Islamic Ruling on Voting


Question: What is the ruling regarding the statement that Democracy and Voting are equivalent to the Islamic Shooraa (Counsel)?

The Answer:

 بـــــــــــــــسم الله الرحمـــــــــــــــــن الرحيـــــــــــــــــم 

By Allah, 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).

But before we delve into an explanation of the recklessness regarding this comparison (between Democracy and Voting alongside the Islamic Shooraa) I would like to remind these people of two great narrations both being statements of the Messenger (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him):

Whoever says: I am free from Islaam, and if he is a liar then he is as he has said, and if he is truthful: he is not considered in Islaam to be trustworthy.
Related by an-Nisaa’ee, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim from the narration of Buraydah.

And likewise the statement of the Messenger (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him):

Indeed the servant who speaks without evidence will remain in the Hellfire farther than the distance between the East and the West.
Agreed upon from the narration of Aboo Hurayrah.

So in these two narrations is an advice to the one who speaks against Allah Mighty & Majestic without either knowledge or guidance nor with an illuminating book.

At any rate Democracy and Voting is not combined with the Islamic Shooraa that Allah 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 the evidence for these issues is the following:

First: Who legislated the idea of Democracy? The answer to this would be the disbelievers. Who legislated the Islamic Shooraa? The answer to this would be Allah. Does the created have the right to legislate? The answer to this would be no. Is his legislation accepted (by Allah)? The answer to this would be no.

The legislator of Democracy is the created whereas the Legislator of the Islamic Shooraa is Allah the Glorified. The God of the Islamic Shooraa and its adherents is Allah the Mighty & Majestic while the god of Democracy and its adherents is the disbelievers and their desires. So do we have any other god besides Allah?! Allah Most High says:

Say: Shall I seek a judge other than Allah?

Say: Shall I take as a helper any other than Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? And it is He Who feeds but is not fed. Say: Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allah (as Muslims). And do not be like the pagans.

Say: Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things?

This is the complete distinction between Democracy and Voting and between the IslamicShooraa.

Second: The distinguished Shooraa is that which pertains to the administration and guidance of the Ummah and is established by the People of resolve and structure from amongst the ‘Ulamaa, the Righteous and the Sincere but Democracy (on the other hand) is established by the People of disbelief and crimes and from the ignorant of both men and women, so when the Muslims or the ‘Ulamaa enter alongside with them then it is only to play with the Muslims.

Is it permissible to equate the good, righteous and believing Muslim, the one whom Allah has chosen and selected, alongside the criminal whom Allah has distanced Himself from and detested?!! The Most High says:

Shall We make the Muslims (comparable) to the criminals? What is the matter with you and how do you judge.
Soorat-ul-Qalam: 35-36

And the Glorified says:

Do those who do evil deeds think that We will make them equal alongside those who believe and do righteous deeds whether dead or alive? Evil is the judgment they hold.
Soorat-ul-Jathiyah :21

And the Glorified says:

Shall We make those who believe and do righteous good deeds as those who commit crimes upon the earth? Or treat the Pious as wicked?
Soorah Sad: 28

Third: The people who make up the general body of the Shooraa do not make the Haraam(the prohibited in Islam) permissible nor do they make the Halaal (the permissible in Islam) impermissible, they do not hold falsehood to be true or hold the truth to be false which is in opposition to the followers of Democracy who allow the Haraam and forbid the Halaal and hold the truth to be false and assist in falsehood. So the people on the Shooraa consult with one another regarding those issues that have occurred from the issues of truth and they implement it, they are followers and people who emulate but they do not come together with rulings that oppose the Rule of Allah. Those who innovate and make falsehood obligatory legislate by other than what Allah has revealed and Allah the Glorified says:

Or do they have partners alongside Allah who have legislated for them a religion which Allah has not permitted?
Soorat-ush-Shura :21

And the Glorified mentions:

And if any of them say: I am a god besides Him then that one We will recompense with Hell. Thus We recompense those who do wrong.
Soorat-ul-Anbiya :29

And the Glorified says:

They have no Protector other than Him, He does not share His Rule alongside anyone.
Soorat-ul-Kahf :26

Fourth: The Shooraa is not assembled except in rare instances so whatever Allah has ruled with and His Messenger (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) and that ruling is evident then there is no Shooraa needed. As for Democracy then it opposes the Rulings of Allah, the Most High says:

Do they desire the judgment from the Days of Ignorance? And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm Faith.

And the Glorified says:

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are disbelievers.

And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed then they are wrong doers.

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed then they are the sinful.

Fifth: The Shooraa is not a religious duty nor is it obligatory in every instance; rather it differs based on the various circumstances and conditions. In one instance it may be obligatory and in another it is not. And this is why the Messenger (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) would assemble the Shooraa to set in motion some of the battles and raids and other times he would not, it all differs based on the various conditions.

As for Democracy then it makes it (the setting up of a Shooraa) compulsory on its followers and doesn’t allow any person from the Rulers and Leaders to ever abandon it, and that it must implement it and apply it upon the people, but whosoever has obligated upon the people what Allah has not made compulsory then he has coerced the people and Allah the Most High says:

Do the disbelievers think that they can take My slaves as protectors besides Me? Indeed We have prepared Hell for those who disbelieve.

Sixth: Democracy rejects the Divine Islamic legislation and accuses it of deficiency and non-righteousness whereas the Shooraa establishes the strength of Islam and its effectiveness for every time and place.

Seventh: The Shooraa came at the time that Islam was revealed while Democracy came to the Muslim lands just as recently as the last two centuries – the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries after the Hijrah – so does this mean that the Messenger (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) was a Democrat? Likewise what about the Companions and all of the Muslims?

Eighth: The meaning of Democracy is: (the Rule of the people by the people). As for theShooraa then it means to consult with one another mutually, it does not contain the fabrication of rulings that are not from the fundamentals of the Divine Legislation rather it is to cooperate upon the understanding of truth and refutes the particulars in favor of the majority and the new issues in favor of the original affairs.

And Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

وآخر دعواهم أن الحمد لله رب العالمين


Islam and Agriculture


Ibn Rajab al-Hanbal (رحمه الله‎) mentioned that one of the Salaf [pious predecessors] was asked “Why don’t you get yourself a farm for you and your family”? He said,

“Allah (عز و جل) has sent me to kill the farmer and take his farm”.

When Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) had heard that the Sahabah were busy cultivating the very fertile land that they won through Ghaneema [spoils of war] from Jihad fi Sabilillah in Jordan, he waited until the time of harvest and then ordered that all of the farms be burned down to the ground. So some of the Sahabah came complaining and he said,

“This is the job of the people of the book; your job is to fight Jihad fi Sabilillah and spread the religion of Allah.” (Al-Awlaki: Allah is preparing us for victory, p30-31)

Narrated Abu Umama al-Bahili (رضي الله عنه)

I saw some agricultural equipment and said: “I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying: “There is no house in which these equipment enters except that Allah will cause humiliation to enter it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2321)



Ibn at-Tin (رحمه الله‎) said, “This is from among the prophesies of the Prophet, since now we see that most of the injustice is geared towards farmers.”

Narrated AbuAyyub (رضي الله عنه):

AbuImran (رضي الله عنه) said: We went out on an expedition from Medina with the intention of (attacking) Constantinople. AbdurRahman ibn Khalid ibn al-Walid (رضي الله عنه) was the leader of the company. The Romans were just keeping their backs to the walls of the city. A man (suddenly) attacked the enemy.

Thereupon the people said: Stop! Stop! There is no god but Allah. He is putting himself into danger.

AbuAyyub said: This verse was revealed about us, the group of the Ansar (the Helpers). When Allah helped His Prophet (ﷺ) and gave Islam dominance, we said (i.e. thought): Come on! Let us stay in our property and improve it.

Thereupon Allah, the Exalted, revealed, “And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your hands contribute to (your destruction)”. To put oneself into danger means that we stay in our property and commit ourselves to its improvement, and abandon fighting (i.e. jihad).

AbuImran said: AbuAyyub continued to strive in the cause of Allah until he (died and) was buried in Constantinople. (Sunan Abi Dawud 2512)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (رضي الله عنه):

I heard the Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ) say: When you enter into the inah (loan) transaction, hold the tails of oxen, are pleased with agriculture, and give up conducting jihad. Allah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your original religion. (Sunan Abi Dawud 3462)

Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said:

The people of Mecca asked the Prophet (ﷺ) to turn al-Safa hill into gold and remove the mountains (surrounding Mecca) for them so that they can engage in agriculture. It was said to him: ‘If you wish to wait for them until We may select people from them (to believe in you), or you can give them what they have asked for. But if they disbelieve after that, We will destroy them like We destroyed those before them’. He said: ‘No, I would rather wait’. And so Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed this verse:

“And nothing has prevented Us from sending signs except that the former peoples denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, but they wronged her. And We send not the signs except as a warning.” [Al-Isra’ 17:59]

(Asbab al-Nuzul 17.59)

In explanation of

And they say, “We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring. Or [until] you have a garden of palm tress and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance]. [Al-Isra’ 17:90-91]

Al Wahidi recorded that Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said:

“…The  pagans of Mecca said: ‘O Muhammad, if you do not accept our offer, then you know that, compared to other people, we have a more restricted land, a tougher life and much less wealth. So ask your Lord, Who has sent you with that which He has sent you, to remove from us these mountains which have restricted our land and expand our country and run through it rivers like the rivers of Syria and Iraq… ” (Asbab al-Nuzul 17.90)

Another narration which gives information that the Arabs will put the earth in use which would help to achieve their agricultural goals is the Hadith,

The hour will not come to pass until the lands of the Arabs will become rivers and grasslands again. (Sahih Muslim 157 b)

At this occasion we should mention where the Prophet said,

There will not be a time except that what comes after that is worse, until you reach your Lord. (Sahih al-Bukhari 7068)

In the Qur’an, there were recounted stories of previous nations destroyed by Allah because they disobeyed his messengers and ignored his laws.

There was for [the tribe of] Saba’ in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], “Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord.”But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees. [Saba, 34:15-16]

And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said, “I do not think that this will perish – ever. [Al-Kahf, 18:35]

And his fruits were encompassed [by ruin], so he began to turn his hands about [in dismay] over what he had spent on it, while it had collapsed upon its trellises, and said, “Oh, I wish I had not associated with my Lord anyone.” [Al-Kahf, 18:42]

Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with ‘Aad -[With] Iram – who had lofty pillars, The likes of whom had never been created in the land? And [with] Thamud, who carved out the rocks in the valley? And [with] Pharaoh, owner of the stakes? [Al Fajr, 89:6-10]

And ask them about the town that was by the sea – when they transgressed in [the matter of] the sabbath – when their fish came to them openly on their sabbath day, and the day they had no sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient. [Al-A’raf, 7:163]

And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, “Be apes, despised.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:65 and Al-A’raf 7:166]

Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah ? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut (rulers & judges not upon Sharia). Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.” [Al-Ma’idah, 5:60]

So is one whose breast Allah has expanded to [accept] Islam and he is upon a light from his Lord [like one whose heart rejects it]? Then woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah . Those are in manifest error. [Az-Zumar, 39:22]

As for ‘Aad, they were arrogant upon the earth without right and said, “Who is greater than us in strength?” Did they not consider that Allah who created them was greater than them in strength? But they were rejecting Our signs. [Fussilat, 41:15]

And how many a generation before them did We destroy who were greater than them in [striking] power and had explored throughout the lands. Is there any place of escape? [Qaf, 50:36]

It was narrated from Bishr, from Ibn ‘Awn, from Nafi’, from Ibn ‘Umar (رضی اللہ عنهم) who said:

“Umar acquired some land at Khaibar. He came to the Prophet and consulted him about it. He said: ‘I have acquired a great deal of land, and I have never acquired any wealth that is more precious to me than it. What do you command me to do with it?’ He said: ‘If you wish, you may freeze it and give it in charity.’ So he gave it in charity on condition that it would not be sold or given away, and he gave it in charity to the poor, relatives, to emancipate slaves, for the cause of Allah, for wayfarers and guests. There is no sin -on the administrator- if he eats (from it) or feeds a friend, with no intention of becoming wealthy from it.'” These are the wordings of Isma’il. (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3600)

Ibn Mas’ud (رضي الله عنه) reported a Hadith which says:

Do not acquire land (for farming) lest you become too attached to worldly matters. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2328)

Al-Teebi (رحمه الله‎) said: what is meant is that you should not be preoccupied with farming and let that distract you from remembrance of Allah (Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 6/511).

This overindulgence which causes disregard of the other Islamic obligations such as Jihad in Allah’s Path, it is what was meant when Allah said,

Do not throw yourselves into destruction. [Al-Baqarah, 2:195]

Indeed, We have tried them as We tried the companions of the garden, when they swore to cut its fruit in the [early] morning. Without making exception. So there came upon the garden an affliction from your Lord while they were asleep. And it became as though reaped. And they called one another at morning, [Saying], “Go early to your crop if you would cut the fruit.” So they set out, while lowering their voices, [Saying], “There will surely not enter it today upon you [any] poor person.” And they went early in determination, [assuming themselves] able. But when they saw it, they said, “Indeed, we are lost; Rather, we have been deprived.” The most moderate of them said, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you not exalt [ Allah ]?’ ” They said, “Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, we were wrongdoers.” [Al-Qalam, 68:17-29]

And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.” [Moses] said, “Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Go into [any] settlement and indeed, you will have what you have asked.” And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allah [upon them]. That was because they [repeatedly] disbelieved in the signs of Allah and killed the prophets without right. That was because they disobeyed and were [habitually] transgressing. [Al-Baqarah, 2:61]

This is the reason the Ayah was revealed, contrary to what many think.

Men whom neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the remembrance of Allah [An Nur, 24:37].

O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew. [Al-Jumu’ah, 62:9]

O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that – then those are the losers. [Al-Munafiqun, 63:9]

Say, [O Muhammad (ﷺ)], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [At-Tawbah, 9:24]

Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) reported:
 Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The best of people is a man who is holding his horse’s rein in the way of Allah (in Jihad) and is galloping towards the place wherever he hears a call for war or detects a note of danger; he goes on proceeding, seeking martyrdom or death wherever it is expected. And a man who retires with some sheep in a mountainside or a valley. He performs Salat regularly and pays the Zakat, continues worshipping his Rubb, till death overtakes him. He does not interfere in the affairs of the people except for betterment.” (Riyad as-Salihin: Book 1, Hadith 601 and Book 12, Hadith 1299)

Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه):

People say that I have narrated many Hadiths (The Prophet’s narration). Had it not been for two verses in the Qur’an, I would not have narrated a single Hadith, and the verses are: “Verily those who conceal the clear sign and the guidance which We have sent down . . . (up to) Most Merciful.” (2:159-160). And no doubt our Muhajir (emigrant) brothers used to be busy in the market with their business (bargains) and our Ansari brothers used to be busy with their property (agriculture). But I (Abu Huraira) used to stick to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) contented with what will fill my stomach and I used to attend that which they used not to attend and I used to memorize that which they used not to memorize. (Sahih al-Bukhari 118)

Blessing is tied to the forelocks of horses until the Day of Resurrection: Reward and spoils of war (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3572) while there is humiliation in following tails of cows. Hanging onto the tails of cows implies not only agriculture but involvement in all trades and transactions which occupy the Muslims to such an extent that they abandon Jihad as a result of this involvement.

Ibn Kathir has related the verses 10:24-25 of Surah Yunus with the hadith of Abu Ad-Darda’ (رضي الله عنه) recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir in which the  Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

Two angels descend every day in which the sun rises and say that which all Allah’s creatures would hear except Jinn and humans: `O people! Come to your Lord! Anything little and sufficient is better than a lot but distractive. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 10:24-25)