Does Maslaha (Public Interest) Excuse Compromising Islam for Politics?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


How is Maslaha defined in Sacred Law? Can we, in the West, cooperate with politicians, organizations, and parties representing, e.g. LGBTQ+ interests or other un-Islamic interests if there is an excellent benefit for Muslims?

What if these politicians or organizations make good things happen for Muslims, but at the same time, they demand that we help them, too?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Maslaha, or public interest, is a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows for considering benefits and harm in decision-making. Scholars define Maslaha as the realization of benefit or the prevention of harm in a manner consistent with Sacred Law’s objectives (Maqasid). It is important to note that Maslaha is derived from the primary sources of Islamic law, the Quran and the Sunna, and it must not contradict established principles. [Buti, Dawabit al-Maslaha]

Check this:

Taking part in non-Muslim governments for righteous reasons while remaining guided by Sacred Law is not only permitted but praiseworthy and much-needed.

Acknowledgment of Differing Views

One must acknowledge that some scholars have differing opinions regarding cooperation with entities or individuals in the West who may represent interests inconsistent with Islamic teachings, and they object to Western systems of governance. Others have taken a more nuanced approach and looked at involvement in politics without compromising Islam as a possibility, and Allah knows best. It is essential to approach such matters with a deep understanding of the principles of Sacred Law and the potential consequences of collaboration.

Compromises in Islam for Worldly Public Interests

In cases where there is a clear benefit for the Muslim community, and one would not be coerced into compromising agreed-upon principles of Islam, involvement in political matters would be a service to Islam and the Muslims.

Still, involvement in politics wherein one has to compromise such principles, actively or passively support unlawful laws/actions/ideas, and involve oneself in deception or corruption, based on the idea that there is a greater public interest (Maslaha) that may be achieved is unlawful. In addition, this misrepresents the traditional concept of Maslaha, and Allah knows best.

No Compromise on the Uncompromisable

It is crucial to assess each situation individually, weighing the potential benefits against the risks and ensuring that participation does not entail any violation of non-negotiable Islamic principles. Muslims living in non-Muslim-majority countries must be diligent in upholding their faith while navigating the challenges posed by their environment. Muslims must prioritise the preservation of their religious identity and principles while maintaining the rights of others, which Islam supports in any collaborative effort.

Ultimately, the guidance of qualified scholars and adherence to the principles of Sacred Law is paramount in addressing such complex and nuanced issues. May Allah guide us all to what pleases Him and grant us the wisdom to navigate the world’s challenges while upholding our Islamic values. And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan (Allah have mercy on him), where he taught.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Shaykh Muhammad Awama, Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Hitu, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has been the Director of the Discover Islam Centre, and for six years, he has been the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has fifteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic podcast, education, and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy Prophetic living and fitness.