Instead of 18 or 21, and the Involvement in Politics Must be According to the Teachings of Islam, Instead of the Teachings of Democracy!
History took place in Malaysia when the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) approved the Constitution (amendment) Bill 2019 to lower the voting age limit of 21 to 18, and it was supported by all the attending members of Parliament. The Bill which was tabled by the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, was approved exactly a year after the first sitting of the Dewan Rakyat under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government following their victory in the 14th General Election. The Speaker of Dewan Rakyat Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof announced that a total of 211 attending members of Parliament voted in agreement, with none opposing and not voting. The Bill is meant to amend Article 47 (b) and Article 119 (1) (a) of the Federal Constitution to reduce the age of citizens’ eligibility to vote and become a member of the Dewan Rakyat, from 21 to 18 years old.
Despite all members of Parliament agree to amend some provisions of the Constitution based on needs, all parties in the Parliament agreed that the Federal Constitution itself, which stands above the Quran and the Sunnah, be maintained as the supreme law of the land! In other words, the Constitution which was designed by the colonialists will continue to be used and preserved by the parties competing in the democratic elections. This is the success of the Kuffar British that have colonized the country for nearly 200 years. When they left their colonized-lands, they left a “book” that they have designed and believed firmly to be well-preserved by their colonized-nations.
The subsequent related question is, was there any single Muslim amongst the 211 members of Parliament who voted for the Bill who took into account the Hukm Shara’ (Divine Law) in approving the limit of 18 as a matured age for a citizen to be entitled to participate in election? Was there any? In Islam, the age of 18 is not a perimeter in determining an act of a person. In other words, Islam never puts the limit of 18 years old to determine whether a Muslim may or may not do something. Islam determines the age of menstruation as the age of puberty for women. As for men, the beginning of Ihtilam (a wet dream) or the age of 15 years old is determined as the age of puberty. Every Muslim who has reached puberty or the age of 15, is considered a Mukallaf and is consequently bound and carries all the Taklif (responsibility) on his/her own shoulder. Before puberty, one is considered a child or a person of no Taklif.
As for the perimeter of 18 years old, this is the age promoted by the West to be the start of maturity of an individual, based on the decision of their lawmakers. The West considers the age limit of children at 18 years old. This is what followed by lawmakers in Malaysia in accordance to the democratic teachings, i.e. using their Aql (minds) instead of the authorities from the Al-Quran and As-Sunnah, as determinants of the law. Based on the Shariah evidences, Islam clearly puts the age limit of 15 for a person to be considered an adult or Mukallaf. Ibn Umar (ra) said, «عَرَضَنِي رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَوْمَ أُحُدٍ فِي الْقِتَالِ، وَأَنَا ابْنُ أَرْبَعَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً، فَلَمْ يُجِزْنِي، وَعَرَضَنِي يَوْمَ الْخَنْدَقِ، وَأَنَا ابْنُ خَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً، فَأَجَازَنِي. قَالَ نَافِعٌ: فَقَدِمْتُ عَلَى عُمَرَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ وَهُوَ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَلِيفَةٌ، فَحَدَّثْتُهُ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ، فَقَالَ: إِنَّ هَذَا لَحَدٌّ بَيْنَ الصَّغِيرِ وَالْكَبِيرِ» “The Prophet (peace be upon him) offered me to join the battle of Uhud but my age was 14, so he did not let me join. Then, he offered me to join in the battle of Khandaq and at that time my age have reached 15 years. He then allowed me.” Nafi’ said:” I came to Umar bin Abdul Aziz at the time he was the Caliph, then I told him about the Hadith. Then he said: “So this is how children and adults are differentiated.” [Narrated by Muslim]
Although many parties, especially the youngsters welcome the amendment, we (Hizb ut Tahrir) would like to assert and remind every Muslim, especially the young, that according to Islam, you have reached maturity at the age of 15, and not 18. If the members of parliament determine that you can join politics at the age of 18, take notice that Islam obliges you to join politics since the age of 15, as Islam has put you as mature adults as early as 15. Nonetheless, do realize that the politics which is obliged upon you to practice is Siyasah Shar`iyyah (political Islam) – the true meaning of politics that is taking care of the affairs of the Ummah internally and externally – instead of the Machiavellian politics manifested in the democratic system today.
O youngsters! Do realize that the politic practised in the current democratic system is a politic that full of mischief, dirtiness and hypocrisy, apart from it being imported from the Kuffar West. Do realize that the democratic system is a Kufr system originated from the West and it is Haram (unlawful) for Muslims to embrace, practice and spread it. Do realize that your political responsibility is not just as a voter or a candidate in the election as set forth in the amendment Bill – but far from it!! Your political responsibility is to account the government, enjoining Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam orders) and forbidding Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden) and to work for the re-establishment of the Islamic State (Khilafah) that will apply the laws of Allah (swt) comprehensively. This is your every-time political responsibility which is made Fard upon you ever since your puberty, rather than ‘every 5-year thing’. Do realize that the political activity obliged upon you is to ensure that the Deen of Allah (swt) shall be the highest Deen, above the other religions and to carry out Da’wah of Islam as a Rahmah (mercy) to the universe, instead of limiting your political activity to voting or being a candidate in election every 5 years.
O members of Parliament! We are not at all happy with the decreased voting age limit from 21 to 18 that you have approved. As we will not be happy at all if you approve to increase the number of strokes for Zina (adultery) from 6 to 12 or even to 99….but we will be most happy and thankful at time when you implement the Divine Law of 100 strokes for Zina. We will not be at all proud even if the entire 222 Malaysian members of Parliament agree to lower the age of voting from 21 to 18, but we would be proud and grateful if you apply the laws of Allah (swt) on earth comprehensively, which we are confident that you wouldn’t.
Abdul Hakim Othman
Spokesperson of Hizb ut Tahrir in Malaysia
Wednesday, 21st Dhul Qi’dah 1440 AH
Ref: HTM 1440 / 13