Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects ISIS’ declaration of Khilafah

Hizb ut-Tahrir is the oldest Islamic movement working for the restoration of the Khilafah. It was founded by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, a Palestinian scholar and judge in 1953.

Islamic political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir has rejected the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s (ISIS) declaration of the Khilafah.

An official statement has been issued by the media spokesperson of HT in Jordan, Mamdooh Qatishaat dismissing ISIS as a “militia”.

Qatishaat said: “The announcement of the pledge of allegiance for the Khilafah being given to the Ameer of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) organisation is empty. It doesn’t change anything about the reality of the organisation in respect to it being a militia before the announcement of the Bai’ah (pledge) and it remaining so after the announcement. This is because there is no real Sultan (authority) for this organisation upon the land of Syria or the land of Iraq. The security has not been established internally or externally and it is impossible for a Khilafah State to have a real existence in the absence of a real authority upon the land. As such the organisation’s declaration about the Khilafah is empty and contains no substance, having no real truths upon the ground or (its necessary) components.

“It is obligatory upon any movement wishing to declare the Khilafah within a given place to follow the methodology of the Messenger of Allah (swt) in regards to how this should be done. This method demonstrates that there must exist a clear and apparent authority (Sultan) in that place that safeguards its internal and external security. It also demonstrates that this place must contain the required components of the state within the region that the Khilafah will be declared. So how can the place be the Khilafah State if it is not even a state in origin and if it does not possess the components that make up a state?

“This was the reality of the Messenger of Allah’s establishment of the Islamic State in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. The Sultan (authority) within it belonged to the Messenger (saw) and the internal and external Amaan (security) was under the security of the authority of Islam. This allowed him (saw) to take care of the affairs of the people, direct and lead the armies, settle the people’s disputes, send emissaries and receive them openly and not in hiding, whilst all the components necessary for the state were present within the vicinity of its region.

HT rally in Amman, Jordan.
HT rally in Amman, Jordan.

“In addition, the issue of the Khilafah is too great for its image to be distorted or for its reality to be changed merely by an announcement here or an announcement there. This is because the issue of the Khilafah is a matter that is manifest and apparent before the eyes. The one who is far away or near will recognise it because it will be the true state. Indeed the Shar’a has made clear the methodology of its establishment and the manner of how its Ahkaam (rulings) are derived in respect to the ruling, politics, economics and foreign relations. Its establishment will not merely be a piece of news that the misleading media reports casually, but rather, by the permission of Allah, it will be like a thunderous earthquake that overturns the international balances and changes the face of history and history’s perspective.

“So it is not merely an announcement of a name without substance which is then spread across internet sites or written, audio and visual media without there being a reality or reality upon the ground for such a declaration or announcement.

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“The announcement of the establishment of the Khilafah State by the permission of Allah will have such an effect that the thrones of the despots of the disbelieving West and their cronies in both the East and the West will be shaken violently. It is the state that the whole world has already known, they have known its weight, standing and true meaning for over thirteen centuries. So it is not an entity just like any other entity or just a state like any other state.

“The establishment of the Khilafah is Fard upon all of the Muslims and it not only a Fard upon Hizb ut-Tahrir. So whoever establishes it in its true right will be followed. However if this is not the case and the required components of the state and the Sultaan (authority) do not exist upon the ground and where there is no security, then in this case, the announcement of the organisation of the establishment of the Khilafah holds no value and has no effect. As such the responsibility upon the Muslims remains intact with regards to the obligation of establishing the Khilafah State and will remain so until its establishment. Hizb ut-Tahrir will remain the leader that does not lie to its people, it will not hide a truth and will not refrain from standing by it. It will not placate or flatter at the expense of the truth and true reality. It will continue to work within the Ummah and with her in the work to establish the Islamic Khilafah State so as to establish it just as the Messenger (saw) established it, a state of authority and security which rules by Islam upon the methodology of the Prophet (saw).”


The director of the central media office of HT in Lebanon, Osman Bakhach said: “Resurrecting the caliphate should not be accomplished through blood, charges of apostasy and explosions.

Osman Bakhach
Osman Bakhach

“We are invested in the question of the Islamic caliphate and are advocates of the idea. We devised for this end a certain approach – the prophetic approach – calling for a state that opens its arms to all people, Muslims and others, including Christians and Jews, not to be a state where Muslims can not stand each other and fight amongst each other. That is something we categorically reject.”

He added: “We do not approve of the methods and practices of some Islamist groups today. Intra-fighting, in our opinion, is not the right way to bring about the caliphate. Threatening those opposed to the establishment of the caliphate in this way is improper. Establishing the Islamic state is not accomplished by considering every dissenter an apostate whose killing is deemed lawful. In this way, ISIS proclaims itself both adversary and arbiter.”

Bakhach did not rule out that individuals will support the idea “because the caliphate is the dream and wish of every Muslim. Some simple-minded people might get carried away by this call and support it.” He argued that “the political context of ISIS requires reassessment, especially in Syria because since its inception, the group did not fight the Syrian regime, rather it raised the banner of liberating the liberated and entered into conflict with the opposition. That is why we believe that its call is a claim that is not undisputed.”


On Monday, Dr Reza Pankhurst who spent four years in Egyptian prison under Hosni Mubarak for his affiliation with HT wrote on his Facebook:

“Back in 2006, a group declared an Islamic state in Iraq with an anonymous Abu Umar al-Baghdadi as its Amir. It was widely dismissed by others who claimed that the “state” had no real estate other than a few internet addresses. Yesterday, the proclaimed successor to Abu Umar – one Abu Bakr – was anointed as a “caliph” by the same group.

“Just like in 2006, these announcements appear to have little relationship to ground realities, and are more to do with internal politics and competition between various militant factions. People should treat the topic seriously, and not in mockery. These are political issues of great concern to many, and deserve to be dealt with properly. Not as propaganda pieces between competing factions, as appears the case from the statement released.”

Dr Reza Pankhurst
Dr Reza Pankhurst

The university lecturer and author of the book “The Inevitable Caliphate” added: “Two conditions appear to be missing from this declaration – the first being an actual self sufficient state that is capable of defending itself. Any analysis of what they currently hold will come to the conclusion that any concerted effort will remove them from the map very quickly. The fact that the US/ UK are holding back from even air strikes is another issue which requires its own political analysis separate from this.

“Secondly, they would have to take bay’a from the people of influence – as it is, they have gathered their own group members and taken bay’a. Yet ISIS is just one element of the forces in Iraq/ Syria – and by no means so dominant as to claim their opinion is all that counts. Where is the bay’a of the tribal leaders, and other influential people? The idea that ISIS shura council comprises the Ahl hal wal aqd is something else that doesn’t tally with reality at all. But this second condition is irrelevant when the first has not been met. Even their statement admits their “state” may be erased shortly.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir has been working for the re-establishment of the Khilafah in the Muslim world since 1953.

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