View Full Version : Unification of the Muslim Ummah, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and alternative "Open Source" method

07-19-2005, 07:11 AM
Assalamu Alaykum,

I have the following questions for all Muslim brothers and sisters of the Ummah:

1. As a Muslim, are we required to work for the unification of the Ummah?

2. Do we realize that even steps towards unification will solve a lot of the current problems of the Ummah?

3. What are we doing in our daily lives to help the unification of the Ummah?

4. Hizb-ut-Tahrir is the only well known Muslim group that is working towards this goal, do we agree with its ways and methods and if we do not then, please explain why?

5. At least HT is doing something, while we like to criticize, do we have any alternative proposal?

6. Is it possible that we, all Muslims, or at least some among us, can debate and develop a "open-source" Established Ulema sanctioned method for unification of Ummah?

Wa Alaykum Assalam

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07-20-2005, 02:23 AM

Brother Hash,

Thanks for your kind reply.

HT is an admirable organization. I give them an A+ for their goals and aspirations, but an F for their strategy. I found the following:

- Honorable Judge Nabhani of Palestine, came up with the idea of HT, because he saw the fall of the Ottoman Khilafat during his youth and felt the futility of Arab unity and its ineffectiveness against the state of Israel backed up by the US, this can be the only logical explanation as to the time and place of the genesis of this idea in Palestine in 1953 - I am guessing here, and I could be totally wrong on this hunch

- I found out from discussions in sunniforum.com that they excluded the internationally recognized centers of fiqh in the Islamic world in their decision making process and continue to do so and some claim that they are not followers of one of the four Madhaabs of Sunni Islam (Ahl-ul Sunnah Al-Jama'ah)

- HT has now split up into 3-4 separate organizations

- all of them (Splinter groups of HT) claim that their ways and methods are correct and main stream Sunni's or Shi'ites are wrong. While I agree that in working for the establishment of the Khilafat, their effort for the Ummah exceeds those of the mainstream Sunni's and Shi'ites, it goes without saying that a movement will go no-where if the mainstream is excluded from it

- their idea of encouraging and inducing an environment where people would be more open to the idea's of Khilafat is good but their idea that it is possible to create a momentum for the establishment of Khilafat by way of organizing the HT and educating the public through it by occasional demonstrations here and there and publishing pamphlets and having secret meetings and recruitments like the communist party is impractical, because I believe they will never achieve the establishment of Khilafat in this manner. I disagree with their method completely. Here are my arguments why I think they are doomed to failure, despite I admire their good intentions and their honorable and dignified stand of staying away from violence:

* if we look at the history of Muslims and Khilafat, we find that there were the four rightly guided Khalifa's after the death of Rasul-Allah (SAWS). This is the only time in the history of the Ummah, when the Ummah was an undivided whole. I attribute this to the fact that Rasul-Allah's (SAWS) memory was still strong among the Sahaba's and that the first four Khalifa's were all personal companion's of the Rasul-Allah (SAWS) - and even during these periods there were conflicts and rebellions

* after that there is the schism of Sunni and Shi'at-ul-Ali. While Shi'ism remained an insignificant deviant sect, Sunni world was ruled by Umayyad Khalifa's of Damascus and Al-Andalus. Sunni Abbasid of Baghdad and Cairo and Shi'ite Fatimid's in Egypt and Almohads of North Africa and Al-Andalus were the last Arab Khalifa's. This was the golden period of Islam, the Khilafat was fairly unified, although divided in 2-3 different main Sultanates or Emirates. But even in this period there were dynastic rivalries, between Abbasid's, Umayyad's, Almohad's and Fatimid's. Ibn Khaldun, in his Muqaddima, written in mid 1300's, describes this period in great detail. By that time the Arab sun had risen and fallen and he writes how the nomadic Bedouin tribes come to the city, become civilized and then how, over a period of several centuries, they become weak and unable to protect themselves from the onslaught of other newer "uncivilized barbarian" hordes. Khaldun is credited as the father of sociology, economics and histriology, as he makes his observations on the rise and fall of Arab controlled Khilafats

* After the mongol invasion of Khwarizm Shahi, destruction of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan and the Mameluk take over in Egypt, the dynastic control of Islamic states has now been transfered to Turkic muslims, who ruled over three Sultanates, Ottoman, Safavid/Qazar and Moghul (Chaghatai/Timurid)

Chronology of Khilafat:

The Rashidun (4 Khalifa's) (632-661)
Umayyads of Damascus (661-750)
Abbasids of Baghdad (750-1258)
Umayyads of Cordoba (929-1031)
Almohads of Al-Andalus and Morocco (1145-1269)
Abbasids of Cairo (1261-1517)
Ottomans (1451-March 3, 1924)

* Please note here that vast majority of todays Muslims, including myself, are not from this original Islamic heartland. Although Mughal's and Safavid's had strong economic ties with both the Ottoman sultanate, and goods and people could travel freely, traditions were vastly different. The same also goes for Muslims of Central Asia, China, Russia, South East Asia and Sub-sahara Sahel Africa

* today's Ummah is geographically bigger, population wise more diverse and includes a quarter of humanity

* finally after stating all this background info, I can make my points:

Khilafat was never a single entity for the Muslim Ummah, as is sometimes made to believe and projected by HT and some other people

Yes, it remains a romantic and religious goal and obligation, and Fard Ayn as is claimed by many Fiqh experts (and Fard Kifaya as claimed by HT), but it was never implemented after the Rashiduns, as prescribed in Islam, and over time it became a tool to invoke religious feeling of unity among subject population of Islamic dynastic sultanates

It will indeed be a miracle for us to accomplish and regain something that effectively has been lost almost a 1300 years (750 years if you consider dynastic Umayyads and Abbasids to be proper Khalifa's) ago and never regained its proper state

The idea that we lost Khilafat in 1924, in my eyes is not entirely correct, since actually the real Khilafat had been lost since 661, this is where I differ with HT, who promote the idea of Khilafat as a panacea for the Ummah

Also, since HT is sometimes successful in recruiting a sufficient number of members, it seems to be successful in attracting negative attention from the "infidel westernized corrupt puppet" authorities with results of hardship for its members. Despite the fact that HT never promote violence, HT is banned in most Arab countries and in Central Asia, because HT supports overthrow of government for any Muslim majority state, where an Islamic government will implement Sharia. So just by their philosophy and tactics, authorities in these countries consider them to be a threat and accuse them of treason and sedition, all secular concepts of course.

To all this complication and conflict, a simple muslim like myself say, why bother - why can we not avoid confrontation from all fronts and still not continue with our work, in relative safety, where we can achieve results. Here are my humble thoughts on this subject:

- first of all, we must not follow a top down approach and seek to establish Khilafat, rather we can work on gradual Unification of Ummah using methods similar to EC, using already existing organizations such as OIC, D-8 etc. as bases to start from

- with a single stroke, instead of confrontation with the elites of all Muslim countries, we can bring them in our team effort and believe me most of these elites are only our friends, neighbors and cousins and they consider themselves no less muslims than us, granted that some of them are greedy for money and power, and have a tendency to like Swiss banks, naujubillah

- also, for this comic and tragic organization of HT, we can bring them in the fold of mainstream by asking their members to join our team of volunteers, so we can all join hands and unite in our work for the Ummah

Finally it reminds me of an incident when Rasul-Allah(SAWS) was given to solve a dispute among four Quraish tribes. The Hajar-e-Aswad was needed to be placed in its place after a repair work of Kabah and they could not decide who will have the honor to carry it. Our Rasul-Allah(SAWS) simply took a sheet of cloth, put the stone in the middle and asked the leader of four tribes to carry it from four corners.

I believe, all of us must sacrifice some in the pursuit of Unity, for that I believe is more important than any other concept, to establish Deen in this world and form a powerful Islamic Community, which can morph, over time, into an Islamic super state, which you can then lovingly call, a Khilafat.

May Allah(SWT) always guide us to the right path.

07-21-2005, 05:26 AM

Brother Hash,

Thank you for the compliment.

These criticism of HT are not my opinion, these are things that many people are saying.

About the four Madhab's, Shi'ism and Salafism - I am not a fiqh expert, but here is my opinion:

- these are the result of 1400 years of Islamic history and are strong in Muslim's mind due to millenia old tradition, depending on the region they are from and we cannot discard them easily
- salafism is probably the youngest and has the least number of followers, but the term itself has many meanings, it is not clearly defined, how ever it seems that most people consider Ibn Taymiya as the founder of this "Madhab" and believe it or not, it is also a madhab, since they are following a particular scholar's research and opinion
- a true Salafi would not accept anyone's interpretation but follow Quran, Sunnah and Ijma, which means all Salafi's must be experts of these three area's

I have read some place (I will discuss these further with fiqh experts) that:

- according to a hadith, the totality of Ummah cannot be wrong, ie if the entire Ummah can agree on something then that must be true
- according to another hadith, muslims should not form small groups and sub-groups, but should always stay with the bigger group, even if they think that the majority of the Ummah is wrong

If it was upto me, I would put all the fiqh experts from all regions of the worldwide Ummah from all recognized madhab's, put them in a hotel and ask them to remain there until they complete the following:

- come to a 2/3 majority consensus on which madhabs and groups should be excluded (for example bahai, Ahamadiya, Kadiani, Ismailia or Aga Khani, Murabitun etc.) who they consider to be outside the fold of Islam
- the representatives from these groups would then be asked to leave
- then the remaining experts should work hard and reach a consensus on what Islam is, as a bare minimum, to which all of them unanimously agree

For the purpose of the future of the unified Ummah, we will then accept this minimum criteria to call someone Muslim. It will be up to individuals and groups to still follow their old traditions, but it would be better, if they rather call themselves Muslims (as you have correctly suggested) and follow at least the agreed upon bare minimum.

As for the remaining details, we will take a vote on them and decide every decision based on majority vote of the experts and this way we will have a new Sharia which will be one and same for all Muslims of the Ummah.

I am just giving an outline, but the actual method of conducting the above unification exercise must be done according to Quran and Sunnah.

The Sunni, Shia, Salafi and others are products of history and we can also make history by putting our differences aside and emphasizing the common ground, based on the original sources - the Quran and Sunnah.

But, this unification exercise should not be done by an individual expert or one particular group, it must be done together by all who call themselves muslims and their representatives on their behalf.

My hope and dream is that:

- in 10 years we will have the first treaty of Islalmic Union between all member states of OIC
- in 20 years we will have a common currency
- in 30 years we will have a limited opening of borders
- in 50 years we will finally have a unified Ummah that will be a formal nation-state, like the US, China, India and the possible EU superstate of future
- after living in the unified Ummah for at least 20 years or so, we can then call for the above fiqh convention, that will abolish all sects, groups and sub-groups of Islam

I believe the above will happen, regardless of what we post in our forums or not, because to me, if I know anything about history, it is inevitable. In known human history, never have such a large group of people which held an idea so dear, let it not come to fruition, since it is the will of Allah(SWT).

The oil-rich states and Turkey (with its EU dream) will not take part initially, but eventually they will not see any advantage in being left out.

May Allah (SWT) guide us all.


07-21-2005, 10:20 AM
Nice brother Khilji.

Currently how many Islamic bodies are there anyway?Isn't there an Islamic union now?

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07-22-2005, 12:35 AM
Originally Posted by Abdul Aziz
Nice brother Khilji.

Currently how many Islamic bodies are there anyway?Isn't there an Islamic union now?

OIC has 57 member countries.


Under Related Links, you will find OIC affiliated organizations, such as IDB etc. and one of them IUT (Islamic University of Technology) is in Dhaka:


D-8 has 8 large muslim countries as members.


07-22-2005, 01:18 AM

Brother Hash,

Your affinity for Ibn Taymiyaah (rahimullah) and Salafism is clear. Please note that I did not go into details of Salafism, apparently the founders of all four madhab's were themselves salafists, although their followers are obviously not.

Please note that under the plan:

"- then the remaining experts should work hard and reach a consensus on what Islam is, as a bare minimum, to which all of them unanimously agree

For the purpose of the future of the unified Ummah, we will then accept this minimum criteria to call someone Muslim. It will be up to individuals and groups to still follow their old traditions, but it would be better, if they rather call themselves Muslims (as you have correctly suggested) and follow at least the agreed upon bare minimum."

Since unanimous agreement is required for the bare minimum, Salafists will have their say, just as any other madhab's, to exclude any extraneous practice that is not part of Islam. So "grave worshipping" etc. can be excluded at this stage.

"As for the remaining details, we will take a vote on them and decide every decision based on majority vote of the experts and this way we will have a new Sharia which will be one and same for all Muslims of the Ummah."

This is where things will get complicated. This stage will be difficult as the majority opinion will be imposed on the minority. Again it will be the fiqh experts who can argue these points better, but in my layman's opinion:

- when the hadith mentioned Ummah, I do not think Muhammad (SAWS) was talking about Tabaeen and Taba Tabaeen (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation of Sahaba's) - rather Ummah was referring to Ummah of the future times, when the issue of groups and sub-groups will come up

- when this kind of fiqh convention takes place 70 years from today, Insha-Allah, the Ummah, its populations socio-economic condition and their Islamic knowledge and practices will be very different from today. Even though, I am from Bangladesh, I have seen strong feeling among older generation of my family members never to follow any Pir shaheb or visit any Majar. It is mainly seen common among the less educated people and politicians. The Ulema there are definitely opposed to such practices. So over time we hope things will change there for the better

- grave worshipping is definitely haram and no muslim, who knows anything about Islam ever does it, but it is common to go to Pir Shahib's for advice on worldly matters and also to visit Majar's of Pir's to ask for wish, as if the dead Pir's are able to solicit to Allah (SWT), on behalf of the visitor - definitely there are problems with these practices, but visiting someones relatives graves to say Du'aah for them, I believe is proper. So 70 years from now, I believe the fiqh experts representing the majority will be able to come to reasonable decisions that will be acceptable to all

Finally, for Salafi or any smaller group, to claim that their practice is superior, is I believe a mark of arrogance, and even if they do not like it, for the sake of unity, they will have to accept certain things - not necessarily that they will have to practice it the same way as others, but they should accept the majority decision concerning Sharia law as proper, if that is how the Quran and Sunnah has prescribed for all of us to be a part of the Jama'ah.


Ansar Al-'Adl
07-22-2005, 03:03 AM
:sl: br. Khilji,
The sources of Islam have been agreed upon by all the scholars. We must foillow the Qur'an and the Sunnah as it was understood by the pious early generations (salaf). There is a misconception that salafis don't follow the four madhabs. The truth of the matter is that they follow all the madhabs, they do not restrict themselves to one specific one. If Imaam Shafi's opinion is in-line with the Qur'an and Ahadith on one point while Imaam Abu Hanifa's is not, then Imaam Shafi is followed on that point. Or vice versa.

I dislike when people create artifical barriers and try to differentiate between salafis and sunnis when the terms are actually synonymous.


07-22-2005, 03:23 AM
Originally Posted by khilji

Finally, for Salafi or any smaller group, to claim that their practice is superior, is I believe a mark of arrogance, and even if they do not like it, for the sake of unity, they will have to accept certain things - not necessarily that they will have to practice it the same way as others, but they should accept the majority decision concerning Sharia law as proper, if that is how the Quran and Sunnah has prescribed for all of us to be a part of the Jama'ah.

It is worth noting that 'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood (radee Allaahu 'anhu) said:

"The Jamaa'ah is what accords to the truth, even if you are alone."

[Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah - al-Laalikaa'ee]

So its not something that we should show leniency on. In regards to disagreements among the Ummah.

The hadeeth "The disagreement among my Ummah is a mercy" is known to be fabricated.

Secondly this hadeeth contradicts the Glorious Qur'aan, for the aayaat forbidding division in the Deen (religion) and enjoining unity are too well-known to need reminding. However, there is no harm in giving some of them by way of example: Allah says:

"... and do not fall into disputes, lest you lose heart and your power depart." [Soorah al-Anfaal, 8:46]

"And do not be among those join deities with Allah, those who split up their Deen and become sects - each party rejoicing with what it has!" [Soorah ar-Room, 30:31-2]

"But they will not cease to differ, except those on whom your Lord bestows His Mercy." [Soorah Hood, 11:118-9]

Therefore, if those on whom your Lord has mercy do not differ, and the people of falsehood differ, how can it make sense that differing is a mercy?!

07-23-2005, 02:02 AM

Brothers Ansar and Hash,

I am very happy to hear that Salafi's consider themselves part of the greater Sunni population, the less division the better.

Sometimes I hear that some groups are quick to accuse others of Takfeer, Shirk etc., and I get alarmed as these are tactics of sowing division and sectarianism, as it was in history so it is true today.

What I emphasize again is that so long a group qualifies as Muslim, considering the minimum recognized standards, then we must treat them as brothers and sisters and one of our own. We should also work hard to build bridges between groups such as Shia and Sunni, for the sake of Unity, as was commanded by Allah(SWT), as our wise brother PanIslamist has pointed out, Jazakallahu Khair.

We should exclude the groups that do not meet the recognized minimum standards and tell them to correct their ways, if they want to return to the fold of Islam.

After the death of Muhammad(SAWS), we have been left with the Quran and the Hadith.

The Quran remains unchanged (although a small minority in some group have doubts), whereas the Hadith, from the start, it seems has been the source of much confusion and controversy.

Even the various interpretation of Quran's verses have led to controversy.

Soon after the death of Muhammad(SAWS), the power politics have started and different groups have made interpretations to consolidate power and for their own advantage. These early politics have led to the major groupings. (With due respect to the Sahaba and Kholafa-e-Rashidun and may Allah(awj) forgive me for any wrong comments, Allah(swt) knows best.)

And then there are these small minor deviant groups started by followers of innovators, all throughout history.

Our prophet(SAWS) himself predicted and foresaw this, as he was a good judge of human character.

The divisions and groupings magnified and developed in isolation, as people had little contact with Muslims from other parts of the Ummah.

Today we live in a vastly different world than even 50 years ago, not to mention 300 or 1000 years ago. We have now excellent means of communication among diverse population and its getting better everyday. Also more people are travelling, living in foreign lands and meeting muslims from other parts of the Ummah.

After the colony's have ended a lot of muslims now have the chance to improve their socio-economic condition. Hunger and ignorance, lack of education etc. are still major problems for a large part of the Ummah, but slowly it is improving Insha-Allah.

I hear a lot of people shout that it is Aqeedah first, no doubt, but it is hard for someone to think about teaching his children Aqeedah, when he does not know where the next meal is coming from or when he is going to get blown up, by some occupier or some among our own.

We cannot undo 1400 years of history in a few years, but if the artificial divisions were created by people and their politics, then as muslims of later generations, we also have the power to undo them with our own politics, since that is how our prophet(SAWS) had wanted and Allah(SWT) had commanded.

But at this point in time, it is premature to talk of such grand goals and ambitions. The need of the hour is to start working for the Unification of the Ummah, however we do it, by encouraging the Khilafat in individual countries as HT has chosen or through economic union like Islamic Common Market, which is my own preferred approach.


Mr. Baldy
07-23-2005, 12:35 PM
aslaam alkyum,

an article from 1924.org

Frequently Asked Questions About Hizb ut-Tahrir

What is Hizb ut-Tahrir?

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global Islamic political organisation that was established in 1953 under the leadership of its founder - the honourable scholar, thinker, able politician, and judge in the Court of Appeals in al-Quds (Jerusalem), Taqiuddin an-Nabhani.

In the Muslim world, Hizb ut-Tahrir works at all levels of society to bring the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life under the shade of the Khilafah (Caliphate) State.

In the Western world, Hizb ut-Tahrir works to cultivate a Muslim community that lives by Islam in thought and deed, adhering to the rules of Islam and preserving a strong Islamic identity. Hizb ut-Tahrir also works with the Muslim community in the West to remind her to take up the call for the return of the Khilafah and the unification of the global Muslim Ummah. The party also works to project a positive image of Islam to Western society and engages in dialogue with Western thinkers, policymakers and academics.

Why does Hizb ut-Tahrir describe itself as an "Islamic political party"?

Unlike in the secular tradition, in Islam there is no dichotomy between religion and politics.

The actions which Hizb ut-Tahrir carries out are political actions, because the party seeks to look after the affairs of the people through these actions and according to the divine rules and solutions; Islam views politics as caring for the affairs of people by the rules and solutions of Islam.

What is Hizb ut-Tahrir’s methodology?

Hizb ut-Tahrir takes its methodology from that employed by the Prophet Muhammad to establish the first Islamic State in Madinah. The Prophet Muhammad limited his struggle for the establishment of the Islamic State to the intellectual and political domains. He established this Islamic state without resorting to violence. He worked to mobilise public opinion in favour of Islam and endeavoured to sway the political and intellectual elites of the time. Despite the persecution and boycott of the Prophet Muhammad and the early Muslims, they never resorted to violence.

We adhere closely to this intellectual and political struggle because we believe this is the correct and effective way of re-establishing the Islamic Khilafah. The party is therefore proactive in disseminating the Islamic thoughts, both intellectual and political, widely in Muslim societies so as to challenge the existing status quo.

The party presents Islam as a comprehensive way of life that is capable of managing the affairs of state and society. The party also expresses its views on political events and analyses them from an Islamic perspective.

The party disseminates its thoughts through discussion with the masses, study circles, lectures, seminars, leaflet distribution, publishing books and magazines and via the Internet.

The party's methodology is explained in further detail in the book "The Methodology of Hizb ut-Tahrir for Change".

Where does Hizb ut-Tahrir work?

The party is active throughout Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Australasia and the Americas.

Does Hizb ut-Tahrir advocate violence and is it a “conveyor belt for terrorists”?

Hizb-ut-Tahrir is convinced that the change we seek must start in the minds of people and we do not accept for people or societies to be forced to change by violence and terror. Consequently, Hizb ut-Tahrir does not advocate or engage in violence. The party strictly adheres to Islamic law in all aspects of its work. It is an Islamic intellectual and political entity that seeks to change people’s thoughts through intelligent discussion and debate. We consider that Islamic law forbids violence or armed struggle against the regime as a method to re-establish the Islamic State.

Numerous articles produced by a variety of media outlets including Reuters, Itar-Tass, Pravda, AFP, Al-Hayat, AP and RFERL to name just a few, have clearly pointed out that Hizb ut-Tahrir is a non-violent organisation that has ruled out armed struggle or violence as part of its methodology.

Is Hizb ut-Tahrir extremist?

Extremist groups exploit people’s fears and present disingenuous arguments that are based upon weak and erroneous thoughts. We do not hide behind polemics and slogans – we believe the strength of our thoughts is evident in our literature. Our members have discussed and debated with some of the best thinkers in the world such as Noam Chomsky, Daniel Dennett and Flemming Larsen from the IMF because we believe the only way forward for humankind is to engage in global debate and discussion. We believe it is time to do away with the old labels of ‘extremist’ and ‘moderate’ and believe it is possible for people who hold dissimilar and disparate views to engage in rational dialogue.

If you would like one of our members to participate in a debate or panel discussion that you are organising please contact us.

Is Hizb ut-Tahrir linked with any other groups?

Hizb ut-Tahrir has no association with any other Islamic or non-Islamic movement, party or organisation by name or deed.

Why is Hizb ut-Tahrir banned in many countries?

Hizb ut-Tahrir is at the forefront of political activism in the Muslim world. The party has challenged and called to account the tyrannical rulers of the Muslim world. The response of these regimes to our work has been to imprison, torture and murder our members. While our challenge to these regimes has been at an intellectual and political level, by encouraging debate and discussion, these regimes have resorted to banning and silencing the party, as they have no intellectual thought of their own. As these regimes tolerate no opposition whatsoever, other opposition parties are also banned. Despite the banning of the party and the intimidation of its members, the thoughts of the party have nevertheless successfully permeated throughout society.

Who finances Hizb ut-Tahrir?

The organisation is entirely financed by its activists and we do not accept any financial assistance whatsoever from any government authority. Since Hizb ut-Tahrir’s work relies upon the dissemination of thoughts, the costs of operating are minimal, as thoughts cost nothing.

Who and where is the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir?

The global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ata Abu Rushta, is in the Muslim world. He is the author of numerous Islamic political and legislative books and previously served as the party’s official spokesman. During his tenure as party spokesman in Jordan he was detained for several years as a prisoner of conscience. Since assuming the leadership of the party he has addressed conferences in Yemen and Pakistan. He regularly speaks on the official website of Hizb ut-Tahrir's Media Office, www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info

Due to the extreme persecution faced by our members in the Muslim world, we do not aid the tyrannical rulers by revealing the precise whereabouts of the party’s leadership.

Can I attend a Hizb ut-Tahrir meeting?

All of our meetings are conducted openly and whoever is interested, regardless of their political and intellectual outlook, has the right to participate. We give every attendant the right to participate in discussing the contents of the meeting, regardless of his personal stance towards Islam or the subject matter of the meeting.

To find out details of a meeting near to you please contact us.

How does one join Hizb ut-Tahrir?

Membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir is open to Muslim men and women regardless of their nationality, race and schools of thought, as the party looks to all of them according to the viewpoint of Islam.

An individual becomes a party member after detailed study and contemplation of the party’s thoughts and opinions. Affiliation with the party is based solely on an individual achieving maturity in the party culture and adopting the party’s thoughts and opinions.

Are women involved in Hizb ut-Tahrir?

Women in Hizb ut-Tahrir play an active role within the party to achieve its objective. They undertake intellectual and political work including calling the rulers of the Muslim world to account and struggling against oppression and injustice. Many female members of Hizb ut-Tahrir have faced imprisonment as prisoners of conscience by a number of the regimes of the Muslim world. In accordance with the Islamic etiquettes, women’s activities are separate from men’s activities.

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Views

What is Hizb ut-Tahrir’s view on the events of 9/11 or 7/7 and the killing of civilian non-combatants?

The rules of Islam forbid any aggression against civilian non-combatants. They forbid killing of children, the elderly and non-combatant women even in the battlefield. They forbid the hijacking of civilian aeroplanes carrying innocent civilians and forbid the destruction of homes and offices that contain innocent civilians. All of these actions are types of aggression that Islam forbids.

Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation accuses Hizb ut-Tahrir of “breeding violent anti-American attitudes”? Is this true?

The absurd attempt by some US think tanks to discredit all Muslims who reject western political models as being ‘terrorists’ is an increasing sign of ideological desperation. While Hizb ut-Tahrir is opposed to American colonial interests and espouses an alternative ideology, it would be trivial to be content with stirring up anti-American feeling because there is no shortage of such feeling already in the world today.

While Ariel Cohen is trying to mould himself as an expert on Hizb ut-Tahrir, his ‘research’ into the party is plagued by one inaccuracy after another. He has not even met a single member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, so how is he so well versed in the party’s ideology?

If you work for a think tank and are interested in the work of Hizb ut-Tahrir please contact us for further information - we can provide expert speakers for seminars, roundtables, workshops and conferences.

Ahmed Rashid, in his book entitled “Jihad – the rise of militant Islam in Central Asia” suggests that Hizb ut-Tahrir may become militant in future. Is this likely?

We disagree with Ahmed Rashid’s assessment and have issued a refutation of many of the claims he makes in his book. His book contains many factual inaccuracies regarding Hizb ut-Tahrir and it is apparent that he did not undertake the necessary research to write upon such a topic. Even though the party has clearly outlined its views in its official literature and even though the party has spokesmen throughout the world, Ahmed Rashid instead chose to rely upon "anonymous" sources whose credibility we have serious concerns about.

The argument that we will be provoked into militancy by the oppression of our members is in contradiction with the party’s history. Since the party’s establishment in 1953, its members have undergone torture, persecution and murder by various regimes in the Islamic world including Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Despite intense provocation and after decades of repression at the hands of the rulers of the Muslim world, the party has not erred from its non-violent methodology in the slightest.

Is Hizb ut-Tahrir anti-Semitic?

We reject decisively the charge of anti-Semitism because Islam is a message directed to all humankind. However, at the same time we decisively reject Zionism represented in the form of Israel and Hizb ut-Tahrir, like the majority of other Muslim organisations, is opposed to the continued occupation of Palestine by the Israeli State.

The state of Israel is founded upon a land that it took by force, after it drove out its people, both Muslim and Christian. This is injustice, which we will never accept from an Islamic perspective, regardless of the race of the perpetrators. In Palestine, Islam is in conflict with Israelis – not in their capacity as Jews who historically had lived alongside Muslims in peace and security for centuries – but in their capacity as occupiers and aggressors.

History is testament to the fact that many Jews used to live with Muslims under the banner of Islam for almost thirteen centuries. Throughout those periods Jews used to have the same high standard of living as the Muslims did. They enjoyed equal rights, prosperity, happiness, tranquillity and security.

What is your view on democracy?

The Islamic ruling system, the Khilafah, allows and encourages the accounting of the ruler and has provision for elections and consultation. Islam does not accept for state policies to be influenced or directed by corporate elites or big business. Islam obliges citizens in the Khilafah to be involved in politics and accounting the state.

Democracy in capitalist states is undoubtedly a ruling system that is distinct from the Islamic ruling system. This is because Islam and Capitalism are built on entirely different fundamental philosophies. While the capitalist system advocates sovereignty in legislation for humankind, the Islamic system advocates sovereignty in legislation for the Creator. For this reason, democracy is not consistent with the Islamic system.

Democracy is increasingly seen to be deeply flawed, controlled by large corporations and largely indifferent to the needs of ordinary citizens. Voter turnouts in the West are at an all time low and people are obliged to go out to the streets in their hundreds of thousands to express their frustrations. Though individuals currently have some 'freedom' to criticise and change their politicians in the West, the reality is that whichever politicians are elected, they are of the economic elite and they rule on behalf of the economic elite.

Why does Hizb ut-Tahrir not participate in Parliament?

The regimes ruling in the Muslim world nowadays are all un-Islamic. They are regimes which are not ruling by Islam because their systems are not derived from Islam (except for some portions of them). It is forbidden for a Muslim, who believes in Islam, to help, participate in or be a part of these regimes. Rather, Hizb ut-Tahrir urges Muslims to work with utmost diligence and speed to dismantle them and establish the system of Islam in their place.

We do not intend to prolong the life of corrupt and tyrannical systems of government by our participation in them.

The Khilafah

What is the Khilafah?

The Khilafah constitutes the ruling system in Islam that is ordained in the Islamic texts. It is responsible for implementing the Islamic system in its entirety. It applies the rules of the Islamic legal code concerning judiciary, ruling, economy, social system, education and foreign policy. The Khilafah is responsible for conveying and propagating Islam to the world through its foreign policy. The Khilafah is completely distinguished from any other ruling style such as democracy, theocracy or monarchy.

The Khilafah will undertake the task of bringing reconciliation between all Muslims and it will banish all notions of tribalism and nationalism. The state is not for a faction, a group or a people. Its view towards its citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim, will be one. It will apply Islam according to the strongest evidences from the Islamic texts. It is not the state of any ethnicity or colour. Arab and non-Arab, white and black, will be equal before the state. Although the Khilafah is the Islamic State it does not just look after the Muslims but also all those who carry the citizenship of the Islamic State, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. When looking after the affairs of non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic State it has a duty of care to them based on their citizenship and does not view them as an "ethnic minority".

Where is the Khilafah today?

The Khilafah does not exist today in any shape or form throughout the entire world. It was destroyed following World War 1 at the hands of Mustafa Kemal of Turkey.

Commenting on its destruction, Lord Curzon, the British foreign secretary, told the House of Commons on 24th July 1924 “...Turkey (the seat of the Khilafah) is dead and will never rise again because we have destroyed its moral strength, the Khilafah and Islam.”

What about Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and Sudan?

For a land to be considered an Islamic State, every single article of the country’s constitution, every rule and law, must emanate from the Islamic legal code. In every case of the above-mentioned countries however, these criteria are far from being met. In these places, Islamic law exists only by name as the source of the country’s legislation, with all types of secular legislation and customs playing alongside it, while the constitutions give much more weight to democracy, socialism, capitalism and the like. But these are all concepts that have their roots in other than Islam and are based on a different fundamental philosophy. Thus it can, in no way, be claimed that any of the current Muslim countries are representative of Islam and the Islamic system of government, which is the Islamic Khilafah.

Who will be the ruler in the Caliphate and will he be accountable?

The Khalifah (Caliph) rules the State according to the commands of Allah as laid down in the Qur’an and in the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The people choose and appoint the Khalifah. As a citizen of the Islamic State, whether male of female, Muslim or non-Muslim, you can approach the Khalifah. This may be done for any reason - be it to encourage him to fear Allah or to ask him for your rights. People are obliged to remove the Khalifah if he implements other than Islam.

How would non-Muslims be treated in the Khilafah?

An Islamic classical scholar, Imam Qarafi, says, "It is the responsibility of the Muslims to the People of the Dhimma [non-Muslim citizens] to take care of their weak, fulfil the needs of the poor, feed the hungry, provide clothes, address them politely and even tolerate their harm even if it was from a neighbour, even though the Muslim would have an upper hand. The Muslims must also advise them sincerely on their affairs and protect them against anyone who tries to hurt them or their family, steal their wealth or anyone who violates their rights,"

Many non-Muslims used to live with Muslims under the banner of Islam for almost thirteen centuries. Throughout those periods non-Muslims used to have the same high standard of living as the Muslims did. They enjoyed equal rights, prosperity, happiness, tranquillity and security.

What would be the position of women in the Khilafah?

Women would play an active role under the Khilafah to build a state that not only has an elevated moral character, but is also economically prosperous and technologically advanced. The Khilafah would be obliged to provide free education to boys and girls alike at primary and secondary level as well as fund free education at higher level in key areas such as medicine and the sciences. This would enable women to enter professions such as medicine, engineering, science, architecture, academia and the like. The woman would be permitted to trade, invest her wealth, own property, run a business and be an employer or an employee. She could, for example, take an administrative post within the state or be appointed as a judge, lease property and undertake various other societal transactions. In addition, she would fulfil the vital role of being a wife and mother, creating a tranquil family life, caring for her children and family and nurturing the thinking and development of future generations. She would have an active political role and a powerful political voice in accounting the ruler for any injustice, being vigilant over any societal corruption and taking care of the needs of her community.

How will men and women interact in the Khilafah?

Men and women would interact in order to fulfil the needs of their public life but within the remit of the Islamic social system that regulates the relationship between men and women. This creates an environment that facilitates the cooperation of the genders and enables them to fulfil their public rights and duties without affecting the moral climate of the State. It ensures that the honour and chastity of all are protected and that the sexual aspect of the relationship between a man and woman is restricted to marriage. For example, Islam has defined a particular public dress for the Muslim woman as well as obliged her to conceal her beauty in the presence of a man to whom marriage is permitted and has forbidden her to be in isolation with him. Islam has forbidden free socialising between non-related men and women or any action that may lead to fornication or adultery. The woman would be viewed as an honour under the Khilafah and therefore no action would be permitted that would compromise this.

Why can't a woman be the ruler in the Khilafah?

This is established from Islamic evidences that forbid a woman from holding a position of ruling. Those who have failed to study the Islamic texts deeply have claimed that this is because Islam believes the woman is not physically able to perform this action and have therefore labelled Islam as being discriminatory towards women. Islam has given no such reason but has simply prohibited this action for the woman.

Ruling in Islam is not a position of prestige but a position of responsibility. Status in Islam is not measured by the one who holds a position of responsibility but by how resolutely an individual fulfils any duty obliged upon him. A ruler by default does not hold superiority over a mother. Both have their duties to fulfil to ensure the society prospers.

Within the Khilafah, women would be permitted to elect the ruler. In fact women were present within the first delegation that gave a pledge of allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), accepting him as the first leader of the Islamic State. Women would be permitted to be within the consultative body of the Khilafah State that advises the ruler on various matters. They would be obliged to be engaged in the political life of the Islamic society and to account the rulers if they observed any corruption or injustice within the State. They can also be appointed as an official of the State in a non-ruling position.

Will the Khilafah accept scientific and technological innovation?

When Islam came for the first time as a way of life, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sent Muslims on a special mission to ash-Sham (modern day Syria, Jordan and Palestine). At that time ash-Sham was not ruled by Islam and was dominated by a superpower of that time, the Romans, who were Christians. These Romans were very skilled in military technology and had developed two special catapults. Also, the Muslims acquired trench technology from the second superpower of the time, the Persians, via Salman al-Farsi and it was put to good use in the Battle of the Trench. This is allowed in Islam because the Muslims did not go to take their way of life from the Persians and Romans. They did not take on their beliefs, values and systems of life. They took only the technology from them, which in fact did not come from a particular belief and is for all human beings to find, by the grace of Allah. Muhammad (peace be upon him) by his example showed us that technology in its origin is permitted in Islam, but it must only be used in a manner that is permissible under Islamic law. So a surgeon’s scalpel can be used to heal, but not abort an innocent baby. Television, internet and DVDs can all be used to propagate the truth or for educational purposes but not to exploit women as material objects.

Is the Khilafah a Monarchical System?

The monarchical system is not an Islamic system and Islam does not approve of it whether the monarch is a figurehead who does not rule, as is the case in Britain and Spain, because the Khalifah (Caliph) is not a figurehead, rather he is the ruler and an executor of the laws of Allah on behalf of the Islamic Ummah; or if the monarch is the head and the actual ruler, as is the case in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. This is because the Khalifah does not acquire his position like the kings do; rather, he is selected and given a pledge of allegiance. The hereditary system is not allowed in Islam; the Khalifah does not have more privileges than any other citizen and he is not above the law like the kings who cannot be tried, rather he is subservient to the laws of Allah and is liable to be accounted for every action he commits.

Is the Khilafah an Imperial System?

The regions ruled by Islam - though they are of various races and linked to one central place - are not ruled by an imperial system but by a system contradictory to the imperial system. The imperial system does not treat races equally in the various regions of the empire; rather it gives privileges in the ruling, finance and economy to the centre of the empire.

The Islamic way of ruling establishes equality between the subjects in all the regions of the state. Islam grants non-Muslims who hold citizenship, the full rights and duties that Muslims have. They enjoy the same fairness as Muslims and are subject to the same accountability like them. Furthermore, every single citizen, regardless of his or her creed, enjoys rights that even a Muslim living abroad who holds no citizenship does not enjoy. With this equality, the Islamic system differs completely from the imperial one. It does not make the regions under its ruling into colonies, areas of exploitation, nor a source of wealth funnelled back into the central region for its own benefit, no matter how far apart they were, and no matter how different their races were. It considers every single region as a part of the state and its citizens enjoy the same rights as those in the central region. It also makes the ruling authority, its system and its legislation the same in all the regions.

wa alykum aslaam

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