Muslims Participating in Elections
Fatwa No: 81429

  • Fatwa Date:27-3-2000 - Thul-Hijjah 22, 1420
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What is the rule in entering into Parliaments ?


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.

1. First of all, the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them differed in opinion over the issue of participating in parliamentary elections that exist nowadays. Some of them are of the view that it is forbidden to participate in them in the present circumstances. However, some others are of the opinion that the Muslims should participate in such elections and that they should not lose such an opportunity. Yet, other scholars are of the view that it is lawful for Muslims to participate in them under some conditions.

2. However, to shed more light on the issue, we quote the opinion of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who said: 'It should be known that Al-Wilaayah over people (governing them and directing their public affairs) is one of the greatest obligations of the religion. In fact, no religion or life could stand and prosper without it. So, Al-wilaayah should be used as an act of worship that brings somebody nearer to Allah…” [End of quote] The pious from among the Muslims want money and the position of presidency not haughtiness or corruption on earth; rather, they want to get nearer to Allah and to make the religion devoted for Him Alone and spend the money in His Cause.

He also said: 'But since the aim of many of the governors is to amass fortunes and to get some honor, and they have become isolated from the crux of ‘Eemaan (belief) in their ways of governing, many people think now that this rule contradicts ‘Eemaan and complete religion. Some of the governors have put the religion before every thing else and neglected some collective duties, without which Islam will not become complete in day-to-day activity. Others felt their need to govern and did so, neglecting the religion because of believing that it contradicts the new position. So, they overlooked the religion which for them is low and requires mercy and pity instead of putting it ahead of them and above every thing else. Both ways are wrong. Indeed, these are the ways of people who have adhered to the religion but have not observed the requirements of sovereignty, Jihad and money. They are the ways of those who have occupied themselves with the rule, the wealth, and the war without intending to establish the true religion. They are the ways of those whose portion is wrath and who go astray.

3. He also said: 'What is obligatory on the Muslim is to do his best. If he is given a position and intends to abide by what Allah has prescribed for him; performing the obligations and avoiding the forbidden acts, he will not be punished for what he is not able to do. The leadership of good people is better for the Ummah than that of bad ones.

Those who fall short of establishing the religion through leadership and Jihad despite their endeavor to do so are not asked to do what they can not do as the establishment of the religion requires the Guiding Book i.e. Quran and the strong authority.'

4. Know also that Yousuf, may Allah exalt his mention, asked the king of Egypt to appoint him to the storehouses of the land as soon as he got the opportunity to do so. He didn't neglect it because it would put him in a position where he could establish justice and preach it. Allah Says (what means): {(Yousuf said: Set me over the storehouses of the land, I will indeed guard them with full knowledge).} [Quran 12:55]

Abdur-Rahman ibn Naser as-Sa'di said in his interpretation of the Quran Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahman when interpreting the verse: {They said, “O Shu'ayb, we do not understand much of what you say, and indeed, we consider you among us as weak. And if not for your family, we would have stoned you [to death]; and you are not to us one respected."} [Quran 11:90]; he  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said while talking about the conclusions that could be deduced from this great verse that Allah protects and backs the believers in many ways. They might know some of these ways or they may not know any of them. He may defend them by their tribe or by the unbelieving from their country as Allah defended Shu'ayb from being stoned by his cousins. Such ties which could help in protecting Muslims and Islam should be strengthened as conforming to the best is required of all Muslims.

Shaykh Manaa Al-Qattan  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book: 'The difficulties encountering the application of the Islamic Sharee'ah’ mentioned a Fatwa by Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baz  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him when he was questioned about the Islamic ruling concerning being candidate to the Parliamentary elections and taking one's election card for the purpose of voting for the Daa’iyas (preachers of Islam) and the religious brothers to help them get into the house of Parliament. The Shaykh replied: “The Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Indeed, actions are judged according to their intentions and every person will get the reward of what he has intended." So, there is no harm in participating in the House of Parliament if the intention behind that is to back the truth and to express refusal to the wrong and evil as this is considered a support to the truth and an affiliation to the Daa’iyahs. There is no harm also in taking one's election card to help one elect the good doers and back the truth.

We ask Allah to guide the Muslims to what is good for them.

For more benefit on participating in elections, please refer to Fataawa 84199 and 82201.

Allah knows best.

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