American Elections and Hizb At-Tahrir
by Dr. M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
Elections and Polling
This is not a topic I enjoyed writing about because I have no desire to put our good brothers of Hizb At-Tahrir in an embarrassing and defensive posture. However, their relentless movement for dividing Muslims, and their activities to protect the Zionist power in the U.S., leaves me no option but to express myself on my own behalf. I am sure that a large number of sincere Muslims would support me and I seek their support after the support of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. If there is anything good in this article and the others I write, it is due to the Grace of Allah (S.W.T.), and if there is anything erroneous, it is my own fault of which I would like to be reminded. As one wise man said something to the effect that his critics were his best friends.
The election by the people of their representatives to the government and the election of the people’s choice of rulers is part and parcel of Islam. Muslims and the world have been living under kings but Islam did not begin in that manner. The Prophet Muhammad (S) never carried the title of a king nor did the first five Khulafa, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, and Mu’awiyah (Allah is pleased with all of them). Dynasties after them carried the title of Khulafa but they were hereditary kings. When Abu Bakr (R) was appointed as the Amir Al-Mu’mineen through consensus of the people, it was the first election process in Islam for finding a right leader. As our first khalifa, Abu Bakr(R) was vested with great authority and he received the pledge of allegiance from the people. The election of Uthman (R), however, was the result of an opinion survey conducted by Abdurrahman ibn ‘Awf to determine which of the two Sahaba (R), Ali (R) or Uthman (R), the people favored. It was in effect a polling process. Likewise, as our third khalifa, Uthman (R) received the authority that came with that position thereby receiving the people’s pledge of allegiance. In our time verbal polling has been replaced by a secret polling booth, the election booth. One might describe "Election Day" in the United States as the "official" polling survey distinct from average polling surveys preceding it only in the fact that a candidate for any given office has been duly recognized as being the people’s choice. The authority of that office is subsequently conferred upon the elected person. I do not understand why Hizb At-Tahrir is campaigning against the election process as a means of expressing people’s preferences, the same process that conforms to Islamic values. The election process is akin to finding the best mechanic, the best plumber, and in this case, the best leader for a given office. Since the Muslims do not have the power at this time to find the best, they must resort to finding the least harmful or the least distasteful. When you are starving to death in a jungle or a desert you look for something by which to survive. If the choice is between hazardous things, you will choose the one that is the least hazardous but keeps you alive and you look for the day when you can have that which is healthy and that which you love.
Muslims Under Secularism
The other question raised by Hizb At-Tahrir (henceforth referred to as the Hizb and its followers as Hizbis) is that of political participation under secularism. The poor, ignorant souls of the Hizb, despite their sincerity and dedication to Islam, do not know the difference between "Shari’ah" and "Fiqh". They speak in terms of Fiqh but they call it Shari’ah to fool young and naïve Muslims. People may differ in Fiqh and prefer one opinion over the other but Shari’ah cannot be rejected because it is the text of the Qur’an and sound Ahadith. Fiqh is an opinion derived from the Qur’an or Ahadith or Qiyas or a combination thereof. Frequently scholars add Ijma’ but, if Ijma’ means the consensus of the Sahaba(R), it is found in the Ahadith literature. We fall back to the Hadith of Mu’adh ibn Jabl (Allah is pleased with him) where we hear for the first time the terms of the Qur’an, Sunnah of the Prophet (found in Ahadith literature), and Ijtehad as sources of finding answers to the questions of Islamic jurisprudence. Let us consider the following points:
1. Absence of the prohibition
Hizbis have utterly failed in substantiating their argument from the Qur’an and sound Hadith against the participation of Muslims in the American political system. They frequently quote verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith but these sources do not refer to the topic under discussion. There is not a single verse of the Qur’an or an authentic Hadith prohibiting the Muslims’ political participation in a non-Islamic system. If there were one it would be presented as Shari’ah. If you quote a verse from the Qur’an or a Hadith, twist its meaning to fit to your preset opinion, it would be called, at best, a Fiqhi opinion, which could be rejected. All the quotes given by Hizbis in their opposition to political participation fall under far-fetched fiqhi opinions. Permit me to make my point by relating to you an incidence for the purpose of demonstrating just how far-fetched Hizbi opinions are in reality.
Once a Born Again Christian (BAC) came to me and argued with me (Amir) that the Qur’an teaches the Trinity. It is a true story. The argument unfolded along the lines of the following:
BAC: Qur’an teaches the Trinity and you should believe in it.
Amir: Where does Qur’an teach Trinity?
BAC: There is a verse that talks about Trinity.
Amir: Yes, there is one but it rejects and condemns Trinity as a fabrication.
BAC: No, no, no. What do you say before doing everything?
Amir: What do you mean?
BAC: Doesn’t Islam teach you to say something before doing anything?
Amir: Yes, we say, Bismilla-hir-Rahman-ir-Raheem.
BAC: Yes, that is it. What does it mean? Isn’t a verse of the Qur’an?
Amir: Yes, it is. It means, in the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
BAC: What are God’s names used here?
Amir: Allah, Al-Rahman and Al-Raheem.
BAC: This is the Trinity that is proven from the Qur’an. You have three Gods, Allah, Rahman and Raheem and they are like God the father, Allah, God the son, Rahman, and God the holy ghost, Raheem and all three are one. This is unity in trinity.
Amir: May Allah give you some intellect.
It is a common occurrence that when BAC people quote the Bible, the words they quote have nothing to do with their interpretation and what they preach. If only they would look in other places in the Bible, they would find their errors. Sometimes, a verse on the same page clarifies the point. Hizbis remind me of Born Again Christians in their use of material that is totally irrelevant. The Hizbi quotes from the Qur’an and Ahadith are correct but they have nothing to do with their message or their arguments. May Allah remove their ignorance and endow them with wisdom.
Hizbis demand proof from the Qur’an and Hadith in favor of Muslim political participation. These poor, ignorant souls do not know the Islamic principle that the Haram, that which is prohibited, requires proof and that in the absence of such proof, an action or a substance is allowed, lawful, and therefore, halal. The proof of the Haram and unlawful activity must be explicit not from a ta’weel (roundabout interpretation of a verse or a Hadith) because the determination of the Haram and unlawful is solely the Domain of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. When Allah (S.W.T.) makes something Haram and unlawful, He states it in very explicit language in the Qur’an (Wahi matlu) or Ahadith (Wahi ghayr matlu). In such matters, Allah (S.W.T.) is not ambiguous. Ambiguity will not allow Him to punish people when they transgress ambiguous commands because Allah (S.W.T.) has made Zulm (oppression) Haram upon Himself. Haram and unlawful activity is not a matter of fiqh but of Shari’ah. Fiqhi opinions in these matters are not binding whereas Shari’ah is binding upon all Muslims.
The burden of proof against Muslim participation in American politics is upon the Hizb and her cooperating organizations. The other side need not prove anything. In the absence of the proof against political participation, Muslims are free to participate in any secular system, albeit in good conscience, to make Allah’s Deen overcome the hurdles placed by anti-Islam forces. It is a matter of Ijtehad and not of Shari’ah to decide when and where to participate or not to participate. The Muslim leadership in the U.S., in consultation with Muslim scholars, has made Ijtehad to participate politically. If some people do not desire to follow, they may enjoy their freedom to dissent themselves but to create disruption and dissension in the rest of the community is the work of Shaytan. For a good Fatwa on political participation, see Dr. Taha Jaber Al-Alwani on www.amconline.com. Dr. Al-Alwani is the Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America that was established to give rulings on Islamic matters and become an arbitrator in the matters of dispute between Muslims and their organizations, but only when requested. This Council is providing a great service to the Muslims of North America. For more details, access them at www.fiqhcouncil.org; Dr. Al-Alwani may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The Hizb as an Obstructionist Organization
The American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC) composed of the American Muslim Council (AMC), the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC), and cooperating organizations such as ISNA, ICNA, the United Muslim American Association (UMAA), and the Islamic Community of America led by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, have considered the matters of politics in America. These organizations have sought guidance from renowned Islamic scholars from all over the world and decided that it was in the best interests of Muslims in America and Muslims worldwide to participate in politics without creating a political party. It is not the decision of a lone lunatic but rather of a large number of well-educated and mature professionals who are involved in this decision; many among them have the highest degrees, doctorates. Individually as well as collectively, they are more educated than the leadership of Hizb At-Tahrir, which is hiding in anonymity and are of unknown qualifications. The AMPCC and cooperating organizations’ members’ sincerity and dedication to Allah (S.W.T.) is no less than that of the Hizbis. For the first time in America, consensus and unity among the Muslims is developing but the Hizb is intent on destroying it. This abhorrent action demonstrates for whom it is that they are working.
The decisions of the Hizb are made within a secret council of unknown, faceless people. Reportedly, the Hizbi top leader is hiding in anonymity somewhere in Europe. Who is this Imam Gha’yeb or Sheikh Hiding In Europe (SHIE) and who are on his council? Is it possible to speak with the SHIE? Who would be more pleased with the Hizb than the Zionists and other anti-Islam forces? They would love to see Muslims fight amongst themselves. What is the goal of the Hizb? Is it to please Allah (S.W.T.) or to please the Zionist Shayateen?
In the current situation, the Way of Allah (S.W.T.) is to stop the enemies of Islam from hurting Muslims and Islamic movements and in this, the Hizbis are the obstructionists. Allah(S.W.T.) condemns obstructionists.
[Hizbis do not shy away from using the Revelation of Allah (S.W.T.) for misguiding people.]
[Muslims in America, in general, agree with the slogans of the Hizb and no one is placing any obstruction in their work. They, themselves, are the obstruction in their own work because they have no announced plan or strategy to bring about the Khilafa.]
3. Hizbi Tantrums
When Hizbis fail in their efforts they throw tantrums which are demonstrated in many different ways.
(a) They make nuisances of themselves and become laughingstocks in the eyes of the community. During the Jumu’ah khutbah, if the speaker talks about politics and voting, a Hizbi stands up during or immediately after the khutbah and shouts. No one in the congregation listens to him but they become annoyed and will either force him to sit down or physically remove him by having three or four people gently pick him up and take him out of the hall. The Hizbis have no civility whatsoever. They irritate people and this is definitely not the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).
(b) When people refuse to listen to their illogical arguments they distribute flyers in Arabic and English calling them Munafiqs and Kafirs and thereby condemning them to hell. Who has given them the authority to condemn Muslims to hell? Their quotes from the Qur’an and Hadith are not relevant to their arguments so it is no wonder that their flyers fail to make an impact on the people. Only young, ignorant, and immature Muslims listen to them for a while and then leave the Hizb after they have grown up and matured in age and knowledge. Their following remains stunted and is confined to a few university campuses. As a result of Hizbi tantrums and irrational attitudes, it is becoming a common cliché that both a tantrum thrower and an irrational behavior itself are called a Hizbi whether he belongs to Hizb At-Tahrir or not. Their irrational flyers are found everywhere, being rarely read, and ending up in trash bins.
4. The Hizb is fulfilling the dreams of the enemies of Islam
Actions speak louder than words. Do not pay attention to what the Hizbi says but look at the result of their work. The Hizb is fulfilling the dreams of the enemies of Islam. For details, see the article, "THE DREAM OF ANTI-ISLAM FORCES", by this author. This author has shown that the enemies of Islam are working in at least ten areas in order to defeat the Muslims and remove Islam from the world scene as the Deen of Allah (S.W.T.). However, they would allow Islam to survive as a religion of few rituals, in the mold of modern Christianity. The only way to shatter the dreams of the enemies of the Muslims is to have an active program of involvement and stop them in their tracks. Hizbis do not want Muslims to get involved and place obstructions in the way of Shaytan; Hizbis would rather see obstructions in the Way of Allah (S.W.T.). I believe that the overwhelming majority of Hizbis consists of good, sincere but simple-minded, ignorant, and immature Muslims. However, I have some suspicions about the top leadership. For whom are they working? If one reviewuates the net result of their work, one would conclude that their work is contributing to the success of the enemies of Islam. Hizbis want Muslims to give total freedom to their enemies by giving the enemies an open field and enabling them to gain success after success against the Muslims.
5. Signs of hypocrisy in the Hizbis
There are several signs of hypocrisy in the Hizbis. Keep reading.
(a) When the Prophet (S) sent his followers into exile to Habasha, he did not command them to become rebels against Najjashi and create fasad in his land. However, they were allowed to promote Allah’s Deen within the rule of the king. Had those early Muslims created rebellion and called Najjashi a tool of Shaytan, what would have happened to them? I challenge the Hizbis to prove that the Prophet (S) ordered the Muslims to work against the host country’s laws and regulations. If there is no such evidence, it is ungratefulness and hypocrisy to act the way the Hizbis do. The West will not tolerate such behavior unless it is done in collusion with her. Najjashi would not have tolerated such behavior of the Muslims in his land.
(b) The Hizbi slogan is "Khilafa is the solution" and they believe that it can happen only through Jihad with the meaning of qital. The way to achieve this goal is to join the Chechens in Chechnya because that is their goal as well. The Hizbis also have the option of joining one of the sides in Afghanistan. In addition to these countries, there is Jihad taking place in the central Asian republics and it offers ample opportunity for all to go and join them. If the Khilafa can be established, it is possible only in a Muslim-majority country. The Hizbis belong in any of the Muslim-majority countries, not in the West, unless they have some other covert operation against Islam. Our Chechen brothers are calling for help and they are requesting fighters. Allah (S.W.T.) says:
[Hizbis, is it not hypocrisy on your part that you clamor for Jihad to establish the Khilafa but when a party, such as the Chechens and Afghanis, is already fighting to do just that and calling you to join them, you ignore their call?]
(c) The Hizbis love the comforts of this life: professional jobs, good income, investments, and bank balances. They feel that it is adequate service to Allah (S.W.T.) to write a few flyers and distribute them and to stir up fitna in the masajid and Islamic centers by shouting and calling people names. They have no desire to leave their homes and families, quit their jobs, and go for Jihad. Allah (S.W.T.) has news for them.
[This is another sign of hypocrisy, that is, contradiction between talk and deed – talk is cheap.]
(d) The Hizbi top leaders hide behind their veils. Some of the leaders of the Hizb have two names, one for the public and the other for their jobs, bank accounts, property deeds, passport, and visa. Many of their own followers do not know their leaders’ real names but refer to them only as kunniyah. Likewise, common followers of the Hizb do not know who the policy-making leaders are and where do they live. There is no precedence from the lives of the Prophet(S) and his Sahaba(R) that they hid in anonymity during the worst of times. All the Sahaba(R) were known people. Secrecy breeds corruption and it is a sign of hypocrisy and cowardice. It appears that these are the people who very secretly conspired to make Zionists, Christians, and Secularists dominant over the Muslims and perpetuate the slavery of the Muslims under the West. Allah (S.W.T.) has something to say about it.
[Comment: The Hizbis are protecting the Zionists and other enemies of Islam from the Muslims’ attempts and encroachment to weaken the enemies by running a campaign for the status quo.]
e) Those Hizbis who have become naturalized citizens of the U.S. (and other countries of the West) have given their oath of allegiance to the Constitution (or sovereign rulers) yet their slogans are against the very country that has given them shelter. Is it not hypocrisy? Do they have a verse from the Qur’an or an authentic Hadith to justify their treachery? Yet, these countries are giving them an opportunity to raise their voices and concerns within the system, even to change the system in a reasonable way. Indeed, Western people are committed to their system and it would be no easy task to change it. However, the history of change is there for those who are wise and persistent in bringing about further change.
[Comment: Actions speak louder than words. Hizbi actions and their movement are protective of Zionists and other enemies of Islam whereas their top leadership is hiding behind a veil of secrecy. If it were discovered that the Hizb is a covert operation to keep Muslims divided and inactive, this author would believe it. The question is where and why is the top leadership hiding? Are they hiding in a synagogue somewhere in Europe? If you, Hizb At-Tahrir, are indeed true Muslim leaders, come out, face the Muslim Ummah, defend your stand, and lead the Ummah if your arguments are convincing. Everyone has a right to say anything he wishes about an unseen ghost or a jinn. The leaders of AMPCC and cooperating organizations are real people and you can call them, meet them, see them, feel them, speak with them, and argue with them as this author has done.]
6. The Hizbis are obedient servants of the West
There are some very suspicious happenings with the Hizbis. The only place they can survive is in the West. The Hizbis obey all laws, such as, laws of the road, rules of immigration, customs, employment, housing, banking, insurance, and other regulations as well. They even pay all taxes, such as, municipal, telephone, gas, electric, property, and on income with the knowledge that a part of their taxes is being used to kill Muslims all over the world, including those in Palestine. I never heard a Hizbi stand up and talk about taxes and its evil uses. They never started a campaign against paying taxes. If one thinks about it, none of these issues hurts the enemies of Islam as much as Muslim political participation. If any Muslim activity hurts the Zionists, Hizbis stand up against it. I wonder, why? On whose behalf are the Hizbis working? It is worthwhile to research to find the beginnings of Hizb At-Tahrir, find out who else may have been behind its creation, and determine the positive contributions of this group to the State of Israel and the damage done to the Muslims. Who benefits the most from their activities? Look at how many Muslims have been killed and how many Muslims are in prisons due to Hizbi talk and other destructive activities. I cannot find one good thing done by these people during the last forty years.
7. False accusations made by the Hizbis against sincere Muslims
The Hizbis, in their writings against political participation, quote verses of the Qur’an and commentary implying the following about the Muslims who are proponents of political participation:
(a) They are turning away and are changing their religion from Islam to something else.
(b) They are taking non-Muslims as their protecting friends (awlia’).
(c) They are replacing Islam with another deen, one of which Allah (S.W.T.) will never approve.
(d) They are working to gain the pleasure of the Christians and the Jews.
(e) They are taking Shaytan as a protecting friend (wali).
(f) They are submitting to the judgment of Shaytan.
(g) They are hypocrites.
Finally, judgment is passed that these Muslim leaders and other Muslims who agree with them are doomed to hell. What arrogance!!!
The Hizbis failed in presenting a single shred of evidence for their allegations. They did not name or identify any Muslim leader who has changed his religion to gain power, or a single Muslim leader submitting to the will of non-Muslim rulers, or a single Muslim leader preferring a non-Muslim over a Muslim as a protecting friend, and so on and so forth. Calling people hypocrites or sentencing people to hell does not bring them any good, only the Wrath of Allah (S.W.T.). There is plenty of evidence that Muslim involvement in American political and community life has weakened the position of the enemies of Islam. The real enemies of Islam in America are no more than 4% of the population and the remaining 96% are good people who can easily be swayed in favor of the Muslims, if approached and educated in the right manner.
On the other hand, the Hizbi leadership is living under the protection of the West and is successfully hiding under its wings. The West has given them jobs and security in every area of their lives. Naturally, the Hizbis want to return the favor to the enemies of Islam by giving protection to their friends. The Hizbis are angry because the Muslim leadership in the U.S. is trying to change the direction of America (Protector-in-Chief of the Hizb) from anti-Islam to pro-Islam through direct involvement and pressure tactics (certainly not through begging or terror).
O Hizbi brothers, come to your senses
Do you think that you are the only people who understand the Qur’an and the Sunnah? Do you think that you are the only people sincerely working for the Cause of Allah (S.W.T.) and that other Muslims are insincere and therefore working for the cause of the Shaytan? If your answer is yes to both questions, then what can I say? May Allah (S.W.T.) guide you to Islam. Around 1987-88 I wrote an article, titled, "ONE THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT", that was published as a brochure. In this article I have shown that the Muslims in America need thousands of organizations doing Allah’s (S.W.T.) work locally but that they must develop cooperation, coordination, and be a complement to each other at the regional and national levels as well. We may have different approaches but we are unified in our goal for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.). O Hizbis, if you are sincere people in the Work of Allah, you work your way and let other Muslims work their way; all of us are tributaries that flow toward the same river. Your negative activities will damage you and will cause damage to the Muslim Ummah. Take heed!