Taqiuddin al-Nabhani

Taqiuddin al-Nabhani (Full transliterated name: Sheikh Muhammad Taqiuddin bin Ibrahim bin Mustafah bin Ismail bin Yusuf al-Nabhani; Arabic: تقي الدين النبهاني; born in 1909 in Ijzim, Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine and died in 1977) was a Sunni Shafi’i Islamic jurist, theologian, and founder of the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir organization. His maternal grandfather was the well known Ottoman era Sufi Shafi’i Islamic Scholar Sheikh Yusuf an-Nabhani, was a colleague of Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam.

Taqiuddin Al Nabhani, founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Taqiuddin Al Nabhani, founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Contents

The Intellection/The way of Thinking

Philosophy and theology

Nabhani in his books ‘The Intellection/[The way of]Thinking’ and ‘System of Islam’ [1] placed heavy emphasis on discussing modes and models of the psychology behind human thought, and concepts. He defined the thought process, and how it reaches the status of conviction or concepts. He discussed the internal working of thoughts, convictions, and concepts in shaping the Nafs or emotions and sentiments. Delving into the internal workings of how people reach conclusions & the psychology behind the process derives itself from Taqiuddin al-Nabhani’s roots in non-Ascetic legalistic Sufism from his first teacher and maternal grandfather Yusuf al-Nabhani. After many philosophical discussions on the nature of thoughts and emotions, Nabhani concludes that the only way to bring about change is via discussion, refutation, and revival of the relevant thoughts and emotions. It is from this philosophical basis that he argued that force does not work to change peoples’ ideas. He also argued that a decline in the Muslims’ thought, emotions and concepts led to their decline & the eventual destruction of the Khilafah. He believed the first major step towards decline in the Muslims was confusion about, and dealing with new foreign ideas, mainly Greek, Persian & eastern philosophy. He argued the Islamic World didn’t know how to tackle & contextualise these ideas because they became insular, and complacent of preserving & keeping relevant their own Islamic thoughts or philosophy to a world in flux. The heavy emphasis on pinpointing, defining and changing peoples thoughts, convictions, or emotions, via stronger thoughts, diagnosis, and refutation of the process an individual uses to reach their particular ‘incorrect’ view, is the method of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s argumentation on almost every issue. Al-Nabhani’s definitions of thought have been used in the study of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and information processing research discussed in the Addison-Wesley published book Conceptual Structures: Information Processing in Mind and Machine (Systems Programming Series) (ISBN 0-201-14472-7) and used in London South Bank University‘s[2] information systems department.

Faith versus rational belief

Nabhani claimed Islam is fully supported by its foundations in the rational sciences i.e. the philosophy of religion, therby founded on a rational belief not blind faith,to (i), proof that God Exists, a theist argument, also advocated by William Lane Craig [3]</ref>, thereafter that Muslims can proof, rationally that The Qur’an is the word of God [4]</ref> , which is consistent with human nature and provides inherent tranquility. Thus Muslims thereafter accept the Quran [5]</ref> , textually, being first rationlly proved. Nabhani’s epistemology comprises a fusion of the traditional rationalism, empiricism and mysticism themes. Ghazali‘s epsitemology, in his book “The incoherrance of the philosophers” was accepting of the use of reason and empirical sense perception, however he believed that when he studies the rationale sciences i.e. proof of the Existance of God that this was what provided certainty of knowledge (Watt 2004:9-13). Nabhani however brings all three aspects together in a manner that reconciles empiricist and rational thought (like Kant before him) and requires consistency with man’s innate nature (Nabhani 2002:6). Although both Nabhani and Ghazali argued that after belief (Aqeeda) is established rationally; divine laws in the Quran are beyond doubt and therefore question due to the certainty of this being Allah (SWT) word and being beyond human comprehension. Nabhani, in his book Shakhsiyya Islamiyya, was critical of many of the Philosophers, like the Asharite theologians before him, who argued to the contrary in their works on ethics. Nabhani outlined arguments, in his works Nidham al-Islam and Shaksiyyah Islamiyya, to prove that one unlimited creator of the universe, god (Allah in Arabic) can be proven by rational deduction. He believed that the only answer to the question of our existant was that a force or power must have created us, because of no other rationally explanation being possible, this is also the cosmological argument advocated by William Lane Craig. In addition there is the telelogical or design argument; it draws the general conclusion that the existence of life-permitting circumstances can be best explained by reference to an ultimate designer. Such that if one reads The Qur’an, one will find evidance of the Scientific Miracles of The Qur’an [6]</ref>

Politics

The political activities of Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani started very early. Before establishing Hizb ut-Tahrir he had no organised political activity, save for the period in his teens and twenties he had spent with the mujahid Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, whom he helped lay down plans for the revolutionary upheavals against British colonial rule, and against plans to set up the state of Israel. He also mixed with the Muslim Brotherhood, and exchanged views with Sayyid Qutb. Many of his early al-Azhar colleagues later bore witness to his activity in attending political and Islamic study circles. They also praised his contribution to numerous political discussions during which he criticised the internal circumstances, which he believed had led to the political and intellectual downfall of both the Muslims and the Islamic Caliphate. In addition, he used to urge the Ulema at al-Azhar to give up the adopted lassitude vis-à-vis the Ummah and her affairs and appealed to them to seek the best way for revival. On his return to Palestine, he became more and more critical of what he perceived as the Westernisation of the Islamic Ummah by colonial powers such as Britain and France. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War together with the failure of a coup attempt by Abdullah al-Tall in Jordan to which al-Nabhani had been party convinced him that only a structured and deep intellectual work could bring the Islamic state back to its glory and strength. Consequently he began preparations relating to the Party structure, literature and the like, in 1949 while he was still a judge at al-Quds. In his first written work, which appeared in January 1950 under the title Inqadh Filastin (Saving Palestine), he considered that Islam had been deeply rooted in Palestine since the seventh century. He also analysed the main cause for the set backs which had befallen the Arabs which, as he said, were due to the fact that the Ummah had resigned and submitted itself to the greedy colonial powers. In August 1950 he sent a long letter, published later as a book entitled Risalat al-Arab “The Message of the Arabs”, to the members of the Culture Summit of the Arab League in Alexandria, Egypt. In his exposition of the matter, he stressed the point that the true message of the Arabs is Islam, on whose basis alone the intellectual and political revival of the Ummah could be achieved. As the Summit members did not react to this letter , Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani was now convinced that establishing a political party was essential.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

While employed at the Ibrahimiyya School al-Nabhani contacted numerous individuals and personalities such as his colleagues As’ad and Rajab Bayyud Tamimi and Abdul Qadeem Zallum and other about the formation of a political party. By the end of 1952, and early 1953, the whole matter was put into practice and Hizb ut-Tahrir was established in al-Quds Jerusalem. Taqiuddin an-Nabhani together with Dawud Hamdan, Ghanim Abduh, Munir Shuqayr and Dr. Adil al-Nablusi in accordance with the until then practiced Ottoman Law of Societies, sent a notice to the governor of Jerusalem and the Jordanian government, informing the authorities about the establishment of the Party. The Jordanian government however, reacted instantly, and issued a decree banning the Party, and declaring its activities illegal. Hizb ut-Tahrir, nevertheless, ignored this action and continued with its work in al-Quds, al-Khalil, Nablus and other towns and villages. Harsh reactions were to follow by the government against the Party members, and these continue until this day. Consequently the “Preaching and Guiding Law” was issued in 1954, with the objective of banning Party members from giving talks in mosques. Despite harsh repression, the Party has been able to grow immensely, stretching its work throughout the Muslim world, and even reaching remote parts of the globe like Aceh. After al-Nabhani left Jordan for a short trip to Damascus and Beirut sometime in 1955 the Jordanian government passed an edict effectively barring al-Nabhani ever returning to the kingdom. Consequently al-Nabhani re-located to Damascus and later Beirut from where he led the party. During 1973 whilst on a trip to Iraq, al-Nabhani was imprisoned by Iraqi security services and severely tortured. He was spared only due to the Iraqi security services misidentifying him as a scribe of the party and not its leader. His release was secured soon after however, upon the intervention of a prominent Lebanese personality to whom al-Nabhani was related by marriage.

Death

Due to the continuous harassment and persecution by the Jordanian government al-Nabhani was forced into giving up his role in public life. He was not seen again in public until his death due to fear of assassination. Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani died in Beirut on 20 December 1977, and was buried at the al-Auza’i cemetery.

Books

  • Saving Palestine – 1950
  • The Message of the Arabs – 1950
  • The System for Society – 1950
  • The Ruling System in Islam – 1953
  • The Economic System in Islam – 1953
  • The Social System in Islam -1953
  • The Party Structure -1953
  • The Concepts of Hizb ut-Tahrir – 1953
  • The Islamic State – 1953
  • The Islamic Personality (in three volumes) – 1960
  • Political Concepts of Hizb ut-Tahrir – 1969
  • Political View of Hizb ut-Tahrir – 1972
  • Introduction to the Constitution or the Reasons That Make it Obligatory – 1963
  • The Khilafah – 1967
  • Presence of Mind – 1976
  • A Burning Call to the Muslims from Hizb ut-Tahrir – 1965
  • Thinking – 1973
  • The Jurisprudence of Prayer

Although the names of others appear as the author, it is widely thought al-Nabhani is also the author of the following:

  • The Rules of Evidence – 1963
  • The Penal Code – 1965
  • The Ideal Economic Policy – 1963
  • Refutation of Marxist Socialism – 1963
  • Islamic Thought – 1958

References

  • Al-Waie magazine, issues 234-235, August/September 2006 (Arabic) [8]
  • Biography [9]
  • Watt, Montgomery (2004). The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali (Translation of al-Munqid min al-Dalal). Oxford: OneWorld Publications
  • Nabhani, Taqi al-Din (2002). The System of Islam Nidham al-Islam. London: al-Khilafah Publications
  • Nabhani, Taqi al-Din (2004). Thought al-Tafkeer. London: al-Khilafah Publications
  • Nabhani, Taqi al-Din (2005). Islamic Personality al-Shaksiyyah al-Islamiyyah. London: al-Khilafah Publications

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