The Islamic view towards elections
Sayyed Fadlullah: We are about to witness major challenges and we should strive to achieve an independent and united state through open dialogue before the country falls prey to American designs.
Asked in his weekly seminar the following question : People are going to the polls in Lebanon and in other places in the region, what is the Islamic view towards participation in this process?
The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad
Hussein Fadlullah, said:
process is a missionary one, since it defines the basic policies
and strategies of a nation. Islam, thus, did not take a negative
attitude towards choosing the nation's representatives,
considering it a kind of application of the shoura (conferring)
principle that he called for.
But Islam insisted that
any leader in any sphere, including the religious one, should be
held accountable and put under constant questioning to determine if
he has committed himself to his agenda. Imam Ali say: "Do not stop
saying what you believe is right, or giving advice based on justice"
for I too make mistakes.
Elections are a
missionary duty, since it might determine the fate of the nation.
Thus, they could not be taken lightly. In addition to not selling
our vote, or turning elections into a tradeoff, we should understand
that the election process is meant to produce a political elite that
is both responsible and capable of maturing the society and raising
the level of the nation. This is where the responsibility of the
voter lies; choosing haphazardly will lead to the emergence of a
class of politicians of the same kind of those who are already
present, which would lead, as the current politicians oppose change,
to the persistence of the current stagnant situation, preventing the
country from getting out of the political and economic crisis it
That is why we have
always said that the voter should do his best to learn all about the
candidates, their qualifications, their honesty, their political
awareness, their openness on all the religious and political
spectrum… etc. The voter should not let the tribal and partisan
considerations dominate his choice, since what the candidates would
do after being elected, especially if it turns out to be costly and
even destructive, would be his responsibility.
Thus, the role of the
voter is fundamental. He ought to be very careful in his choice
trying not to let it be affected by whims, interests or offers. One
of the big prohibitions is selling one’s stand or vote. Furthermore,
it is one of the major indictors of political fall.
What is surprising in
Lebanon that most people complain about the political class and the
MPS, but they reelect them under the impact of certain incidents or
the general political atmosphere.
The problem lies, in
most cases, in the fact that the political party or class has taught
its social base to cheer for it without the public understanding the
purpose of such an act. They did not teach the people to continue to
criticize in a way which would lead to political development. When
the voter votes, he bases his choice on slogans or accumulations,
while they should learn to choose the representatives that best
serve a cause.
As for the debate about
the voter's age, we believe, based on our religious capacity and our
juristic judgment, that it is the right of every human being that
has become mature to vote. It is ironic that they all talk about the
role of the youth but they hinder this role when it comes to the
youth expressing their views in the political, social and economic
issues through elections.
How could the youth be
held responsible before the law when they reach the age of 18, but
are dined the right to vote?
How could they be asked
to do their duties and not given obvious rights.
It has been planed for
these elections to lay the foundation for certain plots that might
endanger the Lebanese unity…We are about to witness major
challenges, and we should strive to achieve an independent and
united state through open dialogue before the country falls prey to