Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chairperson of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) for Fatwa (edict), Asrorun Niam Sholeh, on Monday urged Muslims to choose their leaders responsibly in the 2024 elections.

"Every Muslim voter must act responsibly. By selecting executive and legislative leaders who meet the ideal leadership qualifications to perform their tasks reliably," Asrorun Niam Sholeh said in Jakarta on Monday.

Muslims must responsibly use their right to choose leaders who believe and fear God, are honest, trustworthy, active and aspirational, and have ability, he added.

The ulema congregation (Ijtima ulama) of the 2009 Indonesian Fatwa Commission stipulated five decisions on the exercise of voting rights during elections.

First, elections, in the Islamic perspective, are an attempt to select leaders or representatives who fit the ideal circumstances for the achievement of shared values, in line with people's aspirations and national interests.

Second, choosing a leader in Islam is an obligation to uphold leadership (imamat) and governance (imarah) in common life.

Third, leadership and governance in Islam require conditions that are in conformity with religious regulations in order to reap societal advantages.

"Four, the law requires Muslims to choose a leader who believes and fears God, is honest, trustworthy, active and aspirational, has the ability, and strives for the benefit of Muslims," Sholeh added.

Fifth, choosing leaders who do not meet the requirements in accordance with the fourth point, or do not vote at all, even though there are candidates who meet the requirements, is haram (forbidden).

Sholeh then offered two MUI recommendations to Muslims ahead of the February 14, 2024, election.

First, the MUI encouraged Muslims to choose leaders and representatives who can carry out their duties by upholding the teachings of creating good and avoiding evil (amar makruf nahi munkar).

"Two, the government and election organizers need to improve the socialization of elections so that public participation can increase and people's rights are fulfilled," he said.

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Translator: Fath, Alita, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Arie Novarina
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