Fatwa: # 17201
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 16th October 2008


Voting in a Non Muslim Country


For US muslims as well as muslims around the world. Many a time by us voting, we are somewhat pledging our allegience and support to a leader & party. Back here in South Africa, these parties approve & promote completely haraam concepts such as Riba, Alcohol, gambling, abortions, etc.   So By you voting for a party, you indirectly are supporting these concepts which could make you accountable for this Haraam?

For US muslims its even worse because they can be supporting parties whose leaders are allowing and approving the slaughter of muslims around the world!

Thats my reasoning of not voting, but i can be wrong.  What would you say on this matter?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

 Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Voting is an integral part in a democratic dispensation and it determines who will be elected and who will be in power. As Muslims, if we desist from voting, we will have no option but to be under the rules of people elected in power. We are living in a non-Muslim country and we will have to abide by their existing system.

As opposed to that, we could be part of the system to minimize harm on our selves and vote for such members that will advance our views and help the course of Islam. We should use the voting system to our advantage to the best of our ability. Voting does not mean that we accept and promote all the evils of the country. If we go by that rationale, then our living in a non-Muslim country will also mean to support the evils of the country as we pay taxes to the Government which in turn uses the money to promote its values. By that rational, we should not be living in a non-Muslim country. In fact, if we oppose the evils of the Government, use the system available to us to combat the evils and prepare suitable candidates for positions and campaign to have them elected.

Many senior Ulama and Muftis have considered the issue of Muslims voting in a non-Muslim country and issue a decree to vote. Voting for an individual falls in the category of Tawkeel (representation).

Q: Is it permissible to take part in the forthcoming SA democratic elections, by voting or standing as a candidate, etc.?

A: It is permissible to take part with the following conditions;

a) there is no obtstacle in accomplishing the laws of Islam,

b) one is able to serve the Muslims, and,

c) one is able to save the Muslims from oppression. (Fataawa Mahmoodiya vol.13 pg. 425) (Al-Mahmood No. 4 , May 1999)



And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best


Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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