With the elections upon us, Muslims are suddenly finding themselves very popular with politicians soliciting their votes. Candidates and supporters have come to the door to ‘listen’ to the concerns of the electorate. Jummah khutbahs were delayed as non-Muslim politicians preached their secular sermon of promises to better the lives of the Muslim congregation.
Muslims who are aware of such tactics generally treat them with the cynicism that they deserve. Those who voted in the past for Muslim candidates have been left sorely disappointed, as they have rarely promoted a policy that can be considered an interest of the Muslim community. Those who voted for the ‘lesser of the evil’ mainstream parties have also witnessed those same parties increase hostilities against Islam and Muslims both here and overseas. Despite this appalling track record Muslims today are increasingly finding themselves under more and more pressure to participate in the official political process.
The reality of the democratic process is that it is designed to ensure the continued domination of the interests of the established elite. They do not wish to see an Islamic agenda replacing their hegemony, so they work to prevent anything that could lead to even so much as a little breathing space for the Islamic dawah. Muslims were encouraged to participate in the running of schools in the UK, only to find that they are hounded out accused of trying to ‘Islamify’ them. Muslims in Egypt had high hopes for Morsi’s presidency, only to find it overthrown by the secular elite, who found that the new openness to public promote Islam was intolerable. This is the reality of participating in a secular system – the secularists always win.
Worse than the abysmal failure to achieve anything of worth through the political process however, is that pseudo-shariah arguments are being heavily promoted from all quarters to justify, and in some cases even oblige, Muslims’ increased participation in the secular democratic system.
Muslims are told that it is an Islamic duty to rally to defeat the most evil politicians, so that the less evil ones come to power. We are told that Islam encouraged us to seek the public interest wherever it is found, and however it is achieved. Close examination of these arguments reveal that they stand on very weak foundations, even contradicting the fundamental matters of the deen.
The real danger though, is the weakening of the adherence to the shariah of the community and individuals, which results from accepting such weak excuses. The real loss for Muslims today will be if they accept seeking benefits as a basis to legislate. The shariah that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, as the last and final shariah for all mankind, and as a replacement for all shariahs that came before it, would in that case become subservient to the interests of the Muslims, however they perceive them.
وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنْكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا
“And We have sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books. So judge between them by what Allah has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires deviating from the Truth that has come to you. We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you.” [Al-Maaida: 48]
The submission to Allah that is the path to success will then have conditions placed upon it. As if to say “we will only submit to Allah when we see a benefit in doing so.” Allah answered those who argued against the military campaigns of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, pointing to their inability to know where the good lies:
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَكُمْ وَعَسَى أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَعَسَى أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
“Fighting is prescribed for you even if it is hateful to you. It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” [Al-Baqara: 216]
Fear of the harm of the ‘most evil’ politicians would then become an excuse to make Halal what Allah made Haram. Holding onto Islam in spite of the difficulty endured would no longer be encouraged as a noble goal, rather compromise with evil would be promoted instead. This is despite the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم praising the ones who held firmly onto Islam:
يأتي زمانٌ على أمتي القابض على دينه كالقابض على جمرة من النار
“There will come upon the people a time where the one holding firmly onto his deen will be like one holding onto hot coals.” [Reported by Tirmidhee]
And this is in spite of Allah deserving to be feared even more than the most evil of consequences in this dunya.
إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً
“A group of them fear people as Allah should be feared, or even more than that.” [An-Nisaa: 77]
By making the narrowly perceived benefits of the British Muslim community a basis for rallying together, we will be replacing the Islamic bond of brotherhood with a nationalistic bond of Britishness, which was labelled ‘asabiyyah by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and was shunned by him:
ليس منا من دعا إلى عصبية
“The one who calls for ‘asabiyyah is not one of us” [reported by Abu Dawud]
And on top of all of that, some of those who seek to justify the participation in un-Islamic political systems state that the Prophet Yousuf (as) did so before us. Subhaan Allah! Were Muslims to accept this statement, then they are allowing the aqeedah of Islam to be diluted to such an extreme that we can accuse a Prophet of Allah with obeying kufr, while He is commanded to obey Allah.
Politically aware Muslims could never see it in the interests of Islam and Muslims to tie their destiny to the designs of an un-Islamic majority. Allah says:
وَلَنْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلًا
“Allah will not permit the disbelievers any way over the believers.” [An-Nisaa: 141]
And they are further wary of the schemes of those who deny the truth:
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ فَلَا تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ
“Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His Way and He knows best those who are guided. So do not obey those who deny the truth. They wish that you would conciliate them, then they too would be conciliating.” [Al-Qalam: 9]
And herein lays the true danger and the true prize for those who plot against Islam and hope never to see it emerging as a state and system in the world again. If Muslims accept the weak arguments of those who justify participation in this un-Islamic political system, then they have compromised their deen, the Quran the Sunnah of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. It will no longer be their guiding light illuminating the path to guidance out of oppressive darkness, rather darkness and oppression will prevail with no way for the Muslims to tell them apart.
قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَى وَالْبَصِيرُ أَمْ هَلْ تَسْتَوِي الظُّلُمَاتُ وَالنُّورُ
“Say: ‘Are the blind and seeing equal? Or are darkness and light the same?“ [Ar-Ra’d: 16]
الر كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
“Alif Lam Ra This is a Book We have sent down to you so that you can bring mankind from the darkness to the light, by the permission of their Lord, to the Path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy.” [Ibrahim: 1]
We call upon the Muslims in Britain to be wary of such ‘shariah’ arguments that encourage participation in the secular political system. Rather, we call upon Muslims to cooperate with each other in goodness on the basis taqwaa, in obedience to the shariah rules with their strong evidences.
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“Help each other to goodness and taqwa. Do not help each other to wrongdoing and enmity. Have taqwa of Allah. Allah is severe in retribution.” [Al-Maaida: 2]