Fifty prominent Islamic scholars from around the world have issued a statement instructing Muslims in Turkey to vote for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming presidential elections and for those outside Turkey to support him through all legitimate means.
The statement comes days before presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, with Erdogan and his secular rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu running neck and neck.
Supporters of Erdogan fear that his defeat will signal a return to Turkey’s strict secularist past and will see the rolling back of Islamic reforms under Erdogan’s 20 year tenure.
Here is the statement in full which has been translated by Islam 21C:
The scholars of the Ummah hereby present a statement to the people concerning the Turkish elections, as timely guidance is essential, in accordance with the Almighty’s words:
“And if they had referred it back to the Messenger and to those of authority among them, those who can draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it.” (Al Quran 4:83)
The Turkish elections hold significant implications for Muslims, both within Turkey and around the world. Thus, it is crucial for knowledgeable individuals to provide guidance on this matter.
It is widely acknowledged that under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s leadership, Turkey has brought substantial benefits to Muslims. Erdoğan’s policies have provided freedom and security, lifted hijab restrictions, allowed for the construction of mosques, and fostered the memorisation of the Qurʾān.
Additionally, Turkey has experienced significant political and economic growth, becoming a powerful player in regional and international affairs. The country has also witnessed great advancements in military power, healthcare, and infrastructure. All of these achievements have positively impacted Muslims in Turkey and abroad.
Turkish voters can clearly see the transformation their country has undergone under President Erdoğan’s leadership. A comparison of Turkey’s present state to its condition twenty years ago reveals a striking difference, with Istanbul becoming one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Furthermore, Turkey has become a safe haven for Muslims facing injustice and persecution worldwide. Many Muslim scholars, religious figures, and skilled professionals have found security, honour, and justice in Turkey. The country has also intervened in numerous countries to support Muslim communities, such as in Libya, Syria, Qatar, and Azerbaijan.
Turkey has consistently defended the Prophet (ﷺ) against Western offences, restored the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque to its original status, and advocated for Jerusalem and its ongoing issues.
However, the opposing side in these elections does not conceal its intentions to reverse most or all of these policies. The support that this side receives from Turkey’s adversaries and
those against the Islamic world is evident, as demonstrated by Western media outlets.
In light of the above reasons and others too numerous to detail, the scholars issue this further statement to guide the nation:
Muslims with voting rights in these elections should cast their votes in favour of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Justice and Development Party, and their outstanding reform project;
Muslims without voting rights should support their brothers and sisters in Turkey through financial, media, political, and other means, in addition to praying to Allah the Almighty.
May Allah guide us, and may He bless Muhammad, his family, and his companions, and grant them peace.
Dr. ‘Alī al-Qaradāghī, Secretary-General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
Shaykh Sādiq al-Gharyānī, Grand Mufti of Libya
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Majīd al-Zindanī, Founder of Yemen’s al-Imān University
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb Akanjī, President of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Turkey
Shaykh Muhammad al-Hassan al-Dedew, President of the Scholars Training Center in Mauritania
Dr. Nawāf al-Tikrūrī, President of the Scholars Association of Palestine
Dr. Muhammad al-Saghīr, President of the Global Authority for Supporting the Prophet of Islam (ﷺ)
Dr. al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī al-Kattanī, President of the Association of Scholars of the Arab Maghreb
Shaykh Sa’īd al-Lāfī, President of the Association of Imams, Preachers, and Advocates of Iraq
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Malik, President of the Union of Scholars in Pakistan
Muhammad al-’Abdah, President of the Association of Muslim Scholars
Dr. ‘Abd al-Hayy Yūsuf, President of the Ansar al-Nabi Academy (ﷺ)
Dr. Jamāl ‘Abd al-Sattār, Secretary-General of the Association of Sunni Scholars
Prof. Dr. Nassīm Yāsīn, President of the Association of Palestinian Scholars
Dr. Sa’īd ibn Nāsir al-Ghamdī, Secretary-General of the Scholars Forum
Dr. ‘Abdullāh al-Sādah, Imam of the Mosque of Imām Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb, Qatar
Shaykh Wān Subkī Wān Sālih, President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars branch in Malaysia
Dr. Hamd Sayyid al-Bīnjū’īnī, Official of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Dr. Ja’far al-Talhawī, Member of the Azhar Scholars Front
Shaykh ‘Abdullāh Ahmad Amīn, one of the prominent scholars of Mauritania
Shaykh Ahmad Shaykhna Amat, one of the prominent scholars of Mauritania
Shaykh Muhammad al-Amīn al-Taleb Youssef, one of the prominent scholars of Mauritania
Shaykh Ahmed al-Hasni al-Shanqīti, Deputy Secretary-General of the Association of Moroccan Scholars
Mukhtar ibn al-Arabī Mumin, Board of Trustees of the Global Authority for Supporting the Prophet of Islam (ﷺ), Algeria
Dr. Camelia Helmy Toulon, Chair of the Family Committee at the International Union of Muslim Scholars
Dr. Nazīha Amarig, President of the Civilizational Dialogue and Cognitive Integration Laboratory
Dr. Fatima Azzam, Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
Dr. Muhammad Husseyn Sād al-Afghāni, Professor of Sharia Politics, Afghanistan
Prof. Dr. Abdul Fattah al-Awaysi, Founder of the Global Knowledge Project for Jerusalem
Prof. Dr. Hussein Ghazī al-Samarra’ī, Member of the Iraqi Fiqh Assembly
Shaykh Muhammad Harun Khatībī, Member of the Scientific Assembly of Afghan Scholars
Dr. Omar al-Shiblī, Professor of Ḥadīth and Surah at Zaytouna University, Tunisia
Dr. Mohammed Hammam Melhem, Professor of Jurisprudence and its Fundamentals, Sabah al-Din Zaim University
Dr. Kamel Subhi Salah, Professor of Graduate Studies, Jordan
Dr. Khaled Abdulrahman al-Shenou, Professor at the University of Bahrain
Shaykh Ahmed al-Amrī, President of Beit al-Da’wa Waqf (Lebanon)
Dr. Mishary Sād al-Mutrafy, Islamic Researcher and Preacher, Kuwait
Shaykh Hussein ‘Abd al-Aal, General Secretariat of the Authority for Supporting the Prophet of Islam (ﷺ)
Dr. Muhammad ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Shaqaldī, International Union of Muslim Scholars
Dr. Sād al-Dīn Hassanayn, Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, America
Dr. Munir Jum’a Ahmad, the World Union of Muslim Scholars
Dr. Anas Ayrouth, College of Sharia and Law, University of Idlib
Dr. Tarek al-Tawarī, Professor of Islamic Sharia, Kuwait University
Dr. Salah al-Muhaynī, Imam and Preacher at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf
Shaykh ‘Abdullāh ibn Tāhir Ba Omar, Islamic Preacher in the Sultanate of Oman
Dr. ‘Abdullāh al-Zindanī, President of the Yemeni Renaissance Association
Mohammed Elhami, General Secretariat of the Global Authority for Supporting the Prophet of Islam (ﷺ)
Dr. Muhammad al-Mokhtar Muhammad al-Mamī
Dr. Muhammad al-Amīn ibn Mazīd
Shaykh Samī al-Sādī, Secretary of the Research Committee at the Libyan Fatwa House