Al-Imāra al-Islāmiyya wa-niẓāmuhā [The Islamic Emirate and Governmental System] (2022)

In April 2022 [1443 AH], the Dār al-ʿUlūm al-Sharʿiyya press published The Islamic Emirate and Governmental System, authored by the Chief Justice of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ʿAbd al-Ḥākim al-Ḥaqqānī, with a foreword by the current Taliban head, Hibatullāh Akhunzāda. The book was published in Arabic, with the intention of reaching a broad Muslim audience, beyond Afghanistan. The 312-page book discusses governance, education, laws of war (jihād), political leadership, education, and the rights and roles of women. The book opens by stating that, following the withdrawal of American-allied forces from Afghanistan, the goal of the new Islamic State is the implementation of divine law in accordance with Islamic law generally and Hanafī jurisprudence specifically. This book claims to be a manifesto encompassing the political and governance policies of the Taliban, even though it definitely represents the beliefs of al-Ḥaqqānī and his allies, rather than the philosophy of the entire Taliban movement—which has some internal variation. The book's principal assertions follow.

The book begins by defining two types of government: al-jabāya and al-hidāya. Al-jabāya refers, essentially, to the levying of taxes, while al-hidāya refers to religio-moral guidance. The author maintains that an Islamic government should be one of al-hidāya, where the government serves the role of providing advice and guidance to the people, rather than al-jabāya, wherein a government exploits the poor for the personal gain of government officials. Under a government of al-hidāya, the author asserts that the legitimate form of law is divine, not man-made.

The book acknowledges several sources of sharīʿa. Those sources include but are not limited to the Qur’ān, the ḥadīth (prophetic reports), qiyās (deductive analogical reasoning), ijmā‘ (scholarly consensus), and khayr (benevolence).

The book further establishes that the justice system of the Islamic Emirate should be in accordance only with Hanafī jurisprudence, and that no credence should be given to other schools of Islamic law that are and have historically been minoritarian in Afghanistan. The author asserts that accommodations made for religious minorities will lead to the justice system falling apart, as in the Ottoman Empire.

According to the author, citizens of the Islamic Emirate may continue to adhere to local customs (in Afghanistan: Pashtunwali or the code of the Pashtun people). Such customs may be upheld so long as they do not conflict with sharīʿa and may include wearing traditional Afghan clothes.

The head of the global Islamic state, the book asserts, should be called the Amīr al-Mu’minīn and should be appointed according to the same methods used in selecting the first Four Rāshidūn Caliphs after the death of the Prophet Muḥammad: through the formation of a council of influential and prominent people, not through democracy, which the author considers un-Islamic. Obedience to the Amīr al-Mu’minīn by the entire Islamic world is mandatory, the author asserts, and disobedience is punishable by death. As to criteria for leadership, the author maintains that the Amīr must be a man, and that women are to stay home and avoid participation in politics, for fear that their participation would compromise the political state.

The book discusses the various political institutions that form the Islamic Emirate: a Council of Ministers, the Armed Forces, and a Judiciary. It also calls for the creation of an all-male legislative body known as the Islamic Council.

On education, the book maintains that the educational system should include mandatory education in madrasas, and optional non-Islamic education. The author states that a co-educational system is forbidden (ḥarām), but that education of women itself is not necessarily prohibited (ḥarām). According to the author, a woman’s education should occur within the home and should be carried out by her family members. Further, he maintains that women should pursue careers that are suitable for them, such as medicine, caretaking, home sciences, and teaching; and they are to interface only with other women and girls in those professions.

The book specifically discusses women’s roles in society. It requires women to fully cover themselves in ḥijāb and stipulates that they should not engage in any pursuit that would require them to be alone for longer than three days. Finally, the author notes that women should not travel long distances without a male guardian, and that they should not unnecessarily leave their residences.

Overall, the book’s claims are seldom backed with references, and the sources employed by the author are not listed.

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