Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election Thoughts

I must admit that I keep up with what is going on with the election. I have watched a few of the debates (on and listened to the commentary on NPR and BBC. I still am of the mindset that Muslims should not vote in this election.

I can try to put my thoughts into words, but I think that a post that my husband wrote on our forum today really says it well:

There is a lot of difference of opinion about this including among good scholars but this is why I personally am not going to vote.

The system in the US is based on the majority getting what its wants and so is contrary to shar'ia. If I voted I would feel like I was supporting the idea of ruling by other than Allah's subhana wa ta'ala law. This is the main thing and what I base my general understanding that voting in the US is not allowed. So this is my general rule.

Exceptions: A general rule might change for certain circumstances as mentioned with eating food that is not normally halal if not eating would mean starving. So here are some of the things I see as exceptions and how I see them in this election.

1 - If one of the candidates was a Muslim. - apparently not the case although if you ask a Republican they will probably say Obama is. No reason to override the general rule for me.
2 - If one of the candidates promised to make changes that would benefit Muslims. I don't see this as being the case. Neither candidate has promised to make it easier for us to build Masjids or schools or anything else and they both have expressed strong support for Israel. Obama might pull troops out of Iraq sooner than McCain but then Iraq may kick us out before then too. Obama has said he will move troops to Afghanistan though so is there any real positive benefit to that? Not to mention talks of raids into Pakistan. And can we even be sure that pulling troops out is better for Muslims? I think it would be but Allahu Alim, it might trigger an increase in violence, civil war, greater division, we have no way to know. Basically my point is that the difference between the candidates is on issues that we have no way to know whether the impact would be positive or negative for Muslims so I won't consider that a reason to override the general rule.
3 - Some people might say, as many Muslims did in 2000 that we should consider moral issue like abortion, gay marriage, etc. If we did this McCain would appear to be the better choice but since he is not basing this on Shari'a I would say that is not a reason to override the general rule and I don't see anything changing at the federal level with those issues anyway.

So I will not vote in the Presidential election what about locally?

Locally is where I see the chance for Muslims to potentially make a difference. There are several areas of the country where Muslims have a large enough population to affect the local elections and bring about real change. In this case, in my opinion, this could override the general rule because of the great benefit it could have for the community. This is not the case in my community. We are one of maybe 3 or 4 Muslims families in our town so we could not influence the vote so I will not vote in the local elections either.

So what can we do besides voting to make a difference?

Dawah - The more people who come to Islam the more we can bring about change.
Du'a - Ask Allah to make us successful, to bring the Ummah together again and make us strong. We must have a strong Ummah to make a real difference in the world.

InshaAllah change is coming. In parts of Europe and even in Israel within 10-20 years Muslims could be the majority. You see what is happening in France and The Netherlands and of course Israel. They are doing things to suppress Islam because they see the writing on the wall. Change will come, InshaAllah, but it won't be because we pulled one lever instead of another one, Allahu Alim.

I think that this says it all. This is what applies to us as a family and perhaps as a community. It may not work for everyone, but it works for us. Let us all remember that we are Muslims, and our first allegiance is to Islam, not to any political party or candidate.


Shamsuddin Waheed said...

As salaamu 'alaikum,

Having read this post, I wanted to share some thoughts on this. I have a confession, I have been registered to vote for about 10 years now, but today was my first time actually actually voting.

I can understand the view that Muslims should not vote, either because Shari'ah is not referenced, or because it seems that it will not benefit 'Muslim causes' [Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, etc..], and a variety of other issues that are usually brought up, yet, the main issue is that we live in the USA, we pay taxes, we have children here in schools supported by Tax levies, so it seems necessary that we exercise some say as to where our money goes, who best represents our interests.

Of course, in the future I have no doubt that Muslims will form their own parties and field their own candidates, but we are a long way from that, as unfortunately there is still a wide fear in Mainstream American society of Muslims, which is really our fault, as we need to be a bit more consistent in presenting a better picture of Islam through Da'wah, having inviting and warm Mosques, and being prepared to share Islamic truths whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself.

Sorry for the tangent.I'll write some more about this on my blog soon, insha-Allah,


Jamilah said...

Wa Alaikum Asalam

Thanks for the comment. So what made you think you needed to vote this time?

Shamsuddin Waheed said...

I wrote more about it on my blog, but long story short the situation in this nation and world at large.

Jamilah said...

Ok, I just read it... I guess that I really don't see where you find it Islamically valid to vote this time... but its your choice.

faaz said...

Salaam Sis jamilah

I came to your blog after a long while, and ofcourse I had a lot to read here mashaallah, This particular post I couldnt just read and not respond. so here it goes. Sis jamilah I came to this country 22 years ago, and as soon as I could become a ciizen, I have participated in every election local and national for last 15 years and not only that I registered myself as republican and actively participate in the party politics at the county level, been on various commissions in the local govt, in fact was asked to run for the city council in 2006 election but declined due to personal & business reasons, I just cannot count how many times I was able to help the muslim community on various issues being right there at table of power and also stand up against the Islamaphobic regulations and spoke agianst the misinformation on Islam etc, just becouse I was there as their friend and fellow republican. In my openion we can and must participate in the political process to benefit the muslim community, just look how the jews are contorlling the process by being involved, if we dont get involved we will not make a change. sorry for the long post.


Jamilah said...

Asalamu Alaikum Faaz

Thanks for your comments. While I respect your right to have that opinion, I just don't agree. Anwar Al Awlaki wrote some very good articles on the topic, you can see them at:

What he says makes perfect sense to me. Perhaps not to others. May Allah guide us all....

And Faaz... a Republican??? waaaa :)

faaz said...

LoL Yeh Republican,having your own business kind of neccessitate to align your self with republican, although I dont vote republican sometimes, I mostly vote based on issues and the person who is running, like I voted for Obama, as Palin totally turn me off. Let read those articles you suggested and respond later.