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UK General Election 2010: The Big Voting Debate [AE]- Comments Open

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The issue surrounding the validity of voting from an Islamic, and even secular, position will always be debated. However, with the UK General Elections being held nationwide tomorrow (May 6th) we thought the following post by Imam Abu Eesa may help to clear up the confusion in time for people to make their final decision on the matter, insha’Allah.

Please note that while comments are now open, the focus of the discussion should be about who you are planning to vote for, or who you think Muslims should vote for. It is NOT to raise permissibility arguments, especially as the Imam will not be available to respond. Please contact him directly if you have any questions. STRICT MODERATION will be applied with no explanation provided. We’d still like to hear your opinions, and don’t forget to vote on MM’s election poll:

The Big Voting Debate

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Actually, is there really still a debate? Haven’t we dealt with all this before?

The answer: yes. Emphatically so. (please read all the articles in the link carefully because 99% of all queries have been dealt with therein)

I’m not one to waste my time re-hashing old arguments and arguing just for the sake of arguing with mostly young and new Muslims who perhaps weren’t around 4-5 years ago, and for them now the “voting is shirk” slogan fits their age and experience in Islam. Read: little.

But, after canvassing some of these young voices over the last few weeks and receiving statements like the following:

  • Surely this is verging on shirk where man does not recognise Allah swt as ruler and makes up rules for his own… i.e. he is “playing God”!
  • It’s as if we’re saying Allah swt’s rules aren’t good enough for us
  • come out of your holes munafiqeen and refute what he says.
  • But of course, mushriks will be mushriks, no matter how much aqidah talk they spur out, their nature is still shirk.

Of course it would be lazy of me and perhaps disrespectful to dismiss the opinion that “voting is shirk and renders you non-Muslim” as something to be ignored, because it comes mostly from youngsters.

Or that it comes from bored internet warriors.

Or that it comes from failed Muslim groups such as Hizb al-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun or the Anjem Choudhry Group or whatever they’re called these days.

Or that it is from people who are normally associated – whether by word or action – with the excommunication and murder of their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters around the world.

Or because they are going up against an almost scholarly consensus of our time that “to vote with an intention to improve one’s conditions is permissible.”

But then again, I am a rather lazy person. So consider their argument null and void.

Let me state very clearly for all those who wish to know: to vote for any candidate in any election – affirming of course that the true hukm is for Allah alone – based upon the premise that you wish to improve as best as possible the circumstances that you live in, or the circumstances of other Muslims elsewhere, is a permissible act. Indeed I hope that you will be rewarded for taking out the time to research how best you can make a difference.

When you vote for a man, you don’t invalidate the Divine Law of God. Rather you have declared your inability to implement fully that Divine Law, something which you are in a state of every single day that you live here anyway.

The idea that abstaining from voting so that you don’t fall into shirk therefore is a mockery. Abstaining because you feel that your vote won’t make any difference on the other hand, is something else: a respectable position and thus deserves consideration.

The articles above have discussed the fact that we are not held to account for what happens at the end, rather we are judged based upon our efforts. And these efforts I guess, are based on two areas: local interests and national interests.

Usually, political experts tell Muslims not to expect too much with respect to national policies and interests simply because the key playing factors are normally well outside the hands of the ruling party in government. We don’t wish to be conspiratorial but political history and indeed the way that the “War on Terror” seems to be panning out suggest very much that whoever runs any country in the world today is being dictated to by unseen powers and forces behind the scenes.

It is ironic then that despite the fact that the experts suggest concentrating on local issues, the very real possibility in May 2010 of a hung parliament has thrown the national agenda right back into the mix. The small benefit of a hung parliament for Muslims is just that one single party will not be able to arrogantly move against the will of the people; rather the more varied the voices and players in the decision making process, the perhaps more beneficial for all people who are looking for more considered and thoughtful policies as opposed to those that we’ve seen in the last ten years. Perhaps. Wallahu a’lam.

And nothing more is upon us brothers and sisters. The claim that you are held responsible personally because you voted in a party that went to war afterwards, is incorrect. Did you want the war to happen? If yes, then get ready for a roasting in the Akhirah. Did you try your best to avoid that war by taking all possible means legally allowed to you in said country, and then even still failed? Get ready for reward insha’Allah in the Akhirah.

As for the local scene, then it is very difficult for even the most apathetic of us to argue that block voting can’t ensure better candidates for our local communities. For those that actually do engage with their local MP, they’ll know that this is simply a person who represents their needs and causes when the situation arises. Sometimes they are very good and support all your causes, some are not so bad, and some don’t give you the time of day, and worse work actively against the Muslim community.

For the ignorant Muslims who proudly shout out, “Well you should vote BNP then because at least they wouldn’t go to war and they’d pay for your hijrah too, hahaha!” we’ll say, please accept the hijrah money and leave us alone because you clearly have no idea of politics if you think that just because someone might not want to go to war now, they won’t do so in the future. And in any case, the BNP could pay these Muslims a hundred thousand pounds each to leave and they’d come running back home after a few weeks of realising that their Islamic utopias haven’t turned out to be how they dreamt it.

Yes, let’s all not vote and allow the BNP and UKIP to rule our local schools and Masajid with the proud manifesto of their poster boy Wilders, “Close all Islamic Schools, ban burkahs and the Quran, stop Islamification. Enough is enough.”

Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable.

A final word on the issue of apathy other than the fact that we probably can have a national influence and most certainly a local influence, leads to the most important reason for me personally that we should vote: it proves to these elected officials that we cannot be ignored.

You see, we’re not Jews. We’ll be ignored because of our lack of wealth and high positions in the banks and other organisations.

We’re not White Christians. We’ll be ignored because we cannot lay claim to some emotional connection to the land itself and the psyche of the masses of olde who have made this Christian country what it still clings on to today.

We’re Muslims. We don’t have much going for us except that we can be loyal, hardworking and good citizens. Oh, and we have some silly high numbers in a few places which means that if you as elected representatives don’t support our needs here and there, we’re going to kick you out and cost you your dream job mate. Sure, we’ll be ignored most of the time as all the people of democracies generally are, but accountable you will be held.

If nothing comes of this exercise except that we are taken half-seriously by the authorities, then that’s enough of a reason to get out and vote. It really is.

Let me say at the end that I guess I’m bored with this subject as one would be expected to be having bashed it to death so many times. If you don’t want to vote because you really can’t see the benefit in doing so then ok, fair enough. If you don’t want to vote because it’s haram, khalas, leave us alone. And if you don’t want to vote because it’s shirk and you insist we’re all kuffar and mushrikeen for voting, then khalas even better, leave us alone now and let us pick some ajr from you on the Final Day insha’Allah.

Wallahu a‘lam.

Read this post: UK General Election 2010: The Muslim Vote for more background to GE2010, the so-called ‘Muslim Vote’, and for some useful links.


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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Amad

    May 5, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    It is interesting to see that at least the British have a respectable 3rd party, and a not-totally-out-it 4th. That is a far cry from US where there is really no chance for a 3rd party.

    What is the difference between Labour and Liberal Democrat? Was this party once before splitting, or always separate? How did the LD get so much traction, not being one of the two “main” parties. Finally, what happens if there is no clear majority, let’s say its 40:30:30 (conservatives: labour: LD)… can Labor and LD form a coalition and form government?

    Sorry for all the questions but obviously I am not aware much of British politics.

    • Bushra

      May 5, 2010 at 11:18 AM

      I’m not very good when it comes to politics but I can answer some of your questions.

      As far as I know, Labour and Lib Dems have always been separate. In the past 14 years (basically, since I’ve become aware of politics) and the past two general elections, Labour has been a clear favourite, but since the Iraq war, Tony Blair stepping down and the recession, the UK population has lost confidence in Labour. Conservatives have been campaigning for the past two years and seemed like a favourite to win until Lib Dems suddenly appeared out of thin air just recently.

      How did Lib Dems gain so much traction? I don’t know. My assumption is that it depends on the charisma of the party leader :P But honestly, I don’t know.

      Not sure what happens if there’s no clear majority. We need somebody well-versed in politics to answer that question.

      Perhaps I should have done more research :S

    • ibn Ahmed

      May 5, 2010 at 1:27 PM

      I really enjoy election night, it’s great to watch the votes come in. I even watch the U.S. one as it’s very interesting.

      To answer your questions, Labour and Lib Dems are two totally different parties. The Lib Dems are a fairly new party though they did exist in some form by a different name some time ago.

      Getting to the more interesting topic, if there is no majority then things will be very exciting. It looks near certain that no party will have a majority so we will have a hung parliament. We vote by seats so it doesn’t matter if 1 party has more total votes in the country than another, it depends how many seats that party has won. Either Labour or Conservative will have most seats therefore they will be the new party in power but they near certainly will not have enough seats to have a majority. So it could be 40% of seats to Conservative, 30% to Labour and 30% to the rest. It will be a hung parliament because even though in this example Conservative have the most seats they dont have enough seats to have a majority and therefore any laws they want to pass will have to be approved and voted for by other party members. If the other parties dont like these new laws etc then they wont approve the vote in parliament and nothing will get passed. The party in power will have to try to form a coalition to get what they want passed through parliament. It doesn’t matter if Labour and the other parties form a coalition, even if they had more total seats than the Conservatives as they are not the government. All they could do as a coalition is be a nuisance to the Conservatives who are in power.

      Take a look at these BBC links for a better understanding:
      Hung parliaments
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8427233.stm

      Winning elections without a majority:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8643955.stm

      • Amad

        May 6, 2010 at 8:59 AM

        jazakumAllahkhair both for the quick tutorial!

        Would love to hear about voting experiences.

  2. Ahmed

    May 5, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Assalamualaikum,

    Why would you have to vote for the lesser evil when you have an option to stand up and speak for sharia after all that is the system of ALLAH and its the best system. Of-course its not as easy as it sounds it will need sacrifice like the prophets did so lets follow the way of the prophets.

  3. msami

    May 5, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    Salam
    I dont know about UK but here in Canada muslim people are somewhat active in voting but still not that much. the author here makes an extremely important point: we should vote regardless of whether it would matter or not becuase right now we are in desperate need of being heard. If an issue pertaining to muslims arises we will not be able to voice our dissappointment unless we come out and vote and make our politicians realise we exist and care about the society we live in.
    Salam

  4. elham

    May 6, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    I’m surprised a bit as to why there are Muslims who voted ‘Conservative’ on MMs poll and their leader’s annoyingly arrogant too.

  5. Iffy

    May 6, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    It’s interesting that you call Hizb al-Tahrir a “failed” party. I have yet to see any other group who understands the political environment or our situation better than they do. All you have to do is watch a media interview with one of their representatives… now if all Muslim groups were that politically savvy we’d be in much better position.

    • Ibn Qudamah

      May 6, 2010 at 5:11 PM

      Asslamu ‘alaykum,

      As an ex student of HT I can say that in fact most students/members of HT are quite politically naive as they simply regurgitate what they have been taught in their halaqahs. They lack originality and most in all honesty do not have the political aptitude to look at politics in a holistic manner.

      Wallahu ‘a’lam.

  6. Abu layth

    May 7, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    We’ve already debated this last time on abu eesa’s blog. And abu eesa dealt with them. Here check out the link
    http://alternativeentertainment.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/the-big-voting-debate/

  7. asif

    May 7, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    I hope Abu Eesa will answer all the outstanding questions soon:

    http://alternativeentertainment.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/the-big-voting-debate/

    Too busy to answer questions from the Ummah on a topic Abu Eesa himself started but not busy enough to talk to the media on the same issues:

    ‘It is a well known principle of Islamic jurisprudence that if a change of circumstance occurs, the ruling can also change.’

    http://www.theasiantoday.com/article.aspx?articleId=1917

    • Amad

      May 7, 2010 at 6:27 AM

      Maybe because he has given up on some people, who just like to argue and argue?

      I have met many of those. They are not prepared to even give a SINGLE inch away. With such people, it is better to move on, because frankly there is enough material out there for the people to make a judgment themselves, i.e. the answers are there, but they are not prepared to accept them.

      The bigger issue is that these same people are not prepared to “live and let live”. Yaani, have your opinion, don’t vote, but PLEASE respect the fact that others disagree with you on SOLID BASIS as well. No, no… we won’t until we shove shirk and kufr down your throat.

      I have faced 5% of this criticism and I am already frustrated, I can only imagine with AE has gone through, may Allah preserve him and strengthen him.

  8. Riad

    May 7, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    I must say this panel discussion last week is probably the best dialogue on the issue of voting in the west that I have ever seen. All credit to all the respected panel members who conducted themselves very well.

    If Abu Eesa ever had the opportunity to share his opinions on a similar panel in the future this would help to clarify this matter for the Ummah Insha’Allah.

    -snipped-

    -Even though there is one mainstream shaykh in the mix of the video, but it is really a pure HT propaganda video with all of its regalia stamped on it.

    • Abid

      May 7, 2010 at 10:48 AM

      Don’t hold your breath Abdul.

      Its one thing to post a blog saying there is no debate – but then to run off without answering basic questions is just crazy.

      • Amad

        May 7, 2010 at 11:04 AM

        Who’s Abdul? A misplaced cut and paste comment?
        Esp. considering that both your and Riad’s comment AND Asif’s comment came from the same IP?? What’s the point of the different names? I am assuming you know that sock-puppetry is quite easy to catch?

    • Amad

      May 7, 2010 at 10:59 AM

      More HT nonsense in the link. I think HT needs to recognize that they are thoroughly discredited and that very few Muslims really care for their “insights”.

      See the comment from Abu Qadamah above.

      Here’s the advice from Abu Esa to HT guys:

      Confusing to who exactly? It’s not for me!

      I’d expect Hizb ut-Tahrir to be confused, so that’s not really a biggie if you know what I’m saying.

      My best advice to any HT members: go away and study your religion properly and sincerely under the ‘Ulema. Alhamdulillah I came across many members of HT back in the day and I never saw a SINGLE member who remained with this cult-group who actually went away and studied the religion. Once they are exposed to true knowledge, their previous ideologies melt away alhamdulillah.

      Pray for them my brothers and sisters, because they are good people at heart.

      • Riad

        May 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

        since when was Shaykh Sulayman Ghani (Islam Channel, Tooting Islamic Centre) with HT? He is actually pro voting so don’t be too quick to judge…. go back to the link as all the answers that were missing from Abu Eesa’s blog are in that discussion

        -snipped-

        And because of your use of sock-puppets and HT propaganda, you are on auto-mod.

  9. Amad

    May 7, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    So, Brits, what’s happening with the hung parliament?

    Seems to me that Libs will get most out of hanging with Labour… which is probably the best scenario for Muslims, relative to having conservatives take over!

  10. Chowmein

    May 7, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Yep your right about that, I think a lot of us Brits would prefer a Labour-Liberal coalition rather than a Conservative-Liberal one. Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat leader) is weighing his options first. I guess the Lib Dems are going to be having a long weekend trying to figure out who to ‘hang out’ with while the rest of us will simply be kept hanging for the next few days.

  11. whatisthepolicy

    May 7, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    is there a policy for the comment to be removed, what is the purpose of this blog anyways! you don’t like the comment so you remove it! How do you decide brother?

  12. Farooq

    May 8, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Shame that on the one had you say in this article that the debate has been ‘dealt’ with but on the other hand don’t answer questions and sensor internet clips where people have got together to clarify the discussion from both sides. I regard myself as Ahle Hadith and you guys are giving us a bad name. No one group has a monopoly agaist liberal democracy as liberal democracy is not from the Sunnah and we should as a minimum stay away from such innovations.

  13. Farooq

    May 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    What we also need to do is keep a record of how many lives every individual vote that Muslims cast help to save.

    There could be another general election again in the UK very soon due to the political situation and every Muslim who voted needs to make sure that imminent death at the point of time they voted was averted.
    Otherwise the permissibility of moving away from the established rule against voting to elect a representative who will legislate by other than Islam would not have been met and as a result next time there would need to be a review of if imminent death can be averted by a Muslim who votes in the UK general elections and if an alternative position needs to be explored.

    Maybe this website could collect this data for the community?

    • Amad

      May 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM

      Farooq/Abu Layth, we don’t take sock-puppetry lightly… just a warning.

      Secondly, I think you missed the note on the post, we are not here to discuss the voting issue. If you don’t want to, don’t vote. No one is forcing you. Most of us have heard all the views, so live and let live! Learn to agree to disagree.

      It is funny that you lay out a premise for voting’s permissibility (that of absolute daroorah), which is ONE view, then you use the premise to declare a goal, and then ask those who have never bought off on the premise to start collecting some data?? I suggest all of you that feel so passionately about not voting start a website called “wedonotvotebecauseitisshirkandkufr.com”, and then do spend all your energies in refutations and surveys to your heart’s content. Meanwhile, let Muslims who have moved on, focus on other everyday issues (you do know that Muslims in the West are facing a multitude of issues beyond just voting?)

  14. Raff

    May 8, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Salaam alaykum
    People in my community were thinking the Lib Dems were better but even those in the anti war movement like Mehdi Hassan who wrote agaist the Lib Dems on Comment is Free have put a doubt on the Lib Dems due to their position on Afghanistan. What do you think we our position towards the Lib Dems should be?

    • Amad

      May 8, 2010 at 1:39 PM

      the question is: are Brit Muslims and Muslims affected by Brit policies, better off with conservatives or labor? I assume labor is still the lesser of the 2 evils and with a lib dem coalition, i can only imagine that they’ll be even better.

      as an outsider, of course, this is just my 2 cents…

  15. Abu layth

    May 8, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Amad I am not farooq so pls don’t try and spread rumours.

    It amazes me that the fear to discuss this isse with a real understanding.

    We can all discuss with ettiquettes that’s not the problem but whenever ppl raise an alternative position there is a knee jerk fear of hearing that opinion and actually discuss wether the opinion of pro secular voting is permissible based on an assumed rukhsaa. Whether this is a valid opinion in Islam.

    It seems this website just like abu eesa has the same ilk in thinking. Ie shut down opposing arguments.

  16. Raff

    May 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    The point people need to understand is that those who promote voting are creating a siuation which will harm the rest of the community. It’s the same as with the PREVENT agenda in the UK and those who feel by being part of it is better than speaking against it and rejecting it openly. The west want Muslims to vote so they can get us to adopt their values on social and political issues through the dark road of political participation. They have said so in their own words. Just look at what some of these council level Lib Dem Muslims have been saying when visiting Israel.

  17. abdul muqeet

    May 8, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    interesting development. Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad used to justify voting on the basis of lesser of two evils. now he says he does not base it on lesser of evils anymore but it is still allowed because it is mere choosing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56sRaj2EkQE

    http://alternativeentertainment.wordpress.com/2007/04/06/all-about-voting-shaykh-haitham-al-haddad/

    this means its an even worse understanding of how things work. he does not see voting for a secular party however well intentioned the voter maybe as an evil.

  18. Raff

    May 9, 2010 at 2:51 AM

    Did those Muslims who undertook the ‘Muslims for Bush’ and ‘Muslims for Obama’ groups give any feedback afterwards on how many Muslim lives they saved through this? If there is some framework for post election review for those who voted then it’s worth sharing as those who voted in the UK now need to do a review over the coming months to see if leaving the Sunnah on this matter and voting was worth it and if such actions can be promoted next time round.

  19. Riad

    May 9, 2010 at 4:43 AM

    in Abu Eesa’s post above he says that

    ‘We don’t wish to be conspiratorial but political history and indeed the way that the “War on Terror” seems to be panning out suggest very much that whoever runs any country in the world today is being dictated to by unseen powers and forces behind the scenes.’

    Can Abu Eesa clarify how we should select who to vote for given that politicians are not the real decision makers as he has pointed out?

    • Amad

      May 9, 2010 at 7:09 AM

      Why don’t you ask him?

  20. roller

    May 9, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    Can someone please clarify what the moderation policy is here as advice is needed on this matter and emotions and hostility should be calmed by dear brothers in Islam?

    I myself am very unhappy with how people who used to promote Quran and Sunnah like Usama Hassan have evolved, I fear that by engaging in shubha/bida like democracy we are pushing the limits of who can still be classified as people of Hadith and Sunnah. I did find some advice on the Abu Eesa’s blog and to be honest I thought it was the best post there – and Allah swt knows best:

    http://alternativeentertainment.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/the-big-voting-debate/#comments

    What is interesting after having read the above is that the comments that are pro Abu Eesa’s position may be best described by the man himself and I quote ‘fits their age and experience in Islam. Read: little.’

    To qualify this observation I will quote as an example what one individual posted above says:

    April 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    Yet all, without exception, are from the Arab states or from Africa.

    Hmm….biased much?

    One must look at all angles.

    Now Abu Eesa’s earlier quote must definitely apply to this individual do we not agree?

    I mean what kind of individual actually believes that the Islam which the Prophet PBUH came with, was specific to a particular time or location and not completed and perfected, as is the undeniable fact, for every time and every location?

    I would say a very deluded individual. Khair however, as I do not wish to attack this individual on a personal level.

    Abu Eesa whilst you may intend good how many people have intended good and never arrived at it?

    I would like to remind myself first, you second and all others, that we should fear Allah and not act upon our whims and desires.

    The list of names Abdul posted above as people who hold the view that voting is haram has some real knowledgeable scholars on it, may Allah be pleased with them and have mercy upon them.

    However for somebody to dismiss this and say that Shaykh Abu Eesa is right and they are/were wrong and worst still for you Abu Eesa to feel comfortable with this assumption is dangerous and foolishness, may Allah guide you and me.

    This ‘get out and vote’ initiative of yours smacks of the same sort of obnoxiousness and arrogance that your ‘Unity Pledge’ escapade displayed.

    Who would have thought that the Unity Pledge pipe-dream of yours would have the impact of claiming as a casualty your good friend, Usama Hassan, the grandson of a great Muhadith may Allah be pleased with him.

    How detrimental was the unity you called to on this persons Islam?

    It flew in the face of that which our beloved Prophet PBUH came with and did nothing but create controversy and bring a lot of attention to all those involved, not to mention affected those that were upon the Sunnah, to that which opposed it, like your aforementioned good friend.

    I can’t help but feel that controversy and attention are things that maybe you enjoy as you always seem to do that which will bring most of both things to you, although only Allah knows best.

    Now for me the best comment posted above was that by Anonymous on what Badee’ud Deen Shah Ar Raashidee (rahimahullah) said regards to voting.

    It was concise and clear, that this was not from the way of the Prophet PBUH so safety is in staying well away from it.

    However I pray Allah returns you, me and all other Muslims to the book and sunnah such that we use it in all aspects of our life and stop following our whims and desires and misguiding others.

    Now I know that this is the cue for the fans,students,defenders etc to attack me but Allah is my witness that what I write is as a sincere advise and not a personal attack.

    I advise all others who feel that Abu Eesa is somehow an authority on anything to do with religion to stick to the real people of knowledge.

    I would hope that Abu Eesa would be the first to admit that he would struggle to fit into the ‘student of knowledge’ title never mind ‘Scholar’

    And with this in mind let’s stick to rulings of scholars on issues such as this and others when it comes to looking for guidance and Allah knows best.

  21. Raff

    May 9, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    I am asking him. Is the post above not written by Abu Eesa? Was this topic not posted to Abu Eesa could advise on who to vote for?

  22. Muhammad

    May 9, 2010 at 7:40 AM

    Asalaam Alaikum,

    I am a muslim from the UK. And I am not a member of HT nor do I approve of them as an organisation. And I am not some looney whacko armchair critic who likes to mudsling. However, I think the whole discussion regarding voting is represented from the point of view of the pro-voting Muslim lobby and this has done much injustice to those who are against it.

    Myth 1: Defining the anti-voting group as simply anti-voting

    This is unfortunate since it allows the pro-voting camp to label those against it as lazy no-good-for-nothing losers. When in fact, it can be argued that the anti-voting group is actually a pro-Islamic nation group.

    Myth 2: All scholars support voting

    This is another myth. In fact, although democratic process has been around since before the Prophet (SAW) it has only been endorsed by ulemaa in the last few decades. Many scholars before and even currently (e.g. dr israr ahmed) are/ were vehemently against it. To pretend these scholars do not exist is unfair. To completely ignore their point of view is something I would not expect from the scholars who are pro-voting.

    Myth 3: The Muslim Nation cannot be reformed/ Khilafah is a pipe dream

    The pro-voting camp ulemaa should consider this very carefully. Almost none of them have ever written articles, made videos and given talks in favour of reuniting the muslim ummah into a single nation under a khilafah even though that is considered FARD AIN upon every muslim man, woman and child. How can it be that they are so concerned and get so worked up (as abu eesa seems to be in this article) about democracy and our participation in something that many say at best is “the better of two evils” and they totally ignore the obligation of a muslim nation. In fact, their lack of willingness to talk about this issue makes the muslim community forget about the muslim nation more and more until we reach a stage we are at now when they do not even think it is possible (or desirable) to work towards reforming a single muslim nation.

    Myth 4: So many ulemaa cannot be wrong

    This is another myth. Firstly, they are not a majority of the ulemaa in the world who are pro-voting but a majority of those who are in the West and have access/ ability to reach out to multimedia. Secondly, the anti-voting camp includes many prominent scholars who are otherwise persona non-grata in Western society so their views are ignored/ marginalised from the start. Thirdly, it shows a profound lack of historical knowledge to say that the ulemaa cannot be wrong. When the Caliphate was disbanded, the ulemaa from across the world met in a worldwide conference 3 years in a row and each time failed to do their islamic obligation of choosing a caliph and even left confused on whether to have one. Equally, the argument that the majority of the ulemaa cannot be wrong could be used by tyrannical Arab governments to justify their rule since the majority of the ulemaa in their nations publicly back the regimes.

    Myth 5: The lesser of two evils between letting in Right wing extremists and helping Muslims

    I always find that the lesser of two evils argument really depends on how you frame it. The Prophet (SAW) said that the blood of a Muslim is worth more than the walls of the kaaba… but according to the pro-voting camp it is not worth more than their next visa, or building more mosques or keeping the far-right out of power. That may seem like a claim to far, but isn’t that what you are saying in effect when you decide to vote for a party that is pro-war against a fellow muslim nation knowing full well that they will continue to do this but because the other guy is (heaven forbid) going to cut down from 200 half-empty mosques to 175 half-empty mosques?

    Myth 6: The scholars are giving us direction on voting

    The scholars are playing a funny game on this voting issue. They are telling us to vote, how important it is, how noble it is, how useful it is and how everyone who says its wrong is an idiot who needs to learn islam again… but they are not telling us who to vote for. Curious no? Well, this could mean that they don’t really mind who you vote for as long as you vote – but if it doesn’t matter who you vote for then why bother in the first place? It could be that they want us to vote tactically in our area – but again this is not clear enough… i mean should i vote for the Pro-Palestinian gay candidate who is against the hijaab OR the Zionist who is good for my local mosque and muslim school? It is IRRESPONSIBLE for scholars just to tell people to vote and not who to vote for… like giving someone a loaded gun but no real instructions on how to use it… “just use it!” they seem to say. Why don’t they reveal their own voting patterns – after all tonnes of celebrities and other public figures do? The ultimate upshot of this was clearly seen in the elections here in the UK where Muslims voted in a confused and tribal manner… some supporting those who are best for the local Muslim population, some supporting the muslim candidate (even though he comes from a over-all anti muslim party) and other supporting those who will be best for muslim overseas.

    In conclusion, I find that the tone of the pro-voting group is getting more and more dismissive about those who are against voting… and they fail to see that some of us are not so much anti-voting as we are absolutely and totally dedicated to working towards reuniting the Muslim ummah into a muslim nation once more and feel that each step the muslim community takes towards the voting booth is a step away from that Muslim nation that we have so long ignored.

  23. Abu layth

    May 9, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    Why have two comments of mine been deleted?

  24. SudaniEclectic

    May 10, 2010 at 6:24 AM

    AssalamuAlaykum, even though I agree with Abu Eesa’s opinion and respect him immensely, I feel he should have worded it in a less divisive manner, especially as its a sensitive issue. Anyway…

    Every 4-5 years we go through this at election time, leaflets with blood red fonts screaming SHIRK!! outbursts of emotion which result in fighting in mosques, vandalism of property, and unjustified hatred of other members of the community. Its quite tragic to witness brothers/sisters labelling others as mushrik/kafir with so much ease and without regret. In attempting to uphold the ‘Haq’ they themselves have completely gone against the virtues they believe they are upholding.

    It is ironic that the ones who have benefitted the most from this ‘dirty kafir-state’ show the most hatred to it. And yes, the UKs actions in the Muslim world past and present are truly horrific, but to counter that with unproductive methodologies is well…not productive.

    About the current political situation, looks like some sort of deal will be made between Conservatives and Lib Dem. Its interesting to see the current disagreements in UK society on how the voting process should work. While UK troops are busy in Iraq liberating them from tyranny and forcing democracy on them – they forget that they themselves back home are debating democracy. There are clear flaws in the system.

    All I can say is that – previously the thought of living here under the Conservatives seemed unthinkable, their foreign policy ideals make the Labour party seem like doves, not only that, but their model for society favours the rich, and the fact that Muslims are in the poorest category doesnt bode well. If they would have to link up with the Lib Dems to form government maybe their crude outlook on society here and abroad would be blunted.

    Wallahu A’lam.

  25. Abu layth

    May 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Salaams

    I don’t think anyone here or on abu eesa’s blog have called ppl who vote for secular parties as mushrikeen and kuffar. What people who oppose this position do say is that it’s forbidden ie haram. So this isn’t about whether we should make takfeer or not but rather clarifying the rule. 

    This year there has been a concerted effort to brush the discussion under the carpet preventing legitimate discussion and debate around the ruling particularly clarifying the rule in origin and the supposed ruksaa. 

    I am not sure what is preventing many learned Muslims who support pro secular voting to discuss their position openly, calmly and in a frank manner. 

    As a reminder to all this is what ghazzali

     “Over-enthusiasm is a mark of corrupted scholars, even when the case they are defending is true. By showing excessive enthusiasm for truth and their contempt of their opponents, the latter would be stimulated to retaliate and react in the same manner. They would be driven to stand for falsehood and to be true to the label attributed to them. If the champions of truth had spoken kindly to them avoiding publicity and humiliation they would have succeeded in winning them over. But as it is, a person who enjoys a place of prestige is strongly inclined to preserve his position by attracting followers, and the only way to that is to boast and to attack or curse adversaries.” – Al-Ghazali

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