Contradictions in Taliban’s Political Ideology

In Islamic texts – even from the Taliban’s point of view – one of the conditions for being Amir al-Mu’minin is that he must be from the Quraysh clan – an Arab tribal confederation that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Taliban’s Amir al-Mu’minin, contrary to Islamic texts is from the Hotak tribe – a Pashtun clan – and was born in Jawzjan province.

The Taliban’s political thinking has always been in question, and it has been repeatedly said that the group does not have a clear manifesto for governance. Recently, a book in Arabic is published by this group that is written by Taliban judges. The name of this book is “Al-Emara Al-Islamiyah Wal-Nezam”. The book, which is said to have been endorsed by the group’s “Amir al-Mu’minin,” is a perfect example of Salafi thoughts, a follow-up to the past that has chosen from among its views whatever it finds to suit the Taliban, without any independent opinion. In this book, the author refers to the Hanafi sect of Islam,  the views of the hadith scholars, the takfiri terminology of Sayyid Qutb, Abul A’la Maududi – the founders of jihadi-Salafi thought – about ignorance of the world today, and the current systems, and to the actions of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs. This book, published by the group’s highest scientific authority is a credible document that shows that the Taliban’s medieval thinking is inadequate. This book shows both the low level of knowledge of the leaders of this group and their complete ignorance of the present age and its requirements.

To illustrate the contradictions in the practices of this group, suffice it to cite an example of the conditions of eligibility for the position of “Amir al-Mu’minin.” The Taliban Judiciary, quoting three hadiths from Sahih al-Bukhari – a collection of hadith compiled by Imam Muhammad al-Bukhari (d. 256 AH/870 AD) – considers the seventh condition for being Amir al-Mu’minin to be from the Quraysh clan. Explaining the Quraysh wisdom of the “Amir al-Mu’minin”, the author attributes this view to Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, the spiritual father of the Taliban, who is the founder of the Deobandi school in India. The Deobandi school was founded primarily to declare jihad against the East India Company, which had put an end to the Moghul dynasty and isolated the Muslims.

In parts of the book, it is quoted from Shah Waliullah Dehlawi:

“It is obligatory for the caliph to be one of those whom the people do not disobey for the sack of his glorious origins, because he who does not have such origins is considered humiliated by the people, and it is obligatory to be among those who are known for their presidency and high position, and his people have the experience of gathering men and waging wars, as well as being strong to lean on his support and victory, and to sacrifice their lives in defence of him… and it is the Quraysh tribe, especially “After the resurrection of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) who posses all these characteristics, with whom the work of the Quraysh expanded.”

According to the author of this book and his like-minded clerics, these hadiths are in the highest degree of validity after the verses in Qur’an. Now the question arises whether the “Amir al-Mu’minin” of the Taliban is from the Quraysh tribe? If he is not from Quraysh, how did he qualify for this position? When they force people to perform weak hadiths, why do they ignore the unanimous hadiths themselves?

It is natural that from the point of view of contemporary rationality, determining the necessary criteria for leading society is the duty of the law and electing someone for this position is the responsibility of the people. Every citizen has the right to choose. Paying attention to tribal roots and tribal ties is also considered absurd in today’s world. Of course, in the past, people did not solely believe in the Quraysh tribe being the rulers. But the question is, if the Taliban do not get rid of the contradictions, how will the people find a way to get rid of this barbaric, uncivilised group?