The infiltration of armed forces is also a major part of their agenda. Due to involvement in subversive activities, Hizb has been banned in most countries including Pakistan. The agenda and propaganda of Hizb ut Tehrir is very alluring for an ambitious youth that form about 45 per cent of this country’s population. Based upon my reading, understanding and interactions with Hizb ut tehrir over the last 4 years, I want to point out some of the logical fallacies in the narrative of HT (Hizb ut Tehrir):
1. They want to form a caliphate for the Muslim Ummah. 2. They favor transfer of power through a military route. 3. They want to implement sharia across the caliphate. 4. According to their ‘constitution’, Arabic would be the language of the Caliphate. 5. They believe that a global Jewish conspiracy that is obstructing the path of formation of the caliphate. 6. They want the ‘liberation’ of Palestine. 7. They take inspiration form Syed Qutb’s book, Milestones.
First things first. The historical narrative, on which the ideology of Hizb ut Tehrir (and for that matter, Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, JI and similar organisations) is based, is deeply flawed. The narrative is a mixture of historical fiction and historical revisionism. According to that narrative, the reign of the pious Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) was the brightest time in Muslim history and there was peace and prosperity all around. After those pious caliphs, the reign of Banu Umayya and Banu Abbas is also considered very superior, as Muslim scientists and scholar and philosophers reached the pinnacles of their respective fields in that duration. It is believed that till the dissolution of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924, Muslims of the world were ‘spiritually’ if not physically ruled by the Caliph and since then, there has been a downfall for the Muslim ‘Ummah’.
While this version of history is not exactly true, it is used as a rallying call for the Muslims to ‘regain’ the former glories and ‘unite’ under one government again. A careful examination of this view reveals that
1. The reign of four pious caliphs was not without trouble. After all, three of them were killed by other Muslims. If the golden period of our history involves assassinations of three of the most revered companions of the Prophet (PBUH), why would we want to revive those days? Secondly, as opposed to the narrative explained above, the method of selection of the Caliph and the way of ruling was different for all four caliphs. It was not a uniform ‘system of government’ as is claimed by Hizb ut Tehrir. Which ‘system of government’ do they want to impose and why?
2. During the Banu Umayya period only, there were at least 70 different major battles among Muslims. In one instance, even the Holy Kaaba was bombarded with stones and was razed to the ground during war. Hundreds of companions (Sahaba) of Prophet (PBUH) were murdered by Muslim Rulers. The scientific advances were mostly done during the times of a sect known as Mu’tazila, and it is not surprising that they were eliminated later by being labeled heretics.
3. Since the assassination of Hazrat Usman (R.A), the third pious Caliph, there has been no ‘central’ Muslim government. At the height of Muslim power (in 4th century A.H), there were 15 different independent Muslim states apart from the Baghdad Caliphate. Thus, the assumption that ‘all Muslims should unite once again’ is simply a utopian premise.
4. The notion of political Islam, i.e. implementation of Islam as a political system does not find its origin in the traditional sources of Islamic Jurisprudence i.e. Quran and Hadees. This idea was not propagated by the pious Caliphs or by the leaders of the four major schools of Islamic Jurisprudence. It was initiated by two different people with similar thought. The pioneers of political Islam were Syed Qutb from Egypt and Abu al Aala Maududi from India. Tarek Fatah in his book, “Chasing a Mirage: The tragic illusion of an Islmic State” explained the different between Islam and Islamism/Political Islam,
“What Islamists seek and what Muslims desire are two separate objectives, sometimes overlapping, but clearly distinct. While the former seek an “Islamic State,” the latter merely desires a “state of Islam.” One state requires a theocracy, the other a state of spirituality.
The phrase “state of Islam” defines the condition of a Muslim in how he or she imbibes the values of Islam to govern personal life and uses faith as a moral compass. In contrast, the “Islamic State” is a political entity: a state, caliphate, sultanate, kingdom, or country that uses Islam as a tool to govern society and control its citizenry. At times, these two objectives overlap each other, but most often, they clash. Islamists obsessed with the establishment of the Islamic State have ridden roughshod over Quranic principles and the Prophet’s message of equality.
However, Muslims who have striven to achieve a state of Islam have invariably stepped away from using Islam to chase political power, opting instead for intellectual and pious pursuits.
Since the first caliphate in Medina in the 7th century, clerics have continually reminded Muslims that their mission on Earth — to spread Islam — is impossible without the establishment of an Islamic State. Such edicts by caliphs and imams have gathered near-universal acceptance despite the fact that neither the Quran nor the Prophet asked Muslims to establish such a state. In fact, the five pillars of Islam, which form a Muslim’s covenant with the Creator, do not even hint at the creation of an Islamic State.”