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A Refutation of the Arguments that are put Forward to say that voting in a Kufr system is Halal


"So rule between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you" [TMQ Al-Ma'idah: 46].

Al-haafith ibn Katheer dissected the above ayah in his tafseer:

“So rule between them by what Allah has revealed”

This ayah commands: O Muhammad! Rule between the people, Arabs and non-Arabs, lettered and unlettered, by what Allah (swt) has revealed to you in this glorious Book.

“And follow not their vain desires”

This is with regards to the ideas they promote. These are the same ideas that distracted them from Allah (swt) and His revelations. This is why the Qur’an warns:

“And follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you.”

This ayah commands the people to stay true to the path that Allah (swt) has ordained and refrain from the vain desires of the ignorant (ibn Katheer v3, 198-9).

Understand, brothers and sisters, we are commanded to rule between this Ummah of yours by what Allah (swt) has revealed. Thus, you are commanded to pay no heed to those who wish to rule by Kufr with their empty ideas and vain desires. Despite this, some still insist upon calling you to elect them to power in the Kufr regimes of the Muslim, and non-Muslim world. Truly, this is a great haram. In voting for Kufr rulers, we are treading the thorny path of power sharing, partial implementation of Islam, compromise and gradualism. Insha-Allah, it is this very path that we plan to expose, so that its ugliness becomes manifest to you, and so that you reject this munkar (evil) decisively.

Voting: A system or a leader?

In clarifying this matter, two very different issues must remain distinct in the call and separate in the minds. These are the difference between electing a leader, and electing a system.

As for electing a leader, Islam obliges his election. It is well known that the Khulafaa ur-Raashidoon (ra) were indirectly elected. Alas, today, and since 1924, there is no such Khilafah system. All that remains is in jeopardy from Kufr colonialist who continue to carve up this once united Islamic world.

As a result, any such elections nowadays are not simply elections for a ruler; rather, they imply voting for an entire system. It has become a common sight to see 'Islamic' parties campaigning alongside secular parties in a vain attempt at gaining seats in the various Kufr legislative assemblies across the Islamic world. Their stated aim is to gain some influence in these assemblies in order to 'Islamise' these systems with a gradual process of legislation. That is why competing in elections of a Kufr regime is synonymous to the call for power sharing, gradualism, compromise and partial implementation of Islam.

It is this matter, and not electing a Khaleefah within the Khilafah, that is decisively prohibited with no room whatsoever for Ikhtilaaf (difference of opinion). The Muslims can choose their Khaleefah but are not allowed to choose their law, as is clearly stated in the Qur’an:

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter that they have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error" [TMQ Al-Ahzab: 36].

Al-haafith ibn Katheer comments, "This ayah is general in meaning and applies to all matters, i.e., if Allah and his Messenger (saw) decreed a matter, no one has the right to go against that, and no one has any choice or room for personal opinion in this case. The Qur’an explains:

“But no by your Lord, they can have no iman, until they make you rule in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission” [TMQ An-Nisa’: 65].

Hence, the issue of going against it is addressed in such strong terms ... This is like the ayah:

'And let those who oppose the Messengers commandment beware, lest some Fitnah should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them' [TMQ An-Nur: 63]"

(ibn Katheer v7, 694-5).

So what of these various parties who call upon the Muslims to exercise a choice in an affair that Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) have already decided? Indeed, they should take heed in case some fitnah should befall them, as they are those who make "their vain desires" their criteria. It is upon such desires that they choose, whilst voting in the legislative assemblies, to call for some Ahkaam of Islam whilst abandoning others. A warning against such partial implementation is apparent in the following ayat:

"So rule between them by all that Allah has revealed, do not follow their vain desires, and beware of them in case they seduce you from any part of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away then know that Allah wishes to punish them for some of their sins. Indeed, most men are Fasiqoon (evil doers” [TMQ Al-Ma'idah: 49].

“Do they then seek the judgement of Jaahilyyah (ignorance)? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have a firm belief" [TMQ Al-Ma'idah: 50].

Thus, Allah (swt) has spoken, and indeed He speaks the truth. Al-haafith ibn Katheer comments upon above ayat, "Allah criticises those who ignore Allah's commandments ... but they refer instead to opinions, desires and customs that people themselves invented, all of which have no basis in Allah's Deen ... The Tartar abided by the law that they inherited ... This book contains some rulings that were derived from religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam ... Therefore, whoever does this is a Kafir who deserves to be fought against until he reverts to the decisions of Allah and His Messenger (saw), so that no law, minor or major, is referred to except His law" (ibn Katheer v3, 202).

It is important to add, however, that such people only become Kafir if they actually believed in their partial implementation of Islam (at-Tabari 10: 355). Ibn Katheer's view is enough, at least, to demonstrate what all the scholars consented upon: the prohibition of partial ruling by Islam.

Oh Muslims, do not be tempted by those who attempt to seduce you into voting for a gradual and partial implementation of Islam. They use "their vain desires" to decide which law of Allah (swt) should be implemented today, and which law tomorrow. Know that it is haram to help such parties by voting for them under the guise of co-operating in good deeds. There is no co-operation in sin. This is not a good deed, it is a haram, a dhulm (oppression), and the perpetrators of this deed are on the verge of Kufr. You are commanded to forbid this munkar, not aid it.

Where participation is allowed

Participation in government offices in any Kufr system is only allowed for non-ruling posts. Such posts stem from the Mubah. Choosing a job is mubah, as long as no specific evidence prohibits it. Jobs that do not involve ruling are not covered by the above ayat, which prohibits ruling with Kufr. Thus, a Muslim is allowed to work for a post office, the social security office, or to be elected to some sort of similar body with non-ruling powers, even though they are government offices. The Jordanian Assembly in the 1950's, before it was given legislative powers and its oath was introduced, was an example of such a body. No matter what the post, however, if a Muslim is asked to do haram, he must decline. Some sincere Islamic activists argue that no post in a Kufr government is allowed. This, however, is countered by other ahadith that state that certain work can be done even under the tyrants. For example, jihad is a duty even under the command of the faajir (wicked) rulers,

In a translation, Abu Dawud narrated from abu Hurayrah, the Prophet (saw) said: "Jihad is obligatory upon you together with every Ameer, whether he is righteous or wicked."

In fact, the Prophet (saw) confirmed this understanding in a sahih hadith, after warning of the times to come wherein there will be corrupt rulers. "Should any one of you reach that time, do not be 'Areef, Shurti, Jaabi, or Khaazin" [Ibn Hibbaan].

The above hadith clearly indicates that the four categories are excluded from the general permission of working in administrative posts. It did not say, for example, 'do not work, or do any thing for them.' The conclusion in the hadith, therefore, is that in times such as these do take the following posts within the corrupt system.

The occupation of 'Areef is prohibited. Literally this word means ‘recogniser.’ Ahadith indicate that an 'Areef is someone who knows the people in a certain area, so he is able to report information such as opinion and marital status. This post is an opinion poll collector for the government. This position is explained further in the following incident. After the battle of Hunayn, the Prophet (saw) decided to set his prisoners of war, the defeated tribe of Hawaazin, free. He asked the others to do the same, possibly in return for a future reimbursement. The people shouted in agreement, but Mohammad (saw) replied: "Go to your camps! Your 'Areef will check with each of you one by one and then report back to us, so that we know who is really satisfied.”

The hadith also explains that we are forbidden to take the position of Shurti. This is a secret service agent or a Policeman. It is obvious that working in secret services is a heinous sin. Neither may we hold the office of Jabbi, or collector of state revenues. This applies to Zakat collection, Kharaaj (land tax), customs and excises and all other taxes. We are also not allowed to hold the position of Khaazin. This literal meaning of this term is ‘storage keeper.’ The term, however, is also reserved for the position of treasurer.

Thus, the hadith of ibn Hibbaan, together with numerous other evidences against Kufr, Dhulm, injustice, and their perpetrators, including any support for, or even inclination or closeness to them, are strong evidences for the prohibition of certain jobs and functions under Kufr and Dhulm regimes. The glorious Qur’an explains:

"Do not incline (or lean) towards the unjust one (Dhaalim), else you would experience the touch of hell-fire, you will not find any protector besides Allah, nor shall you be helped or supported" [TMQ Hud: 113].

Despite these clear evidences that forbid compromising in matters of ruling, some still attempt to justify their munkar. They do this by misquoting the divine evidences. For this reason, a point-by-point refutation has been provided below to clearly expose the fallacy of such claims.

The intention, the action, and necessity

The most common justification for the decisive haram of participating in a Kufr system has become the issue of intention and necessity. The argument has been used that as long as the intention for standing in such elections is good, then Allah (swt) will forgive the evil action of participating in a Kufr system, as it is a necessity. They have even extended such corruption to the level of a general principle. This is not dissimilar to the Capitalistic principle of 'the ends justify the means.' As evidence for this corruption, they reference the hadith of the Prophet (saw), “The A'maal (actions) are but by the Niyaa (intention)” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Such reasoning is flawed. In Islam the means are just as important as the end itself. In fact, this hadith applies to halal actions only. Halal actions must be performed correctly and with good intentions. For example, Allah (swt) commanded Muslims to pray. The Prophet (saw) told the Muslims to follow his (saw) example in prayer. So, if a Muslim wishes to pray Maghrib, he must have the correct intention, wishing to worship Allah (swt) alone, as opposed to showing off. He must also perform the Salah exactly as ordered in the Sunnah. If a Muslim prayed four rak'aat of Salat ul-Maghrib instead of three, thinking that four would surely be rewarded more than three, his prayer is invalid, despite his apparent 'good' intention. There can be no excuse for performing a haram based upon a 'good' intention. The hadith recorded by Al-Hakim, Ibn Hibbaan and Ibn Khazimi, indicates from the Prophet (saw), "If anyone amasses wealth through Haram means and then gives charity with it. There is no regard for him and the burden of sin remains."

In another translation, he (saw) said, "Whoever performs a deed which we have not ordered (anyone) to do then that deed will be rejected and will not be accepted" ['Aa'isha in al-Bukhari].

It is appropriate here to quote the saying of the great Islamic scholar al-Imaam al-Ghazali:

"The sins do not change their nature by intention. So the ignorant must understand that from the generality of his saying (saw): "Actions are but by intentions," then thinks that a sin can be turned into an obedience by (a good) intention, such as the person who backbites a man to please the heart of someone else, feeds the needy person with someone else's money or builds a school, a mosque or a military camp with unlawful money, while his intention is to do good. This is all ignorance; and the intention has no effect in ruling out its being oppression, an aggression and a sin. In fact his intending to good by an evil means, which opposes the requirement of the Shari'ah, is another evil ... As a matter of fact, the things which cause this in the heart are the hidden pleasure and the inward desire ... Therefore his (saw) saying that "Actions are but by intentions" is confined ... to obedience and mubahaat (permissible) things but not sins. This is because obedience can be turned into a sin by the (wrong) intention. Also, the mubah (permissible) can be turned into sin by the (wrong) intention. In contrast, a sin can never be turned into an obedience by the (good) intention" (Imam al-Ghazali v4).

To elaborate upon this excellent point, it is important to emphasize that only where Allah (swt) permits, due to a necessity as defined by the Shari'i texts, can a sin be deemed lawful. As an example, eating haram foods is forbidden by general evidence, but then that same evidence provides one with an exception that occurs in a specific case of necessity. The following ayah clarifies this point:

"He has forbidden you only the carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as sacrifice for other than Allah, but if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him" [TMQ Al-Baqara: 173].

This ayah establishes the general rule of prohibiting haram food and then continues to specify and restrict an exception: starvation. Indeed, here it would be a sin not to consume such food, as saving one’s life is a duty. Restricting oneself to this exception is obligatory, as haram food cannot be legalised for any other reason. Giving haram food as a gift to a Muslim, which is otherwise a charitable act, even if this is done with a good intention, is absolutely prohibited. Only the Shari'i can specify and restrict exceptions, not the mind.

As no 'Illah Shar'iyyah (textual divine reasoning) exists for rules related to foodstuffs, no qiyas (analogy) can be made between this ayah and anything else, such as elections in a Kufr system. Also, despite this point, no qiyas can contradict clear and established laws in Islam. Even if a Muslim were to make an invalid qiyas here to voting in a Kufr system, it would clearly contradict the overwhelming evidence in the Qur'an that prohibits ruling with Kufr by even one law. Finally, we ask those who run in such elections, where is the necessity? Are they forced to stand for elections?

Eating from the haram, and other exceptions such as lying to resolve a dispute or to save one’s life, have specific evidences exempting them from the general prohibition. Therefore, unless it is accepted that these exceptions can only be defined by a Shari'ah text, the principle that a sin can be turned into a good action by its intention, has no bounds.

Indeed, what would stop anyone applying it to the legalising of prostitution cases where a mother needs to feed her children, as has happened in Bangladesh? For that matter, stealing would also be allowed under this misguided reasoning. The Shari'ah would become subject to the desires and whims of man, and the term haram would loose its meaning. Every action that benefits a person would be made halal. In such a case, the desires would be the criteria for action, not Islam.

"Have you seen him who has taken as his Ilaah (God) his own vain desires? They are like cattle - Nay, they are even further astray from the path (i.e.: even worse than cattle)" [TMQ Al-Furqan: 43-44].

Al-haafith ibn Katheer elaborates upon this ayah by saying, "Meaning, whatever he admires and sees as good in his own desires becomes his Deen and his way” (ibn Katheer v7, 176-7). Ibn Katheer goes on to quote the ayah:

“'Is he then to whom the evil of his deeds is made fair seeming? So that he considers it as good? Verily Allah sends astray who he wills'” [TMQ Fatir: 8].

Thus, it has been established that the sin of participating in a Kufr government cannot be legalised by a good intention. It is expressly prohibited, and no specific evidence is found to exempt it. For those who find themselves going down this dangerous path, we remind you of the ayah:

"Is he then to whom the evil of his deeds is made fair seeming? So that he considers it as good? Verily Allah sends astray who he wills" [TMQ Faatir: 8].

The Prophet Yusuf (as) in the Store Houses of Egypt

The Qur’an relates the story of Prophet Yusuf (as):

"Set me over the store-houses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge. Thus did we give full authority to Yusuf in the land, to take possession therein, when or where he likes..." [TMQ Yusuf: 55-56].

This ayah is often used in an attempt to prove that Prophet Yusuf (as, was allowed to participate in the un-Islamic system of the King of Egypt. Some claim that the Muslims of today should be allowed to do likewise. They use the following ayah as an evidence:

"He could not take his brother by the Deen (law) of the King (as a slave) except that Allah willed it" [TMQ Yusuf: 76].

This is used to prove that Prophet Yusuf (as) deceived the King in allowing him to judge his brother by the Shari'ah of Ya'qub, that is to enslave a thief, rather than using the Kings law. Therefore, it is claimed that the opposite understanding (Mafhoom ul-Mukhalafa) implies here that with other than his brother, Yusuf (as) judged by the Kings law.

Using these evidences in an attempt to prove that Prophet Yusuf (as) ruled in an un-Islamic government and judged by other than the Shari'ah is a slander against the infallibility of a prophet, therefore, the argument is flawed. Before further discussion resumes on the flaws of these arguments, we will first prove that Prophet Yusuf (as) never participated in a Kufr system.

Defending the honour of Prophet Yusuf (as)

Let us consider the first ayah, which is used to discredit the Prophet Yusuf (as):

"Set me over the store-houses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge. Thus did we give full authority to Yusuf in the land, to take possession therein, when or where he likes..." [TMQ Yusuf: 55-56].

There are only two possible correct explanations for this ayah. Firstly, it could mean that Prophet Yusuf (as) was simply set in-charge of collecting and storing the harvest of Egypt, which included guarding over the store houses. This is an administrative post, not a ruling post. Ibn Katheer expresses this opinion in his tafseer of the ayah. Shu'aybah ibn Nu'ama holds this same view. They hold that the Prophet Yusuf (as) was "…responsible for the harvest storehouses, in which they would collect produce for the years of drought which he told them would come. He wanted to be the guard, so that he could dispense the harvest in the wisest, best and most beneficial way” (ibn Katheer v5, 179).

This opinion does not suggest in any way that Yusuf (as) ruled by Kufr or even partook in any ruling. Rather, it means that he (as) simply participated in an administrative post and this is not haram, even in today's times, as explained above. Thus, this is far from ruling and participating in a Kufr system like those of today, where an oath is taken, and Islam is subjected to partial implementation and the whims of man.

The second view is that Prophet Yusuf (as) was placed in charge of the entire land, symbolised by the authority over the region’s most important commodity: finance. This opinion was proposed by Imaam an-Nasafi who says that the king was placed subordinate to Yusuf (as) and could not issue any judgement without his authorisation. Ibn Jarir at-Tabari reports As-Suddi and Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam as saying that Yusuf (as) was given authority “to do whatever he wants therein” (at-Tabari v16, 151-2). This is supported by the view of some scholars that the king actually embraced Islam, ibn Katheer quotes Mujahid as holding this view.

Again, no analogy can be drawn with the tactics of those who participate in elections in Kufr systems. Imaam an-Nasafi states that this ayah simply proves that it is allowed for one to request that a tyrant ruler to hand over authority to one who is just. This would mean that no partial implementation occurred, as the full authority would be transferred.

It is actually impossible, and unthinkable, that these ayat could mean that participating in a Kufr system, or that partial implementation of Islam, is allowed. To interpret the Qur'an in such a way would contradict the many decisive ayat that clearly prohibits this. They describe the one who does so as either a Kafir, if he believes in his Kufr ruling; for any other excuse, he is simply an asiq (evil-doer) or dhaalim (tyrant oppressor) [5: 44, 45 and 47]. We ask you, oh Muslims, how could we possibly associate such attributes with regards to our beloved infallible Prophet Yusuf (as)?

Such a concept contradicts the Prophet Yusuf's (as) own statement to his two companions in prison which is recorded in the Qur’an:

“The rule (Hukm) is for none but Allah, he has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the straight Deen, but most men know not” [TMQ Yusuf: 40].

In this ayah it is evident that Yusuf (as) actually believed that anyone who does not rule by Allah's (swt) Shari'ah has invented their own Deen (religion). This is illustrated by his (as) words, ‘that is the straight Deen.’ Clearly, according to Yusuf (as), ruling by Allah's (swt) Shari'ah was a matter of Aqeedah (Creed), Tawheed (belief in Allah's unity) and conforming to Allah's (swt) judgement. This is how ibn Katheer interprets Yusuf’s (as) words, describing he who does not follow this straight Deen as a Mushrik (idolater). Ibn Katheer’s interpretation is that

" 'That is the straight Deen,’ means this Tawheed of Allah and directing all acts of worship at Him alone … is the right, straight Deen that Allah has ordained and for which He has revealed what He wills of proofs and evidences. 'But most men know not' … is why most of them are Mushrikeen” (ibn Katheer v5, 168).

In narrating that Yusuf (as) did not judge his brother by the law of the king. The Qur’an makes reference to the word ‘Deen’ when referring to the Kings law. In other words, the king had a Deen, and Yusuf (as) had another Deen.

"He could not take his brother by the Deen (law) of the King (as a slave) except that Allah willed it" [TMQ Yusuf: 76].

How can it be, oh Muslims, that our Prophet Yusuf (as) would tell his companions in prison that to rule by Allah’s (swt) Shari'ah is the straight Deen one moment but adopt the Deen of the king the next moment? We seek refuge in Allah (swt) from such a slander, and to those who propagate such a myth, repent before its too late!

Imaam Nasafi, Ibn Katheer and Imaam as-Shawkaani relate that this ayah means that Yusuf (as) judged his brother by the Shari'ah of Ya’qub. This ayah is used by some to claim that the Mafhoom al-Mukhalafa here implies that with others he (as) used to judge by the law of the king. Mafhoom ul-Mukhalafa is valid on numbers (‘adad) and descriptions (wasf), as long as it does not contradict clear texts, but it is not valid in this case. This particular type of Mafhoom is known as Mafhoom ul-Laqab, an opposite meaning taken from a noun or a name, i.e. Yusuf's (as) brother. However, as will be demonstrated, the usage of this weak type of Mafhoom (accepted by Abu Bakr, al-Daqaaq and ibn Farooq) is not valid.

To demonstrate their reasoning by a basic example, the statement: 'I saw Zayd' is held by those who subscribe to this to type of Mafhoom to possibly mean: 'I didn't see anyone else other than Zayd.' In this example, Allah's (swt) saying that Yusuf (as) judged upon his brother by the Shari'ah of Ya'qub is purported to mean that he (as) judged others by the king’s law. This is actually one of the weakest types of Mafhoom ul-Mukhalafah possible. In fact, Imaam as-Shawkaani states that those who use this type of reasoning have no excuse, whether it is linguistic, legal or rational. The Imaam continued by saying, "It is known from the tongue of the Arabs that whoever says: I saw Zayd, will not be implying that he did not see other than Zayd, but if there is indication in the text that this meaning is correct then the evidence is by the indication."

Even if this type of Mafhoom was valid, it still cannot be used in the example at hand. That is because even they believed that its usage must not contradict certain conditions such explicit texts. Therefore, any usage of this type of Mafhoom upon the ayah in question would contradict the many clear ayat of the Qur'an that forbid ruling by Kufr, including Yusuf's (as) own words regarding the rule being for none but Allah’s (swt). Such a meaning would result in the heinous slander against a noble prophet of Allah. Even al-Daqaaq and ibn Farooq would have rejected this type of Mafhoom ul-Laqab here, as it can only render an absurd meaning. Thus, we must absolutely reject it.

The root flaw in the argument: Shar'a from our past

The above was just to defend the honour of Prophet Yusuf (as) from slander. The actual flaw of the argument that he (as) participated in an un-Islamic system, and their claim that it is allowed for us, is as follows. This claim is based upon the assumption that the Shari'ah of Yusuf (as) is valid for us to follow. This is, in fact, a very weak principle, so even if Yusuf (as) had participated in ruling by the Deen of the king (something unthinkable), this in no way sets a precedent for Muslims. This is because Muslims are bound by the Shari'ah of the last and best seal of all prophets, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (saw).

Some scholars (mainly the Hanifi school), however, did accept this principle, but even they stipulated the following condition: the Shari'ah of our past is a Shari'ah for as long as it does not contradict the Shari'ah brought by Muhammad (saw). These are the only two views on the matter, no scholar had any other. It is ridiculous to suggest that a ruling of a past prophet can over-ride the Shari'ah brought by Muhammad (saw). The same goes for any other weak, but valid, principle which they may try and use to justify their actions, such as Maqasid us-Shari'ah (objectives of the Shari'ah), the spirit of the text, Masalih al-Mursala (public interest) or the lesser of two evils. None of them can be used to contradict clear Shari'ah texts. Imaam al-Ghazaali, Aamidi and ibn Haajib have reported an Ijmaa' (scholarly consensus) that no general evidence can be used for a specific issue without first looking for a specific evidence. Therefore, before resorting to secondary legislative sources, like the weak yet valid principle ‘Shari’ah from our past,’ the specific evidence brought by our Prophet (saw) must be referred to.

In the case at hand, whichever opinion is adopted, strong or weak, no analogy can be drawn between the action of Yusuf (as) and participating in the Kufr systems of today. Such an action would blatantly contradict the Shari'ah brought by Muhammad (saw), in many ayat of the Qur'an, such as in the following ayah:

"So rule between them by all that Allah has revealed, do not follow their vain desires, and beware of them in case they seduce you from any part of what Allah has revealed to you" [TMQ Al-Ma'idah: 49].

In summarising the story of Yusuf (as), no plausible opinion, whether it be that he (as) participated in the system as an administrator and not a ruler; or he took charge of the whole system; or that the Shari'ah he brought is not valid today; or even that it is valid except if it contradicts the Shari'ah brought by Muhammad (saw); indeed, none of these stances can be used to justify participating in a Kufr system today. Such an action is one of the biggest sins against Allah (swt), as it means ruling by Kufr. If believed in, it makes the ruler a Kafir, and if not, it will at least definitely make him a Dhaalim or a Faasiq.

Difference between ruling by partial Islam (Kufr) and Shura

It is claimed that the Islamic concept of Shura (consultation in affairs) is no different to consulting the legislative assembly, and even the Ummah itself, on Shari'ah matters. Thus, this is another argument used to justify standing for elections in Kufr systems. Such a weak and flimsy theory is easily dealt a blow by the pristine clarity of Islam.

It is true that the Prophet (saw) was commanded by Allah (swt) to seek the advice from the Sahabah (ra) [3: 159]. The Qur’an describes consultation as a good quality for the believers [42: 38]. Now does this mean that such consultation can take the place of Wahy (revelation)? Never! Such a thought negates the concept of sovereignty for Allah (swt), thus it is absolutely absurd. The Shura is invalid in cases where Allah (swt) has not given the Muslims any choice, namely the fard and haram. As has been established above, the issue of ruling is not subject to the choice of the Ummah, and thus, nor is it open to Shura.

The Prophet (saw) did not accept anyone's advice in signing the treaty of Hudaibiyah his (saw) ignored usage of Shura is defined clearly in the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). He (saw) sought advice in the battle of Uhud, as to whether to fight inside or outside of Madina. Likewise, he (saw) sought Shura in the battle of Badr regarding where to camp. He (saw) also sought advise from the Sahabah (ra) in the case of the slander against Aa'isha (ra). These were all of the permissible forms of advice. In any matter where Allah (swt) had already decided His hukm (ruling), the Prophet (saw) did not concider the objection of the majority of the Sahabah (ra), responding that he was sent to obey Allah (swt) and not any other. Clearly then, there is no Shura upon a hukm of Allah, as is conveyed by the following ayah, the tafseer for which was given above:

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter that they have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error" [TMQ Al-Ahzab: 36].

Gradual revelation of Islam

Another deviated claim by those smitten by Western electioneering is that the gradual revelation of the Qur'an is a proof for their actions today. They attempt to prove that because Allah (swt) conveyed the message to the Prophet (saw) in pieces, like alcohol being forbidden in three stages, they are allowed to rule gradually today.

The truth of the matter is that even though Allah (swt) revealed the Qur'an gradually, the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah (ra) implemented it immediately as and when it was revealed. For example, when Banu Thaqeef wanted to be exempt from salat and to keep their idol, al-Lat, for three years as conditions for their embracing Islam, the Prophet (saw) refused and insisted upon the immediate destruction of the idol, and the commencement of salat. Thus, in matters of fard and haram no gradualism is employed. He (saw) did allow for them not to destroy the idol by their own hands. This, however, is not compromising a hukm, because the fard was simply the destruction of the idol. It did not specify who destroyed it. So, he (saw) simply sent Khalid bin Waleed (ra) to destroy it instead.

Another example raised is the Prophet's (saw) agreement to remove the words “ar-Rahmaan ir-Raheem” and “Muhammad Rasool-Allah” from the treaty of Hudaibiyah. Again, it was not fard for the Prophet (saw) to begin the treaty in these words, rather it is of the Mandoobaat (recommended) to begin with such words. Therefore, it was definitely not haram to remove them. Only the ignorant would claim that this is an example of the Prophet (saw) compromising. So how can this be compared to the decisive haram of partial implementation of Islam?

These, and other such evidences, are not examples of the Prophet (saw) sanctioning the gradual implementation of a fard. Rather, they are examples of hikmah (wisdom) on a means that is Mubah.

We boldly ask the protagonists of such a fallacy, are they accusing the Prophet (saw) or the Sahabah (ra) of haram? Never! Are they saying that it is allowed for a Muslim to do haram? Would they accept activists of their da’wa to undertake the da’wa whilst still not having given up alcohol or drugs? Would they themselves be in such a position? Why then, do they use the issue of alcohol being forbidden in three stages, what is that meant to prove? After all, if they are not prepared to drink alcohol and do da’wa, how can they justify ruling by Kufr and doing da’wa? Today Muslims have no choice in the matters of law, as the revelation is complete. The law before completion of revelation is not considered, as that is the hukm of Jaahilyyah. The following ayah, with its aforementioned tafseer, clarifies this point.

“Do they then seek the judgement of Jaahilyyah (ignorance)? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have a firm belief” [TMQ Al-Ma'idah: 50].

Hilf ul-Fudhool

The Hilf ul-Fudhool was an agreement made by Zubayr ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib before Islam. It was aimed at preventing traders from making promises to pay to travellers entering Madina for goods, and then reneging on their obligation due to the weak tribal position of the traveller. The Prophet (saw) said that he would approve of that agreement if initiated again. This is used in an absurd attempt to prove that a Kufr law can be good if it is just, and that Muslims are allowed to take the good things from Kufr.

In refuting this claim, we only need to point out that anything approved of from the days of Jaahiliyyah by Allah (swt) or His Prophet (saw), like the Arabic language, the dress of the Qurayshi men and the Hilf ul-Fudhool, is no longer Kufr. Rather, it then becomes Islam. Thus the Prophet's (saw) agreement to this treaty is simply an evidence that this particular type of agreement, if made today, is valid. It is not, under any circumstance, evidence to say that to rule by Kufr is allowed. Otherwise, what is the point of all the ayat prohibiting ruling by Kufr?

Najashi al-Habashi

Najashi, the Christian King of Habasha (Ethiopia) is reported to have accepted Islam, yet he was not able to inform his subjects, for they would have overthrown and killed him. The Prophet (saw) prayed the Salaat ul-Janaaza for him in his absence. Some draw an analogy from here, because Najashi accepted Islam, yet he did not give up ruling as a king, to the situation today as allowing them to compete in legislative elections and rule by partial Islam. In fact, it is reported in Muslim by Anas ibn Malik that the Najashi, who embraced Islam, was not the same Najashi who was the King of Habasha. This issue is argued over by the scholars. Some, like ibn Hazm, say that they were two different people.

Assuming that it was the same Najashi, their argument is still groundless. This issue is an example of a ruler who was in power before he became a Muslim. His conversion to Islam puts him in a position of duress, preventing him from declaring faith to others. This is simply not analogous to those who actually seek the power by competing in elections freely, as they are under no duress to run for elections, and no-one forces them to do this. Ibn Taymiyyah, in his Majmoo' al-Fatawa states that Najashi could not even pray, fast, wage Jihad, perform Hajj or pay Zakat. He also had nobody to teach him the Deen. This is the extent to which he was under duress. Those who compete in the legislative elections of today do so freely, are not under any duress and their lives are not threatened if they do not stand for these elections. This is simply not an evidence for them. Would they accept the abandonment of prayers, and fasting, under this same evidence, just so they could achieve their political aims? We hope not.

In fact, this is actually an evidence supporting any sincere general or army officer in the Muslim lands, who enters the Deen, and as a result fears for his life if he declares his Islam. This evidence allows such a man, to keep his Islam quiet until he has mustered up enough support to remove the Kufr by force. This is exactly what Najashi had wanted when he wrote to the Prophet (saw) saying, "my support in Habasha is so small, leave me until I gain more support and soften the hearts (to Islam)."

The Islamic position to the Kufr regimes

What should be the stance of the righteous towards these systems? Islam has determined that nothing but hostility and struggle should exist between the Kufr governments and the guardians of the Deen. They are deemed illegitimate by Islam, deserving to be fought and removed so that the Khilafah can be established upon their ashes. The sahih hadith narrated by 'Ubadah ibn Samit is ample proof of this. The Prophet’s (saw) replied when asked by the Sahabah (ra) if they should fight them, was “No, unless you see the manifest Kufr for which you have clear proof from Allah.”

Wherever and whenever manifest Kufr exists, only a relationship of hostility, political struggle and fighting are legitimate. No compromise and loving relationship is sanctioned by the texts. We call upon you, oh Muslims, to gather your power by your tongues, and work to convince those who have the ability to remove these rulers by their hands, so that these rulers can be removed by the people of Nusrah (physical support). Ignore the false call of compromise, indignity and humiliation; for that is the call of electioneering. Indeed, work to re-establish your Khilafah upon the ashes that these colonialists established over us!

Abu Ammar


Unknown said…
Assalamalaikum brother in te last paragraph which is as follows:"Wherever and whenever manifest Kufr exists, only a relationship of hostility, political struggle and fighting are legitimate.". It states that a political sttruggle is legetimate can u xplain wat kind of political struggle & fighting is legetimate?

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