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Showing posts from June, 2021

Caliphate Contentions: Historically, there was rarely a single unified caliphate, and therefore it is an unrealistic, utopian idea

Discussion of the Historical Precedence Argument –  summed up as “the practical reality was that there were several competing caliphs or sultans, and therefore it is not an obligation or realistic to have a single Imam”. Without debating the premise of the argument (which could itself be considered historically problematic) – it is important to consider that Islam came to deal with the human condition, in all its aspects – political, social, personal. And in doing so – while laying down ideals and normative standards, it also provided Muslims with a reference for correction – hence the entire corpus on enjoining the good and forbidding the evil for example. The fact that the Prophet – peace be upon him – made the statement that if two caliphs are appointed then the second should be killed – is evidence that disunity will occur among Muslims, and that there would be situations where authority would be contested. The direction of the Prophet to kill the second claim

Caliphate Contentions: It is permitted to have multiple Caliphs

Generally speaking, the contemporary argument that it is permitted to have more than one ruler for Muslims is not textually based but derived from the thinking that the paradigm of the nation-state is the only pragmatic way to do politics today. The inability to imagine another form of state, or to envision a unified Muslim state, may then lead to the sincere individual seeking justification from Islam for submission to the current geo-political status quo, hence the relevance of this contention. This contention is pushed under the arguments: It is not an obligation to have a single Caliph – scholars have differed over it It is not possible to have a single Caliph – so it is not necessary Historically a single uncontested Caliph was the exception not the rule, and therefore it has not been considered obligatory These arguments are then used to conclude that the idea of a unified Islamic state is un-realistic, and the status quo of multiple nation states is fine. A Summa

Are there more than five pillars of Islam?

Common parlance has that there are but five pillars of Islam: the testimony of faith, establishing the prayer, paying the obligatory charity, fasting in the month of Ramaḍān and making the pilgrimage.  The famous traditions carrying that wording are reported in almost all notable collections of ḥadith . When it comes to the citation, usually it is the narrations reported on the authority of Ibn Umar, son of Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (may Allah be pleased with them both). It is a continuously recurrent tradition ( mutawātir ) from Ibn Umar and has been reported by a large number of the trustworthy narrators from the successor generation to the companions, the Tābi’een . Curiously though, the actual word pillar (Arabic:  rukn , pl.  arkān ) is noticeably absent from all the reported texts through which this has come.  Furthermore, the word ‘only’ (Arabic: faqaṭ ) is not part of any reported text.   Usually in the English translations it is either inserted into the main body of the t

The Betrayal of Palestine

Let us be blunt and direct. The normative Islamic solution for Palestine, and for any other occupied land, is to liberate the land through Jihad. It is not permitted to accept any permanent peace with an occupier, or to ally with them in any way whatsoever. As mentioned by Allah in the Quran – إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَىٰ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ “Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” While the land remains occupied, the obligation to liberate it falls upon every Muslim until the obligation has been fulfilled. What does that mean from a practical perspective? After all, the average Muslim is unable to