Debate on Islam Channel

A debate on ‘Who Needs an Islamic State?’ was broadcast by the Islam Channel on Wednesday 19 March 2008, 7.00pm GMT, in their programme Politics and Beyond.

In the panel was the author Dr Abdelwahab El-Affendi and Taji Mustafa from Hizb-ut Tahrir. The chair was Anas Altikriti, chief executive of The Cordoba Foundation.

Thank you to a viewer who supplied us the video below.


18 Responses

  1. A very interesting debate, to say the least. Many of Dr El-Affendi’s remarks did surprise (and worry) me. I was shocked to hear his view that the ahadith relating to the concept of having one ruler only are all fabricated! Such as assertion is absurd. If Ayesha (ra) did not hear of the hadith (paraphrase) “When the oath of allegiance has been taken for two Khalifs, kill the latter of them” – it does not mean that the saying of the Prophet (saw) is fabricated.
    There are many evidences from the Quran and Sunnah that stipulate the Khilafah to be an obligation and I cannot believe that Dr Affendi is claiming the opposite!

  2. it is quite shocking that dr el-affendi is rejecting authentic hadiths. the concept of unity and one ruler is well known in islamic history. how can he say that hadiths are fabricated just because some sahabahs have not heard it. what authority does he hold to reject hadiths which the great scholars of this ummah e.g. imam abu hanifa, imam shafi’i have confirmed this fact. i can only imagine that this western idea of democracy has completely taken him off board to have rejected some of the basic tenents of islam.

  3. What disappointed me with the debate was the level of animosity between the two speakers. I think that both points of view had common ground; however this could not be reached because the two were two busy trying to humiliate and prove the other wrong.
    This is really an indication of the state of the ummah, every man with an opinion is too proud to listen to others.

  4. Dr el-affendi,
    is it correct to understand that you want to seperate Islam from politics – you are a secularist? is it correct you do not want islam in the ruling of the state? legislations must not have divine connection?

    do you agree that democracy system means legislation of the state will be preserved for democracy. e.g. Islamic governance was not allowed to be established in Algeria by the French?
    democracy means source of legislation and also the authority of implementation of the legislation will be the people?

    You mentioned an ahmed narration is not a hadith in the debate. how do you prove this? it really did not come out in the discussion.

  5. Very interesting debate and very topical too. It is very timely for such an important issue to be discussed. Muslims must focus on creating democracy, like Affendi says. For groups like HT to continue talking about “Islamic State”, without being able to give a model of what they want, is shameful.

    And, it scares me to note that those who are campaigning for “Islamic” state seems to be leaning to HT thoughts! Ohmigosh!!!

  6. Taji is clearly living in different century. He kept referring to a concept that was proposed hundreds of years ago, and refused to accept that modern day Muslim too has been given a mind from Allah to think.

    Referring to texts written hundreds of years ago, and accusing anyone who proposes new ideas, is just like saying that Islam has stopped Muslims from thinking.

    If Imam Mawardi could have written a text hundreds of years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh), why can’t another scholar write another text now?

    I wonder what is the background of Taji Mustafa? Is he in any way trained in Islamic sciences? which institution did he study at? What makes him an “authority” on Islamic political sciences? I doubt if he is more qualified that Dr Affendi who is clearly trained in Islamic knowledge and political sciences. It seems to me that Taji is merely an “activist” , nowhere near an expert.

  7. In response to atia,

    one does not have to be trained in islamic sciences to know fundamental basic knowledge . to know that the Prophet (saw) established a state in Medina based upon islam, that he governed using Islam, he judged based upon Islam and that the Sahaba after him followed his model (sunnah)in terms of governance can be seen clearly by a cursory reading of seerah.

    This is the beauty of the argument that it is so clear to see, one does not have to be an “academic” to know this.

  8. “…f Imam Mawardi could have written a text hundreds of years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh), why can’t another scholar write another text now?”

    Atia: You must realise that scholars who lived under Islam such as Mawardi did not have secular political entities forcing their ideas in his society via the bullet and the propaganda maching called the media and western press.

    So who would you follow or would be more likely to listen to…some one who doesnt have the secular framework as baggage or some one who lived under Islam who didnt?

    Personally, if I am a layman with no Islamic qualifications, my yardstick would be if the scholar lived under Islam and didnt have any alien constructs governing his life and society…because they certainly influence.

    Also, if one follows a Sheikh, such as Nabhani who resonated the ideas of 1000 years of scholarship on Political Islam, then whats wrong with that? I would rather follow Nabhani then someone who obviously doesnt know anything about hadith criticism. See Saqib Bukhari’s comment as an example.

    In conclusion, Atia is living in 1000BC as the idea of democracy started then. 7th Century seems more modern to me!

  9. atia,
    if islam does not withstand time and space then we dont need islam. call the system some thing else but not islam. calling a system that is more so european/western and then naming it islam – you are really taking the muslims for a ride. what are the conditions for it to be islamic? the minimum requirement for a system to be islamic?

  10. Fadhl
    let’s make it easy for ht. what aspects of the model of the islamic state would you like to know about? maybe then we can have ht responding to your needs? after all the subject area is extremely big and wide
    – you may want to know about the rights of citizens who non-muslims?
    – you may want to know about financing of the state and taxations
    – you may want to know about the issues of equality of the citizens – if it exists?
    – you may want to know about civil service would be structured
    – you may want to know abot the econiomic system
    – you may want to know about treatise and foreign policy?

    you need to also consider asking the question regarding who’s payroll is Dr el-affendi on? it is not the payroll of a muslim of good character.

  11. Dr el-affendi,
    you dont think it is appropriate the concept of ummah?

  12. at 39:00 Abdul Wahab el Affendi alleges that these 2 hadeeths are “not correct”:
    The Prophet (saw) said: “When the oath of allegiance has been taken for two Khalifs, kill the latter of them”.
    (Narrated in Sahih Muslim by Sa’id al-Khudri)

    The Prophet (saw) also said:

    “Whoso comes to you while your affairs has been united under one man, intending to break your strength or dissolve your unity, kill him.” (Narrated in Sahih Muslim by ‘Arfajah)

    Points to keep in mind:

    1. Secularists use this trick against many ahadeath they don’t like. It’s copied from Christians revisionists who reject many injunctions of the Bible because they can’t make any damn sense out of it to a reasonable man.

    2. In our case, the argument itself is false. The logic is wrong. People do things for all kinds of reasons. Aisha (RA) was NOT infallible. Only The Prophet (saw) was. Assuming total knowledge, understanding, and compliance
    with shar3 applies to him only and no other human being. So his argument is rubbish.

    3. On a more detailed level, Aisha (RA) and her party and Mowaeiyah and his party were careful never to try to appoint a second Khalifah as long as Ali (RA) lived in compliance with the first hadeath. They had also held that they were not trying to appoint another khalifah, so they were not
    breaking Muslims into multiple entities (the banned action in the second hadith). They held that they were merely enforcing Amir bilma3rouf (enjoining the good). According to them, the previous Khalifah was killed and Ali was responsible to bring his killers to justice. Since he didn’t
    do it, they were trying to do it themselves or force him to do it.

    Lastly, I thought Taji Mustafa did a good job in presenting his opinion. However, I was disappointed at him for not going more aggressively after El Affendi. This is primarily because 2 sets of allegations against Abdul Wahab al Effendi need to be presented to his face:

    Muhammed al-Masaari has alleged in Arabic newspapers that al-Afandi works for both King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as well as British intelligence. This accusation should have been said directly to his face, with a rebuttal asked for on air if he really wants to preserve any credibility or speaks the truth.

    s jaffer

  13. I heard that the author was interviewed Inayat Bunglawala on Monday (also in Islam Channel). Does anyone have the recording? Can the webmaster put it up of this page please.

    But, I think most of the people who commented on this page have not read the book fully. I just finished it yesterday and I think the comments made by many are way off the point. Unless you ave read the book, are you sure you know what you are talking about? Or are you just another HT all-rounder who is the world authority on everything that exists on this world?

    Get the book. Read it. Then talk. Otherwise, as Allah says in surat al-Furqan “Whenever an ignorant idiot talks against you, say to the: Salam”


  14. >ook, most Muslims would disagree with the Dr Abdel Wahab. Fair enough.

    But don’t forget, no one agrees with HT either, for lets face it, here in teh Uk, they have nothing but a cult status, lets not forget teh U turns by HT on voting, co operation with other Muslim and Non Muslims, perception of dawah.

    Furthermore lets not forget that HT have a different aqedah to maintsream Sunnis/Asharees/ Matureedes and their Pro Shia attitude is quite shocking.

  15. He is clearly an agent, what else he is going to speak other than supporting the West? when his credentials are as follow:

    “Dr El-Affendi, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster and co-ordinator of the Centre’s Democracy and Islam Programme”

  16. If Imam Mawardi could have written a text hundreds of years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh), why can’t another scholar write another text now?

    There is nothing wrong with another scholar writing a text now. The fact is, it should be encouraged simply because Muslims need to know how Islam can be applied in the 21st Century, and this requires Ijtihad where the principles from Quran, Sunnah, Ijma as Sahaba and Qiyas are applied to new realities. Using this as a premise, one does not need to look outside of Islam for solutions rather Islam has the solutions. Therefore, concepts such as Democracy etc are not required as they contradict basic tenets of Islam.

  17. Sallam Alaikom w rahmatu allah w barakatuh

    I am not from hizb ut tahrir, and dont agree with them, but I am far away from what Dr Al afandi is saying, I read his books, I read many of his articles, where he is usualy lost in history, In one of his books (arabic) clearly you can see, he felt sorry for Ali abdulrazeq, which wrote a book refused by all Ulmaa’ at his time which is not long ago, and Imaam Ashor (Malki school of thought) wrote a very good reply refuting all his secular ideas, Dr al afandi is not representing any muslim group, no one accept what he is saying, we all agree about the need for the Islamic state, we could disagree with hizb ut tahrir in the way to get to it, but the turkey module of Ordugan and Gul is not accepted by muslims, and this module is highly criticized by most muslims. when I see Ordugan with Sharoon in one photo, I ask all my muslim brothers to forgive me that in one day I liked this Shaytaan.

    You will find some of our leaders say strange things like its accepted for a Nonmuslim to be the Ruler or other things, but this leader doesnt represent us. we had enough with this school of thought which has no followers, and I realy dont know if all people of a group against these Ideas, how come they get into the Shura Council of our group. I dont mean Dr al afandi as he is not a learder in any group, with all respect to him.

    We must get rid of these ideas, We are the largest group, but such ideas make us unable to move forward.


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