Ustadh Farid Dingle untangles questions on establishing a state and the rule of law, authority, personal opinions and ijtihad, and who one should follow.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Praise be to Allah Most High and may His peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and those who follow him.

Is it permissible for a dawah group with the intention and goal of establishing khilafah and shar‘ia to demand of its followers to leave their personal opinions of ijtihad in regards to what the group deems to be essential to keep the unity of the group on the way to establishing the state?

They quote as evidence the maxim “that without which an obligation cannot be fulfilled is an obligation”(ma la yatim al wajib illa bihi fahuwa wajib).

They also quote the version of events regarding the bayah of Uthman. A;;ah be pleased with thim, which is mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari and al-Bidayah wa al-Nihaya and others, where Ali, Allah be please with him, declines the bayah because of the condition of following as shaykhayn in addition to kitab and sunna and Uthman, Allah be pleased with him, accepts the bayah with its condition.

Their claim is that Uthman, Allah be pleased with him, stepped down from his opinion and Ali, Allah be pleased with him, didn’t.

They say that this is evidence that one can leave whatever opinion he has for the sake unity of the ummah in action, saying and believe regardless of whether the person believes something else.

So is the Amir khass like the amir Aam in regards to the right to be obeyed ?  Is it possible and is there perhaps any scholarly precedence for this analogy ? I’m especially interested the extension of the right of the amir to be obeyed (whether Aam or khass) to actually adopting his opinion and carrying it to the people despite disagreeing with it?

I hope my question is clear and understandable and I hope you will provide us with an answer and references since this topic affects hundreds of people.

Note: They say that this applies to the muqallid and the mujtahid, even if he is mujtahid mutlaq.

Jazakum Allah khayr.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Question 1: Is it permissible for a dawah group with the intention and goal of establishing khilafah and shari‘a to demand of its followers to leave their personal opinions of ijtihad in regards to what the group deems to be essential to keep the unity of the group on the way to establishing the state?

1) This question assumes that there are no Islamic states, and that Shari‘a law is not applied. The former is not true, and the latter is not entirely true.

Any Muslim ruler who has military and political control over an area makes that area an Islamic state. Based on this definition, most, if not all, Muslim countries are Muslim states. The significance of that is that their laws that do not categorically contradict the Sacred Law are biding, and that their ruler must be obeyed by their subjects.

As for saying that Sharia is not upheld, that is true to a great extent in many Muslims countries, though not all. And given the fact that they are Islamic states, the proper way to “establish Shari‘a” is to work with the governments and not against them, in whatever form and capacity one can.

It is worth noting that there, at least in my opinion, many Muslim rulers who would love to apply Shari‘a Law 100% but whose hands are tied by the political weakness of the country, and moral weakness of their own people. Being a ruler of a country is no easy business.

2) For the sake of political, communal, or familial unity, is it valid for a non-scholar (muqallid) to adopt another valid position?

Yes, a thousand times yes. Can one follow something that is invalid? No.

Question 2: So is the lesser/specific Muslim ruler (Amir khass) like the greater/general Muslim ruler (amir Aam) in regards to the right to be obeyed?

I am no mujtahid or specialist in Islamic political theory, but I have never heard of these terms. The authority of a Muslim ruler (defined above) is only extended to those who he appoints as governors and judges and the like.

As for any temporal or moral authority granted to someone trying to set up an “Islamic state,” I’ve never heard of anything like that. [al-Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun (specifically his discussion on the Hisba); The Governing Ordinances, al-Mawardi; al-Ihkam fi tamyiz al-fatawa an al-ahkam wa tasarrufat al-qadi wa al-imam, al-Qarafi]

My Advice

Make your heart and soul conform to the state of Iman, Islam and Ihsan, and help existing Muslim countries and Muslim people and non-Muslim people get closer to the Quran and Sunna.

May Allah give you success through Sacred Knowledge.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

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