May Allah bless you, our Sheikh, and may Allah grant you victory. I have a question, if you would be so kind to answer: Is Hizb ut-Tahrir considered an Ash’ari on the issue of creed, or does it have its own understanding on the issue of creed, thank you?
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh,
Before directly answering your question, I would like to emphasize the following:
First: The reality of Hizb ut Tahrir:
1- Hizb ut Tahrir defined itself as follows: (Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political party whose ideology is Islam, so politics is its work and Islam is its ideology. It works within the Ummah and together with her, so that she adopts Islam as her cause and is led to restore the Khilafah and the ruling by what Allah (swt) revealed. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political group and not a priestly one. Nor is it an academic, educational or a charity group. The Islamic thought is the soul of its body, its core and the secret of its life) according to this definition Hizb ut Tahrir is not a school of thought, nor a sect of Kalam (theology), nor a jurisprudential doctrine, rather it is a political party that adopts the Ummah’s issues and defends it and works to establish Islam in the reality of life and preserve it after its establishment… It believes in the Islamic creed and considers everyone who believes in the Islamic creed to be its brother
((إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ))
“The believers are but brothers” [Al-Hujurat: 10] and therefore discusses with him on any point of contention with Husna (best manner).
2- Hizb ut Tahrir has adopted thoughts, rulings and opinions that are necessary for it to carry out its work, including its books and publications… But it did not discuss every issue and every idea, and it did not adopt in many issues, especially in matters of belief and worships, because this is not necessary in its work as a political party that seeks to revive the Ummah and establish the Khilafah (Caliphate) state and is based on the thought and sensation of the Ummah…for example, it has adopted on the subject of the infallibility of the prophets and messengers, and it adopted on the subject of the Ijtihad of the Prophet (saw), because of its impact on the legislative understanding… But it did not adopt in many other issues in which scholars of theology studied in depth.
3- The party adhered to the strength of evidence, and this was evident in its constant keenness to review its culture and adoption and adoption of the strength of evidence… and it corrected and modified its books in a progressive manner accordingly. It did not adhere to the opinion that proved to be weak and outweighed it over a different opinion; but rather it abandoned the opinion with weak evidence and took the opinion proved to have a strong evidence. This is clear in a number of corrections and amendments to the books of the party, as well as in the full revisions of its books that it undertakes from time to time…
Second: Some Muslims named schools of thought that differed in the topics related to the branches of creed and theological issues, with certain names, such as the Ash’ari in relation to Imam Al-Ash’ari, may Allah have mercy on him, and the Maturidis in relation to Imam Al-Maturidi, may Allah have mercy on him, and Salafism and others… They termed their opinions as “Aqeeda,” and called it: “Ash’ari creed”, the “Maturidi creed”, the “Salafi creed”, and so on. Rather, they mentioned the texts of certain scholars and defined their books as a creed. They called it: Al-Tahawiyah creed in relation to Imam Al-Tahawi, may Allah have mercy on him. And they said: The Wasitiyya creed in reference to a letter written by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, to the people of Wasit…etc. The term creed given to all the above is not accurate and misplaced, and there is confusion and division among Muslims, because the position of the schools (madhabib) on issues related to creedal study is not the creed, but rather, the creed is the Islamic creed established in the Shariah with definite evidences, and it is prohibited to have differences in it… Accordingly, there is no such thing as an Ash`ari creed, a Salafi creed, or a Tahawiyya creed, rather there is only an Islamic creed that unites all Muslims everywhere, with their different schools and opinions. There are different opinions among schools of thought, such as Ash’ari, Maturidi, Salafism, and others in topics related to branch issues other than the Islamic creed. Each group has its own opinion, which does not deviate from the doctrine of Islam.
Third: The approach that the party followed in adopting thoughts, rulings and opinions is to take the opinion based on the strength of the evidence, whether the evidence is rational or textual, without paying attention to the one who said it. Therefore, in some issues of the branches of belief, Hizb ut Tahrir adopted things that the Ash’aris said and adopted other things that were said by others… On Shariah issues, the party took opinions from the well-known schools of jurisprudence and others without being bound by a specific school… Therefore, it is not said that Hizb ut Tahrir is Shafi’i or Hanafi, for example, nor it is said that it is an Ash’ari or a Salafi, nor is it said it is Maturidi or Mutazila, nor it is defined as the school of thought nor a school of Hadith…etc.
It is not any of that, rather it is a political party whose ideology is Islam, and it takes opinions based on the strength of its evidence according to a a sound methodology, that it adopted in its books regardless of who said it. In its opinions are some of what the Ash’aris said, some of what the Salafists said and some of what other schools said. And all of this is based on the strength of the evidence, and not a commitment to the opinions of one of those schools and following them in their methodology, thought or opinions. The party does not recognize the differences that occurred between Muslims in the past, rather it considers Muslims as one Ummah of different schools and opinions and calls them to respond to it and work with it to establish Islam, and carry the call and unite the Ummah under the banner of the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate).
I hope this answer will suffice. Allah Knows Best and is Most Wise.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page