VOTE HARAM PREACHERS: HYPOCRISY OR SHALLOW THINKING?
I explained in my last column that kufr (disbelief) is a serious issue in Islam. No reasonable scholar that is well grounded in scholarship and God fearing will allow people to commit kufr or participate in democracy—if truly it is disbelief—just to secure their jobs or right of residence. An act of kufr is permitted temporarily only in a situation of life and death. Is permissibility even the right word here? An act of kufr is excusable and excused when a Muslim is confronted with death and the only narrow escape is to momentarily commit an act of disbelief. I think ‘excusable’ is the appropriate usage in such a necessitous and dire situation, not ‘permissible’.
So, Vote Haram scholars in Nigeria (and elsewhere) want us to believe that those noble sheikhs who, through their verdicts, hold that Muslim could participate in democracy are thoughtless novices by claiming that their fatwas are manipulated. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that Muslims in the West or in the East can participate in democracy but not Nigerian Muslims. This is a disgrace to scholarship and common sense. I advise them either to disagree with those fatwas (verdicts) and libel those sheikhs (al-Albani, Ibn Baaz, Ibn Uthaymin among others [RA]) Ikhwaani as they are quick to libel anyone who disagrees with them or they should desist from the baseless advocacy and shut up. Anyway, this is an unsolicited advice!
Is it not hypocrisy to continue to live under a system you have rejected as kufr without any attempt to reform it or change it? On this, the Boko Haramists are even more sincere (though in terrible error) than these Vote Haramists. Or are they systematically transforming to Boko Haram? I honestly don’t think so but I may be wrong. That is why all hands must be on deck to expose the danger inherent in this Vote Haram ideology before it grows wings and balloons.
Anyone who thinks democracy is disbelief, of course, should not live under a democratic system—especially those who think the Salaf (predecessors) must be followed senselessly on everything. For the Salaf, at some point in history, divided the world into Darul-Islam (land of Islam) and Darul-Kufr (land of disbelief) and it is obligatory, in some of their discourses under some conditions, to migrate from the latter to the former. What these Vote Haram scholars and their follower ought to do if they are sincere is to migrate to Darul-Islam. Only those who do not have the means to migrate could remain in Nigeria and their case will be understandable. This is exactly what the Salaf did. We can recall the historic migration from Makkah and other places to Madinah during the Prophet’s time.
A dilemma they would likely—or rather certainly—face is the Darul-Islam to migrate to. I don’t know if this binary division still exists today. Let’s assume it exists, how do we define Darul-Islam? Is it where Muslims are in absolute majority and highest in number? Indonesia should be a very good case. It has the highest population of Muslims in the world; yet it practices democracy. If we consider the last seat of Caliphate in the Muslim World before it collapsed, then Turkey should be the destination. But it is also a democratic state. They are no go area.
Okay, let’s just conclude that Saudi Arabia should be where to migrate to being the fountain of Islam—its place of birth. It is also where the Prophet lived, where the Ka’bah is situated and the centre of worship for all Muslims all over the world. But the system of government in Saudi Arabia is Monarchism which is not only un-Islamic but might be worse than democracy. Monarchy, of course, did not start with Saudi Arabia in Islam, it has a very long history. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (RA) who was considered the fifth of the rightly guided Caliphs by some—due to his righteousness and justice—tried to demolish Monarchism during his reign but could not achieve that. Honestly, if system of government is the yardstick, I don’t know where Darul-Islam exists in the modern world that Nigerian Vote Haramists could migrate to except, perhaps, Afghanistan!!!
Going by the ideology of these Vote Haram scholars, we may conclude that all Muslim voters in the world—including those in Saudi Arabia since they have started voting too—are going to Hell. You see, when you subscribe to some of these thoughtless, shallow, and dangerous ideologies, you start manifesting the thought that you—and few of your breed—are the only true believers on earth.
But what baffles me mostly about the hypocrisy of some of these Vote Haram scholars and their robotic followers is that they do not cease working in government establishments. They pay direct tax to help sustain, promote, and strengthen democratic government which they declare to be Kufr. We can overlook indirect tax, perhaps, under the doctrine of necessity. But it is not a must to work under government. So, any Vote Haram government workers who pays income tax should resign immediately to practice the ‘Democracy is kufr’ ideology earnestly. For no necessity should make one with such ideology work under government. We should expect them to work as entrepreneurs, traders or hawkers. What is more surprising is that some of them would still volunteer to work as INEC ad-hoc staff during elections. That is aiding and abetting kufr for love of money.
What is more, they send their children to schools which philosophies do not align with what Allah’s revelation. In other words, our schools are essentially secular. Please don’t deceive yourselves that your children attend Islamic schools up to university level. May be the schools are Islamic or government owned (secular), they end up writing WAEC, NECO, GCE, and JAMB. The few Islamic universities are also regulated by National Universities Commission (NUC). All these are managed by kufr government that does not rule with what Allah revealed. Yet they don’t withdraw their children from schools but asked people not to vote because democracy is disbelief.
If vote is haram but boko (schooling)—using government facilities or under government policies which are based on kufr—is not haram, then that is the height of hypocrisy. If that is not hypocrisy, it could be that I have not mastered enough English vocabularies to express what I mean. Someone should help me with a more befitting word. That is why I think Boko Haram terrorists are more sincere in their erred ideology. To them, it isn’t voting that is only haram but everything about Nigeria’s kufr government.
There is more to say but I just have to conclude. In conclusion, I advise these scholars to take a course in any of the social science disciplines—from Islamic or secular perspective. I observe they need some substantial doses of social science orientation. Hopefully, if these doses are taken accurately, it will help them—in no small way—out of their inability to address reality with the lens of Qur’an and Sunnah which they claim they understand. I observe they have this serious challenge.
All said, these Vote Haram scholars are not to be despised. They have many merits and their proselytization efforts on other aspects of faith should not be completely condemned. It is normal for humans to err. It is hypocrisy and enslavement of oneself to one’s desire to think that error in thought must be justified. They erred in their vote haram preaching. If these scholars cannot participate in politics to detoxify it from its toxicity, they should not discourage others. What is expected of them is to give words of encouragement and admonition to whoever intends to join.
On the last note, get your PVCs, vote out all the useless leaders if you can. Vote for those you consider good people if you must. Don’t be threatened by the threat of Hell distributors. We ask God’s guidance and help for Nigeria and Nigerians. Concluded.