In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ۬ وَلَا نَبِىٍّ إِلَّآ إِذَا تَمَنَّىٰٓ أَلۡقَى ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ فِىٓ أُمۡنِيَّتِهِۦ فَيَنسَخُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يُلۡقِى ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ ثُمَّ يُحۡڪِمُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ۬
Never did We send a Messenger or a Prophet before you, but; when he did recite the revelation or narrated or spoke, Shaitan (Satan) threw (some falsehood) in it. But Allah abolishes that which Shaitan (Satan) throws in. Then Allah establishes His Revelations. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise: [Surah al-Hajj. Aayah 52]
Ed Husain uttered the phrase “Private faith and secular government” after referring to a taxi driver who was observed praying in public. However, if not specifically and clearly stated, this generalisation could be interpreted incorrectly. First of all, the taxi driver’s Sujood to Allah is praiseworthy, but more specificity is needed on the statement regarding secular government and private religion because if Ed Husain wants to laud secularism or suggests that separating religion and government is admirable, that is unquestionably a grave crime in the Sight of the Lord of the Worlds.
What is Secularism? Secularism is the belief that religion should not be involved with the ordinary social and political activities of a country. (1) Therefore, this definition establishes the idea that there should be separation between “State and Religion” or between “Siyaasah and Religion”. What is Siyaasah? It refers to governing citizen issues. It has control over both the behaviours of the individual and the entire society. It involves Islamic jurisprudence through which the rulers are provided with knowledge and comprehension of the laws connected to managing the affairs of the state, its structures, and Shariah principles. (2)
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The idea behind the phrase “Separation between religion and Siyaasah” is that the ruler is free to act however he sees fit in order to carry out his duties, regardless of whether his actions are in accordance with Shariah or not; or even if what he does is dictated by the religion, as the purpose of separation is to distinguish between and define two things. Because of this, even if it conflicts with Shariah, the ruler considers what he perceives to be advantageous. This is unquestionably a false and sinful statement because the religion itself is Siyaasah and Siyaasah is the religion. However, when we use the term Siyaasah, we refer to Siyaasah that is founded on equity rather than oppression (i.e. under the jurisdiction of the infallible Shariah).
Islam’s goal is to rectify people’s relationships with one another and their behaviours towards their Lord. It establishes the rights of Allah and the people, as well as rights for wives, parents, and other relatives. Islam even granted non-Muslims rights that are well-known among scholars. It outlined the terms and procedures for making peace and waging war, as well as the penalties for crimes, some of which are governed by specific texts and others by the ruler’s discretion. This plainly demonstrates that Islam is Siyaasah in its totality. The word “Siyaasah” derives from the word “Saa’is,” which refers to the person who is in charge of taking care of an animal’s needs and warding off threats to their wellbeing. We discover this meaning when we reflect on affairs of the religion of Islam, and that Allah has prescribed for His servants those things without which people cannot establish (a fruitful, stable, orderly, safe) life, and has forbidden those things that will corrupt their state of affairs, whether they affect everyone or just certain people. Consequently, Siyaasah constitutes the entirety of the religion. And we are certain that anyone who isolates Siyaasah from the Religion and builds Siyaasah on what he deems appropriate and what he forbids, then his Siyaasah is undoubtedly corrupt and it will do more harm than good. If it rectifies a matter in accordance with his constrained opinions, it will undoubtedly corrupt things significantly from a different perspective.
This makes it necessary for one to reflect on the situation of those who base their Siyaasah on their desires and opinions and distanced themselves from the religion of Islam. After reflecting, one will discover that either all or most of their Siyaasah is corrupt, and that even when it corrects a situation from one angle, it corrupts it from another. Consequently, based on this, it is required of the person seeking to make amends for himself and others to only do so in accordance with the religion of Islaam. Separating Siyaasah and Religion is a wicked deed. (3)
Our Responsibilities Whilst Living in a Society That Rules By Secular Laws
Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] said: Although Muslims in Britain are subject to British law and the British legal system, Sharī’ah tribunals are allowed in certain areas as an alternative way of resolving disputes. These are aimed at resolving commercial, civil and matrimonial disputes to the satisfaction of both sides. Sharī’ah Law is based upon the Qur’ān and Sunnah, and judgements are made in accordance to these two sources. Only those well-versed with the Religion and jurisprudence (rulings in law) are permitted to judge in Sharī’ah matters. Read more here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/educate-yourself-ethics-1-2-shariah-redstone-academy/
One must be fully aware of this reality and maintain a safe distance from Takfeeris and terrorists. The requirement that we protect the lives and safety of our non-Muslim neighbours and uphold our covenants must be given special consideration. Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated: Likewise I invite you to have respect for those people who have the right that they should be respected, from those between you and whom there is an agreement (of protection) [i.e. Non-Muslims]. For the land which you are living is such that there is an agreement between you and them. If this were not the case they would have killed you or expelled you. So preserve this agreement, and do not prove treacherous to it, since treachery is a sign of the hypocrites, and it is not from the way of the Believers.
And know that it is authentically reported from the Prophet that he said : “Whoever kills one who is under an agreement of protection will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
Do not be fooled by those sayings of the foolish people: those who say: ‘Those people are Non-Muslims, so their wealth is lawful for us [i.e. to misappropriate or take by way of murder and killing].’ For by Allah – this is a lie. A lie about Allaah’s Religion, and a lie in Islamic societies.
O my brothers. O youth. O Muslims. Be truthful in your buying and selling, and renting, and leasing, and in all mutual transactions. Because truthfulness is from the characteristics of the Believers, and Allah – the Most High – has commanded truthfulness – in the saying of Allah – the Most High – “O you who believe – fear and keep you duty to Allah and be with the truthful.”
And the Prophet encouraged truthfulness and said : “Adhere to truthfulness, because truthfulness leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise; and a person will continue to be truthful, and strive to be truthful until he will be written down with Allah as a truthful person“.
And he warned against falsehood, and said : “Beware of falsehood, because falsehood leads to wickedness, and wickedness leads to the Fire. And a person will continue lying, and striving to lie until he is written down with Allah as a great liar.”
O my brother Muslims. O youth. Be true in your sayings with your brothers, and with those Non-Muslims whom you live along with – so that you will be inviters to the Religion of Islam, by your actions and in reality. So how many people there are who first entered into Islam because of the behaviour and manners of the Muslims, and their truthfulness, and their being true in their dealings. (4)
Indeed, either Ed Husain lacks the ability to provide specifics or he consciously wants to spread ambiguity. In fact, his quest for so-called moderation after leaving his prior misguided sect (Hizb tahreer) has lead him to even more misguidance rather than any benefit from his remarks. He must refrain from speaking.
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: “It is obligated to you to provide specifics and draw distinctions since vague, unclarified (statements) have in fact corrupted this existence (i.e. the world) and led people’s minds and worldviews astray in every era”. Al-Allaamah Saalih Al-Fawzaan [may Allah preserve him] said: “The person who lacks the ability to provide specifics should keep quiet because his speech does not yield any benefit. And every time a mistake occurs, it is the result of a lack of a thorough explanation of what is true and what is untrue. Detailed explanation and distinction must be made in order to avoid confusion. Indeed, it may be that an opponent’s statement contains both truth and falsehood, therefore it can’t be assumed that it’s entirely true or false; instead, there needs to be a distinction made between its truth and falsehood. The entirety of it is neither rejected nor accepted; rather, a distinction is established between the truth and the right and the false and error in it. Furthermore, you shouldn’t enter in this affair if you are not good at providing details”. (5)
Allaah Warns Against Extremism And Negligence By Shaikh Abu Hakeem [may Allah preserve him]
[Ref 2: See At-taleeq Alaa As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah. Slightly paraphrased. Page 5 by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)]
[Ref 3: https://binothaimeen.net/content/7366. Paraphrased]
[Ref 4: salafipublications.com]
[Ref 5: An Excerpt from At-Ta-leeqaat Al-Mukhtasar Alaa Al-Qaseedah an-Nooniyyah: Vol: 1 page: 216. Slightly paraphrased]