A group of young Muslims from the London borough of Newham have launched a new campaign to highlight a forgotten Islamic tenet of supporting democracy, a tradition that goes back to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“Muslims should take part in voting and the political process,” Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Minhaj-ul-Quran, told Newham Recorder on Friday, May 30.
“We encourage voting and we host debates at our centre. Last year we hosted Boris Johnson and had a Question Time with the local community at our Mosque in Forest Gate,” he added.
For Minhaj-ul-Quran group, taking an action to showcase true Islamic teachings was urged after the rise of extreme voices claiming that voting is forbidden in Islam.
“It is all allowed in Islam. Groups that are against it have a wrong interpretation of Islam,” Mursaleen said.
“They say it’s against Islam, they want a Khalifah (Islamic state). But this is completely going against the teachings of Islam.”
The young Muslim added that Islam specified the haram and halal clearly in Qur’an and sunnah (tradition) of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
“Voting is not mentioned as being prohibited. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad and his followers took park in voting,” he said.
“There were elections in his time. There was even a parliament where women were voting.
“During that time they used to call it Shura, but it’s like a parliament.”
Minhaj-ul-Quran was founded by Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a Pakistani theologian who authored a fatwa against terrorism and suicide-bombing in 2010.
Earlier this year it published a book on Muhammad as part of its work to counter what it considers false interpretations of Islam.
Along with correcting misconception about Islam, the group was preparing to host the holy month of Ramadan with a new radio station.
“Next month we’re starting a radio station that will be covering Ramadan,” Mursaleen said.
“We’re planning to invited Boris Johnson back, along with the Labor Party, the Conservative Party and a few others, to come on and discuss local issues, discuss local problems, or even political things effecting Muslims in east London.”
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million.
In Ramadan, fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur’an and good deeds.
Muslims also dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
The majority of Muslims prefer to pay Zakah for the poor and needy during the month.
This year, Ramadan is expected to fall on June 28.