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Elections Provide a Legitimate Way to Choose MPs

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
Is it permissible to encourage people to register their voter cards and to exercise their electoral right?

Answer:
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

Elections provide a legitimate way to elect members of parliament (MPs) and it is one of the Shura mechanisms acknowledged by Sharia. Not only that, but the companions had applied it at the beginning of the history of Islam. Ibn Hajar stated. "Ibn Awof went soliciting opinions about both candidates (Othman and Ali). He asked men, women and children about whom they would vote for."{Al-Bidaya WaNihaya, 7/151).

Earlier, members of parliament used to be known as "Urafa"(Headmen). The Prophet (PBUH) used to check with them about people`s opinions on public issues where he (PBUH) used to say, "Go back so that your 'Urafa' may submit your decision to us." {Related by Bukhari}.

Therefore, it is legitimate to encourage people to elect and vote. However, this must be coupled with raising their awareness as to elect the truthful who abides by the constitution, which stipulates that Islam is the religion of the state. The elected is expected to uphold this principle while exercising legislative power, in addition to disapproving whatever negates the teachings of Sharia, overseeing the performance of the government and being keen on serving the people and Islam. This way, we guarantee that the MPs are competent individuals who are worthy of shouldering responsibilities and living up to the expectations of Allah and country. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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