Less than a fortnight ago, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, finally announced that May 6th, 2010 would be the date of the next General Election. Prior to and since, a variety of means have been used by the powers-that-be to encourage both the apathetic and the undecided to participate in the vote, including the broadcast of the first ever leaders' debate between the heads of the three main political parties.

However, in my opinion, the most interesting development surrounding the election has the been the launch of not one, but several voting campaigns targeted at Britain's relatively small community of Muslim citizens. The concentration of Muslims within a handful of constituencies, combined with the strong possibility of a hung parliament, has motivated community leaders from various backgrounds, to urge their followers to simply, “Get out and vote!”.

The following are links to web-based campaigns I have come across so far:

A casual glance suggests that Muslims are not being asked to vote for any particular party or candidate – with the exception of MPACUK, who are known for being more 'vocal' in that respect. Rather, the different sites serve to offer the average voter the tools that they need to make an informed choice come polling day, leaving it up to local communities to decide who their best candidate may be.

Of course, any talk of voting has been the cause of a great deal of contention amongst Muslims, with heavy words such as 'shirk' and 'kufr' being bandied about with very little tact or diplomacy. It is therefore even more interesting to see respected teachers such as imam Abu Eesa Niamatullah, and Sheikh Haytham al Haddad offer their open (though conditional) support to the concept of the Muslim Vote: please refer to this list of fatwas and khutbahs for more information.

I myself have 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about the whole voting dilemma for several years. Surprisingly, it took only one simple statement to make me realize that I really had no choice: “Abstention from voting is actually indirect voting” (explain more in this in-depth article). This means that no matter what you do – or don't do – you have a role to play in the outcome of the elections. Therefore, it is your responsibility to properly investigate your options, and if abstention happens to be the best one, then that's your right. But don't be fooled into thinking that abstention provides some sort of escape!

Whatever you decide, a reminder that you must be registered to vote by April 20th. Today is the last day to submit your form via post. Otherwise, you may have the option to deliver it directly in person on the 20th. Check the Electoral Commission website for a copy of the registration form, and for more information.

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46 Responses

  1. amad

    Interesting timing… a dear friend of mine dropped the the shirk-if-you-vote bomb on me a few days ago. I am sure he is sincere and well-meaning and looking out for my interest, as I am sure are most Muslims who insist on this line of thinking.

    HOWEVER, what boggles my mind is how, in the process of shirk bombs, tons of scholars are simply ignored or just assumed to be either “sell-outs” or “watered-down”. I remember posting something from, of all the people, Saudi scholars (WITHIN Saudi) urging Muslims in the West to vote more than two years ago. The purpose of this emphasis is not to say that they are more authoritative than other scholars, but that it adds more weight when something like this comes from a section of scholars who are usually more conservative than others in these issues.

    It seems thus we are selective in what we take from our shayookh, not only in what is halal (as is the usual complaint– shopping for fatwas), but also in what is haram :)

    Muslims cannot afford to become irrelevant otherwise 99% of Muslims who will indeed NEVER leave the West will find the noose tightening on them everyday, as well as setting their children up for future irrelevance and Islamophobia enshrined in law!

    To be honest, I just wish this camp would see the writing on the wall, RECOGNIZE that there are scholars from ACROSS the spectrum who accept and encourage voting, and quietly retire to the corner. They have had their chance for a long time to voice the abstinence opinion, and their opinion has lost, both in popularity and in the number of scholars who agree with them. And if they don’t want to retire, then I ask them to please don’t accuse me of shirk, give me their message, give me their evidence, and if I defer to the scholars *I* trust, then please just agree to disagree.

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    • akhi

      The problem is Amad, at the time of the American elections, this site and yourself were calling for people to vote for Obama, people gave you advice that he would most likely continue to kill Muslims as Bush did but you seemed not to care about that and he has indeed ordered the killing of many Muslims and now, you sir, have Muslim blood on your hands.

      How do you feel?

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      • ummaasiyah

        I wouldn’t say that MM has blood on their hands particularly since approximately 0.01% of the American population read this blog. Not a very sensible comment to make, akhi.

        At the time, Obama seemed to be the most sensible and Muslim-friendly candidates, but I’m sure as we have learnt, politicians are rarely sincere and rarely live upto their promises.

        I would also like to add that I am pretty certain that MM couldn’t have influenced the American voting population…unless, of course, you have proof that they did.

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      • Abs

        Isn’t this criticism based on a presumption that McCain would have been better?

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      • Amad

        The problem with shrill comments such as yours, “akhi”, is that they are so outright offensive, presumptuous and inaccurate that they don’t deserve much of a reply. I know anything I say to your ilk will not make the least bit of difference, but for the benefit of others, I’d like to make the following points:

        1) MM, as a non-profit, 501c3 organization does not endorse any political candidate. We had several viewpoints shared on MM, including “Muslims for McCain vs. Muslims for Obama” when we were literally skewed for even remotely suggesting that McCain was viable. In fact, I myself did not vote for Obama (opting for 3rd party instead) but I completely support those who made the choice to do so.

        2) Your comment is assuming that if (a) Muslims did not vote, Obama would not have come into power, AND McCain was much better for Muslims or (b) if Muslims did not vote, AND Obama came into power, he would have stopped the bloodshed. As for (b), that would be ludicrous, whether Muslims voted or not, Obama would have won, and his policy would have been no different (perhaps worse if he saw that Muslims didn’t care). As for (a), anyone who still thinks that McCain would have been better, considering how his closest confidante, Lieberman, is whining about the dropping of the term Islamic extremism from national security documents, is surely hallucinating.

        3) Your view of the world is entirely one-dimensional and myopic. While Obama needs to do better in action on the ground (i.e. stopping drone attacks for one), he has expended a lot of political capital in the I/P issue (sending Israel apologists scurrying) and other Muslim issues. You can be assured that McCain would not come close to being equal, let alone better in any of these categories.

        4) By your logic, someone who simple lives in the West, pays taxes, also has blood on his hands. After all, our taxes go to supporting all the arms right? Yeah, right.

        After 8 years of Bush, if anyone thought that Obama could turn around the disaster that Bush spewed in 1 year, is delusional. It takes time and patience, considering that the Executive branch is but one branch of government, and policies need consensus from a significant portion of other branches before becoming law.

        This thread was not entitled “Can Muslims vote”, it was really about reminding Muslims TO VOTE. It seems that every time we have this issue come up, it is immediately hijacked by the same loud minority unfortunately.

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    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

      Amad,

      I understand that these debates are tiresome regardless of one’s opinion (much like moonsighting or halal vs. dhabeeha) and so I have pretty much decided to retreat silently to the corner (I do not think voting is shirk or even haram but I don’t think voting is very important and I think Muslims are doing more harm than good through their engagement in electoral politics currently.)

      However, I want to examine further this idea of an opinion “losing” amongst scholars and the public. If most scholars are Ash’ari or Maturidi should others retreat to their corner? If almost all Muslims listen to music and many scholars seem to think its okay, should others keep quiet? There are many practices widespread amongst Muslims and even accepted by many scholars that may be haram or even may be shirk, should we be quiet about all of them based on their popularity?

      I realize you think that this is basically a settled issue and not worth debating, but obviously those who oppose it disagree with this assessment. All I would say is try to put yourself in their shoes (if you truly believe that at least some of them are sincere) when you think about what advice to give.

      Allaah Knows Best.

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      • Amad

        Abu Noor (and others), please observe the difference between your nuanced comment and the comment above screaming murderer. Unfortunately, there are few who have your sort of disagreement with voting, but instead this anti-voting minority relies on emotional charged screaming.

        I can agree to disagree with you on the benefits of political participation because that is based on what we perceive as the reality on the ground, versus being accused of shirk and murder. So, I respect your opinion and your non-participation and we will leave it to another day to argue the benefits/harm in an objective fashion.

        As for other important point (2nd para onwards), let me offer the following “rebuttal”:

        1) The scholars allowing voting represent a spectrum of Muslims and cannot be boxed into one ideology. So, if this was the case for voting, we could explore it further, but it isn’t.

        2) The music and voting issues are entirely different, and we do have to deal with the issues case by case. Not every haram and halal issue is equivalent in its weight and effect. Music is more of a personal choice. It affects society more on an individual level and your music habits are unlikely to affect my life or my children’s future. That is not the case for communal activities or community-wide issues. Voting is one of them.

        I don’t see it is a settled issue either (though mostly there), but I do say that those who are not convinced by the hordes of scholars not only allowing it but encouraging it, will definitely not be convinced by an online debate. And as a blog that affects communities, we have made the conscious decision to “move on”. Not to say that each person in MM agrees with voting (as you have proved otherwise), but as a community voice, we would prefer to go along with the scholarship we trust and move the discussion from “if” to “how” and “who”. Those who are stuck on “if”, should work on reasonable alternatives to offer :)

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      • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

        I do see the difference Amad and I don’t think the other comments are helpful, in fact while I know they are deeply annoying to people like you, they probably in the eyes of most help your case while hurting the cause of those of us who want to be more skeptical of the relative value and best methods for political engagement in a serious way. Unfortunately, though this doesn’t absolve anyone of blame for their own mistakes or bad manners, this is the predictable result of a minority view being marginalized and told it is unacceptable, the few who decide they must maintain it publicly will become more extreme, frustrated and this will show in the nature of their arguments.

        As thoughtful comments below indicate, while scholars may generally agree that voting should be promoted, the reasons why they think so vary somewhat. In addition the underlying assumptions with which at least many scholars would approach the issue are in fact not shared by most Muslims.

        For anyone who understands the American society and American Muslims, the fact is that a bloc vote is impossible. The only thing that can unite the Muslims around a candidate is a disaster like George W. Bush, which does so not because anybody is telling the Muslims to vote for such and such but he just turns off people so much that no one seriously can advocate voting for his party (with all due respect to Mohammed Elibiary :) )

        There are a lot of questions to be considered and this is probably not the forum to more seriously really understand and think about the differences between our positions. At the end of the day, here is my biggest frustration with the whole debate: you say it is a question of ‘facts on the ground,’ but I don’t believe that your opinion would be changed regardless of what happens. Muslims could make voting a massive priority in terms of time and money for the next 20 years and even if it seemed to yield no results, I am confident you and those who share your view would come back and say this only shows that we are not doing enough — we need to spend more time and more money! So, the supporters have voting have made it into a religious obligation beyond reproach.

        In visiting the MPACUK site, I saw that with regard to those who are not “political” (which I assume means political in the way we tell you to be, i.e. voting) are not only no longer to be considered Muslims, but in fact may not even be human.

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    • Ibn Masood

      Just one point, Saudi Scholars aren’t necessarily more ‘conservative’, they’re just out of touch with the culture we reside in, which is why they appear to be ‘conservative’ to us. Should make sense to those familiar with usul-ul-fiqh and the mind of a faqeeh.

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  2. Mystic

    MPACUK’s campaign isn’t solely web based, they are the ONLY Muslim organisation in the UK who have teams on the ground actively campaigning against Zionist, pro-Israeli and Islamophobic MP’s. Also, MPACUK doesn’t tell you which specific candidate to vote for as suggested above, they tell you who NOT to vote for and when you do vote, vote ethically with the welfare of the Ummah in mind.

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    • iMuslim

      Thanks for clarifying. I hope you didn’t find my commentary to be negative. I just meant that MPACUK does actually deal with individual candidates, as can be seen on visiting their site. I couldn’t see anything similar on quickly perusing the other sites, though I have yet to dig through them.

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  3. Akeel

    Brilliant article, and well pointed spotted, Muslims are finally getting political. I would also say well worth watching the Documentary ‘Operation Muslim Vote’ about how British Muslims defeated a pro-Israel, pro war MP for the first time in British history by organising muslims politically.

    See: http://www.mpacuk.org/story/020709/operation-muslim-vote.html

    and keep up the good work!

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  4. Sayf

    In Canada, you usually have the Liberals or the Conservatives having the most power in government (the next two being NDP and Bloc Quebecois). I’ve noticed in the debates, NDP doesn’t do as much actually getting seats but in the public forums I would say they do an excellent (and hilarious) job of criticizing everyone and keeping them in line.

    Maybe there’s something to learn from this. Instead of focusing on too much on who gets political power, can’t we do more by just keeping everyone in line?

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    • Ibn Masood

      Bro I’m from Canada too… and all I can say is… Canadian politics is a mess on its own LOL, not too good to get tips from. And besides, once Jack Layton is gone, the NDP will fall anyway. It’s Layton who keeps the rest in line, not the NDP.

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  5. Abd- Allah

    What should be discussed here is not whether voting is halal or haram, because giving such a general ruling would be inaccurate either way, and it should be considered on a case by case basis, meaning each election and the candidates running should be evaluated specifically to make a ruling for that specific election, and this ruling can not be generalized.

    Another thing that needs to be addressed is the whole election process versus the Islamic shoora, so that even if Muslims do vote and participate in the elections year after year because it happens to be the best available option, but they don’t get used to it and come to accept the election process to be Islamic or better than the Islamic way.

    As for the whole voting is shirk/kufr thing, then a more accurate statement would be that voting could be considered kufr, if the person who is voting believes that the election process is better than the Islamic way or that these rules by which the candidates will rule by are better than the Islamic laws which Allah has revealed. That is why it is important to educate everyone on that last point I made so that they know the Islamic viewpoint on the whole elections process and that their participation in it is not because it is so great and better than the Islamic way, but rather they are only participating in it because by doing so there is benefit in this particular situation. Unfortunately, most of those who are promoting that Muslims vote are doing so unconditionally, and they are also not educating everyone about the whole matter of elections and the Islamic viewpoint on it. This is very important so that Muslims know that participating in elections is not completely acceptable without any conditions, and that the ruling on it depends on each situation and might differ from one election to the other.

    The last thing I want to add is I don’t agree with simply encouraging the Muslims to vote but leaving it up to them to make a decision as to who the best candidate is, because that would be counter productive to participating in the elections. The Muslim scholars and organizations of each country should evaluate that specific election and the candidates and then decide which of them would be best and then tell the Muslims to vote for that candidate specifically. This way Muslims have a unified say and might be able to influence the election results in a way that would be of benefit, which is the whole point of participating in the elections in the first place, and this way the candidates would also take the Muslims into consideration if they saw that they can influence the results of the elections. Where as if you have each Muslim making his own decision on who the best candidate is and then half of the Muslims end up voting for one candidate and the other half vote for the other candidate, then they have done nothing and their participation in that election and voting was pointless from an Islamic point of view, because they made no difference and they did not actually affect the results in any way. So it is wrong to just promote voting and encourage the Muslims to participate in the elections without actually telling them who to vote for or who is the best out of the available candidates.

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    • Amad

      That’s a good article, which goes into some of what Abu Noor had mentioned before, with regards to the benefits/harms on the ground (beyond the halal/haram issue).

      From the same site, as far as the intrinsic Islamic issue of voting, Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad’s article is also worth reading:
      http://islam21c.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18367:advice-to-british-muslims-regarding-the-coming-elections&catid=39&Itemid=83

      With regard to the upcoming elections in the UK, the Muslims are recommended or even obliged to vote for the party who will be of most benefit on a national and international level, who will increase upon that which is good, or at the least, lessen the extent of the current evil prevalent in the world today. At the same time, the Muslims should exert the utmost effort to oppose those whose policies are against the welfare of humanity.

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      • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

        I agree the article is good and the author suggests that the Muslim vote is most beneficial where Muslims are a majority of the district. Now, I don’t know how many seats in parliament that would be true for, this article states that there are 39 seats in UK parliament where Muslims make up more than 10 percent of the district. The reality in the U.S. is quite different, and although we don’t really have good numbers, as the author states it is possible that there aren’t any congressional districts in the U.S. where Muslims are above five percent of the district.

        I would only add that my concerns also reflect the negative consequences of voting — the habits of mind and perspective that it develops in people, and there are both positives and negatives to the ways in which it effects others’ perceptions of Muslims.

        Also, my own expertise is more directed towards the U.S. reality. Situations in other countries may very well be substantially different.

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    • Kashif H

      salaam aleikum,

      the only addendum that one can add to this article is that anyone who runs on a platform of a political party has his/her first loyalty to the party (and its tenants) rather than the so-called “voters” who “voted” him/her into power. Even if those voters happened to be Muslim.

      This most especially includes Muslims and “Muslim” MPs/Congressman/politicians:

      1. British ‘Muslim’ MPs and their involvement in bribery scandals:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1186818/Labour-MP-spent-2-575-staying-riot-gold-marble-silk-hotel-girlfriend.html

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/16/world/europe/16britain.html

      http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/05/15/uk.mps.expenses.malik/

      2. British ‘Muslim’ MPs and political groups voting for extension of detaining of Muslims on terrorism charges:

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1270796.ece

      3. British ‘Muslim’ MP calls for further profiling of Muslims at airports:

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2419766/posts

      http://www.indianexpress.com/news/british-muslim-mp-says-fine-to-profile-pas/562778/

      4. British ‘Muslim’ MPs fail to stand for Gaza:

      http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/3680/35/

      this should be familiar to U.S. Readers with Keith Ellison and Andre Carson as well:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjagbIZzNcw

      Also, since the Democratic party supports gay marriage, it should not be a surprise that Ellison does so (with the Fox News favorite ‘Muslim’ lesbian Irshad Manji no less) as well:

      http://www.irshadmanji.com/im-the-man-obama-praised

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqqC1klDpbc

      Again to the informed and sceptical none of this should be surprising.

      Muslims are told to partake in a system of elections to “secure their interests”, “enjoin the good” and try and “help the Muslim Ummah overseas” by voting? The above is just a small section and examples of how NONE of this has come to pass.

      This is after the fact that a plurality of the public (both in the UK and in the US) NEVER vote as they determined a long time ago that politicians nor political parties care for their interests nor stand for anything other than what corporations and lobbyists would like them to.

      Yet Muslims are being told to partake in this and the only “evidence” that is produced from Quran and Sunnah are the same group of “sheikhs” who either stay silent on the oppression their govts perpetrate or are actively aiding and abetting it by producing fatwas to do so.

      Some day Muslims will wake up.

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      • Amad

        Yet Muslims are being told to partake in this and the only “evidence” that is produced from Quran and Sunnah are the same group of “sheikhs” who either stay silent on the oppression their govts perpetrate or are actively aiding and abetting it by producing fatwas to do so.

        So, in one broad-brush, you have painted all the Shayookh who partake in voting as basically traitors and sell-outs. That would include Oudah, Haitham Haddad and almost all the other well-known du’at in the West, not to mention quite a few in the East Quite bold of you mashallah. Hope you have done your research to back that up or prepared to answer to Allah for quite the slander. Well-done.

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      • Kashif H

        Your welcome.

        I will stand by it 110%. Those who try to spin and make the haram halal or the halal haram will naturally be of service to kufr.

        This is nothing new, and something which happens internationally as it did during the first Gulf War in 1991 when the doctrine of maslaha/benefit and necessity (invoked now for voting in these “fatwas”) was also invoked to get all the major “sheikhs” on board to give the

        Mecca Document Fatwa

        authorizing 550,000 U.S. troops to enter into a land that the Prophet (saw) had cleansed of idolatry and shirk. It is interesting to note that Norman Schwartzkopf in his autobiography cited this fatwa as THE most important act of the entire campaign leading up to the U.S. invasion in 1991.

        the mirror image of this is found in the pro-voting blocs and unaccountable personalities in both the UK and the US:

        Muslim Organizations in the U.S. Co-opted, Leaderless, & In Over Their Heads

        this quote sums it up best:

        I came to the conclusion many years ago that Arafat, Hussein, Fahd, Mubarak and other leaders are not totally responsible for our problems. The majority of sheikhs, imams and other Muslim ‘leaders’ are actually the reason for Arab and Muslim problems.”
        –Ali Baghdadi
        Publisher, Arab Journal (5/27/98)

        I rest my case.

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      • Abu Ayesha Al Emarati

        Your post is reflective of the mentality of the khawaarij. No doubt you think Anwar Al Awlaki and and Osama Bin Laden are the only genuine ”scholars” in the Ummah.

        I am sick of you people.

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      • Siraaj

        I think there’s a conversation to be had about the efficacy of the Muslim vote and it’s hukm, but I don’t think name-calling adds credence to an argument.

        Regardless of where you fall in the discussion, it’s important to have husn adh-dhunn of both the scholars who are for it as well as against it and examine their opinions in light of the strength of the arguments they make.

        If one is not qualified to evaluate those arguments due to a shortcoming in time and ability to gain the knowledge to make the evaluation, there’s nothing wrong with following a scholar whose knowledge and piety you trust.

        However, keeping husn adh-dhunn in mind, if someone chooses another opinion, I don’t believe value is added to the discussion by making a seven course meal out of their backs. Let’s get to a point where we can share dissenting views without descending into the political mudslinging of the kaafirs, where we portray every move on the other side as carefully calculated to ruin Islam and Muslims.

        We’re all trying our best, with our limited knowledge and experience. Some are blessed more than others, but no one is always right and always wrong, so let’s try to take the good where we can, and leave what isn’t.

        Siraaj

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  6. To Vote Or Not To Vote!

    As-salamu ‘alaykum

    Dear Amad

    I am not really an expert on politics, and since you seem to be MM’s resident political analyst I am assuming that you know a great deal more than me about politics in the West. However, I have a few issues nagging me:

    Is voting in the political context we in the West find ourselves in not in its essence kufr?

    If so, then surely the only way that voting in the forthcoming UK elections can be legitimised is in case of necessity?

    Almost all political parties in the UK are the same; therefore it is hard to argue the case of necessity, except if there was a risk that a parties like the BNP or UKIP were in danger of being elected.

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    • Amad

      I am not a political expert. Please feel free to read Shaykh Haitham and Abu Esa’s words on this issue.

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      • To Vote Or Not To Vote!

        Dear Amad

        I am sorry for thinking you know a lot about politics; I just assumed you did since you seem to write a lot on the said subject.

        With all due respect to the names you mentioned they are not scholars in the true sense of the word, although I have a lot of respect for them, Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad in particular. Therefore, for issues as critical as the one being discussed I feel it is of the utmost importance that we return to the scholars.

        In closing I just wanted to remind you that it is from the rights of a Muslim that his greetings of peace is responded to; I am sure it is just an oversight on your part. However, responding to the Islamic greeting is from the basic manners of a Muslim.

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      • Amad

        waalikumassalam
        husne dhan is also a basic right of the Muslim :)

        Writing a lot doesn’t make me an expert… I have an opinion and I express it… some like it and others don’t :)

        If the names I mentioned don’t cut it for you, then I am not sure this layman will do any justice. If you read the comments, other shayookh have been quoted, including Ibn Uthaymeen rh.

        Finally, why not focus on the argument presented by the shayookh, instead of judging them in the “scholarly rankings”? As I mentioned earlier, we would like to move the discussion forward beyond the “if”… our focus now is on who and how.

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      • To Vote Or Not To Vote!

        Dear Amad

        I did have some husn al-dhann hence me stating that I was sure that it was an oversight on your part.

        As far as I am aware what we are talking about is in its essence kufr, and the scholars that allowed it did not do so wholesale, but rather in specific situations in which there would be great harm in not partaking. If this is the case, then surely to permit partaking in some situations we would have to return to the scholars. That is not to say the names mentioned do not cut it for me, and as much respect I have for them it is obvious to all, and I am sure that they would be the first to admit it, they are not at the level of the likes of Sheikh’s Al-Uthaymin, Bin Baaz, Ibn Jibrin, etc.

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    • Bushra

      Being one of the few Brits here on MM, I can comment on the current political climate. Before I continue, I am going to add a disclaimer: I am NOT a political expert, I have never claimed to be one, but all the views I am about to write are my own and not MM’s.

      With regards to the way Britain is going, I would say that the BNP is in danger of being elected, though not yet, but sometime soon. The hatred towards Muslims has increased a great deal since the Dispatches programme on Channel 4 and the English Defence League march in London a couple of months ago. Just by seeing such things, I am afraid that the BNP will receive a few more seats in Parliament and can therefore affect anything Muslim-related over here.

      This is EXACTLY why people like Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad are encouraging Muslims to get out and vote this year. Too many people live under the impression that voting is kufr…here is my question to them: By not voting, you are endangering the Muslim community where you live and therefore will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment for not upholding your duty towards the community…are you prepared to take such a risk?

      If voting in this situation was kufr, why would the MOST conservative (in the least negative sense of the word) of scholars, such as Shaykh Salih al-Munajjid back up voting? Because, he too, has the insight of the plight of Muslims in the West and knows that for us to BARELY survive out here, we need to get a little more involved. Even to the point, where he believes that a woman can show her face if she lives in a country where it is becoming difficult to practice your deen, because it is more important to ensure that hijab is prevalent at the very least. This is the man who believes niqaab is fardh. SubhanAllah.

      The scholars of our day have been given knowledge. They ARE the inheritors of the deen, whether you like it or not. And as far as their fatwas on voting are concerned, they would not issue such fatwas if they didn’t fear Allah. They know what they are doing and they are the MOST fearing of Allah(swt) in this day and age, because they know that if they issue a fatwa and we follow them, then they will be held accountable for our wrong actions.
      They have been given insight and knowledge, and we have to use our God-given ‘aql, our intelligence, to determine the right from the wrong when these fatwas are issued. Muslims who choose to vote should not be told that they are engaging in kufr when there is a perfectly legitimate opinion from reputable scholars that voting is allowed in this situation.

      At the end of the day, one should look at their intentions when fatwas are issued. If one is voting because they think democracy is better than the Islamic shura, then that is kufr. However, if one is voting because they don’t want Muslims to perish in the West, they don’t want masjids to be shut down and they don’t want their sisters in niqaab to feel unsafe walking down the street, but they want to be able to practice Islam freely where they live, then voting is allowed with these intentions. You are not just doing it for yourself or for your community. You are doing it for the sake of Allah(swt), to protect yourself from falling into any harm wherever you live.

      Otherwise, if you don’t believe in voting and are not proactive in da’wah, then do hijrah. That will be a better choice for you.

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      • To Vote Or Not To Vote!

        As-salamu ‘alaykum

        Dear Bushra

        You have definitely mentioned some points well worth thinking about. I just wanted to point out though, although two BNP members (Nick Griffin being one of them) were recently elected as MEP’s they actually got fewer votes than they did the time before. The only reason they won those seats is because nobody turned out to vote for the major parties because (I am guessing) of their disgust with all the political scandals that were breaking around that time. Obviously one could argue that because x amount of people did not vote the BNP got in, but my point is in relation to them seemingly having less support at the polling booth.

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      • Bushra

        Jazakallah khair for at least thinking about my points (very rare to find from commenters generally).

        You may be correct, but I live in the East Midlands, and the BNP-EDL support is much stronger north of the M25 than anywhere else, particularly up here. I’m more worried that people aren’t voting and that BNP will get more seats than ever before.

        Obviously, when it comes to the crunch, we can never know what will happen, but we can try our hardest to prevent the worst, as in the hadith of the Prophet(saw) with the Bedouin…one should tie the camel and then rely on Allah(swt).

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  7. Zecchetti

    I was going to vote, but I back out last minute.

    Why?

    Because I honestly didnt have a clue who to vote for. Should I have voted Lib Dems? Ok, they are good on the foreign policy front, but they are also likely to give further rights to homosexuals and are more likely to make teaching the acceptance of homosexuality more mainstream in our schools.

    Not very Islamic.

    I think as a development, the scholars ought to choose a party for us to vote. If all Muslims voted the same, then that would make them a whole lot more important in the eyes of the political parties to get their vote.

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    • Sayf

      I think as a development, the scholars ought to choose a party for us to vote. If all Muslims voted the same, then that would make them a whole lot more important in the eyes of the political parties to get their vote.

      That makes a lot more sense, but you know how that might end up, scholars differing and massive labeling of deviant this and deviant that over political leniency, ugh that would be very ugly. I don’t think we’ve shown that we’re cohesive enough as a group to get into the black hole that is politics and come out in one piece. There MUST be an intelligent way to have influence on non-Muslim leaders without getting sucked in passed the point of no return, I’ll let you know if I think of it =P}.

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  8. Sayf

    I think as a development, the scholars ought to choose a party for us to vote. If all Muslims voted the same, then that would make them a whole lot more important in the eyes of the political parties to get their vote.

    That makes a lot more sense, but you know how that might end up, scholars differing and labeling of deviant this and deviant that, ugh that would be very ugly. I don’t think we’re cohesive enough as a group to get into something as deadly as the black hole of politics and come out in one piece. There MUST be an intelligent approach to keep a strong Muslim influence without going passed the point of no return into mudslinging and propaganda, I’ll let you know if I think of something =D}.

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