Is it a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ according to Islam?

Is it a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ according to Islam?

There have been statements that our Prophet Mohammed had a hadith which said that “yes” would come out of the ballot box. The person who has said this is journalist and politician Şevki Yılmaz, the same person who claimed that late President Turgut Özal was martyred by mysterious powers. As a matter of fact, he continuously insulted Özal and continued his insults after Özal died and was ultimately forced to pay compensation to the Özal family after they took him to court. 

I would not normally care about this person, but the exploitation of religion for politics is a very important matter. 

The abuse of religion since the Battle of Siffin in 657 AD, when copies of the Quran were tied to the ends of the spears against Ali, is a human condition that has haunted Muslims. 

Hadiths have also been falsified with political aims as if the Prophet Muhammad said them. The Prophet Muhammad could not have had a hadith about the April 16 referendum. Most probably, an unrelated hadith has been detached from its context and distorted to suit the April 16 referendum. Of course, this is all done for the sake of “the cause.”  

The head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Professor Mehmet Görmez, explained it in his book “Basic Issues of Hadith Studies.” For several reasons, many hadiths have been made up. The reasons may include tribal sentiments, power struggles, excited speeches to provoke crowds, the pursuit of worldly goods and the ambition to attain positions, etc.  

Is there any difference from this when one distorts an existing hadith for the sake of political gains? 

Every religious person should read Professor Vecdi Akyüz’s book “The transformation of the Caliphate into the Sultanate.” The book explains how religion was used as a tool in the formation process of the Umayyad Sultanate. It was claimed that power was given to Muawiyah by God. How could one oppose a power given by God? 

The first caliphs were not successors of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood but were his administrative successors. They were freely criticized. 

However, after Muawiya, there were demands to term it the caliphate of Allah. Professor Akyüz explains how such religious terms and references were misused, leading the way to autocracy. He points out that the basic issue was “the inadequacy to constrain power.” 

In the same book’s foreword, Professor Hayrettin Karaman wrote that rules that restricted power in Islamic law were ignored. 

The past and historic facts should be reviewed analytically. “Islamic history” is not sacred; as Professor İhsan Süreyya Sırma has correctly stated, it is “the history of Muslims.” This history as well as the history of humanity shows us that blessing power with religion brings grave results; as a matter of fact, power absolutely has to be limited. 

In our times, the way to this is through the separation of powers, checks and balances, an independent and impartial judiciary and a free press. 

Look how the authoritarian Donald Trump is being balanced and checked in the United States.

The subject of the April 16 referendum is what kinds of powers will be given to which constitutional positions.
 It is the question of how to check and balance the extremely broad powers given to the president. It is the issue of whether or not the legislative and judicial organs will have the adequate independence to conduct their check and balance functions… 

Voting “yes” or “no” has nothing to do with religion.