Refutation of Dr. Khan's Article "How Can Muslims Impact American Politics"


Is not participating in the kufr political system a form of secularism?

Secularism is the separation of religion from life.  Secularism advocates that man is the sovereign and legislator and it is human beings not Allah that determine what is right or wrong.  Since Allah is Al-Malik (The Sovereign), it is forbidden to rule by other than what Allah has revealed as it is made quite clear in the Qur'an:

"And rule between them by that which Allah has revealed and follow not vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you." (Qur'an, 5:48)

"And rule between them by that which Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware that they may turn you away from some of what Allah has revealed." (Qur'an, 5:49)

"And whosoever does not rule by what Allah has revealed they are kaafiruun." (Qur'an, 5:44)

"And whosoever does not rule by what Allah has revealed they are DHaalimuun." (Qur'an, 5:45)

"And whosoever does not rule by what Allah has revealed they are faasiquun." (Qur'an, 5:47)

Muqtedar Khan is an Assistant Professor of Political Science who writes articles and commentary concerning affairs of the Muslim community.  He has also written several articles advocating the participation of Muslims in the American political system.  In his
article, "How Can Muslims Impact American Politics" ( ), he briefly tries to give some sort of "justification" on why Muslims must participate in American politics:

"As far as I am concerned, Muslims must participate in American Politics. That question is settled. Islam does not advocate secularism and staying away from politics on Islamic grounds is
separating religion and politics and therefore it is not permissible in Islam."

This is a very misleading statement from Dr. Khan because he seems to confuse the issue here when it comes to Muslims participating in a non-Islamic political system.  It is not an act of secularism to not participate in the American political system for the simple fact that the system itself is secular.  The American political system is definitely not a system that is bent on implementing the Shari`ah, it advocates the separation of Divine Law from life's affairs.  The system is secular in every shape and form, and we as Muslims must not participate in such a system that does not recognize Allah's sovereignty nor implement what He has revealed upon mankind.

The "Islamic grounds" of not participating in a non-Islamic political system is that Allah made such a system invalid and forbidden.  To participate in such a system is itself a flagrant act of secularism, not the other way around as Dr. Khan suggests.  We are given a political system from Allah, and it contains the Islamic system of life that it is in itself its own unique political ideology.  We must try to establish and participate in that system which Allah Himself created for mankind to follow and implement.  We are told for example to pray, and this prayer must be done in accordance to the Qur'an and Sunnah.  Allah gave us an order and methodology of executing that order.  We are told to rule by what He has revealed, and again we are given the command and methodology of its execution from the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Dr. Khan further goes on to explain on how we should approach the way we seek change:

"Having said that, one must be very careful about how one plans Muslim participation in politics. Muslims cannot be just another ethnic group with special interests particularly in foreign policy,
like Jewish Americans or Cuban Americans. We are seeking change, not only in how the US deals with Muslims over seas but also how American society evolves at home. After all our children will grow up and live in this society and we must work as hard as possible to make it a
morally safe and materially satisfying."

We as Muslims must remember that the early Muslims lived in a society that is similar to today's societies.  Muhammad (saaw) and the Sahabah (ra) while living in Mecca went through the trials and tribulations in living in a kufr society where the law and the system of the land were not from Allah.  They lived in a kufr society were all types of evil and injustices occurred on a daily basis.  They like many Muslims today sought changed but unlike many Muslims today they sought change in accordance to what Allah has revealed.  They were not willing to accept the status quo, they knew that sooner or later Islam as a system must be implemented as a complete way of life.  How those Muslims went about change is different from what many Muslims are calling for when they want to "change the society."  Their methodology is not in accordance to the Qur'an and Sunnah, it seems to be more on a "quick-solution-to-the-current-problems" and selfish worldly interest instead of the inevitable struggle and even hardship when one decides to undertake the Islamic method of change.

Dr. Khan gives his interpretation on the Islamic principle of "enjoining good and forbidding wrong":

"Muslims must therefore enter politics as a normative element that is participating to enhance the good and forbid the evil. We should take the moral high ground, avoid partisanship and support, financially as well as politically (using our votes and check books), all those who seek morally positive change, whether they are Democrats or Republicans."

We must understand what constitute the good (ma`ruf) and the evil (munkar).  In Islam, the "ma`ruf" is Islam and all that Allah made Halaal, and the "munkar " is kufr and all that Allah made Haraam.  The only way to forbid all that is evil and enjoin all that is good is to implement and enforce that Shari`ah.  A kufr political system will never forbid all the munkar or enjoin all the ma`ruf, because the kufr political system itself is a "munkar!"

The "true Islamic voice" in America is the call of those who are inviting people to ALL of Islam, not just the moral system of Islam. Islam cannot be confined to morals and rituals but Islam is a complete way of life that organizes and governs every aspect of our lives.

Next Dr. Khan gives some "advice" for the Muslims in America:

"Write letters to the candidates, call their local representatives and demand that Muslim issues be included in their manifestoes. Volunteer on both sides. Campaign within and without the community.
Get known. Let America know that Muslims are here and they care about our shared future. Avoid wasting time and resources in arguing with those who call all these activities "kuffar" activities. Specially avoid the "Khilafa junkies". All they do is subvert the activities of Muslims who are trying to make a change. Write letters to the editors of your local newspaper, write emails to CNN, MSNBC, expressing Muslim concerns and your opinion of the candidates and their positions."

He tells Muslims to avoid those Muslims who call participation in a non-Islamic political system kufr because to him it is "wasting time." He made it even clearer to avoid those who call for the Khilafah, and his words these people who call for the Khilafah are "Khilafa junkies," as if calling for the Khilafa is something bad and those who call for it are "junkies."  He of course offers no solutions that is in line with Qur'an and Sunnah but something that "appear" to some people are "practical and idealistic."

If making concessions were part of Islam, then the early Muslims would most likely never have suffered persecution, abuse, torture, murder, boycott and other forms of oppression they had to endure by the hands of the Quraish.  The purpose of Islam was not something discussed in a theoretical sense, but it was a system of life that required implementation so that man can live in a society where laws where in accordance to what Allah has revealed.  Islam did not accept the status quo of kufr being dominant over Islam, they struggle hard to see Islam implemented.  Victory comes from Allah and the Muslims strove hard to see this victory achieved.  They did not put their trust in man or the status quo but in Allah only.  Allah has promised that who helps in His Cause He will help them when He wills.  Islam rejects pragmatism that accepts the status quo and seeks a way to adjust to it and make concessions.  Pragmatism is different from realism because realism is the realization of the current reality and how to find a solution to the problem.  Islam believes in changing the status quo to Islam not to accept it and become subjected to its oppression and injustice.

Allah gave us the right to form political parties, as long as the parties are in accordance to Islam and the party is participating in an Islamic system in an Islamic state.  Allah says in the Qur'an:

"Let there be among you a group that invites to the good, orders what is right and forbids what is evil, and they are those who are successful." (Qur'an, 3:104)

Dr. Khan again misleads the readers by again confusing the issues:

"Politics in America is at once simple as well as very complex. The domination of the two parties simplifies the ideological spectrum. If you are one the right go with the Grand Old Party (GOP) and if you are on the left, go with the Democrats. Yes! Muslims can be on both sides of the aisle. Remember Amir Muawiyyah (rah), he was very much on the right. Remember Abu Dharr (rah), he was very much on the left."

It is wrong to equate Islam with non-Islamic political parties and philosophies.  If Amir Mu`awwiyah was very much on the right and Abu Dharr (ra) was very much on the left, they were both on the "ends" of Islam not kufr.  The Democrat and Republican party are two sides of the same coin, and that coin is the KUFR Capitalistic secular democracy, not Islam.

Finally, Allah made it Haraam to elect a kaafir to have an authority or way over the Muslims:

"Allah will not grant the Kuffar a way over the Muslims." (Qur'an, 4:141)

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