Octet principle for Islamic foundation

To ensure the stability of the institution and protect it from outside influences Hujjat al-Islam Ml. Qasim Nanotwi outlined eight core principles. These principals are known as Usul Hashtgana which are as follows:

  1. The first principal is that the members of the institute, to the best of their ability, should always be concerned about increasing charity. They themselves should endeavour and encourage others [also]. Those concerned for the institution should always keep that in consideration.
  2. Well-wishers of the school should always be active in providing and organising food for students.
  3. The counsel should always consider the betterment of the institute. They should not persist on their personal opinion. Allah forbid when this occurs that the counsel abhors rejecting their position and accepting the opinion of another the foundation of this school will shake.
  4. It is very important that the teachers draw inspiration from the same source. They be independent and not concern themselves with belittling others. Allah forbid, when that happens the school will be in peril.
  5. Internal rules should be such that whatever is determined should be followed through or else the school will not flourish and if it does it will be without benefit.
  6. As long as this madarsah does not have a definite source of income, this Madarsah will run in this manner Insha-Allah with the condition that focus is kept on Allah. If an assured income is secured such as property, trade factory, or the promise of a leader from institution then it seems that fear and hope – the asset of beseeching Allah – will be slowly lost and the transcendental help will be halted. Disputes will arise between members. In short, there should be some amount of insecurity involved in regards to income and buildings.
  7. Associations with the government or aristocrats seem to be harmful also.
  8. To an extent, it seems the charity of such individuals has more blessing who give charity without expecting anything in return. As a whole, it seem those who give charity with good intentions are a greater asset.

Although over a century old and written in a different climate these principles still hold true at their core even today. The goals of these principles seem to boil down to two distinct but interdependent objectives; (1) sincerity and (2) independence. That is the people involved should be sincere and pious and remain so. In addition, they should maintain their independence so that there is no hindrance in acquiring their objectives. The first objective (sincerity) is required for internal stability whilst the second objective (independence) is required for external stability. This will allow for longevity and maintenance of core values upon which the institution was built.

Insha-Allah time permitting I will write a breakdown of each principle in the near future.

Muhammad Saifur Rahman
20 Rabi I 1433
13 March 2012


Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman. (2011). "Octet principle for Islamic foundation" Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 1. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/120313501