Sunday, May 21, 2017

Migrating from one mujtahid to another

The following is the English translation of a chapter from the masterpiece, 'Shaksiya Islamiya' (The Islamic Personality) volume 1 by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. For exact meanings please refer to the original Arabic.

Allah (swt) has not ordered us to follow any mujtahid, imam or mazhab, rather He (swt) ordered us to adopt the hukm Shar’i. He (swt) ordered us to adopt what the Messenger (saw) brought and to abstain from what he (saw) has forbidden us. He (swt) said:
}وَمَا آَتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا{
And whatsoever the Messenger r gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)”    [TMQ Hashr: 7].

Therefore, the Sharī’ah does not deem it right for us to follow the people except the rules of Allah (swt). However, the reality of Taqlīd has led the Muslims to follow the rules of certain mujtahids whom they have assigned as imams for themselves and they made the rules these mujtahids have deduced by their Ijtihād as a mazhab for themselves. So the Shafi’is, Hanafis, Malikis, Hanbalis, Ja’faris and Zaidis etc have an actual presence amongst the Muslims. Even though these people follow the Sharī’ah rules which have been deduced by these mujtahids, their action is legitimate because it constitutes following a Sharī’ah rule. As for if they followed the mujtahid as a person and not his deduction, then their action is not lawful and what they follow is not considered a Sharī’ah rule. This is because it is a statement of a person which is not from the orders and prohibitions of Allah I which have been brought to us by the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saw). Consequently, all those who follow mazhabs must understand that they are following only the rules of Allah (swt) which have been deduced by those imams. If they have a contrary understanding then they will be answerable to Allah (swt) for leaving the rules of Allah (swt) and following people who are themselves the servants of Allah (swt).

This is from the perspective of following the rules of a mazhab. As for leaving these rules, it has to be examined. If someone adopted a hukm but has not acted upon it yet then he has the right to leave it and adopt another hukm based on one of the preponderant qualifications which is linked to seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt). If he, in actuality, practised it then this hukm has become the rule of Allah (swt) with respect to him. It is not permitted for him to leave it and adopt another hukm except when the second hukm is linked with an evidence and the first hukm is not linked to an evidence or if it was proven to him by way of learning that the evidence of the second hukm is stronger than the first and he is convinced of that, in that case it is incumbent on him to leave the first hukm. This is because his conviction and trust in the Sharī’ah evidence has made it the rule of Allah I with respect to him, This is analogous to the mujtahid, when he finds an evidence stronger than the evidence from which he deduced the hukm then he must leave the previous opinion and adopt the new opinion due to the strength of the evidence. In any other situation, it is not allowed for the muqallid to leave the hukm he had followed and adopt a different hukm after he had already acted according to the first hukm.

As for making Taqlīd to another mujtahid for another hukm that is permitted due to the ijma’ of the Sahabah which has taken place on allowing the muqallid to seek legal verdicts from any learned person in an issue. As for when the muqallid selects a mazhab such as the mazhab of Shafi’i or Ja’far for example, and he says; I follow his mazhab and adhere to it, there are some details for this: he is not allowed to follow any other mujtahid in a mas-ala he has already practised according to the mazhab he is following; while any questions he had not acted upon previously, he is allowed to follow other mujtahiddin in those issues.

However, it should be made clear that the issue (mas-ala) for which it is allowed for him to leave the hukm that he has been following for another hukm, it is stipulated that the mas-ala should be separate from other questions, and that leaving it does not entail infringement of other Sharī’ah rules. As for when the mas-ala is connected to other masail (sing:mas-ala) then it is not allowed for him to leave it unless he leaves all the masail connected to it, because they are all considered as one mas-ala. For instance; if the mas-ala was a condition in another hukm, or one of the pillars (arkan) of a complete action such as the prayer (salah), wudu (ablution) and pillars (arkan) of the Salah. Thus, it is not correct for a Shafi’i to follow Abu Hanifah’s opinion that touching the women does not invalidate the wudu and continue praying according to the mazhab of al-Shafi’i. It is not right for him to follow the one who takes the opinion that constantly moving in prayer (to whatever extent this may be) does not invalidate the prayer or that the recitation of the Fatihah is not one of the pillars of prayer and then he continues to pray as a muqallid of the one who holds the opinion that constantly moving in prayer does invalidate it or that the Fatihah is one of the pillars of the prayer. The hukm one is allowed to leave is that whose relinquishment does not affect the actions which are undertaken according to other Sharī’ah rules.

Monday, May 15, 2017

What Comes After Brexit?

What Comes After Brexit?
Last week, the British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and sent a formal notification to the EU about Britain's decision to leave the union. Britain’s divorce from the EU comes after a period of 44 years, and will last for a period of 2 years. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to galvanize the country to work together during the separation period. She said, “We are one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future. And now that the decision has been made to leave the EU, it is time to come together.” The President of the EU Council Donald Tusk struck a conciliatory note and said there was “no reason to pretend this is a happy day” adding there was “nothing to win” and that now the Brexit process was about damage control. Brexit is now fueling intense speculations about the future of the European Union.

No matter how hard British and European officials try to put a positive spin on Brexit - Europe will never be the same again. Tusk’s remarks belie the harsh realities facing Britain and the EU. Both sides are competing in a positive sum game that is swiftly assuming epic posturing of geopolitical intrigue.
The EU has tipped the balance of power in Spain’s favour over the disputed territory of Gibraltar, and Britain has sided with American demands for NATO members to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP or risk irrelevance. Meanwhile, Russia eager to capitalize on the EU’s dilemma is selling fighter jets to Serbia, and is supporting populist movements across the continent. The positioning of different fault lines spells uncertainty for Europeans.
Yet, widening the context of the divorce talks is a deliberate ploy intended to bolster bargaining positions, but has long-lasting consequences for Europe. Interestingly, it was Monne - founder of the EU - who famously once remarked, “When you have a problem you cannot solve, enlarge the context”. From Britain vantage point, a divided Europe to emerge after the talks is the intended goal. On the other hand, the core member states of the EU aspire to strengthen the union by making an example out of Britain.
Great power politics have always been a feature of European politics, and many Europeans wrongly believe that the present day EU was shaped entirely by them. The American scholar Kagan has rightly emphasised that without American security the EU would not exist. American ingenuity and money was central to the European project. Post WW2, America’s principal aim was to counter Soviet expansionism and a unified Europe thriving on capitalism was the obvious insulation to Russia’s communism.
Monnet supported by America’s Marshall Plan engineered efforts to transform the European Coal and Steel Community into a unified block that could stand against the red empire. The humiliation of the Suez fiasco for Britain and Franc, the atomic race between the bipolar powers and Russia’s invasion of Hungary rammed home the awful truth that Europe had been displaced into third place unable to shape global and local events. This provided the necessary impetus for the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which set the foundations for Europe’s integration experiment.
If present day EU is indebted to external powers like America the actual idea of a unified Europe has even stranger origins. In the 15th century, some Europeans fearful of Ottoman power attempted to bring unity to the continent. George of Podebrad, the King of Bohemia, led one such effort called the Message of Peace. In the 17th century, the Duke of Sully proposed a "Very Christian Council of Europe" - consisting of 15 countries - in response to Ottoman hegemony.
Apart from the idea of Europe, Islam has played an instrumental part in shaping Western civilization. The interaction points between Islam and the West - like Spain, Sicily, the Levant, trade routes, and the Ottoman’s politicking in the heart of Europe -provided Europe with the necessary intellectual capital to revive. For instance, the nobility returning from the crusades, made significant contributions in calling for more rights between the King and his subjects. The Magna Carta in 1215 is an example of England’s noble class borrowing political ideas from Islam to mould domestic rights.
No matter how hard Europe tries to disguise its Islamic past, Islam is bound to play a pivotal role in Europe’s future. It is very unlikely that EU27 - EU without Britain - will survive in its present form. For one, Britain will never tolerate a powerful continental force. The same applies to America and Russia - the two will seek to curve out their own spheres of influence. Then there is the veracious appetite of populism, which is likely to encourage hyper-nationalism that will ravage the continent.
Despite these forces contesting for primacy on the continent, the challenge of Islam is not far away. Europe is currently engrossed by a plethora of Islamic issues, ranging from security to the accommodation of Muslims living in the West. The return of the rightly guided Caliphate is likely to accentuate these issues in the favour of Muslims. One French scholar, Boualem Sansal is already predicting the demise of Europe and is forecasting Islam will rule the world by 2084.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Abdul Majeed Bhatti

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A New Stalinist Sentence against Members of Hizb ut Tahrir

Press Release

On 5 April, the Prevolsk Military Court announced its decision regarding four residents of Tatarstan because of their activities in the ranks of the Islamic political party Hizb ut Tahrir, their sentences were as follows:
Shakirov Ayrat (born 1995), was sentenced to 18 years in a tight security prison
Yunusov Nael (born 1998) was sentenced to 17 years in a tight security prison
Ipatolin Rainor (born 1998) was sentenced to 17 years in a tight security prison
Selemzianov Arslan (born 1987) was sentenced to 16 years in a tight security prison.
In addition, the court set a suspended year for them even after the expiry of their sentence.
These Stalinist sentences indicate that they are political decisions, as the verdict did not include any talk about those convicted of terrorist activity. All the fabricated accusations made by the Russian intelligence service were all built on the basis that the sentenced practiced educational cultural activities among worshipers in the mosques, all because Hizb ut Tahrir, without any justification was placed on the list of terrorist organizations.
This is a blatant injustice against the Muslims and it falls under the name of the war on ‘terrorism’, which is waged by the security services and is in fact directed against the revival of the Islamic Ummah. Rulers fear the progress of Muslims in both quantity and quality. For this very reason, Russia has developed what has become known as the list of extremist articles, which included the works of scholars, including the Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw). The aim is to deprive Muslims of their culture, and therefore the security services are pursuing the Dawah carriers, claiming that it is fighting ‘terrorism’.
However, time has shown that any policy hostile to Islam will not be able to stop the revival of the Islamic Ummah, and those who see beyond the tips of their noses have realized that this policy will first harm the one who drafted it and implemented it. The Stalinist sentences because of activity in the ranks of Hizb ut Tahrir, the Islamic political party, will make of the oppressed Muslims an example of steadfastness and piety in the eyes of their brothers, and the society considers them as political prisoners.
Allah (swt) says:
﴿وَمَا نَقَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِلَّا أَنْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
“And they resented them not except because they believed in Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy” [Al-Buruj: 8].
Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
in Russia