[فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشْقَى * وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَى]
“Whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery. But whoever turns away from My Reminder (That is, neither believes in the Qur’an nor acts on its orders) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” [Ta-Ha: 123-124]
Over the last 100 years, the Muslim lands have known nothing but darkness, death, destruction, destitution and despair. Slaughter, persecution, oppression, indignity and suffering has become woven into the fabric of the lives of the people in the region. All this is the direct consequence of the loss of the Khilafah (Caliphate) state, the System of Allah (swt), on the 28th Rajab 1342 Hijri, corresponding to the 3rd March 1924 CE.
To bring this relentless cycle of misery to an end, there has to be a party that embodies a clear vision to re-establish the Khilafah based upon the method of the Prophethood. It should also have the required qualities to achieve this goal and create real change for the Muslim lands, and indeed for the world, so that it does not remain an empty dream on paper. This article will address how Hizb ut Tahrir possesses the prerequisite attributes to achieve this vision, Bi’ithnillah.
Hizb ut Tahrir is an Islamic political party, established in 1953 in Palestine by the eminent scholar and thinker Sheikh Taqiudeen An-Nabhani with the goal of resuming Islam as a way of life through the re-establishment of the Khilafah state. The party now spans over dozens of countries with male and female members spread across the Muslim and non-Muslim world – from the Middle East to Europe, Asia to Africa, Australasia to America. Its members are from varied nationalities, races, Islamic schools of thought – including Sunnis and Shiites, and from all spectrums of society – such as students, teachers, scholars, doctors, labourers, housewives, lawyers, scientists, journalists, and army officers – all working tirelessly through dedicated political activism to achieve its noble goal. The following are some of the key attributes embodied by Hizb ut Tahrir to transform its vision of achieving real change in the Muslim world into a reality.
1. ANY PARTY THAT SEEKS REAL CHANGE MUST BE BASED PURELY UPON ISLAM
The first and most vital quality a party must have to establish the Khilafah and shape a successful future for the Muslim lands is to ensure that its goal, its ideas, its strategy for change, its actions in every detail are based upon Islam alone, for this is the critical measure for success, as Allah (swt) has said:
[وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ]
“Let there arise from amongst you a group or groups, who call to Al-Khair (Islam), enjoining al-maroof and forbidding al-munkar. And they are those who will gain success.” [Al-i Imran: 104].
Hizb ut Tahrir was established upon this order of Allah (swt) with the deep conviction that success in this life and the next is determined by the absolute adherence to the thoughts, rules, and laws of Islam and that anything else is bound to fail – as we have seen so clearly over the last 100 years since the destruction of the Khilafah. Its founder, Sheikh Taqiudeen An-Nabhani was a Mujtahid Mutlaq, re-known amongst the ulema of his time for the excellance of his knowledge in Islamic jurisprudence. He established at the origins of the party, a point that is repeated in its literature – that the Islamic ideology is the nucleus, soul, and secret to life of the group and that the party’s strength does not lie in its numbers but in the purity and clarity of the Islamic thoughts and rules in its culture and in the minds of its members who carry its call – embracing the words of Allah (swt), when He says:
[وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَخْشَ اللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ]
“And he who obeys Allah and His (Prophetic) Messenger, and has reverential awe of Allah, and keeps his duty (to Him): then these it is that are the successful.” [An-Nur: 52].
Success cannot be achieved by simply calling for a few Islamic principles in constitutions, or calling for the implementation of the Shariah under the umbrella of the non-Islamic democratic system. Rather, true success requires a party to embrace, as Hizb ut Tahrir does, the unique Islamic political system of the Khilafah based upon the method of the Prophethood, for this is the model of governance defined by Allah (swt) as the only acceptable method by which to implement the Shariah laws. Anything else, will only prolong the pain and deepen the wound of this Ummah.
2. ANY SUCCESSFUL PARTY MUST HAVE A CLEAR VISION FOR CHANGE
The second quality that any successful party must have is a clear vision of the new system it seeks to build and the details of how it will practically solve the problems of society. It is not sufficient to simply present a few loose principles, vague policies or general aims for no state can function on such a weak basis. Any successful movement must have the concrete details of the principles, policies and laws of how it will practically address problems such as political oppression, corruption, poverty, unemployment, taxation, crime, rise in family breakdown, poor public services, the abuse of women, children and elderly, the mistreatment of those of different religious faiths, and other issues. It must provide a step-by-step programme for the transformation of the society and state. Anything less, would mean leading the Ummah blind.
The vision for the Khilafah that Hizb ut Tahrir presents is not based on loose principles, vague policies, or general aims. Rather its ruling, economic, social, education, and judicial systems, as well as its media and foreign policy have been detailed comprehensively in its extensive books and literature, and embodied in a draft constitution for the state that it has published and which is ready for implementation NOW! Every article of its constitution is founded upon clear Islamic evidences and is unrivalled in its detail. Meanwhile, its extensive literature explains not only the unique institutions of the Khilafah but also how the state will solve the current day problems afflicting the Ummah and the world.
For example, the books, The Ruling System in Islam and The Institutions of State in the Khilafah (In Ruling and Administration), discuss how to replace corrupt, autocratic political structures, with a ruling system based upon guardianship of the people and the Islamic principles of accountability, transparency, rule of law, an elected ruler, and an independent judiciary and media. The book, The Economic System and the booklet, Towards a Tranquil Safe World under the Shade of the Economic System of Islam addresses the Islamic solution to the economic crisis affecting the nations of the world and how to transform incompetent and impoverished debt-ridden financial systems into a prosperous economy. They discuss the Khilafah’s approach to challenging mass poverty and unemployment through Islamic laws such as the prohibition of interest-based finance in exchange for contracts based upon shared risk-taking in profit and loss; the prohibition of the privatisation of natural resources such as oil, gas, and water such that all citizens share in their benefits and revenue; a just taxation system that taxes those with excess wealth beyond their basic needs to spend upon the poor in times of crisis; and rejection of a casino stock-market financial system in exchange for heavy state investment in the real economy of manufacturing, industry, and agriculture with the revenue raised spent on the development of infrastructure and building a first class public education and healthcare system – services that Islam views as vital for the wellbeing of any society and the basic right of every individual – male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim.
3. A PARTY BASED ON SINCERITY WITH NO COMPROMISE
The third quality that a party must have to establish the Khilafah is sincerity to its cause, to this Ummah, and to Allah (swt), refusing to ever compromise upon its principles or goal. Hizb ut Tahrir is known the world over as a party that is unwavering in its adherence to its Islamic principles and resolute in its refusal to compromise on its Islamic ideals regardless of the opposition it may face to its thoughts, statements and actions or the consequences upon its work or its members. As a party, it does not believe in promising short-term economic gains to the people to gain their support but rather in calling Muslims to embrace the Islamic ideology and system that will not only bring success in this world but also in the Hereafter. As a party, it does not believe in saying what the people want to hear in order to win the popularity game but rather to speak the truth and protect this Ummah and its Deen always. This includes speaking out against the dominant non-Islamic ideas and emotions within societies, or the non-Islamic actions and rule of popular leaders, despite going against public sentiments or gaining the wrath of regimes.
This is because Hizb ut Tahrir is a party that does not seek power for the sake of power itself but rather to achieve authority for Islam. And if Islam does not bend, bow, or break to pressure from anyone – then nor does this party that gives its life to establish and protect this Deen. Since its establishment, the party has faced intimidation, threats, temptations, slander and many other obstacles in carrying its call. Yet it has not diverted from its Islamic goal, its principles, its path even a hair’s breadth. Our members – male and female – have faced many challenges in carrying this Dawah – including being fired from jobs, expelled from university, and having lies concocted against them to coerce them to leave their call. They have also suffered the most brutal persecution, including being harassed, imprisoned, tortured and killed for their ideas by regimes. Our members filled the prisons of Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Russia, Central Asia and across the Muslim world under their secular dictatorships who fought against the call for Islam in their lands. In Libya, when the party publically challenged Gaddafi for his rejection of the Sunnah – this brutal tyrant executed 13 of our members. Some were publicly hung in their schools and universities in front of their students, teachers, families and children. In Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Central Asia the security services have imprisoned dozens of our members – male and female. Many were severely tortured including being burnt, electrocuted, beaten by sticks, whipped with metal wires, sexually abused, and even boiled to death.
Yet despite all this, our members continue to carry this call with unwavering dedication. Why? Because they seek no temporary worldly gain, no self-interest, or personal glory or fortunes – they struggle in this cause purely Fee-sabeelillah, seeking nothing but the reward from Allah (swt), and because every member in this party gave a Qasm (oath) in the Sight of Allah to be the Guardians of this Deen and this Ummah.
4. ANY SUCCESSFUL PARTY MUST UNDERSTAND THE REALM OF TRUE POLITICS
The fourth quality that a party must have to establish the Khilafah is a clear understanding of the realm of politics. Hizb ut Tahrir has been engaged in the sphere of true politics since its establishment over 6 decades ago: Islamic politics – that is not based upon the lies, self-centred, ruthless, and corrupt nature of secular politics that has plagued the Muslim and non-Muslim world but a ‘siyasa’ based upon sincerely taking care of the affairs of the people according to the Islamic principles and laws.
As an Islamic political party, politics has been the daily food and work of the party and its members since its inception. For decades, our members have lived alongside the people of their lands, sensing their thoughts, sentiments and frustrations, and enduring the same repression, poverty and problems of their fellow citizens. For decades they have called for an end to Western colonialism and interference in the Muslim world, defended the interests of the Ummah, and accounted Muslim rulers for their negligence in managing the affairs of their people and their collusion with foreign governments against Islam. And for decades our members have adopted the political, economic, social, educational, and judicial issues affecting the Ummah, raising the clear Islamic solutions, and calling the rulers of the Muslim world to implement the Deen. Countless statements, press releases, articles, videos and booklets have been published and numerous protests, talks, seminars, conferences and other events have been organised on these matters in the various lands that the party is present, exposing the conspiracies and agendas of colonial governments against Islam and the Muslim lands, highlighting the causes of the problems affecting the Muslims and states, and guiding the Ummah in the correct Islamic political path to deal with all their affairs.
Hizb ut Tahrir is therefore a party with the political awareness, political thinking, and political know-how to effectively address the affairs of the Muslim world.
5. HAVING A CLEAR AND CORRECT STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE REAL CHANGE
And finally, a party that seeks to establish the Khilafah must have a clear strategy for how to achieve this goal. Any Islamic vision requires an Islamic strategy for change. Hizb ut Tahrir has therefore determined its path to achieve the Khilafah based upon the Seerah of the Prophet (saw), emulating his intellectual and political method of establishing the first Islamic state in Madinah. The intellectual aspect of Hizb ut Tahrir’s method to establish the Khilafah involves challenging the non-Islamic ideas of the society such as Capitalism, democracy, secularism, nationalism, Socialism, and liberalism by highlighting their defects, dangers and failures, and calling the Ummah to embrace in their place the Islamic thoughts, laws and System of Allah (swt). Any revolution requires first the preparation of a popular base of support and it is this process of changing the collective thoughts and emotions of a people to thoughts and emotions based on Islam that will create a lasting transformation of society.
The political aspect of Hizb ut Tahrir’s method for change is exposing the plans of the colonialists against Islam and challenging the oppressive non-Islamic systems and rule of the regimes in the Muslim world and calling for their removal. In accordance with the Seerah of the Prophet (saw), the party’s method to establish the Khilafah also involves seeking the Nussrah (material support) from those with military power. Hence it calls upon those in the Muslim armies to remove these corrupt, incompetent and tyrant regimes and to give their support and allegiance to the establishment and protection of the System of Allah (swt).
Rather than gradual reform of the system, Hizb ut Tahrir believes resolutely in radical and comprehensive change to establish the Khilafah, for this is the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) who only accepted the leadership of a state when he was assured of his ability to rule by Islam alone and not share authority with kufr in any form. Furthermore, it is impossible to build a strong, stable, new house upon a rotten foundation. Rather, we need to uproot all remnants of the old regimes, demolish the foundation and pillars of the man-made systems that plague our lands and establish the unique basis, institutions, and structure of the Khilafah in its place. Indeed, gradual reform is nothing but an illusion that prevents real change. Rather, it simply maintains the status quo as we have seen for decades in various lands in which movements have tried to bring Islamic change to their states through gradualism and engagement in the non-Islamic democratic system, which has proved to be futile.
These are just some of the qualities possessed by Hizb ut Tahrir that enables it to lead the Ummah in establishing the Khilafah with the Help of Allah (swt) and bring real change to the Muslim lands. It is a party that does not lie to its people, will not betray the trust of the Muslim Ummah and best represents their interests and aspirations. It has the capability of truly liberating the Muslim lands and the whole Muslim Ummah from its current state of oppression through Islam. So dear brothers and sisters! We call you to answer the Call of Allah (swt) and join our work as Hizb ut Tahrir to establish this great system, the second Khilafah Rashidah (rightly guided Caliphate) upon the method of the Prophethood in this world – a system that will unify the Muslim lands, burn away corruption, falsehood, and oppression and establish in its place a new dawn of justice and dignity for this Ummah, and indeed for humanity.
[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُم لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ]
“O you who believe! answer (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life; and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered.” [Al-Anfal: 24]
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir