Questioner: Participating in democracy, contesting in elections, and asking people to vote for one for councillorship and chairmanship posts (and the likes); are these acts in accordance with the teachings of Islaam or are those who engage in them renegades from the religion?
Dr Sharof: All perfect praise is for Allaah alone. Firstly, Islaam and politics cannot be separated. Islaam has to do with worshipping Allaah, and also has to do with politics. That is why apart from the fact that the Qur’aan is a book of guidance, it is also a book of law which we must adhere to. That is why you will see that the scholars of Islaam wrote a lot of books about Islaamic political science, for example, Imaam al-Maawardiy and Aboo Ya’ala al-Hanbalee. They wrote ‘Al ahkaam as-Sultooniyyah’ wherein they explained how we are expected to coordinate the affairs of a country (with the Sharee’ah). The best of all is the book of Al-Imaam Haramayn al-Juwaynee named ‘Giyaath al-Umam’ wherein he explained to us about how to coordinate the affairs of a country (with the Sharee’ah).
Having understood this, (it is obvious that) the politics which Islaam comes with is different from the one (we see) with the people today. Many of those engaging in it are notorious and not diplomatic. We also know that politics is done in Islaam so that it results in following the Sharee’ah, because of the statement of Allaah, ‘Legislation is for none but Allaah’ [Soorah Yoosuf (12):40]. Establishment of a government is for the aim of achieving the necessity of ruling with the Sharee’ah.
However, as for the politics which they do today, referred to as democracy; you also know that it is not from us. The Greek are the first set of people to use it, they innovated it while other whites took it from them. The whites propagated it and made it a condition for countries to establish democracy before they can be of help to those countries and before the countries can be recognized by the globe. Democracy is not Islaamic. If it were Islaamic, it would have been brought in close connection to Islaam. This is because from the ways of knowing the difference between (two or more) things is that their names differ. For this reason, democracy is not from Islaam.
Islaam is calling us to ‘judging with that which Allaah revealed’; democracy is calling us to ‘innovating laws ourselves and establishing a government by our ratiocinations’. That is why democracy is not from Islaam. A form of politics which is based on ruling with other than what Allaah revealed is not from what Islaam asks us to call ourselves to. And you can never hear any scholar who is afraid of standing before Allaah on the day of qiyaamah who would call to it (democracy). For what reason would a scholar ask you to subscribe to it and with which mouth will he say it? On the day of qiyaamah, there are people who would base their excuses for subscribing to democracy on the fact that they were misled by some men. And it would be on the basis that they belief those men were knowledgeable enough to guide them, even when they themselves can figure out that there are problems with subscribing to democracy. As such, it becomes a problem for the one who passed such verdicts. That is it.
If a person says, ‘if we do not engage in it (democracy), the seats will be occupied by the non-Muslims’, (ask the person) how many Muslims have gone there proclaiming that they would work for Islaam and fulfilled their promises? Give me an example, mention one person now. Iro lasan! Iro lasan!! For this reason, let us understand it like that (as established in Islaam). If a person says that we shouldn’t complain about the aftermath effect if we do not engage in it, (we would say to such persons) we will never issue a verdict that you should contest elections, and if you do so we are not concerned about you, but we have told you the judgment of Allaah. I hope you understand. That is it.
From the meaning of these explanation is that you don’t take election campaigns to mosques; don’t take such rubbish to the mosques. Don’t organize a public lecture for the sake of campaigning for anyone. By Allaah, there are many preposterous happenings these days. Many of the people who have learnt Islaamic knowledge are now saying there is nothing wrong with democracy. This is perhaps because they have gotten some posts from the government and they don’t want to lose the posts or they have seen some of their friends enjoying such seats and those friends are now wealthy; as such they are looking forward to getting such posts. They claim that democracy is Shuuroh. By Allaah, it (democracy) is not Shuuroh (the Islaamic mutual consultation)! By Allaah, it (democracy) is not Shuuroh (the Islaamic mutual consultation)!! They are two different things entirely. If it (democracy) were the Islaamic mutual consultation (Shuuroh), why is democracy a new invention (that is, alien to Islaam)? That is it.
[SOURCE: ‘Questions And Answers With Dr Sharaf Gbadebo Raajee On The Harm Of Takfeer’; TIME: “45 MINUTES 52 SECONDS TO 50 MINUTES 54 SECONDS]
Translated by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey