Shaykh Ahmad Najmi, rahimahullah, was asked the following question:
السؤال الثالث من هولندا، هل يجوز التصويت في بلاد الكفر إن كان فيه مصلحة للمسلمين؟
Third Question from Holland:
“Is it permissible to vote in the lands of kufr if there is some benefit for the Muslims?”
الجواب: أقول: أنا لا أرى هذا، ولا أستطيع أن أفتي به.
“I say I don’t see this [to be allowed] nor can I give a fatwa for it (being permissible).” End translation.
Ash-Shaykh Albani, rahimahullah, was asked the following question:
“What is the ruling on some of the Muslims in America participating in voting to raise a [new] president for America? They use as a proof for that the principle, ‘the lesser of two evils’. They assume that one of those candidates who are running for presidency will be less in oppression and less of a harm upon Islam and the Muslims?
Shaykh Albany rahimahullah advising in the following audio for them not to take part in elections.
A Side Note: As for the other verdicts of Ash-Shaykh Albany in permitting the lesser of the two evils for voting, then Ash-Shaykh Muqbil and some of the students of Ash-Shaykh-Albany have mentioned that those were old verdicts by ash-Shaykh Albany, rahimahullah, which he recanted from and changed his view regarding. [Reference]
Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin has over three fatwas on elections,
Ash-Shaykh Abdul Muhsin al Abaad, may preserve him, was asked:
“What is your opinion on elections if all of the candidates (participating) are from the people of misguidance and they differ in their levels of misguidance and enmity (towards the people of the sunnah) yet all of them (regardless of their level of enmity do) show enmity to the sunnah and the people of it?”
“Never, he stays away from all of them” End translation. [Reference]
He was also asked regarding if [voting is allowed if] the candidates are atheists, so he replied,
لا يُرشحون أحداً, وكونهم يَسْلَمون هم من تبعات الجميع أولى, و أيضاً يُسلِّمون أنفسهم من الضرر
“They should not vote for anyone, and the fact they become safe from the harm of all them is more preferable and likewise they themselves become safe from harm.” End translation.
Also, Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Abaad, may Allah preserve him, said,
أما الديمقراطية المزعومة فالوصول فيها يكون بكثرة الناخبين لواحد من الأشخاص المترشحة للسلطة،
“As for the alleged democracy, then the way therein is by the number of voters for one of the candidates (to become suitable) for rulership.
ولا فرق في ذلك بين أهل العلم والرأي وغيرهم، فإذا كانت كثرة الناخبين من السَّفلة يكون الذين ينتخبونه من جنسهم!، والطيور تقع على أشكالها!،
“And there is no difference in that between the people of knowledge and understanding and other than them. So if there is a great number of indecent characters, then the one they will be voting for will be from their likes and birds are a feather who flock together.” End translation. [كتب ورسائل عبد المحسن بن حمد العبد البدر» مقال بعنوان: «العدل في شريعة الإسلام وليس في الديمقراطية المزعومة]
Ash-Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymi’, may Allah preserve him, was asked the following question:
هل هي من مسائل الاجتهاد التي يسوغ فيها الاجتهاد ؟
“Is it from the matters of ijtihaad which there is room for others to do ijtihaad in?”
و الله لا أرى أنها من مسائل الاجتهاد ، أنا أرى الانتخابات هذه […]أرى أنها طاغوت
“By Allaah, I don’t see it to be from the matters of ijtihaad, I see this act of elections to be… (words unclear), I see it to be a Taaghoot.” End translation.
Also Ash-Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymi, may Allah preserve him, was asked the following question,
، فمن باب ارتكاب أخفّ الضررين أُصوِّتُ للأخْيَرِ و الأفضل .
“So from the angle of performing one of the lesser of two evils I will vote for the last and the best [so is this permissible]…?
أبدًا ـ و الله ـ لا يلتفتون لهذا ، هذا دسّ؛ و من رأى هذا من مشايخنا فالبعض منهم رجع عنه ، و البعض منهم ربطه بشروط لا يمكن أن تتحقق ،
“Never, by Allah, they shouldn’t give any attention to this. This is a scheme and whosoever holds this view from our shuyookh, then some of them have retracted from it and some of them have restricted (their view) to certain conditions which is impossible to be established.”
The following is some advice by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan that the Muslims in the lands of the kufaar shouldn’t partake in the elections of those lands
In conclusion, we are aware that the majority of the scholars prohibit it in all cases. However there are a few scholars who have permitted it but have given it a condition. It is that they are certain that the other parties won’t become worse or similar to the former one which is improbable to know here in Canada since it is built upon a party committee, not just one individual. And also those fatwas mentioning the permissibility are not supposed to be used for every scenario and place. We see the same fatwas being used every year. And also, another condition they have given is that the Muslims must be united there, so that they can make a difference. Not like a place wherein we find each group of Muslims voting for those who are in their own benefits, one masjid voting for one party and another voting for another.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman