Democracy And The Muslim World By Sheikh Anwar Al Awlaki
[Sheikh Anwar Al Awlaki Yemen Jihad America Obama]
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
The Muslim community in the US is busy with the vote and are debating who the Muslims should pick as their president. The argument presented is we are choosing between the lesser of the two evils. In reality it is more about being American and part of the system than it is about benefiting the ummah because the fact of the matter is there is no benefit in either candidate whatsoever.
Democracy in an un-Islamic system and we as Muslims should have nothing to do with it. Whether one looks at the root and history of democracy or at the reality of democracy today one can realize that it is a system that is not only different than the Islamic system but is opposed to it. Can’t you see that the West in its war against Islam is offering the democratic system as an alternative to Sharia? So if the West, which is the founder of democracy, sees democracy as an opposing system to Islam why are some Muslims still insisting on participating in it and adopting it as their political religion?
Democracy is a Western system that was founded and developed in the West and today the West, not the Muslims, have full authority and right to tell the world what democracy is and how it should be practiced and implemented. We have our own system of government and likewise it is the Muslims who are going to define it and will not allow non Muslims to meddle with our religion and teach us what is right from wrong.
Muslims should seek to avoid any forms of participation in Western democracy.
The promoters of participation in American elections argue that we are choosing the least of the two evils. This principle is correct but what they are missing is that in the process of choosing the lesser of the two evils they are committing an even greater evil . The breaking down of the psychological barrier that should exist between Muslims and non-Muslims, the erosion of the aqeedah of wala and bara (loyalty to Allah and disavowal of the enemies of Allah,) and the risk of loosing one’s religion are evils that outweigh any benefit that may come out of such participation.
Also the types of candidates that American politics has been spitting out is absolutely disgusting. I wonder how any Muslim with a grain of iman in his heart could walk up to a ballot box and cast his vote in endorsement of creatures such as Mcain or Obama?! How can a Muslim sleep with a clear conscience after he has chosen the likes of G.W. Bush? No matter how irrelevant your vote is, on the Day of Judgment you will be called to answer for it. You, under no coercion or duress, consciously chose to vote for the leader of a nation that is leading the war against Islam.
There is also a strange belief among some that if we participate in the elections of the disbelievers we will bring good to ourselves, while if we have trust in Allah and avoid the disbelievers, as He wants from us, we will be missing out on some good and would draw harm to ourselves. They are so weak they believe we can only survive in today’s word if we seek support from the enemies of Allah. But for the believers Allah is sufficient for them and they do not need to seek assistance from the leaders or the governments of the disbelievers.
There is no benefit for the ummah in voting for the new American Pharoah
Voting for the American President: Part II
After reading all of the responses to my previous post I have this to say: Brothers and sisters before we carry this discussion any further we must agree on these three points:
1 -The American leaders of today are playing the exact role of Pharaoh and Abu Jahl of yesterday and the American people of today are playing the role that the Quraish, Aad and Thamud used to play yesterday. Therefore the verses of Quran and Hadith of Rasulullah that apply to Pharaoh and Abu Jahl apply to the US leaders and the ones that apply to the Quraish, Aad and Thamud apply to the American people. The US is in a state of war with Islam and Muslims and not just against extremists.
2 – Democracy is a system of governance that is different than the Islamic system of government and is opposed to it and is being spread by the West in the Muslim world by force as an alternative to the Islamic Sharia law.
3 – It is a duty upon us Muslims to strive through Jihad to establish the Islamic Khilafah again. This is not a far fetched idealistic objective but is a tangible realistic one if we but put the effort into achieving it. Therefore the Muslims in the West should see their stay there as temporary and not permanent because it is not feasible to establish such an Islamic state in the West and the Muslims should strive to make hijra to Islamic lands even though they are not ruled by Sharia in order to use their abilities and resources to bring back Islamic rule in Muslim land.
If you do not agree with the above three points then we cannot reach an agreement on the issue of voting because we are basing our views on two completely different platforms.
I would like to thank all of the brothers and sisters who posted comments and I will bypass all of the insults and pure opinion that were piled up on the 100+ comments on my post and focus on some of the opposing views that brought forth some reasonable arguments.
First: There are scholars who said that voting is Halal and in fact some said it is obligatory:
On the other hand there are scholars who said that voting in the democratic system is haram. But for those who say it is halal do they actually know what is happening in the US? Have they been to the mosques and seen the US politicians, male and female, speaking to the congregations that came to worship Allah on Friday? Did they hear the lies, false promises and pure hypocrisy of what these candidates are speaking inside the houses of Allah and most important of all the kufr that they utter in our places of worship? Have these scholars seen how the Muslims in the masajid are falling all over themselves in appeasement and superficial generosity towards these enemies of Allah all in the name of dawa? Have they heard the Imams using the time of the Friday sermon which should be devoted to Islamic teachings calling the Muslims to vote for the same people who will be leading the war against our Muslim brothers and sisters, and then closing with the dua “May Allah bless America”?! Have they seen our Muslim young boys and girls making fools of themselves wearing their “support Obama” T-shirts and waving Obama signs? Have they heard how the Muslims who are part of the campaigns of both candidates speak? Can they talk about wala and bara? Can they even utter any word in defense of Jihad, Khilafah or hudud which are part and parcel of our religion?
I doubt any of these scholars have factored in these issues when they gave their fatwa.
Brothers and sisters the issue is not simply dropping a vote in a ballot box. It is much more than that. It is the whole mindset and actions that comes with it.
Also most of fatawa that were used as support for voting in the US were actually referring to voting in Muslim countries so make note of this.
Second: We are choosing the lesser of the two evils and that is Obama:
I mentioned in my previous post that in the process of choosing the lesser of the two evils you are committing an even greater evil. I would add here the following: Even if you would follow the opinion of those who allow the voting in a disbelieving system when there is a clear lesser evil, in the situation we are facing there is no such clarity. In fact on most of the issues that concern Muslims there is very little difference. For example they have similar views on the war on terror and the issue of Palestine. Anyone with a simple understanding of the history of American politics would realize that on the major issues both parties share the same agenda. But even in the case where there is a clear lesser evil such as Ron Paul I would still follow the opinion of total abstinence because I believe that we are under no necessity to allow the participation in a system of disbelief, and because our participation is a tacit acceptance on our behalf to play by the rules of the democratic system.
On internal issues there are some who asked whether we should vote on issues such as same sex marriage. If you agree with me on point 3 which I mentioned before then it should not make any difference to us Muslims whether the disbelievers marry the same sex or marry dogs and donkeys. Muslims make dawa to the disbelievers and after they believe in Allah they are told what is halal and what is haram, but not until then.
One of the comments mentions the treaty of Hudaybiyyah as evidence for voting. The treaty of al Hudaybiyyah was a treaty between two warring parties. How does this relate to a voter choosing who would lead him? Muhammad (saaws) never negotiated with the disbelievers while he was in Makkah but negotiated the treaty of al Hudaybiyyah after a culmination of five years of Jihad so the Quraish knew that Muhammad (saaws) was negotiating out of strength. The case now is totally different. The perception the American Muslims are giving is that by giving them nothing substantial and by giving them just a little bit of recognition you can get their support, vote and loyalty even if you carry on your war against their brothers and sisters. Just like a dog owner abusing his dog but as long as the bone is thrown out the dog will still give his owner all his loyalty. It is sad but true. So as long as the Muslims are kissing up to the American politicians, these politicians are not going to give them back anything . The reality of the situation is that the American Muslims are desperate. They realize the implications of the war on terror on them and they understand their vulnerable position and are willing to go to extreme lengths just to be accepted and recognized. This zeal for voting and having “our voices heard” and “practicing our right” is a reflection of this mindset. Other minorities such as the Blacks, the Hispanics and the Jews are getting a lot in exchange for their vote. What are you getting? The sister wasn’t even allowed to wear her hijab behind Obama in exchange for her enthusiastic support!
Another comment mentions that the Muslims wanted the Romans to win against the Persians so this is evidence that we can support a candidate. The answer to that is when the Muslims wanted the Romans to win against the Persians, the Romans were not in a state of war with the Muslims and they have not harmed the Muslims in any way, shape or form. So how can you compare that to Muslims supporting candidates who are openly announcing war on Muslims? Quran makes it clear that we should treat the disbelievers who are peaceful with us differently than the ones who show their animosity towards us.
Someone else mentions the pact of Fudool. This pact was a pact in the time of jahiliyyah where some of the people of Quraish agreed to provide support for the oppressed. Again this is different than voting. This is a binding agreement on all. If Muslims agree with non Muslims to support the oppressed then that is allowed. But how does that relate to voting? The voter takes no binding promises from the one he votes for.
There where a few comments that accused me of having little knowledge of what is going on in the US because I do not live there anymore, and others saying that as an Imam I should not speak about politics. To all of you wise men out there who are supposedly the “experts”, do you remember eight years ago that it was you who actually told us to vote for Bush, the worst US president ever as far as Muslims are concerned? Haven’t you learned from your mistakes?
Now That the Elections are Over
One of the characteristics of a humiliated and oppressed community is their submission to their oppressor and their tolerance of oppression. On the other hand they are arrogant and intolerant among themselves. This is how it was with Banu Israel when living under the Pharaoh. I am sorry to state this but unfortunately this attitude is been reflected by many American Muslims who humiliated themselves by voting for candidates who have no serious concern for their issues.
I mentioned in my previous post:
“The perception the American Muslims are giving is that by giving them nothing substantial and by giving them just a little bit of recognition you can get their support, vote and loyalty even if you carry on your war against their brothers and sisters. Just like a dog owner abusing his dog but as long as the bone is thrown out the dog will still give his owner all his loyalty. It is sad but true.”
The American Muslims who decided to vote have made a fool out of themselves and the whole world knows it. Under the heading:”America’s outcast Muslims: Once Bush backers, Muslims today are staunch Democrats. But both Obama and McCain shun them.” The UK’s The Guardian states: “American Muslims have been called the “outcasts” of this presidential election. Muslims themselves have told the media that Islam is being treated as “political leprosy”, a “scarlet letter”, or the “kiss of death””.
Why not just call them house Negros?
The Australian newspaper The Age says: “Neither campaign courts America’s Muslim vote.” they go on to state that: “Neither presidential candidate has made a single visit to a mosque.” If they didn’t even bother to visit a mosque, which is no more than a ceremonial thing anyway but does make the house Negros happy, how can one expect from them any support on our issues? Nevertheless the proud American Muslims have been running around in service of both candidates.
Many American Muslims still insisted on voting. Chasing a mirage that somehow the new president will improve their lot. First it was Bush now Obama. There is a striking similarity between the American Muslim community and the Muslims of al Andalus who chose to stay behind after Muslim Spain fell into the hands of the Catholic monarchs. There are some writings that reveal that after all the oppression they suffered they still had hope that their situation would improve, even after the Catholic monarchs showed them the worst treatment. Since there were no elections back then and no Barak Obama they were clinging their hopes on a Mahdi that would appear and deliver them to safety. A few decades later no Mahdi appeared and their children and grandchildren slowly but surely were loosing their identity until Islam seized to exist all together in the Iberian peninsula. I do not believe that America would do the same because they have grown wiser and more sophisticated than their Spanish predecessors. Muslims will be allowed to pray, fast, and practice Islam as long as it is contained within the spiritual compartment. But they will not be allowed to be Muslim in the full sense of the word. The issues of Sharia law, Jihad, wala and bara, hudud, khilafah, the Quranic teachings concerning the Jews and Christians, and support of Muslim resistance fighters around the world will not be tolerated. Now the spiritual aspect will also be under attack, probably not by the government but by the society at large. The American culture will destroy their families. It will deprive their children and grandchildren of their identity. Time will be the witness. Muslims have given their vote for free. Back in the nineties we were told that we should not expect anything back because we are not seen as a voting block (back then the prominent view among the Muslims was against participation in the elections.) Well now there is definitely a voting block and it is quite large as some reports say that the Muslim registered voters are around two million!
So what are the Muslims getting in exchange for their vote? Nothing.
Brothers and sisters you can vote, you can run around supporting the campaigns, you can stay silent about the aspects of your religion that do not appeal to your fellow citizens, you can speak out against your Muslim brothers and sisters who support the Muslim causes around the world, you can try your best to fit in and be accepted and the end result will be that you will always be seen as the enemy and you will never be accepted unless you do one thing: give up your religion.
“And never will the Jews and Christians approve of you until you follow their religion” [2:120]
With all of this activism and increased participation the situation of the American Muslims did not improve but in fact it regressed. The Bush campaign of 2000 has outreached to the Muslims more than both candidates of 2008.
Giving a fatwa calling on people to vote in democratic elections is not an easy thing. One would expect solid evidence from Quran and sunnah when inviting people to take such a step. However what I have seen is the opposite. I would ask you to read such fatawa and judge them not based on the names or numbers of scholars who are behind them but on the evidence. There was a moment in time when the majority of the scholars of the Muslim world were towing the official line of the Mu’tazila and that didnt make it right. Then look at the fatawa of scholars such as al Albani, the Lanjna da’ima, Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, al Gabashy and many of the scholars of the salafi orientation around the world who are against participation in democratic election. That is the position of large Islamic movements and individuals such Sayed Qutb, Dr. Israr Ahmad, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and the Salafi Jihadi movement. In Yemen prominent scholars from the Muslim Brotherhood have finally come to the conclusion that the democratic process is no more than a game that wastes the efforts of Muslims with very little gain.
In addition to that I found out that many people are asking the ones who are telling the people not to vote to bring their evidence! The burden of proof is on the ones who call others to participate in a disbelieving system, in a disbelieving country not the other way around. Anyway the evidence for not voting are all the verses of Quran that refer to governance as a right of Allah in surat al Nisa and al Bakarah, the verses talking about disavowal of the disbelievers in surat al Bakara, al Nisa and al Mumtahina, and the hadiths of Rasulullah that instruct us to be separate from the disbelievers. There are scholars who wrote detailed papers on the subject and you may find the links to them on the comments made by some brothers and sisters on my last two posts.
For those who did send me evidence for the position on voting I did respond to some of them and there remains the issue of the Muslims in Abyssinia and Yusuf (as). The response to this is very straightforward: Both the king of Abyssinia and the King of Egypt were not at war with the believers and were both very supportive of the Muslims. In addition to that, there are authentic narrations that al Najashi was Muslim and weaker ones that state that the king in the time of Yusuf became Muslim. But lets assume that this is not the case. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Fiqh should realize that there are stark differences on how Islam calls us to deal with those who are at war with us and those who are not. Allah says:
“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous towards them and acting justly towards them. Indeed Allah loves those who act justly”. [60:8]
Now that Obama is in office we will see how these four years will unfold. I personally think that since what Obama stands for is falsehood, the justifications of the Muslims in choosing him were false and the process in which the Muslims chose him were also false we cannot expect any good to come out of falsehood. “Indeed Allah does not amend the work of the corrupters” [10;81]
Anwar Al Awlaki