TOWARDS A GOOD GOVERNMENT: THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE VOTERS.

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE SECOND KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF RABI’U AL-AKHIR, DATED: 9TH/RABI’U AL-AKHIR /1444AH (4TH /NOV/2022CE)

All Praises belong to Allah, Lord of the worlds, who says in His Glorious Book: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَخُونُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوا أَمَانَاتِكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ) “O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you).” (Al-Anfaal: 27), (إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ) “And said one of them (the two women): “O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy” (Al-Qasas: 26). We praise Him, Glorified and Exalted He is, we thank Him, we believe in Him, and we trust in Him. We seek refuge in him from the evil of our own souls, and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides is the one who is guided and nothing that can mislead him, and whoever is let astray, none can guide Him. I testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and His Messenger, who said in his hadith: “When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour.” It was asked, “How will honesty be lost, O Allah’s Messenger ()?” He said, “When authority is given to those who do not deserve it, then wait for the Hour.” (Bukhari). May the Blessings and Peace of Allah be upon him and his pure household and companions.

Thereafter…

O servants of Allah, I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, for it is the way of the righteous, the men of understanding. Allah Ta’alah says: (وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ) “So fear Me, O men of understanding”{Al-Baqarah: 197}

Brothers in faith! This is the second meeting in the month of Rabee’u-Thaani, and we are focusing on the current issue in our country, Nigeria. That is the issue of general election. Today, by Allah’s Help, we will focus our sermon on the responsibility of the electorate, under the leading theme: Towards Achieving a Good Government. We ask Allah to guide us to correctness and success in doing so.

Representattive elections are a legitimate means for selecting representatives who represent the people and act on their behalf in supervising the government and enacting laws to serve citizens and advance their interests, and this represents one of the means of the consultative assembly (Shuura) principle that the Islamic Sharee’ah established.

And the responsibility of the aspirant before Allah Ta’alah is a great responsibility. He must feel its weight and realize its importance, and should be led with honesty and sincerity, for what is good for the country and the people. Allah Ta’alah says: (إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَنْ يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنْسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولاً) “We did offer AlAmanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results)” (Al-Ahzaab: 72).

It is forbidden for the aspirant to influence the intention of the voters by offering money and bribes. On the authority of Abdullah ibn Amru, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) cursed the giver and taker of bribe.” (Abu Dawood).

The voter’s casting his vote is also a great responsibility that he must fulfill with honesty and sincerity, and he also senses that he will be questioned about this trust before Allah Ta’alah. He, glorified He is, says: (سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ وَيُسْأَلُونَ) “Their testimony will be recorded and they will be questioned” (Az-Zukhruf: 19)

In order for the voter to absolve his responsibility before Allah Ta’alah, and to carry out this great duty to the fullest, he must do two things:

The first: He must choose the fittest and the best to carry out this great task. This entails that he chooses the candidate who is: strong in his area of knowledge and specialization, and that is trustworthy with the interests of the country and the people. Allah Ta’alah says: (إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ) “Indeed, the best that you could hire is the strong and the trustworthy” (Al-Qasas: 26). And it is for this reason that the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, appealed to Abu Dharr, may allah be pleased with him, when he asked him for guardianship by saying: “O Abu Dharr, you are a weak man, and it is a trust, and on the Day of Resurrection it will be humiliation and regret, except for the one who paid it its right dues and discharge the responsibility on him.” (Muslim).

The second: The voter must cast his vote freely, according to what his religion and conscience dictate to him, without being influenced by any handout or gifts, because casting vote is giving testimony, and this is not meant for sale or bargaining, and any money that he receives as a result of his vote is forbidden money and he will be questioned about it before Allah Ta’alah. He, the most-Exalted say: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ) “O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly…” (An-Nisaa: 29)

In this also is the issue of loss of trust, and of a great corruption on earth. The Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour.” It was asked, “How will honesty be lost, O Allah’s Messenger ()?” He said, “When authority is given to those who do not deserve it, then wait for the Hour.” (Bukhari).

As for making people swear (to an oath) to force them to elect a certain person, it is not permissible legally, either for the person who swears or for the person to whom he swears, and so nobody must hold anybody to an oath on that, and is not permissible to have faithor believe in such things. Allah Ta’alah says: (وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللَّهَ عُرْضَةً لِأَيْمَانِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ) “And make not Allah’s (Name) an excuse in your oaths against your doing good and acting piously, and making peace among mankind. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower (i.e. do not swear much and if you have sworn against doing something good then give an expiation for the oath and do good)(al-Baqarah: 224).

And it is mandatory on anyone who swears an oath to break his oath by making atonement for his oath, and voting for what is the best for his religion and for his life in this world. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever swears an oath, then sees something better than it, let him do that which is better and offer expiation for his oath.” (Muslim).

We ask Allah Ta’alah to guide us all to the right path, and to guide us to that which is good for our country and our Ummah.

THE SECOND SERMON

All praises are due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our deeds. He whom Allah guides, none can mislead him, and he whom He misleads, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.

The unity of the Islamic nation, a duty and a necessity

The issue of the Muslims’ unity and the convergence of their word on the truth is one of the most important and most delicate issue, it is not a new topic of discourse, but the methods and approaches employed by the speakers on the issue are very different and varied to a great extent. Among the preachers are those who present a proposal on the issue of unity that is overwhelmed by intense emotions and beautiful wishes, thus calling for a kind of unity that is not regulated by the law. And without foundations upon which people are united, nor principles, and there is no distinction in them between the different sects of the Ummah, there is no difference between a follower of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and adherents to the guidance of the righteous predecessors, and between an innovator in religion who brings into it what is not of it.

Among the advocates of unity are also those who surround the concept of unity with controls and restrictions that make it of the impossible things that cannot be achieved in practical terms except within a very narrow scope.

Without these set of people and those advocates for unity, people of jurisprudence, insight, balance and moderation calling for the unity of Muslims and their speaking with one voice on the truth, thus they balance between the obligation of obedience and the necessity of togetherness. We beseech Allah to guide us to be among the people of understanding and insight in the religion and among the people of moderation and justice so that we would not fall into excesses nor negligence in addressing this important issue.

The concept of the unity of the Muslim nation

The unity of the Muslim nation is: the gathering of adherents to Islam on the fundamentals of the

religion and its universal rules, and working together to uphold the word of Allah and spreading His religion, and in this way, they realize the meaning of the Ummah, as the Almighty said:

{كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ} [سورة آل عمران: 110]،

You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious.” (Al-Imran: 110)

God Almighty described the Muslims in the noble verse as the best of the nation, and mentioned the necessities of that goodness, which are: enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and belief in Allah Almighty, and he brought all of them into the plural form to indicate the necessity of their being together and agreement.

Al-Manawi, may Allah have mercy on him, described the Ummah (nation) as: “Every group that is bond by a matter, either, religion, era, or one region, whether the binding matter is by subjection or by choice. (At-tawqeef ‘ala muhimmaat at-ta’reef, pg: 94)

And the example of the the nation bond by subjection is the nation of mankind and the nation of the bird, the Almighty Allah said: (وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلاَّ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ)

“All living beings roaming the earth and winged birds soaring in the sky are communities like yourselves.1 We have left nothing out of the Record.2 Then to their Lord they will be gathered all together.” (Al-an’aam: 38)

Also, the nation of the dogs: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “Were it not that dogs were a nation among the nations, I would have commanded their killing, but only kill the black one among them.” (Tirmidhi)

As for the voluntary nation, they are all united upon a religion or sect, like the nation of the Jews, the nation of Christians and the nation of Islam. The Almighty said: (فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاء شَهِيداً)So how will it be when We bring a witness from every faith-community and bring you ˹O Prophet˺ as a witness against yours? “ (An-nisaa: 41)

And in the hadith of intercession, his statement: “So He will say: “O Muhammad, raise up your head, and speak, you shall be heard, ask, your shall be given, and interceed, your intecession shall be accepted, , and I will say: My lord, my nation, my nation”

And the Muslims are one nation based on their agreement on the universals of belief and the pillars of the Sharia, even when they differ in the branches and the particulars