Saturday, February 26, 2011

The objective is not the rule but the resumption of the Islamic way of life

The following is an extract from the translation from the adopted booklet 'Access to Society' by Hizb ut-Tahrir published in Muharram 1377 / July 1958. This pamphlet is part of a series of four known as 'Nasharat ur-Sayr' (The Progress Leaflets) that were issued as the party entered different phases of its methodology, they elaborate upon many of the concepts discussed in the party's book entitled ''At Takkatal Hizbi' (Structuring of a party). 

However, it should be always remembered, that the objective is not the rule, the objective is rather the resumption of the Islamic way of life and the carrying of the Islamic Da’awah to the world, and that the method of this would be the rule. Hence, the seizing of power would in fact be a method in order to turn the current way of life into an Islamic way of life, i.e. in order to turn the established relationships between people into Islamic relationships. It would be forbidden to regard the rule as being more than just a method. Hence, the point at issue would not only involve the destruction of the people in power, it would rather involve making the Islamic thoughts predominant in society, so that the destruction of the people in power may take place, and so that the reins of power may be seized off them via the predominance of these thoughts. On the other hand, the state would come into being by the birth of new thoughts upon which it would be built and the authority changes due to the change of these thoughts; because when the thoughts turn into concepts, they affect man’s behaviour and make his behaviour proceed according to these concepts. Hence his viewpoint about life changes, and according to this change, his viewpoint towards the interests also changes. The authority is but looking after and supervising the government of these interests. The authority could only be in the hands of the strongest faction in society. Hence, if people in one area were in agreement about their viewpoint towards the interests, they would appoint someone to resume looking after their affairs, i.e. they themselves would appoint the authority which would run their interests, or they would keep silent about those who appointed themselves in authority to run their interests for them. In this instance, the rule would conclusively come from the Ummah, either by her effective choice or by her silence about its establishment. Silence is one form of choice. However, if they were in disagreement about their viewpoint towards the interests, they would then become several factions, and the strongest one would undoubtedly resume the authority ahead of the others. Hence it would run its affairs and the affairs of all the other factions according to its own interests, and they would all be obliged to submit to it and to manage their affairs according to its own interests for it would be the strongest, until they accept this management and until their viewpoint towards the interests becomes the same as that of the strongest faction, and all the factions melt into one single faction; or until they get an opportunity to defeat the faction which has resumed the authority and seize power from it, then run their affairs according to the interests of the new faction that seizes power.

This is the natural and inevitable situation in every authority that undertakes the running of people’s affairs, whether this authority were tribal or democratic or Islamic. Even the dictatorial authority is a factional authority and not an individual one, because the management of people’s affairs by this individual would only be achievable by the support or the consent of a strong faction. In both cases, he would resume his role thanks to the authority of the strong faction which either backs him or keeps silent about him, not by his own authority. Therefore, there ought to be a host of specific thoughts about life, and there ought to be a strong faction to carry these thoughts with conviction and receive them with consent and enthusiasm. What is meant by the faction in this context is not the party, the faction is rather a group of people in society; the party is not a faction but rather an incorporeal personality.

Hence, the specific thoughts about life, reflected in the group of concepts, criteria and convictions, would be the basis; and it would be the acceptance of this host of concepts, criteria and convictions by a group of people or a strong faction from among them, even if this acceptance were in general terms, which would establish the state and transfer power in it, regardless of whether the acceptance of these thoughts by the faction or the group of people were the result of a shaping that is meticulously illustrated or of a tangible and sensed reality, which the faction or the group of people had witnessed its concordance with several events. Therefore, it would be imperative to embark first of all upon generating the thoughts which contain a host of concepts, criteria and convictions about life, then achieve the consent of the group of people or the strongest faction among them, to this host of concepts, criteria and convictions, so that the state is established in a natural and inevitable manner.

Seizing power in any country could not occur unless the host of concepts, criteria and convictions, which the Ummah or the stronger faction from among her has adopted, were used as a method to reach power and to fulfill people’s affairs according to these concepts, criteria and convictions. However, if power were seized in order to implement a host of concepts, criteria and convictions which contradict the concepts which people had become convinced in, or which they had accepted or had become accustomed to, this power could only come by way of a foreign invasion whose material and intellective power exceeds that of the Ummah’s material and intellective power.

Therefore, it would be imperative to start with the Ummah in order to generate amongst her the host of concepts, criteria and convictions, and to urge her to adopt them with conviction, then to seize power through the Ummah in order to establish the Islamic state in one region, then the state would spread with its material and intellective force to all the parts of the Islamic world in order to join it in one single state. What generates these thoughts, or in other words, this group of criteria, concepts and convictions in society, and what makes the strongest faction or people as a whole accept them and conceive the necessity of living in society upon their basis, it would be the party, not the state, nor the Ummah, nor even the individual intellectuals within the Ummah if they remained individuals. This is because the state is merely an entity which executes the host of concepts, criteria and convictions which the Ummah had adopted. The state is not an intellectual entity and it could not overstep the vital or the cognitive reality of the Ummah, this reality which the party looks after its affairs and derives its existence from it. It could merely express physically, through its management of affairs, the vital and cognitive energy of the Ummah, this by erupting, organising and putting it into practice. To demand the state to initiate reform or a radical change would not be possible, for this is not part of its entity, for the state is merely an executive entity not an intellectual entity.

The Ummah is however a diverse and complex social entity, it is born out of male and female. In this social entity the intellectual, organic and physical faculties are disparate, and the executive styles differ according to what it carries in terms of criteria, concepts and convictions, and it is in addition to all this dominated by the basic thoughts from which these criteria, concepts and convictions had emanated, a dominance which would make it difficult for it to produce other thoughts, for it is confined to thinking within those thoughts. Therefore, it would be impossible for it to be an intellectual entity. Therefore, it would be beyond any people or any Ummah to collectively change its viewpoint about the general life, and to change its conventional and common concepts, criteria and convictions, no matter how backward and declined these concepts, criteria and convictions became.

Hence, the state as an entity, and the people -or the Ummah- in its collective quality, do not have a source of concepts, criteria and convictions, they are rather the object of execution of these concepts, criteria and convictions. The Ummah would execute them upon herself, and the state would execute them upon the Ummah; hence they both are affected by the concepts, criteria and convictions not effective. They both move and act towards life according to the group of criteria, concepts and convictions, so as to make them the basis from which they proceed towards the legal reality of the state and the societal reality of the Ummah.


Therefore, the source of these concepts, criteria and convictions and the force which affect the state and the Ummah must be other than the Ummah and the state, and it should be effective and not affected, and capable to generate these concepts, criteria and convictions, capable to establish them, capable to amend them and change them, and capable to preserve them.

Here, what could spring to mind is that the intellectual individuals who are bred within the Ummah would be the ones who would revive her; reference may be made in this aspect to the prophets and the reformers as being individuals who revived their nations. Here is where the mistake happens and where the feet stumble. This is so because the individuals, in their individualist quality, have no entity. The Ummah as a whole is an entity and the state is also an entity, hence it would be impossible to influence and affect them save for an entity stronger than them, an entity that has the quality of an entity, structured out of elements which have a bond linking them together and making them form an entity. Hence, no matter how capable the individual were, he would not be able to influence an entity no matter how weak this entity were. Hence, only an entity could affect another entity.

This on the one hand, on the other hand, when the idea transpires in the mind of the individual, it would have an individualist and a personal aspect, regardless of the cause of its birth, whether this were an innovation of his part or whether he heard it from someone else, also, regardless of whether this hearing had come by way of reading or by way of teaching. The idea would retain this intellectual and personal characteristic for as long as it holds solely to the aspect of intellection; the individual would consider it his own property and he would be eager to characterise it with his own character, hence it would turn into theoretical thoughts which he would speak about or into published material. They would not initiate any effect in the state or the Ummah no matter how numerous the number of intellectuals were and no matter how numerous the number of books and publications were. When this idea manages to be transferred into a conviction in the intellectual’s mind, it would move from the intellectual aspect into the aspect of criterion and concept, and it would move form the intellective aspect to that of intellection and implementation. Hence the idea would break the scope of intellection to the domain of existence amongst people, then to the domain of existence within society. As for what makes this idea transform and move, it would be the decisive belief (Iman Jazim) in it, in other words, it would be the decisive trust (Tasdeeq Jazim) which is in conformity with reality in the mind of the intellectual. 


As for the way it would follow towards reaching this stage, this would be the repetition, persuasion and implementation, and this could not be brought about except within a group and with a group. The repetition, persuasion and implementation would continue within and with this group until the idea becomes the property of this group as a group and the property of each one of its individuals; the idea would invade their viewpoint about life and occupy it, and it would invade their conducts and correct them and rectify them; it would acquire an influence and it would become an atmosphere which man would be affected by its characteristics if he were to be placed within this atmosphere. Hence, a specific entity for this idea would be generated, which would be other than the entity of the Ummah, though it would be part of her, not part of her entity. This specific entity would proceed under the authority of the state, not under its entity. This intellectual entity would be the party which would be formed within the Ummah. Hence, what really influences people or the state would be the party, not the intellectual individuals.

The party, in its quality as an entity, would engage in a battle with the entity of the state and the entity of the Ummah in order to strike both of them down, because it would have the quality of being effective and that of being affected, as oppose to the entity of the state or the entity of the Ummah which each one of them has the quality of being affected and not that of being effective, and it would be the party’s adherence to its intellectual entity that determines the period of its struggle, for its intellectual adherence as an entity would shorten the period of its struggle, while its slackness would lengthen this period. As long as the party does not deviate from its concepts, criteria and convictions, it would undoubtedly conquer the two entities: the entity of the Ummah and the entity of the state. It would conquer the strongest faction among people, they would become together one single entity and they would occupy their outstanding entity within the entity of the Ummah, i.e. the leadership ; with this new entity, it would strike down the entity of the state. Then with both the intellectual entity and the executive entity, it would seize the rest of the factions and would melt them all in one single entity which would be the entity of the Ummah.

Although the struggle that takes place would be intellectual, it would nevertheless be a struggle between concepts, criteria and convictions, not simply a struggle between abstract thoughts. Hence it would take on the general relationships and the public interests, for it would aim at destroying the corrupt nature of the Ummah’s entity, this by destroying the concepts, criteria and convictions upon which the entity is formed, not by destroying the Ummah, nor any individual from among her, for it aims at gaining the Ummah, elevating her standing and changing her present entity by giving her a better entity which would become characterised by dignity and exaltedness. It also aims at destroying the nature of the state’s entity by destroying the concepts, criteria and convictions upon which it is formed, not by destroying the authority, for it aims at seizing this authority and changing its present entity by giving a new entity based on the new concepts, criteria and convictions. Therefore, the struggle of the party as an intellectual entity would be directed at the executive and the societal entities. Hence the work would be focused on the two entities and nothing else. The focus of the struggle would be that of an entity against another entity, and since it were the entity of the state which holds the reins of power and resumes the running of the Ummah’s entity, the manifestation of the struggle would be seemingly focused merely on the state’s entity, whereas in fact it would be directed at the two entities.


Therefore, it would be imperative for the party to enter society in its quality as an intellectual entity, where its quality as an entity would be prominent on its own and in a clear manner, for the quality of entity should be the only quality that operates, and it would be wrong to associate any other quality with it, because it would be an entity struggling with two entities and any situation that leads to a party activity to be undertaken in other than the quality of entity or undertaken by associating any other quality with it, this activity would not only be doomed to failure, it would also weaken the party in its struggle and would weaken its quality of being an entity.


The entity of the party does not mean its apparatus, it is rather more comprehensive than that. Indeed the party activities would be initiated by the party’s apparatuses, and indeed the concepts, criteria and convictions upon which these apparatuses are based are part of the party’s entity, however, they are not its entity. Its entity is rather the group of concepts, criteria and convictions which is embodied within a group of people in their quality as people, not in their individual quality. Hence, if the actions were initiated by this group of people, or by any of the apparatuses, or by any individual of this group, and these actions were initiated according to the group of concepts, criteria and convictions, then these actions would be initiated by the party as an entity, not by the individual, nor by the apparatus from which it was initiated. Hence, the quality of entity is composed of elements which are bonded by a bond that makes it an entity. The elements form which the entity quality of the party is formed would be the group of criteria, concepts and convictions and the group of people. The bond which binds these elements together would be the Aqeedah upon which the party is founded and the culture by whose concepts the party is characterised; hence the intellectual entity , i.e. the party entity is composed from these elements and the bond. It is this entity alone that should operate. It is a personality that can be sensed, whose strength and standing can be felt, exactly as the state’s personality is felt and exactly as the Ummah’s personality is felt. This personality or this entity would be the one that enters the arena in society. it would be this entity that should endeavour to resume the leadership of the Ummah, then the reins of power. It would be this entity that should endeavour to make the Ummah adopt its personality as her own personality and to adopt the Ummah’s personality as its own personality.

3 comments:

Zahrah said...

From where can i get download this book" ACCESS TO SOCIETY"

Islamic Revival said...

We will inshallah put the link up soon so you can download it

Islamic Revival said...

The book can be downloaded from:

http://nahdaproductions.org/media/k2/videos/resources/ebooks/HT%20books!/MUJTAMA.pdf