“Our task is to dream and work for the future – for a time when a new Muslim civilization will emerge – a dynamic, thriving, growing, healthy and happy civilization; a civilization in which man will be at peace with himself, with the physical environment and, above all, with his Creator. In the meantime, we must plan and produce the prerequisites for such a civilization.”
Dr Kalim Siddiqui (1931-1996) was one of the leading intellectuals and Islamic movement activists of the modern era. As Founder and Director of the Muslim Institute, London, he played a leading role in developing the political understanding and thought of the contemporary Islamic movement, and in globalizing the movement after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. He also founded and led the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, which was a radical new sort of Muslim community institution when it was inaugurated in 1992.
Dr Kalim Siddiqui combined intellectual insight and understanding with movement activism and political leadership. Intellectually, his major contribution was to the political thought of the Islamic movement, in a series of papers published in the 1970s and 1980s, which presented radical and revolutionary ideas in a way which ordinary Muslims found accessible and easy to understand, and were influential throughout the Muslim world.
His intellectual work culminated in his paper Processes of Error, Deviation, Correction and Convergence in Muslim Political Thought (1989) and his last book, Stages of Islamic Revolution (1996). When he passed away in South Africa in 1996, he was working on a new project on political dimensions of the Seerah. His final paper on this subject, The Seerah: a power perspective (1996) was published after his death by the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT).
The two major institutions he founded and worked through, the Muslim Institute, London, and the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, both declined after his death. However, the ICIT was established in 1998 by some of his closest colleagues and associates, including Zafar Bangash (now Director of the ICIT), Imam Mohammed Al-Asi, and his son, Iqbal Siddiqui, to continue his intellectual work for the Islamic movement.
في نطاقها الأوسع، تمتد الحركة الإسلامية لتشمل الأمة بأسرها. بينما تتمثَّل أضيق هذه النطاقات الحركية في شطر الأمةِ الأكثر سعًيا نحو الهدف النهائي وقبل نحو عامٍ تقريبًا، كان من الصعب تحديد مجموعة ريادية واحدة داخل الحركة الإسلامية، رغم أن عددًا من المجموعات المنظَّمة قد بسطت دعواها بأنها طليعة هذه الحركة، وهي حركات وأحزاب مثل جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في العالم العربي، وجماعت إسلامي في باكستان، كذا ادعت بعض الدول القومية التي يقطُنها مسلمون أنها «إسلامية».
إن كان يرفض النظام السياسي الغربي المفروض على الأمة منذ رحيل الاستعمار العسكري المباشر، فإنه لا يلقي الكلام على عواهنه؛ بل يُبيّن بدقّة وحذق أستاذ العلوم السياسية، وبإخلاص المسلم، يُبيّن لم كان هذا الشكل من التنظيم السياسي مُناقضَا ليس لأهداف الأمة ومعرقلًا لمسيرتها فحسب؛ بل هو مناقض للإسلام ابتداء. لقد تنبأ صديقي بالكثير من الظواهر التي استجدت على الحركات الإسلاميّة منذ أواخر سبعينيات القرن العشرين. تنبأ بها ووصّفها وحدد مكامن الضعف والفساد فيها، ومكامن القوّة. بل إنه كتب ونظّر ل"الثورة الإسلاميّة" قبل انتصار الثورة الإيرانية بعدّة سنوات، فكان انتصارها تحقيقًا لبعض مقولاته الهامة، ودليلًا على نفاذ بصيرته. بمناسبة الذكرى العشرين لوفاة الدكتور كليم صديقي؛1
In this month is the 10th anniversary of the death of Dr Kalim Siddiqui. The occasion will be marked by a Kalim Siddiqui Memorial Conference in London on April 23, on The Islamic movement: between moderation and extremism. Here we republish one of Dr Kalim’s most important writings, Processes of Error, Deviation, Correction and Convergence in Muslim Political Thought, which was first published in 1989.
On April 23, Crescent International and the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) will hold a Kalim Siddiqui Memorial Conference in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of one of the Islamic movement’s modern giants. The theme of the conference will be The Islamic movement: between moderation and extremism. As part of our commemoration of Dr Kalim’s work, we are reprinting some of his major works. In this issue we reprint a paper he wrote in 1984, reflecting on the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
On April 23, Crescent International and the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) will hold a Kalim Siddiqui Memorial Conference in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of one of the Islamic movement’s modern giants. The theme of the conference will be The Islamic movement: between extremism and moderation. As another part of our commemoration of Dr Kalim’s work,Crescent International is reprinting some of his major works, beginning with the introduction he wrote for a book that was never published. This paper outlines his understanding of the Islamic movement and the challenges that it faces.1
After the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini made the liberation of Palestinian a key issue for the Islamic State, declaring the last Friday of Ramadan to be Yaum al-Quds. Here we reprint a paper by DR KALIM SIDDIQUI on “the road back to Palestine” and the role of the Islamic State. This paper was presented at a conference on Palestine in Tehran in 1991...
The future of the Islamic Revolution in Iran is currently the subject of some debate. Here we publish an abridged extract from DR KALIM SIDDIQUI’s paper ‘Error, deviation, correction and convergence in Muslim political thought’ (1989), on the political thought of Imam Khomeini which underpinned the Revolution.
June 4, 2003, was the 14th anniversary of the death of Imam Khomeini rahmat-Allah alaihi, the founder of the Islamic State of Iran. To mark the occasion, we here reprint an article written by the late DR KALIM SIDDIQUI on the first anniversary of the Imam’s death. Below we also publish an extract of a speech given by the current Leader of the Islamic Republic, Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, in Tehran on June 4 this year.
DR KALIM SIDDIQUI, Director of the Muslim Institute, London, and founder of Crescent International, was one of the greatest Islamic movement intellectuals of the twentieth century. This month marks the seventh anniversary of his death in South Africa on April 18, 1996. To mark this occasion, we are reprinting an abridged extract from his final book, Stages of Islamic Revolution (1996).
Here we conclude a series of reprinted articles reflecting on the Islamic Revolution in Iran and its impact on world history, written by the late DR KALIM SIDDIQUI and first published in 1989.
Here we continue our reprinting of a series of articles reflecting on the Islamic Revolution in Iran and its impact on world history, written by the late DR KALIM SIDDIQUI and first published in 1989.
Here we continue to reprint a series of articles reflecting on the Islamic Revolution of Iran and its impact on world history, which were written by DR KALIM SIDDIQUI and first published in 1989.
In 1989, shortly after the death of Imam Khomeini, and ten years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Dr Kalim Siddiqui, Director of the Muslim Institute, London, wrote a series of articles for Crescent International reflecting on the situation of the global Islamic movement at the time, and in particular on the progress and experience of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
At a time when the Islamic movement is under massive attack all over the world, it is perhaps useful to remember the broader historical context of our struggle.
The Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) this month issued a call for papers for another international conference on the Seerah. Here we reprint an abridged extract from DR KALIM SIDDIQUI’s last book, Stages of Islamic Revolution, in which he outlines his vision for the reinterpretation of the Seerah.
The issues confronting the Islamic movement in Palestine today are not new. Here we reprint an editorial on the Israeli problem written for Crescent International by the late DR KALIM SIDDIQUI (r.a.) over twenty years ago.
Pakistan will probably enjoy its National Day later this month, after Pervez Musharraf’s performance in India. But the fact remains that he is a whisky-loving general representing the West-toxicated elite that has repeatedly failed the supposed ‘Islamic Republic’. In this paper, first published in 1984
To mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Dr Kalim Siddiqui, we published an abridged extract from a paper by him in our last issue. In this issue, we reprint an article by Dr Siddiqui first published in Crescent International exactly 15 years ago (May 1-15, 1986).
Dr Kalim Siddiqui's work ranged from history to political philosophy to community activism, but he is best known for his analysis of the contemporary historical situation and the nature and task of the global Islamic movement.
All we need to do now is to note briefly that Imam Khomeini’s leadership has also overcome the multitude of internal and external enemies; that the ulama have emerged as the most competent leaders that any post-colonial country has produced; that the western educated ‘liberals’ and communists have been outwitted, outmaneuvered, and defeated; that the people of Iran are more united and mobilized today than at any time before; that the colonial culture and bourgeois capitalist, political, economic and social systems are being replaced; and that Iran has developed a new range of institutions all its own. The Islamic Revolution to which this book is an introduction has ushered the world into an era to which the modern world is unaccustomed. Politics in the world of Islam will never be dull again.1
This book is the last work by the author, a leading thinker of Islamic political thought, before his death in 1996. He studies the phenomenon called the 'Islamic Revolution' and insists that, like a scientific process, the Islamic Revolution must be repeatable. Rising above the events in Iran, he considers much of the Shii and Sunni theology to be divisive, and identifies ideas that are already part of an 'intellectual revolution' in the Muslim world. Stages of Islamic Revolution is not only the last book by Dr Kalim Siddiqui but it can be considered the essence of his life's work. Every page is full of insights and ground-breaking ideas. It radiates confidence borne of a certainty that it is based on divine Writ and exemplified by the noble Messenger, upon whom be peace. Those who are genuinely committed to the revolutionary process will find it of immense benefit. An indispensable reading for those who want to understand the Islamic movement and the events in the Muslim world.1
The history of Islam and Muslims has entered a new phase of rapid change. Muslims have realised that they are in a position to initiate, direct and control major change in their societies as well as to play a significant role in world politics. It is important that their drive for change in Muslim societies is directed by a profound understanding of the dynamics of change.
This is a unique and historic occasion. By convening this conference, the Islamic Republic of Iran has fulfilled its role as the only Islamic State on the map of the world today. At present the Arab States are being herded into a so called 'peace conference' on Palestine. They will sooner or later, sign the formal surrender of Palestine to its zionist occupiers, but in fact to the United States of America.
This paper was written by Dr Kalim Siddiqui just before his untimely death in April 1996. It was published in 1998 by the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), Toronto and London, inviting Muslim scholars, academics and activists to work on the Seerah of the noble Messenger (saws) from this new, analytical perspective rather the mere descriptive approach hitherto taken with Seerah studies.
One of the surprising facts about the life of Dr Kalim Siddiqui is how little his writings are known and read. Few of the hundreds of obituaries written after his death earlier this year made more than a passing reference to his intellectual work. Most people highlighted his political activism, his support for the embryonic Islamic Revolution in Iran, his work in the service of the ‘global Islamic movement’, and the major institutions he established—the Muslim Institute for Research and Planning (1973) and the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain (1992). This activism was certainly a major part of his life. Yet at the core of his work lay a unique analysis, understanding and exposition of Muslim history and the contemporary situation facing Muslims which he developed and presented in a series of major writings and speeches over the last 25 years of his life. This intellectual understanding underpinned all the work he did.1
Over the last 1400 years, Muslims have developed a number of ‘schools of thought’ and systems of law (fiqh). In the global conditions prevailing today, there are a number of approaches, or systems of ‘political thought’, competing with one another.
WHO can survive and who cannot is a question that has always occupied the minds of theologians, historians, philosophers and scientists. Elaborate theories have been developed around this theme. The more famous are those of Plato, Abdur-Rahman, Ibn Khaldun, Karl Marx, and Charles Darwin.
In my view we have yet to explore and discover the great spiritual and intellectual dimensions that lie in the political thought and Ijtihad of the late Imam Khomeini, may Allah’s mercy be upon him. I would go so far as to suggest that perhaps a whole new research institute should be established dedicated to research and writing on the contribution of Imam Khomeini.
A minority with a specialized area of influence and competence is referred to as an elite. A modern society normally has several elites. The best known are the political elites. Others are referred to as the military elite, business elite, landed elite, industrial elite. religious elite, professional elite. etc.
Let me acknowledge at once that there now exists a state of war between the 'progressives', whose representation of 'European values' Rushdie finds 'attractive', and those 'in revolt against history'. The latter Rushdie rightly and accurately names as 'Siddiquis and Hizbollahs and blind sheikhs and ayatollahs'.
[Leader’s Address at the Inaugural Session of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, Kensington Town Hall, London, 4 January, 1992.]
[This paper was originally written in 1992 as the introduction for an earlier book called In Pursuit of the Power of Islam which Dr Kalim Siddiqui adapted from previously published writings in 1991-92. The book had reached proof stage before Dr Siddiqui concluded it was not satisfactory and decided to write a new book from scratch in its place. This new book was Stages of Islamic Revolution (London: The Open Press, 1996). This paper was first published in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996.]
[Paper presented at the Muslim Institute conference on ‘The Future of Muslims in Britain’, London, 14 July, 1990.]
This manifesto is the outcome of a process of consultation, writing and revision over several months. It is now being offered for wider debate in the Muslim community. We hope that a number of regional consultation conferences will be held all over the country in the next few months. To set that process of consultation in motion, the Muslim Institute has arranged a one-day conference on “The Future of Muslims in Britain”.
These annual anthologies are a record of innovation in one particular field - Journalism. We have taken the best skills of journalism from the secular world and applied them to report, describe and analyze the contemporary world from the perspective of the Islamic movement. We have virtually invented, or reinvented, Journalism in the service of Islam. Our writers contributors and commentators have reached new levels of excellence. We have also used writing to change the situations we have been writing about Our description has often brought out hidden facets of reality. By, altering the perception of reality, we have changed the reality itself. A whole new generation has learned to see the world differently through our writings. Those who keep these anthologies on their shelves find easy reference to one of the most exciting decades in our history at their fingertips.1
This lecture was presented at the 1st Imam Khomeini Memorial Lecture, Muslim Institute, 12 May 1990 by late Dr Kalim Siddiqui.
This paper outlines Dr Siddiqui’s understanding of Muslim history, developed over several decades, which are the essence of his political ideas. For Muslims struggling everywhere to change the political and social problems confronting us, this paper offers exciting insights and ideas, and suggestions for conceptualizing the problems facing us. It is especially useful for those in the 'Sunni' part of the Ummah, as it places the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the broader context of Islamic history and enables its essence to be understood outside the Shi’i context of Iran’s particular experience.
The purpose has been to bring home to all doubters (of whom, sadly, there are far too many) that there is an integrated Ummah pulsating under the politically divided map that stares at us from the wall. Our purpose is also to prove, as if proof were needed, that this Ummah is a 'movement'. It is true that the only part of the global Islamic movement we can see above the surface, floating among the debris of recent 'Islamic parties', is small. It consists largely of those sturdy souls who have seen the possibilities inherent in the revolutionary process as revealed through the Islamic Revolution in Iran. However, every change needs a climate of opinion to accept and consolidate it when it occurs. This anthology and the media from which it is compiled have already created such a climate of opinion. in all parts of the world. These annual anthologies represent at least a partial consolidation of the new ground that is covered by the Islamic movement.1
[Kalim Siddiqui, Political thought and behaviour of Muslims under colonialism, London: The Muslim Institute, 1986. This was the keynote paper presented at the Muslim Institute World Seminar on ‘Muslim Political Thought during the Colonial Period’, London: August 6-9, 1986. It was reprinted as the introduction to Kalim Siddiqui (ed), Issues in the Islamic Movement 1985-86, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1987, and in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996.]
Whether one sets out to attain elementary knowledge or to engage in a profound scientific inquiry, the first step is description. Description, however, is subjective to its purpose. In the five anthologies of this series the purpose has been to achieve a description of the world from the point of view of the Muslim Ummah; to describe in detail the face of the world that is unacceptable to Islam; and to make the Muslim angry with the world and with himself. The second purpose has been to explore the structure, functions, methods and goals of the Islamic movement. The new Islamic media we represent is fearless and independent of the taghoots that now rule over the artificially-created Muslim nation-States. Let us never bow down before them or compromise with them. Let us relentlessly challenge and expose them until they are destroyed and a new muttaqi political order is established in all parts of the Ummah.1
[Kalim Siddiqui, Nation-States as obstacles to the total transformation of the Ummah, London: The Muslim Institute, 1985. This was the keynote paper presented at the Muslim Institute's World Seminar on ‘The Impact of Nationalism on the Ummah’, London, July 31-August 3, 1985. It was reprinted as the introduction to Kalim Siddiqui (ed), Issues in the Islamic Movement 1984-85, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1986. It was also reprinted in M. Ghayasuddin (ed), The Impact of Nationalism on the Muslim World, London: The Open Press, 1986, a compilation of papers presented at the Muslim Institute seminar, and Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996.]
This anthology, and the embryonic media from which it is compiled each year, represents a new mood in the world of Islam. As a group of writers we are still exploring some of the basic issues that must become better understood within the new paradigm of Muslim political thought. The outline of a new worldview of Islam are clear and reasonably well defined in this series of anthologies and elsewhere. The writers whose articles are included in this anthology are mostly those who believe that the new paradigm of Muslim political thought is incomplete without the Islamic State, In our view the Islamic State that has emerged from the Islamic Revolution in Iran is the only contemporary reality and movement that is part of the new paradigm.1
[Kalim Siddiqui, Primary goals and achievements of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, London: The Muslim Institute, 1984. This paper was Dr Siddiqui's keynote speech at the Muslim Institute's World Seminar on ‘The Islamic Revolution in Iran: Achievements, Problems and Prospects’ held in London from August 8-11, 1984. It was reprinted as the introduction to Kalim Siddiqui (ed), Issues in the Islamic Movement 1983-84 (London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1985) and in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui (London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996).]
This annual anthology and the 'fringe' Islamic media from which it is compiled are bearers of the worldview of Islam. This is not to say that every Muslim shares this worldview; quite the contrary. At present this world view is largely rejected by the ruling classes in all Muslim societies. This worldview would be found to be the worldview of the Muslim masses if only they could be reached. Only in Iran has this worldview become general and almost unanimously accepted by all its people. The rest of the Ummah outside Iran has become detached from its natural posture vis-a-vis the modern World. The ideas of Islam and the ideas of the Muslims are no longer making history. Truth has become a sub-culture surviving only because Kufr found impossible to achieve its total annihilation, It is in the very nature of ideas destined to make history that they should challenge and defeat Kufr in all its shapes and forms.1
[Paper presented at the Muslim Institute's World Seminar on ‘State and Politics in Islam’ in London in August 1983. It was also published as the introduction to Kalim Siddiqui (ed), Issues in the Islamic Movement 1982-83, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1984, and reprinted in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996.]
Perhaps on another occasion we will have to examine the definitive role of journalism and journalists in the Islamic movement. At present we need only note the general fact that, like the Islamic movement itself, Islamic journalism has been largely stagnant. Such journalism as has been undertaken in the name of Islam has merely reflected the confused state of the 'Islamic parties' and their ambivalent attitudes on such issues as democracy, capitalism, nationalism and the post-colonial order of the nation-States. This cloud is now beginning to lift under the powerful influence of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It is now possible to so the issues in the Islamic movement more clearly than at any time during or since the colonial period. For the second year the Crescent International has tried to capture the passing scene of world events bravely and impartially.1
[Paper was written and published as the introduction to Kalim Siddiqui (ed), Issues in the Islamic Movement 1981-82, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1983, and reprinted in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui, 1996.]
The Crescent International of Toronto made history when, in August 1980, it came out as the 'newsmagazine of the Islamic movement'. In its first 12 months this journal has not only lived up to its proclaimed purpose, it has also got better and better. It has raised the standard of Muslim journalism in English to a point never reached before. It has brought a refreshing approach to the task of digging, sifting, reporting and interpreting current affairs. The Crescent International succeeds in giving an entirely new dimension to the modem world. Its style and content are both truly iconoclasmic. A selection of articles from this journal, therefore, is not an exercise in having a 'second bite at the same cherry'. The articles included in this book have been written by a large number of contributors in many parts of the world. Most of them have chosen to remain anonymous. This volume adds significantly to the growing literature on the Islamic movement and its worldview.1
[This paper was written as the introduction to Issues in the Islamic Movement 1980-81, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1982. This was the first volume of the ‘Issues books’, the anthologies of articles from the Crescent International and Muslimedia which were edited by Kalim Siddiqui and published annually from 1982-1988. It was reprinted in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui, London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996. This printing is based on the 1996 publication.]
[Paper presented at a seminar of the same name organized by the Muslim Institute in London on March 1, 1980, to mark the first anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Two other papers were also presented at this seminar, by Dr Ali Afrouz and Dr Abdur Rahim Ali. Dr Siddiqui refers to these presentations in this paper. The papers presented at this seminar, and one by Iqbal Asaria presented at an internal seminar of the Muslim Institute, were later published as Kalim Siddiqui et al, The Islamic Revolution: Achievements, Obstacles and Goals, London: The Open Press, 1980. This paper was reprinted in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui (London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996). This version is based on the 1996 printing.]
The paper was written for, and presented at, the meeting of the General Assembly of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Riyadh in October 1976. It has been reprinted numerous times in different countries. In 1980, following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Dr Siddiqui added the preface and one footnote. This is clearly marked. The main text remains as originally written.
[Kalim Siddiqui, The state of the Muslim world today, London: The Open Press, 1980. This is the text of a lecture given at the University of Manchester Islamic Society on December 8, 1979. It was reprinted in Zafar Bangash (ed), In Pursuit of the Power of Islam: Major Writings of Kalim Siddiqui (London and Toronto: The Open Press, 1996). This edition is based on the 1996 printing.]
This paper was presented at an Education Conference held in Makkah in 1977, and has been reprinted numerous times in several different countries. In 1980, following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Dr Siddiqui added two sentences to it. For edition, based on the 1996 reprinting, the original text has been used, with the additional sentences shown in the footnotes. Also in 1980, a post-script was added. This read: “Since this paper was first written... the historic situation has been transformed by the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Islamic movement has already made the vital breakthrough.”
The Draft Prospectus of the Muslim Institute was the founding document of the Institute, published in 1974. This Prospectus was written by Dr Kalim but authored by the Preparatory Committee as a whole.