It is Obligatory to Avoid Cheating and Using Illegal Methods in Elections

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the ruling on buying votes? And what`s the ruling on the voter who took an oath on the Quran, in return for money, to vote for a certain candidate? And is he/she obliged not to break that oath?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

It is forbidden for a candidate to bribe voters; meanwhile, it is forbidden for voters to be influenced by gifts of candidates since casting a vote is tantamount to delivering a testimony which isn`t open for sale or bargaining, and any sum taken by the voter is ill-gotten money for which he will be called to account before Almighty Allah Who said{What means}: " O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities"{An-Nisa`/29}. In addition, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribe.{Abu Dawoud}. Moreover, it isn`t permissible to force voters to swear an oath on the Quran to make sure that they elect a certain candidate, and nobody is allowed to force voters to do so since oaths weren`t sanctioned for that end. Allah, The Almighty, said{What means}: "And make not God’s (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for God is One Who heareth and knoweth all things"{Al-Baqarah/224}.

It is incumbent upon whoever took such an oath to make an expiation for it since Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When you swear an oath and consider something else to be better than it, make expiation for your oath and do the thing that is better."{Muslim}.

On our part{Iftaa` Board}, we advise both candidates and voters to fear Allah, the Almighty, shoulder their responsibilities as should be, and avoid cheating and illegal methods to win elections in order to help elevate the status of our beloved country. And Allah knows best.

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

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