Thursday, 15 October 2009 14:31
1. What is Khilafah?
The Khilafah (Caliphate) is a general leadership over all Muslims in the world. Its responsibility is to implement the laws of the Islamic system and convey the Islamic Message to the rest of the world. The Khilafah is also called the Imama as both words have been narrated in many sahih ahadith with the same meaning.
2. Is the Khilafah a republican system?
The republican system is based on democracy, where sovereignty is given to the people. Thus, the people have the right of ruling and legislation. They reserve the right to lay down a constitution and enact laws and to abolish, alter or modify both the constitution and the law. This bares no resemblance to the Islamic system, which is based solely on the Islamic Aqeedah and the Islamic legislation. Sovereignty is to the legislation of Allah and not to the ummah. So the ummah has no right to legislate nor does the Khaleefah. The sole legislator is Allah, and the Khaleefah has the right only to adopt rulings for the constitution that is derived from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
3. Is the Khilafah an imperial system?
The imperial system of government completely contradicts Islam. The regions ruled by Islam - although composed of various races and linked to one central place – were never ruled by an imperial system. The reality of the Imperial system, like that perfected by Britain during its life as an empire, does not treat races equally in the various regions of the empire, rather gives privileges, in the ruling, finance and economy to the centre i.e. motherland. The modern version of this attitude, championed by the US is termed neo-colonialism.
The Islamic way of ruling is to establish equality between the subjects in all the regions of the State. Islam grants non-Muslims who hold citizenship, the full rights, accountabilities and duties that Muslims have. The Khilafah does not make the regions under its rule into colonies, areas of exploitation, nor a source of wealth funneled 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 an indivisible 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.
4. Is the Khilafah federal?
The shape of the ruling system in Islam is not a federal one, where its regions separate by autonomy possess sovereignty over national law, but unite in the general ruling. Rather, the Khilafah is a system of unity. The finance of all the regions will be the same, as will their budget. Funds are spent equally on the affairs of the subjects, regardless of the province. If for instance, the revenues of one province were double its needs; the funds spent will be in accordance with the needs of the province and not in accordance with its revenues. If another province’s revenues fell short of its needs, this would not be taken into consideration, and funds will be spent to satisfy its needs from the general budget whether it raised enough revenues or not.
Furthermore, the Islamic system is centralized in its ruling (though decentralized in administration), where the authority is at the centre, and where the authority and power engulfs every single part of the State, no matter how small or large it is. Independence of any part of it is not allowed. The central authority i.e. Khaleefah, is the body that appoints the army commanders, the governors and finance and economy officials. He appoints judges in all the regions and everyone whose duties is to rule. He is the one who deals with ruling throughout.
5. Is the Khilafah theocratic?
The theocratic model is unlike the Islamic system in both generality and detail, as the ruler is a spiritual leader appointed from and by the clergy alone. He is considered as the representative of God on earth. Assuming such a title and position makes the ruler immune from any form of accountability or questioning of his decrees and there is no right to remove him from office under any circumstances. This description of the theocratic model fundamentally contradicts the Islamic ruling system where the ruler is a political leader appointed by the ummah as a whole.
The Khaleefah is not the representative of God but rather a representative of the ummah in ruling and power, where the ummah selects him and gives him the pledge of allegiance. He is restricted in all his actions, judgments and looking after the affairs of the ummah and their interests by the divine rules. Therefore the Khaleefah is accountable and accounting the ruler is a duty upon the Muslims. And where Khaleefah contradicts and/or violates the contractual conditions of ruling, his removal becomes obligatory.
In addition the notion of a theocratic state, in its philosophy still pertains to the division and separation between the spiritual and temporal – in essence secularism. Therefore theocratic governments today are characterized with a distinct and separate spiritual and political leadership, like in Iran. This contradicts the philosophy of Islam where there is no separation between the spiritual and temporal or the political. This further illustrates the contradiction between the theocratic model and the Islamic ruling system.
6. Where does Hizb ut-Tahrir work?
Although Islam is a universal ideology, its method does not, however, allow one to work for it universally from the beginning. It is necessary, however, to invite to it universally, and make the field of work for it in one country, or a few countries, until it is consolidated there and the Islamic State is established.
The whole world is a suitable location for the Islamic da'wah. But since the people in the Muslim countries have already embraced Islam, it is necessary that the da'wah starts there. The Arab countries are the most suitable location to start carrying the da'wah because these countries, which constitute part of the Muslim world, are inhabited by people who speak the Arabic language, which is the language of the Qur'an and hadith, and is an essential part of Islam and a basic element of the Islamic culture.
The Hizb began and started to carry the da'wah within some of the Arab countries. It then proceeded to expand the delivery of the da'wah naturally until it began to function in many Arab countries, non-Arab Muslim countries as well as in non-Muslim countries where Muslims reside. However, its work to re-establish the Khilafah is focused in the Muslim countries only.
7. What is the work of Hizb ut-Tahrir in non-Muslim countries like the United States of America?
In non-Muslim countries like the United States, Hizb ut-Tahrir works to cultivate a Muslim community that lives by Islam in thought and deed, whereby adhering to the rules of Islam and preserving a strong Islamic identity. The party does not work in the West to change the system of government, but works to project a positive image of Islam to Western society and engages in dialogue with Western thinkers, policymakers and academics.
8. Why is Hizb ut-Tahrir banned in some countries?
Hizb ut-Tahrir is at the forefront of political activism in the Muslim world, challenging and accounting the tyrannical rulers of the Muslim world such as Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan, and Asif Ali Zardari in Pakistan. The response of these regimes to our work has been the imprisonment, torture and murder of our members. Whilst our challenge to these regimes has been upon an intellectual and political basis, through encouragement of debate and discussion, these regimes have turned a blind eye and resorted to banning and silencing the party through violent means. As these regimes tolerate no real opposition whatsoever, all opposition parties are banned. However, despite the banning of Hizb ut-Tahrir and the intimidation of its members, the thoughts of the party have nevertheless successfully permeated throughout society.
9. Who is the Ameer of Hizb ut-Tahrir?
By the will of Allah (swt), Hizb ut-Tahrir has had three ameers:
a. The founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir and the first ameer, Sheikh Muhammad Taqiuddin bin Ibrahim bin Mustafah bin Ismail bin Yusuf al-Nabhani (Rahmatullah Alaih).
b. The second ameer, Shaykh Abdul Qadeem Zaloom (Rahmatullah Alaih).
c. The current ameer, Ata ibn Khaleel Abu Rushta.
10. Is Hizb ut-Tahrir linked with any other groups?
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a completely independent organization and has no association with any other Islamic or non-Islamic movement, party or organization by name or deed.
11. What are the opinions of Organizations and individuals regarding Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ideas and actions:
a. "The group's non-violent ideology has displayed remarkable continuity over five decades. Originally directed at Arab Muslims, its vision of a return to an Islamic way of life through the agency of a new pan-Islamic state attracts adherents around the world… Hizb ut-Tahrir has remained remarkably consistent in ideology and strategy." [Oxford Analytica 2008]
b. "We have yet to see convincing evidence that Hizb ut-Tahrir as an organization advocates violence or terrorism." [UK FCO Minister Bill Rammell, Hansard, 19/4/04]
c. "Hizb ut-Tahrir [HT] is an independent political party that is active in many countries across the world. HT's activities centre on intellectual reasoning, logic arguments and political lobbying. The party adheres to the Islamic Shariah law in all aspects of its work. It considers violence or armed struggle against the regime, as a method to re-establish the Islamic State, a violation of the Islamic Shariah." [Restricted Home Office Documents 19/8/03, Released to Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain 1/6/05 under FOI Act]
d. "Hizb ut-Tahrir is a completely non-violent organization." [Craig Murray, the ex-British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Al-Jazeera, 17/5/05]
e. "…it advocates the restoration of the Islamic caliphate. It differs from jihadi groups which share this objective in abstaining from violent activity." [International Crisis Group, 2/3/05]
f. "Hizb ut-Tahrir does not advocate a violent overthrow of Muslim regimes... Instead HT believes in winning over mass support, believing that one day these supporters will rise up in peaceful demonstrations and overthrow the regimes of Central Asia." [Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: the Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia]
g. "Hizb ut-Tahrir quite explicitly disavows violence as its means for achieving power." [John Schoeberlein, Director of Harvard University’s Central Asia program]
h. "Hizb ut-Tahrir has shown dissatisfaction on the policies of the [Pakistan] government which is the right of each and every citizen… I am unable to understand as to how distribution of these pamphlets in the general public was termed as terrorism or sectarianism." [Multan Bench, Lahore High Court, March 2005]
i. “Ata Abu Rushta, spokesperson for the Hizb ut-Tahrir, Liberation Party in Jordan, a party seeking to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in February by the State Security Court for lese majesty under Article 195(1) of the Penal Code in connection with an interview he had given to the newspaper al-Hiwar. The statements on which the charges were based did not advocate violence." [Amnesty International Report, 1997]