Hizb ut-Tahrir (also known as the Party of Liberation) is an international political organization that seeks to restore the Islamic caliphate, a form of government that follows the principles of Islam and implements the Islamic law (sharia).
Hizb ut-Tahr seeks to establish the Islamic Caliphate in the Muslim world via peaceful means using a vanguard group that spreads the Islamic ideology to build public opinion and through military support bring it to power. While Hizb ut-Tahrir is not the first group to call for the restoration of the khilafah, it is one of the most well-known contemporary organizations that advocates for this goal.
The belief in the restoration of the khilafah has a long history within the Muslim community and has been discussed by numerous classical scholars throughout the centuries. The idea of a political and religious leadership that unifies the Muslim community and follows the principles of Islam has been a central concept in Islamic history. Many Muslim scholars and leaders have called for the restoration of the khilafah at different times in history, often in response to the perceived decline of Muslim political and social power.
While Hizb ut-Tahrir is not the first group to advocate for the restoration of the khilafah, it has gained a significant following in recent decades and has become one of the most prominent organizations advocating for this goal. The group has a global presence and has branches in many countries around the world. It has been involved in various political and social activities and has sought to raise awareness about the importance of the khilafah among Muslims.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a political and social organization that was founded in Egypt in 1928. The group has advocated for the restoration of the khilafah as a means of unifying the Muslim community and implementing the principles of Islam. Abul A'la Maududi was a Pakistani theologian and founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami political party. He was a strong advocate for the restoration of the khilafah and believed that it was necessary for the implementation of the principles of Islam.
According to Zeyno Baran, the group's “greatest achievement to date” is to have created a worldwide ummatic consciousness, and a consciousness regarding the need to re-create the Islamic Caliphate (Hizb ut-Tahrir: Islam’s Political Insurgency, 2004).
Hasan Azad in his Columbia University doctoral dissertation states:
"...HT has not been the first Islamist group to call for the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate. This need has been expressed (with differing modes) by Abul A’la Mawdudi (1903-1979), the founder of Jama’at-i Islami (The Islamic Group), as well as Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), the founder of Ikhwan al-Muslimeen (The Muslim Brotherhood) – and others. What is significant is that HT’s ideology (as enunciated by al-Nabhani, and which has surprisingly remained consistent, for the most part) has as its very raison d’être the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, to the apparent detriment of other aspects of Islam as a “complete system.” (Although the rigidity within HT’s methodology appears to have been changing over the past decade or so. This change in HT’s methodology is something I examine during the course of my dissertation.) On the other hand, groups such as MB and JI have the establishment of the Caliphate as their utopian ideal; while, in practice, they are willing to conform to the political realities in which they find themselves." (Hizb Ut-Tahrir, The Islamic State, & Modern Muslimness, 2017)
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