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Imam Anwar: The Voting for Sharia in Somalia

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The Shaykh took the words of out my mouth, masha’Allah. This answers the question regarding recent events of the Sharif’s government voting to implement Shari’ah and the question of his government’s legitimacy in Shari’ah.

Imam Anwar wrote on his blog:

The Somali parliament has voted unanimously for the implementation of Sharia which is seen as good news by many in the Muslim world – and it is – as it reflects the desire of the Somali people to live by the laws of Allah.

However there are some issues that need to be highlighted. First, there is a fundamental problem with the procedure in which the decision was made. The law of Allah should not be voted over. To give the people the choice whether to apply  Sharia or not reflects a fundamental problem in the understanding of Tawhid.

Allah says: But no, by your Lord, they will not believe until they make you, [O Muhammad] judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full] submission. [al Nisa 65]

So people cannot be believers until they submit to the law of Allah and accept it without any reservations. The Islamic government exists to impose Sharia rather than submit it to a vote. Therefore a government that declares that it will accept the results of a vote for Sharia, even if the results are not to implement it, is by necessity a non-Islamic government.

Second, the Sharif government is using its application of Sharia to convince the other resistance groups to lay down their arms and join the government. But from a Sharia point of view the objectives of the Jihad in Somalia have not been achieved yet and therefore the Jihad of these groups needs to carry on. Yes, the implementation of Sharia is the most important of these objectives, however, the Sharif government cannot be seen as a valid government for three main reasons. The first: Just as it applied Sharia by a vote it could dismantle Sharia by a vote. They have not implemented Sharia as a matter of principle but because it is the will of the people and therefore the Sharif government is closer to being a democratic government than it being an Islamic one. Second: The Sharif government is still allowing the existence of a foreign invading force represented in the forces of the African Union. The Jihad in Somalia should carry on until the last AU soldier leaves the country and any forces that side with the AU -including the Sharif government- become legitimate targets. And third: The Sharif government is basing its foreign relations with the outside world on a nationalistic basis rather that an Islamic one. The support it receives from the US, the EU and the UN is a reflection of it being a tool to advance the imperialistic interests of the West and to eradicate the strong Jihad movement in the country.

Therefore, even though it is good news for the ummah that Sharia will be implemented again in Somalia but we should not see this as an end to the struggle to establish an Islamic state and community and to free the country from foreign intervention and corruption.

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