Participating In the Political Process That Does Not Follow the Sharee’ah
Fatwa No: 387145

  • Fatwa Date:25-11-2018 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 17, 1440
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Question

Assalamualaikum. I had a question. In the story of Yusuf As we see that he joined the egyptian kingdom as a minister. Now it is apparent that the system didnt rule by the law of Allah. Does it makw permissible for muslims to join in the current politics, even if the political system and law doesnt apply divine law?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

This issue is one of the issues of difference of opinion among the scholars. Those who permitted participating in the political process in the same situation that you referred to in the question –for the purpose of reforming and improving goodness, reducing evil and corruption, doing everything that is possible to support the truth and make it manifest, and abolishing falsehood or minimizing it –provide pieces of evidence, among which is the story of Yusuf  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"It is from this reason (i.e. of reforming and doing what is mentioned above) that Yusuf, the truthful, took over the treasures (storehouses) of the land of the king of Egypt; rather, he even asked the king to appoint him over the treasures of the land. The king and his people were non-Muslims, as Allah Says (what means):

• {And Joseph had already come to you before with clear proofs, but you remained in doubt of that which he brought to you.} [Quran 40:34]

• {O [my] two companions of prison, are separate lords better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing? You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.} [Quran 12:39-40]

It is known that despite their disbelief, they must have a habit and a Sunnah in taking the funds and spending it on the servants of the king, his family, his soldiers, and his subjects, and they did not do so according to the Sunnah of the prophets and their justice, and Yusuf could not do everything he wanted, which he sees is from the religion of Allah. The people did not respond to his call, but he did what was possible of justice and benevolence. As a governor over the treasures of the land, he was generous to the believers of his household, and was it not this position; he would not have been able to do so. All this is included in the saying of Allah (which means): {So fear Allah as much as you are able.} [Quran 64:16] When two obligations coincide, while you are not able to do both of them, then you should put in priority the more confirmed one, and the other one, will not be obligatory in this case, and the person who leaves it in order to do the more confirmed one is not considered as leaving an obligation in reality….." [End of quote]

Among the examples of inference in the story of Yusuf  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention is that the law in force in Egypt at that time was contrary to the ruling of the Sharee’ah in force in the children of Israel; Allah Says (what means): {Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother within the religion of the king except that Allah willed.} [Quran 12:76]

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"It was from the religion of the king of Egypt –as the interpreters of the Quran stated –that the thief is beaten and fined to pay twice the value of the amount that he had stolen; if they had said this, Yusuf would not have been able to compel his brothers to hand him over his brother Benjamin; as others cannot compel his brother to be beaten and pay twice the price that he had taken; it is for this reason that Allah Says (what means): {Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother within the religion of the king except that Allah willed.} [Quran 12:76]; meaning that he could not have taken his brother in the religion of the king of Egypt because according to the king’s religion, there was absolutely no way to take him."

Allah knows best.

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