Why not voting may be a sin | SoundVision.com

Why not voting may be a sin

It happens before almost every major election.

Particularly after Friday prayers where the focus of the weekly sermon is on the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election, or on days when a mosque may be holding a voter registration drive, one or two young Muslim men will be nearby handing out newsletters on the evils of voting. 

They are trying to dissuade us from becoming part of the political process, arguing that it is Haram (Islamically forbidden) to do so. This literature has usually been prepared by the group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. In the past, I have received emails that Fatwas (religious rulings) have emerged from the United Arab Emirates saying that elections are Haram.

Well, to the contrary, I believe, not voting may be a sin.

Saving lives is an Islamic obligation

God says in the Quran, as in the earlier revealed Scriptures, that saving one life is like saving all of humanity, and letting one person die is like letting all of humanity die (5:32). We are required to uphold life's sanctity.

Regardless of how any American or citizen of any other democracy votes or doesn't, one thing we all share is the power of our taxes. Should our tax money be used to save lives around the world or kill people? Voting is your way of answering yes or no to this question.

By paying taxes to the government but not engaging in the process of choosing your leadership, you are offering leaders a dangerous carte blanche for killing and injustice. This apathy means that if your tax money was used to engage in such things without you even speaking out by voting, you have committed an intentional sin.

Ask yourself: Is the war on Yemen just? Was invading Iraq and Afghanistan just? Is the government’s policy of separating children from their parents at our southern border just? Is the government’s refusal to take police violence against Black Americans just? If you don't vote, this country's leadership won't know. They will also continue engaging in such aforementioned injustices with no knowledge of our opposition.

Establishing justice is an Islamic duty

All Prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon all of them, were sent down to help people establish justice throughout the ages (Quran 57:25). Justice is a prime value in Islam. That includes social and economic justice. It is the commandment of God for all believers to establish justice. (Quran 4:135) We should consider that by refusing to vote, we would be rebelling against God's commandment to stand up for this principle.

In our society, standing up for what is right entails speaking out about issues, discussing with other citizens, and voting. By refusing to participate in this process, you are denying yourself the most important path to establishing justice in our nation.

Is it just that 30 million people live below the poverty line in America? Is it just that while we eat well, food riots have taken place in 30 countries around the world? Is it just that we consume 25 percent of all of the world's energy and destroy the environment through fossil fuels? If we refuse to follow the Prophetic path to help people stand up for justice, then it seems we are sinful.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, even when he did not have any support or power, would always help those who had been wronged. For example, he once intervened in a case where his own uncle, Abu Jahl, robbed a travelling trader. He helped this man get his money back from the tribal chief.

Also, he was signatory to an alliance called Hilf ul Fudul, where various individuals in Makkah pledged to uphold values of justice and protection of the weak.

In my view, refusing to stand up to help our neighbors in need falls into sinful behavior.

At least 30 percent of all Muslims today live in non-Muslim countries. If these Muslims don't vote, this will essentially mean disempowering half of the Ummah from becoming a partner in the struggle for peace and justice. This falls into the Quranic categories of Fitna (Quran 2:217), which is a sin considered worse than killing in God's eyes, and  Fasad (Quran 11:116), which means persecution and great mischief.

For the small minority outside our mosques who argue that voting is Haram, don't they know that Allah has forbidden people from taking Haram and Halal in their hands? Nothing is Haram except what is prohibited explicitly by God or His Prophet, peace be upon him. God actually warns people against playing with Haram and Halal like this.

Which Quranic verse declares elections to be Haram? If there is no verse like that, then refrain from issuing Fatwas based on inferences.

I find it amazing that Hizb-ut-Tahrir's supporters, who cannot distribute a flyer or even mention that they are part of this group in some countries, see nothing Haram about enjoying this gift of freedom of expression in America - yet they see it as unIslamic to use the freedom to vote. I simply do not understand this illogical rhetoric. I'm just happy that there are a very small percentage of Muslims who are listening to it.

So vote. Voting is your right. It is a duty and an obligation. It fulfills the Prophetic duty to stand up for justice and it may very well help save lives. And please don't just vote, vote early and take other people to vote and develop a voice of justice within the Republican and/or Democratic Party, whichever you support.




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Democratic system is not against Islamic teachings. so elections and voting in a democratic system cannot be haram. If there is a Muslim candidate in elections, will people not vote. We have to understand the needs and demands of the modern time. Will u support a pregnant woman who refused to go for a scissorian surgery arguing that it was not done in the times of prophet and caliphs.


Assalamu alekum. Sorry, but you are completely out of context in this whole article. I don't think you even have a clue of the plan which the kuffaar are playing out, and anyone who agrees with you is in the same boat. I don't understand how you could even think this way. Please open your eyes and see things for what they really are.



Asslamu Alekum, Your point integers me, would you mind elaborate more on your point of why it is not permissible to vote. I am interested in hearing the opposite view.


Los Angeles

I just cannot understand why some muslims are totally misusing Islam to stop people from choosing their leaders. Their arguments are totally ridiculous and just do not conform to Islamic principles. Voting must be regarded as a sacred duty of all muslims or else they will go into the dustbin of history.


Toronto, Canada

Thank you for being honest and approaching this subject. It is clear that you are myopic regarding the political situation in the US and beyond due to a desire to belong and be considered part of the 'fabric' of America. In turn, you now ARE part of the American fabric, confused, distracted, and blind to the depth their nation has sunk to. If you wish to be from amongst a people, it will be so, as our Lord has conveyed to us.It is now well established except only to the die-hard flag wavers that the political process is a fraud, controlled by the highest bidder and financier of the candidates. Ultimately, each candidate is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and several other lifetime affiliations that command greater loyalty from the candidate than 'party platforms', campaign promises, or the Constitution. To vote is simply to affirm the process and to be part of the deception. It is time for the current muslim American leaders to realize their misunderstanding of this society and culture and open their minds to the possibility that what is presented from the mass media as reality is actually propaganda in this war that includes the hearts and minds of the American people, which now includes you, Mr Mujahid.


I was reading the news and the comments about "voting is haaram" I was thinking that, some of our muslim brothers spreading out wrong messages among our community. Misleading people is a sin not only in Islam but also in other religions and believes. Voting is not a sin but to vote a wrong person deliberatly can consider as a sin. Democratic process to elect the leaders was first introduced by our Prophet Mohammad(S). Before his death, his followrs requested him to select his successor. Prophet Mohammad(S) asked them to elect their caliph rather than to select some one. Then they elected Chaliph ABu Bakar Siddique(R) as the first Caliph of Islam. Then prophet Mohammad(S) instructed Caliph Abu Bakar Siddique(R) to form a parliament (Mozlis -us- Sura) and asked him to seek advice from the sura to rule the country. Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, the above historic event is suggesting that, our prophet Mohammad(S) is the one who established democracy in this world. As his followers, it is our duty to practice it well. Please use your voting right to cast vote for the right person. Please do not say "voting is haaram" instead encourage people to elect good leader who can make changes towards positive direction in order to make this world a better living place for mankind.Sufi Asmar Ali


Hong Kong

Thanks but no thanks for the article, Br. Mujahid. Your argument is very loosely constructed. One can built an opposite argument using your methodology. Perhaps the people who say voting is Haram are trying to say that voting for the kind of people who are running for election these days is Haram.May Allah (swt) clear the vision of Muslims. PS: 2 stars. 1 for thinking about this issue and 1 for (hopefully) having a position intention.



Thanks but no thanks for the article, Br. Mujahid. Your argument is very loosely constructed. One can built an opposite argument using your methodology. Perhaps the people who say voting is Haram are trying to say that voting for the kind of people who are running for election these days is Haram.May Allah (swt) clear the vision of Muslims.



I would like to see some Hadith or Quran verses that back up the opinion about not voting. You can't just quote a sheikh the sheikh has to have proof for making a ruling. Thank you for this article.



Elections – As has been clarified time and again by the scholars like ShaikhMuqbil, Shaikh Rabee, Shaikh Yahya and others, elections are haraam. The two typesof people who permit elections are:◦ Hizbees like the ikhwan al-mufliseen, surooriyah and other than them from thedeviant sects – and they mostly see it to be something that is permissible andNOT haraam. Their deviation and doubts in this have been clarified by ShaikhMuhammad Al-Imaam in his treatise 'tanweer adh-dhulumaat' and before him byShaikh Muqbil, Shaikh Al-Albaani and other scholars.◦ Scholars of the sunnah who have fallen into an error – and this error is NOT thatthey declared elections and democracy permissible, rather some of them madeijtihaad and allowed it under the doubt “lesser of the two evils in a situation5where a Muslim may elect a candidate who will benefit the Muslims instead ofallowing a candidate who will harm the Muslims whether in a Muslim country orKaafir country”. This particular doubt has been refuted by the likes of ShaikhMuqbil and Shaikh Yahya. In particular, Shaikh Muqbil refuted this doubt when itoccurred from the likes of the Imaams ibn Baaz, Al-Albaani and ibn Uthaymeen.So this was considered from the mistakes of these Imaams of our times and theirposition with Ahlus-sunnah did NOT stop Shaikh Muqbil from clarifying theTRUTH because the truth is above any scholar.Coming to Ubaid Al-Jaabiree and his evil fatwa regarding the permissibility ofelections (for the people of Iraq) under the guise of “daroorah”(extreme necessity), letus for the sake of argument say that he is from the scholars who made a mistake inthis matter. Is it not from humility to return to the truth after having fallen into errorlike Shaikh Al-Albaani did when the truth was made clear to him?Our Shaikh Yahya explained in brief, Ubaid's error in this fatwa; and this explanation of his was expounded in detail by our brother Abu Ishaaq Ash-Shibaami in a treatiseentitled “Clarifying the deviation in Shaikh Ubaid's fatwa in calling to elections”9. Yetafter this detailed clarification regarding this important issue and the errors thatUbaid had fallen into, no return to the truth was seen from him. Rather, as theMessenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Prideis to disdain the truth and look down upon the people.” (Extracted by As-Suyooti andAl-Jami As-Saheeh No.8737 and authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaani)Does Ubaid not realize that his call to elections involve many evils (these are just afew examples) such as :1. Making equal the rule of Allah with the rule of the creation2. Making equal the Muslim and the kaafir3. Making equal the pious and the sinner4. Making equal the man and the woman5. Partisanship and splitting6. Revolting against the Muslim ruler (if the elections are in a Muslim country)7. Speaking ill, insulting the Muslim ruler and contesting him in his rule8. Putting the affairs in the hands of those not worthy of it9. False witnessing10. Picture taking11. Free mixing between men and women12. Encouraging women to leave their houses9 Inshallah, I will translate this treatise either in full or a summary of it so as to unveil the deception of theones who use Ubaid's or Waseeullah Abbas's fatwa for the permissibility of elections.




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