Why should I as a Muslims vote?

I have no hesitation in stating that it is a religious duty for Muslims to vote. Here are the reasons:

1) Voting in a democratic system is one of the few ways to affect social changes, and as Muslims it is our civic and religious duty to strive to move the society forward as closely as possible to the ideals of justice, fairness, equity and compassion for all;

2) Muslims are mandated by the Qur’an to work in cooperation with everyone for common causes that are beneficial to all people. Allah says, “And cooperate ye with one another on virtue and God-consciousness.” (Qur’an: 5: 2) Moreover, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “If I were called upon to join together (with anyone regardless of race or religion) for the mission of restoring justice for all and standing behind the weak and the oppressed I would hasten to join the same!” In another report, he is reported to have said, “I would prefer the same to owning the whole world as a treasure!”

3) Muslims are mandated to work to remove injustice, discrimination and xenophobia in their societies whether directed against Muslims or non-Muslims; we cannot do this effectively unless we ensure that those who are committed to such ideals are voted to positions of power;

4) Islam and Muslims are increasingly becoming targets of racial profiling, demonization, and discrimination. Unless we stand united to ensure that those who directly or indirectly condone or sanction such attitudes and policies are restrained, the situation will only get worse. There is no effective way to do this except through voting;

5) Muslims have a duty to help elect those who uphold values of liberty, freedom, and fairness for all those residing in this great country of ours. There is no better way to ensure that we will be able to enjoy our freedoms and God-given rights, as guaranteed to us in Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

6) Muslims must stand up for the causes dearest to our hearts: fighting poverty; rooting out crimes and vice; working toward employment equity and equal opportunity for everyone;

7) Muslims have a duty to stand united to work for a vision of Canada that is inclusive. A Canada which embraces all of its citizens regardless of differences of race, religion, ethnicity and help defeat those forces whose vision is ethnocentric, backward looking, and exclusivist. Islam calls for universalism and inclusiveness;

8) Muslims have a duty to ensure that our civil liberties are not eroded. We must unite with the democratic forces in this country and work to ensure that those seeking to bring Canada closer to countries, where civil liberties and human rights are being systematically undermined, are stopped;

9) The state of Muslims in Canada as well as in the rest of the world will only go from bad to worse if Muslims continue to remain apathetic and fail to participate in the political process, allowing others to decide policies and laws that may jeopardize our interests both locally and at a global level;

10) It is mandatory for Muslims to work for the above. In fact, according to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, “if a mandatory duty cannot be accomplished except by fulfilling another duty, then realizing the latter (the prerequisite) becomes mandatory as well” (maa laa yatimmu al-waajibu illaa bihi fahuwa wajib);

11) Apathy, particularly given the present situation of our country and community, is tantamount to collective suicide. Indeed, Allah says, “Do not cause perdition!” (Qur’an: 2: 195).

What does Islam teach about males wearing precious stones or gems? Is it true that the Prophet Muhammad had a stone in his ring? What was its color?

Men are allowed to wear stones in their rings provided the stones do not fall under the category of unnecessary wastage. This would be the case if a person spends an extravagant amount of money on a stone while his neighbors cannot even have a decent meal. Wastage is forbidden in Islam. The Qur’an characterizes the wasteful as “the friends of Satan” (Q. 17: 27).

As for wearing stones as jewelry, it is considered as copying women, which is also forbidden in Islam.

Regarding the question of the stone embedded in the Prophet’s ring, its color is reported to have been black with a streak of white. As mentioned in the sources, the Prophet, peace be on him, wore a ring to serve the purpose of a seal. He did this after being told by his Companions that his letters to the foreign dignitaries would not be honored unless they were stamped with a seal.

Finally, let me categorically state that considering stones as possessing magical, divining, or protecting properties is blasphemous and rejected outright by the clear teachings of Islam. In Islam, even the most precious of stones, namely the Black Stone (al- hajar al-aswad), has no such significance. The Caliph Umar wanted to eradicate from the minds of people any trace of such an association when he openly declared: “ I am quite certain that you are only a stone and have no power to benefit or harm. If not for the fact that I saw the Prophet of Allah kissing you, I would not have bothered to do so.”

I sent out greeting cards to all my contacts in my mailing list with generic greetings which read as follows HAPPY HOLIDAYS MERRY CHRISTMASWE WISH EVERYONE A HEALTHY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS new year the question is some one has accused me of being a KAFIR to send this type of email??? is this accusation correct?

There is nothing wrong in wishing Christians Merry Christmas or Hindus Happy Divali or Jews Happy Rosh Hashanah. By doing so, you are not in any way subscribing to the specific dogmas or rituals associated with those celebrations. Instead, you only wish them well on their happy occasions.
Muslims are to greet others as we would like them to greet us. The generic Islamic greeting is salaam or peace: the full words are Assalaamu Alaikum: I greet you with peace. According to a report from the Prophet (peace be upon him), Allah ordered Adam to greet the angels with salaam and also told him: “This shall be the words of greeting for you and your children.”

However, there is no harm in using the standard greeting common to people. If you are greeting Christians, you may wish them Happy or Merry Christmas. It does not mean that you are adhering to the specific Christian dogmas of Trinity, Crucifixion, and so on unless you intend it. We are not to project onto commonly understand words or expressions meanings extraneous to them.
One rule of jurisprudence states: “Matters are to be judged by their intents/purposes.” So, one must judge such words of greeting according to their intents: They are gestures of goodwill towards fellow human beings.
They go a long way in creating in promoting tolerance, cooperation, and empathy for one another – noble goals in Islam which Muslims ought to strive for and realize.
Just as Christians greet Muslims happy ‘Eid, we can greet Christians merry Christmas. Islam is all about reciprocating kindness with kindness. The Qur’anic mandate for Muslims is clear:
“When you are greeted with a greeting [of peace], answer with an even better greeting, or [at least] with the like thereof. Verily, Allah keeps count of all things.” (Qur’an: 4; 86).
Now coming to your sending the greeting card as described, if you sent these cards to the Christians, there is nothing wrong, or undesirable about it; but if you had sent them to everyone, it would have been better for you to wish them Happy Holidays, or Happy New Year, etc., which everyone would appreciate.
However, to allege that because of your simple mistake in this gesture of goodwill, you will go out of the fold of Islam is a grave error. Islam does not allow us to put out people from faith because of our mistakes or errors or even sins. As Imam Abu Hanifah and others said, people, go out of the fold of Islam either by denouncing it or by denying the fundamentals of the Islamic faith. The Islamic creedal statement reads, “We do not arrogate to ourselves the right to declare anyone who prays towards the qiblah (i.e. Ka’bah) as an infidel.”
I pray to Allah to purge our hearts off ill-feeling and rancor and create tolerance, acceptance, and love towards each other.

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