Participation in the Voting Process

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Q:) Every year in England, we the Muslims are split on the issue of: "whether it is permissible or not to vote for man made laws" I ask this question as to whether it is permissible to vote for other then Allah's laws, and does this lead to taghoot or shirk? Are we only allowed to follow the shariah? The main argument is weather or not we are allowed to participate in this voting process?

A:) In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The process of voting in non-Muslim democratic countries is not based on religious ideologies neither are elections won and lost on the basis of religion. As such, a candidate that stands up in an election does not promise to implement the laws of Islam or any other religion for that matter.

Normally a candidate promises the public better services and facilities. These services may also be connected to a particular religion, like promising Muslims financial assistance for the construction of Masjids, and so on.

Therefore, to vote a particular candidate or party in non-Muslim countries will be permissible and not considered a sin or Kufr. When one votes for a party, it does not necessarily mean that one agrees completely with their beliefs and ideologies, rather the intention is that the candidate (or party) will be of help to the whole community.

In light of the above, it becomes clear that to vote in itself is not something that is impermissible. However, the following should be kept in mind.

Voting in a way is giving a testimony in favour of the person/party whom one is voting. The way false testimony is a major sin, to vote in favour of a candidate that one knows is not worthy will also be unlawful and a major sin.

Allah Most High says: "Allah commands you to render back your trusts to those whom they are due." (Surah al-Nisa, 58)
He also says: "When you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is con