Some Muslims celebrated Humza Yousaf becoming First Minister of Scotland; citing the potential benefits for the community. Others roundly condemned him for his liberal views and abandoning of the Shariah. The discussion soon focused on his personal Iman, which in turn became a distraction from the grave matter of the Shariah rule on participating in secular government.
All matters can and must be referred back to Allah and His Messenger (saw):
[وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ]
“And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.” [16:89].
It is not for believers to neglect any of Allah’s revealed guidance for a worldly gain or an imagined benefit. Allah Almighty says:
[وَلَوِ ٱتَّبَعَ ٱلۡحَقُّ أَهۡوَآءَهُمۡ لَفَسَدَتِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتُ وَٱلۡأَرۡضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّۚ بَلۡ أَتَيۡنَـٰهُم بِذِڪۡرِهِمۡ فَهُمۡ عَن ذِكۡرِهِم مُّعۡرِضُونَ]
“If the Truth had been in accord with their desires, truly the heavens and the earth, and all beings therein would have been in confusion and corruption! Nay, We have sent them their admonition, but they turn away from their admonition.” [23:71].
The obligation to rule with what Allah has revealed is well established and not a matter of difference. However, since the rise of secularism and its domination in Muslim lands at the hands of the colonialists, it has become common for scholars to offer excuses to politicians who want to participate in secular parliaments. This is in spite of the fact that Islam has no clergy with the authority to disregard the decisive and clear Islamic texts on the matter.
Secular parliaments give human beings legislative authority, which is categorically forbidden in Islam because Allah is the Only Sovereign and only He has the right to legislate laws.
[وَلِلَّهِ غَيۡبُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَإِلَيۡهِ يُرۡجَعُ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ كُلُّهُ]
“And to Allah belongs the Ghaib (unseen) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all matters” [11:123]
[وَأَنِ احْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْك]
“And so judge among them by what Allâh has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you away from some of that which Allâh has sent down to you.” [5:49]
The act of ruling and judging must be based on Islam because we are ordered to rule by Islam and forbidden from anything else.
[وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ]
“And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers” [5:44]
Ruling by other than Islam is among the most serious matters in Islam and should not be tossed aside, whatever the imagined benefit may be. The real benefit is achieved by following the shariah ruling, which is taken from the Shariah sources and not from the mind.
If a Muslim who puts himself in a ruling position has to twist the Shariah or give up a part of Islam to maintain his post, then he should ask himself whether his position is worth more than the pleasure of Allah Almighty or whether the sacrifice he may face for standing up for Islam will be more painful than the anger of Allah.
Even the act of implementing rules or passing judgments similar to Islam is forbidden, according to the hadith of the Messenger (saw):
«وَمَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ»
“Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours (i.e. into Islam) something that does not belong to it, it is to be rejected”
The act of ruling with other than what Allah revealed is a serious matter with grave consequences for the one who does so. If this act reflects his belief such that it indicates that he does not believe in Islam and he does so based on his belief that the provisions of Islam are not valid, then one who commits this act is a disbeliever. However, the one who does so, but recognizes that Islam is correct and that we should rule by it, in this case the one who does this act is a wrongdoer (Dhalim) and a transgressor (Fasiq) but not a disbeliever. Allah also says in Surah Al-Maidah:
[ومَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ]
“And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers” [5:45]
[ومَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ]
“And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those are the rebelliously disobedient” [5:47].
Knowing the reality of the ruler who rules by other than what Allah has revealed is necessary for the soundness of judging him.
It is important to draw attention to the fact that it is not acceptable to have leniency in uttering takfeer of people. Whoever is born of Muslim parents is considered to be a Muslim. To then be judged as a disbeliever must rely on definitive evidence of disbelief. Even if 90% of the evidence indicates his disbelief and 10% indicates his Islam, he is not judged as a disbeliever. Rather, his actions are pursued and he is judged for those acts that are contrary to the Shariah as a Fasiq (transgressor), Aasi (disobedient) or Dhalim (oppressor), but he is not judged with disbelief (Kufr) as long as the definitive evidence of his disbelief does not exist.
It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«أيُّمَا رَجُلٍ قَالَ لِأَخِيهِ يَا كَافِرُ، فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهَا أَحَدُهُمَا»
“Any man that says to his brother O disbeliever, then that (description) has befallen one of them.”
In conclusion, debating the personal Iman of politicians and rulers should not become a distraction from the obligation to rule with what Allah has revealed and the need to establish the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the way of Prophethood. No excuses should be offered to such politicians, regardless of their personal belief, as all such participation is forbidden.
Making excuses for participation in secular parliaments began with likes of Muhammad Abdu and his student Rashid Rida who issued a fatwa stating “acceptance of a Muslim to work in the English government in India (and others similar in meaning) and his rule by its laws is a rukhsah (license) that is included in the rule of committing the lesser of two evils, if it is not azeemah (application of the original rule) intended to support Islam and preserve the interests of Muslims.” Such a fatwa must be rejected once its many mistakes are uncovered.
[وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا]
“It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision.” [33:36]
11 Ramadan 1444 – Sunday, 2nd April 2023
No: AH / 07 1444