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Islamic Ideology ( 27 March 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Concept of God’s Sovereignty (Hakimiyyah): Extremist Islamists Vs Mainstream Muslims

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

28 March 2019

The extremist Islamists believe that Muslims have abandoned implementation of God’s Hakimiyyah (roughly translated as ‘dominion’ or ‘sovereignty’) in their countries, specifically the rule of Islamic law, and accepted implementation of man-made law; which is an act of shirk (polytheism). They hold the view that loyalty to any authority or sovereignty other than God’s Hakimiyyah is polytheism and paganism and that any Muslims supporting this ‘polytheism’ should be killed and defeated through ‘Jihad’. This idea resulted into mass destruction throughout Muslim countries, especially Syria and Iraq.

In his Arabic book titled “Al-Haqq Al-Mubin Fi al-Radd Ala Man Tala’ab bi Al-deen (The Lucid Truth In Refutation Of Those Who Manipulate The Religion)”, Sheikh Usama Al-Sayed Al-Azhari (an Azhari scholar, preacher, expert in Hadith, Logic, Islamic Creed, a Senior Fellow of Kalam Research and Media, and a teacher in the Faculty of Usul Al-Din and Da’wah at Al-Azhar University, Egypt) writes,

الفكرة المحورية التي تأسست عليها بقية مفاهيم التيارات الإسلامية هي فكرة الحاكمية، فإنها هي الجذر الذي نهضت على أساسه منظومتهم الفكرية بكل مقولاتها ومفاهيمها وفروعها ومنها تولدت بقية مفاهيمهم:  فانبثقت منها فكرة: شرك الحاكمية وتوحيد الحاكمية عند سيد قطب وأخيه محمد قطب ، وتولدت من ذالك فكرة العصبة المؤمنة وفكرة الوعد الإلهي لهذه العصبة المؤمنة وفكرة الجاهلية التي هي حالة بقية المسلمين ، وفكرة المفاصلة والتمايز الشعوري بين الفئتين وفكرة الاستعلاء من العصبة المؤمنة على الجاهلية وأهلها وفكرة حتمية الصدام بين الفئتين عند سيد قطب لإقامة الخلافة ، وفكرة التمكين إلى آخر شجرة المفاهيم التي نتجت من قضية الحاكمية والتي تتكون من مجموعها نظرية متكاملة داخل عقل تلك التيارات.

The central idea on which the rest of the concepts of extremist Islamist movements were founded is the idea of Hakimiyyah. It is the root on which their intellectual system was established, with all its sayings, concepts and branches. It is from this idea that Sayyid Qutb and his brother Muhammad Qutb extracted the concept of Shirk al-Hakimiyyah and Tauheed al-Hakimiyyah. This idea gave rise to the necessity of “al-Usbah al-Muminah” (‘a selected body of Jihadist believers’) and the idea of divine promise [of victory] for this ‘Usbah Muminah’. It declared that the common Muslims are living in the state of Jahiliyyah (ignorance). This also led to the idea of separation and subliminal distinction between the two groups (Muslims and West), the idea of dominance of ‘Usbah Muminah’ over the people of Jahiliyyah, the idea of inevitable clash between the two groups at the time of Sayyid Qutb so as to establish the caliphate, and the idea of ‘tamkin’ associated with all other concepts that emanate from the concept of Hakimiyyah and that consists of a comprehensive theory integrated within the mind of these extremist movements”

The extremist movements held the concept of ‘Hakimiyyah’ to mean that dominance should be exercised over ‘the Muslims living in the state of Jahiliyyah’ and that fighting against such Muslims should be waged.

Where did this concept of Hakimiyyah come from and how it exacerbated other problems for Muslims? Sheikh Al-Azhari opines that such concepts came from Sayyid Qutb’s book of Tafsir, “Fi Zilal al-Quran” (In the Shade of The Quran) and other books of him, such as “Ma’alim fi al-Tariq” stem their roots from “Fi Zilal al-Quran”.

Dr. Yusuf Qardhawi also holds the view that the concept of doing Takfir of Muslims today does not emanate only from ‘Ma’alim fi al-Tariq’ but rather its foundational principle is deeply rooted in the books, such as ‘Fi Zilal al-Quran’ and “Al-‘Adalah al-Ijtimaiyyah fi al-Islam” (Y. al-Qaradawi, Ibn al-Qarya wal-Kuttab, Malamih Sira wa-Masira, vol.3, p.69, Dar al-Shuruq, Cairo 2008)

Salih Sirriya, in his book ‘Risala al-Iman’, does takfir of the Muslim rulers, describes common Muslims as Jahiliyyah community and declares their state ‘Dar al-Harb’. He further says, “The present governance in all Muslim countries is undoubtedly the infidel governance and the communities in all these countries are Jahiliyya (ignorant).” This book stems its root from Sayyid Qutb’s ‘Fi Zilal al-Quran’.

Shukri Mustafa and his group of Islamicists “Al-Takfir wal Hijra”, which became a modern version of the Kharijites, took inspiration from Sayyid Qutb’s ‘Fi Zilal al-Quran’.

Mohammad Abdul Salam Farag, who was one of the main figures of extremism and Jihadism and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote a short book titled “Al-Farida al-Ghaiba” in order to strengthen his “Jihadist movement” against the modern Muslim state. Salam Farag was greatly inspired by Sayyid Qutub’s ‘Fi Zilal al-Quran’.

Similarly the modern Kharijite outfit ‘ISIS’ got its inspiration from Sayyid Qutb’s ‘Fi Zilal al-Quran’. Touching upon this subject, Turki ibn Mubarak al-Binali wrote a book titled “Al-Lafz al-Sani fi Tarjimat al-Adnani” about the second leading man of ISIS, Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani. In this book al-Binali writes,

Adnani took influence from Sayyid Qutb’s book of Tafsir “Fi Zilal al-Quran” which was one of his favourites. He studied it systematically for twenty years. During one of the lessons he went through the Tafsir of the Quranic verse, “Whoever does not judge with what Allah has revealed; those are the infidels” (Surah Maidah:44). He asked one of his colleagues, what are the sources of the Syrian constitution? What is the legislative authority? What is the executive and judicial authority? When the colleague replied, Adnani then asked: so our government is infidel? The cleric left. That was his way of debating issues”. Adnani later joined ISIS and became one of its leading spokesmen.

It becomes crystal clear from the above that ISIS is a new wave of Takfirism greatly inspired by Sayyid Qutub’s “Fi Zilal al-Quran”. Sheikh Usama Al-Azhari writes, “Sayyid Qutb took inspiration, while holding this concept of Hakimiyyah, intrinsically from the concept of Abul ‘Ala al-Maududi’ (the founder of Jamat-e-Islami). Sayyid Qutb dedicated all his efforts to promotion of this concept through his writings and speeches, and made it a complete ideology of Takfir”.

Sheikh Al-Azhari further writes, “Following in the footsteps of Sayyid Maududi, Sayyid Qutb established the concept of Hakimiyyah, as a result of wrong understanding of the Divine statement “Whoever does not judge with what Allah has revealed; those are the infidels” (Surah Maidah:44)”, From this verse, Sayyid Qutb deduced the meaning that the person who does not implement the Islamic Laws is a Kafir, even though he believes in the creed of righteousness of Islamic laws based on the Divine revelation and even though he is unable to implement them for any reason whatsoever.”(Al-Haqq Al-Mubin Fi al-Radd Ala Man Tala’ab bi Al-deen, Arabic, p.27).

In his book “Al-Adalah al-Ijtimayyiah (Social Justice)”, Sayyid Qutb writes, “Islamic society today is not Islamic in any sense of the word. We have already quoted a verse from the Quran that cannot in any way be honestly applied today: “Whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed is a Kafir (5:44)”

Thus, Sayyid Qutb and Sayyid Maududi set a dangerous precedent, rejecting the validity of a Muslim’s belief in Islam because one simply fails to implement the Islamic laws. Sheikh Azhari opines that this concept of Sayyid Qutb and Maududi is very strange and leads to extremism, narrowness and Takfirism, because it describes the implementation of Hakimiyyah as a new article of faith and does the Takfir of the people who simply fail to implement it for any reason; this is the theology of Kharijites.

In one of his comments, Mr. Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor of New Age Islam writes, “Even Sayyid Qutb was inspired by Maulana Maududi’s work on Hakimiyyah and his concept of Iqamat e Deen as an essential religious duty for Muslims. He used terms like Taghut and Jahiliyah too, which have both become very popular in Islamist extremist circles. He forced the secular modern state of Pakistan to say Shahada through the objectives resolution that was largely a fruit of his writings. He considered Irtidad (apostasy) as treason because he considers Islam as a State. For him Islam and State are synonymous. He became so influential that even a Shia society like Iran converted its state to Islam. Never before Pakistan and Iran has there been a tradition in Islamic history of calling a state Islamic. Now this demand is being made even in Malaysia and Indonesia quite vigorously”.

The Concept of Hakimiyyah among Mainstream Muslims

The doctrine of mainstream Muslim scholars of all generations including the holy companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is contrary to that of Sayyid Qutb, Sayyid Maududi and Kharijite groups. The Muslim scholars, Sheikh Azhari opines, went through a number of statements and directions in order to understand the Quranic verse (5:44). He says, “The most preferred and accepted view with regard to implication of the verse is that ‘whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, denying its divinity, faith and truthfulness is indeed a Kafir. As for the Muslim who believes that this verse is truth, divine revelation and divine command but fails to implement its message, he is not a Kafir.

Imam Fakhruddin Razi said in “Al-Tafsir al-Kabir”, “Ikrimah said, the ruling of Takfir, as mentioned in the divine statement “whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed is a Kafir”, applies to the one who denies the truth of the revealed law of Allah in his heart and by his tongue.  As for the person who believes in the truth of the revealed law of Allah in his heart and acknowledges by his tongue that it is the revealed law of Allah, however he acts against it, he will be regarded as the believer of what Allah revealed, but he will be known simply as a non-practicing believer in this case, and it is therefore he will not be considered a Kafir according to this verse”. After quoting this statement, Imam Razi said, “This is the correct answer”. (Imam Razi, Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, 5:44)

The similar answer has been given by Imam Ghazali in “Al-Mustasfa” and by Imam Abu Muhammad b. Atiyya al-Andalusi in “Al-Muharrir al-Wajiz”. Sheikh Usama Al-Azhari writes, “Having studied the explanations of mainstream jurists, we come to know that Ibn Masu’d, Ibn Abbas, Barra bin ‘Aazib, Huzaifa bin al-Yaman, Ibrahim al-Nakh’I, Al-Sudai, Al-Dahhak, Abu Salih, Abu Mujlaz, Ikrimah, Qatadah, ‘Aamir, Al-Sha’abi, ‘Ataa, Taaus and then Imam Tabari in “Jami’ al-Bayan”, Imam Ghazali in “Al-Mustasfa”, Ibn Atiyya in “Al-Muharrir al-Wajiz”, Imam Razi in “Mafatih al-Ghaib”, Qurtubi, Ibn Jazi in “Al-Tashil”, Abu Hayyan in “Al-Bahr al-Muheet”, Ibn Kathir in “Tafsir al-Quran al-Azeem”, Aalusi in “Ruh al-Ma’ani”, Tahir bin ‘Aashur in “Al-Tahrir w al-Tanwir” and Sheikh Sha’arawi in his Tafsir- all such Islamic scholars unanimously agree with the same commentary of the verse 5:44. (as mentioned above with reference to Imam Razi’s Al-Tafsir al-Kabir).” .”(Al-Haqq Al-Mubin Fi al-Radd Ala Man Tala’ab bi Al-Deen, Arabic, p.23)

On the contrary to these mainstream Muslim scholars, it is Sayyid Qutb who declared that the understanding of these scholars is deviant and concocted. Both Sayyid Qutub and Maulana Maududi played a pivotal role in restoring Kharijite theology according to which, Muslim rulers who did not abide by the Quran were disbelievers and because of their apostasy, they should be deposed. Azariqa, the most extremist sub-sect of Kharijites, which followed the leadership of Nafi’ Ibn Azraq, stressed that apostates should be killed. However mainstream Sunni theologians separated faith and works, responding to the Kharijite ideology by substantiating the view that a “grave sinner cannot be excluded from the community” even if his actions were sinful. Salah Nasr associated Sayyid Qutb’s ideology with extremism of the Kharijites, depicting him as a severe threat to the stability of state and its social well-being, as someone who fully disagreed with the wise consensus of Muslim generations.

A regular Columnist with, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a Sufi-Sunni background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A (Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is Interested in Islamic Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf).


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