I recently gave a presentation about the practical principle and the atmosphere of Iman. The Practical principle consists of 4 points that can never be disconnected or the dawah becomes flawed in some way. I know the notes I posted below might be too long for some so I will summarise the 4 points. An Islamic individual , group or state needs to undertake all activities with the 4 components. The actions need to be undertaken to achieve a specific objective on the basis of thought all linked Iman. When this becomes the principle for undertaking actions the atmosphere of Iman prevails.
- The term practical principle Al Qaida al Amaliya and atmosphere of Iman wa Jaw al Imani
- These 2 concepts practical principle and the atmosphere of Iman apply not just to individuals but collective entities, societies and states if they undertake the actions on the correct basis
- The atmospheres amongst Muslims have been poisoned -with declined thought and poisoning by the colonialists. The atmosphere of Iman is what we seek to restore to the Ummah to ensure productive thought and action.
- The practical principle and the atmosphere of Iman are vital components of the structuring of the Islamic dawah.
- Without these 2 concepts being well embedded collective and individual dawah will become extremely blunt in its effectiveness and results will become sparse
- The purpose of this presentation is to:
- Define the terms the practical principle and atmosphere of Iman
- Break down the underpinning concepts for both practical principle and atmosphere of Iman
- Provide a basis of discussion about what concepts need to be refined or crystallised so the correct atmosphere and practical principle can exist
“However in regards of achieving the results, we should follow the practical principle, which means that actions should be based on the thought and it should be for the sake of a specific goal. This is because the sensation of a reality connected with the previous information should produce thought. This thought should be linked with the action and the thought, and action should be for the sake of a specific objective and all this should be based on the iman, in order to keep the individual permanently in the atmosphere of iman”Mefahim Hizb ut Tahrir p56
At takatul Hizb – page 28
“The thought of the Hizb’s first circle (the leadership) will be based on a firm principle, that thought must be linked to action, and thought and action must be for a specific objective. Because of the fact that the ideology is embodied in the Hizb’s first circle, and that its thoughts must be linked to the aforementioned firm principle, a constant atmosphere of Iman will be produced. This atmosphere will help in controlling the situation and changing it. This thought will not conform to whatever it encounters, but instead will mould the situation to conform to the thought. In contrast, the society, having no basis for its thoughts, does not know the objective for which it should think and work, and its members’ objective is immediate and selfish. “
- We can see from the above quotes that these 2 concepts are fundamental concepts linked to our progress and work
- We need to understand these points not in a dogmatic manner are they are stated in the book , but rather based on upon the reality of the concept.
- It is intellectual lethargy to just accept what it is says in the books of the party, rather we need to dissect each of the points to prove the correctness.
- The correct approach is to examine the correctness of the stated concept based on reality and on texts as required
- The practical principle can be summed up as:
To appreciate the 2 concepts we are discussing adequately we need to examine some of the underlying concepts
1) Role of the Aqeeda
As Muslims the Aqeeda of Islam represents the base of all we do and with respect to the practical principle and atmosphere of Iman it is the fundamental principle that drives us. The aqeeda acts in many ways
- As the Qaida Fikriya – the intellectual basis of the basis of thought – A Muslim looks at all matters on life linked to this basis and this can never be disconnected from his thinking
- It is all also the Fikra Kulliyya ( comprehensive thought about al wujood ( all that exists) , the universe ( al –kawn) , about man ( insan) and life ( al hayat) – about dunya and its relationship with what came before and what will come after
- In this way the aqeeda becomes suitable base for man to use to think about the world around him that senses.
- Compare this to someone has not taken on board the Islamic aqeeda, the way that he thinks is totally different about what his senses fall upon.
- Take the example of David Attenborough who has been observing the creation for all his life Allah Swt all his life he was asked:
Interviewer: “When you see this sort of stuff, do you ever get a sense of God’s pattern?”
Sir David Attenborough: “Well, if you ask…about that, then you see remarkable things like that earwig and you also see all very beautiful things like hummingbirds, orchids, and so on. But you also ought to think of the other, less attractive things. You ought to think of tapeworms. You ought to think of … well, think of a parasitic worm that lives only in the eyeballs of human beings, boring its way through them, in West Africa, for example, where it’ common, turning people blind.”
The Muslim that had Islamic aqeeda could not even think in the way David Attenborough, he would rather think about the greatness and the majesty of Allah (swt) there are many examples of this that the aqeeda fundamentally forms the basis of how we see the world and think about it
- Adopting the aqeeda then serves as a basis for thought to evaluate the world a consistent way and without contradiction
- Without the adoption of the aqeeda as comprehensive thought ( fikra kulliya) , then those attempting change will contradict themselves like those that say Quran is our constitution yet they take part in the democratic process or the many conflicted Muslim personalities that we come across.
In sum the aqeeda as a fikra Kulliya keeps the thinking consistent when it comes to setting objectives and taking actions towards those aims
This is very important when it comes to thinking of a dawah carrier so that our approach is consistent
We also need to look at some underlying points to do with thought, so that we appreciate the practical principle
• Thought arises from 2 places
- From the reality – for example when Muslims now in India have been shocked to think about the reality of what they are facing , some will study it and according to their ability they will form a view – some will be hopeless , but those that continue to search and think and study will come to the conclusion that it is because Islam is not being applied and we need it to be implemented
- The second place is from previous information. For us when we look at the situation in India we come immediately to the answer as we have seen the same occurrences over and over again and having studied it initially , so the thought comes from previous information
- Having concluded that the solution is to establish a state this can become a sound objective to work.
- This is based on what is called ihsas al fikri – i.e the intellectual sensation – i.e it is thought based on sensed perception of the reality
Most people carry thoughts that are based on blind following of a consensus, borrowed from others not from themselves, For example some conclude that change is not possible – this is not a thought based upon sensed reality, therefore we need to take this thought on by taking it through the process of sensed perception of the reality. This is the best and most convincing way
- It is well known that the shabab of the hizb always ask for daleel . To the point in the past they became known by some as hizb ut daleel
- Hafiz Saleh mentioned in his sharh of takatul hizb
- The most prominent manifestation of this amongst the Shabaab is manifested by their asking for the Daleel (evidence) for every issue. This is what we mean by the dominance of the atmosphere of Iman over the Hizb because it represents a connection to the ‘Aqeedah in respect to the partialities and details of the events and realities. In this way the heart and the mind will be that which joins the members together. Page 78
- This also is important to win the Ummah over by providing undeniable realities and facts that have been sensed and debunking previously ill founded thoughts and inclinations .
- Indeed when truth clashes with falsehood it knocks out its brains.
- The truthful thought has the greatest of influence on people as it is factual. In the Ummah we see various forms of iincorrect thinking modes:
- Weak, incorrect , fanciful or imaginary thinking, or thinking based on comparisons or hypothetical theoretical thinking
- By explaining realities
- Where there is no thought but just an inclination , and building the thought
- About the takkatul “ It does this seeking for the Ummah to always ask about the Daleel (evidence) whether this relates to the thoughts, Ahkam (rulings) or opinions. So this Takattul does not desire to lead the blind and does not aim at this. Rather it wants an aware leadership and leading that has come from Wa’ie (awareness) and Baseerah (clear sight). Similarly, when it discusses the method it displays its insight and awareness whether by showing how it has come in the Qur’an and the Sunnah or by showing the understanding of the Prophetic Seerah of Al-Mustafaa” page 21
- It is important that we always refresh our sensations to be convincing our points about reality. So we should examine what is going in India from sensed perception perspective. Why is this happening to them, it is clear that they live in a state that is controlled by people that are intent on wiping them out. So why is that and all the details surrounding the issue so that we can point the Muslims to a correct solution based upon sensed perception and guide them to push for change.
To remain in the atmosphere Iman and within the practical principle it is incorrect to take the reality as the basis for thought. So when we study the reality we must scrutinise it in the same way as we do to establish the fikra kulliya ( aqeeda)
Whoever has this approach in his study then it will be inevitable for him to raise above the bad reality that he is living in and not make it the source of his thinking. Indeed, he must circle high in the sky so that he can make the reality the subject area of his thought. He will then be able to see all the bad that exists in the society upon its true reality. This is similar to how the Kutlah sees with clarity the new reality that it wishes to transform the society to. This means that it envisions its goal and objective enabling it to put down an engineer’s blueprint which makes clear its structure, foundations and parts. Similarly, due to its elevation above the reality and its vision for the new reality it can envision the path that leads towards it, and this proceeds along it with assurance and tranquillity. Through flying high above the reality that it lives in, it can see that which lies behind the wall. Sharh Kitab Attakattul Al Hizbi page 73
3) The importance of the link to Iman via following hukm shari
Taking the example of the situation in India after having , understand based upon the sensation of reality that Muslims need to establish a state. This would not be sufficient to drive a person work and face the challenges in his path rather he would need to
- To strengthen his sensation and he would need to link it with Iman by studying what the hukm shari is for this work. After study he would find it is fard from the Islamic hukm perspective.
- This would strengthen his resolve to work for this out sincerity and linked to his view point about the purpose in this life
- If the person were to leave it at that then he would have 3 components of the practical principle – thought, Iman and action – if he did not define the objective of his work this he would more than likely
- Go around in circles – returning to the same place – we have seen that and some of us have done that
- Some Muslims carry on in this way until they pass away or can’t do it anymore
- Others suffer from boredom, despair or they give up defeated
- Others say at least we did something or made some attempt and that’s all we are accountable for yet they need not set a specific objective.
- For this reason the action must be based upon thought and Iman as well as having a specific objective
The connection to hukm shari pushes the person to move to action and he continues as long as he stays in the atmosphere of Iman – therefore it essential for a dawah carrier to be connected to this
If a person does not define his aim, goal or objective he will just spin the wheels or go around like a hamster on the wheel or just going through the motions and not getting anywhere. When he gets tired or finds the next shining object he will move to that.
- For these reasons it is essential to specify the objective
- It is not enough to define the objective in broad outlines and general points
- The objective must defined as an engineering blue print or a blue print for a house . Or these days like an engineering drawing.
- When architect designs a house for example and gives it to the contractor, he should have defined everything that he wants achieved ( built). The type of brick, the type of doors , the finishing of the alls , the size of the structural pillars and beams , the location of electric sockets , the type of roof tile , the standard of insulation, electric heating etc. The specific objective has to be of this level of detail
- So when we understood that we need to put Islam back in to life’s affairs it was not enough that we stated the objective in general
For example Tanzeem –e – Islami who state their objective is to re-establish the the khilafah say:
Concerning the future Islamic state, there can be many opinions about the details of its workings, especially because we do not have an Islamic state in real life and all we can do is theorize. Having said that, we believe that an ideal Islamic state of the future will not be a theocratic one; we also believe that we should take advantage of the new political institutions that have been developed by mankind during the social evolution of the last few hundred years. The Prophet (saw) said that wisdom is the lost treasure of the mo’min. The Qur’an and hadith do not give details of the workings of an Islamic state but only provide us with basic principles. We can apply these principles according to our age and conditions. The ideal model remains the Islamic state that was established by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and maintained by the four rightly guided caliphs. The principles derived from this model must be incorporated into the modern political institutions (the executive, the parliament, and the judiciary) in order to establish a modern Islamic state that can deal with the challenges of the contemporary era and can become a model for the whole world. https://tanzeem.org/faqs/
This is not specific where as there is need to define , from the text what the details of what is to be implemented –
- There needs to be a definition of what the systems are, that are to be implemented and put a constitution stating precisely how the state would be – similar to an engineering plan – and every part of it has to come shari detailed evidences ensuring that the atmosphere of Iman exists
- Awareness of the objective and its link to Iman, has an impact on his sentiments and strengthens his sensation allowing him to face difficulties
It is interesting to note when the prophet (saw) took the second pledge of aqabah from the ansar he did not refer to generalities but new the specifics of what he wanted and what would need to be dealt with:
- It will mean the death of your notables
- It will mean the loss of your wealth
- It will mean that you fight the red and black of people i.e you will be involved battles
- Choose for me 12 naqeebs that will be responsible over the people for their affairs
Setting an objective and working for it ensures that there is progress and the actions are worth while
5) Concluding Remarks
In the dawah in whatever capacity we are, must we embody practical principle – in a discussion with a brother when I explained this point he said it’s ok sometimes not to strictly follow the practical principle – I explained he was mistaken. It is a must to action for a specific objective based on thought and linked to iman to make sure that we remain permanently in an atmosphere of Iman .
The importance of laying down the qawaaid al usooliya (fundamental principles) when it comes to evaluating actions
- The Fuqaha and the Mujtahideen do not approach an issue without referring to fixed rules – some they will study the reality and all the evidences according to usul
- Our approach to dawah is no different – The practical principle is no different all our activities have to have these 4 elements action for a specific objective based upon thought all bound with Iman
- It is important to set out the practical principle as in the dawah we are all effected by
- Emotions – we might feel particularly agitated by some particular issue – sp we would need judge if this was just a biass or something that needed addressing
- The hoped for results are they worth the effort in terms of time and effort – the practical principle will allow us to dismiss fancy ideas and schemes that add little to achieving .
- The desire and motivation for a particular action and what that is built upon – is it sound thought , is it connected to Iman – revenge vendeddata , personality clash.
We at all times:
- Keep our connection to Iman by ensuring our objectives and actions are within in line with the aqeeda and the hukm shari
- We always are crystal clear on what the action we are doing and how it contributes to the specific objective.
- That the specific objective we work in our minds is not ambiguous, generalised or vague rather it is as well defined as an engineering drawing
- That we do not jump and react to events jumping to action , without adequate thought and setting of an aim to achieve.
- That we are always sensing the reality of situation and we discuss amongst ourselves ideas to strengthen our understandings
- We do not become overcome by the reality good or bad, rather we study it and set objectives to change it based upon the practical principle. Shaping the reality is the subject of our work, we are not shaped by the reality th
- This is because we work according to the practical principle within an atmosphere of Iman
Final point from the book mefahim
It is not permitted at all to separate action from thought or from the specific objective or from iman, since this separation, no matter how small, is very harmful on the action itself,on its results and to its continuity.Mefahim Hizb ut Tahrir p56