Statements of the Scholars on Elections and Voting

Taken from,

I added some links to biographies of some of the scholars mentioned.  Umm Muhammmad Zawjatul Abdul Malik


Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah Amma Ba’d

Scholars: Elections (Voting) haram, bid’ah, imitation of Kufaar; Democracy is disbelief (kufr)!  

All Praise and thanks are due to Allaah, the Lord of Creation. To Him belongs praise and grace for guiding us to Islaam and the Sunnah, a praise that would suffice His favors to us outwardly and inwardly, as is required for the nobility of His Face and might of His Magnificence. Abundant Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and upon his family, companions, his wives – the mothers of the believers – and all those who follow them in good until the Day of Judgement.

Dear Muslims,
Beware – may Allaah show you His Mercy and protect you – that the American elections and Voting process offered to you in America are an innovation in the Islamic religion, imitation of the kufaar, and can lead to kufr (disbelief) since they are part of the democratic system. Additionally, the American candidates are disbelievers and, of course, have no intention of ruling by the book of Allaah and the Sunnah – the complete and perfect legislation that the Lord of all that exists sent down to His final Messenger Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) so that the pious amongst mankind and jinn may be guided.  

Shaykh Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah ar-Raymee al-Imaam (hafidhahullaah) stated,

Elections enter into association of partners with Allaah and that is Shirk of obedience, since elections are from the democratic system. And this system was established by the enemies of Islaam for the purpose of turning the Muslims away from their Religion. So whoever accepts it, being pleased with it, propagating it, believing it to be correct, surely he has obeyed the opponents of Islaam in opposition to the command of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. And this is the very essence of associating partners with Allaah with regard to obedience. Allaah has said:

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed. And had it not been for a decisive Word (gone forth already), the matter would have been judged between them. And verily, for the Dhalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers), there is a painful torment. You will see (on the Day of Resurrection), the Dhalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) fearful of that which they have earned, and it (Allaah’s Torment) will surely befall them..” (Ash-Shura, ayat 21-22)

So if they say: “They [elections] are from the legislation of Allaah,”

then that is insolence and a lie upon Allaah…”


Regarding voting and Elections, Shaykh Muqbil (rahimahullaah) said,


And I say: Are elections not, except the path of democracy? …Democracy is disbelief (kufr) because it means that the populace rules itself by itself. It means there is no Book [Qur`an] and no Sunnah and no Islaam, and the allowing of fornication and homosexuality.

When Shaykh ‘Ubaid Al-Jabiree (hafidhahullaah) was asked if it was permissible for the Muslims in the lands of disbelief [such as America] to enter into elections from the aspect of being “the lesser of the two evils”, the shaykh responded:
“Elections are not from the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet, salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that is known by the Muslims and that which the Salaf (the first three generations after the revelation of the Qur`an) traversed upon from the time of the Companions and the Imaams of the Taabi’een, and those who came after them. Rather, it is a newly invented matter in Islaam, so it is a bid’ah (innovation), and if it is a bid’ah (innovation) then it is muharram (unlawful).”

Shaykh Al-Jabiree added that the only exception to this is if the Muslims were forced – meaning if they don’t vote, they would not receive any rights [of course, this is not the case in America]. In that case, they could select a pious, knowledgeable and wise man amongst them to speak on their behalf and look after their rights. Then he concluded by advising us of that which is better, saying, “But if the Muslims were patient upon the hardships and loss of their rights in the way of abandoning this innovated matter, it is better for them and more desirable. And Allaah knows best.”

When asked via phone two years ago about voting in America, Shaykh Ahmad An-Najmee (rahimahullaah) said, “Oh my brother, is it permissible for the Muslims to enter into innovations and join and work with the disbelievers to obtain something that may take place, or may not?! This is not correct in my opinion.”

Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said, “… And as for the elections [that are] well known [and implemented] today in the various nations, then they are not from the Islamic order. Chaos, personal aspirations enter into them, as do greed and favoritism (bias). Tribulations and the shedding of blood result from them, and the desired goal is not attained by them. Rather, they are just a ground for bids (i.e. campaigns), buying and selling and false claims.” [3]  

The personal aspirations Shaykh Fawzaan mentioned is the candidates’ desire and putting themselves forward for leadership and authority – an act the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) prohibited. Abu Musa (radiallaahu ‘anhu) narrated: Two of my cousins and I entered the apartment of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). One of them said: Messenger of Allaah, appoint us rulers of some lands that the Almighty and Glorious Allaah has entrusted to your care. The other also said something similar. He (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “We do not appoint to this position one who asks for it nor anyone who is covetous for the same.[4]*  

Abdur-Rahman ibn Samwah (radiallaahu ‘anhu) narrated: Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said to me, “‘O ‘Abdur-Rahman! Do not ask for leadership, since if you are given it – having requested it – then you will be all alone to discharge it. But if you are given it without requesting it, you will be helped (by Allaah) in it.” [5]
Shaykh Rabee’ bin Hadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) said:


“Rather the ones to be chosen are those who are suitable in [Islamic] knowledge, don’t have a desire for such a position, and are pious. Then, we must also benefit from this Prophetic methodology in our education and training. So we should not bring up the youth to have love for leadership, authority and position. If we bring them up upon love of these things, then we have acted contrary to the way and guidance of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)… Then what success can we expect in this world or the Hereafter if we act contrary to the methodology of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?” [6]


Either maliciously or ignorantly, some falsely accuse the Messenger and his companions of holding elections. Of course, this is a lie – and a lie on the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is disastrous to one’s hereafter. The Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would sometimes consult companions, setting in motion some of the battles and raids, and other times he would not. Either way, he never held elections. And as for ‘Umar (radiallaahu ‘anhu), while dying, he appointed a shura to decide the third calipha. Furthermore, this shura was made of six companions [and a seventh – Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar – to decide the matter in case it was yet unresolved]. And as you can see – may Allaah show you Mercy – the decision was left to the knowledgeable and pious and those who didn’t seek leadership.

This is in contrast to the evil, corrupt, and fraudulent elections in America, where the vote of the ignorant and disbelieving carries more weight than that of the knowledgeable and pious, since each is given a vote and, of course, the knowledgeable and muttaqun are unquestionably the minority. And, likewise, democracy is the rule of the majority, whereas Allaah has revealed (what means): And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allaah’s Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie. (Al-An’aam, ayah 116)

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah ar-Raymee al-Imaam was asked regarding the statement of some: “Democracy and voting are equivalent to the Islamic Shura (Counsel).” The shaykh responded, “By Allaah, if we did not fear that the ignorant would be influenced by the likes of these words, then it would be obligatory to avoid even responding to this (statement). At any rate, democracy and voting is not combined with the Islamic Shura that Allaah has legislated, not in the fundamentals of the religion nor its subsidiary branches, neither in totality nor in part, not in meaning or in foundation.” And then the shaykh – may Allaah preserve him for the benefit of the Ummah – brought eight detailed evidences in refutation of this statement, at the head of them being that Allaah legislated the Islamic Shura, whereas the people of disbelief, crimes and ignorance legislated democracy. [7]

The Shaykh also said that a shura is to consult with one another mutually in cooperation upon the understanding of truth, devoid of fabricated rulings from other than the Divine Legislation.

And know – may Allaah guide you – that democracy, which is to govern oneself by man’s laws (instead of what Allaah revealed), is disbelief (kufr), rejecting Allaah’s Laws and accusing it of deficiency.


Allaah says (what means): Verily, this Qur`an guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allaah and His Messenger, Muhammad, etc.). who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise). (Al-Isra’, ayah 9) Shaykh ‘Abdul-Azeez Bur’aee (hafidhahullaah) points out the above aya shows that the Qur`an has in it all that is good – for all places and all times and all issues, such as mannerisms, economics, da’wah, or other than that.

Shaykh Bur’aee said:

Democracy opposes Islaam in the equality between people, making equal the kufaar to the Muslims, whereas Allaah says (what means): Shall We then treat the (submitting) Muslims like the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists and disbelievers, etc.)? What is the matter with you? How judge you? (Al-Qalam 68:35-36) In democracy, the righteous scholar is equal to the homosexual or the one who passes corruption upon the Earth – and this is a great injustice.”


Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said, “Because anything which opposed the judgment of Allaah, the Most High, and that of His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is tughyan (wrong-doing, injustice, oppression, tyranny) and transgression against the judgment of Him to Whom judgment belongs and to Whom all matters return (for final judgment) and that is Allaah. He, the Most High, says (what means): Indeed your Lord is Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)! (Al-A’raf, ayah 54).” [8]

Read – may Allaah guide you – the following three verses and their subsequent tafseer.
Allaah says (what means): And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafirun. (Al-Ma`idah, ayah 44) And whosoever does not judge by that which Allaah has revealed then they are wrong doers. (Al-Ma`idah, ayah 45) And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed then they are the sinful. (Al-Ma`idah, ayah 47)

The companions understood these ayat to mean: believing – upon knowledge – that a law other than Allaah’s is superior or equal to Allaah’s Sharee’ah, or is permissible to rule by, is kufr (disbelief). Of course, if the person does so out of ignorance, then he’s not a kafir. He is taught and advised. Furthermore, Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiallaahu ‘anhuma) said: “Whoever rejects what Allaah has revealed, will have committed Kufr, and whoever accepts what Allaah has revealed, but did not rule by it, is a Dhalim (unjust) and a Fasiq (rebellious) and a sinner.’ Ath-Thawri narrated that Ibn Jurayj said that ‘Ata’ said, “There is Kufr and Kufr dunee (less than) Kufr, dhulm and dhulm less than dhulm, Fisq and Fisq less than Fisq.” [9]*  

It is exclusively Allaah’s right to prohibit something or make something lawful, as we learn from the following hadeeth.
Imaam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded a hadeeth via several chains of narration from ‘Adi bin Hatim (radiallaahu ‘anhu) who became Christian during the time of Jahiliyyah. When the call of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) reached his area, ‘Adi ran away to Ash-Sham, and his sister and several of his people were captured. The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) freed his sister and gave her gifts. So she went to her brother and encouraged him to become Muslim and to go to the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). ‘Adi, who was one of the chiefs of his people (the tribe of Tai’) and whose father Hatim At-Ta’i was known for his generosity, went to Al-Madinah. When the people announced his arrival, ‘Adi went to the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) wearing a silver cross around his neck. The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) recited this Ayah – They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allaah (At-Tawbah, ayah 31). ‘Adi commented, “I said, ‘They did not worship them.” The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Yes they did. They (rabbis and monks) prohibited the allowed for them (Christians and Jews) and allowed the prohibited, and they (Christians and Jews) obeyed them [in that]. This is how they worshipped them.”

Prior to that, ‘Adi had thought of worship as only bowing and prostrating, and hadn’t thought of obedience as an act of worship.
Shaykh Fawzaan said about this aya and hadeeth that explains it:


“Following scholars or anyone else in changing the rulings of Islamic Law is an act of Shirk ul-akbar (Major Polytheism).” Again, the Shaykh stressed that it is Major Polytheism only “if the follower knows that these enacted laws differ from those of Allaah.”


Allaah also revealed: [Yusuf said to his companions of the prison:] The command (or the judgment) is for none but Allaah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not. (Yusuf, ayah 40) Legislation is for none but Allaah; it is His right alone, so this rules out a “mixture” of Sharee’ah and democracy. Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said, “He then affirmed that the judgment, decision, will and kingdom are all for Allaah alone, and He has commanded all of His servants to worship none but Him.” [10]

Additionally, Allaah revealed: And when it is said to them: “Come to what Allaah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad),” you (Muhammad) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad) with aversion. (An-Nisa, ayah 61) This is proof that the one who is called to ruling by the Qur`an and Sunnah and he refuses, then he is from the hypocrites – and this hypocrisy is the more serious hypocrisy in i’tiqad (belief).

The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allaah (His Words, the Qur`an) and His Messenger, to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise). (An-Nur, ayah 51) The Muslim should say, “We hear and obey.”
May Allaah show you Mercy. Do you not see that ruling by the sharee’ah of other than Allaah leads to mischief and corruption in the land, whereas ruling by what Allaah revealed is a cause of correcting the affairs of the creation? Look at Arabia – where the law of the land is Allaah’s Sharee’ah – and the peace found therein, maa shaa` Allaah.

Shaykh Fawzaan, a resident of Arabia, said, “As for our country – walHamdulillaah – then it differs from the other countries on account of what Allaah has granted it of goodness, such as calling to Tawheed, putting an end to shirk, establishing an Islamic Government which judges by the sharee’ah. We do not say the country is perfect from every single aspect; however it has – walHamdulillaah – never ceased to be established upon goodness. Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is to be found in it, likewise the establishment of the hudood punishments, and also ruling by what Allaah has revealed…” [11]  

And if we as Muslims in America sufficed ourselves with what Allaah has revealed, we would in sha` Allaah see without obstruction – may Allaah bless you – that we have absolutely no need for these kufaar candidates, as we in America are not prohibited from going to the masaajid to learn ‘aqidah and offer our obligatory salat except by our own laziness, and the women are not prohibited from wearing hijab except by their refusal to obey Allaah in that matter.

And if we sufficed ourselves with the Qur`an and authentic Sunnah, then the ignorance of those who invite eloquent politicians to the masaajid to lure Muslims into bid’ah will become apparent and shunned instead of applauded and followed.

As Imam Malik (rahimahullaah) said:

Is it that every time a man comes who is more eloquent in arguing than another man we leave that which Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam brought to the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

My brothers and sisters in Islaam, the only One we need and should rely on is Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, who says (what means): Allaah! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and in Allaah (Alone), therefore, let the believers put their trust. (At-Taghabun, ayah 13) Tawfeeq (success) comes from Allaah, and we are commanded to use only legislative means. My dear fellow Muslims, if we correct our ‘aqidah, and enjoin Tawheed and the Sunnah while forbidding shirk and bid’ah, Allaah will make us the successors upon the earth, as He promised in Surat An-Nur:

Allaah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islaam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah). (An-Nur, ayah 55)

Know – may Allaah bless you – that Allaah created all of mankind and jinn to single Him out with all worship (making du’aa to Allaah alone, seeking refuge in Allaah alone, sacrificing for Allaah alone, seeking deliverance from Allaah alone). And Allaah will judge us on the Day of Judgement based on our submission to His commands and the commands of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), about whom Allaah said (what means): Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired. (An-Najm, ayat 3-4)

Submission to Allaah’s revelation leads to rectification in this wordly life, and Allaah’s pleasure and Paradise in the hereafter. Denying/disbelieving in what Allaah revealed – even one ayah or one authentic hadeeth – leads to oppression in this wordly life, and torment and the fire in the hereafter.

May Allaah unite the Muslims upon the Qur`an and authentic Sunnah (upon the specific understanding that Allaah sent down to His Messenger to convey to the companions), and guide us to hold onto the Qur`an and authentic Sunnah with our molars, and guide us to avoid placing our opinions and desires above what He revealed to Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). May Allaah guide all the Muslim rulers, and may Allaah continue blessing Arabia and any country that follows it in ruling by what Allaah revealed for the sole purpose of pleasing Allaah alone.



Footnotes: [1] From Shaykh Muhammad al-Imaam’s book Tanweerudh-Dhulamaat bi Kashf Mafaasid wa Shubahaat Al-Intikhabaat (Illuminating the Darkness in order to uncover the corruptions and doubts concerning Voting), pages 39-40.

[2] Nasaa`ih Wa Fadaa`ih, page 17; Tuhfatul-Mujeeb, page 303.  

[3] The Ruling on Elections and Demonstrations Al-Jareedat ul-Jazeerah, Issue 11358, Ramadaan 1424.  

[4] Sahih Muslim, In the Book of Government (CHAPTER: PROHIBITION OF A DESIRE FOR A POSITION OF AUTHORITY AND COVETOUSNESS THEREOF).*   * In the case of Prophet Yusuf (‘alaihi salam), Ibn Katheer said, “Yusuf praised himself, for this is allowed when one’s abilities are unknown and there is a need to do so.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer (Tafseer of Surat Yusuf, Vol. 5).]


[6] Manhaj ul-Anbiyaah fi ad-Da’wah ilal-Laah (Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allaah).

[7] From Shaykh Muhammad al-Imaam’s book Tanweerudh-Dhulamaat bi Kashf Mafaasid wa Shubahaat Al-Intikhabaat (Illuminating the Darkness in order to uncover the corruptions and doubts concerning Voting), pages 31-35.

[8] Fatawa Arkan-ul-Islam (Islamic Verdicts), Vol. 1

[9] Tafseer Ibn Katheer (Tafseer of Surat al-Ma`idah, Vol. 3)   * Ibn Baaz said: The rulers who judge by other than what Allaah revealed are divided into different categories, according to their beliefs and to their deeds. One who judges by other than what Allaah has revealed, believing that it is better than the Law of Allaah, is a kaafir by consensus of all the Muslims, as is the one who judges by man-made laws instead of the Law of Allaah, and claims that this is permissible. As for the one who judges by other than what Allaah has revealed, because he finds it convenient to do so, or because of bribery, or due to enmity between him and the person being judged, or any other reason, in the full knowledge that he is acting in disobedience to Allaah and that it is wajib for him to judge by Allaah’s Law, he is considered to be one of the disobedient ones and a perpetrator of a major sin and he has committed minor kufr and minor dhulm and minor fisq, as has been reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiallaahu ‘anhuma), Tawoos, and a number of righteous salaf. This is what is well known to the people of knowledge. And Allaah is the Granter of Success. [Fatawa Islamiya (Vol. 1)]

[10] Tafseer Ibn Katheer (Tafseer of Surat Yusuf, Vol. 5.)

[11] (al-Ajwibah al Mufeedah no. 24)
[Note: This treatsie is based on the stronger of the two opinions, the opinion followed by the overwhelming majority of the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah. Those in the minority who said it is “the lesser of two evils” provided no proof for their statements, and ijtihaad is not exercised when the majority of scholars have already refuted an issue. And of course, scholars are not followed in their mistakes. This would be blind-following. Even then, those with the weaker of the two opinions stipulated that their opinion was based only if the Muslims do not have full rights to practice their religion, which is not the case in America, and to Allaah belongs all Praise.]

Subhanak Allaahuma wa bihamdika ash-hadu anlaa illaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk
If I said anything correct, then it is from Allaah (subhanahu wa taa’ala), and if I erred, then that is from me and shaytan.

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