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The Destructiveness of Ḥizbiyyah (Partisanship) upon the Ummah

  Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī

A highly beneficial discussion between Shaykh al-Albānī and one of the overzealous youth from the Aḥzāb (political parties) of Algeria.

That answer is the beginning of the greatest defeat (in daʿwah), because when there is a ḥizb (group or party) which must rely upon other than itself, then this can only mean that it is a ḥizb that is lacking in ability (to succeed).

Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī

The Foresight of the Scholars and the Impatience of the Youth

“And in a cassette recorded by Silsilah al-Hudaa wal-Nūr (no. 1/440), a long discussion took place between Shaykh al-Albānī and some youth of the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front in which they alleged in a most astoundingly exaggerated way that the Front had been responsible for the closure of many bars and houses of ill repute, for which the Shaykh only responded by prohibiting the entry into parliament, not concerning himself with the results of their partisanship. Mentioning his reason for the prohibition, he said:

“Firstly: That it is contrary to the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ, since he never entered into such a thing with the disbelievers.

Secondly: That anybody who enters into the parliamentary system will surely deviate from Islām, little by little.”

At that, one of them contended that the Front had never relinquished anything from the religion. So the Shaykh asked him whether the Front would actually deal with ribā (usury) if some of the governmental establishments were to be in their possession.

Answering in the affirmative, the youth proceeded to question the Shaykh, realizing that his first contentions had been unproven after this preliminary defeat, saying: “If we are being faced with a fiqh (jurisprudence) issue dealing with two opinions, one being considered by the scholars of jurisprudence to be preponderated (rājih) and the other one being considered to be less predominant (marjooh), and if we do not take the preponderate saying (al-qawlur-raajih) because it would trigger a trial, problem or cause  division amongst the Muslims, then would it be permissible for us to take the less predominant saying (al-qawlul-marjooh) for the interest of the unity of the Muslims?”

Then the Shaykh replied by saying: “That’s politics! That’s politics!”

Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Shaqrah then said: “That’s politics, not Shar’iah.”

So the Shaykh said: “Yes.” Then he went on to say: “In actuality, this is a very important matter. I’ve heard that the Front, or an-Nahdah (the Resurgence),2 I don’t know – as I haven’t memorized the names well yet – that there are amongst the millions of people, is that not true?”

The youth replied optimistically: “Yes.”

The Shaykh said: “How many thousands of ʿulamāʾ (scholars) are there amongst them?”

The youth replied: “They don’t have that.”

The Shaykh said: “How many hundreds of ʿulamāʾ are there?”

The youth replied: “That’s not present amongst them.”

He said: “Fine, then who’s guiding them, O jamāʿah (group)?”

He said: “A few Shaykhs. I mean to say…”

He said: “Can those few Shaykhs actually guide all of those millions of people?”

He said: “Of course not.”

He said: “Is it possible for them to teach those millions of people?” He said: “Absolutely not.”

The Shaykh said: “In that case, you people are living in delusion, therefore, the question which you posed just now, whilst there be from amongst those millions of people ʿulamāʾ which can guide the helm of those who are ruled from amongst the general population – when there be amongst them hundreds, and I do not say thousands – it would not be necessary to pose that question (which you had asked before): “Is it permissible for us to take al-qawlul-marjooh (the less predominant saying) and leave al-qawlur-raajih (the preponderate saying)?”, as it would be the Faqīh (scholar of jurisprudence) (from amongst the hundreds of scholars who would) give the answer to that question. I will give you an example that will serve as a similitude for us which we have experienced in our lives with the various groups and parties; I once said to one of the individuals of Hizbut-Tahreer 3: “O jamāʿah (group), you people want to establish a Muslim country, although you don’t study the fundamentals and principals of the Sharīʿah (Islamic law), and you try to prove your points in your books by using certain inauthentic ḥadīth!”

He said: “My brother! We seek the like of yourself for help in this.”

The Shaykh said: “That answer is the beginning of the greatest defeat (in daʿwah), because when there is a ḥizb (group or party) which must rely upon other than itself, then this can only mean that it is a ḥizb that is lacking in ability (to succeed).”

That person said to me: “You people are still wasting your time with those books which are yellowing with time…”

Then the Shaykh made a remark concerning the millions of people from the Islamic Salvation Front: “But all of those people, aren’t they in need of doctors who can care for their bodies? There is no doubt that these doctors can be found in the hundreds or even thousands. Fine, are they not in need of doctors – as it is said in this present age – for the soul? That comes first and is much more necessary; so can they be found with that same percentage? The answer is: ‘No…’”.

Then he informed them about the Hizbut-Tahreer discourse, wherein he said: “Suppose that you could instantaneously create an Islamic state by a coup d’état, except that the people don’t have the disposition to be ruled by what Allāh has sent down. Perhaps… you… your jamāʿah would say: ‘Decree Number One, Decree Number Two: It is forbidden – for example – to go to the cinemas. It is forbidden for women to exit without proper Islamic Ḥijāb etc…’ You would perhaps find, that some of your women would be the first to contradict these Islamic laws! Why? Because the people were not brought up upon that, and who cultivates this in the people? The scholars. And are we referring to any kind of scholar?’’

Then he spoke about the scholars who are acting upon the Book and the Sunnah, and he said: “For that reason, I believe that the greatest Jihād right now is to educate and produce tens of scholars from amongst the millions of people over there, so that the orientation of those millions of people might be attended to in regards to their being educated and acquainted in their religion, upon the Islām of the Book and the Sunnah. As for the attainment of rule, then every group is trying to arrive at attaining authority in the land, and they use extreme force in the implementation of their decrees and laws, irrespective of whether they be true or false, and Islām is not like that.”

If only our brothers had taken that golden advice, they would have spared Islām and the Muslims a great tribulation that is being lived today throughout the Muslim world. The success of the Islamic daʿwah is repeatedly delayed as a result of the hastiness of the youth and the deviation of those who should be acting as guides. And from the hastening to bring something about before its appointed time comes the affliction of being deprived of its achievement, and Allāh is al-ʿĀsim (the Guardian).

I close off with these words which I hope will be understood by my brothers, which are: Indeed, the evil of setting out against the governments is proven by agreement of the texts and the state of affairs, as has appeared from the deeds of those youth in every age who are lacking in maturity. Much harm has arisen from their exodus from the scholars and their forfeiting of the scholars’ rights which duly belong to them, as well as their lack of trust in their rulings, except in that which agrees with the desires of their particular movements. Furthermore, they belittle the importance of their stature in matters of a political nature, and they are charged with being ʿulamāʾ of the houses of wuḍūʾ ! The servile innovators ascribe to the formidable Salafī scholar’s nicknames of defamation, and in that lies the squandering of the rights of the carriers and witnesses of the Sharīʿah, and Allāh is al-Maw’id (the Promise).


[1] The following is taken from Madaarikun-Nadhr fis-Siyaasah (p. 223-228) of ʿAbd al-Mālik Ramaḍānī al-Jazaa‘iree, this book includes an introduction and recommendation by al-’Allāmah Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī and al-’Allāmah Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin Ibn Hamad al-’Abbaad al-Badr.  All endnotes were made by the translator.
[2] An-Nahdah, the Shaykh has mentioned the name of yet another Ikhwānī ḥizb (party) from Algeria, each ḥizb competing with each other in trying to gain ascendancy over the people.

“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you (O Muḥammad) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allāh, Who then will tell them what they used to do.”
[Sūrah al-Anʿām, 6:159]

Translated by Abū Ibrāhīm al-Canadī

Published: June 14, 2007
Edited: August 12, 2022


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