Shaykh Abul Hasan on Hizbut Tahrir:
Regarding Hizbut Tahrir (HT). I first came across this political party on 1/1/90 when attending a masjid in Kingston. The most charismatic speaker being Omar Bakri from Syria originally. They claimed that to work for khilafa is an obligation on all Muslims - Fard al Ayn. 2 years later i went to see Omar Bakri at his home in North London (Ramadan 1992). One of his admirers was trying to recruit me but he could not convince me of certain points. Thus, I told him to arrange a meeting with his leader... As soon as I entered his house I was impressed by his library of mainly Arabic works. I asked him what was the evidence that it is fard al ayn to join a group like HT in order to work for the re-establishment of the caliphate. His main argument was qiyas - analogy.
He said that it is Fard to perform Salatul Janaza over the deceased before burial and if no one attended its performance the whole community would be sinful. This being true, we agreed that to perform the Janaza is a communal obligation (Fard al-Kifaya). I asked him how this analogy can be applied to working for the Khilafa. He explained that after the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) left this world the Sahaba did not bury him straight away but were discussing for some 3 days who should be his successor and after that the Sahaba buried the blessed body. I asked him how this analogy can be applied to suggesting that it is a Fard al-Ayn on everyone to work in a political party to re-establish the Caliphate. Especially since when i pointed out to him that the vast majority of the Sahaba were not involved in the discussions to elect the successor, meaning, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra). I asked him to provide some quotes from earlier Ulama and he said that the Khilafa has never been abandoned until the fall of the last Ottoman Caliphate in the 1920s and thus Ulama did not make Ijtihad on how to revive it. Thus, he was indicating that a Mujtahid was needed to exercise Ijtihad on this matter. He meant by that the so called Ijtihad of the founder of HT - Taqiud Din al-Nabahani. Thus, HT is a political party that was founded by al-Nabahani who was a graduate of al-Azhar University but had some stray opinions according to other contemporary Ulama. Omar Bakri had no concrete evidence that it is a Fard al-Ayn for every muslim to work for the Caliphate by means of joining a political party, despite having volumes of books on his shelves that evening. I asked him a little about their aqida as people from other groups were criticising them for not affirming certain tenets here in the UK. In those daysthey used to openly saythat they do not BELIEVE in Adhab al-Qabr (Punishment in the grave) but TRUST in it alone. I asked him why, and his answer was that the narrations on this were not Mutawatir (Mass transmitted) but AHAD (singular). These being technical terms known to the hadith scholars. I asked him to define what is Mutawatir and who from the early Muslims known to be from Ahlus Sunna only put trust in Adhab al-Qabr but not firm conviction in believing in it. He failed to name anyone. I had with me Aqida al-Tahawiyya - a work accepted by all 4 Madhhabs, and i showed him that it is a point of aqida that must be affirmed... but he was not convinced. Thus, i realised that this party was not inline with the giants of Ahlus Sunna on this point at least. It transpired from this discussion also that they do not forbid listening to Music from recordings! That he has problems with Sufis. That he belonged to various other groups like Ikhwan al-Muslimin before he joined HT. That he and his party do not advocate the outward Sunna clothing and they would be generally seen on the streets or masjids wearing non Islamic attir but would expect women to be appropriately dressed in Hijab and Jilbab etc. They used to have very trimmed shadow beards or goaties in the 90's onwards. Omar Bakri said that he followed the Shafi'i Madhhab and some of his followers were claiming that he was a "Mujtahid" on the Masa'il connected to Tahara. He wrote articles against those who set up Charity organisations by saying that this can only be done by the Caliph. That voting in democratic elections is Haram (not telling us then that his own leader - al-Nabahani took part in elections once and after suffering defeat he changed his "Ijtihad" and made it haram). They did not strictly advocate following any of the 4 Madhahbs, but they took selectively from all four. There was also a major accusation that these people do not forbid the viewing of any form of pornographic images by saying that they are not real once viewed in that manner. Apparently, in some of their homes they would have their family pictures hanging on the walls also. The main group who was at war with HT in University campuses back then were the Salafis and their cousins from the Ikhwanis (like the YM group). Indeed, there were violent incidents between HT and these two factions on the streets of the UK. Once there was also a running battle on Vallance Rd. (by East London Masjid) between these YM and HT... The Aqida of HT was made even more controversial when accusations were thrown at them by their opponents that they have leanings towards the Mu'tazilite sect (a Rationalistic sect). HT did not openly say that they were Ash'ari or Maturidi which is the acceptable definition of who is a Sunni to earlier Aqida specialists post-Salaf. In 1994 a Shaykh by the name of Yusuf al-Rifa'i arrived in the UK. I spoke to him about this group and he was surprised to hear that they were in the UK. He told me that he was once with them but later left them as they have Mu'tazilite leanings and are not truly Sunni. In the mid 90's some turmoil broke out within the HT in the UK and Omar Bakri himself left them and founded his own group called al-Muhajiroun. This group was similar to HT in ideology and methodology, the main difference I recall, was that al-Muhajiroun were advocating Khilafa anywhere on earth, including establishing Khilafa from right here in London if possible. They used to joke about placing an Islamic flag over 10 Downing Street! After the events of 9/11 - Omar Bakri flipped to the "Jihadi-Salafi" camp and they used to praise those who took down the twin towers etc. A few years later his house was raided by the police and some time after that he voluntarily left for Lebanon. Now, what is the aqida of HT in the UK today? This is for them to answer... This matter should not be hidden if they are on the Haqq. They should also be asked why they as a group do not imitate the practical Sunnah at least outwardly. Their leaders should tell the Ulama if they follow and advocate - one of the 4 Madhhabs in fiqh and if they follow the creed of the Ash'ari or Maturidi school - and if not, then why not, with evidences. The other issues like listening to music,watching porn etc. -- They need to inform the masses what is their latest stance. They need to inform the masses if al-Nabahani's aqida is their's or not in these days. I would also ask them to respond to the following fatwa that was put out by the followers of the late Abdullah al-Habashi of Beirut more than 20 years back in Arabic and also readable in English - http://darulfatwa.org.au/lessons/Eng...0At-Tahrir.doc Many people who joined HT have also left it (some set up a site called inside-ht.com - but it was taken down some time back). There are two types within their group - general supporters and "members". To be a member one needs to be cherry picked and ripened by means of reading their literature. If you are an employed member you would be expected to contribute a certain percentage of your wages to their party. Here are various views on them from different writers - http://www.islamawareness.net/Devian...rticle004.html I would advise people not to interact with this party let alone join it until they join the mainstream way of genuine Sunni Ulama.