1. Every individual is responsible for himself/herself.
- The Prophet, peace be upon himm said: Abdullah ibn ?Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ?I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, say, ?You are all custodians, and you all will be questioned about the things under your custody. ?. You are all custodians and you all shall be questioned about your custody. (Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 844)
- Just we are custodians of our families; we are also responsible for the affairs of our city, our state, our country and our world.
- Just as every brick in a house is valuable, so is every member valuable and every person capable of
- making a difference.
2. Should Muslims participate in the American electoral process?
- During the 1996 election, the raging debate in the Muslim community was is voting Halal or Haram? The consensus opinion among scholars is that participation in the political process is an obligation. It means that we have to participate, not just choose to participate.
- Thus, it becomes an individual responsibility not just a collective responsibility.
- Regardless of whether you are a citizen or not you all have the right to participate, although only citizens can vote.
- Political participation is more than voting. We need to mobilize the community. We need to educate each other on the issues. We need help others to go out and vote.
3. Why is it a Muslim obligation to participate and shape American politics?
- Islam is a global religion, not restricted to any one ethnic group or geographical area.
- The principle of ?righteousness and equity? mentioned in the Holy Quran, is the greatest general principle by which to measure the relationship between Muslims and others. All other matters should concede to this principle.
- The principles of justice included in American jurisprudence and the Constitution should be followed as they are in harmony with the core message of Islam, especially the last sermon of the Messenger to his followers at his Farewell Pilgrimage.
4. Some legitimately complain the American political process has not yielded benefits to Muslims.
- The answer is not to withdraw but seek newer and better methods to engage.
- The American Muslim community needs to transcend their disappointments and look to the future and take into account the seriousness of the issues at stake in this election: the rule of law, war and peace, economic justice, education and health care.
- If we desire change, then we must listen to what Allah says in Surah Raad 13:11: "Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (within their own souls)."
- In Surah Baqarah verse 143 Allah says: ?Thus we have made you an Ummah justly balanced that ye might be witness over mankind and the Apostle a witness over yourselves.?
- Freedom of thought and belief is repeatedly emphasized in the Quran. We cannot be free and we cannot make others free if we do not work to uphold the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.
"Inside masjid negara" by Alfianamy - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Inside_masjid_negara.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Inside_masjid_negara.JPG