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What is the reason as to why we should vote? I was having a discussion with some sisters the other day, and they were of the position that a Muslim should NOT vote in a kafir society. One said it is like giving bay’ah to a non-Muslim. And also, that you think you are voting for the lesser evil..but, you are contributing to that evil that will come about eventually (i.e. 8 years ago Muslims said to vote for George W. Bush because he was the lesser evil, and look what he did).
Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh:
Allah (swt) says, “Ask those who know if you do not know.” The word “Ask” in this verse is an order which means, it is an obligation to ask those who know if one does not. Ibn ‘Abbas, the great companion of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Those who know are the scholars.” [tafisir al-Qurtubi vol. 10 pg. 108.
Asking the people of knowledge is an obligation because correct information and understanding leads to correct practice and application. For that reason, seeking knowledge and asking those who know is one of the greatest means that insure one is protecting and nurturing his/her faith. Protection of faith is the most important aim of Shariah thus, the Prophet, his companions and the scholars who came after them took great pains to insure that the knowledge that passed on to those who succeeded them would stay pure.
Dearest sister, you should not take such answers to such important issues unless you do some from those who are qualified, trained and recognized by other scholars. To take the religion from the unqualified and acting on their answers could be a sin on the part of the questioner! Dr. ‘Ali Guma wrote that “one should seek out the people of knowledge for answers, just as one seeks out the best doctors to treat his/her illnesses.”
Consequently, those who answer questions knowing that they are not from the people of fatwa have committed a major sin according the majority of scholars. Allah says, “Indeed my Lord has only forbidden……..and to speak about Allah without knowledge.” Thus, although the verse above says to “Ask those who know” what is equally understood from the verse is, “Don’t answer if you don’t know.” Thus, both questioner and the one who answers, if they ignore this order, are potentially committing sins.
Unfortunately the word mufti is misused by a large number of young brothers and sisters here in the West. However, if we were to ask them some of the basic question regarding Qur’an, Arabic language, Fiqh [meaning more than one school] and Usol we would find them equal to most high school students in the Azhari system. Such folks could do us a great favor if they humbled themselves, moved beyond the simple books they studied, and allowed their knowledge time to ripen and mature.
It is common to find the common people dabbling into religious matters and, in many cases, leaning to hyper dispensation or the opposite. Both are signs, in many cases, of a lack of scholarship, because fiqh by its nature is not simply black and white, but involves great research, experience and training. For that reason, dearest sister, please be careful who you take your religion from. “The religion is isnad. Be careful who you take your religion from.” I advice you to talk with these sisters, if they are not from the people of knowledge, please advice them to be quiet and leave these issues to the people of knowledge. Not doing so is the greatest sign that one has failed to grasp the sacred nature of this faith, its lofty status with Allah and the danger of misguiding others. In other words, one of the greatest signs that one fails to respect Islam, is to speak about it without knowledge.
Inshallah, you have come to ask a very important question. In the next few days we will release a lecture given on this topic and hopefully Muslims will take it and spread it so as to give others a better understanding of this issue.
May Allah make us from the scholars, the sincere and those He’s pleased with.
With all due respect I must strenuously disagree with Suhaib Webbs comment. The revival of the ummah must be an intellectual one performed by the ummah itself, especially at a time when most muftis and Alims are graduated from Universities who’s islamic curriculum is controlled by tyranically regimes who’s sole aim is to make sure they graduate imams and muftis that are sure to keep the intellectual revival from happening. A very important aspect of the intellectual revival is discussing political issues (something the tyranical rulers don’t want). In my humble opinion, Suhaib Webb is directly playing into their hands. It seems to me that he wants to shutdown the discussion through the use of fear of pronouncing a fatwa. Whats interesting is if the sisters said eating pork was haram, we do not look for these same sisters to come with their evidences and daleels for how they came to that conclusion. We do not try to shutdown the discussion by saying leave it to the scholars. Most of those who believe voting is haram did not come up with their own ijtihad, this issue did not come out of thin air. Many scholars say its haram and these sisters are just bringing what they heard to the streets. Now, the evidences are clear that its haram, let Mr. Webb refute those evidences instead of telling the sisters not to think and to just leaving these issues to the scholar. Be apart of building the thinking process, do not shut it down. There are plenty of Ayat that point to the fact that putting a non-muslim or Muslim in a position whereby they will rule by Kufr is haram (Suhaib knows these issues). Furthermore, it is forbidden to put kafirs in authority over Muslims (I do understand that they already are in authority, but that does not mean we should participate in putting one or the other in authority). I hope this helps the sister who originally posed the question.
Salaam Br Ibn Abdullah
I feel compelled to stress that your post seems at the very least rude. Have you not been taught the very basic of manners when dealing with people – Treat the people according to their status – “Mr Webb”? Subhanallah!. I try to keep my comments as less emotional as possible but posts like yours’ make this very difficult. It is posts like these that start of all this childish debates on forums all over the internet.
Just to clarify a few issues you have mentioned:
– Stressing the seriousness of issuing fatwa’s is completely understandable especially in our times where every tom dick and harry is happy with his opinion. I do not understand how you ended up with this conclusion that Sh Suhaib wants to stop all discussions. Your analogy between the case of Pork being Haram and the issue of voting exposes your shallow thinking dear brother. The former is clear cut and there is no ambiguity. The ruling of the latter on the other hand is arrived at through a thorough analysis of the Quran and Sunnah AND socio-political analysis in order to apply the Theory. So after keeping in ALL the reasons of Hurmah the FAQEEH then sees whether they exist in a given scenario (Tahqeequl Manat) and thereafter pronounces his ruling. You correctly state that a few scholars have opined it impermissible based on their analysis and a lot of scholars have said on the contrary which makes this an area of Ikhtilaf. The fact that this issue requires such analysis of a political issue will almost CERTAINLY result in a difference of opinion – Do you not know brother that there is no Amr bil Ma’roof and Nahi anil Munkar in Mukhtalaf Fih Matters (see Ibn Taymiyyah on this as well as Imam Nawawi) Why do Muslims have such a amateur naive way of thinking?! ACCEPT differences and don’t be scared and act like control freaks trying to get everyone on your “side”- even if the scholars who opine it lawful are wrong they will STILL be rewarded – Don’t you get this? Hence your call to Sh Suhaib to “refute” the evidences will simply end up with another set of refutation from the others side, and then if Sh Suhaib or others refute the refutations and further barrage of refutations will flow out – which will simply show more clearly that an issue which is disputed will very rarely be suddenly agreed upon (Mukhtalaf fih issues rarely become Mujma Alayh and even if they do the legal strength of such an Ijma is not accepted by all)
– Your assertion that Sh Suhaib “knows these issues” suggests to me and I may be “reading between the lines too much” that he is deliberately going against the so called “Haqq (there is NO Haqq and Baatil in Mukhtalaf fih matters only Sah and Khata according to Ashari scholars they view that dual opinions can both be right- try to understand this before rejecting it). Please clarify this brother
I hope I did not insult you in anyway and if I did I apologise.
May Allah keep our intentions correct.
sorry the last part should read:
(there is NO Haqq and Baatil in Mukhtalaf fih matters only Sah and Khata AND according to Ashari scholars DUAL OPINIONS CAN BOTH BE RIGHT AT THE SAME TIME try to understand this before rejecting it).