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What is the cause of the dispute between Daniel Haqiqatjou and Omar Suleiman's Yaqeen Institute?

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Masters in Education from Nottingham University in the UK. Also studied Masters in Islamic Studies and Islamic Banking & Finance. Political activist with interests in Geopolitics, History and Phil ...
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In a Nutshell: The disputes are not of isolated acts and practices, mistaken or not. They relate to two differing underlying ideologies of Modernism vs Classicism, one seeking to fuse and integrate Islam with Western ideologies, the other seeking to change the social order to conform with Islam.

Introduction

The question at the core of the Daniel Haqiqatjou vs Yaqeen (plus celebrity scholars like Yaser Qadhi, Hamza Yusuf, Abu Eisa et al) dispute is:

'What should our collective aim as Muslims be?'

The question is important as following the advent of colonialism, Islam as a social order and way of life ended. It has left the ummah in disarray, shocked and confused.

Two broad responses emerged:

  • modernism, an approach accepting the new geopolitical status quo, demanding Muslims conform and integrate, and
  • classicism, an approach demsnding we call for the resumption of Islam the deen via the caliphate as per the call of every messenger.

In a nutshell, Yaqeen et al answer this by arguing the former - saying we should integrate into societies organised as nation states, gradually introducing whatever aspect of Islam we can, rather than calling for systemic change via Islam and the caliphate.

Analysis

The underlying ideology of many organisations, imams and celebrities today is 'modernism', which is the root cause of most intra-Muslim controversies relating to Islam we are seeing today.

Modernism is nicely described by wiki as "the first Muslim ideological response to the Western cultural challenge" attempting to reconcile the Islamic faith with modern values such as democracy, civil rights, rationality, equality, and progress.

It was the first of several Islamic movements – including secularism, Islamism, and Salafism – that emerged in the middle of the 19th century in reaction to the rapid changes of the time, especially the perceived onslaught of Western Civilization and colonialism on the Muslim world. Founders include Muhammad Abduh, a Sheikh of Al-Azhar University for a brief period, Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, and Muhammad Rashid Rida. The early Modernists used the term salafiyya to refer to their attempt at renovation of Islamic thought, and this salafiyya movement is often known in the West as modernism, although it is very different from what is currently called the Salafi movement, which generally signifies ideologies such as Wahhabism. Since its inception, Modernism has suffered from co-option of its original reformism by both secularist rulers and by the official ulama whose task it is to legitimise rulers' actions in religious terms.

Modernism differs from secularism in that it insists on the importance of religious faith in public life, and from Salafism or Islamism in that it embraces contemporary European institutions, social processes and values.

Problematically this is at odds with the seerah and Islamic law on many fronts as it entails adopting Western values, practices and norms, adapting to liberal tastes and integrating into a secular way of life albeit retaining liberally acceptable aspects of an increasingly hollowed out Islam without end... reminiscent of the path the Christian tradition followed.

Many Muslims feel intuitively uncomfortable with this approach, often struggling to articulate an analytical list. In the case of Yaqeen, if it had to be done, it would look something like this, many of these issues highlighted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on his research which he has published:

  • It is why they join demonstrations with coalitions of LGBTQ, atheists, Jews etc engaging in paganistic rituals,
  • It is why they urge secular governments to address our problems,
  • It is why they publicly endorse Democrats or Republicans, it is why they urge the West to interfere in the Muslim world,
  • It is why they demand we support rights for gay marriages or freedom to insult prophets,
  • It is why they adopt democracy, feminism and the symbols of nationalism,
  • It is why they are critical of the history of khilafah and identify negative themes,
  • It is why they claim hudud or Adam are myths,
  • It is why they engage in interfaith discussions,
  • It is why they build alliances with those at odds with Islam,
  • It is why they enter the political system and endorse kufr parties and candidates
  • It is why they engage in doublespeak, doublethink and pay lipservice,
  • It is why they post tokenistic pieces that give a nod to abandoned aspects of Islam that do not fit their narrative, and
  • It is why they insult and slander those who question them or challenge their ideas and seek to atomise issues that are explained away via good intent, utility and other such misleading explanations.

Those defending such discourse promote good intent of actors involved, despite being aware good intent does not legitimise the illegitimate, and the illegitimate is continued regardless of politically crafted apologies. Attempts are also made to slur those raising concerns with claims of misquotes, lies and personal vendettas. People are human, so mistakes can occur from time to time by either side and that should be accepted and marginalised from discussions. However mistakes that are called out, when corrected, leave the original objection intact are at best red herrings as are claims of personal vendettas when many undertaking individuals and organisations are critiqued by an increasing number of people - everyone cannot gave a personal vendetta against everyone else!

The discourse is at core one of defeatism, submission and servitude to secular power, rather than questioning, challenging and debating it with a revolutionary vision of an Islamic order.

Sadly this means they end up seeking to maintain the status quo rather than changing it. Muslims will remain insecure, open to violence at the whims of the state and the mob, suffer political and economic vicissitudes, and communal degradation and disintegration, as seen in China, Burma, India and Bosnia in recent decades.

Moreover the secular ways of life we are compelled spread the problems plaguing the West into Muslim communities, materialism, consumerism, individualism, atomisation, hyper-sexualisation, vacuousness and mental health issues.

It is no surprise then that they are at variance with historic figures like messengers and their companions; it is why they ignore the Meccan seerah, it is why they are at odds with renowned figures like Abdullah Quilliam, Malcolm X and Mohammed Ali, it is why they never call for khilafah and distance themselves from groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir, it is why they never hold rulers to account instead supporting rulers of UAE or Turkey.

Every messenger came to challenge existing social orders, rather than integrate into them, seeking to replace them with Islam.

It is why notions of dar al-Islam are so important in our jurisprudence upon which scholars held a consensus - Islam appears in a territory as a social order and way of life when power is with Muslims, they rule by revelation and institutionalise it.

This is how we should answer the question as to our collective aim - what we are required to collectively call for - we must seek to resume Islam via the caliphate starting with powerful countries like Pakistan, Turkey or Indonesia en route to unifying the Muslim world through removal of divisive borders and failed systems, until we unite mankind and Islam dominates and nothing dominates Islam.

Conclusion

The disputes are not of isolated acts and practices, mistaken or not. They relate to two differing underlying ideologies of Modernism vs Classicism, one seeking to fuse and integrate Islam with Western ideologies, the other seeking to change the social order to conform with Islam.

We can play a major role in the West. We have the ability to publicly speak, something denied in most Muslim countries. We should utilise this to send a clear message from our pulpits, conferences and publications that Muslims demand the resumption of Islam to contribute to a growing public opinion and push commanding officers in the armies to make it happen by bringing Hizb ut-Tahrir to power to implement the Caliphate.

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡكُمۡ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَـيَسۡتَخۡلِفَـنَّهُمۡ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ كَمَا اسۡتَخۡلَفَ الَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِيۡنَهُمُ الَّذِى ارۡتَضٰى لَهُمۡ وَلَـيُبَدِّلَـنَّهُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ اَمۡنًا​ ؕ يَعۡبُدُوۡنَنِىۡ لَا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَ بِىۡ شَيۡـئًـا​ ؕ وَمَنۡ كَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذٰ لِكَ فَاُولٰٓـئِكَ هُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ‏

Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession to authority just as He granted it to those before them and He will surely establish for them their deen which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that - then those are the defiantly disobedient. (Qur'an 24:55)

هُوَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَهٗ بِالۡهُدٰى وَدِيۡنِ الۡحَـقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهٗ عَلَى الدِّيۡنِ كُلِّهٖۙ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ الۡمُشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏

“It is he (Allah) who has sent his Messenger (saw) with guidance and the deen of truth, in order for it to be dominant over all other dee, even though the Mushrikoon (disbelievers) hate it.” (Qur'an 9: 33)


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