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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Methodology for the Re-Establishment of Khilafah - Imam Anwar al-Awlaki

Question:
Salam Alakum. What I understand from your lectures is that you believe the
method to re-establish Khilafah is through Jihad. Can you respond to this?

“Another view that is being addressed to the Ummah is the concept of fighting

the rulers and that through military struggle Islam will return to the world
stage. Again this is based upon a particular Hadith. It has been narrated from
many sources including Imam Muslim that the Prophet (saw) said, .Do not
challenge the people of authority unless you see explicit Kufr of which you have
clear proof from Allah(from Islam).. Ibn Kathir in his Tafseer states that if
the Khaleefah reverts to the rule of disbelief, he would be fought until he
returned to the implementation of Islam and the Shari’ah.

Ibn Hajr in his Fateh al-Bari also states that if he becomes a Kafir, or

changes the Shari.ah he should be fought and removed. This view is also
mentioned in Nayl al-Awtar and supported by Imam Shawkani. That is, if the ruler
rules by other than the Shari’ah he is fought until he either repents or is
removed. However that is the only situation that it applies to i.e. the ruling
of a Khaleefah who resorts to the Kufr ruling and disobedience to Allah. It does
not relate to the Khaleefah becoming tyrannical and also does not relate to his
personality becoming corrupt. In which case obedience to him is binding and the
Muslims should still pray behind him and fight Jihad behind him.

However, these Ahadith are not connected to the current situation. They are all

connected to revolt and rising against the Khaleefah and are titled under the
subject of .Khurooj min al Khaleefah. i.e. rising against the authority of a
Khaleefah or an Imam.

The current situation is not that of the Khulafaa’ who used to rule by Islam

and then turned away from Islam. The current problem is also not merely related
to removing a ruler by killing him. Rather, entire systems of Kufr have been
implemented over Muslims for over 76 years, none of the rulers have ever ruled
by the Shari.ah and none of them are Khulafaa’ within a Khilafah. The systems
that they are applying are either monarchies or Capitalistic with some sort of
democratic framework. Hence, the reality isn.t that of removing a bad Khaleefah
within an Islamic State. The reality is of uprooting an entire Kufr system,
including it.s ruler, to again establish Dar ul-Islam. The current rulers are
not comparable in any way to Khulafaa’ who have introduced one Kufr law into the
Khilafah. Hence these Ahadith, which have always been understood in the context
of Dar ul-Islam i.e. where Islam is implemented and the Muslims possess the
security, do not apply upon the current situation. The reality which they
address is that of removing a Khaleefah who rules with Kufr within the Islamic
State, not that of uprooting an entire Kufr system merely by fighting and
killing the ruler of that system.

The only situation that is comparable from the evidences is the establishment

of the Islamic State for the very first time by the Prophet(saw) and the
struggle which he (saw) went through in order to establish this State and change
Dar ul-Kufr to Dar ul-Islam. This is the struggle which he (saw) referred to in
the Hadith of Hamza and as is illustrated in the Books of Sunnah and Seerah. As
that is the only instance in which a complete system of Kufr existed and was
changed to a complete system of Islam. So the matter is regarding the changing
of a system, not merely a ruler. The Ahadith of fighting, apply to changing a
ruler i.e. a Khaleefah who has gone astray not a system, only the struggle of
the Prophet (saw) in Makkah applies to the changing of a system. So military
struggle is not the method of re-establishing the Khilafah.”
- Also, can you give me your views on Hizb ut-Tahrir. JazakAllah Khair. Salam
Alakum.



Answer:
Most Islamic groups that were founded after the fall of the khilafa recognize the importance of re-establishing al khilafa again. There was a time during the decades of the eighties and nineties when the Salafi’s, Ikhwaan, Jamaat Islami, HT, Jihad groups and even some of the sufi’s talked about khilafah. Since then and because of the fact that the West has made it clear that it doesn’t like that idea and would not tolerate it, some groups have backed off completely from any talk of khilafah while others toned it down. Only a few remained steadfast in their call to establish the Islamic system again.
The proposed methods that Islamic groups presented for re-establishing al Khilafah are:
1. Through tarbiyyah and then somehow when our condition changes the khilafa will be re-established again. While others say we will do tarbiyyah until the ummah is ready and then we will fight the enemies of Allah.
2. By reaching to power through participating in the democratic system.
3. The HT method of raising the awareness of the ummah of the importance of khilafa, educating the Muslims on politics, and searching for nusrah.
4. Fighting in path of Allah in order to establish the religion of Allah.
The proponents of the first method have never given the ummah any benchmark to when we have done sufficient tarbiyyah to move on to the stage of implementation and therefore will remain in a perpetual state of tarbiyyah while negating the duty of Jihad.
They also miss the point that tarbiyyah is within one generation and not multigenerational. Meaning the change that Rasulullah brought which started with dawa and ended with jihad was within the lifetime of one generation. It all happened within 23 years. Every other successful change in the ummah occurred within one generation. History is a testimony to this.
The promoters of change by participation in democratic elections started out by stating that democracy is kufr and we do not believe in it but we are using it as a vehicle to reach to power and after we reach to power we will implement Islam. This is what I heard from every single leading member of Ikhwaan in the late eighties and early nineties. I clearly remember the public discussions that were held on this issue because the Salafi’s back then were very much against Ikhwaan on this point. I also remember clearly the private discussion I had with some of the shuyukh of ikhwaan who would reiterate the same point again and again: Democracy is un-Islamic and we are participating in elections but our intentions are to change the system from within.
There are three problems with this method:
First: It is a deception and a lie to use democracy and claim to be adherents to the democratic system but not believe in it. Now deception is acceptable against the enemy if the Muslims are in a state of war with the them. The problem is that the particular groups that are involved in the democratic process do not believe that they are in a state of war with the disbelievers but believe that there is a covenant between the Muslims and the disbelievers. So if we are in a covenant with the disbelievers then it is not allowed to use deception against them and it is not allowed to lie to them. That’s the first problem.
The next problem is that when you repeat a lie long enough you end up believing it. For those who knew these groups from the eighties it is strange for them to see how much they have changed over time. Now they are saying and I have heard this more than once from their prominent members that now we genuinely do believe in the democratic system. We believe in the ballot not bullet. And if the ballot decides that a secular or disbelieving party wins we will accept that.
As Muslims we should not subject Islam to the whims of the people, if they chose it we implement it, if they don’t we accept the choice of the masses. Our position is that we will implement the rule of Allah on earth by the tip of the sword whether the masses like it or not. We will not subject sharia rule to popularity contests. Rasulullah says: I was sent with the sword until Allah alone is worshiped. That path, the path of Rasulullah, is the path we should follow.
The final problem is that the Muslims’ method is not a method of infiltration. Muslims do not try to infiltrate the system and work from within. It is just not our way. It is the way of the Jews and the munafiqeen but not the way of the Muslims. We are honest and straightforward with friend and foe. We make our intentions open and we declare our dawah publicly, “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” We do not want to infiltrate the system whether in America or in a Muslim country. The Jews are the ones who have infiltrated every government they lived under whether it was al-Andalus and the Ottoman khilafah or the Western governments of today. They have a hidden agenda, we don’t. The Jews and their brethren, the hypocrites, tried to infiltrate the government of Rasulullah and were exposed by Quran:
“And a faction of the People of the Scripture say [to each other], “Believe in that which was revealed to the believers at the beginning of the day and reject it at its end that perhaps they will return [i.e., abandon their religion]”
So they would become believers and come in to the community only to leave it at the end of the day. Allah also talks about the hypocrites who would sit among the believers and convey what they hear to the Jews.
Therefore for those who say that we should be involved with the system and change it from within are not following the path of the Muslims and if their character is that of a Muslim they would fail because infiltration just doesn’t work with Muslim behavior. But if they do succeed in infiltrating the system then that is proof that their character has become that of the Jews or the hypocrites and not that of the Muslims.
A point related to this is that those who come from Islamic backgrounds and have spent a long time working within the political systems of today end up becoming politicians, with all the negative meanings of the word: deceptive, changing colors, materialistic and Machiavellian in their methods. They may have been bred in the Islamic movements’ strong tarbiyyiah programs but after a while in the political arena they become the wolves they were trying to change. I have seen this with my own eyes happen to people that I know and as one leader of the Islamic movement in Yemen said: “We send them as sheep into a world of wolves only for them to come back to us as an eaten up skeleton.” If you want a live example of what working from within the system produces look no further than Sudan and Turkey. The ruling parties in both countries started out as Islamists only to end up just like everyone else in their rotten and corrupt environments.
Regarding the method of HT which you specifically referred to in your question, I first came in contact with HT members from Jordan in the early nineties and found them to be argumentative but well-mannered and polite. My first understanding of the Hizb was from them and they were core members of the group. HT has played an important role in raising the awareness of the ummah to the matter of khilafa. They also played a role in countering the false idea that politics and political awareness have nothing to do with Islam. However the method of HT to re-establish khilfah is simply not going to work. To wait for nusrah until it arrives is to wait for a miracle. Tribes or military generals that are supposed to give nusrah and establish the religion of Allah are not going to be won over simply by discussions. They will only be won over when they see a group of believers living by what they say and sacrifice all that they own for the sake of Allah. This is what will inspire others to join. The two success stories of powerful people giving nusrah to the religion are some of the former officers of the Iraqi baath regime who joined the insurgency and the former president of Chechnya, Dudayev, who was a high ranking officer in the Soviet army. Both these successful examples of nusra were not won over through debates, demonstrations and pamphlets but by them seeing a living example of men struggling in the path of Allah.
This leads me to the forth method of re-establishing khilafa and that is through Jihad fi sabilillah. The argument that you presented against this is that the only similar situation to our situation now is that of Rasulullah establishing an Islamic state first and then fighting Jihad. You are neglecting a serious difference and that is when Rasulullah established Madina there was no Islamic land that was invaded. Isn’t this a serious and major difference? Today the Muslim world is under occupation and the statements of our scholars are clear that it becomes fardh ayn on every able Muslim to fight to free the Muslim land. When something is fardh ayn it is fardh ayn. You cannot theorize or hypothesize otherwise. The ruling is clear and the implications of it are clear. So even if you do not believe Jihad to be the way to establish khilafah you must agree that Jihad is fardh ayn and that is not where HT stands. Also the jihad which is fardh ayn and is Jihad al dafa (defensive Jihad) does not require the one who wants to participate to seek the permission of the Imam, parents, husband, slave owner, or lender.
Also why should we argue on this point when we see the evidence of it in the real world. The two most successful examples, even though far from perfect, of Islamic rule in this past decade were the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic courts in Somalia. In both countries only these Muslim fighters brought peace, security and rule of law in both countries. Both movements reached to power not through elections or debates but through war. They did not fall because they were failures but they fell because the ummah failed them. However, even though a battle here and there were lost but the war is not over. If you follow the current events and look at them with an attentive eye you would realize that it is the enemy who is bleeding to death not the Muslim fighters. Pretty soon the scales will tip.
Because confusion usually surrounds what is meant by Jihad whether it is the Jihad al Nafs or Jihad of the sword I do not exclusively mean one or the other and I do not exclude one or the other. What I mean by Jihad here is not just picking up a gun and fighting. Jihad is broader than that. What is meant by Jihad in this context is a total effort by the ummah to fight and defeat its enemy. Rasulullah says: Fight the disbelievers with your self, your wealth and your tongues. It is what Clausewitz would refer to as “total war” but with the Islamic rules of engagement. It is a battle in the battlefield and a battle for the hearts and minds of the people.






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10 comments:

Baseer said...

The following is a sequential response to the above.. this was sent as an email to awlaki after he wrote the above article..

Dear Sheikh Al-Awlaki, Assalamualaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu. I can't describe in words how much I love you, for the sake of Allah, for what you have said and written and for the tears which you have made me shed while listening to your talks.Below you will find your own reply in QUOTES and my comments in PARENTHESES.
"Regarding the method of HT which you specifically referred to in your question, I first came in contact with HT members from Jordan in the early nineties and found them to be argumentative but well-mannered and polite. My first understanding of the Hizb was from them and they were core members of the group. HT has played an important role in raising the awareness of the ummah to the matter of khilafa."
((Though its a very nice depiction of what HT is doing, but it could be thought of as incomplete. Maybe you are aware of the work, and its just the brevity of your words, but let me still clarify. Its not just the 'matter of khilafah' which HT is raising the ummah's awareness in, rather HT is the first and only group to my knowledge who is reviving the concept of Islam being a complete, viable and practical way of life, specially covering the domains of politics, society, judiciary, ruling, economics, foreign policy and education. This has given the youth like me the confidence back, which very few of us enjoyed in Islam beyond mere rituals. Morever, all this is done with concise daleel while keeping all practical aspects in mind as well. So it should be seen as the work which the group of Muhammad (saw), the Sahabah (ra) were doing together with him (saw) in Makkah in the initial years of the revelation.))


"They also played a role in countering the false idea that politics and political awareness have nothing to do with Islam. However the method of HT to re-establish khilfah is simply not going to work."
((Whether the method works or not, is mere speculation, as no method so far has worked for the Muslims, with the exception to the method employed by Rasoolallah (saw), which is none but the same that HT is following. I would have liked to hear an answer from you which is well grounded in the daleel of Quran and sunnah and not merely speculative.))

"They also played a role in countering the false idea that politics and political awareness have nothing to do with Islam. However the method of HT to re-establish khilfah is simply not going to work."
((Whether the method works or not, is mere speculation, as no method so far has worked for the Muslims, with the exception to the method employed by Rasoolallah (saw), which is none but the same that HT is following. I would have liked to hear an answer from you which is well grounded in the daleel of Quran and sunnah and not merely speculative.))


"To wait for nusrah until it arrives is to wait for a miracle."
((This sentence is quite misleading and therefore should have been left out. There is no waiting, rather HT is pursuing this goal very proactively, risking the lives of its best shabab and working the very same way as Rasoolallah (saw) together with Abubakar and Ali (ra) was doing in Makkah.))

"To wait for nusrah until it arrives is to wait for a miracle."
((This sentence is quite misleading and therefore should have been left out. There is no waiting, rather HT is pursuing this goal very proactively, risking the lives of its best shabab and working the very same way as Rasoolallah (saw) together with Abubakar and Ali (ra) was doing in Makkah.))

baseer said...

"Tribes or military generals that are supposed to give nusrah and establish the religion of Allah are not going to be won over simply by discussions. They will only be won over when they see a group of believers living by what they say and sacrifice all that they own for the sake of Allah. This is what will inspire others to join."
((I agree with you that if it is discussions only, it won't work. But this is surely not the method. Rather its more comprehensive than that and needs to be put in proper context. One prong, if I may say so, of HT is working on creating public opinion for Islam as a solution provider and challenging and refuting all other solutions. Given the fact that the vast majority among the Ummah is already rejecting the Western notions of freedom, democracy, secularism, interest-based economics, liberal societies, it is evident that there is a void which needs to be filled in. Politicians and Army generals alike are aware of this fact, and the best evidence is the very very turbulent times politics is going through in Muslims lands, very recent examples being that of Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. The Western powers have to alternate between Military rule, and different political parties, including the more Islamic ones, in order to keep people's hope with the ailing system alive. It is that after creating such scenarios that the youth of HT go and talk to the people in Nasr, and they do so from a position of strenght, because of the visibility of the party among the masses with leaflets, demonstrations and bayanat, among the media with pictures and news, among the politicians with one to one discussions, among intellectuals with debates and so on. And all this is not just done in one city, in one country, or the whole of the Muslim world, its going on in all major cities of the Muslim world and even most major cities of the Western world. It has forced most famous think tanks of the world to issue reports on HT and it becoming a topic of floors of parliament the world over. So there is every reason to believe that any sincere general would find all those elements he would look for while giving his support for the sake of Islam. as for taking inspiration from the sacrifices of a group, I would suggest that in case of HT, all its members, from top till bottom are equally exposed to the risk, with those working in Nasr being even more sought after. This is a differentiating factor from others, where you have those who undertake the 'verbal' part and those who get invovled in the real 'action'.))


"The two success stories of powerful people giving nusrah to the religion are some of the former officers of the Iraqi baath regime who joined the insurgency and the former president of Chechnya, Dudayev, who was a high ranking officer in the Soviet army. Both these successful examples of nusra were not won over through debates, demonstrations and pamphlets but by them seeing a living example of men struggling in the path of Allah."
((Again, in HT's case, they don't only see men struggling in the path of Allah, but a whole group, with all the templates ready to run a modern state. Also, they see the example of so many shabab being boiled alive and tortured to death. Farhad Usmanov and the death of the founding sheikh are just two to mention.))

baseer said...

"This leads me to the fourth method of re-establishing khilafa and that is through Jihad fi sabilillah. The argument that you presented against this is that the only similar situation to our situation now is that of Rasulullah establishing an Islamic state first and then fighting Jihad. You are neglecting a serious difference and that is when Rasulullah established Madina there was no Islamic land that was invaded. Isn't this a serious and major difference?" ((Of course it is a serious difference, but that should only mean that there are two tasks now, one is to get rid of the occupiers (with or without Khilafah would be the pressing questions) and the other task, which still remains, to establish the institution of Khilafah itself. Why should this change reality (occupation of Muslims lands) suddenly change the method of re-establishing the Islamic way of life? Seconldy, not all lands of Muslims are occupied. In Rasoolallah's (saw) time, in a way, all land was occupied land, and still he didnt resort to arms!!))


"Today the Muslim world is under occupation and the statements of our scholars are clear that it becomes fardh ayn on every able Muslim to fight to free the Muslim land. When something is fardh ayn it is fardh ayn. You cannot theorize or hypothesize otherwise. The ruling is clear and the implications of it are clear. So even if you do not believe Jihad to be the way to establish khilafah you must agree that Jihad is fardh ayn and that is not where HT stands. Also the jihad which is fardh ayn and is Jihad al dafa (defensive Jihad) does not require the one who wants to participate to seek the permission of the Imam, parents, husband, slave owner, or lender."
((Beautiful! As you correclty point out, there is no need for a Fard-Ayn to be sanctioned or granted permission by any Imam, or Amir just like the Salah or the Saum (fasting), why should HT do so? HT doesn't hypothesize on this, rather it just is convinced that this is not the method to establish the sate, so it doesn't employ it for that matter. Otherwise, members of HT struggle in the occupied lands against the occupation exaclty the same was as they fast and pray, without any special notification from the party. Or would you also hold the party responsible for not issuing leaflets ordering the members to fast every Ramadhan?))


"Also why should we argue on this point when we see the evidence of it in the real world. The two most successful examples, even though far from perfect, of Islamic rule in this past decade were the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic courts in Somalia. In both countries only these Muslim fighters brought peace, security and rule of law in both countries. Both movements reached to power not through elections or debates but through war. They did not fall because they were failures but they fell because the ummah failed them".
((Even if we forget how ISI was behind the Taliban and even if we forget that Afghanistan didn't have any indigenous industry to produce arms (complete external dependence), how can we neglect the fact which Imam himself admits, that they were failed by the ummah. Why? Why is it that tough the ummah is full of sincere people, and even the armies have lots of sincere figthers, some of whom even went there to fight and got martyred, their government fell apart within days not months? Isn't this evidence and advice in itself that its not about just toppling the regime, rather its about 1. Having local support i.e. public opinion for Islam, 2. Having a viable piece of land, i.e. one where once the state is announced, it can be defended against internal as well as external aggressors? 3. Those working to bring about such change have to think across borders in advance, i.e. global presence, so that its not a stagnant or regressive state, rather one which would unite the Muslims lands from its very inception.))

baseer said...

"However, even though a battle here and there were lost but the war is not over. If you follow the current events and look at them with an attentive eye you would realize that it is the enemy who is bleeding to death not the Muslim fighters. Pretty soon the scales will tip.Because confusion usually surrounds what is meant by Jihad whether it is the Jihad al Nafs or Jihad of the sword I do not exclusively mean one or the other and I do not exclude one or the other. What I mean by Jihad here is not just picking up a gun and fighting. Jihad is broader than that. What is meant by Jihad in this context is a total effort by the ummah to fight and defeat its enemy. Rasulullah says: Fight the disbelievers with your self, your wealth and your tongues. It is what Clausewitz would refer to as "total war" but with the Islamic rules of engagement. It is a battle in the battlefield and a battle for the hearts and minds of the people." ((Alhamdolillah, as you recognize that, it clarifies why some of our shabab even in occupied lands prefer not to pick up arms, and rather use their tongues and pens to give bayanaat and distribute leaflets which would motivate the Arab and other Muslim armies to change the direction fo their guns from their own people towards the occupiers.))
((In conclusion, I really feel sad that though HT is one of the most well documented group, its members very eloquent in their message and its presence is global, its method is either misunderstood or confused even by very learned people like you. I would really love to see your comments on mine. Again, please don't be offended by anything, we both have the very same opinion on the objective, its just the method which needs a bit more of deliberation on our part, and Allah knows the best.)) jazakallah khayr for your patience and reply.

Imad-ud-din Saqib said...

I did not say whether I agree with the article or not. And as for the things you wrote, I agree with almost everything.

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