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Bismillahi Al-Rahman Al-Raheem

Series of Questions Addressed to Eminent Scholar Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah,
Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir through his Facebook Fikri Page
Answer to Question
The State is an Executive Entity for a Set of Concepts, Criteria, and Convictions
To Abdul Rahman Darweesh


Assalamu Alikum Wa Rahmatullah.

Before I ask my question, myself and my brothers in the Dawah, and they are many, pray for you with all the good, long life and to achieve the best work, Ameen.

As for my question, it is about getting the explanation of the phrase contained in the “Introduction to the Constitution”: (The state is an executive entity for a set of concepts, criteria, and convictions). What do these three terms specifically mean, with examples?

May Allah honour you and bless you.


Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh

To begin with, may Allah (swt) bless you and your brothers for your kind prayers for us, and we pray to Allah to grant you the good.

In your question, you referred to what came in the book Introduction to the Constitution Part One in the explanation of Article 1, which states: (Hence, the state was defined as an executive entity for a set of concepts, criteria, and convictions that were accepted by a group of people.) By the way, this statement is not only found in “The Introduction” book, it is included in other books such as the” Islamic Personality” book, Part Two, where it says: (Because the entity of the Ummah is a group of people, with a set of concepts, criteria and convictions. The entity of the state is a group of people who have the authority to rule with a set of criteria, concepts and convictions), But the book that quoted this the most is (Entering the Society), in which this statement was mentioned dozens of times.

By examining this statement, the three terms (concepts, criteria, convictions), in general and in particular, become clear, as they say, as follows:

1- Ideas are the meanings of words, and concepts are the meanings of ideas. If a person believes in an idea, it turns from a mere idea to a concept that affects behaviour. It was stated in the “Islamic Personality” book, Part One, page 12-13, in the Word file:

[Concepts are the meanings of thoughts and not the meanings of statements. A statement or expression denotes a meaning that may or may not exist in reality. Thus, when the poet says:

ومن الرجال إذا انبريتَ لهدْمِهِمْ *** هَرَمٌ غليظُ منَاكِبِ الصُّفَّاحِ
فإذا رميتَ الحَقَّ في أَجْلادِهِ *** تركَ الصراعَ مُضعضَعَ الألواحِ

There is amongst men he who when attacked… is found to be robust and sturdy,
But when you hurl at him the truth….. He flees the fight at once, worn out;

These meanings exist in reality and are comprehensible through sense-perception, though comprehending them may require deep and enlightened thought. However, when the poet says:

قالوا: أَينظم فارسين بطعنةٍ *** يومَ النّزالِ ولا يراه جَليلاً
فأجبتهمْ: لو كانَ طولُ قَناتِهِ *** مِيلاً إذنْ نَظَمَ الفَوارسَ ميلاً

They asked: does he pierce two horsemen with one strike… and find this not a grand act? I answered them, ‘If his spear were the length a mile… A mile of horsemen he would pierce;

This connotation is absolutely non-existent. The man praised did not pierce two horsemen with a single strike of his spear, nor did anyone ask this question, nor is it possible for him to pierce a mile of horsemen, these meanings illustrate and explain the words.

As for the meaning of fikr (thought), if the meaning indicated by the words exists in reality and is sensorially perceivable or conceivable by the mind as something that is sensed and thus believed in, this meaning is a concept for the person who senses it, or conceives and believes in it. It is not a concept for anyone who does not sense it or conceive it although he may understand the meanings of the sentence said to him or read by him. Therefore, concepts are the comprehensible meanings whose reality is comprehended by the mind, whether it is a perceivable reality existing outside the mind or one that is accepted on the basis of perceivable reality as existing outside it. Anything apart from these meanings of words and sentences is not termed as a ‘concept’, it is mere information] End.

Accordingly, every thought that has become a belief is called a concept, regardless of the narrow or wide meaning contained in the concept.

2- Among the concepts are those related to only one branch, such as the prohibition of drinking alcohol. It contains one meaning, that the Shariah forbids drinking alcohol, meaning it contains only one branch ruling only. But some concepts relate to multiple meanings because several branch-ideas can be measured by them, so they are not confined to one matter, for example, the concept of halal and haram is a concept that covers all human actions. It is a criterion of human actions. It is not related to one thing only. Rather, this concept in this case is a measure by which other ideas and concepts are measured, for example, the concept of the “origin in things is that they are permissible” is a criterion by which many things are measured and is not confined to one thing. For example, the concept of “the end does not justify the means” is a criterion for many political and non-political actions. It is a criterion for many political thoughts and actions. So, the criteria are wider than the concept. On the other hand, it is more specific than the concept, as the term concept is given to partial ideas as it is given to the criteria. Thus, it becomes clear that every criterion is an idea and a concept for those who believe in it, but not every concept is a criterion because the concept may be a branch idea and it may be a criterion, but the criterion can only be something on which branches are built and measured, so it is not a branch idea.

3- As for convictions, they are the concepts and criteria that took the role of traditions in the individual and the Ummah, and became so concentrated in the soul and in the society that are difficult to remove. If the concepts and criteria become deep rooted in the souls, they reach the higher degree to become a conviction in the individual and society that are difficult to remove. There are some concepts and criteria that must reach the degree of convictions in individuals and society to protect the individual and the Ummah, such as the concept and criteria that “the origin of actions is the adherence to the Shariah ruling”, and such as the concept of obedience, and the example of jihad, and the example of trust in Allah (tawakul) ... etc.
Considering what is mentioned above about conviction, every conviction is a concept or a criterion, but not every concept or criteria is a conviction, because the concept and criteria that are not rooted in souls and in society do not reach the degree of conviction even if people believe in them. That is, they do not reach a degree of firmness and establishment and stability, so that they are defined as convictions. This, of course, does not mean that people are not convinced of them in the linguistic sense of conviction, because they believe in them; rather, they do not achieve the description of convictions in the technical meaning, although they have become a concept and a criterion.

In the book, The Social System, p. 11, Word File: [As for the reason for this intellectual disturbance, and the deviation in understanding from what is correct, it is due to the sweeping invasion by Western civilization and its control of our thinking and taste completely, by which it changed our concepts about life, our criteria of things and our deeply rooted convictions in our souls like our protective jealousy for Islam and our veneration of our sanctities.] End

Conclusion: If the idea is a branch idea and becomes a belief then it is a concept, and if it is an idea upon which other branch ideas are based and becomes a belief, then this concept becomes a criterion, and if the concept and the criterion are rooted in the souls, in the society and the Ummah they become convictions. Thus, the intended use of these three terms and the need to differentiate between them when working to change society and establish the state becomes clear. When the party works in the Ummah for change, it must be aware and should know the branch ideas that it wants to transform into concepts in the Ummah, and be aware of the criteria that it wants to establish in the Ummah, and be aware of concepts and criteria which it wants to take on the role of tradition so that it is rooted in the souls, in society and the Ummah, to become convictions that are difficult to remove. Thus, the party can set its priorities in work before the establishment of the state and after its establishment by focusing on the concepts and criteria that are the most important and most necessary to preserve the Ummah and the state, and gives them the most attention, and works to transform them into convictions that cannot be easily shaken from the soul.

I hope the answer is clear.

Your Brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page

17 Muharram 1444 AH


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