Sunday, 10 June 2007

Beware of those who sell their Deen for a small price

"As for those who sell for a small price the covenant and faith they owe to Allah and their own plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter. Nor will Allah speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleanse them: They shall have a grievous torment, a painful doom." [3:77]

The huge coverage given to the book by the former Islamic activist Ed Husain has got me thinking. After reading the book it was clear to me that he was a troubled soul – on a journey through the radicalism of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahreer he ends up doubting his own faith and even contemplates leaving Islam for Buddhism or Christianity. Still confused, he starts teaching English at the British Council and rediscovers what he describes as "traditional Islam". He later returns to the UK and decides to write a book cataloguing his experiences and urges the Government to move strongly against Islamists'. The 'Islamists', according to him, are the greatest threat facing all Muslims and non-Muslims in the UK he argues.

Muslim writers and bloggers including Andrew Booso, Yahya Birt, Faisal Haque, Yusuf Smith, Ziauddin Sardar and Inayat Bunglawala have concisely articulated the deficiencies of Husain's rather simplistic analysis. Earlier this week, Husain made a brief appearance to defend himself against the criticisms levelled against him on DeenPort, however he soon departs, with dozens of questions left unanswered. Husain argues that the people who have asked him questions have no adab and anyone who disagrees with him is accused of harbouring some hidden 'Islamist' affiliations. This was no surprise as Husain had earlier suggested suspending registrations on the discussion forum in order to "facilitate discussion"! One Muslim on DeenPort correctly observes that "either you're with him or you're an extremist". It is not surprising then that even Ziauddin Sardar accuses Husain of being a neocon who wants "everyone locked up".

Interestingly, Ziauddin Sardar writes that Husain's book, "seems to have been drafted by a Whitehall mandarin as a PR job for the Blair government." He is the first writer to openly articulate this possibility. While some readers on the Muslim blogs have labelled Husain a traitor, Sardar is the first to suggest that the book may have actually come out of Whitehall and in effect been 'ghost written' for Husain. However, other writers have noted that the book perfectly fits Blair's narrative of 'ordinary decent peace loving Muslims' vs. a tiny minority of 'Islamists' who desire Shariah, the destruction of Israel, etc, etc.

In the light of these comments I want to raise the following points:

(1) We cannot underestimate the actions that the Government are taking with respect to the Muslim community. Is it that surprising that some Muslims will be used to infiltrate Islamic groups, not only to provide intelligence, but to leave at an opportune moment amidst a blaze of publicity? Of course, many Muslims leave one Islamic group or another, but generally they rarely decide to sell their story to the highest bidder or seek to divide the Muslim community. Those who have become disillusioned with the 'Islamic scene' tend to just fade away and those who have genuine disagreements tend to move on to pastures new.

(2) The suggestion that Husain may have had some association with Government is not without foundation. Aside from him joining the Labour Party and supporting the Iraq war, in his recent interview with the New York Times, Husain explains that he has been approached by British government officials to join their "anti-extremist efforts". In an interview with Sky's Adam Boulton, Husain does not deny Boulton's suggestion that he has been called in by "Gordon Brown or government". Given his previous association with Islamist groups and his work for the British Council, he would have been ideal material for recruitment.

(3) The other aspect which tends to lend weight to the suggestion that Husain may be close to the Government and security service is not only his insistence on banning Islamist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahreer, but his stated aim at dividing Islamist groups into moderates and extremists and his attack on other leading Muslims and organisations. In November 2006, on the DeenPort forum, Husain writes, "Even within HT in Britain today, there is a huge division between modernisers and more radical elements. The secret services are hopeful that the modernisers can tame the radicals. And hence the suspension of any ban. I foresee another split. And God knows best. Ya Rabb! I have said more than I should on this subject! Henceforth, my lips are sealed!" So he alleges that there is a "huge division" between modernisers and more radical elements and suggests that the security services are working for a split in the organisation. In a more recent thread, Husain writes of Hizb ut-Tahrir, "Allah is opening a window of opportunity for their hidayah. There is a major development within Hizb ut-Tahrir that will lead many of the more thoughtful activists to reconsider their worldview and relationship with mainstream Islam and Muslims. Once news breaks within party ranks of what is happening within their leadership, some of the Hizb people will be receptive toward traditional Islam and may well leave their brand of radical Islamism." Then on the same thread on 2nd May 2007, Husain writes, "Maajid Nawaz has left Hizb ut-Tahrir. And there are several others inside waiting to escape, but waiting for the right moment and reason. Don't ask me how I know. Until last weekend, Majid was a member of the Hizb's National Executive Committee in Britain. Some of you may remember him from the media coverage of his imprisonment and release from his four-year prison sentence in Egypt. Huge reverberations within the Hizb as to why and who is else is next etc. Ideal moment to engage with HT people, particularly those on the Jalaludding Patel wing of the group."

(4) Continuing with the theme of trying to foment divisions within Hizb ut-Tahreer, with respect to Majid Nawaz, a former member of Hizb ut-Tahreer, Husain has claimed that Nawaz is linked to him and that Husain influenced Nawaz's decision to leave Hizb ut-Tahreer. In an interview with, Husain says, "In this, I'm backed by Majid Nawaz who, alhamdulillah, recently left Hizb-ut-Tahrir partly as a result of conversations we had about these issues, and more importantly, his exposure to traditional Islam in all its diversity. Soon, Majid will speak publicly and I ask Hizb members and others to listen and learn from Majid's wisdom, knowledge, and experience. Now the good news is that Hizb-ut-Tahrir has proven in Britain that it can change and when pressure is applied it has changed. And I'm hopeful that this pressure that's on them now - exposing those core fascist values - that exposure will cause them to change those ideas and come on board the mainstream Muslim caravan." In an interview with Husain by the New York Times, Husain said that Nawaz would soon go "public with the reasons for his departure, and explanation he hopes that will cause a stir like his own." It is hard to tell whether Husain is being entirely truthful about the reasons for Nawaz's departure from Hizb ut-Tahreer – however if Nawaz does come out with his own "kiss and tell" story about his time with Hizb ut-Tahreer, seeks to exacerbate divisions within the Muslim community or if Nawaz is closely associated with Husain, then this would place huge question marks in my mind over Nawaz. A poster on has suggested that he saw Husain and Nawaz at last week's Hamza Yusuf event in London. He also alleges that Husain and Nawaz have been arguing that the scholars differ over the Islamic prohibition of homosexuality. In any case, I am sure that Husain will not be the last person to write his 'Islamist' memoirs.

(5) Andrew Booso has rightly argued that the divine obligation of the Caliphate is a "standard, orthodox belief expounded and endorsed by the jurists throughout time." Husain has said that he does not accept the concept of the Caliphate or an Islamic State. He misrepresented Shaykh Hamza Yusuf by alleging that he said that there was "no such thing as an Islamic state". When questioned on DeenPort as to whether the Caliphate was fard kifayah, as discussed by the classical scholars, Husain says that he does not discuss in terms of fard ain or fard kifayah. Husain writes that the Islamic state "is not a rukn of the deen and without it the deen is not lost. An individual can remain a firm believer, a mutadayyin, without the imam and the jama'ah." However, the classical scholar, Sa'd al-Din Mas'ud bin Umar al-Taftazani, wrote, "There is consensus that appointing a Caliph is obligatory. The difference of opinion is on whether the appointment must be by Allah or by his servants, and whether the basis (for appointment) is textual evidence or rational proof. The adoption is that it is obligatory upon the servants by textual evidence because of the saying of the Messenger, "Whoever dies not having known the Imam of his time, dies the death of the days of ignorance." Also, the Ummah agreed that this was the most important duty following the death of the Messenger, so important in fact that they considered it more important than the matter of his burial, and so also has it been after the death of each Imam."

(6) Although Husain has focused a lot of his attack on Hizb ut-Tahreer he has also attacked other Muslim groups including the Muslim Council of Britain, the Young Muslims Organisation, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Islamic Society of Britain. He also attacks the Salafi movement and the Ahl-e-Hadith. He criticises the Islamic Foundation, Regent's Park Mosque in London and the East London Mosque. In fact, in an article in the Observer he alleges that worshippers at East London Mosque have threatened to kill him. Not content with attacking these organisations he has insulted the ulema and the mashaikh by twisting their opinions and misrepresenting them. So he said that Sheikh Hamza Yusuf (may Allah protect him) legitimises the marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men and he wrote that the other mashaikh denied the idea of the Khilaafah in Islam. He has also attacked the journalist Yvonne Ridley. In his writings on DeenPort he questions whether she is really a Muslim, asserting that she "converted to Islamism and not Islam". He goes on to write, "Ridley is an extremist, a cheer-leader for terrorists…Shun Islamism, accept Islam." Is Husain not aware of the Hadith of al-Habib (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), “If a man calls his Muslim brother kafir, it applies to one of the two.” (Bukhari)

Brothers and Sisters!

Those who sell their Deen for a small price, tarnished traditional orthodox Islam the day they decided to become popular amongst those who enjoy the humiliation of the followers of Al-Habib. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was correct when he said that the fastest way to get a book published was to attack Islam and the Muslims. There can be little doubt that Shaytan runs from the word of truth. We must ask why it is that Shaytan and his followers amongst the men and the jinn are running in support of those Muslims who have chosen to become popular? In the name of addressing 'Islamism', the haraam has been made halaal and there is no sense of outrage at eating the flesh of one's own brothers.

It is time for you to wake up to this web of propaganda, lies and deceit which is targeting our entire community. Don't you remember those in days gone by who sold their Deen for a small price? Do you not see the efforts to tarnish Islam from within? Do you not see the efforts to divide the Muslims amongst themselves so that their ranks remain disunited?

Is it not the case that the propaganda of Husain and those who follow him is being used to attack Muslims, not Ikhwan or Tahreer or Tabligh or Young Muslims, but Muslims? It is the people of La ilaha illallah who are now on the receiving end of the attack from right-wing Zionists and the neo-Nazis of the BNP who are using these misguided Muslims as a platform to attack Muslims. From our recent history in Bosnia and Gujarat, it is never long before words are easily translated into aggression.

Our community needs to stand united against this propaganda – irrespective of being Sufi or Salafi, Ikhwaani or Tahreeri, Tableeghi or Barelwi, we must realise that first and foremost we are Muslims. Was it not the case that Ibn Hajar al Asqalani, a Sufi and an Ashari criticised Ibn Taymiyyah but said that Ibn Taymiyyah had a right to the opinions he arrived at because of his level of knowledge?

Why is it that Shaykh Hamza is willing to share platforms with well known Salafis such as Dr Usama Hasan and Shaykh Abu Muntasir, while it is clear they do not believe it is fard to follow a madhab and ascribe to Ashari/Maturidi theology'? Is it because these differences can swiftly be put aside at a time when Islam is under siege?

As for those Muslims who wish to sell their Deen for a small price, remember that Al-Habib Rasoolallah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, "Indeed a servant speaks a word (which is pleasing to Allah) to which he pays no attention and for which Allah elevates him many grades. And indeed the servant speaks a word (which is displeasing to Allah) to which he pays no attention and for which he shall fall in Jahannam." (Bukhari)

In conclusion, I am reminded of the saying of the famous Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, the author of Risale-e-Nur who wrote, "To forget and abandon internal enmities when foreign enemies appear and attack is a demand of social welfare recognized and enacted even by the most primitive peoples. What then ails those who claim to be serving the Islamic community that at a time when numberless enemies are taking up positions to attack, one after the other, they fail to forget their petty enmities, and instead prepare the ground for the enemies' attacks? It is disgraceful savagery, and treason committed against the social life of Islam." (The Letters, 318)



Anonymous said...

Jazakallah khair for a well written piece.
On the issue of creaiting a rift within HT. I spoke to Jalaluddin Patel from HT and he was categorical that there is no such thing as a 'moderate' and 'exteme' wing within their party, nor a departure from their central message of reviving the Caliphate, as you have rightly pointed out a basic belief of sunni Islam.

Seems like Ed's aim is no more then to create division. Your article is spot on.

Faisal Haque said...

As I have written on my blog, myself and Mahbub were HT activists in the early 1990. There are some major errors in the book - I was not really sure whether these were intentional or accidental - for example there is the claim that HT never spoke out against Saddam Hussain. His suggestion that he parted company with HT for ideological reasons is also not true - it was more to do with his close personal relationship with Omar Bakri [he left when Bakri was kicked out], pressure from his father and other personal reasons which I don’t want to mention. If as you suggest the book was "ghost written" this may explain some of the glaring inaccuracies.

Anisa Hashmi said...

An interesting piece - I don't think you should worry so much about this brother and his book. There are more important issues to deal with. It is important not to throw around labels like "traitor" or to make the discussion personal (I'm not saying that you do). However, with emotions running high, some in the Muslim community may be angry about this book and fuel some of the current propaganda about hotheaded Muslims. This will be unhelpful.

Hassan said...

Assalamu Alaykum,

Rest assured Maajid Nawaz does not believe that homosexuality is allowed in Islam, or the things that "Ed" is alleged to have said in the media. May I remind you all of the words of our creator in Surat al-Hujjaraat: "Oh you who believe!, avoid speculation, because in some cases it is a sin". Maajid has not yet spoken publicly about why he left, but rumors are abound, about him, his reasons, his link to Ed and me apparently being against him. The rumors are all baseless, as he has not spoken yet, even to HT members whom he left.

Please refrain from such speculation about my brother, and criticise if you deem necessary when he speaks for himself, based on facts not fiction.

Jazakum Allahu Khayr
Hassan Nawaz Saleemi
(AKA Hassan from the Hassan and Habibah Show on Islam Channel)

Ed Husain said...

I have responded to some of these allegations on my website.

By the grace of God, Maajid resigned from Hizb ut-Tahrir’s leadership in Britain. In time, he will explain his reasons why.

But he agrees with me that the regimes in the Muslim world are legitimate and that just as the Ahl al-Sunnah persevered through the tyranny of Hajjaj bin Yusuf, we should counsel Muslim rulers, exercise sabr, be abundant in dua, and work for political change with and not against the hukkam

kashif said...

>the regimes in the Muslim world are >legitimate and that just as the Ahl >al-Sunnah persevered through the >tyranny of Hajjaj bin Yusuf, we >should counsel Muslim rulers, >exercise sabr, be abundant in dua, >and work for political change with >and not against the hukkam

Of all the great things you've spouted off about, this is the best one so far. There are documents published in many articles written in American publications where the neo-cons describe the regimes in the Middle East as "roaches" and "pets" who have to toe the line when it comes to U.S. foreign policy or face "regime change" for failing to do so. This was directly delivered as a threat by Richard Armitage to Musharraf (as told in his own biography) as well as by Cheney to the Saudis and something that Seymour Hersch documents well.

I knew you were full of crap before, but thank you for finally proving it.

Kemal al-Sharkawy said...

At-Tabarani narrated upon the authority of Muadh bin Jabal (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said,"Verily the Grinder of Islam will continue to grind, so continue with the Qur'an wherever it moves. Verily the Qur'an and the authority of Islam will be separated from each other, do not leave the Qur'an. There will be rulers amongst you, who will allow for themselves things which they will prevent for you. If you disobey them then they will kill you. If you obey them they will misguide you. They (as-Sahabah) asked,What do we do in such a situation? He (saw) said, Do as the apostles of Isa ibn Maryam (as) did; they were cut by saws and hung upon wood. Being killed in obedience to Allaah (swt) is better than a life of sin" [at-Tabarani, Mu'jam al-Kabeer]

Sajeed Sharif said...

Interesting post by Hassan Saleemi. I agree that Maajid has not spoken in public but from what has been narrated, through tawatur, directly from him is that he agrees with Ed's point above - in fact those who have heard his argument say that it is identical to Ed's argument i.e. "the regimes in the Muslim world are legitimate and that just as the Ahl al-Sunnah persevered through the tyranny of Hajjaj bin Yusuf, we should counsel Muslim rulers, exercise sabr, be abundant in dua, and work for political change with and not against the hukkam."

May Allah (swt) help him.

Frankie Rashid said...

Wa alaikum salam,

i heard advice that we should not love our brother too much as he may betray us. This is good advice.

we may judge a person as sincere, but we don't really know him (even close family).

He may be very sincere to his twisted desires. Perhaps he is a pragmatist who loves to argue and win debates, so that is why he "carried the dawa". Perhaps he only joined HT as he loved to debate. Perhaps he sought knowledge to help him raise his profile, to help him win debates, maybe he told himself it was for the sake of the dawa. This is not the same as being for Allah's sake. Maybe it was really for Allah's sake. Only Allah knows.

we should not assume sincerity just because one suffers for his activity. The egypt 3 brothers didn't choose jail, it happened to them. They were rounded up due to thier associations with others. What is more important when judgeing them, is if they continue thier activity even after knowing what will happen if they do. They met many sellouts inside, who people also thought were very sincere.

don't speculate, judge a persons actions by what is apparrent. If he is pragmatic, then he is that - even if he dresses it up in islamic words. If he calls for secularism, then he is calling for kufr, even if he claims its islamic as so and so said so too.

who said what is irrelevant, only the evidence they present matters. If it is a true ijtehad that has a hope of being correct, they i'll respect it. But if it originated from desires and then texts were twisted to justify it then it should be called kufr. You must study basic principles to be able to make that judgement. Your sincerity to allah is paramount, but you must be able to distinguish islam from kufr.

it is only allah who guides. He is muqallib ul quloob. He can misguide a guided person, and vice versa. Ask Him for guidance. Be grateful to Him and dispell any arrogance from your hearts.

an ex hizbi talking kufr, even if he is fresh from prison, is still talking kufr. Pray that he be guided and that we are protected from his evil.

Maajid Nawaz said...

I have now outlined my views on my website:

muhammed said...

i have read maajid nawaz article today and must say i am very disappointed in the brother. my respect for him was great when he endured prison for the sake of islam but now he has let himself down. why did he have to go public with his views.many others have left and joined the hizb but have not expressed why they left publicly.
does maajid not realise the reason why he was well respected was due to islam and him carrying the dawah with the hizb!
does he not realise that this will be used by those who hate the unity of the muslims against the ummah.
i am saddened that he has done this and the only people who are happy with him are people like edd hussain. that says it all really.
may allah(swt) protect this ummah from such views and guide him back to the straight path.
i wonder what maajids family make of all this?

Mr. Khan said...

I would like to begin by saying jzk to sister Sumayyah for her intelligent points re: E.Hussain.

Coming onto Mr. Nawaz

Imam Ali said: two types of people broke my back
1/ the knowledgeable scholar who misled by his fatwa
2/ The man who worshipped much and people assumed he had knowledge, they sought rulings from him and he gave without knowledge.

A man learns Arabic and becomes a scholar or a man of knowledge?

A man spends time in a prison and becomes knowledgeable or special?

Many spent time longer then Mr. Nawaz in prisons, Many suffered more trials then Mr. Nawaz and they remained true to their covenant with Allah (swt), some knew words of Arabic and others did not, yet Allah (swt) blessed them with wisdom and an awareness of their ummahs suffering, an awareness of their ummahs needs and and Allah (swt) blessed them with knowledge which would lead their people to honor and dignity.

Remember Mr. Nawaz when you close your eyes at night, think long and hard about why your name was remembered by many when they knew you were in Egypt, it was their belief that you were committed to your Deen and carrying of the Islamic message, when that stops you are like the grain of sand on a beach, a role to play in the greater picture but insignificant to that beach, the only question: which role will you be playing?

When you close your eyes, remember this: a day will come when a dark jail cell if it indeed was, will seem more appealing then the questions the angels will be asking in another dark place.

Remember this: You will one day face your Lord where: 'executive' and 'thulm' and 'hukm' maybe big words in English or Arabic but when He (swt) asks: were you lacking sight? Intelligence? What Arabic expressions will come to mind when the most inner depth of the soul can not conceal anything from its creator?

The Muslim Ummah is in pains and undergoing great trials, we should work for its pains to be removed and focus on the key issues and the work for Khilfah, allow those who wish to feel important, feel important in their space, those who know full well what they are doing and its consequences but choose that path for indeed the trials of this life are immense and its desire appealing.

This short comment is not intended to defend HT, for the work of HT is known to the Ummah, it is preciously because of this fact that many books are springing up, would not surprise me if Mr. Nawaz has a few in the pipline, hope I have not given any Ideas.
It is rather intended to remind this Ummah that focus your direction on the important matters that will help you on the day of hisab, Allah (swt) gave us intelligence lets open our eyes and make use of it before we no longer have it. It is also a reminder to Mr. Nawaz, this ummah loves her Deen and yearns her unity, when people try to divide to appease others, this ummah will see it even if time and consequences occur in the short term, furthermore, Our Lord intervenes as in the hadith narrated by Ibn Hibban: (paraphrase)

A man speaks to please Allah (swt) and in the process displeases the people, Allah (swt) will be pleased with him and he will cause the people to be pleased with him also, and a man speaks to please the people and in the process he displease Allah (swt), Allah (swt)will be displeased with him and he will cause the people to be displeased with him.

Build your pyramids and they will only serve as a reminder of the might of Allah (swt) when he (swt) leaves them empty and hollow.

Sumayyah Evans said...

This thread seems to have generated a lot of controversy.

Although many criticised me when I initially cited evidence that Ed Husain and Maajid Nawaz may have been linked, it has now become a clear matter. Some of you will have seen Husain's article on the Guardian website that is promoting Nawaz and also Husain's praise for Nawaz's stand on a traditional Islam discussion board.

Some posters have asked me to point out that a comment above has incorrectly cited Nawaz's official blog - Nawaz's official blog can be found at

The other blog ( seems to be a link to Nawaz's unofficial previous postings on a discussion forum ( where he posts under the pseudonym "toppled pyramid".

I ask my brothers and sisters to continue to abide by the Islamic etiquettes in discussing these matters, and I will in due time pen my thoughts on these issues.


muhammed said...


recently i read the long awaited reason why maajid nawaz left the hizb. i have to say i was very disappointed. the article has been written in an academic and scholarly style which unfortunatley has failed. if i wanted to understand why the hizb's method was wrong i would have gone to a scholar and studied his ijtihad on the matter.
if this is maajids ijtihad on the hizb then he is misguided.
serious questions need to be asked about maajids integrity in all this. back in january 2007 he was giving speeches outside the usa embassy (see utube)as one of the leaders of the hizb calling for khilafah. when he was released from prison he went on the bbc hard talk programme representing the hizb and on islam channel he regularly gave his opinions on political affairs on behalf of the hizb.
he states in his article that whilst in prison he had serious misgivings of the method employed by the hizb for establishing khilafah. hence should one not ask why appear on many different platforms on the media, at demos etc calling for khilafah when he knew he would be jumping ship and go down the dark path of ed hussain et al.
maybe he did this to gain respectability and leadership amongst the muslims, only allah knows.
as i said before i used to love this brother for the sake of islam now for the sake of islam i cannot bear looking at him.
maajid nawaz gained his respect by the sacrifices he made for islam and now he will realise the respect he once had will disapear very quickly when the muslims realise his current views.
at the end of the day he has to account for his actions and words. it would be better for him to realise this sooner than later.

muhammed said...


tomorrow on 11th september 2007 maajid nawaz is to appear on newsnight. setting aside his difference with HTB for one minuite.
could anyone from his supporters explain why he feels the need to go the the non muslim media to air his views ?
does he not fear Allah (swt)!!
does he not know that the bbc have agenda against the muslim ummah !!
does he not know the non muslim media are the enemies of islam and the muslim !!
if he has issues with HTB why not air them 'IN HOUSE' !!!!
does he not know Allah (swt) will account him !!!
What has happened to him !!!!
he thinks too highly of himself !!
the ummah will account him !!
where is his taqwa or was it sold to bush and mubarak !!
i ask again why go to the non muslim media !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ismaeel said...

excellent article sister. Thanks Muhammad for reminding me of that demo back in Jan. I spoke at that demo too and briefly met Maajid who seemed at the time to be close with Aki Nawaz who at the time had just started making media appearances defending Muslims politically. Also Maajid left the Hizb only 2 months ago, so the question is very pertinent- if he came to all these conclusions whilst in prison why wait until now to declare them?

His article about the definitions of dar-ul-islam and dar-ul-harb/kufr leaves much to be desired and has already faced some tough questioning on his blog.

I'm glad the sister has highlighted the fact that the existance of the Imam and his role in implementing the laws of Islam is part of our aqeedah as elaborated in Sharh-ul-Aqaid the main book of aqeedah studied in nearly all Brelwi and Deobandi madrassas and i presume much further afield.

Unity is essential at this time regardless of differences in Aqeedah, fiqh, minhaj etc and those who attack other Muslims for the acclaim of non-Muslims need to fear Allah (SWT)

muhammed said...


did anyone watch newsnight last night ?

if so what did you make of it?

i thought the arguments presented by maajid were very shallow. suddenly he is proud to be british !
i felt i was watching a re run of similar efforts by shiraz maher and ed hussain.
maajid nawaz has done a 360 degrees u turn on his beliefs, values and principles. i dont think the non muslims could trust somebody who is prepared to sell his own people to their enemies, never mind what the muslims made of it all.
like others in the past he will be betrayed by the western govts when his usefullness has run its course.
maajid must be suffering from memory loss, he accuses the forthcoming khilafah state of wanting to kill millions, but what about the millions slaughtered by the british, americans and the europeans over the last 200 years.
there was o much nonsense he said that i dont think its worth refuting. he has jumped into bed with the devil and now has to lie in it !!

Osama said...

Majid is not anymore what He was.. may Allah (swt) protect us.

I would not be surprised if i come to know that he is one of those from Moosad or CIA... and Allah knows the best...

InshaAllah such efforts from kuffar will not result any good to them! Ameen.

Khilafah will return!

Allah Ho Akbar

Anonymous said...

Please click on the Link below

Razwaan said...

CRITIQUE OF "EVALUATING HIZBUT-TAHRIR'S THEO-POLITICAL STANCE" (with refutations of Maajid's revisions of 01/10/07)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

1. Introduction

The Muslim world is in a state of political flux, with decades of mismanagement, repression and political stagnation being opposed by more assertive populations and political movements. The US has responded to these changes by calling for greater freedom and democratic reforms. These calls, along with the failed military interventions, have catalysed the unprecedented vocalisation for the implementation of the Sharia, unification of the Muslim lands, return of political authority in Israel and resistance to Western cultural, military and political hegemony in the Muslim world, encapsulated in the call for the Caliphate[1]. The vanguard of change is led by the Islamicists, from Morocco to Indonesia, emboldened by an ideological interpretation of the Islamic faith by a leading number of twentieth century thinkers and writers[2]. Increasingly at the forefront of these calls is Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), an international Islamic political party, with its call for a world-wide Caliphate.

Attempts by Western governments at containment and oppression have failed leading to considerations of engagement with the Islamists, always however on one premise, as stated by the former British Home Minister Charles Clarke in 2005, “…there can be no negotiation about the re-creation of the Caliphate; there can be no negotiation about the imposition of Sharia (Islamic) law”[3]. The focus is now on refuting Islamist ideas in an attempt to diffuse the increasingly vehement calls for change.

The UK has seen an increase in Islamic activism over recent years, fuelled by a questionable foreign policy. The government has responded with a number of initiatives: providing funding for the training of local leaders (imams, chaplains etc), Islamic websites, road shows and informers. Terrorism legislation has been introduced reducing civil rights and introducing heavy sentences for those “advocating” or “glorifying” terrorism[4]. Collaboration has begun in earnest with academics, scholars and ex-Islamists through engagement and refutation of Islamic political ideas[5]. The interest in ex-members of these movements, including Ed Hussain, Shiraz Maher and Hassan Butt[6], especially by the intelligence community, provides the context and background for this critique.

Maajid Nawaz recently announced his resignation of HT and following his predecessors, has began publicly challenging their ideas, with the first of his series of announced articles comprising, “Evaluating Hizbut-Tahrir's Theo-Political Stance”[7].

This paper is a detailed critique and response to these challenges.

2. What is the Argument?

Maajid introduces his article by saying, “I impress upon all people that Islām today is not in need of a politically inspired modernist reformation, which is actually the cause of our current crisis, ...merely to serve narrow political agendas”, a theme that is and remains central to his new enterprise.

His article argues HT through a "political ijtihad" creates a theory whereby non-decisive definitions of the terms Dar al-Kufr (lands of non-Islam) are applied to the Muslim lands, to “advocate the theological illegitimacy of contemporary Muslim regimes”[8]. The argument then demands the current systems/regimes need to be transformed into a Caliphate (Islamic governance) and should forcefully create a unitary state. Maajid contends there is a difference of opinion (ijtihad) on these definitions amongst classical and modern jurists, and as such, HT cannot (Islamically) enforce its view and must accept the current rulers whose view is final as they are legitimate. He says, "If it can be demonstrated that the Party’s theory is nothing but a legal opinion (Ijtihâd), then the argument that opposing views are based on Kufr becomes unsustainable."[9]

He says he will demonstrate how the party's own principles when applied to their "political conclusions" result in the invalidity of the HT stance. He maintains HT acknowledges these are contested ideas but rejects alternative views and acts as if the position was definitive. In his view, HT’s position is contradictory and invalid.

His article centres on proving:
· The non-scriptural and contested nature of the technical terms Dar al-Kufr/al-Islam
· The indecisive nature of scriptural citations used to arrive at them
· Acknowledgement by HT that scholars differed in their views as to how Dar al-Islam becomes Dar al-Kufr

3. Issues with the Argument

There are a number of problems with Maajid’s article summarised below. They are addressed in length due to the inherent confusion and the implied assumptions:
a) Assuming an Islamic counter-reformation and political reformation are mutually exclusive
b) Assuming usage of contested technical terminology cannot be used to describe decisive concepts
c) Believing decisive concepts (implementation of the Islamic creed in political life) are contested
d) Misquoting and misrepresenting the classical scholars
e) Misrepresentation of HT’s adoptions and analysis
f) Advocating a politicised version of Islam whilst denouncing such a notion
g) Concealment of an underlying political agenda

4. Is the Modern Muslim World Dar al-Islam (Lands of Islam)?

Maajid’s article focuses on HT despite the use of the term Islamists. It is premised on the fact that HT has somehow (single-handedly) politicised Islam, misunderstands governance of the Muslim world and through its call for a Caliphate is the cause of the West’s antagonism. He believes a counter-reformation and political reformation are mutually exclusive with the latter being unneccessary.

For an ex-member of a political party, he presents a simplistic understanding of the complex causes of decline and flux in the Muslim world, its historic relationship with the West (colonial Europe) and the current crisis it faces. Jean-François Mayer, a former Swiss civil servant and historian, in his research paper entitled “Hizb ut-Tahrir-The Next al-Qaeda, Really?” states, “Reading Hizb ut-Tahrir's literature could indeed fuel resentment against the West... One should add that here Hizb ut-Tahrir only builds on feelings that are already widespread in Muslim communities (including communities established in the West).”[10]

How did these feelings and the politicisation of Islam become so entrenched in Muslims globally? The answer lies in the experiences of the Muslim world during the European colonialist period. This is a vast subject beyond the scope of a paper such as this. However a vignette of the exogenous influences institutionalised in the politics, society and governance of the Muslim world will highlight the error in assuming the Muslim world continues in its historical pre-colonial trajectory and that HT and present day Islamists are politicising Islam for political ends.

Colonialism had a major role and influence in shaping the institutional foundations and parameters of the politics of the postcolonial states. Having ruthlessly replaced centuries old institutions, traditions and structures in the Muslim world, the colonising powers disrupted a historic continuum creating fault lines and tensions that reverberate today. Independence ended the sovereignty of European powers over their territories; however it did not produce states afresh. Despite the rhetoric of planting of new seeds, the new states were nothing more than new branches based on a trunk that was planted during the colonial days. Colonial institutions, policies and attitudes towards governance determined the direction of the post-colonial nation states, developing in the European intellectual, legal and cultural legacy. The machinery of the colonial state was inherited and to varying degrees the model of the colonial state was followed with ideological continuities visible despite the rhetoric of the new leaders.

The preponderance of colonial power ensured all discourse be both hegemonic over and repressive of the Islamic world. It was not a dialogue between equals nor a conversation, but an attempt to reconstitute Islam and Muslims both at the level of consciousness and at the social level. The impact of this historical experience is not difficult to discern and has been highlighted by numerous researchers.

Nation States
The colonization of Muslim lands started with India, the scramble for Africa and the division of Ottoman lands following the First World War. The era ended after the Second World War when Britain and France withdrew from most of their territories. Islam received harsh criticism from the colonialists and their scholars instilling a sense of inferiority in the local elites and rising bureaucrats including even those who opposed colonialism.

For Muslims with a world outlook, territorial limitations had been irrelevant. Colonial territories however did little to unify their peoples to create national societies or cultures. Their focus was in defending their territories against other colonial powers or reducing the burden of ruling. The former led to promotion of the sanctity of boundaries leading to permanent borders. The latter prevented the creation of lasting identities seen in the diverseness and tensions in states including Lebanon, Iraq, Indonesia and Nigeria. These sovereign states diverted the mode of loyalty of the subjects from universal to teritorial values. Moreover the new secular law contributing to the assertion of territorial sovereignty, replacing the ecumenical character of Islamic sovereignty - as well as a reformulation of the Islamic political paradigms, including those being discussed in this paper.

The deliberate manipulation of diversities to strengthen their rule created increasingly fractured societies, meaning tensions and wars were inevitable. Civil wars in Sudan, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Chad are but a few. Territorial disputes involved Morocco, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon Palestine, Malaysia and Singapore.

The colonizers encouraged and invested in education and educational institutions for those who would run the machinery of state. Over time they influenced generations of Muslim leaders and intellectual developments in the Muslim lands. Famous institutions included University of Punjab, University of Malaya, and Atchison College in Lahore[11]. The elite sent their sons to schools in Eton, Harrow, Oxford and Cambridge in England or in Paris and Amsterdam. Iqbal studied at Cambridge and Heidelberg Universities as well as Lincoln’s Inn where Jinnah received his law degree. Many of the North African liberation movement leaders were students in North African French schools and Paris Universities. Amongst the militaries officers would be trained at places such as Sandhurst and Saint Cyr or officer schools modelled on their European counter parts such as Quetta Staff College in Pakistan.

The pervasive impact of education introduced the Muslim world to western literature and philosophy. Figures such as J S Mill and Rousseau and over time, Sartre and Camus, became models for dissenting intellectuals just as Lenin, Castro, Mao and Che Guevara captured the imagination of activists[12].

State Institutions
The colonialists generally focused on domination to ensure legitimacy and security. The colonial state was highly centralised utilising institutions with a European flavour; the police, judiciary, military and bureaucracy being key repositories of its authority. The institutions were not designed for society – for instance, the bureaucracy was designed not to maintain order but to ensure the smooth running of government and economy.

This structure allowed a European minority to rule vast territories, managing the economic flow of resources and goods between the parent state and its territories. These institutions, embedded in subsequent states determined the basis of the state, its character and its relationship with society and other states. States such as Pakistan replicated the colonial state in set up and function as well as how they envisioned their own roles, with Jinnah the first governor-general and the India Act of 1935 being law of the land until 1956. In Turkey, the law was secularized based on the Napoleonic Code, the Muslim calendar abandoned, the script Latinized, polygamy prohibited and in 1928 the constitution was even amended to remove the statement that Turkey was an Islamic state.

Military and Police Forces
The military, intelligence and police forces were trained to provide support to their colonial masters. The training ensured soldiers, and more importantly the officer corp, internalized the military ideas and political values of the colonial administration, resulting in an over-preoccupation with order and impatience with politics of the masses[13]. Militaries were trained not for external war but for preservation of internal order, giving them a perceived right to interfere in politics to restore order. The size of the militaries was usually based on the interests of the colonisers and Muslim states inherited omnipotent militaries, too large for their population sizes and economic strengths. The colonial policy of recruiting amongst minorities was due to their closeness with the colonial order and willingness to help suppress the dominant community as well unresponsiveness to religious calls like Jihad. The legacy of the Great Mutiny of 1857 shaped thinking resulting in Alawis dominating the Syrian army and Punjabis in the Pakistani army.

The forces having fought with their colonial officers up to independence institutionalised attitudes of mistrust and cynicism of those who fought for independence. Indonesian generals remained wary of Sukarno, removing him with the pretext of Communism and the same may be said of those who lead coups in Bangladesh, Nigeria and Sudan. Even the left-leaning junior officers who overthrew their senior officers of the old school to join the anti-imperialist struggles did not resolve the tensions between military and civilian orders, leading to military takeovers in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Syria.

The pervasive nature of the intelligence services (mukhabaraat) is still widely felt throughout the Arab world, stifling discussion, preventing political dissidence and quashing criticism. The experiences of those who have had the ill-fate of experiencing these institutions are widely known and reported. Unprecedented in Muslim history is the restructuring and organisation of "official" scholars, compromising their historical independence, "scholars for dollars" being a phrase often heard in relation to this new breed resulting in Muslims across the world still referring to texts dating back centuries.

Like the military, the bureaucracy was moulded in the ethos of colonial culture, sharing the same political outlook. Due to their power over the state machinery, politicians would have little control over them lest they disrupt the workings of state. As such, they had major input into state formation, ensuring continuities in the ethos and mode of operation of the state before and after independence. In Pakistan the bureaucracy eclipsed the political elite in managing the country, replacing Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan after 1951 by senior bureaucrats Ghulam Muhammad and Iskandar Mirza, both having risen through the bureaucracy under the British.

The quality of the bureaucracy was generally determined by the investment the colonial power made in its administration, the Indian Civil Service being exemplary, whilst those of the Arab Near East and Libya being underdeveloped. Many lost their independence and their pre-eminence declined resulting in the diminishment of their political role.

The British colonies generally had a system of justice modelled after Britain, with some degree of autonomy, its independence from the executive branch becoming embedded in the postcolonial state. As such, colonial subjects usually had respect for it. In Pakistan, the judiciary regularly defied the executive branch, its opposition to Ayub Khan’s banning of Jamaati Islam in 1964, ruling against Ghulam Khan’s dismissing of the government in 1993 and most recently the stand-off against Musharraf. The Malaysian judiciary has a similar history[14] as do most post-colonial British territories.

The judiciary had the interesting effect of instituting particular patterns of political activity in the body politic of the pre and post-colonial society, allowing courts to become avenues for political activism.

Governance - Politics of Identity
Colonial rule was often only possible through the manipulation of divisions in society, ethnic, linguistic and religious[15]. By accentuating social differences, they institutionalised them by treating communities differently in the eyes of the law, at polling booths, in how resources were allocated and in recognition of religious rights etc. This encouraged the politics of identity at the cost of development of uniform civil societies. In India, this resulted in the All-India Muslim League in 1906 that lobbied for separate electorates for Muslims and Hindus with similar reactions in Malaysia, Nigeria and Palestine.

Elections in colonial rule provided a critical political framework that shaped the conception of communities of their relation to power at the centre as well as their own identity and self-definition. The subsequent state leaders (usually from the colonial military or bureaucracy), would continue manipulating social divisions even as they spoke of national unity - Iraq being a case in question.

The importance of certain geographic locations to colonising powers (e.g., North West India to the British for supply of troops) or where the colonisers arrived late (e.g., the French agricultural relationships with Syria) meant that they developed patronage networks, which have left indelible marks in future state-society relationships. The state emerged as paternalistic and society came to see patronage as a function of state (this contributed to Malays remaining aloof from commercial activities expecting the state to guarantee economic and social standing).

Variations of how the colonial administrators ruled their vassal populations accounted for the different experiences in state formations post-colonialism. In Algeria and Libya colonial rule was direct while in Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Java and India local elites were used. The Dutch in Java, utilised the local elites to resolve labour shortages, entrenching their socio-political positions, creating dependencies between the peasantry and elite (the Dutch permitting exploitation and impoverishment for their own ends). The British carefully controlled 250 princes in India to control a third of the Indian population – they controlled the rest of the population by manipulating landowners, local chiefs and grandees[16].

Symbiotic relationships resulted, entrenching the positions of these local elites, who favoured compartmentalisation of policy in favour of a uniform national political arena. This allowed them to control segments of the polity and negotiate with the centre. In Pakistan this trend is still visible today with the landowning class controlling politics at all levels and resisting land reforms. The power of the monarchy in the Gulf States and Brunei and tribal chiefs in East Africa and Nigeria is reflective of these British policies. The Algerian experience with direct French rule to ensure integration into France and exploitation through commercial gain for their settlers resulted in centralised rule – local elites and leaders were seen with hostility, a reflection of the post-colonial Algerian landscape.[17]

End Products
Colonialism's structural expressions continue to reproduce themselves in a fashion that perpetuates this power relationship. Elites in most Islamic countries are largely products of superimposed constitutive educational and political structures wherein lies the essence of the polarization and bifurcation between elites and masses in the Muslim world. Muslim intellectuals, imbued with the Western discourse of rationality, entered political life as natural allies to the local elites and the colonialists. The masses had no choice but to fall back on the values of their own society to protect themselves from the new class which sought to pattern life along Western lines.

Without social cohesion, the State is unable to deal with strains, penetrate society and regulate social relationships. In the absence of an overarching consciousness that unites and merges its subjects at all levels of the social scale in a commonly accepted meaning and criteria of validity, there can be neither strong societies nor strong states.

HT detail the reality of the colonial division of the Ottoman state, introduction of foreign creeds, the installation of agents and groomed elites, and the removal of Islam from political and societal life leaving at best remnants intact (usually to pacify the masses/ullema), with control over succession of power to those who would perpetuate their interests and hegemony. The institutionalization of secularism and the proactive marginalization of Islamic thoughts/institutions from political life have been resisted by societies in each and every Muslim country[18]. A review of scholarly writings that address the 20th century colonialist experience across the Muslim world and the response of the Muslim intellectuals speak for themselves and need no elaboration as per Abdul Qadeem Zalloom's quote Maajid refers to.

Against this complex, multi-dimensional, historically evolving reality, Maajid’s analysis is little more than a parochial one-dimensional view of the situation. His view the current regimes as being simply "Muslims" does not take into consideration the institutionalized colonial values, foreign ideologies, systems, agendas and outlooks, visible today across the organs of the modern states, their constitutions, policies, administration and organizations along with the resulting tensions. As such, his conclusions are fundamentally flawed.

5. Decisive Texts are Indecisive?

HT argues that the implementation of non-Islamic creeds in Muslim lands is decisively and categorically prohibited and utilisation of any other ideology or system is kufr (non-Islamic).

Maajid seems to be confusing the notion of decisiveness and certainty to oppose this position. There are a number of discussions in philosophy that attempt to argue a relativist position on matters of epistemology[19]. Although the oft-quoted view in Western Philosophy is that the quest for certainty is a failed enterprise, this is primarily due to an erroneous attempt at defining certainty to unnecessarily exclude scepticism[20]. However, without this requirement, the term is definable and arguable. Certainty comprises the state of an individual (or a society) on a matter where there is no realistic doubt (as opposed to philosophical doubt). This is supported by the usage of this term (yaqin) by Allah (swt) in a number of verses[21] supporting the existence and necessity of the notion of certainty[22].

Maajid builds on a problematic assumption - if some people (or scholars) disagree on a matter it is zanni (indecisive) and by implication if there is no dispute the matter is qati (decisive). Thus follows, prior to historical ikhtilaf (juristic dispute) on matters of jurisprudence, all matters were qati as no dispute existed. Likewise, Quran is zanni as scholars dispute parts of it including the definition of mutawatir. This understanding and conclusions are obviously wrong. Certainty can be gained and expressed despite the existence of disputes. As disagreement exists on every matter, even those that all Muslims would acknowledge as definite and decisive, (existence of God, Quran being the word of God, Islam being the truth (haqq), obligation of prayer (salat) etc ) would that mean there is no such thing as certainty?

The existence of a disagreement is not important and does not determine certainty - the substance of the disagreement determines this. In scriptural analysis, if there is propensity for an alternative view or consideration, the matter is not deemed to be certain - if however there is no possibility of an alternative consideration, the matter is deemed certain.

An obvious point, but one which is regularly violated by Maajid's analysis is that new concepts need to coexist with existing concepts that have been accepted (verified) avoiding discrepancies between them. If one utilisies a criteria of certainty it should be used to evaluate one's dispute as well as one's other ideas by it - this paper will cite examples where Maajid's arguments fail on this point.

This understanding is acknowledged by HT as per Maajid’s quotation from “Shaksiyyah Islamiyya" in relation to shubhat al-daleel (evidence) for determining the validity of an alternative view. However the associated conditions are as follows, without which there is no shubhat al-daleel[23]:
a) Definite general evidences comprise Quran, Sunnah, Ijma al-Sahabah and Qiyas.
b) Speculative general evidences include: istihsan (juristic preference), al-masalih al mursala (unqualified interests) etc.
c) The angle of deductive reasoning (istidlal) regarding these evidences must have been on studies of the Arabic language and studies of sections of the Quran and Sunnah.

For example, a Quranic verse states: “Cut the hand of the thief, male or female”[24]. It may be said the cutting is to prevent him from stealing and this may be done through any means, e.g., imprisonment, exhortation etc. Or it may be said the word “qata’a” (to cut) is an ambivalent term (lafz al-mujmal) meaning either separating the limb (amputation) or scarring and both cases are allowed. However, neither view has a shubhat al-daleel because this deductive reasoning is inconsistent with the language or other texts. Linguistically, the metaphorical meaning (majazi) is used when the real meaning is not possible. The ambivalent meaning has been transformed into a fixed meaning by the explanation of texts and one does not refer to a meaning contradicting it. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated a thief who had stolen a turban was brought to the Messenger who ordered his hand be cut and the wound be sealed by boiling oil. Subsequent Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, followed this understanding without any objection from any of the companions. Punishing the thief with anything other than cutting of the hand has no evidence or semblance of evidence[25].

Furthermore, shubhat daleel does not mean one does not follow in action the opinion one has come to. Respect for shubhat daleel in terms of recognising it as an Islamic opinion is a general and traditional principle[26]. As for respect in actions, this is an ikhtilafi (disputed) matter and depends on the particular hukm (rule) at hand. In some issues one does not impose one’s opinion and in others one does. Therefore to state shubhat daleel means respect in all actions is a misrepresentation of HT’s and the traditional understanding of shubhat daleel.

To demonstrate and clarify this, some examples are given:
a) If one abandons prayer he is a kafir according to Hanbalis but sinful for the rest. Everyone respects this opinion but in action one would pray behind him and consider giving a daughter in marriage to him, but the Hanbali would not as for him he is kafir.
b) If a Shafii combines his salah (prayer), the Hanafi would respect this as an Islamic opinion but not follow him in his action.
c) If a man pronounces divorce three times in one sitting and he follows it is irrevocable, the opinion of the woman that 3 in one sitting is not valid does not mean respect of her opinion.
d) If a ruler usurps authority believing it allowed, those who believe he has to be removed are entitled to fight, such as those who historically fought Yazid bin Muawiyah and Hajjaj bin Yusuf.
e) If a wali (governor) declares himself Khalifah and says he has shubhat daleel, the real Khalifah should still fight him and bring him under his authority.

The pronouncement of kufr on views (takfeer) is rarely evoked (historically pronounced on some wayward philosophers in one of its rare applications in Islamic history). HT encourage the notions of inquiry rather than limit them; it does not state any views are kufr if they are built on the Islamic creed - rather, it believes kufr creeds are still being used as reference points since the colonialists left the Muslim lands, a matter that is prohibited categorically. Maajid does not reference where HT state “...that others are on Kufr” and contradicts himself when he cites HT’s view on difference of opinion and their tolerant views in relation to different views.

As for the argument “Amr imam yarfa ul-khilaf” (the Imam resolves the disputes), this assumes the ruler is legitimate and adopts according to Islam. He should be followed since he resolves the disputes.

Maajid however justifies the current regimes as Imams by equating ideologically differing terminologies, the justification being HT accept using differing terms for the Imam, nor Islam having fixed this term. His quote from "Nizam al-Hukm" stating that HT allow the use of the term president is incorrect as on pg. 55 (Khilafah Publications 5th Edition) it states that use of these terms is forbidden as they contradict Islam - acceptable terms include those that indicate the same meaning as "the ruler of believers" or "head of Muslims".

HT do not accept such use of idiomatic terms, discussing and forbidding this usage in their book, "Nizaam al-Islam" (The System of Islam). HT do not see the current regimes as Imams nor believe they have any legitimacy and therefore the above principle does not apply.

Even if there was a legitimate Imam, he does not resolve every dispute. There are some matters which are outside his remit. For example, matters relating to his legitimacy. If he is a usurper and he believes this is acceptable, this does not oblige those who believe the usurper needs to be removed. The scholars never gave this principle for such things - rather they said you should avoid fighting due to bloodshed.

Despite the fact that many political positions can be Islamically justified given the non-prescriptive nature of Islamic law on political matters, Maajid fails to cite or reference any countries that have made the Islamic creed the sole reference in managing their societies and security being in the hands of Muslims - the fact that a law appears similar to one that may exist in Islamic law does not mean it was derived from Islam otherwise the whole world would be seen as ruling by Sharia (and also Dar al-Islam according to his view of requiring Muslims to simply reside there).

HT's argument can be looked at from two perspectives – the original divine texts with their meanings and the Jurists views.

The texts which HT quotes are not open to difference of opinion – they comprise texts that are fundamental and unambiguous. They are decisive in that the right of law/rule (hukm) is for Allah and revelation must be used when judging and ruling.
a) “The right of rule is solely for Allah"[27].
b) “Have you not seen those who declare they believe in the revelation that has come to you and to those before you? Their (real) wish is to resort together for judgement (in their disputes) to taghout"[28]
c) "...and whosoever does not rule by what Allah has revealed then such are the kafireen (disbelievers)"[29].
d) “Judge between them by that which Allah has revealed and do not follow their desires and beware of them lest they seduce you from some part of that which Allah has revealed to you”[30].
e) “Allah will never allow the disbelievers to have authority over the believers”[31].

When one reviews the classical jurists on this matter, they were emphatically decisive - some quotes are listed below to demonstrate the point:

Al-Razi states in his tafsir that this and the associated ayaat are general in their meaning and application requiring Muslims to implement Islam.

Ibn Abbas (ra) on this verse stated that anybody who denies a definitive judgement of Allah (swt) contained in the Sharia is a Kafir. He went on to say that anyone who says that the Rule of Allah (swt) does not have to be established or the rule of man is better than the Rule of Allah (swt) or the rules of man are just as good as the Rule of Allah (swt) is a Kafir. He also said that the one who does not deny Allah's (swt) Hukm, but believes that it is allowed to rule by other than what Allah (swt) has revealed, he is also a Kafir because he is denying that the right of Rule is solely for Allah (swt). This is the case even if he says that the rule of Allah (swt) is better than the rule implemented by man.

Ibn al-Qayyim said, "The correct view is that ruling according to something other than that which Allah has revealed includes both major and minor Kufr, depending on the position of the judge. If he believes that it is obligatory to rule according to what Allah has revealed in this case, but he turns away from that out of disobedience, whilst acknowledging that he is deserving of punishment, then this is lesser Kufr. But if he believes that it is not obligatory and that the choice is his even though he is certain that this is the ruling of Allah, then this is major Kufr.”[32]

Ibn Abeel-'Izz said, "Judging by other than what Allah has revealed could be kufr that expels one from the religion and could be a sin either a major sin or a minor one and it could be a symbolic kufr or minor kufr based on the two sayings and this all depends on the situation of the judge: So if he believes that judging by what Allah has revealed is not obligatory or that he has the option in this or if he dishonours it while being certain that it is the judgement of Allah then this is major kufr and if he believes in the obligation of judging by what Allah has revealed in this instance but turns away from it while recognizing that he deserves to be punished then he is a sinner and is to be referred to as a disbeliever symbolically or upon minor disbelief"[33].

Ibn Taymiyyah said, "Undoubtedly, whoever does not believe that it is obligatory to rule according to that which Allah has revealed to His Messenger is a Kafir, and whoever thinks it is permissible to rule among people according to his own opinions, turning away and not following which Allah has revealed is also a Kafir...So in matters which are common to the Ummah as a whole, it is not permissible to rule or judge according to anything except the Quran and Sunnah. No one has the right to make the people follow the words of a scholar or Ameer or shaykh or king. Whoever believes that he can judge between people according to any such thing, and does not judge between them according to revelation is a Kafir."[34]

Ibn Katheer referring to the Tartars said, "…who put together for them a law book extracted from different laws of the Jews, the Christians and the Deen of Islam. It also contained many rules taken only from their own opinion and desires that later became a system of law followed by the people and given precedence over the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of his Messenger (saw) so the ruler who does that is a Kafir."[35]

Al-Shawkani said in one of his essays:
“a) That referring for judgement to Taghoot (i.e. non Islam) constitutes major Kufr.
b) That referring for judgement to Taghoot is just one of a number of actions of Kufr, each of which in its own is sufficient to condemn the one who does it as a Kafir.
c) He gives examples of Kufr, such as people agreeing to deny women their rights of inheritance and their persisting in co-operating in that, and he states that is major kufr”[36].

If Maajid has an alternative position to this, he has not documented it in his article nor has he addressed or refuted these fundamental points aside from his passing comment “The two passages (Ayât) from the Qur'ân that are referred to, though in themselves forming a theologically definitive source for proof (Qati'i al-Thubût), their link to this particular subject matter as conditions (Shart) for the validity of a land (Dâr) is inconclusive (Zanni)".

This statement is meaningless – what does the term valid mean? And what does it mean when conjuncted to land, “a valid land”? Legal to trade with, legitimate to conclude treaties, permitted for living in, forbidden to fight with, acceptable for practicing Islamic rituals therein, nor requiring migration etc. And here lies the crux of the confusion in Maajid’s article and thought. His discussion of a Dar (land) is so vague and the term so broad, containing so many different issues, the discourse becomes convoluted and he fails to prove anything. It appears he wishes to avoid having to respond to HT’s actual argument that looks at one decisive aspect - the requirement of the implementation of Allah’s Sharia[38] – and the responsibility of Muslims to initiate this process as the Messenger did before them and call the world to Islam without compromising, selling-out or trying to coexist with philosophies, ideologies and religions of disbelief (kufr).

6. HT Concepts and the Adoption Process

Maajid quotes the famous Wahabbite rebellion against the Ottoman state from Abdul Qadeem Zalloom’s book, “How the Khilafah was Destroyed”. From this he questions why HT criticizes this rebellion if it is permitted for one to enact their ijtihad as per the HT methodology. To understand this point HT's adoption process needs reviewing.

HT emphasizes the importance and significance of its intellectual culture, verifying every idea rigorously before adopting it. It cites revival movements that failed historically due to the lack of thought and clarity in the intellectual culture, particularly in the aims and methodologies[39]. Moreover, it is often confusing what ideas and values a movement stands for, as opposed to personal thoughts and views of its adherents. HT concepts undergo the process of adoption (tabanni), accepting the strongest views and avoiding disputes regarding what is the HT official view on a matter[40]. It ensures conformity with existing adoption through a process of intense intellectual scrutiny and critique. The adopted HT books at the time of writing comprise:
1) System of Islam
2) Party Structure
3) Concepts of Hizb al-Tahrir
4) The Islamic state
5) The Ruling System in Islam
6) The Economic System in Islam
7) The Social System in Islam
8) The Islamic Personality (3 Volumes)
9) Funds of the Khilafah state
10) Political Concepts of Hizb ut-Tahrir
11) Political views of Hizb ut-Tahrir
12) Muqadimat al-Dastoor (Introduction to the constitution)
13) Al-Dausiah
14) Essential Elements of the Islamic Nafsiyyah (Disposition)
15) Organisations of the Khilafah state - in ruling and admin.

Maajid's attempt to refute HT adopted thought by using material the party has never adopted[41] is false. Why would someone who had studied with HT for so long, failed to understand this basic idea?

This idea is not taught so it is possible Maajid is not aware of it. However, he quotes a partial definition in one of the footnotes in his article, illustrating he is aware of the idea but not its centrality: “Adopted Party books are those books that are obligatory for a member to believe in and propagate. Members must not openly criticize adopted books even if they disagree with them...”[42]

HT thought has inspired a range of literature produced by individuals who have been influenced by it. To ensure these ideas are not understood to be HT's, it only puts its name to material that it has adopted – the book “How the Khilafah was Destroyed”, cited by Maajid is not an adopted book, the name Hizb ut-Tahrir does not appear on it.

The position in the book is consistent with HT views and not at variance as Maajid alleges. HT prohibits the enactment of any diverse view when the Imam or Khalif has adopted on a matter and there is no dispute that the Ottomans were valid Khalifs, a fact which the Wahabbites accepted, along with the jurists of the time. They were obliged to obey and submit to the rulers and not commit treason by colluding with the British to rebel against them. The reality post-Khilafah is one where the legitimacy of installed rulers and agents is disputed as are the ideologies and creeds they implement. Thus there is no comparison between the two scenarios.

7. What are the Discussions of Dar al-Islam/Kufr about?

Maajid states his first and “most obvious” way of showing HT’s stance to be inconclusive is by showing “Definitions of Dār al-Kufr and Dār al-Islām are not to be found in any verse of the Qur'ān or any Ĥadīth. One or two prophetic traditions (Aĥadīth), argued by many to be of weak authenticity, refer to the term Dār al-Ĥarb and another refers to Dār al-Kufr, but all fail to offer any definition of these terms. It is primarily due to this reason that the definitions are vastly differed over by the Jurists...”[43].

The terms Dar al-Kufr and Dar al-Islam have been derived from Quran and Sunnah, with all jurists agreeing to their core meanings, namely Islam must be applied and security cannot be with non-Muslims, and some ancillary aspects being disputed. A search through the major works of jurisprudence through Muslim history confirms this[44].

By arguing neither terms are in the Quran or ahadith, resulting in indecisive notions, Maajid is mistaken. Whether technical terms appear in texts or not is irrelevant - what is required is the definitions of such terms should embody, reflect and concur with divine texts. Nomenclature is not central to the Sharia witnessed by the absence of majority of technical definitions from texts and by the famous principle, "There is no objection to definitions in that they do not contradict the Sharia - for importance is not attached to the words but the meanings" - لا مشاحة في الاصطلاح ما لم يخالف الشرع؛ لذلك فليست العبرة بالمباني إنما بالمعاني

If one wished to refute him using his style of argument one would state the terms Dar, Islam and Kufr do appear in a number of texts as do their synonyms Balad, Ard and Qarya. The conjunction of these and other terms in principle is also seen in the texts. Therefore the terms Dar al-Islam/al-Kufr appear and are sanctioned by the texts. Numerous examples of Islam and Kufr appear throughout the texts so no illustration is necessary - examples of Dar from authentic and non-daeef sources include:
· That abode of utter desolation (Quran 14:28) وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ
· And God invites unto the abode of peace, and guides him that wills onto a straight way (Quran 10:25) وَاللّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى دَارِ السَّلاَمِ وَيَهْدِي
· Theirs shall be an abode of peace with their Sustainer (Quran 6:127) لَهُمْ دَارُ السَّلاَمِ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
· The Prophet (saw) said: "Harm to the Dar al-Moumineen from/by al-Shaam" [Tabarani 10:6459] وعقر دار المؤمنين بالشام
The Prophet (saw) said: “Then invite them to migrate from their Dar to the Dar al-Muhajireen” [Sahih Muslim 4294/Nisai/Darimi ]
· The Prophet (saw) said: “I have been shown the Dar of your hijra” [Sahih Bukhari 12:202] أُرِيتُ دَارَ هِجْرَتِكُمْ
· The Propet (saw) said: “Peace be upon you Dar of the Moumineen” [Sahih Muslim 2:53] فَقَالَ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ دَارَ قَوْمٍ مُؤْمِنِينَ
· The Prophet (saw) said: “Medina is the Dar of hijra and sunna” [Ahmed 1:372] الْمَدِينَةَ فَإِنَّهَا دَارُ الْهِجْرَةِ وَالسُّنَّةِ
· The Prophet (saw) said: “Medina was the Dar of shirk” [Nisai 13:55] الْمَدِينَةَ كَانَتْ دَارَ شِرْكٍ
· The Prophet (saw) said: “And he carried me to the Dar of hijra” [Tirmidhi 12:176] وَحَمَلَنِي إِلَى دَارِ الْهِجْرَةِ
· Abdul Rahman bin ‘Awf said, “...until they return to Madinah, which is Dar al-Hijrah, Dar al-Sunnah and Dar al-Salaama.” [Sahih Bukhari 3713]
· Ibn Abbas (ra) said, “Amongst the Ansaar were also people who migrated because at that time Madinah was Dar al-Shirk” [an-Nisa’i]
· The letter of Khalid bin Walid mentions “ long as he lives in the Dar al-Hijrah and Dar al-Islam. If they leave the dar of the Muhajirs, the Dar al-Islam, then the Muslims are not obliged to maintain his family.” [Abu Ubaid, "Kitaab al-Amwaal", pg. 98 & Abu Yusuf, "Kitaab al-Kharaaj", pgs. 155-156]

Like most technically defined terms in the Islamic sciences (uloom) they do not appear in the source texts in their technical form[45]. Maajid's argument if applied to other technical terms in the Islamic sciences, covering both decisive and indecisive ideas would result in one arguing:
· the term aqeedah is not to be found in any verse of Quran or Hadith so it is indecisive (i.e., Allah’s existence is indecisive, as is the Messenger, as is the Day of Judgement etc.)
· the terms uloom al-Quran, mushaf and asbab al-nuzool are not to be found in any verse of Quran or Hadith so they are indecisive (i.e., doubt in Quran)
· the terms uloom al-hadith, ahad, sahih, daeef, mawdooh, mashoor and mutawatir are not to be found in any verse of Quran or Hadith so they are indecisive (i.e., doubt in the Sunnah)
· the term ijma al-sahabah is not to be found in any verse of Quran or Hadith so it is indecisive (i.e., doubt in the consensus of the companions on matters including finality of the Prophethood)
· the terms mandub, mubah, ruksah, azimah and fasid are not to be found in any verse of Quran or Hadith so they are indecisive (i.e., doubt in the Sharia and its laws)

Historically, the Dar (land/territory) paradigm defined the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslim political sovereign entities and those between the Islamic state and its citizens from different regions and their situations[46]. These legal terms, like others deemed important in Islam (e.g., mukallaf, mandub, aqeedah, fasid, illah, ijma, isnad, hadith etc), were coined by Muslim jurists in the early centuries of Islam. The terms were necessary as they came to encompass realities, rules and values, both decisive and speculative, in relation to these relationships and how to manage them according to the scriptures. Their core meanings were decisively rooted in divine texts (branches being disputed) being determined from the Quran, the Sunnah and the practices of the companions[47]. They encompassed rules regarding matters of practicing Islam individually and collectively, migration, citizenship, war, security etc. Typical texts that initiated these discussions and necessitated considerations of the classifications and definitions of lands included:
"Lo! as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey’s end." [Quran 4:97]
"Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid - these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another. As to those who believed but came not into exile, you owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile; but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance." [Quran 8:72]
The Prophet (saw) said: “Then invite them to migrate from their Dar to the Dar of Muhajireen” [Sahih Muslim 4294/Nisai/Darimi]

Over time a collective and agreed position emerged amongst the classical jurists - where Islamic rules (ahkam) were dominant along with security this comprised Dar al-Islam whilst Dar al-Harb (or Kufr) would be where there was lawlessness and one’s life or property was not safe – through jihad the aim was to ensure the Sharia was dominant and security was with the Muslims. This bi-polar division of the world and the discouragement (generally prohibition) to reside in Dar al-Harb, where security was an issue, meant that Muslims viewed Dar al-Islam as their lands whilst Dar al-Harb was viewed as the lands of the foreigners or the enemies. There were some discussions amongst scholars regarding ancillary issues that followed from this major discussion. For instance, what the illah (effective cause) behind the rule was; whether it is ghalbat al-ahkam bi al-quwwa wa al-qahra mutlaq (dominance of rules and security unconditionally-majority) or muqayyad (with conditions-Abu Hanifa).

However, in the twentieth century, the redefinition of the Muslim world along colonial inspired lines occurred and Muslims began to migrate to the West seeking economic betterment. These trends clashed with the classical views resulting in some modern jurists reopening this discussion arguing for redefining these positions according to the new colonialist defined realities, based on pragmatic reasoning. These included modernist thinkers like Faysal Mawlawi, Mana Qattan, Yusuf Qardawi, Taha Jabir al-Alwani and most recently Tariq Ramadan who broadly argued for the integration of Muslims into the West and a re-consideration of international relations and the Dar paradigm - these views generally being at odds with the classical jurists. Others, including al-Nabhani of HT, argued the normative rules of Islam were relevant to all times and places and as such the reality needed reconfiguring rather than reinterpreting and reconfiguring Islam, a position congruent with the classical jurists[48].

There appears to be no desire by modern jurists to address the evidences which the classical jurists used with some going as far as to even deny the existence of the evidences[49]. One hadith in question is the narration by Sulayman al-Buraydah that clearly touched on this issue[50]:
“When the Messenger of Allah appointed anyone as leader of an army… He would say…”When you meet enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, accept it and restrain yourself from doing them harm. Invite them to Islam; if they respond, accept it from them and desist from fighting. Then invite them to migrate from their Dar to the Dar of Muhajireen and inform them that if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajireen. If they refuse, tell them they will have the status of the Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims”’[51]

This text makes the point Medinah is different from other Dars, due to its rule and security, which affords privileges and obligations, different to the Bedouin Muslims who simply follow the commands of Islam. Likewise the letter of Khalid bin Walid to the people of Hira reflects the same notions:
“Khalid b. Walid wrote to the people of Hira: I have granted (the people of Hira) that any of their elderly who is unable to work, afflicted by a plague, or became poor such that his co-religionists give him alms, then his jizyah will be waived and he and his family will be provided for from the Bayt al-Mal of the Muslims as long as he lives in the Dar al-Hira and Dar al-Islam. If they leave the Dar of the Muhajirs, the Dar al-Islam, then the Muslims are not obliged to maintain his family.”

In fact many evidences assume the existence of a Dar paradigm without which such texts make no sense and remain devoid of any application e.g., ‘And if they incline towards peace, you also incline towards it’[52]. This is because these verses are not addressed to individuals in their personal capacities but state entities. The Dar paradigm is a legal term whose principles are valid for all times unlike international geopolitics which varies over time[53]. It is law and not political analysis, and defines how things should be (normative) and not how things are (positive). It is prescriptive whilst political paradigms are descriptive (observational) and predictive. Furthermore it is not monolithic but made of independent but interrelated parts. The absence of one part does not mean the absence or irrelevance of the other (e.g., the absence of occupation or a peace treaty does not invalidate the entire model)[54].

By initiating a discussion centred on these terms, Maajid provides no conceptual clarity on the subject, leaving the reader with a limited comparison of the various wordings used in the composition of some technical terms and the conclusion that this matter was contested – a false conclusion.

HT’s quote is accurate and correct: “Similarly there is no disagreement that the land of Islām (Dār al-Islām) is the land that submits to the rule of Islām and is ruled by Muslims...” - none of the Jurists disputed this. This importantly is the subject matter of HT and not minority Muslims living in non-Islamic societies or occupied lands - thus the discussions of the branches of the definitions are not relevant, nor the conclusion that there were "vast" differences on the entire definitions.

Ibn Qayyim said in relation to the same, “The Jamhoor (majority) of the Ulema say, Dar al-Islam is where the Muslims go and reside and the Islamic rules are dominant. If people (the Muslims) reside in one place and Islam becomes dominant that is Dar al-Islam. If however, Islam does not become dominant it is not (considered) Dar al-Islam even if it is in close proximity to the state. Taaif was so close to Makkah (at the time when Makkah was Dar al-Islam) but it did not become part of Dar al-Islam until it was conquered.”[55]

Regarding their “astonishing” acceptance that there are differences of opinion, this is not stated in relation to the definition of Dar al-Islam as per Maajid's quotes from HT in his footnote 134. HT stated there have been differences expressed as to when Dar al-Islam becomes Dar al-Kufr comprising, "1. The appearance of the rules of Kufr, 2. Bordering of Dar al-Kufr (some arguing surrounded by kuffar) and, 3. Absence of the Security of the Muslims...", descriptive definitions and not based on divine texts (the scholars generally arguing the change of Dar al-Islam to Dar al-Kufr (or Harb) revolving around the illah (effective cause) which comprised implementation of Sharia or where power lay - both applying to the modern Muslim world).

Out of the three points, the second point is disputed and HT state a review of the (historic) reality would eliminate the second condition that is stipulated as obviously incorrect as Dar al-Islam will always border Dar al-Kufr - does that mean there is never a Dar al-Islam? It thus leaves only the remaining two points which are agreed upon and upon which HT rely. More so, they are consistent with the decisive notions that the implementation of Sharia is required and the foreign systems and ideologies implemented in Muslim societies post-colonialism are invalid and security must be in the hands of Muslims and not foreign powers.

Thus HT's position is intellectually sound and consistent - unfortunately Maajid's analysis of it is not.

Before moving on, one question remains - is the wording of the definitions decisive in HT adoption? Maajid’s critique contains an analysis of the above terms highlighting a number of citations from “Way for Revival”[56]. However a key question he appears to have overlooked is, does HT adopt or state that the wordings used in any of these definitions are definite and decisive (qati)? The answer appears to be no.

In the adopted book, “Mafaheem” (Concepts), HT presents the results of their insight and complex analysis as to the causes of decline of the Muslim world. They then articulate the problem of institutionalized non-Islamic ideologies in the Muslim lands and provide a solution for the problem, which comprises the means for change (detailed in the books “Methodology of Hizb ut-Tahrir for Change”/“Party Structure”) along with the ideology of Islam with elaboration of its shape and form in a number of books (detailed in the adopted books “System of Islam”, “Economic System”, “Social System” and “Constitution”). The underlying premises and assumptions are articulated in the series of adopted books “Islamic Personality”. At no point do they utilize the terms Dar al-Islam or Dar al-Kufr in their analysis as definite and decisive definitions. Even the quote from “Islamic Personality”, does not state the definitions of the terms, utilising their wordings, are definite and not open to being defined using different terms – nor does HT stipulate acceptance of these terms nor enter this discussion. What is expected and stipulated as decisive is that the Islamic lands must be ruled by Muslims and Islam, notions stated categorically and unambiguously by texts, and found throughout HT’s works.

Maajid argues his objective is to show the inconsistency of HT adoption – to successfully do so, he must demonstrate what HT state as decisive is to the contrary indecisive by elaborating the different views on that - otherwise all he demonstrates is that a definition is indecisive, a matter already known and acknowledged by HT - a futile exercise. With the collapse of this point, Maajid fails in his objective from the outset.

Thus the use of this point is nothing more than a “red herring”.

8. Confusion Surrounding the Definition and Usage of Technical Terminology

Maajid's analysis of definitions and comparison thereof is muddled and confused at best. This section seeks to provide some clarification.

A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term, word or phrase[57]. Definitions assist discussions by agreeing on common terminologies which alleviate the need to consistently refer to the underlying definition. The need for precision and accuracy in definitions is important.

Definitions are of two kinds: descriptive (one which is generally used) or, stipulative (where a new meaning is imposed on an existing term). Furthermore, they may be:
· Intensional which specifies the necessary and sufficient conditions for a thing being a member of a specific set, often seen in attempts to set out the essence of something, or,
· Extensional, where it specifies its extension, e.g., a list naming every object that is a member of a specific set.

In Arabic, terms may have a linguistic usage and a technical usage. Both can acquire definitions in the above manner. Islamic scholarship has traditionally focused discussion on technical definitions of terms. These comprise terms that are discussed and defined by the Sharia texts (e.g., salat, zakat, hajj, siyam etc), terms that are descriptive (e.g., mutawatir, ahad, sanad, qati, zanni etc) and terms that are necessitated through textual injunctions in order to understand and apply Sharia rules (dar al-Islam, aqeedah, ijma, illah etc).

The terms Dar al-Islam/Kufr have not been explicitly defined by the Sharia texts, however the Sharia texts necessitate their recognition in order for their implementation. For example, the texts relating to war and peace in Islam recognize relations between states and attempt to regulate them. These definitions are generally stipulatively and intensionally defined[58] although some are extensional making like comparisons between definitions more difficult. Added to this is the fact that many jurists did not explicitly document definitions of these terms however utilised them whilst discussing jurisprudence.

The linguistic usage of the term Dar refers to land, abode, city or domain. When combined with the term Islam, grammatically it is in a construct state (genitive case), giving it a meaning "the land of Islam". What does this mean? The term Islam, referring to submission, is a verbal noun (masdar) derived from the verb (fi'l) aslama, meaning "he or it submitted", with the other important derivative, the active participle (faa'il) Muslim, "the one who submits". A verb sometimes confused with it is the verb salama and verbal noun salaam which refers to peace.

In a similar discussion amongst the jurists, the question of what is it that constitutes a Muslim (one who submits to Allah) compared to one who does not (kafir). This necessitated a criteria to be extracted from the texts that dwelt on this topic, whether directly or indirectly. Detailed discussions exploring all aspects of this criteria and its implications resulted in a consensus amongst the jurists of a core criteria of what it means to be a Muslim and when one moves from being a Muslim to a non-Muslim. Likewise, the question of what constitutes a land or society which has submitted to Allah was discussed in detail and a core criteria agreed upon along with when this transitions to a non-Islamic land.

The jurists considered texts that centered around the concepts:
· authority and ruling
· security and safety
· war and peace
· practice of Islam (outside the state)
· migration
· ownership of land

There is no Sharia requirement that all these concepts are embedded in one definition - what is important is the Sharia rules are not changed or abandoned through the use of definitions.

It became clear that the texts relating to the first two points were essential to whether a land, society or nation had submitted to Allah (regardless of the makeup of the population's personal beliefs). The presence or absence of other points did not determine the essence of Dar al-Islam - however without Sharia and authority with Muslims the land could not be Islamic and termed as such.

HT's discourse focuses on the first two points in relation to Muslim lands. As such, any definitions and discussions beyond this confuses the discussion. HT's contention is the first two points result in a definition of Dar al-Islam that requires the Muslims rule by Sharia and the security is in their hands - on this there is no dispute amongst the classical jurists.

Maajid’s review of the definitions surmises there is a "vast" difference amongst the jurists with some accepting a land as Islamic based on authority and security whilst others accept ability to practice Islam or when its signs (worships, Islamic practices etc) are present. He thus concludes from this there is a dispute on the underlying Shariah rules.

Firstly he has mixed discussions and usages in relation to the six points above, not comparing like with like. Despite this, he has not quoted one scholar who defines Dar al-Islam as the ability of individuals to practice Islam or when its signs are present - all his citations assume the presence of Islamic authority.

If the categories are corrected and the concepts untangled the following nomenclature emerges:

Islamic Lands (Dar al-Islam - agreed upon)
· authority and ruling
· security and safety

Non-Islamic Lands (Dar al-Islam/Dar al-Kufr/Dar al-Harb/Dar al-Ahd - disputed terminology)
· practice of Islam (outside the state)
· migration - disputed
· ownership of land - partially disputed

Relations between the Islamic State (Dar al-Islam) and Non-Islamic lands (Dar al-Islam/Dar al-Kufr/Dar al-Harb etc.) - disputed terminology
· war and peace - partially disputed

Transformation of an Islamic land (Dar al-Islam) to a Non-Islamic land (Dar al-Islam/Dar al-Kufr/Dar al-Harb) - partially disputed
· appearance of the rules of kufr in it - agreed upon
· it borders (or is surrounded by) Dar al-Kufr - disputed
· there does not remain the security of the Muslims - agreed upon

As can be seen, there is no dispute on the core understanding of what is meant by Dar al-Islam and the division of the world into two fundamental spheres - the notion of implementing Sharia and security by Muslims in their domain and the absence of these in Dar al-Harb (or Dar al-Kufr). Differences were discussed in relation to political realities outside of this domain, some extending this definition, and others seeking to limit it[59]. Those who extended the definition and used the terminology such as Dar al-Islam for labelling non-Islamic lands have been misquoted. One can legitimately state there was debate on the extended usage of the term (furu' or juziyyat), however, it would be nothing more than sophistry to say there was a dispute on the core meanings.

Secondly, Maajid incorrectly interprets and derives definitions from discussions - “ijtihad on ijtihad” - and then impose them on the discussion. His citations of Dusuqi, Bujayrami and Mawardi are such examples. Jurists discussed all the above issues without limiting or disputing the core meaning of Dar al-Islam in the way Maajid is attempting to portray.

Thirdly, his argument is conceptually flawed as it focuses entirely on the variations of the form of definitions whilst ignoring the intended meanings (i.e., the substance of the definitions), putting the cart before the horse so to speak. It also violates the usooli principle which makes this very point: "There is no objection to definitions in that they do not contradict the Sharia - for importance is not attached to the words but the meanings" - لا مشاحة في الاصطلاح ما لم يخالف الشرع؛ لذلك فليست العبرة بالمباني إنما بالمعاني

Thus, even if for the sake of argument, a scholar was to define a land as Dar al-Islam based on the ability of a Muslim to practice his deen, he does not intend it is legitimate to rule and enforce kufr, but is highlighting the Muslim does not need to migrate to practice his deen. Likewise, if one were to define the land as Dar al-kufr if the ruling system is kufr, it does not mean Muslims cannot practice their deen there and must migrate. As such, the two definitions would not be in conflict in substance, simply in form. Maajid has ignored this point and deemed a contradiction when there is none. The same point is made by other researchers in this matter.

Maajid has also failed to note the implications of his analysis if his reasoning was applied to other definitions and the conflict it causes with existing ideas. It is well recognised that virtually every term in Islam is contested, even those as fundamental as Imaan, Muslim and Quran – one would be hard pressed to identify a definition which had an absolute consensus. Would one conclude these (and all) matters are doubtful and speculative? Obviously not. Some examples are highlighted below though the argument could similarly be applied to many others.

· Definition of the Quran
The definition of the term, Quran, according to the Hanafi linguist Jurjani in his book on technical definitions is “revelation to the Messenger compiled in the Musaahif and transmitted through tawatur means without doubt”[60].
According to Sharawi it is “speech of God, revealed to the final Prophet in the Arabic language, worship when recited, compiled in the Uthman mushaf and transmitted via tawatur (decisive) means”, and according to Aamidi “The word of Allah is revealed to his slave Muhammad in Arabic. It is a miracle (Ijaaz) in even the shortest surah, it is written down and narrated to us through tawatur, through which we worship Allah by reading it, it starts with surah al-Fatiha and ends with al-Naas”[61].
If the definitions are compared, it is apparent there are a number of differences, including “speech of God”, “in the Arabic language” and “worship when recited”. If Maajid’s reasoning was applied in this case, one would conclude that there are massive differences in the definition of Quran being the speech of God or in Arabic - as these points are disputed hence the Quran must be zanni (speculative). However, the jurists (as well as all Muslims) did not dispute these matters and agreed they are decisive (qati) due to the evidence - difference in selection of the words of the Quran are irrelevant.

· Definition of Shaheed (martyr)
According to the Hanafis: “One who is killed by the pagans, or is found killed in the battle bearing a mark of any wound, whether external or internal - such as blood emerging from an eye or the like.”[62]
“Anyone who is killed while fighting pagans, or rebels, or brigands, by a means attributed to the enemy - whether directly or by consequence - is a shaheed, anyone who is killed by a means not specifically attributed to [an action of] the enemy is not considered a shaheed.”[63]
According to the Malikis: “One killed while fighting warring unbelievers only, even if killed on Islamic land such as if the enemy attacked the Muslims, [even if he] did not fight on account of being unaware or asleep, [and even if] killed by a Muslim who mistook him for an unbeliever, or trampled by a horse, or mistakenly by his own sword or arrow, or having fallen into a well or from a cliff during the fighting.”[64]
According to the Shafi’s: “One who is killed in fighting unbelievers, facing and not running away, for the raising of Allah’s word…and not for any worldly motive.”[65]
Ibn Hajar has mentioned fourteen means by which a person can acquire the title, some of them specifically related to being killed in the path of Allah and others not.[66]
According to the Hanbalis: “One who dies in a battle with the unbelievers, whether male or female, adult or not, whether killed by the unbelievers, or by his own weapon in error, or by having fallen off his mount, or having been found dead with no mark, provided he was sincere.”[67]

From the above, it may be argued that martyrdom is speculative as the definitions are contested, whereas the notion of martydom whilst engaged in war ordained by Allah is in fact a decisive concept in Islam. There are speculative issues in aspects that relate to it but that does not detract from the decisiveness of the issue.

Furthermore, technical terms are used in different contexts to reflect varying realities – for instance, the definition and qualification of the terms mujahid/shaheed of the dunya and akhira are defined differently, in order to apply Sharia rules. However, one does not conclude from these that the whole matter of being a mujahid/shaheed is disputed simply due to the attempt by scholars in articulating concise and precise definitions reflecting texts and their various rules. The term Sunnah for instance has several technical usages across the different sciences, even multiple usages within a given science. It is used to refer to Masdar al-Sharia (source of law), Sirah (kutub al-sunnah biography), Hadith (kutub al-sunnah narrations), Mandoub (recommended), Nafl (superogratory), Medina (Dar al-Sunnah) etc. These multi-usages of a term were normal and accepted throught Islamic history and importantly, never contradicted Sharia rules.

Likewise, some jurists[68] also utilised the terms Dar al-Islam in relation to ownership of land conquered by non-Muslims in a manner contemporary Muslims allude to Spain being Muslim land (e.g., the Shafi'ite jurist al-Rafi'i in his book "Nihayat al-Muhtaj" Vol. 8 pg. 82, included in his definition that Dar al-Islam once named as such remains Dar al-Islam until the Day of Judgement) or whether Muslims could practice their religion there or not - categorising such lands Dar al-Islam or al-Kufr was an issue of which definition they would be a more appropriate subset. These considerations never conflicted with divine texts and the rules thereof. Jurist did not attempt to justify the rule of non-Islamic law or creeds solely focusing on issues of ownership or practice - a point Maajid has failed to note.

The Jurists were categorical that the rule by the Sharia was mandatory. Abu Hanifah believed an unjust ruler must be fought, let alone one who rules by kufr. That is why he funded the rebellion of Imam Zayd against the Umayyad Khalifah Hisham bin Abdel Malik bin Marwan and he funded the rebellion of Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyyah against al-Mansur, the Abbasid Khalifah.

The point here is not a dispute on definitions. The point here, which HT adopted culture argues and thus makes the whole definition dispute irrelevant, is that Islam must be implemented in the Muslim lands, as it was historically, and it is forbidden to implement/enforce non-Islamic ideologies. Not one of Maajid’s quoted scholars differs with HT on this.

9. Systematic Misquotation of the Classical Scholars

Maajid makes the emotive statement “...the definitions are vastly differed over by the Jurists (Mujtahidīn) as each one simply extracted what seemed plausible to him from scripture”[69]. However, upon checking the quotes Maajid has used in relation to the classical scholars, a number of discrepancies emerge. Anyone can make a mistake in referencing or quoting; however the consistency of Maajid's mistakes is suspicious. His article misrepresents the classical jurists on a number of points by systematically misquoting and misinterpreting them to support his conclusions[70]. Prior to reviewing some examples, the issue of what the term "zuhur al-Islam" needs to be discussed as it appears in a number of discussions and definitions and Maajid has a major contention with it.

Maajid states, " is incorrect to assume that al-Kāsāni's and Abū Yūsuf's reference to the 'appearance of the rulings of Islām' implies an absolutist interpretation towards implementing the Shari'ah on a state level as law, rather than merely safety to manifest such rulings." His contention is refuted in a number of ways:
1. Maajid believes the term has a meaning that applies only to individual practice of Islam with the security of Islam present. This is linguistically incorrect as the words "appearance of Islamic rules" is general and from the language this would include both societal and individual rules of Islam, without restriction.
2. Abu Yusuf actually states the opposite of Maajid's claims if he had read al-Sarkhasi's quote from his famous book "al-Mabsoot" (Beirut, Vol 1, Pg. 220), "The land is a land of kufr by the appearance of kufr ahkaam (rules) in it even if the majority of its people were Muslims". Following Maajid's conclusion results in all Muslim lands being kufr lands as there were always non-Muslims practicing their kufr in Muslim lands - and conversely all lands would be Islamic by utilising definitions that define using the reverse - ludicrous conclusions. Thus the only possible understanding of the "appearance of Islamic rules" is the laws of the land along with the security/power (quwwa/qahr).
3. Many jurists articulated their definitions using specific terms which categorically prevent such poor attempts at interpreation, for instance, Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi in his book, "Usul al-Din" (Istanbul:Dowlah, pg. 270) states, "...and implemented there the laws of Muslims on the Ahl al-Dhimma if they were present... is Dar al-Islam (nafaza fiha hukm al-Muslimeen ala ahl al-dhimma in kaana fihim dhimmi...fahiya Dar al-Islam)".
4. Other scholars (which Maajid cites) utilise these terms as well and their explanations clarify that they are not limited to individual practice. This term most certainly includes the rulers as al-Bujayrimi for instance states Dar al-Islam is the entire land where the Islamic rules appear, clearly mentioning terms in his definition including “ahl al-dhimma”, “opened up by Muslims” and “it was given to govern by non-Muslims” which all relate to authority.

As regards the scholars Maajid tries using to support his argument - Imam Kasani and Abu Hanifa are famous for their views that laws and security must be Islamic so no further elaboration is needed - quoting their discussions regarding what is the illah (effective cause) for the requirement of Islamic laws and power being in the hands of Muslims is little more than a misinterpretation by Maajid in trying to justify lands as Islamic based on individual practice.

Regarding Maajid's Ibn Abideen quotation, “Indeed, Dār al-harb becomes Dār al-Islām by establishing the rulings (Ahkām) of Islām such as the Friday prayer and the 'Eid prayer; even if the indigenous non-Muslims remain therein and that country is not adjoined to Dār al-Islām”, these are examples of state laws that are being implemented backed by the power in the hands of the Muslims. The Hanafis are famous for stating the Friday prayer requires the Caliph (Imam) and its non-requirement outside Dar a-Islam. Ibn Abideen elaborates this further in his book "Haashiya ibn Abideen" (Damascus:Dar al-Thiqafa wa Turath, Vol. 4, pg. 116), "It is intended by the word Dar, a territory submitted (biqahr) to the power/authority/rule (mulk) of Islam or Kufr", a point which needs no further elaboration.

· Bujayrimi’s Quote
Al-Bujayrimi incorporates the ideas mentioned above in his actual definition which Maajid ignored. He instead selected only a part of al-Bujayrimi’s explanation of his definition whilst ignoring the definition itself and the rest of the explanation. Maajid said, "al-Imam al-Bujayrimi... maintains that Dār al-Islām is a place where Muslims reside even if there are non-Muslims present.”

However the actual quote of Sulayman bin Mohammed al-Bujayrimi in "Sharh al-Bujayrimi ala al-Khatib" is as follows:
شرح الروض. قوله: (في دار الإسلام) أي بأن يسكنها المسلمون وإن كان فيها أهل ذمة أو فتحها المسلمون وأقروها بيد الكفار أو كانوا يسكنونها ثم جلاهم الكفار عنها "شرح الروض"
"(About Dar al-Islam) that Muslims live there even if there were with them there ahl al-dhimma (those protected by the Muslim Rulers), or it was opened up by Muslims, or it was given to govern by the hand of non-Muslims or they were living there and were expelled by the kuffar from it."

And in his book, "Nihaya al-Muhtaj", al-Bujayrimi provides an actual definition of Dar al-Islam along with an explanation of it:
وقال الشّافعيّة: هي كلّ أرض تظهر فيها أحكام الإسلام - ويراد بظهور أحكام الإسلام: كلّ حكم من أحكامه، أو يسكنها المسلمون وإن كان معهم فيها أهل ذمّة، أو فتحها المسلمون، وأقرّوها بيد الكفّار، أو كانوا يسكنونها، ثمّ أجلاهم الكفّار
"Dar al-Islam is the entire land where the Islamic laws (ahkam al-Islam) appear and it is intended by the phrase "appearance of the Islamic laws" every law from its laws, or Muslims live there even if there were with them ahl al-dhimma (those protected by Muslim Rulers), or it was opened up by Muslims, or it was given to govern by the hand of non-Muslims or they were living there and were expelled by the kuffar from it."

Maajid’s selective quote is presented as al-Bujayrami's definition when it was actually lifted from only a part of al-Bujayrimi's elaboration - he also mistranslates the portion he does quote by translating the term "ahl al-dhimmah" who are legally protected non-Muslims by the Islamic state rendered simply as non-Muslims. This mistranslation leaves the reader with quite a different understanding when compared to the actual translation, especially on a discussion centred around the political or non-political nature of a definition.

Maajid insinuates Bujayrami defines the term with a meaning that applies only to individual practice of Islam in a Kufr land - this is incorrect as the actual definition contains the words "appearance of Islamic rules", which is general and from the language this would include both societal and individual rules of Islam - i.e., appearance of the rules of Islam without restriction. Other scholars utilise these terms as well and their explanations clarify this is not limited to individual practice. This term most certainly includes the rulers as he states Dar al-Islam is the entire land where the Islamic rules appear, as it is unqualified without any references limiting the matter to individual matters alone – furthermore, he clearly mentions terms in his definition including “ahl al-dhimma”, “opened up by Muslims” and “it was given to govern by non-Muslims” which all relate to authority. As such this is the exact meaning of the Arabic language and Maajid (or those who provided him with this quote) appear to be imposing a secular ideologically inspired reading on al-Bujayrami's definition.

Revealingly, al-Bujayrimi discusses this issue in the chapter of Jihad, and the whole chapter details the Imam’s responsibilities and involvement in this obligation - thus al-Bujayrimi's discussion in this context clarifies the importance of Islam in the political context of his definition.

An interesting observation that shows the absurdity that results in Maajid's conclusions from his interpretation of this and other definitions to be discussed. If any jurist defined Dar al-Islam solely as the ability to practice in a non-Islamic land in security, this would mean that all lands that contained Muslims (regardless of number) would be Islamic lands and would not therefore require anything further to be done - thus there would be no requirement to try to impose the obligations of hudud (penal), jihad, zakat, jizya, arbitration etc a situation that contradicts definite texts and one that the remaining texts of the same scholars contradict by discussing the necessity of an Imam and the implementation of Islam - as such Maajid's interpretation of the classical scholars definitions of Dar al-Islam is little more than a blunder.

Finally, to seal the point, even if one for the sake of argument (or otherwise) was to accept that the definition includes non-Islamic lands where Muslims resided, the effect at best would be that the definition of Dar al-Islam, would be broadened, comprising a core element (authority of Islam/security) which is not contested and the branches which were contested (as already discussed in detail above). This would be akin to Sunnah comprising tawatur and ahad elements, the latter being disputed and indefinite; or imaan comprising belief and action with the latter disputed. It does not support Maajid's argument as he is trying to demonstrate the entire definition is contested (or at minimum the core aspects of it are, i.e., the need for Islamic rule and authority) as HT's arguments are built on the core and not the branches.

This definition does not support his argument and is not relevant to the discussion. It is interesting to note that Maajid has corrected this quote in his article - unfortunately he still needs to do the same with the other misquotations.

· Mawardi’s Quote
Maajid quotes al-Shawkani from "Nayl al-Awtar" stating Maawardi believed “If it becomes possible to manifest ones religion (Din) in any Kufr land, then that land becomes by such a virtue Dār al-Islām”.

There are a number of problems with this citation - firstly, the secondary source from which Maajid quotes, he partially quotes al-Shawkani and his interpretation is not the only feasible one from the quote. Secondly, Mawardi's original discussion in "al-Hawi", states something entirely different. Thirdly on reviewing Mawardi's other texts, Maajid's conclusions are not contradicted.

In the section "Baab al-Hijra" (Migration), a later section than that cited by Maajid, the actual quote is reproduced below, (the final line shows Shawkani's comment of disagreement which has been omitted in Maajid's quotation):

وَفِيهِمْ نَزَلَتْ : { إنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمْ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنْتُمْ ؟ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ، قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا } الْآيَةَ ، وَهَذِهِ الْهِجْرَةُ بَاقِيَةُ الْحُكْمِ فِي حَقِّ مِنْ أَسْلَمَ فِي دَارِ الْكُفْرِ وَقَدَرَ عَلَى الْخُرُوجِ مِنْهَا .

وَقَالَ الْمَاوَرْدِيُّ : إذَا قَدَرَ عَلَى إظْهَارِ الدِّينِ فِي بَلَدٍ مِنْ بِلَادِ الْكُفْرِ فَقَدْ صَارَتْ الْبَلَدُ بِهِ دَارَ إسْلَامٍ ، فَالْإِقَامَةُ فِيهَا أَفْضَلُ مِنْ الرِّحْلَةِ عَنْهَا لِمَا يُتَرَجَّى مِنْ دُخُولِ غَيْرِهِ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ ، وَلَا يَخْفَى مَا فِي هَذَا الرَّأْيِ مِنْ الْمُصَادَمَةِ لِأَحَادِيثِ الْبَابِ الْقَاضِيَةِ بِتَحْرِيمِ الْإِقَامَةِ فِي دَارِ الْكُفْرِ .

""Lo! as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey’s end." (Quran 4:97) ...If one is able to manifest their din in any kufr land then that land thereby becomes by it a Dar Islam. So residence there is preferable than journeying away from it in the hope others may embrace Islam. And it is apparent that this view conflicts with the ahadith (narrations) in the chapter of al-Qadiya prohibiting residence in the Dar al-Kufr." [71]

Maajid uses Mawardi's quote as part of his argument to suggest a "vast" difference amongst the scholars. The quote above if taken without further context, is open to a number of interpretations. An alternative view to Maajid's would imply Mawardi utilises the term dar Islam with a new usage (akin to the multi-usages of the term Sunnah in Islamic sciences discussed previously). Its usage by Mawardi is relative and personalised - it describes where an individual is able to practice his religion freely then for him that reality is the same as if he was in the Islamic state, i.e., there is no difference from his personal perspective of practicing his deen - he therefore should not migrate as the texts ordering migration only require this where his reality is he cannot practice his religion. The term بِهِ bihi refers to the person and the transformation of Dar al-Kufr to a Dar Islam (a land of Islam as opposed to the land of Islam) is presented from his personal view. Mawardi does not believe the international relations between states change due to an individual's personal view nor that non-Islamic rule is acceptable and should not be Islamic. As such this view would widen the definition of Dar al-Islam (and this part of the definition would be disputed) or show the usage of the term in a different context, both of which are acceptable - however it would not show the core discussions are contested.

The above discussion however becomes academic on reviewing "al-Haawi" from which this quote has been taken:
"If he was able to achieve separation (i'tizaal) and establish denial (imtina') in Dar al-Harb and he was able to undertake propagation of Islam (dawa) and fighting (qitaal) so this necessitates that he remain in Dar al-Harb because it transforms by his Islam and his I'tizaal Da ral-Islam. And if he had capability of Imtina' and I'tizaal and no ability of Dawa and Qitaal so this necessites that he remains and not migrate because the land became Dar al-Islam by the I'tizaal. And if he had the ability of Imtina' and he did not have the ability of I'tizaal, Dawa and Qitaal his land does not become Dar al-Islam. And it is not obligatory on him to migrate, according to his situation, if he hoped for the presence of Islam to attain its station, he should remain firstly and not migrate." ("al-Haawi", Vol 14 pp. 104-105)

Mawardi terms Dar al-Islam where Muslims living in non-Islamic lands (dar al-harb) have their own territory from which they can apply Islam. The absence of the ability to do Dawa, Qitaal or I'tizaal means that this land is not Dar al-Islam. Thus Mawardi is stating nothing different from the other jurists, expressing his explanation in his own style.

In "al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah" (The Laws of Islamic Governance), where Mawardi discusses state governance and international relations, he uses the terms Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb (Kufr) in their usual contexts, relating to law and security, with no regard to whether Muslims live there or not in deciding between them, showing he has a similar understanding of the concept. For example, in the Chapter of "Fay and Ghanima" (booty taken through warfare with or without force), he discusses lands seized by Muslims and how they should be divided by the Imam and when it becomes Dar al-Islam, he explains how a land can become Islamic based on the treaty and agreement - omitting any reference to the need of Muslims living there. Furthermore, he does not allow any exceptions to the laws of war in relation to non-Islamic societies (Dar al-Harb), where Muslim individuals live, nor giving any accordance as being like Dar al-Islam.

Maajid's utilisation of Mawardi's quote is not pertinent to the HT discussion and its usage is mistaken. HT, unlike Maajid, have relied on Mawardi's primary sources thereby avoiding such mistakes and confusion.

· Kasani’s Quote
Maajid lifts the criteria of when Dar al-Islam becomes Dar al-Kufr and presents it as his definition, without documenting Kasani’s actual definition in "Badai wa al-Sanaai", clarifying the two essential aspects of Dar al-Islam that are understood from the divine texts, akin to HT’s elaboration in "Shaksiyyah Islamiyya":
قَوْلِهِمَا أَنَّ قَوْلَنَا دَارُ الْإِسْلَامِ وَدَارُ الْكُفْرِ إضَافَةُ دَارٍ إلَى الْإِسْلَامِ وَإِلَى الْكُفْرِ ، وَإِنَّمَا تُضَافُ الدَّارُ إلَى الْإِسْلَامِ أَوْ إلَى الْكُفْرِ لِظُهُورِ الْإِسْلَامِ أَوْ الْكُفْرِ فِيهَا ، كَمَا تُسَمَّى الْجَنَّةُ دَارَ السَّلَامِ ، وَالنَّارُ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ ؛ لِوُجُودِ السَّلَامَةِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ ، وَالْبَوَارِ فِي النَّارِ وَظُهُورُ الْإِسْلَامِ وَالْكُفْرِ بِظُهُورِ أَحْكَامِهِمَا ، فَإِذَا ظَهَرَ أَحْكَامُ الْكُفْرِ فِي دَارٍ فَقَدْ صَارَتْ دَارَ كُفْرٍ فَصَحَّتْ الْإِضَافَةُ ، وَلِهَذَا صَارَتْ الدَّارُ دَارَ الْإِسْلَامِ بِظُهُورِ أَحْكَامِ الْإِسْلَامِ فِيهَا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَرِيطَةٍ أُخْرَى ، فَكَذَا تَصِيرُ دَارَ الْكُفْرِ بِظُهُورِ أَحْكَامِ الْكُفْرِ فِيهَا وَاَللَّهُ - سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى - أَعْلَمُ . ( وَجْهُ ) قَوْلِ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ - رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ - أَنَّ الْمَقْصُودَ مِنْ إضَافَةِ الدَّارِ إلَى الْإِسْلَامِ وَالْكُفْرِ لَيْسَ هُوَ عَيْنَ الْإِسْلَامِ وَالْكُفْرِ ، وَإِنَّمَا الْمَقْصُودُ هُوَ الْأَمْنُ وَالْخَوْفُ . وَمَعْنَاهُ أَنَّ الْأَمَانَ إنْ كَانَ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الْإِطْلَاقِ ، وَالْخَوْفُ لِلْكَفَرَةِ عَلَى الْإِطْلَاقِ ، فَهِيَ دَارُ الْإِسْلَامِ ، وَإِنْ كَانَ الْأَمَانُ فِيهَا لِلْكَفَرَةِ عَلَى الْإِطْلَاقِ ، وَالْخَوْفُ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ عَلَى الْإِطْلَاقِ ، فَهِيَ دَارُ الْكُفْرِ وَالْأَحْكَامُ مَبْنِيَّةٌ عَلَى الْأَمَانِ وَالْخَوْفِ لَا عَلَى الْإِسْلَامِ وَالْكُفْرِ ، فَكَانَ اعْتِبَارُ الْأَمَانِ وَالْخَوْفِ أَوْلَى
“Dar al-Islam and Dar al-kufr is the conjunction of Dar (land) with Islam and Kufr – and when you conjunct Dar to Islam or Kufr, it is determined by the presence of Islam or Kufr therein. Like when you say Paradise land of peace, or Hell land of torment, you find peace in paradise and torment in hell and the appearance of Islam and Kufr is the appearance of its rules. And when the laws of kufr appeared in the land it became the land of kufr thus the appropriate term. And thus Dar became Dar al-Islam with the appearance of the laws of Islam without any other conditions. Likewise it became Dar al-kufr with the appearance of kufr laws in it (and Allah knows best). And the crux of this is according to Abu Hanifa (ra) in relation to the land being Islamic or otherwise is not the essence of Islam or kufr but the issues of aman (security) and khawf (anxiety/fear) – and its meaning is that if the safety was for the Muslims absolutely and anxiety for non-Muslims absolutely so it is Dar al-Islam and if the safety was for the non-Muslim absolutely and anxiety for Muslims then it is Dar al-kufr and the ahkam depend on the safety and anxiety and not on Islam and kufr so it was considered safety and anxiety foremost.”

Abu Hanifa and the Hanafite understanding of Dar al-Islam is not as per Maajid's understanding that there is simply security there, but the requirement of implementation of Islamic laws (which includes rules allowing non-Muslims managing their own affairs by their own religions etc) and Security in the hands of Muslims - namely, with the appearance of Islamic laws comes the security, without which there will be no laws. Thus the discussion is on what constitutes the illah (effective cause) of the rule - not on the requirement of both Islamic laws and security and most certainly there is no discussion as Maajid asserts that these laws reflected in the individual are sufficient. By reviewing the discussion of when Dar al-Islam becomes Dar al-Harb for the Hanafis, there is no discussion of the absence of individual practice, but of the absence of Islamic laws and security. Abdullah Ibrahim al-Kaylaani, Professor of Islamic Law at Jordan Univeristy, confirms this analysis in the Summer 2006 edition of the Journal "Islamiyat al-Marifah" (Vol XII No. 45, pg. 54). Maajid has misinterpreted the Hanafi position.

· Ibn Qayyim’s Quote
Ibn Qayyim’s view is critical of Maajid’s usage and conclusions from the quotes – Ibn Qayyim’s conclusion was that there is a collective (majority) position amongst the jurists which is congruent with HT’s position with an emphasis of the dominance of Islam.

Ibn Qayyim said, “The Jamhoor (majority) of the Ulema say, Dar al-Islam is where the Muslims go and reside and the Islamic rules are dominant. If people (the Muslims) reside in one place and Islam becomes dominant that is Dar al-Islam. If however, Islam does not become dominant it is not (considered) Dar al-Islam even if it is in close proximity to the state. Taaif was so close to Makkah (at the time when Makkah was Dar al-Islam) but it did not become part of Dar al-Islam until it was conquered.”[72]

· Dusuqi’s Quote
Dusuqi, in his chapter on Jihad, discusses the Sharia rules in relation to non-Muslims who enter the Muslim lands, take their wealth and Muslms fight to prevent them from doing this. Following this he extends the discussion in relation to the occupation of Muslim lands and when those lands become Dar al-Harb. In this context he states that the lands remain Islamic, despite their occupation so long most or all the practices (sha’air) of Islam are established there, in a manner similar to Imam Rafi'i (discussed above).

Maajid has taken this statement out of its actual context which is when Dar al-Islam becomes Dar al-Harb and presented it as the Maliki view (definition) of Dar al-Islam. At no point does Dusuqi state or indicate that this is the definition of Dar al-Islam (a definition in fact not detailed in his book).

In his published doctorate thesis, "Ahkam al-Ahwaal al-Shaksiyyah li-Muslimeen fi al-Gharb", Dr Salim al-Rafi'i discusses Dusuqi's quote at length and states that Dusuqi's view of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Kufr is no different to that of the Sahibayn (Abu Yusuf and Shaybani of the Hanafi school) stipulating the rule of Islam and power be in the hands of Muslims. Maajid's quote and explanation (not the first of its kind) is also analysed by Dr Salim - he says it is incorrect to try interpreting it to mean that the practices in themselves mean that the land is Islamic. Dasuqi's actual view here is that the land is considered Islamic as Muslims have opposed the invaders and through their authority and rule the Islamic practices are still visible in their territory - and not through being defeated by the invaders who occupy the land and rule by non-Islamic law.

The original quote is below in its full context.
( قوله : ولو قدم حربي بأمان إلخ ) أي ، وأما لو دخلوا بلادنا بالقهر ونهبوا منها أمتعة وأرادوا بيعها فيها فلا يجوز الشراء منهم ، وهي باقية على ملك أربابها فلهم أخذها ممن اشتراها بقصد التملك مجانا وأما إن اشتراها بقصد الفداء لربها فالأحسن أخذها بالفداء ؛ لأن بلاد الإسلام لا تصير دار حرب بأخذ الكفار لها بالقهر ما دامت شعائر الإسلام قائمة فيها ( قوله : اشتراء سلعه ) أي من الحربي الذي دخل بها بلادنا بأمان ( قوله : أو ؛ لأنه بشرائها يفوتها على المالك ) هذا التعليل هو الظاهر ، وأما ما قبله فيأتي أيضا فيما إذا كان المشتري هو المالك مع أنه لا يكره له شراؤها ، ولذا رده أبو الحسن انظر بن . ( قوله : وبهبتهم لها ) أي بعد دخولهم بها بلادنا بأمان ، وأما ما أخذوه من بلادنا نهبا ووهبوه فيها فلا يملكه الموهوب له ، ولا يفوت على مالكه بالهبة ثم إن ظاهر المصنف أنه لا كراهة في قبول الهبة كالشراء ، وإلا كان يقول ، وكره لغير المالك اشتراء سلعة واتهابها أي قبول هبتها وبعضهم سوى بينهما في الكراهة . وبالجملة فالمسألة ذات خلاف ، والتعليل الثاني في كراهة الشراء موجود في الهبة قاله شيخنا ( قوله : أو ؛ لأنه ) أي الحربي ( قوله : لا أحرار مسلمون قدموا بهم ) سواء كانوا ذكورا أو إناثا فلا تنزع منهم جبرا عليهم لا بالقيمة ، ولا بدونها ، ولا يمنعون من الرجوع بهم بلادهم كما لا ينزع منهم شيء من أموال المسلمين التي قدموا بها عندنا بأمان ، وقد كانوا أخذوها غصبا أو نهبا لا سرقة كما مر ، وأما ما أخذوه من بلادنا بعد استيلائهم عليها بالقهر ، وقدرنا على نزعه منهم قبل أن يذهبوا به لبلادهم فإنه ينزع منهم ؛ لأن بلاد الإسلام لا تصير دار حرب بمجرد استيلائهم عليها بل حتى تنقطع إقامة شعائر الإسلام عنها ، وأما ما دامت شعائر الإسلام أو غالبها قائمة فيها فلا تصير دار حرب

· Rafi'i’s Quote
Majid quotes al-Rāfi'i from a secondary source as stating, “It is not conditional to Dār al-Islām that Muslims reside there, rather being in the hands of the Imām and his Islām is sufficient.”

Abdul Karim bin Muhammad al-Qizwayni Al-Rafi'i in his book "Musanafaat minha fath al-aziz fi sharh al-wajeez" (cited by Dr Salim in his "Ahkaam al-ahwaal al-shaksiyyah li al-muslimeen fi al-gharb" pg. 31) states:
"Dar al-Islam comprises three kinds: the first kind where the Muslims live, the second kind where the land was conquered and given to its people on payment of the jizya tribune, and the third kind where Muslims used to live before it was conquered by non-Muslims. The second kind explains that is is sufficent for it to be Dar al-Islam based on it being under the conquest (seizure) of the Imam (Caliph) even if there were no Muslims in it. Furthermore, it is found in the third kind it is felt the historic (old) conquest of Islam is sufficient for the continuation of the rule...".

Thus Rafi'i makes it clear that the cause for a land to be Islamic is not the fact there are Muslims living there, but the dominance and rules of Islam. The description of a land of Islam as one that may contain Muslims is acceptable. However a description is a description and nothing more - it cannot be made into a mandatory condition without evidence which is absent.

Maajid has misinterpreted, misquoted and misrepresented the views of the four schools of thought who all concur that Dar al-Islam is where Islamic Sharia has the upperhand (governs) and the security is with the Muslims.

Relisting Maajid’s summary of the positions of the different schools of thought produces quite a different result, one that is as per HT’s presentation of the matter in "Shaksiyyah Islamiyya" that Maajid refers to[73]:
“Similarly there is no disagreement that the land of Islām (Dār al-Islām) is the land that submits to the rule of Islām and is ruled by Muslims even if its inhabitants were Muslims or Zimmis. And the scholars (fuqaha) also said that Dar al-Kufr becomes Dar al-Islam by the appearance of the Islamic rules within it. However they differed as to what changes Dār al-Islām into Dār al-Kufr. Some jurists (Mujtahidīn) said that Dār al-Islām does not become a Dār al-Kufr except by three conditions: firstly, the appearance of the rules of Kufr in it. Secondly, that it is bordering Dār al-Kufr. Thirdly, that there does not remain in it any Muslim or non-Muslim under a covenant (Zimmi) secured by the first security (Amān) which is the security of Muslims.”

al-Rāfi'ī states, “It is not conditional to Dār al-Islām that Muslims reside there, rather being in the hands of the Imam and his Islām is sufficient.”
(elaboration added) al-Rafi'i said, "Dar al-Islam comprises three kinds: the first kind where the Muslims live, the second kind where the land was conquered and given to its people on payment of the jizya tribune, and the third kind where Muslims used to live before it was conquered by non-Muslims. The second kind explains that is is sufficent for it to be Dar al-Islam based on it being under the conquest (seizure) of the Imam (Caliph) even if there were no Muslims in it. Furthermore, it is found in the third kind it is felt the historic (old) conquest of Islam is sufficient for the continuation of the rule...".
(corrected) Imam Mawardi said, ""As for those whose souls the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, will ask: In what were you engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious that you could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell..." (Quran 4:97)” ...If one is able to manifest their din in any kufr land then that land thereby becomes by him ie by that individual a Dar Islam. So residence there is preferable than journeying away from it in the hope others may embrace Islam. And it is apparent that this view conflicts with the ahadith (narrations) in the chapter of al-Qadiya prohibiting residence in the Dar al-Kufr."
(elaboration added) Imam Mawardi said, "If he was able to achieve separation (i'tizaal) and establish denial (imtina') in Dar al-Harb and he was able to undertake proagation of Islam (dawa) and fighting (qitaal) so this necessitates that he remain in Dar al-Harb because it transforms by his Islam and his I'tizaal Da ral-Islam. And if he had capability of Imtina' and I'tizaal and no ability of Dawa and Qitaal so this necessites that he remains and not migrate because the land became Dar al-Islam by the I'tizaal. And if he had the ability of Imtina' and he did not have the ability of I'tizaal, Dawa and Qitaal his land does not become Dar al-Islam. And it is not obligatory on him to migrate, according to his situation, if he hoped for the presence of Islam to attain its station, he should remain firstly and not migrate." ("al-Haawi", Vol 14 pp. 104-105)
(corrected) al-Bujayrimi said, “Dar al-Islam is the entire land where the Islamic laws (ahkam al-Islam) appear” further elaborating this definition “by this it is meant every law from its laws, or Muslims live there even if there were with them ahl al-dhimma, or it was opened up by Muslims, or it was given to govern by the hand of non-Muslims or they were living there and were expelled by the kuffar from it”
Al-Ba'lawi considers “Any place at which a resident Muslim is capable of defending himself against hostile forces for a period of time is Dār al-Islām, where his judgments can be applied at that time and those times following it.”

Al-Sarakhsī defines it as “A place which is under the authority or ownership of Muslims and the proof is that Muslims are secure therein.”
(elaboration added) Al-Sarkhasi said, “A Dar becomes Dar al-Muslimeen (Islamic nation) when the Islamic rules become dominant (and apparent).”
Al-Kāsānī states, “There is no difference between our companions (the Ĥanafī's) that Dār al-Kufr becomes Dār al-Islām due to the appearance (Zuhūr) of the rulings (Aĥkām) of Islām therein.”
(elaboration added) Al-Kasani said “And when the laws of kufr appeared in the land it became the land of kufr thus this is the appropriate term. And Dar (a land) became Dar al-Islam with the appearance of the ahkam (laws) of Islam without any other conditions. Likewise it became Dar al-kufr with the appearance of kufr ahkam in it... There is no disagreement among the ahnaaf (scholars of the Hanafi Madhab), that Dar al-Kufr becomes Dar al-Islam, when the rules of Islam becomes dominant. Our brothers only dispute on how Dar al-Islam transfers to become Dar al-Kufr. Our Imam (Abu Hanifa) said, “Dar al-Islam becomes Dar al-Kufr in three (situations); when the law and order becomes Kufr, when the state has a border with a Kufr (state) without treaty or when there is no longer any security for the Muslim or the Dhimmi (citizens).” ["Badai al-Sanaai", Vol. 7 pg. 131]
Abū Yūsuf believed, “The land is considered Dār al-Islām by the appearance (Zuhūr) of the rulings (Aĥkām) of Islām therein even if the majority of its people where disbelievers, and it is considered Dār al-Kufr for the appearance of the rulings (Aĥkām) of Kufr therein even if the majority of its people were Muslims”
Ibn ‘Ābidīn stated, “Indeed, Dār al-Ĥarb becomes Dār al-Islām by establishing the rulings (Aĥkām) of Islām such as the Friday prayer and the 'Eid prayer; even if the indigenous non-Muslims remain therein and that country is not adjoined to Dār al-Islām.”

Ibn Mufliĥ writes that Dār al-Islām is every place where the rulings of Muslims are predominant.
Ibn Muflih stated “There are only two, Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Kufr. Any Dar (domain) where Islamic law is dominant is Dar al-Islam, and any domain where Kufr law is dominant is Dar al-Kufr, there are only these two camps."
Ibn al-Qayyim maintains “Dār al-Islām is the land upon where Muslims descended and upon where the rulings of Islām were executed. Any land upon where the rulings of Islām were not executed was not Dār al-Islām.”
(corrected) Ibn Qayyim said, “The Jumhour (majority) of theUlema say, Dar al-Islam is where the Muslims go and reside and the Islamic rules are dominant. If people (the Muslims) reside in one place and Islam becomes dominant, that is Dar al-Islam If however, Islam does not become dominant it is not (considered) Dar al-Islam even if it is in close proximity to the state. Taaif was so close to Makkah (at the time when Makkah was Dar al-Islam) but it did not become part of Dar al-Islam until it was conquered. [Ibn Qayyim, "Kitaab Ahkaam ahl al-Dhimmah", Vol. 1 pg. 366]

Ibn Hazm states, “Because the land (Dār) is associated to the person dominant over it, its ruler and its king.” [74]

On reviewing the corrected list, Ibn Qayyim’s view that the jamhoor (majority) had a consistent view relating to Islamic rules and authority begins to emerge, not one portrayed by Maajid, more so with the inclusion of additional quotes of some other jurists including al-Nabhani of HT[75]:

al-Nabhani (Shafii) said, “The truth is that in considering the land as Dar al-Islam or Dar al-Kufr, two matters must be looked into: firstly, the rule by Islam and secondly the security by the security of Muslims i.e. by their authority (sultan). If the land augments these two elements i.e. it rules by Islam and the security is by the security of Muslims i.e. by their authority, then it becomes a Dar al-Islam and changes from a Dar al-Kufr to a Dar al-Islam. Whereas if it loses one of the two, it does not become a Dar al-Islam. Similarly if Dar al-Islam does not rule by the rule of Islam then it is Dar al-Kufr. The same if it rules by Islam but its security is not by the security of Muslims i.e. their authority, then it also becomes Dar al-Kufr. Hence all the lands of Muslims today are Dar al-Kufr because they do not rule by Islam”[76].

Qadi Abu Ya’la (Hanbali) said, “Any country where the law is Kufr (disbelief) instead of Islam is Dar al-Kufr”[77].

al-Shawkani (Zaidi) said, “When we speak about a Dar (dominion) by whoever’s word being dominant, we mean if the command and prohibition is for the Muslims, in a way that no one from the Kuffar becomes dominant with his Kufr except by what is granted him from Islam, then that is considered Dar ul-Islam”[78].

Mardawi said, "Dar al-Harb is Dar al-Kufr, where Kufr law is dominant"[79].

And more recently, Sayyid Qutb said, “The whole world in the eyes of Islam is divided into two, the first is Dar al-Islam, and the second is Dar al-Harb. Dar al-Islam is where the Shari’ah of Islam alone is implemented, regardless of whether the inhabitants are all Muslims or Muslims mixed with Dhimmi (Jews and Christians) or if all of the citizens are Dhimmi with only some Muslims in power. Dar al-Harb is any land where the Kufr law is dominant even if everybody in the land is Muslim"[80].

In summary, historically no jurist disputed or rejected the core decisive textual issues, however certain branches were differed over due to ijtihad on zanni texts. The core issues comprise implementation of the Islamic creed and security in societal life along with all aspects thereof which are decisive - this land which they all accept is Dar al-Islam is then the basis of discussions of jurisprudence in relation to non-Islamic states (harb/kufr). The scholars Maajid quotes are congruent with this understanding and there are no differences on this point despite minor variations in the wording of their definitions.

This view is also expressed by a number of researchers including Dr Salim al-Rafi'i in his published doctorate thesis "Ahkaam al-ahwaal al-shaksiyya" summarising after a detailed analysis of the four schools "And so it appears to us from their sayings, that the reality of hte rule with the Hanbalis is the dominance of the rules and their appearance, and this agrees with the sayings of the Hanafis, the Malikis and the Shafi'is". Professor Abdul Karim Zaydaan, a Professor of Islamic studies at Baghdad University says the same in his book, "In reality there is no difference between the two definitions because the lands that are in the hands of the Muslims will have the Ahkham of Islam applied because Muslims would not rule by any other law and likewise, for the second definition, even though it is not clearly mentioned that the Dar is under the authority of muslims it will be known intuitively..." ("Ahkaam al-dhimieen wa al-musta'maneen fi dar al-Islam", pg. 18).

11. Monolithic theories?

Maajid’s thesis that HT’s theory is nothing but a legal opinion assumes the party's understanding is homogenous which is incorrect. HT’s work comprises an understanding, definition and articulation of the problem and reality, following which is the process of scriptural analysis to determine the proposed normative solution. Aspects of each process may or may not be decisive depending on the case in question – it is most certainly not homogenous.

HT’s assertion would be that the discussions of the problem, its reality and associated rules of jurisprudence that are discussed are decisive whereas aspects of its methodology for change, systems and proposed policies are open to interpretation. To bunch the lot together as Maajid has done and state it is all nothing but legal opinion which is indecisive is erroneous.

The decisive reality which HT's ijtihad of transformation is built upon has not been addressed by Maajid especially as it is elaborated in a number of adopted HT books which all who study with HT are required to study (“The Islamic State”, being one such example and summarised in section 3 above).

HT have never argued that their attempt at changing the colonialist inspired reality is one where the methodology is decisive or alternative views (ijtihad) are kufr - it is acknowledged there are potentially alternative ijtihads. Maajid however fails to cite any other such methodology in his critique; however, in subsequent media interviews he has approvingly spoken of the legitimacy and openness of one of the most avowed secular systems in the Muslim world, the Turkish political system.

12. Will HT unify the Muslim world through violent means?

This is a point Maajid (and his friends Ed Hussain and Shiraz Maher) reiterate and emphasise in the media to show a link HT with violence - “every single Muslim government, then forcibly unite them into one military state even if it means killing millions of people”. In his original article, Maajid failed to cite any text HT where this had been stated, however fragmentary and disjointed references appear in his revised blog.

Maajid’s reference in his interviews and his blog to “How the Khilafah was destroyed” as the source for this view is incorrect – firstly this book is not an adopted HT book, a fact that is easily verifiable by the absence of HT's name on the front of it (the importance of adoption to HT has already been discussed in detail). This means that ideas in this book that do not appear in existing adopted books have not been scrutinised and agreed upon by the party. As such, this whole argument is conceptually unsound and he violates his argument of using HT material to refute HT.

Maajid continues his tradition of misquotations and distortions by stating that HT's official website states that this is an adopted book (failing to cite the reference). HT's official site has no such statement. However on, there is a list of issued books, "These are the books which the Party has issued" followed by a comment making clear this list is not adopted material but issued material by saying "The Party has also issued thousands of leaflets, reminders and intellectual and political booklets". A non-member may be forgiven for not understanding the difference - however an ex-HT veteran cannot. Doubts as to whether this distortion is intentional when he uses the same term in the next sentence indicating he knows this is not an adopted book: "but it doesn't matter even if it is not because no book issued by the party can contradict adoption".

He covers his position by providing a backup argument, stating "...but it doesn't matter even if it is not because no book issued by the party can contradict adoption", highlighting his misunderstanding of the importance of adoption to HT. Furthermore, he goes on to misapply this point. He has not proven that this quote refers to future policy let alone contradict HT's approach of unifying Muslim lands through the creation of public opinion amongst the Muslim societies to encourage them to integrate their lands with the Caliphate. His citations from the book "Hizb ut-Tahrir" again provide no evidence for the same.

Secondly the pages highlighted by Newsnight during Maajid’s interview of the 11/09/2007 and his subsequent quotations (again carefully omitting the full context of the discussion) refer to a discussion not about the foreign policy of the forthcoming Caliphate, however, a policy, based on Islamic notions of vital issues, the state should have enforced that would have prevented the political intrigue that plagued its final days and its eventual dismemberment.

The full context of discussion from the chapter "The vital issues according to Islam" is:

a) Whosoever changes their religion (apostasy from Islam) the penal punishment is death - Islamic evidences supporting this are quoted along with an example from Imam Ali's rule and the subversive activities of Mustapha Kemal during the Ottoman period without this punishment being applied. The author concludes this is a vital issue and no matter how many people apostasise from Islam, the Islamic State should enforce capital punishment even if it amounted to millions[81].

b) In relation to the unity of the Islamic State and Maajid's new quote on his blog; the author states this rule in the context of the dismemberment of the Khilafah state and not in the context of a future policy to unify the currently divided Muslim lands, "The situation reached the point where Muslims lived in several states...Hence it came as no surprise when Mustapha Kemal declared the dismemberment of Turkey from the rest of the Islamic lands... So the calamity took place and the Muslims became indifferent towards having to live in several states...Hence it is imperative to restore this issue to its rightful place and to consider it as a vital issue, thus preventing the dismemberment of any country from the body of the Khilafah even if this led to several years of fighting and even if it led to killing of millions of Muslims"[82].

Nowhere does it state in “How the Khilafah was destroyed” that HT intends to spill blood or kill in order to unify the countries in the future. HT goes to great lengths to avoid violence in its methodology for political reform - likewise, the Caliphate is envisaged to be the standard bearer for preservation of life and military force would be considered as a last resort in international affairs.

In non-adopted HT literature and discourse, potential policies are discussed as to how to unify the Muslim lands - the absence of such citations, which are clearly relevant to the discussion, is questionable. During the 1991 Gulf War, Abu Talha wrote, "The truth of the matter today is that Muslims in this world have the greatest potential to become the strongest, most progressive and most just ummah in the world... Islam ordains the Muslims to reverse their status. Islam prohibits the Muslims to remain as they are today. More specifically: ...The Muslim masses must demand the removal of borders that exist between their countries. They must force their governments (as long as they exist) to take the necessary steps to reunite. There is no reason why Egypt and Sudan can not reemerge as one country... Eventually, all Muslim countries should come into one solid unity with one government for all. If the governments insist on the division, then those governments must be forced out of power. It is very important to initiate the process of reunification by the Muslim masses in order to avoid the super powers' intervention under the umbrella of UN charter and international law. The UN does not oppose the merge [sic] of two or more countries into one if the merge is accomplished in peaceful manner. If the merge can only be accomplished through military force, we must be ready to accept that and appreciate it despite the world's public opinion." ("The Persian Gulf Crisis", al-Khilafah Publications, pp. 39-41).

The title of the book, its historical analysis and the discussion quoted above all indicate clearly that vital issues were left unchecked in the historic demise of the Ottoman state. Had it rigorously enforced these issues internally it may have maintained the integrity of the state and prevented the catastrophe that struck it. In future, these important Islamic issues need to be considered in relation to the internal matters of the future Khilafah state. In its adopted book, “Party Structure”, HT state, “Islam should be propagated universally while working to implement it must be confined to one or several countries until it becomes firmly established. Once established, the Islamic State would naturally grow until it encompasses all the Islamic countries. Then the state would propagate Islam to the rest of the world, because the Islamic State must convey the Islamic da’wah as an eternal and universal message for all mankind.”[83]

Maajid's interpretation and application of these ideas in relation to HT's potential policy of the future Khilafah is incorrect, based on speculative interpretations of ambiguous texts, ignoring the clear policy discussions and like previous points, absence of any clear and unambiguous evidence. As such their efforts appear little more than scaremongering, propaganda and a dishonest attempt at linking HT with violence.

13. New Political Pawns?

In the aftermath of 9/11, Tony Blair said he "believed passionately that we are at mortal risk" from Islamism[84]. Since 2003, there have been a number of articles and conferences written globally suggesting that HT might present a serious threat and there have been a number of orchestrated attempts to try to link HT to terrorism.

Jean-Francois cites a number of examples[85]:
"On 8 September 2003 the Russian news agency Rosbalt published an article, “Hizb ut-Tahrir to replace Al-Qaida?” Views very critical of the international Muslim political party Hizb ut-Tahrir... have been expressed for some time in the former Soviet Union. There have also been several attempts to link it... to violent actions, such as the March and July 2004 events in Uzbekistan, although initial allegations in that case were received with scepticism by most observers and the group itself firmly rejected them.
In the West too, since 2003, there have been a number of articles suggesting that Hizb ut-Tahrir might present a serious threat... a frequently quoted report published in 2003 by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington... the author, Ariel Cohen... describes Hizb ut-Tahrir as a clandestine, totalitarian organization... Cohen emphasizes – conveniently forgetting to mention that disclosure of membership is a sure way to jail in some Central Asian countries, and that Hizb ut-Tahrir organizes public meetings and is easily accessible by media in those parts of the world where it can operate freely. While the organization tends to be somewhat secretive, it is certainly not clandestine in such places[86].
In February 2004, the Nixon Center, a Washington-based think-tank, organized a closed conference on Hizb ut-Tahrir in Ankara, Turkey. While there was a general agreement among participants that Hizb ut-Tahrir ‘as a group has never been involved in terrorist activities’, some suggested that it acted as ‘a “conveyor belt” for producing terrorists’[87].
In June 2003, a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG)[88] provided a detailed analysis of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Central Asian. According to the authors, ‘[t]he evidence suggests that Hizb ut-Tahrir is far from presenting a present-day threat to the stability of the Central Asian states in any direct senses. There is no evidence that it has any military capabilities, only limited evidence that it would even contemplate a call to arms under present conditions …’"

This increasing attention given to the potential threat of HT’s radical call, even led to Tony Blair announcing on 5 August 2005 that he planned to proscribe HT, a political organisation with a history of non-violence spanning more than fifty years. With no political party ever being banned in modern Britain, and even the notorious Sinn Fein being permitted to operate despite links with the IRA, this created significant waves and opposition in the UK. This has led the establishment in general, and security services in particular, to seek political actors in an attempt to combat their ideas, contribute to the creation of a hostile public atmosphere against HT and pave the way for a renewed attempt at proscribing this organisation.

This trend is also reflected in the Middle East, with Saudi and Egyptian regimes funding programmes to combat Islamist thought as per the recommendations of pretty much all Western think tanks and policy advisors. Egypt has had some success with figures that have been "detoxed" in Egyptian prisons, including the highly publicised Dr Fadl of Gemaa Islamiyya; as such this raises serious questions about the motives of the author, especially when considering his friend Ed Hussain's revealing comment on the Guardian Commentisfree site: "In Sayyid Qutb's prison, Maajid studied with traditional Muslim scholars who had abandoned the jihadist cause". Was this meeting of intellectuals in an Egyptian prison a coincidence?

The current political climate is proving difficult for many who joined Islamic movements as a fad, forcefully arguing their case for change over many years, and then leaving to combat the movements they worked for. All this without any serious idea of the ideology of whom they joined nor any serious idea of the ideology they adopted when they left.

Maajid’s resignation of HT following his return from Egypt came as a surprise to all. It is unusual why he would remain committed to HT on his return, working with it as normal, if he changed his ideas whilst in prison as he claims. His explanations appear contradictory - from being convinced of his new direction in prison after reading some Islamic texts there to continuing with HT with doubts until they grew so strong where he couldn't continue. Shiraz Maher's explanations have a similar hollow ring - he had doubts whilst reading political texts at Cambridge leaving after the July 7th bombings, failing to mention his consternation at having lost his PHD funding possibly because of his HT membership.

Stranger still is the fact that Maajid (and Shiraz) did not raise or escalate concerns, doubts and findings within HT - something mandatory for a member having sworn an oath to that effect. Notwithstanding this, his recent public posture in combating HT, his announcement of a series of rebuttal articles, his close relationship with the media, his self-professed difficult situation in the Egyptian prison[89], his early (unconditional) release, his collaboration with and contributions to Ed Hussain's book, the roundly condemned “The Islamist”, his subversive activities on return to the UK[90], his vitriolic media appearances and regular references to Egyptian “ullema” and other government aligned scholars, are indicative his new direction appears to have began during his period of incarceration. When one is isolated and unsupported, especially by the group of which one is a member, facing serious charges by an unsympathetic and tyrannical regime, one is vulnerable, open to advances and suggestions one would normally not entertain. It is a recognized phenomenon in prisoners and these situations are easily taken advantage of. In Maajid’s case his only permitted helpers comprised the UK government (represented by its Cairo consulate), his local MP, his local newspaper, Amnesty International (who adopted him as a prisoner of conscience), his London Solicitors and the national and local media during this period[91]. The forming of such a collective group appearing more than just coincidental.

Maajid's story does not appear credible, especially when coupled with a dishonestly presented argument. The reality appears to be more crude and real to life - the shock and humiliation of being arrested in Egypt, the uncertainty of the trial process, months in isolation and the wasted years in prison away from a comfortable lifestyle in Britain have made Maajid re-evaluate his loyalty and allegiance to the ideas he once propagated. Maajid appears to have concluded self-interest to be more important. Having now had enough he wanted out - all he needed was a pretext to depart from HT. Thus Maajid's reason for leaving HT was not for a noble purpose or a new perspective - he left basically for self-interest. Having vehemently argued a political position for a number of years, contradicting everything he had studied and practiced from Islam and the fear of condemnation as a coward from those around him, he concealed this with a juristic argument provided to him by his friend, Sheffield based, Rashad Ali - an aspiring scholar and the missing link of the Rash-Ed-Maajid neo-liberal triangle. The friends go back a number of years, all with a similar secular outlook - an outlook that sees no role for the Caliphate in the Muslim world, supporting the Israeli state, adopting a deviated jurisprudence and requiring obedience to despotic Muslim rulers.

Maajid Nawaz, and more specifically, Ed Hussein and Shiraz Maher, have been courted by the political, intelligence and media hierarchy in Britain[94] - Rashad providing the intellectual leadership in the background. After Maajid and his colleagues were released and deported back to the UK, they were greeted at Heathrow airport by Special Branch officers who interviewed them for around three hours. There they had a DNA sample taken, were fingerprinted and asked about their political beliefs. Maajid claimed that the officers suggested he offer them his services[95]. Making such an offer appears unusual for such an experienced organisation, unless one recalls that the British Consulate in Egypt tracked Maajid's progress throughout the trial period and beyond an exchange of intelligence was probably a prelude to such an offer. Such an approach may also have been an attempt to verify the effect of the Egyptian prison reform programme on Maajid Unlike his friend Ed Hussain, who has openly said he is willing to cooperate with intelligence services[96], Maajid is more discreet about his response to them. However his close relationship with Ed Hussain and articulation of ideas bear a remarkable similarity[97].

There is also a strong commonality in Maajid Nawaz, Ed Hussain and Shiraz Maher’s attempts at combating HT, from a call to oppose “Islamists” from hijacking Islam for their narrow political goals, a return to an authentic brand of Islam, supporting Israel (repeating anti-semitic allegations) and attempting to portray HT via a receptive media as a “conveyor belt for terrorism” – reflecting Zeyno Baran’s phrase of the conservative Nixon Centre. Most of these arguments have been summarily discounted by Jean-Francois in his research paper entitled “Hizb ut-Tahrir—The Next al-Qaeda, Really?” and by the only established research on HT by Exeter university academic Suha Taji Farouki[92]. Jacob Townsend, research analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and co-author of a paper on the HT presence in Australia says, “The biggest risk from Hizb ut-Tahrir is if, and I say 'if', it acts as a conveyor belt for extremism, moving people from radicalisation and towards violence ideologies. There is only suggestive evidence, not conclusive evidence that around the world Hizb ut-Tahrir itself has ever been implicated in violence. So, we have to be careful in the sense that on the basis of evidence, 'no', Hizb ut-Tahrir does not authorise or organise violence”. (ABC Australia, 6th July, 2007)

On BBC’s Newsnight on 11/09/2007, Maajid’s attempt at highlighting a connection between HT activities and violence comprised one single example, from his twelve years of activism, of the killing of the Nigerian, Ayotunde Obunabi, at Newham College in 1995. Having claimed the two of them created a negative atmosphere both, who cite the same example, are eager to distance themselves from all personal responsibility. This incident is widely acknowledged as having no connection to HT, or its call, being either an alleged drugs related incident according to some, an insult on Islam to others and officially the result of a conflict triggered over a table tennis match[93].

However Maajid's intended objective which he touches on in his introduction, “Islam needs... a counter-reformation and a return to its true essence by Muslims insisting that their religion is not used merely to serve narrow political agendas”, is indicative that he has become a pawn in the newly emerging political landscape. This is also a consistent theme that appears in the comment section of his moderated blog judging by the small number of comments that have been approved [98]. He is currently coy about what he views as the true essence of Islam, but Ed Hussain believes it to be a secular spiritual form of Islam with no political content, speaking in the New Statesman in June 2007, “Islam, with its history of plurality and spirituality, has a natural home in Britain. Islamism, a political ideology set up to confront the West, does not”. Throwing caution to the winds, he goes on to say, “...former Islamists can demolish the psychological confidence of extremists” and “Just as we don't talk to the BNP to understand white, working-class grievances, we need not engage with Islamists to comprehend Muslim suffering”[99]. These comments resonate with his Newsnight interview where he confirmed his intention of trying to “convert” as many members of HT as possible.

“Religions are not for governments or states, they are for individuals. The state can assist individuals religious responsibilities, but governments cannot, should not, profess faith”, (Ed Hussain, "The Islamist")

14. Conclusion

Maajid Nawaz was unknown before rising to fame as a British member of HT having been arrested in Egypt in 2002 along with two others. He was reported to the Egyptian security services for his indiscreet political comments whilst studying at a university there as part of his SOAS course. Despite his incarceration being seen by some as a sacrifice, it is something inevitable for the naive individual who ill-considers the tight security situation in most Muslim countries and "rushes in where angels fear to tread" - his treatment was insignificant compared to others who have not had the benefit of a British passport.

Maajid's self-confessed knowledge of Islam, like that of his predecessors Ed Hussain and Shiraz Maher, is based on some limited HT teachings and general readings - absence of any serious study of the Islamic sciences prior to or during their encounters with HT is woefully lacking. This leaves them susceptible to those government scholars, manipulating Islam and presenting it as "authentic" to fool them into believing any non-Islamic ideology is Islamic - Maher for example states in his TimesOnline article that he believes Islam is compatible with secularism despite the fact that Mohammed (pbuh) was a religious political ruler of a religiously structured expansionist state as were his followers. According to his narrative, he taught himself Islamic sciences from material he found whilst in an Egyprian prison, a questionable academic institute, its influence on many historical political figures he reviles. His apparent journey to enlightenment has the hollow sort of ring reminiscent of the "spin" that would appear on the business plan of a dot com in the late nineties. The reality appears to be a co-ordinated effort between the neo-liberal triangle comprising his close friends Ed Hussain and Rashad Ali.

Thus his article, "Evaluating Hizb ut-Tahrir's Theo-political Stance" contains a significant number of elementary mistakes, the research is selective, sources are misquoted and misportrayed, principles are misapplied and there is no referencing (with only secondary sources) on a number of important citations[100]. Maajid has been identified as misquoting scholars to further his argument in the past, having been criticised for doing so, his Ibn Abbas citation of "kufr doon kufr" in a Khilafah magazine article being a case in question. Though the piece is presented in an "academic" style, it reads more as an undergraduate’s defence of the current despotic Middle Eastern regimes aimed at maintaining the status quo in the Muslim world, and maybe would have been more appropriately titled as such[101]. Ed Hussain, whose heavily criticised book has been questioned as having been ghost-written by Whitehall, clearly has no ability to provide the substance for Maajid's article. That leaves Rashad Ali, a novice in Islamic law, whose lack of qualification and competancy in Islamic law, along with an over-reliance on secondary sources, is reflected in his contribution to the project.

The gist of Maajid's argument is that HT is Islamist and Islamists are not following Islam but a political ideology - which ideology, he fails to name. He believes "his religion" does not entertain Islamists - the supporting reasoning lacking somewhat. He acknowledges HT have an Islamic ijtihad which would make them Islamic by all counts - however, due to difference of opinion on the definition of a land HT should not be trying to remove the rulers. Through misquotation, dubious interpretations and unusual application of principles, he fails to demonstrate what he started out to do. It is not inconceivable that anyone including Maajid can show an error in HT methodology - however he has yet to show that he has identified any such error. His article in fact supports HT's assertion that it is an organisation that extracts its views from the Islamic sources, wishes to bring about the classically understood Islamic form of governance, the Caliphate, and undertake political and intellectual reformation of the Muslim world.

Although style is not a major consideration, utilization of an academic style implies the article is well researched, critical and neutral. Most of these criteria are not met by the article. This is no doubt due to the fact that Maajid’s academic background is lacking, having only in recent months been awarded his undergraduate degree after ten years of commencing it; no doubt his youthful diary was full of activities with little time devoted to study or development of intellectual and critical thinking.

Many activists when engaging with groups fail to undertake research, read or develop beyond the basic culture they are provided with, despite being strongly encouraged to do so[102]. They are therefore surprised and often disorientated when they discover the Islamic cultural heritage for the first time, shaken by its depth, breadth and sophistication of thought. Maajid appears to have been a victim of the same problem, as he mentions in his Newsnight interview[103], his enlightenment occurring having read some classical Islamic texts in prison[104], (or so he claims[105]). However he fails to have recognised the limitations of the self-taught, especially those who develop delusions of grandeur and high self worth – in Maajid’s case this is seen in his miscitations of the books he read (or more probably lifted uncritically from other works), misinterpreting Sharia principles and classical texts and disputing decisive concepts.

Maajid expects the reader to believe that his lone experience with HT and its Islamist ideas are enough to make him an authority on the subject of Islamism. He attacks Islamism absolutely giving no consideration to the contribution made by successive generations of jurists, sufis, thinkers and writers in movements ranging from Morocco to Indonesia. In particular, he has failed to recognise HT and its contribution to this organic process – the creation of a political party built solely on Islam, embodying five decades of distillation and contemporisation of the strongest ideas from fourteen centuries of Islamic civilisation and scholarship to engage with the problems of modernity – a challenge the Muslim world is attempting to collectively resolve.

The thrust of Maajid’s endeavours advocate a secularised Islamic theology - however, he does not appear to have any conviction in his ideas, failing to establish any organisation to propagate them, instead, focusing on an agenda of attacking Islamists and impeding their work. His manner is remarkably similar to that of his friend, Ed Hussain, tarnished as an establishment figure and attention seeker, labelled by some as an agent. Maajid’s close association with Ed and the proximity of ideas has left a similar indelible mark in relation to his writings and views – his TimesOnline article reading very much like Ed Hussain’s, “The Islamist”. Ed's ideas are weak and insignificant - Maajid's role appears to be provision of substance for them, in collaboration with a team of sub-editors, who apparently write and publish much of his content.

The emergence of a new cadre of political actors, willing to work with the establishment to openly and intellectually counter efforts of those working to establish the Islamic Caliphate, is a new dimension to the UK political scene. Their value as political actors is not in their expertise of Islamism, offering only limited ethnographic accounts of their experiences, but in their contribution to stifle the formidable rise of political Islam.

History is said to repeat itself - those guilty of treason in the historic demise of the Ottoman Caliphate by working to further the interests of foreign powers, like the Egyptian Mohammed Ali, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, Sharif Hussain and Abdul Aziz bin Saud walked a path not unlike that of their less significant modern day counterparts Hamid Karzai, Mahmood Abbas, Nuri al-Maliki, Musharraf, Ed Hussain, Shiraz Maher, Hassan Butt and most recently, Maajid Nawaz and Rashad Ali[106].

Maajid states the flaw he has found is "astoundingly obvious" for any trained practioner of the Sharia[107], apparently missed by generations of thinkers, activists, critics and jurists, commenting, “no one fully understanding what it is that Ĥizb ut-Taĥrīr actually believe”. However, there is a significant flaw in his return journey from Islamism to secularism – the attempted application of classical Islamic juristic texts relating to discussions and problems of a different milieu to a postmodern nihilistic world, which embodies an accumulation of experiences of enlightenment, modernity, ideological turbulence and civilizational conflict. One would have expected him to have done further research to ensure that maybe he had not misunderstood something "astoundingly obvious" before publicizing his embryonic views.

However, for the new cadre working against those advocating political reformation and change in the Muslim world, maybe this is not an important consideration...

"As for those who sell for a small price the covenant and faith they owe to Allah and their own plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter. Nor will Allah speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleanse them: They shall have a grievous torment, a painful doom." [Quran 3:77]

[1] "Muslim Public Opinion on US Policy, Attacks on Civilians and al Qaeda",, reviewed 09/09/2007
[2] Including Hasan al-Banna, Mawdudi, Syed Qutb, Khomeini and al-Nabhani
The rise of HT is well documented, a recent example appearing on the Guardian's site:
"The Rise and Rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir",, reviewed 09/10/2007
[3] "The Government’s Approach",, reviewed 10/09/2007
[4] Notable examples including Abu Hamza, Abu Qatada and members of al-Muhajiroon amongst others
[5] "Blair launches fund to improve teaching of Islam",,,2094977,00.html, reviewed 05/09/2007
[6] "Ex-Islamists Inc : Fabricating a Link Between Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Terrorism",,1129, reviewed 12/09/2007
[7], reviewed 01/09/2007
[8] From pg.5 of his article
[9] From pg.5 of his article
[10] Op. Cit.
[11] Christian missionary movements also participated creating Catholic and Protestant colleges in the Levant including the American University in Beirut, St Joseph’s College in Lebanon. Roberts College in Turkey and Forman Christian College in Lahore.
[12] Marxist Fidaiyan-i Khalf of Iran, Parcham and Khalf parties in Afghanistan, Communist activists in Yemen and Turkey and guerrilla factions in Malaysia
[13] The British even had the Himalayan Gurkha soldiers continue to fight for them as recently as the Falkland War in 1982.
[14] However new legislation in 1998 curtailed much of its powers and autonomy
[15] The current American occupation of Iraq reflects this
[16] Ferguson, Niall, "Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World", Penguin Books Ltd, 2004
[17] Cleveland, W, "A History of the Modern Middle East", Westview Press, 2004,
Esposito, J, "The Oxford History of Islam", Oxford University Press, 1999,
Hitti, P, "History of the Arabs", Macmillan, 1970,
Hourrani, A, "History of the Arab Peoples", Grand Central Publishing Ltd, 1992,
Khadduri, M, "The Islamic law of Nations - Shaybani's Siyar", The John Hopkins Press, 1966
Lewis, B, "A history of the Middle East", Scribner, 1997,
Roberts, J, M, "The New Penguin History of the World", Penguin Books, 2004,
[18] Including but not limited to: Sayyid Ahmad Shahid (India 1786-1831), Mirza Hasan Shirazi (Iran 1815-94), Imam Shamil (Central Asia, 1796-1871), Amir Abd al-Qadir (Algeria, 1808-83), Mohammed ibn Abdille Hasan (Somaliland 1864-1920), Mahdi (Sudan, 1885), Uthman Dan Fodo (Nigeria, 1754-1817), Mohammed Iqbal (Pakistan, 1877-1938), Abul-Kalam Azad (India, 1888-1958), Mawlana Husain Madani (India, 1879-1957) and Mawdudi (Pakistan, 1903-79)
[19] In which issues of knowledge, truth and certainty are discussed
[20] Presented by the founder father of Rationalism, Renes Descartes, in his "Meditations", resonating a similar discussion of al-Ghazali in his autobiography, "Munqidh Min al-Dalal", an argument which Ghazali rejects
[21] Quran 102:5, 102:7 and 69:51
[22] This is supported by narrations from the Sunnah, for example, "O God, apportion to us such...certainty (of faith) that the calamities of this world will be made easy for us by Thee" Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 783
[23] Elaborated in the book, "Shaksiyyah Islamiyyah (The Islamic Personality)"
[24] Quran 5:38
[25] "The twisting of ahadith to justify the abandonment of the Shariah",, reviewed 10/09/07
[26] Violated on occasions by some jurists historically like Ibn Hazm or Ibn Taymiyyah, who took more decisive approaches to matters
[27] Quran 12:40
[28] Quran 5:60
[29] Quran 5:44
[30] Quran 5: 49
[31] Quran 5:141
[32] Ibn al-Qayyim, "Madaarij as-Saaliheen", 1/336-337
[33] Sharh At-tahaaweeyyah,pg.324
[34] Minhaj as-Sunnah, 5/pp.130-132
[35] Ibn Kathir, "Tafseerul Quran ul Atheeem"
[36] Al-Shawkani, "Ar-Rasaa'il as-Salafiyah", pp.33-34
[38] Sovereignty for Allah being the popular phrase
[39] al-Nabhani "Party Structure", al-Khilafah Publications, pg. 1
[40] The adoption of the book "Hamla Dawah tul-Islam wajibat wa sifaat (The way to carry the call – its obligations & characteristics)" by HT in 2001 was one that some of its members had problems with as it constituted the introduction of a set of concepts into HT rather than being simply the expression of personal thoughts of an individual – it was subsequently removed from the adopted list of books
[41] "Adoption in Hizb ut-Tahrir", pp. 1-2 – it is published on the HT official website cited above
[42] Note 19
[43] Pg. 7 of his article
[44] Dr Salim Abd al-Ghani al-Rafi'i in his doctorate research publication, "Ahkam al-Ahwaal al-Shaksiyyah li-Muslimeen fi al-Gharb" (Laws of Personal Matters for Muslims in the West) comes to this conclusion; namely all the four schools agree on the understanding that Dar al-Islam requires the appearance of the rules of Sharia despite the different ways it has been stated, after analysing the views from across the four schools in his chapter of "Dar al-Islam wa Dar al-Kufr".
The Islamic laws relating to Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Kufr/Harb (referring to lands where Islam ruled and non-Islamic lands respectively) are detailed in these famous texts, written by jurists from across all the main schools of thought: Mughni, Kishaf Alqina An Matn Al-Iqna, Sharh Muntahi Al-Iradat, Insaaf, Al-Furu, Al-Iqna, Alsharh Al-Kabir, Al-Hashiya Al-Jamal, Nihayat Al-Muhtaj, Thufat Al-Muhta, Sharh Albahja, Al-Majmoo, Hawahshi Al-Sharawani, Iaana Al-Talibeen, Al-Umm, Radd Al-Muhtaar, Al-Bahr Al-Raiq, Fath Al-Qadir, Al-Jawhara Al-Neera, Badai Al-Sanaai, Al-Mabsoot, Tuhfa Al-Fuqaha
[45] See section 9 for a detailed discussion of terms and definitions
[46] The initial division of the world as Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb was developed further by the Sahfi'ites with the inclusion of Dar al-Ahd, which the Hanafites kept included within Dar al-Islam as these lands would pay tributory to the Caliph - Khadduri, M, "The Islamic law of Nations - Shaybani's Siyar", The John Hopkins Press, 1966, pp. 11-14 and pg. 52
Further examples included Dar al-Amn (Abode of Security), Dar al-Silm (Abode of Peace), Dar al-Muwada’ah (Abode of Mmutual Peace), Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of Covenant), Dar Al-Sulh (Abode of Truce), Dar Al-Maslubah (Abode of Pillaged Land), Dar Al-Bid’ah (Abode of Heresy), Dar Al-‘Adl (Abode of Justice), Dar al-Kufr (Abode of Unbelief) etc.
[47] The most pervasive mention of the terms Dar al-Islam and Dar al-harb are to be found in the siyar or maghazi literature or under the section of jihad in fiqh books (where jurists classified the wider rules of international relations, including rules regarding treaties, ceasefire, asylum and international trade).
[48] "The Dar Paradigm and Identity",, reviewed 08/09/07
Khadduri, M, Op. Cit., pp. 51-53
[49] Tariq Ramadan states: ‘The concepts of Dar al-Islam, Dar al-harb, and Dar al-‘ahd were not described in the Qur’an or in the Sunna. In fact they constituted a human attempt, at a moment in history, to describe the world and to provide the Muslim community with a geopolitical scheme that appropriate to the reality of the time. This reality has completely changed’, Ramadan, T, "Western Muslims and the Future of Islam", Oxford University Press, 2004, pg.69.
[50] Additionally, the following texts amongst others have been cited in this discussion by researchers (including al-Rafi'i, Dr S, "Ahkam al-Ahwaal al-Shaksiyyah li-Muslimeen fi al-Gharb" (Laws of Personal Matters for Muslims in the West) Dar Ibn Hazm, 2002, and Kaylaani, A I Z, al-Hajj, A R, Faituri, A H and Al-Illi, Y L in "Islamiyat al-Marifah", IIIT, Vol XII, No. 45, Summer 2006:
"As for those whose souls the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were you engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious that you could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell..." [Quran 4:97]
"Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid - these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another. As to those who believed but came not into exile, you owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile; but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance. And (remember) Allah sees all that you do." [Quran 8:72]
“Those who do not govern with what Allah has revealed, they are the disbelievers” [Al-Maida:44]
“Allah will not allow the disbelievers to have an authority over the believers” [An-Nisa:141]
Junada b. abi Umayyah who said: "...the Messenger of Allah (saw) called upon us and we gave him the Bai’ah, ...and that we should not dispute the authority of its people unless we saw open Kufr upon which we had a proof from Allah" (Al-Bukhari). Anas narrated that: “Wherever the Prophet (saw) raided some people he would not raid except in the morning. If he heard the Adhan he would refrain, and if he did not he would invade after dawn”.
And it was narrated by Essam Almusny, who said: “The Prophet (saw) used to tell to the expeditions that he sent: ‘If you` have seen a mosque or heard a call for prayer, then do not kill anybody.’”
Once Abdul Rahman bin ‘Awf was speaking with Caliph Umar (ra), he said, “Do not be harsh on them (speaking about some of the Hujaaj) until they return to Madinah, which is Dar al-Hijrah, Dar al-Sunnah and Dar ul-Salaama.” [Sahih Bukhari Hadith no. 3713]
Jaabir bin Ziyaad reported that Ibn Abbas (ra) said, “The Prophet (saw), Abu Bakr and Umar (ra) where from the Muhajireen because they migrated from the Mushrikeen. Amongst the Ansaar were also people who migrated because at that time Madinah was Dar ul-Shirk and they came to the Prophet(saw) on the night of the Bay’ah al-Aqabah.” [an-Nisa’i]
[51] Ibid. cited from Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 4294
[52] Quran 8:61
[53] Hence the usage of terms unipolar, bipolar or statist paradigms
[54] Ibid.
[55] Ibn Qayyim, "Kitaab Ahkaam ahl al-Dhimmah", Vol. 1, p.366
[56] “Methodology of Hizb ut-Tahrir for Change” is the revised name of the same book
[57] Ali bin Mohammed al-Sharif Al-Jurjani defines it in a similar manner in his “Kitab al-Tarifat”, 1969, Maktaba Lubnaan, Arabic Edition, pg. 64, namely that “a definition is a statement expressing an understanding in terms of another thing”
[58] These definitions are generally required to adhere to basic rules to ensure they are meaningful and useful . Traditionally the following conditions have been imposed:
1. A definition must set out the essential attributes of the thing defined.
2. Definitions should avoid circularity.
3. The definition must not be too wide or too narrow (jami/mani). It must be applicable to everything to which the defined term applies and to no other objects.
4. The definition must not be obscure. The purpose of a definition is to explain the meaning of a term which may be obscure or difficult, by the use of terms that are commonly understood and whose meaning is clear.
5. A definition should not be negative where it can be positive.
(, reviewed 08/09/2007)
[59] al-Mawardi, "al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah", Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd, 1996
[60] al-Jurjani op. cit. pg. 181
[61] "Mujizat al-Quran"; Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti has a similar understanding in his "al-Itiqan fi 'ulum al-Qur’an", (2 vol. Cairo, 1951/1370)
al-Aamidi, S A, "Al-Ihkaam", 1/28 and "Rawdat al-Nathir" by Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi 1/178
[62] Al-`Inayah published on the margins of Fath al-Qadeer (2/142) and Hashiyat Ibn `Abideen (2/268)
[63] Zayla'i, "Tabyeen al-Haqa’iq", (1/247). See also Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq (2/211)]
[64] Dardeer, "Al-Sharh al-Kabeer", (1/425)
[65] Mughni al-Muhtaj (1/350) and Fath al-Bari (6/129)
[66] Fath al-Bari (6/43)
[67] Kash-shaf al-Qina`, 2/113 and Al-Mughni (2/206)
[68] Abu Hanifa being an example
[69] Pg. 7 of his article
[70] Maajid seems to be emulating his colleague Ed Hussain... “Hussain has said that he does not accept the concept of the Caliphate or an Islamic State. He misrepresented Shaykh Hamza Yusuf by alleging that he said that there was "no such thing as an Islamic state". When questioned on DeenPort as to whether the Caliphate was fard kifayah, as discussed by the classical scholars, Husain says that he does not discuss in terms of fard ain or fard kifayah. Husain writes that the Islamic state "is not a rukn of the deen and without it the deen is not lost. An individual can remain a firm believer, a mutadayyin, without the imam and the jama'ah." However, the classical scholar, Sa'd al-Din Mas'ud bin Umar al-Taftazani, wrote, "There is consensus that appointing a Caliph is obligatory. The difference of opinion is on whether the appointment must be by Allah or by his servants, and whether the basis (for appointment) is textual evidence or rational proof. The adoption is that it is obligatory upon the servants by textual evidence because of the saying of the Messenger, “Whoever dies not having known the Imam of his time, dies the death of the days of ignorance.””
[71] al-Shawkani, "Nayl al-Awtar", Vol 4, Book 8, Dar al-Fikr, 2000, pg. 24
[72] Ibn Qayyim, "Kitaab Ahkaam ahl al-Dhimmah", Vol. 1, p.366
[73] Maajid omits aspects of HT’s quote – the full quote is presented here with the omissions, reflecting how closely aligned HT’s position is with the classic scholars
[74] Pp. 9-12 of his article
[75] "Clarifying the meaning of Dar al-Kufr & Dar al-Islam",, reviewed 13/09/07
[76] al-Nabhani, T, "Shaksiyyah Islamiyya", Volume 2, pg. 249
[77] al-Mu’atamad fil Usul ad-Deen, pg. 276
[78] al-Shawkani, "al-Sayl Jaraar alaa hadaiq al-azhaar", (Vol. 4 pp. 571-572)
[79] Mardawi, "al-Insaaf fi marifah al-rajih min al-khilaf", Vol 4 pg. 190 cited. by al-Kilani, A A I, "Islamiya al-Marifah", Summer 2006, pg. 55
[80] Qutb, S, "In the Shade of the Qur’an", Vol. 2 pg. 874
[81] Zaloom, A Q, "How the Khilafah was Destroyed", al-Khilafah Publications, pp. 191-194
[82] Ibid. pp. 196-197
[83] al-Nabhani, T, "Structuring of a Party", (Attakattul el-Hizbi, tr. From 4th edition), 2001, Al-Khilafah Publications, pg. 6
[84] "Oh! What a Lovely War on Terror - it's the number the arms dealers love",,,2168993,00.html, reviewed 14/09/2007
[85] "Hizb ut-Tahrir-The Next al-Qaeda, Really?",, reviewed 14/09/2007
[88] "Radical Islam in Central Asia: Responding to Hizb ut-Tahrir. ICG Asia", International Crisis Group (ICG), Report, No. 58, 30 June 2003. The report is available from the ICG website:
[89] Made none the easier by HT publicising his and his co-defendants plight internationally to highlight the tyrannical Egyptian dictatorship, or the hostile reception received by Mubarak's Foreign Minister, Ahmed Maher, by a HT incited demonstration in Jerusalem to name but two incidents
[90] Attending public appearances and advocating HT ideas at events organized by HT whilst collaborating with those who had left the party, secretly attending meetings and discussions and other such subversive and clandestine activities
[92] Taji-Farouki, S, "A Fundamental Quest: Hizb al-Tahrir and the Search for the Islamic Caliphate", Grey Seal, 1996
[93] Maajid Nawaz's brother, the Islam Channel presenter, Kaashif Nawaz, disputes the account, saying "The murder at East Ham college was not of a man who was Christian, but of a man who was high on drugs, and carrying 2 knives with intent on attacking one of the students on campus, he was intercepted by a gang of Muslims, who intercepted him - nothing to do with Islamism or HT, but more do with gang wars which Muslims got involved in and HT members tried to resolve." - Maajid believes such an account to be incorrect according to his eye witness evidence of events. However, the credibility of his "eye witness" evidence is suspect given the incorrect citations in his article and the lack of any independent and corroborative evidence supporting what he is saying, with all available evidence not citing HT's involvement or contribution to the murder directly or indirectly.
The Guardian's summary at the time of the trial ran, "A dispute over a game of table tennis led to a group of Asians murdering a Nigerian student".
This is consistent with the Judge's report,
"Facts of the Offence
The facts are taken from the trial judge's report to the Home Secretary and the judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal on 5 February 1998. Both the deceased, a 20 year old Nigerian student and Qadir were students at Newham College of Further Education in East Ham, London ("the College"). Qadir's co-defendant, Saeed Mustapha Nur ("Nur"), although not a student of the College, had become the leader of certain Muslim students, including Qadir. At the time of the offence, there were divisions on racial and religious grounds amongst the multi-ethnic student population of the College. These tensions had been in evidence during Ramadan that year.
It was common ground that, on Friday, 24 February 1995, the deceased had sustained a small stab wound in his left arm (his right arm was withered) from an Asian student who, it appears from the documents before me, was identified as Qadir's brother, Abdul Qadir. That occurred during an argument about table tennis in the Student Common Room at the College.
At about 1 pm on Monday, 27 February 1995, a group of young men picked a quarrel with the deceased outside the College. Some of the group were armed with knives and hammers. The group having surrounded the deceased, he was stabbed to death by Nur. Qadir was armed with a hammer and at least aimed a blow with it at the deceased."
It has yet to be shown that HT encourage or cause violence or even create such an atmosphere - existing conditions and tensions within minority communities can hardly be attributed to HT. Ed Hussain and Maajid Nawaz both attempt to make this tenuous connection by citing HT created an atmosphere that led to this incident. Their analysis fails to consider the results of numerous studies analysing the causes of tensions and violence amongst minority communities - exposing their inexperience in the social sciences. Had their "ill-considered and deviant" activities been reported to HT, they no doubt would have been required to cease them immediately - no doubt Maajid used his discretion to avoid news getting back.
[94] "Ex-Islamists Inc : Fabricating a Link Between Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Terrorism",,1129, reviewed 14/09/2007
[95] "Who’s Listening to Whom?",, reviewed 14/09/07.
[96] In his interview with the New York Times, 02 June 2007, Hussain explained that he had been approached by British government officials to join their "anti-extremist efforts". In an interview with Sky's Adam Boulton, Hussain did not deny Boulton's suggestion that he has been called in by "Gordon Brown or government". His comments in the Guardian however indicate where his loyalties lie: "...More than ever, we have a duty to define Britishness and teach children and newcomers how Britain developed democracy, tolerance, plurality, and why these are cherished, non-negotiable values",,,2099556,00.html
[97] In an interview with published on 03 June 2007, Hussain says, "In this, I'm backed by Maajid Nawaz who, alhamdulillah, recently left Hizb-ut-Tahrir partly as a result of conversations we had about these issues, and more importantly, his exposure to traditional Islam in all its diversity. Soon, Maajid will speak publicly and I ask Hizb members and others to listen and learn from Maajid's wisdom, knowledge, and experience.”
[98], A section that is allegedly subject to rigorous editorial control with many comments not being posted or heavily edited to suit before being presented - a number of sites and fronts by his colleagues/sub-editors have been set up with similar views albeit crudely expressed, including: , and
[99] "New Statesman", 14 June 2007
[100] For instance the quote "opposing views are based on Kufr" is incorrectly attributed to HT who are amongst the most liberal thinking when it comes to entertaining alternative views
[101] As such, a host of comments have been made on various internet sites - blogs have even appeared satirizing the naïve stance Maajid and his cadre has taken, examples including:,, reviewed 19/09/2007
[102] Ed Hussain's book, "The Islamist", (to which Maajid contributed) reflects this problem with the frequent jumps from one position to the other.
[103] "BBC Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman",, reviewed 11/09/2007
[104] "Why I joined the British jihad - and why I rejected it",, reviewed 16/09/2007
[105] "Leading militant in split with Islamists",,,2165546,00.html, reviewed 12/09/2007
[106] Maajid's arguments resemble those of Abd al-Raziq, a senior member of al-Azhar University, who in 1925 responded with "Islam and the Bases of Government". In it he argued that Islam did not lay down any particular political system, nor did Islam have anything to do with the Caliphate as the Muslims understood it. He furthermore said that the rules that the Prophet (pbuh) laid down only related to such things as prayer and fasting, rules appropriate only for people in a simple state with a natural government. He was expelled from al-Azhar for such heretical views, his books were condemned by religious circles and he was dismissed from his post as a religious judge. Rosenthall commented on him saying: "we meet for the first time a consistent, unequivocal theoretical assertion of the purely and exclusively religious character of Islam". Black, A, "The history of Islamic Political Thought", Edinburgh University Press, 2001, pp. 316-319.
[107] Something he considers to be given his stint in prison where he "taught himself" Sharia and his Arabic/Law studies at the British establishment SOAS

Posted by Enlightened Thought at 1:14 AM

Labels: Dar al-Harb, Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Kufr, Ed Hussain, Hassan Butt, Hizb al-Tahrir, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Islamicist, Islamism, Maajid Nawaaz, Maajid Nawaz, Shiraz Maher

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OAllahDoNotLeaveMeAloneWithMyself4EvenASecond said...

Brill Article Sis