Every Muslim living in a majority non-Muslim country has a role to play in the process of establishing a better life for all the people living together as members of the society, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Islam urges Muslims to be active and pro-active in any society they reside in. Muslims have to be positive and have to participate in public life in a way that enjoins what is good and forbids what is evil. This participation is required, as long as it is not motivated by selfish desires and individual opportunism.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: 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 effect 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] (Al-Ma’idah 5:2). Moreover, the Prophet (peace and blessings 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 that embraces all of its citizens regardless of differences of race, religion, ethnicity and that helps 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”
11. Apathy, particularly given the present situation of our country and community, is tantamount to collective suicide. Indeed, Allah says, [Do not cause perdition!] (Al-Baqarah 2:195).