwas or rulings. As you can see, they do not contradict one another. Rule belongs to Allaah, the Most High, the Most Powerful, and it is not permissible to anyone to promulgate laws for the people, apart from what was brought by Islam. How can it be permissible to promulgate laws that govern people with regard to their blood, wealth and honour? 

We have stated that democracy is blameworthy in and of itself. As for the ruling that it is permissible to stand and vote in elections for parliament, that depends on the interests that the Muslims will achieve through it. We also accept that there is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning these matters. We are aware that there are those who disagree with the scholars concerning that, and do not allow Muslims to participate at all, whether by standing or voting, and some of them refuse to allow them to stand in elections but do not forbid them to vote. What we have mentioned on our site is what we believe to be the most correct view concerning this issue. 

But we should point out here that democracy does not mean parliamentary elections and similarly parliamentary elections do not mean democracy according to the Western concept. Elections are just one aspect of democratic life. With regard to the Western democracy that we are speaking about, and we are speaking of how it is opposed to the laws of Allaah, it is a secular concept, not a religious one, and it includes political life, which is its most prominent feature that most people know of. But it is based on an ideology of secularism and absolute freedom with regard to matters of faith and disbelief, and with regard to economic life that is based on Western capitalism, and with regard to social and cultural life. Without this comprehensive view, there can be no democracy. 

And Allaah knows best.


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