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A Scholarly Approach to Voting: “The Muslim Voter’s Guide Series”

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

4-minute read
21 May 2024 | 10:25 CAT

The Muslim Voter’s Guide Series by Sheikh Anwar Jhetam and Sheikh Casper Hasan Labuschagne. Image/ Waleed Bata

With the national and provincial elections of South Africa scheduled for May 29, 2024, the Muslim community now has access to a valuable new resource: “The Muslim Voter’s Guide Series.” This series is designed by Islamic scholars, community activists, and concerned citizens to provide Muslim voters with the resources needed to make thoughtful, morally upright choices at the polls.

The initial instalment, “How Should Muslim Voters Decide?” establishes a basic framework for comprehending Islamic principles in political decision-making. It offers a decision-making structure based on the Sharīʿah without dictating voter preferences. This first guide sets the foundation for further in-depth examinations of the political scene in South Africa through an Islamic lens.

The Guide highlights the significance of involvement in societies where Muslims are not the majority, stressing that this participation should be in accordance with Islamic principles. This method aims to ensure that Muslim involvement benefits the overall society while preserving the community’s religious identity.

The Guide emphasizes the importance of the Sharīʿah in a society that is diverse. It explains that the Sharīʿah is more than just a legal structure but a holistic system designed to bring about fairness, compassion, wisdom, and advantage for all people. The Guide emphasizes how Muslim voters can positively contribute to society while remaining faithful by grounding political participation in these values.

The Guide emphasizes the importance of the Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah (higher objectives of Islamic law) concept. These goals, which include protecting religion, lives, intelligence, lineage, and wealth, are used to assess political parties. The Guide presents the “Islamicity Index Voter Scorecard,” a tool for evaluating parties according to how closely they adhere to these goals. Justice holds great significance in Islam and plays a major role in this evaluation.

This method is especially important in the present worldwide situation, as numerous nations with Muslim-majority populations encounter difficulties in governance. The Guide promotes prioritizing justice over leaders who are only Muslim in name, a position backed by traditional Islamic learning.

In the second part, “How should Muslims vote?”, the series will further explore the policies of different political parties, evaluating their agendas based on Islamic principles. This comprehensive assessment seeks to assist Muslim voters in recognizing parties that are likely to govern fairly and adhere to Islamic values.
“The Muslim Voter’s Guide Series” is a scholarly attempt to steer through modern governance complexities using Islamic teachings’ timeless wisdom. It urges Muslim voters to fulfil their civic responsibilities with a mix of moral integrity and practical wisdom, promoting a fairer and kinder society for all individuals in South Africa.

[The Muslim Voter’s Guide Series] How Should Muslim Voters Decide – By Islamicity_

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