As-Salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
What is the ruling on participating in the municipality (council) elections?
Wa Alaikum As-Salam Wa Rahmatulah Wa Barakatuhu,
A. The municipality (council) elections in origin provide services for people and administrative matters, is permissible, in this context, but many other activities are assigned to the municipality, especially in our countries, and they became a government apparatus that adopts the government's policy, and brings people together for the government’s support, as well as giving licenses to issues forbidden in Shariah.
B. The reality of the municipality is that it does not solely carry out administrative services. It is an executive body that follows the government in practice. It is obliged to follow any political activity set by the authority, on top of that it deals with its own money illegally... Therefore the Islamic ruling on it will not be based on the reality that it is a service and administrative institution independent of political power, but it is linked to the government apparatus, not just in nominal terms, but also in execution, it can cancel the municipality council decisions, even if taken unanimously ...
C. So it is not permitted to participate in the municipality elections in this context. But if it remained in its the origin as "administrative and service body" within the limits of the permissible, then the participation in the elections will be permissible... In other words, we do not participate in these elections as long as the reality of the municipalities is as mentioned above. It is allowed to participate when these municipalities are administrative institutions without the interference of the political power.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
12 Muharram 2016
12 October 2016