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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

Muslim Americans and US Election, 2024

Updated: May 29

By Dr. Abdullah Al Ahsan


Many Muslims are concerned about political participation in the United States. They raise questions such as whether Shari'ah would approve of Muslims getting involved in political actions in the US, where Muslims constitute only one or two percent of the population.

They also argue that politics involves fraud and unethical practices, and Muslims could hardly make any difference in such a massive and powerful system. Therefore, they should keep quiet following the prophetic teaching that if one is not in a position to prevent vice by force and is not in a position to raise his or her voice against vice; one should just hate such practices and keep oneself away from politics.

They forget that the prophetic saying continues to suggest that the last state of the faith is the weakest state of belief. They also forget that the Qur’an is a book of guidance for humanity, applicable in all circumstances irrespective of time and space. Let us examine the current situation in detail.

The Purpose of Life

We have just gone through the blessed month of Ramadan, and we should remember that the objective of fasting in Ramadan is to cultivate taqwah (2: 183) within ourselves. Many Qur’anic commentators have translated the term as fearfulness of the Creator but keeping in view the universal character of Qur’anic guidance, we need to understand this idea of fearfulness in the context of time and space.

It means keeping in mind the presence of Allah for every action that we undertake in our lives. In fact, this concept relates directly with ideas of accountability: It makes us accountable for all actions we undertake and makes us responsible for whatever we do.

The Qur’an also defines our mission as “to enjoin what is good and forbid what is bad (3: 110)” and make us equally responsible irrespective of our ethnic, linguistic, national or racial backgrounds (49: 13) to accomplish this mission. Now, let us remember that we all pay taxes for the work that we perform for our livelihood.

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Should we not keep track of how that tax money is spent? Could we just stand with confidence on the Judgement Day that we have fulfilled our responsibility in our earthly life, and we would like to be rewarded for our performance? Let us contemplate, for Allah repeatedly asks us to think about our actions.

In our next article, we shall discuss how to participate in American politics.

Professor Abdullah al-Ahsan, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has dedicated nearly three and a half decades to teaching history, comparative civilization, and international relations in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Turkey. Currently residing in Chicago, he continues to contribute his expertise in academia.

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