Question: What is the ruling on voting in a country that is not ruled by the Shariah?
But as for the one who nominates himself or nominates others in this system in order to join the parliament and enjoin good and forbid evil, and establish proof against them, and reduce its evil and corruption as much as he can, so that people of corruption and disbelievers in Allaah will not have free rein to spread mischief in the land and spoil people’s worldly interests and religious commitment, this is a matter that is subject to ijtihaad, according to the interests that it is hoped will be served by that.
Some scholars are even of the view that getting involved in these elections is obligatory.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on elections, and he replied: I think that elections are obligatory; we should appoint the one who we think is good, because if the good people abstain, who will take their place? Evil people will take their place, or neutral people in whom there is neither good nor evil, but they follow everyone who makes noise. So we have no choice but to choose those who we think are fit.
If someone were to say: We chose someone but most of the parliament are not like that,
We say: It does not matter. If Allaah blesses this one person and enables him to speak the truth in this parliament, he will undoubtedly have an effect. But what we need is to be sincere towards Allaah and the problem is that we rely too much on physical means and we do not listen to what Allaah says. So nominate the one who you think is good, and put your trust in Allaah. End quote.
From Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh, no. 210 http://www.ibnothaimeen.com/all/sound/article_16230.shtml
Note: We must place our trust in Allah, not in those whom we vote for. Our voting is a tool, and not an end in itself.
And Allah knows best.