Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Q&A: Being part of a group?

Question: Someone said that the daleel used by those who call for the re-establishment of the Khilafah is incorrect. More precisely, he was referring to the establishment of political parties based on Surah Al-Imran (ayaah 103). He told me that in Tafsir Qurtubi, Tabari and ibn Kathir it is said that the people who make up this party can only be mujtahid (or ulema, I dont remember exactly which one) and mujahid and no one else. Any comment?


With regards to the verse, ‘And let there arise out of you a group inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining the Good (ma’roof) and forbidding the Evil (munkar). And it is they who are successful’. [TMQ 3:104]

We should understand that this verse is related to the obligation of having at least one group from amongst the Ummah and the verse defines the general objective of that group i.e. to call to the Khair, enjoin the Ma’roof and forbid the Munkar.This is not the only evidence for groups, firstly we must understand the group is not Qati (definite) in its meaning as some scholars like al-Ghazali said that the verse does not refer to the establishment of a group but rather emphasises the obligation of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Although we differ with such scholars and explain as to why the ayah orders the establishment of a group we can also refer to another evidence regarding establishing a group in today’s reality which is the Shariah principle, “That which the wajib cannot be accomplished without becomes wajib”. It is clear that the Khilafah cannot be established other than by the collective effort i.e. by a group or groups.

However the Mufasireen you mentioned did not say that the people who make up this party must be Mujtahideen only. Ibn Kathir says in his book, Tafsir al Qur'an al-Adhim, "The ayah means that there should be from this Ummah a group aiming to work for Islam and ordering what is right and forbidding what is wrong.

And Ad-Dahhaq said, "They are particular people from the Sahabah, and particular people from the narrators, meaning particular people from the Mujahideen and scholars."

Imam Abu Bakr Ibn al-’Arabi said in his book, Ahkam al Qur'an, "Ummah in this verse means jama'ah (group)".

Imam AI-Tabari, a leading commentator and interpreter, said in his book, Jami' al Bayan, on the meaning of this verse, "Allah (swt) means by this: There should be among you a jama'ah (group) inviting people to Islam and its laws."

Qadi Al Baydawi said in his book, Anwar al Tanzil wa Asrar al Ta'wil, on the meaning of this verse, 'Min ' (among) here aims at singling out a group of people, because inviting to what is good and forbidding what is wrong requires certain conditions and qualifications that are not shared by all of the Muslim Ummah, like the knowledge of the Divine Law (Shari'ah) and the manner in which the obligation is to be carried out. That is why Allah (swt) addressed everyone at the beginning of the verse and then ordered the selection of a few people. This was to assert that it is the duty upon everyone; so if it is abandoned then everyone would fall sinful, but mitigated from the sin if even a single group of people qualified for the task established it."

What the scholars emphasised is that this group is distinguished from the normal Ummah, they were talking in the context under an Islamic state. The verse was revealed in Madina therefore it applies when an Islamic state exists or is absent, under an Islamic state it is a Fard Kifaya (collective obligation) to be part of the group - if some people fulfilled it, the rest are not sinful. However in the absence of the Khilafah state it is Fard Ayn (individual obligation) upon all Muslims to work to re-establish the Khilafah and the only legitimate mechanism in order to do that is via groups - therefore it is obligatory for them to join a group who is working for that.

For a more detailed article on groups in Islam check: Political Parties in Islam

The following articles explain the obligation of working for Khilafah:

The Fardiyyah (obligation) of working for Khilafah

Clear Evidences for the Obligation of the Khilafah


Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

A brother said that working for re-establishing the Khilafah is Fard Kifaya so how can I say it is Fard Ayn. In response:

We have to seperate between different issues:

1) Appointing a Khalifah within 3 days, 2 nights is Fard Kifaya Hatta Yakoon (duty of sufficiency until it is established). However after the time limit expires it effectively becomes Fard Ayn (individual obligation) although technically some people may call it a Fard Kifaya of which the time limit has expired. In reality it is only a technical difference of terminology as both views mean that it is an individual obligation for all Muslims to work for it today.

2) The obligation of having the Bay'ah on the neck is Fard Ayn from the clear evidences - check the Fardiyyah article. Therefore working to re-establish the bay'ah on the neck is fard Ayn from this point of view.

It has been mentioned in various places that working for Khilfah is Fard Ayn such as the book 'The Islamic State' by Sheikh Taqi ud-deen an-Nabhani in the chapter entitled 'Establishing The Islamic State Is A Duty Upon All Muslims' it says:

"Re-establishing the Islamic State, therefore, is a duty upon all the Muslims because this has
been confirmed by the Sunnah and the general consensus of the Sahabah. Because the
Muslims have submitted to the influence of Kufr over their land and the rules of Kufr are
implemented on them, their homeland, which in the past had been an Islamic homeland, has
become a Kufr homeland; in other words their citizenship has become non-Islamic even
though their land is Islamic. It is obligatory upon them to live in an Islamic homeland and to
have an Islamic citizenship, yet they cannot achieve this unless they establish an Islamic
State. Thus the Muslims would remain sinful until they began to work towards re-establishing
the Islamic State so that they could give their bay’ah to a Khaleefah who would implement
Islam and carry its Message to the world."

Anonymous said...

can you explain how the defintion of fard kifayaa is derived as imam shafi's risala has the definition as to others being absolved of the sin if some have undertook it..
shafi derives the definition using verses from the quran..

Anonymous said...

Is the beloved brother abu ismael al-beirawi a mujtahid like sheikh abu rashta oder sheikh al-uweida?