Scholars cannot permit what Allah has forbidden
One of the main excuses some people use today in attempt to justify the evil act of voting for a person to make law on one’s behalf is that the majority of Muslim scholars say it is allowed to vote, and some even go further saying it is a religious duty
One of the main excuses some people use today in attempt to justify the evil act of voting for a person to make law on one’s behalf is that the majority of Muslim scholars say it is allowed to vote, and some even go further saying it is a religious duty.
This, like every other so-called argument used to justify voting for man to play the role of God and make law, is entirely flawed and can never be used as an excuse to associate partners with Allah by choosing a lawmaker besides Him. There are many places in the Qur’aan in which Allah (SWT) informs us of individuals in the past who were favoured by Him and were given knowledge, yet they abused the knowledge they were given, started to follow their own desires and misled the people.
For example, the Jews and Christians (People of the Book) were accused by Allah of worshipping their rabbis and priests by obeying and following their religious edicts which clearly went against the commands of Allah. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’aan:
“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah).” (EMQ at-Tawbah, 9:31)
‘Uday bin Haatim used to be a Christian. When he heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) recite the above verse he tried to deny this and responded: “We did not worship them (rabbis and priests).” The Prophet (SAW) replied: “Did they (rabbis and priests) not forbid what Allah permitted and hence you forbade it; and they permitted what Allah forbade and thus you permitted it?” ‘Uday replied “Yes.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “That is how you worshipped them.” After this incident ‘Uday (RA) embraced Islam.
So it can be argued that any Muslim who blindly follows a scholar when he permits what Allah forbids has taken him as a lord and false god besides Allah. Any matter which is clearly forbidden by Allah – such as alcohol, committing shirk (in this case, voting for man to make law), adultery, interest (ribaa), and so forth – cannot be made lawful by scholars. Moreover, one cannot claim on the Day of Judgement that they were merely following their scholars or the majority of people and therefore cannot be blamed for their actions. Allah (SWT) says:
“And those who followed (blindly) will say: “If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us.” Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them. And they will never get out of the Fire.” (EMQ al-Baqarah, 2:167)
Furthermore, it is reported in the Sunan of Ibn Maajah that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “Verily, what I fear most for my Ummah is misguided Imaams.” There can be no doubt that the misguided Imaams (or scholars) of today are those who allow voting for man-made law by twisting the verses of Allah and Shari’ah principles in order to achieve popularity, maintain their career and please the masses, tyrannical governments and disbelievers.
What makes someone an ‘aalim?
What makes someone an ‘aalim is not the level of knowledge they have, the length of their beard or their credentials. The Sahaabah, for example, did not study at a “renowned” institution and nor did they achieve any certificates, credentials, degrees, PhDs, and so forth. Despite this, they were the greatest ‘ulamaa (scholars) the Ummah has ever seen.
What makes someone an ‘aalim, besides having knowledge, is when they engage in the duties of the Anbiyaa (Prophets). Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “The ‘ulamaa are the inheritors of the Prophets.” Therefore, in order for one to be considered an ‘aalim, they must engage in the duties of the Prophets. The mission of the previous Prophets was to call people away from shirk (associating partners with Allah) and taaghout (false gods, such as lawmakers or MPs). They called society to Tawheed and to reject man-made laws as well as kufr (un-Islamic) ideals, ways of life and values such as freedom, democracy, liberalism and so forth.
It is for the above reasons that the previous Messengers and Prophets were attacked by the disbelievers, vilified, ridiculed, boycotted, imprisoned and some were even murdered or assassinated. This is how we recognise the people of truth: they are tested by Allah and vilified by the disbelievers. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was labelled a lunatic; Ibraaheem (or Abraham) was thrown into fire; Yoosuf (Joseph) was incarcerated for a crime he did not commit; the disbelievers plotted to crucify ‘Eesa (Jesus); Shu’aib (AS) was threatened with extradition; Nooh (Noah) was ridiculed; and the list goes on.
Allah (SWT) has destined, as part of His Almighty Traditions (Sunnatullah), that any person who desires to be with the Prophets, Messengers and their Companions in the Hereafter must struggle in this life the way they did and endure the tests they were made to endure. Allah (SWT) says:
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” (EMQ al-Baqarah, 2:214)
In what way have those so-called scholars (who try to justify voting for kufr law) suffered for the sake of Allah and the Deen of Islam? Rather than calling people away from shirk and to shun taaghout (false gods), we find them calling us to commit shirk for their personal interests and benefit (maslahah) and to obey taaghout (those who rule by other than what Allah has revealed). What excuse do these sad individuals (particularly in the UK) have for not speaking out against this great evil? Unlike scholars in the Middle East, they are not being threatened with torture, imprisonment or death yet they are still afraid of upsetting the masses, gaining notoriety or being labelled an extremist.
There is a famous principle in Islam: “The haq (truth) is known by the daleel (divine evidence), not by men.” Therefore, the haq is not established by the number of people that agree with it or the number of “renowned” or celebrity-like scholars who state it. Rather, the haq is known by the daleel (Qur’aan and Sunnah, by the understanding of the Sahaabah). But if it is names you are after and not daleel, below is a brief list (in no particular order) of scholars from across the world that say democracy opposes Islam and that voting and participating in democratic elections is forbidden (haraam):
Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (Jordan), Sheikh Feiz Mohammad (lived in Australia, originally Lebanon), Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki (lived in USA, originally Yemen), Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Misri (UK, originally Egypt), Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (USA, originally Egypt), Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal (lived in UK, originally Jamaica), Sheikh Abdul-Qaadir bin Abdil-Azeez (Egypt), Sheikh Naasir al-Fahd (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Ahmad Fadeel an-Nazal al-Khalayleh (Jordan), Sheikh Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Ayman Muhammad Rabee’ al-Zawaahiri (Egypt), Sheikh Sayyid Qutb (Egypt), Sheikh Humood bin Uqla Ash-Shu’aibi (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Ali bin al-Khudayr (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Naasir ud-Deen al-Albaani (Saudi Arabia, originally Albania), Sheikh Muhammad Ameen al-Shanqeeti (Saudi Arabia, originally Mauritania), Sheikh Ahmad Hamood al-Khaalidi (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Yusuf al-Uyayri (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Abdullah al-Ghunaymaan (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Muhammad al-Fazaazy (Morocco), Sheikh Hani al-Siba’i (UK, originally Egypt), Sheikh Saalih al-Awfi (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Ziyaad Qattaan (UAE), Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad (lived in UK, Lebanon), Sheikh Abu Qataadah al-Filasteeni (UK, originally Palestine).