It is about two months before we go for the 2017 Kenya’s general elections. This will be the election to the twelfth parliament and as usual tribal coalitions under the umbrella of political parties have been formed where principals of these coalitions disperse money deceiving masses by urging them to participate in the elections. Before even the election is on, the dirt of democracy was seen in the parties’ primaries which were dominated by hooliganism, chaos and killings! No doubt that this was the tartness of democracy which in reality was not only its failure to unite communities but also (manifestation of) the politics of greed, tribalism and corruption.
To the Muslim community, these elections come after some years of police operations against Muslims and disappearance of Muslim youths in the hands of police force in majority Muslim areas like the Coast and North Eastern regions. In the city of Nairobi, residents of Eastleigh have a painful memory of how they were unfairly ejected from their homes and taken to Kasarani Stadium enduring cold weather in the so called operation ‘Usalama Watch’. Nevertheless, a number of governmental strategies through the pressure of big western states are fast in action in the so called war against radicalization and violent extremism.
Therefore, these elections come at a time when Muslims ask many questions about their future. Despite the fact that there exist some Muslim leaders who encourage people the need to vote, in reality their call is faced with huge opposition from Muslims who currently are prime victims in the war against terror. Notwithstanding this, even promises of Muslim MPs and parties they are affiliated to have failed in truly fighting for interests of Muslims thus Muslims have found themselves in even worst situation.
Despite the fact that elections are due in several months, we feel the heat already. When this happen everything else is of no importance or takes a lesser priority behind the elections. At the moment, economic, educational, medical, security issues and even disasters like drought, floods and doctors strike are given a second priority, over the elections. And should they be given limelight, it is on the basis of seeking popularity for the sake of winning votes.
Consequently, why shouldn’t we learn from what recurs every electioneering season? Rather the question that should be asked is: why should we struggle with this democratic political system which hangs us, before the elections, during elections, and after elections? Don’t we see that the more time passes by; the situation continues to worsen for the ordinary citizen despite participating with the hope of bringing change?
Every election period we participate with the pretext of either fear that our non-participation will worsen our situation, or by being given false hope that our participation will bring change!
((أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنْ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ))
“Then is it the judgment of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgment for a people who are certain [in faith]?” [Al Maida: 50]
Hizb ut Tahrir / Kenya has always made it clear on the Islamic verdict of participating in democratic elections. Being every Muslim’s duty, we will not tire to reiterate and making it clear this Shari’ah verdict despite some pretending to be deaf and blind towards the truth. The issue of prohibition in participating in democratic elections is very clear in Allah’s (swt) guidance. Nevertheless let us first make the issue of prohibition to participate in democratic elections clear. By stating that voting is haram in a democratic system because of the goal that led people to participate in the elections, which is, electing a leader who will rule by Kufr or electing people to go and legislate laws. To us Muslims it is known that legislation is from Allah (swt) alone and consequently human beings are supposed to lead their lives based on His swt’s Shari’ah. ((إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ)) “Legislation is not but for Allah.” [Yusuf: 40]
Election/voting in Islam are permissible, but when it is done on a basis contradicting its creed or its Shari’ah, Allah (swt) has forbidden us to participate. Democracy is the political system of the capitalist ideology which emerged from the creed of secularism – separation of religion from life – and since the Creator and His legislation has been separated from human’s life, the role of legislation which will guide him in his worldly life is bestowed to human himself with a limited intellect. Based on this limitation, he chooses what he perceive to be good and what is bad. Consequently, this changes with change of place, environment, time, circumstances and situation… A matter could be assumed as good and later change to being bad and vice versa by being influenced by place and time…taking into consideration that benefit is the only criterion in this ideology. As for Islam the good and the bad are in accordance with Allah’s Shari’ah, therefore it neither changes nor influenced and it solves all man’s problems wherever he is and at all times. Accordingly man’s authority to legislate is influenced by the notion of separating religion from life which directly contradicts the concept of monotheism to Allah swt. In addition this secular creed’s conferment of man sovereignty to legislate is Kufr. How then could a Muslim participate in that election to take people to rule by other than the laws of Allah or to legislate other than the Shari’ah of Allah? To participate based on any pretext is to acknowledge man’s sovereignty as opposed to that of Allah swt and this is absolutely haram.
O Muslims: Aren’t you satisfied with what was revealed to the most noble of creatures Prophet Muhammad (saw) who then conveyed to you that which is complete of the bounties of Allah (swt) which is Islam?! Why then do you seek misguidance emanating from limited man’s intellect of a few who are morally deprived? As Muslims It is imperative upon us to believe in and carry Islam as a complete way of life consisting of all life solutions and call on non-Muslims so as to liberate the whole of mankind from these miseries! This is easy if we call them to Islam in its pure form as a straight line and show error in the capitalist ideology and its democratic system ruling in the world today, since people are fed up of it except that they have no alternative. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the African continent and particularly here in Kenya, where capitalism has economically impoverished her despite having vast resources, destruction brought about by tribal divisions and endless wars, and furtherance of imperialism for the sake of American and European interests. Communities are indeed fed up with the situation they live in only that they see no substitution due to the poisoning of the pure Islamic ideology. It is therefore our duty to call them to this purity by establishing a proof for them. How come then Muslims abandon this goodness and plunge into the malice of democracy? Either through vying, advocating or participating in these elections strengthening it against Islam, don’t we see we have a case to answer in front of Allah swt the day when someone’s wealth and children will be of no use to him?
The capitalist ideology and its democratic ruling system has brought no good since its inception into the African continent and especially in Kenya where it was forcefully established by British imperialists with the aim of colonizing the indigenous and syphoning their resources. The situation has never changed even after the departure of the colonialists by granting the indigenous pseudo independence while maintain the status quo where they remained policy makers running the countries for their own interests. They succeeded in fooling people by showing them that the country’s politics is in the hands of indigenous rulers where citizens have a right to elect them after some years. This deception has indeed succeeded in giving people false hope to the extent that they became blind to how colonialism is continuing in a different form and that the change they anticipate will never happen in this ideology rather it’s just delusion.
O Muslims: The imperial capitalist ideology has failed the whole world, even in the so-called developed world with only a few in power who benefit from it. What keeps it is its democratic system which gives people hope of bringing change and new beginning while the truth of the matter remaining it does not fit to rule even animals leave alone humans! We Muslims have an alternative Islamic ideology and its ruling system the Khilafah (Caliphate) emanating from wahyi from Allah (swt). A just system that provides justice by crafting human relationships between themselves in accordance with the commands of prohibitions from Him (swt) who created us and who knows our weaknesses and needs. It is upon us to conceptualize our Islam as a complete way of life possessing complete solution to mankind, and which will bring tranquility on earth and eradicate corruption spread by perverted capitalism. It is incumbent upon us to convey it as so, to non-Muslims and clean up their ears from dirt of imperialists’ propaganda who fear the return of Islam. Capitalism is dead but it needs Islam as an ideology to officially declare its death so that people wake up from their deep slumber. We have no more excuse of keeping silence hoping that things will change on their own, rather it is upon us to bring this change in the way the Prophet (saw) showed us else we will keep on suffering and on the Day of Judgment we meet a painful torment.
Hizb ut Tahrir / Kenya reminds Muslims to walk with it in bringing real change which will liberate mankind from colonial miseries dominating the world. We also call every intelligent person to view Islam as an alternative ideology which will provide man permanent solutions and bring sanity instead of betting every electioneering period knowing very well their action will bore no true change.
Allah (swt) said:
((وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَى))
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” [Taha: 124]