We are British Muslims. Great Britain is our home and that of our coming generations. Our bond with Great Britain is exactly the same as that of any non-Muslim citizen. Here we enjoy the freedom to worship, and there are no obstacles before us in performing our prayers and building our mosques. The opportunity to benefit from the provisions and facilities offered to us by the government of this country, such an opportunity can never be imagined in the countries from where the first generation came from. For example, if our home is burgled at 2 am during the night, or our home catches fire, or we become seriously unwell, then merely by dialling 999, in a matter of minutes, the police, fire brigade, ambulance and doctor will be present at our doorstep. Important to note that they never question what religion we follow, rather they come to our assistance considering us to be fellow British citizens.
Today this government is seeking our opinion and our recommendation by means of the general election and the casting of votes, so that those who talk of our rights can reach Parliament through our votes. Hence this vote, to us, is a trust in order to safeguard our country and our coming generations, and forwarding this vote to those deserving of it is an obligation upon us. For the beloved Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), said: “When counsel (opinion, vote) is sought from a person, he holds that counsel in trust.” [Ibn Majah, Hadith 3745] In other words, this vote is a trust with him, and no one should betray the fulfilment of this trust. The decree of the Qur’an is also clear on this: “Verily Allah commands you to return the trusts to their rightful owners.” [Qur’an 4:58]
Every commandment of Islam and everything in the possession of a Muslim is entrusted to him by Allah (Most High). Whether this commandment relates to the property belonging to oneself or to someone else, or to a worldly matter or an act of religious worship, or to a position of authority or powers associated with it; in short, every breath of our life, every phrase of our tongue, every deed of our hand; these are all given to us as a trust. Trusts can only be fulfilled in their rightful manner when they are returned in accordance with their basic etiquettes and necessary obligations. In returning these trusts, no excess or negligence, and no unfairness and injustice should play a part. In this regard, the rich and the poor, the governor and the governed, all stand equally responsible.
In any case, Great Britain is now our home. Our benefit lies in its progression, and our detriment lies in its regression. Therefore, we are required to play our role in its development, just as any Muslim would play his role in any Muslim country. In relation to this, consider the example of a Prophet mentioned in the Qur’an. Prophet Yusuf (Joseph [as]) was sold in Egypt as a slave at the age of eighteen years, and as a result of a false allegation, he was imprisoned. After spending twelve years in prison, the king of Egypt had a dream, the interpretation of which he could not fathom. Prophet Yusuf [as] provided the correct interpretation of the dream that his kingdom will face a severe drought, which will continue and last for seven years. Thus the king was in need of a trustworthy and honest treasurer who could store the corn and grain away in a careful manner for seven years so that during the days of drought, it could come to positive use. The king replied: “If I gather all the people of Egypt, they will still not be able to fulfil this trust.” Egypt at that time was a non-Muslim country, and its king was also a non-Muslim. In spite of that, the Prophet of Allah, Prophet Yusuf [as] said: “Appoint me (the treasurer) over the treasures of the land (of Egypt). Surely I am a good protector, (and I am) well aware.” [Qur’an 12:55] Worthy of attention here is that the Egyptian king did not ask him for any help, rather Prophet Yusuf [as] himself offered to help. Whereas the government here, today, is requesting us to give our opinion through the election process.
Therefore, every Muslim should cast his or her vote for the candidate preferable to him or her, in today’s General Election 2017 here in Great Britain. Moreover, if any Muslim, by becoming a Member of Parliament, then achieves the post of a Minister, then this would be an excellent example of the practice (sunnah) of Prophet Yusuf [as] in this modern age.
Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada
Founder and Principal of Jamia Al-Karam