Ideology

Which classical scholar said the aqeeda of Islam is spiritual and political?

Hizb ut-Tahrir released a leaflet on 22nd October 1968 entitled: “The Spiritual Aqeeda and the Political Aqeeda”.

Some have questioned this and asked which classical scholar said that the aqeeda of Islam is both spiritual and political?

Firstly, the Hizb’s adoption is based on ijtihad and the fact that they differ with some mainstream classical opinions is a good thing as Muslim scholars always strive for the correct opinion. The Hizb is following in the footsteps of the classical scholars as is mentioned in the book Mafaheem Hizb u-Tahrir where it states:

“The mujtahids who established the schools of Fiqh (mazhabs) used to consider their deduction of the rules as correct, accepting the possibility of it being wrong. Each one of them used to say: If a hadith was correct then it will be my mazhab, and don’t consider my opinion.”

Secondly, Arabic terms have multiple meanings and part of ijtihad is studying the word and finding its correct usage and meaning. Arabic words have a linguistic meaning. They can have an urfi (customary) meaning or majazi (metaphorical) meaning or shari’ (legal) meaning. They can also have an istilaahi (technical) meaning. Istilaahi words are those words which are used to understand a particular topic. Even in English we have technical words. For example, the word domain has a linguistic meaning, “an area of territory owned or controlled by a particular ruler or government.” However, it also has an istilaahi meaning which is a distinct subset of the internet with a domain name such as caliphate.eu.

In Islamic fiqh the classical scholars invented many new terms that the Prophet ﷺ and Sahaba had never used, in order to explain Islam and make it easier for future generations to learn Islamic knowledge. The words fiqh, usul ul-fiqh, tawheed, fikra, tareeqa, mabda and aqeeda were not used by the sahaba. They are new technical terms to aid the understanding of Islam. The hadith use the word Iman. They don’t use aqeedah but it’s permissible to use the term aqeeda to understand the Islamic belief. Again the Hizb is following in the footsteps of the classical scholars and traditional methods of ijtihad in using many technical terms that previous scholars didn’t use such as nizam (system) or mabda (ideology).

Thirdly, these newly invented technical words do not have sharia meanings. Therefore, if someone says Islam is not an ideology then it’s not kufr buwa (clear disbelief) because the word ideology is an istilaahi term. If someone said however, that Islam is not a deen then they are contradicting the Qur’an where Allah (swt) says:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ

“The deen in the sight of Allah is Islam.”

(Aal-Imraan, 3:19)

I have seen attacks on people based on them saying Islam isn’t an ideology because some think this is kufr. It’s important to note that the Hizb doesn’t use the English word ideology. It uses the Arabic word Mabda’ (principle or basis) which is translated as ideology but it’s not a direct translation. The English word ideology is also translated as أيديولوجية which is not the term the Hizb use.

The term jihaz (plural ajihzaat) which means institutions, pillars, organisations is a word the Hizb uses to understand the structure of the Khilafah. The Hizb’s adopted book is titled Ajhizat dowlatul-Khilafah (Institutions of the Khilafah State).

This word jihaz is an istilaahi term which you won’t find in Mawardi’s classical book Ahkham as-Sultaniyyah. The word jihaz has no sharia meaning. Therefore, if we look back to the history of the Khilafah and find no Majlis ul-ummah, no Amir of jihad and no Information Department which the Hizb says are ALL ajhizaat of the Khilafah then this isn’t a problem. It doesn’t mean the historical Khilafah was not Khilafah, because we cannot do retrospective ijtihad. The previous Khilafah adopted laws according to the ijtihad of that time and they had a shubhat daleel (semblance of an evidence) for their policies which were confirmed by the ulema of the time.