But what it is really is a commonsensical review of a rather simple question: Are elections and voting really Haram in Islam?
And I undertake this review by simply asking a counter question: Says who and based on what?
And then I also have some other questions that I would like to ask the rejectionists.
For example, if elections and voting are not the way to go, and if consultation, consent, communication, consensus building and persuasion that accompany voting and elections are not the way to go, then what other way is there for a group of people to elevate some among them to positions of power and leadership?
What other possible alternative could there be to the method of talking to people, consulting and reasoning with them and persuading them to select one or more of them to govern them for a specified period of time using a specified set of laws, rules and procedures?
However, I do much of my review here without resorting to too many direct quotes from the Qur’an and Hadith in defense of my points, theses, positions, conclusions and arguments. My purpose in doing so is to avoid trivializing or making a mockery of the Qur’an and Hadith before people whose respect for them seems to be an open question.
So, you will not see me rush to quote the Qur’an or the Hadith directly or profusely in this book unless the context is quite clear and the room for disagreement and disputation quite minimal. Even though those with more than a surface knowledge of the Qur’an and Hadith can see that those are indeed the sources that permeate, inform and guide my thinking, analysis, evidence, argument, conclusions, logic and language.
Therefore what I seek here is rather to analyze and understand the question of political participation, elections and voting from the point of view of simple reason, logic, science, facts, practicality and common sense.
What many people – both Muslim and non-Muslim – don’t seem to realize is that all of these are really components, aspects and stages of this most amazing divine way of living life on earth that Allah calls Islam – the same system of laws Allah uses to govern his universe and which he humanized and sent down to earth for our benefit.
And that all of these have their natural and perfect home in his most amazing book, the Qur’an, as well as in the Hadith of his most amazing Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And that the struggle for freedom, dignity, justice, peace, equality and truth has been at the core of the mission of the prophets of Allah from Nuh, Alaihis-Salam, to Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam – a core that in the technical language of Islam is summed up under the overarching label of Tawhid or divine unity and oneness.
And which finds its quintessential expression in that most amazing and powerful of all expressions, La Ilaha Illa Allah!
No God but Allah!
These are the four words that changed the world, over and over and over, and will continue to do so as long as the world lasts, Inshallah – should that be the will and pleasure of Almighty Allah.
And which in turn finds its most complete, up-to-date, effective and successful human manifestation in the three words of Muhammad Rasul Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam).
These three words – Muhammad, Rasul Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) summarize all the teachings, wisdom, guidance, instructions, rules, regulations, models and methods that human beings need to live a truly meaningful, peaceful, fulfilling, successful life on earth – as individuals; as families; as groups, organizations and institutions; as cultures and societies; and as a comity of nations and peoples throughout the world.
And they guarantee an even better life for their adherents in the next life – the Aakhirah as the Qur’an calls it.
Such a beautiful life, lived under the divine shade of the seven words of La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!), is the perfect formula for a perfect life, both here in this world as well as after death in the next world.
The Qur’an calls such perfect life Hayat Tayyibah – Life Beautiful!
Such a perfect life is in store for those men and women – that is right, that is exactly what the Qur’an says, from 1400 years ago: Min Dhakarin Au Untha (exact translation: male or female) – who embrace the message of La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah and do good things.
That is right – Min Dhakarin Au Untha (male or female). Those are the exact words that the Qur’an uses – coming out of a murderous, male-chauvinist Arabia, surrounded by a generally male-chauvinist world culture – dating back 1400 ago.
Min Dhakarin Au Untha – male or female!
This marks the end of Part I of Are Elections Haram? Says Who? Based on What?
We will bring Part II of Are Elections Haram? Says Who? Based on What? to you as soon as Allah makes it possible for us to do so.
End of Part 1 of 8
Written, January 2001
Modified, 2004, 2005
(To be Revised)
© 2005 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.
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