April 23, 2001

Characteristics of the Islamic Movement

 

The term ‘Islamic Movement’ (al-Harakah al-Islamiyyah)
conjures up differing images in the minds of the people of today, Muslim and
non-Muslim alike. For some, it is a source of pride and hope; the truest reflection
of the unique Qur’anic generation; the pre-eminent vehicle by which Islam is
to be re-established in this world. For others it is seen as a stubborn block
to progress and freedom; it is labeled as an international terrorist
organization
driving the Muslims farther away from the ‘sacred’ principle of secularism.

In the wake of the downfall of the Ottoman Khilafah,
the Muslim Ummah was reduced to its lowest position since it’s inception some
thirteen centuries ago. This struck a severe blow to both scholars and common-folk
alike. Confusion and despondency was endemic in the down-trodden, fragmented
remains of the state. Out of this rubble emerged the new phoenixes of Islam,
expressed in the thoughts and activities of Imam Hasan al-Banna Shaheed,
the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon), and
Sayyid
Abul ‘Ala Mawdudi, the founder of Jama’at-e-Islami. They managed to re-introduce
the Islamic paradigm in it’s entirety, to a fading community, and thus lay the
foundations of a global Islamic order. Today the same fikr, or thought, connects
Islamists all across the globe, creating a unity of purpose, means and ideas.

The Islamic Movement takes Islam in it’s most comprehensive
and universal expression, as “creed and state, Book and sword, and a way of
life…”. The objectives and some of the characteristics of the Islamic Movement
are explained below.

Objectives

The Islamic Movement seeks to bring about complete
change in the society, taking it from Jahiliyyah (ignorance) to Islam. It is
not merely satisfied with increasing the moral fiber of a few individuals or
groups of people – it strives for a metamorphosis of the very infrastructure
of society; it’s institutions, it’s culture, it’s political order and it’s creed.
These objectives may be broken into the five shown below:

  1. Building the Muslim Individual – to have a strong body; exemplary
    character; cultured thought; to be able to earn; to have deep faith and correct
    worship; to be conscious of time; to be able to benefit others; to be
    organized
    and striving.
  2. Building the Muslim Family – to have righteous parents who
    educate their  children to be brought up Islamically.
  3. Building the Muslim Community – by building the individuals
    and the families, addressing the problems of the society.
  4. Building the Muslim State – by instituting and electing an Islamic social
    and political governance. 
  5. Building the Khilafah – by gathering and unifying the Islamic governments  all around the world.
  6. Witnessing to Mankind – becoming the leader of humanity taking
    it away from the clutches of Shaytaan.

Objectives 1-4 run parallel and overlap and continue
until the Day of Judgment. The Khilafah is dependant upon the satisfactory
results of the first 4 objectives at which time Allah’s promise will, insha-Allah come to pass:

“Allah has promised to those among you who work
righteous deeds that He will, of a surety, grant them inheritance of the
land.’ [24:55]

Characteristics

1. Rabbaniyyah (Godliness)

The Cause of the Islamic Movement is founded on divine injunctions laid down in the Qur’an. Ultimately, it’s goal is to bring everyone
in line with the primordial purpose of all creation, which is to worship Allah.
The Islamic Movement requires all its soldiers, to first and foremost, strive
for the pleasure of Allah and the acceptance of his or her efforts, securing
themselves a place in the highest echelons of the Hereafter. It derives all
it’s aims, means and principles from the Qur’an and Sunnah which are the guiding
lights of the Ummah [see 61:14, 51:56, 10:24, 5:50, 4:65].

2. Jama’ah (Collectiveness)

Much of the demise of the Muslims can be attributed
to the lack of leadership and cohesiveness of the Muslims. The organizational
structure of the Islamic Movement is modeled around that existing at the time
of the Prophet (saw), who was the Imam and guide of that community, taking
Shura (consultation) from the members of his Islamic movement. Allah is with
the jama’ah and Shaytan accompanies those who insist on remaining singular.
We understand that constructive work, today, cannot be done by any other means
other than through organization, leadership and consultation [see 61:4].

3. Shumuliyyah (Comprehensiveness)

Islam came to regulate all affairs of man, leaving
nothing aside. There is no contradiction between spiritual and material, individual
and society, dunya and al-akhira. One need only look through the Qur’an to
see a confirmation of this. Thus the Islamic Movement comprises of the following:

  1. Salafi Da’wah – because they are calling man back to the
    two sources in Islam, the Qur’an and Sunnah.
  2. Sunni Way – because they adopt the path of the Prophet (saw)
    in all spheres, especially in matters of ‘Aqeedah (creed) and ‘Ibaadah
    (worship).
  3. True Tasawwuf – because it recognizes the importance of
    purifying the  heart and becoming closer to the Creator, through repentance
    and supererogatory acts in  accordance with the Sunnah.
  4. Political Organization – as it demands the reformation
    of Muslim Governments and seeks to re-establish the Islamic political order.
  5. Physically Trained Team – because it understands that the
    development  of the physique in preparation for Jihad and further struggle
    is an essential part of the training of the individual.
  6. Institute Of Culture And Learning – encouraging it’s members
    to acquire knowledge of Islam and also other areas, building institutions
    for the education of the masses.
  7. Commercial Firm – Islam orders earning by lawful means
    and in this world economic strength defines status and power.
  8. Welfare System – because it attends to the maladies of
    the society, discovering their cures and keeping the nation healthy.

The Islamic Movement does not sway to one pole or
another, be it politics, Sufism or Jihad. It recognizes that all these areas
are essential parts of the deen and need attention accordingly.

4. Binaa’ (Construction)

The Islamic Movement is not obsessed with the more
controversial issues in Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) which can lead Muslims
into hating one another and rendering them incapable of uniting and carrying
out any constructive work. There are greater goals and more pressing issues
which are leading to the destruction of our Ummah such as the occupation of
the Muslim lands, the illegitimacy of the rulers of the Muslim lands, the domination
of secularism and irreligiosity. We do not seek to destroy society and individuals
but rather to develop them, breeding the good qualities and eschewing any harmful
signs. We look for active, positive work which will bring an overall benefit
to humanity and which will lead to strong roots for the future [see 14:24,
9:105].

5. ‘Aalamiyyah (Universality)

The Islamic Movement is a global force, because Islam
did not come to a single group of people but to the whole of humanity. In an
age where the global communities are becoming one with the advent and proliferation
of the information highway, the Muslims are still far behind, although the Qur’an
and Sunnah exhort them to unity and a sense of togetherness. We are concerned
with the affairs of all the Muslims around the world. Also the Islamic movement
is linked globally by a strong network of brothers and sisters who are working
on a universal strategy to bring about a world-wide change.

6. Tadarruj (Gradualness)

Centuries of decadence and decay culminated in the
the fall of the Ottoman Khilafah in 1924. To regain the glory of earlier times
will take many further decades. We do not seek a temporary solution to the problems
of today’s world. There is no point in fighting the sunan (ways) of Allah which
necessitates many years of hard work and struggle before power is given
[2:124].
Immature solutions can lead to disastrous results which can set the Islamic
revival back even further.

7. Tawaazun (Balance)

Islam requires us to be balanced in the practise
of our faith [2:143, 25:67]. Each aspect of Islam must be understood as according
to its relative priority; being excessive in one aspect of Islam may result
in the neglect of another important part [5:90].

8. Waaqi’iyyah (Pragmatism)

Islam demands its adherents to be always practical
– to do only as much as one is able to do – and part of this pragmatism entails
us pressing momentous changes gradually. Islam does not require us to do anything
unless we are reasonably capable of doing it; if something is beyond our ability
to do then we will not be called to account for it [2:173].

The task of the Islamic movement is bold and prodigious.
No organization or body of people has managed to bring back Islam to the world
as the Islamic movement has helped to change the hearts and minds of millions,
al-Hamdulillah. The achievements of the Islamic movement are clearly manifest
for all to see. One needs only study the transformation of the people in Egypt,
Palestine, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India,
etc.

 (courtesy of http://www.ymuk.net)

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