TO WHAT DO WE INVITE HUMANITY?Written by: by Hasan Al-Banna :: (View All Articles by: Hasan Al-Banna)
- The Criterion
- O Our People!
- The Goal of Life in the Qur'an
- The Mandate of the Muslim Is Self sacrifice, Not Personal Advantage
- How Close Are the Muslims to This Goal?
- The Aim is the Foundation and the Work Stems From it
- The Origins of Our Goal
- From Where the Finance?
- We and Politics
- Our Nationalism and Its Basis
- There Is No Glory Beyond This
- Mightiest Sources of Strength
- Our Nationalism Is a Universal Kinship
- The Dreams of Yesterday Are the Realities of Today
- The Duty of the Muslim
- The Right of Humanity
- Guarding the Right Through Striving
- Monks by Night and Knights by Day
- An Imperialism of Education and Reform
- It Is Time for Us to Understand
- Where Do we Begin?
- Between the Two Forces
- The Course Is Clear
- We Must Be Followers
- Beware of Deviation
- Reform the Law
- Reform Social Conduct
- Wage war Against Vice
- Regulate Education
- Profit by Associating with Your Brethren
- The Practical Application
- A Brotherhood Which Proclaims Humanitarianism
- Horizons of the Islamic homeland
- A Long Road
- The SocioPhilosophical Viewpoint
- The Historical Viewpoint
- Is There Another Road?
- Duty First of All
- The Story of a Nation Coming into Existence
To What Do We Invite Humanity
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
You might speak to a large number of people about various topics , and believe that you have elucidated and explained everything with utmost clarity and exhausted every possible means of disclosing what is in your mind; you depart, having spoken to them about crystal clear ideas, and having imparted to them the aim of your message, facts as evident as the crack of dawn or the sun in broad daylight, as they say. So imagine how great your astonishment will be when, after a little while you discover that these people have neither understood you nor grasped anything you said.
I have seen this time after time, and experienced it on numerous occasions. I think that the secret of this is nothing more than one of two causes: either each of us uses a different criterion to judge what he says and hears, and therefore our understanding and perceptions differ; or the speech in its outward appearance is obscure, even if the speaker believes what he says is clear and unequivocal.
With this in mind, I would like to inform the people about the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood, its aims and objectives, its methods and its means, with candid clarity, distinctiveness and unambiguity.
First of all I wish to define the criterion we are using to measure this clarity, so that any reader who wishes to benefit from it will not find it impossible to understand. I think that the entire Islamic Ummah will agree with me, that this criterion is the book of Allah; from whose streams we refresh ourselves, from whose oceans we draw our sustenance, and to whose wisdom we return.
The Noble Qur'an is an all encompassing book in which Allah has gathered the fundamentals of religious doctrine the basis of social welfare, as well as the broad legislation, commands and prohibitions relating to life in this world. However the question remains: have the Muslims acted according to the Qur'an? Have they believed with conviction, in those religious tenets cited by Allah? Have they even understood the objectives that Allah has made clear to them? Do they apply His social and dynamic legislation to the manner in which they live? If we conclude from our study that they have done so, then we must have arrived at the desired goal; but if our study reveals that they are far from the path decreed by the Qur'an, that they are negligent of its teachings and commandments; then we ought to realise it is our duty to bring ourselves, as well as those who follow us, back to that way.
The Qur'an has defined the goal of life and the purpose of man's existence, and has demonstrated the consequence of people whose main concern in this life is eating and enjoyment, for He, the Blessed and Almighty says:
While those who reject Allah, will enjoy (this world) and eat as cattle eat; and the Fire will be their abode.
(Surat-Muhammad (47), ayah 12)
Furthermore, He has shown that for those whose concern is luxury and temporary possessions He has:
Made fair in the eyes of men the love of things they covet; women children, much (wealth) of gold and silver, and branded beautiful horses, cattle and well tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present worlds life, but Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers etc.) with Him
(Surat-aal-Imraan (3), ayah 14)
It has also shown regarding others whose interest in this life is to fuel civil strife, causing evil and corruption to flourish, Allah says about them:
There is the type of man whose speech about this worlds life may dazzle you, and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet he is the most contentious of enemies. When he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle, but Allah likes not mischief
(Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayahs 204-205)
These are some of the aspirations of men in this life, which Allah has kept the believers clean and innocent from: instead entrusting them with much loftier concerns! He has placed upon their shoulders the highest of duties which is the guidance of humanity to the truth, leading mankind to good, and the illumination of the entire world with the light of Islam and this is what He, the Almighty says:
O ye who believe ! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves. and worship your Lord, and do good that you may be successful And strive hard in the cause of Allah as you ought to strive. He has chosen you (to convey his message), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship. It is the religion of your father Abraham. It is he (Allah) who has named you Muslims both before and in this (Quran) so that the Apostle might be a witness over you, and you be witnesses over mankind. Therefore offer the prayers perfectly, and pay the alms, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protector. What an excellent Protector, What an excellent Helper!
(Surat-al-Hajj (22), ayahs 77-78)
This means that the Noble Qur'an appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the right of supervision and rule over the world in order to carry out this sublime command. Hence it is our concern, it pertains to Islamic civilisation, not that of the West, nor to that of a materialistic civilisation.
Thus Allah (SWT) has made it clear that the believer striving towards this goal, and his property, has been purchased by Allah, and for him there is in return Allahs mercy. Surely the success of this call and its message to the hearts of men is dependant on this. Therefore, the Almighty, says:
Surely Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their possessions, for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise.
(Surat-at-Tauba (9), ayah 111)
From this we see that the Muslim makes His life as an endowment for His mission, so that he may gain the next world as a reward for his exertion and efforts in this life. Hence, the Muslim, who has spread the word of Allah, was a guide and teacher adorned with enlightenment, guidance, compassion, and benevolence. Thus the civilised spread of Islam was one of preparing (for the future), of guiding, and teaching. Can this be compared with what Western imperialism is doing at this present time?
Have the Muslims understood the Book of their Lord in this fashion, such that their souls have been uplifted, and their spirits raised high ? Such that they have freed themselves from the enslavement of materialism, and purified themselves from the pleasures of lust and desires, such that they have lifted themselves above trivialities and lowly objectives, and have turned their faces towards Allah, who created the heavens and the earth, as pure believers exalting the word of Allah and striving in His path ? Spreading His faith and defending His Sacred Law ? Or are they prisoners of their cravings and slaves of their greed, whose sole interest is tender meat, a fast car, a handsome suit, a comfortable nap, a fair wife, a false front and an empty title?
They were satisfied in their aspirations but afflicted in their fortunes;
They ventured into the seas of striving, so they said, and were afflicted no more.
The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) was right:
Wretched is the slave of the dinaar, wretched is the slave of the dirham, wretched is the slave of velvet
Since the aim was what originally impelled us to follow the path, it became necessary that we reclarify and redefine this aim as it had become obscure and confused: I suspect that we have succeeded in doing so, and have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish Allahs sovereignty over the world. To guide all of humanity to the precepts of Islam and its teachings (without which mankind cannot attain happiness).
It is precisely this aim which the Muslim Brotherhood wish to advocate, so that the Islamic Ummah understands it as it ought to be understood, and they are thus procured to salvage mankind with full determination and energy. They have not fabricated it, nor have they invented it of their own accord. It is no more than the message which is apparent in every verse of the Noble Qur'an, a message which emerges with clarity and precision in every Hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH), is manifest in every deed of the first Muslims (who are the best examples for the proper understanding of Islam and its revival). If the Muslims wish to accept this message, it will be the proof of their faith and of the genuineness of their Islam. But if they find anything objectionable or faulty in it, the Book of Allah (SWT) stands between us and them as a just authority and the final arbitrator, demonstrating whether the truth lies with us or against us:
Our Lord, judge between us and our people in truth, for you are the best of those who give judgement.
(Surat-al-Araaf (7), ayah 89)
There have been inquiries from many of our brothers, whom we love with all our hearts, and to whose benefit and welfare in this world and the next we have devoted our efforts, our wealth, and our lives, and have sacrificed ourselves for the goal of bringing happiness to our Ummah and brothers. For them, we have neglected our children and our wives. I very much wish that the brothers who are asking such questions would make themselves aware about the youth of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose eyes are wide awake while other men sleep; their minds are working while the carefree relax. One of them will be leaning over his desk from afternoon until midnight, painstakingly working, striving and pondering, keeping up with it consistently all month long. When the month is over, he hands over his income to his organisation, his donation is dedicated to his mission, and his money, is put to the service of his goal. He seems to be saying to the sons of his people who are heedless of his self sacrifice: I do not ask from you any reward for my reward is due from Allah alone. Allah has forbidden that we place a burden on our Umma! From it we came and to it we belong: Our self sacrifice is a means of drawing the attention of the Ummah so that it may understand our mission and respond to our call.
Those beloved brothers who survey the Muslim Brotherhood from a distance and peer into them from a close range raise the question: What is the source of their expenditure? From where does the money come for a mission which is as successful and flourishing as theirs, when times are tight and people are miserly? My answer to this is that religious missions are supported by faith before money, and by conviction before transitory goods. Wherever the True believer is found, you also find with him all the means to success. the money of the Muslim Brotherhood consists of the small amounts they deduct from their expenses, and which they save through economising on their basic necessities, their households and children. So that their souls increase with generosity, and their hearts with compassion. Every one of them would like to spend much more than what he owns for the sake of Allah, and if some of them find nothing, they turn away, their eyes brimming with tears of sorrow because they have not found anything to contribute. This little money and immense faith, with all praise and glory unto Allah, is
..a plain message to those who worship (Allah)
(Surat-al-Anbiyaa (21), ayah 106)
and success comes to sincere workers. Allah, in whose hand is everything, who blesses every single penny collected by the Brotherhood, for
Allah will destroy usury, but He will give increase for charity
(Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayah 276)
And that which you bring in charity desiring only the Face of Allah they are the ones who will be increased manifold
(Surat-ar-Rum (30), ayah 39)
Other people say that the Muslim Brotherhood are a political group and that their mission is a political one, behind which they have spurious aims. Who knows how far our nation will go on spreading suspicions, exchanging accusations, and name calling, while it abandons a sure way supported by reality, to proceed along a path of mere conjecture inspired by doubts ?
We are calling out to you, our people with the Qur'an in our right hand and the Sunnah in our left, and the deeds of the pious ancestors as our example. We invite you to the teachings of Islam, the laws of Islam and the guidance of Islam: If in your eyes this seems political, then so be it; but it is our policy. And if the one who summons you to these principles is a politician, then we are the most honourable of men, and praised be to Allah, in politics! And if you wish to call this politics, say what you like, for names will never harm us and our goals stand unveiled.
O Our people, let not mere words and names cover you from the truth, and our real goals, nor let immaterial things veil you from the essential. It is an aim of Islam to provide happiness in this world and virtue in the next. We absorb this into our policy, and make no apologies for this. Therefore govern yourselves according to it, and carry it to others, and you will win the glory of the world to come. May you know of its glad tidings.
Brother, come, let us listen together to the voice of the Divine Glory resounding through the horizons, filling the earth and the Seven Heavens, rousing the soul of every believer with the loftiest feelings of glory and pride. The heavens and the earth and all that they contain are attentive to this call, ever since Al-Ameen- the Prophet (PBUH) proclaimed it to humanity, since eternity was decreed for it:
Allah is the Protector of those who believe
(Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayah 257)
Yes, my brother! This is the call to the Lord. Here I am, O Allah, here I am! Praise and thanks unto thee! Praise unto Thee without any restriction! Thou art the Protector of the believers, the Helper of those who strive , the Defender of those who are wronged, who are attacked in their homes and driven from there! Honourable is he who takes refuge in Thee, and victorious is he who seeks Thy protection!
Allah will surely help those who helps His cause. Truly Allah is Almighty, All-strong!
(Surat-al-Hajj (22), ayah 40)
Brother, let us listen together to the voice of the Noble Qur'an, and let us drift with the recitation of its crystal clear verses. Let us note down the beauty contained within the pages of this pure, great, Book.
Come with me, come with me, my brother, and hear the Speech of Allah (SWT):
Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of darkness into light
(Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayah 257)
Nay, but Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of Helpers.
(Surat-aal-Imran (3), ayah 150)
Verily your Protector is Allah and His messenger, and the believers, those who offer prayers perfectly and pay the alms, and they bow down (in submission and obedience to Allah
(Surat-al-Maaidah (5), ayah 55)
Verily my Protector is Allah, Who revealed the Book, and He protects the righteous.
(Surat-al-A'raaf (7), ayah 196)
Say: 'Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our protector: and in Allah let the believers place their trust
(Surat-at-Tauba (9), ayah 51)
No doubt, on the friends of Allah no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve; those who believed and used to fear Allah much by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds.
(Surat-Yunus (10), ayahs 63-64)
That is because Allah is the protector of those who believe, and because the unbelievers have no protector.
(Surat Muhammad (47), ayah 11)
Dont you see that in these clear verses Allah (SWT) allies Himself with you, grants you the grace of His protectorship, and sheds upon you the superabundance of His glory?
But honour, power and glory belongs to Allah, to His Apostle, and to the believers, but the Hypocrites know not
(Surat-al-Munafiqun (63), ayah 8)
And in the Noble Traditions which have been related to us by the Chosen One (PBUH) He says about his lord that
On the Day of Resurrection, Allah (SWT) says: O children of Adam, I have set up a kinship and you have set up a kinship and you have said: He is So and so, son of so and so. But I have said: Verily the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you (Surat-al-Hujuraat (49), ayah 13). And today I shall raise up My kinship and humble your kinship.
Therefore, noble brother, the pious Predecessors used to raise their relationship to Allah (SWT) and establish as the foundation of their prayers and the pivot of their deeds the recognition of this relationship. One of them called out to his companion:
Do not call me but by o His Slave For it is truly the noblest of my names.
In another incident someone once replied to a questioner who asked if he came from the tribe of Tamim or Qays:
My father is Islam: I have no Father
When they boast of Qays or Tamin.
Dear Brother, people boast of their lineage only because they find in the deeds of their ancestors glory and nobility, and because they intend by this to breath the spirit of might and honour into the souls of their children. Beyond these two considerations there is nothing. Do you not see that allegiance to Allah (SWT) is the highest possible ambition that the ambitious may strive to attain in terms of glory and splendour:
For glory belongs to Allah entirely
(Surat-al-Nisaa (4), ayah 139)
And the highest level one can uplift the soul to is that of the Illiyyun, to breath into it the spirit of youth alongside those who work (for the sake of Allah), for is there any honour greater than this, and is there anything more virtuous than seeing your own self dedicated to Allah. To Him connected and to him allied? On this matter, Allah (SWT) has said:
Be you Rabbaaniyun (learned men of religion who practise what they know and also preach others), because you are teaching the Book and you are studying it
(Surat-aal-Imran (3), ayah 79)
Allegiance to the Truth is a prerequisite that must be grasped by anyone who has committed himself to this directive: It is this that causes the overflowing of Imaan (faith), and the confidence in success which will reside in your heart and fill your soul; you will fear no one, nor will you be intimidated if the entire world, stood before you trying to take away your divine doctrine or undermine your principles.
Those unto whom the people said: The people have gathered against you therefore fear them! But it only increased them in their faith, and they said: Allah is our sufficiency, and He is the best disposer of affairs!
(Surat-aal-Imran (3), ayah 173)
And whenever any of those few believers in Allah, confident in Him and His support, found himself confronting a tumultuous horde or a rapacious army, they neither dreaded its assault nor feared its persecution, because they were afraid of no one but Allah. What is more mighty than the strength which flows in the heart of the believer when his breast gushes with the words of Allah (SWT).
If Allah aids you, No conqueror will overcome you.
(Surat-aal-Imran (3), ayah 160)
This is one aspect of the high social significance of mankinds connection with Allah (SWT). It is that bond of brotherhood between people, that mutual support in a society, and the eradication of those greedy ambitions which are inspired by fanaticism and sowing the fuel of dissension and mutual aversion among nations. So who is the saviour of world, such that he will join the forces rallying around the banner of Allah?
This is a saying which the Muslims have been hearing for a long time, but perhaps it is unclear and incomprehensible to them. Perhaps they may say: What is wrong with this group is that they write about ideas which cannot even be achieved. What is the point of expressing utopian ideals except for floating around in a world of imagination and dreams?
My dear brother in Islam , take it easy! What you consider today as obscure and far away was commonplace to your predecessors. Your striving (jihad) will never bear fruit until it becomes just that- believe me, the earliest Muslims understood the Noble Qur'an the first time they read it: what we are handing on to you today was revealed to them.
I say to you in sincerely that the creed of the Muslim Brotherhood is what they live by: they place their hope for the good in it, and they die because of it. They see in it whatever comfort, beauty, felicity, and truth their souls aspire to:
Has not time come for those who believe that their hearts should be effected by Allahs remainder and that which has been sent down as the truth? Lest they become like those who received the scripture before them, and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts hardened? and many of them were transgressors.
(Surat-al-Hadeed (57), ayah 16)
Dear brothers, if you agree with us on this principle, know that your allegiance to Allah (SWT) compels you to evaluate the important duty which has been placed on your shoulders. So be active in working for this and know that sacrifice lies in its way. So are you from these workers?
The duty of the true Muslim has been specified by Allah (SWT) in one verse of His Book, and it has been repeated thereafter in numerous verses. Stated in the following words of Allah (SWT):
O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord, and do good that you may be successful. And strive for Allahs cause as you ought to strive: He has chosen you and has not laid on you in religion any hardship. The creed of your father Abraham. It is (Allah) who named you Muslims both before, and in this, so that the Apostle might be a witness over you, and you be witnesses over mankind. Therefore perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and take refuge in Allah, He is your Protector. And how fair a Protector, how fair a Helper!
(Surat-al-Hajj (22), ayahs 77-78)
These words are clear cut, without any ambiguity or mystery, yet I swear by Allah that these verses are full of charm and beauty. The meaning is as lucid as the dawn and as visible as light, filling the air and penetrating the heart without even seeking permission! Have not the Muslims heard it prior to now? Or did they hear it with hearts barred against it, heedless and unthinking?
Allah commands the Muslims to bow, to prostrate themselves, and to perform the prayer which is the essence of worship, the pillar of Islam, and the most apparent of its outward signs. And to worship Allah not associating anything with Him. And to do as much good as they possibly can, but at the same time as He commands them to do good, He also forbids them from doing evil, for the first step in doing good is abandoning evil. How concise and yet how eloquent! And with this condition, He has decreed for them success, prosperity, and victory. This is the individual duty of every Muslim, and he must perform it, either in solitude or in company.
Allah then commanded them to strive to their utmost for His sake, by spreading this message and making it universal amongst man with argument and proof, even if they scorned at it recklessly unjustly and rebelliously, with both the sword and the tongue.
And if mankind has oppressed the clear evidence and has been
reckless than war is better in this world than peace.
Wise was the man who said: Striving is the surest way of implementing the truth, and how beautiful that striving and truth should march side by side. Jihad is the means of spreading the Islamic call and of preserving the sacred principles of Islam. This is another religious duty imposed by Allah on the Muslim, just as He imposed fasting, prayer, pilgrimage, alms, and the doing of good and abandoning of evil. He has imposed Jihad upon them, and entrusted them with it. He did not excuse anyone possessing the strength and ability from performing it, for it is a Qur'anic verse which is imperative a warning, and an exhortation which is binding:
March forth, light and heavy, and strive with your wealth and your persons in Allah's way!
(Surat-at-Tauba (9), ayah 41)
Allah revealed the secret of this entrustment and the wisdom of imposing this on the Muslims, showing them that He selected and distinguished them, above all of mankind, to be the leaders of His creation, His trustees over the Divine Law, and His deputies on His earth, as well as the heirs of His Messenger (PBUH). He made the religion easy for them, perfected His legislation, and made its rules eternal, rendering them applicable to all times and places, so that the world would accept them and humanity would see in them its long awaited and anticipated hope:
He has chosen you, and imposed on you no hardship in religion the creed of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims formerly, and in this, so that the Prophet might be a witness against you, and you be witnesses against mankind
(Surat-al-Hajj (22), ayah 78)
This is a social duty which Allah has entrusted on all Muslims, so that they may be as one battalion, a solid block and a strong force, become the army of liberation to rescue humanity and guide them all to the path.
Then Al-Haqq (SWT) showed mankind the connection between the individual responsibility, such as prayer and fasting, with ones responsibility towards the community, showing them that the first was a means to the second, and that the correct belief was the foundation of both of these, so that there could be no way for some people to shirk their individual obligations by arguing that they were carrying out their communal ones, nor could there be any way for others to shirk their communal duty with the argument that they were preoccupied with their ritual obligations totally absorbed in their communion with Allah . How precise and wise is the saying, "Who is fairer in speech than Allah?"
O Muslims, worshipping your Lord, striving to make your religion strong, and honouring your Sacred Law, is your duty in this life. For if you perform these as they should be performed, you will be amongst those who are saved; but if you perform only some of them or neglect them altogether, then I quote to you the words of Allah (SWT):
Did you then think that We created you in play (without a purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us? Almighty is Allah the King, the Truth!
(Surat-an-Nur (23), ayahs 115-116)
From the descriptions of the Companions of Muhammad (PBUH), since Allah chose them above His creation, and the pious forefathers, occurs the following: Monks by night and knights by day. You can just see one of them at night, standing in his oratory, clutching his beard, sincerely murmuring and weeping saying: O world, allure some other than myself! And when at the break of dawn and the call to arms rings out, summoning the fighter to jihad, you would seen him, a wolf on the back of his mount, shouting the war cry, which the entire battlefield resounded with.
By Allah, what was this amazing connection, that strange combination, that unique mixture between the work and affairs of this life to that of the next? Why, it is nothing but Islam, which combines the best of everything!
The Muslims have travelled to the furthest countries of the earth with the Quran on their chests, their homes on their saddles and their swords in their hands, and with the clear proof on the tips of their tongues, inviting mankind to accept Islam or the paying of jizya, or else face combat. Anyone who accepted Islam became their brother; what was theirs became his too. Anyone who paid the jizya was under their protection and liability, they stood by his rights, observing the pact made with him, and faithfully keeping to the conditions accepted by him. Anyone who remained unyielding was fought by them until God granted them victory:
But God will not allow except that His light has been perfect.
(Surat-at-Tauba (9), ayah 32)
They did not do this for political power, their self denial with respect to rank and fame is well known to everyone. Their religion had condemned the superficial apparencies which some people enjoy at the expense of others. Their Caliph was one of them who was neither the most excellent nor the most intelligent of them, being allotted the same amount of property and payment as any other amongst them, their commander was again one of them, not distinguished except by virtue of the outstanding faith and prowess of judgement with which Allah had graced him. Nor was it done for wealth, for every one of them was satisfied with a piece of bread to satisfy his hunger and a drink of water to quench his thirst. Fasting to them was a waterskin, they preferred hunger to satiation. Each one of them possessed just enough clothing to conceal his nakedness. The Book of Allah informed them:
Those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as cattle eat, but the Fire will be their abode.
(Surat-Muhammad (47), ayah 12)
And their Prophet said to them:
Wretched is the slave of the dirham, wretched is the slave of the dinaar, wretched is the slave of velvet.
Therefore the exodus from their territory was not for the sake of rank, wealth, political power, imperialism, or exploitation. It was only to carry out a special mission, the mission of their Prophet (PBUH), which he had left as a trust in their hands. And he had commanded them to strive vigorously because of it:
Until there is no longer discord, and all worship for Allah.
(Surat-al-Baqarah (2) ayah 193)
The Muslims formerly understood this and acted accordingly, their faith impelling them to sacrifice themselves on its behalf. These days, however, the Muslims differ widely in their understanding of their duty. They have made use of allegorical interpretations and theories about the absoluteness of Allahs attributes to justify their slackness and sloth. One of them will say to you The time for jihad and work is long over. Another will dampen your zeal by saying that the means are lacking and the Islamic nations are shackled. A third will be content to give his religion lip service, talking about it day and night, but satisfied to limit his religious duties simply to bowing which he performs without any inner conviction.
No, no, brothers! The Quran which is in your possession calls out to you clearly and unambiguously:
Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Apostle, [and then have not doubted] but have striven with their wealth and their persons in Allahs way these are the truthful
(Surat-al-Hujuraat (49) ayah 15)
And in the Sunnah, the Prophet (PBUH) tells you:
When people are stingy with their money, buy and sell on credit, follow the tails of cattle, and abandon jihad in Allahs way, Allah Almighty will inflict a humiliation upon them which He will not lift from them until they go back to their religion
[Imam Ahmad related this in his Musnad, as has At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir and Al-Bayhaqi in the Shuab Al-Imaan on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Umar.]
And you may read in your books of jurisprudence all that has been written, both in ancient and modern times, on the question of when jihad is a collective responsibility and when it is an individual one. The facts and their implications are clear yet what is this lethargy that has settled over you? What is this hopelessness that has seized your minds, so that they neither remember nor awaken? Muslims, this is a period of rebuilding: re build yourselves, and your Umma will as a consequence be rebuilt!
This divine commandment requires your souls to believe and your hearts to be pure; therefore work to strengthen your faith and to purify yourselves. It demands of you self sacrifice in terms of wealth and struggle; therefore prepare yourselves. What you possess is temporary, but the things of Allah endure, for surely Allah has bought from the believers their persons and their wealth, in that Paradise is theirs, which has a breadth the size of the heavens and the earth.
The creation of nations, the education of people, the realisation of hopes, and the defence of principles. The nation which tries to achieve this or the group which is calling for this will need at the very least a mighty spiritual strength which may be manifested in numerous ways: a strong will which no weakness can penetrate; a steady loyalty unassailable by fickleness or treachery; a noble spirit of self-sacrifice, unaffected by greed or avarice; a knowledge of the principles, having faith in them evaluating them, and making sure they are immune to error. They must ensure that there is no deviation , quibbling or betrayal about it (which are the characteristics of the soul). Upon this awesome spiritual strength and high principles will be erected, resurgent nations who will create educated and zealous people, life will be renewed in those who have been deprived of it for many years.
People that have lost these four qualities, or at any rate, whose leaders and invitors of reform have lost them, are a wretched and frivolous people who can neither come to any good nor accomplish their hopes. They live in a world of dreams, idle speculation, and fancies:
But idle speculation is no substitute for truth.
(Surat-an-Najm (53), ayah 28)
This is the law of Allah (SWT) and His Sunnah in terms of His creation; you will find no alteration in Allahs Sunnah:
Allah does not change the circumstances of a people until they change what is in themselves
(Surat-ar-Rad (13), ayah 11)
This is elaborated by the Prophet (PBUH) in a tradition:
There will be nations about to advance upon you as people eat from a dinner plate. Allah will surely remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies, and He will surely cast Wahn (weakness) into your hearts. The narrator asked: Is it because we will be few at that time, Apostle of Allah? He replied: No indeed, you will he many at that time, but you will be rubbish like the rubbish borne along by a flash flood. So he said: "What is Wahn, Apostle of Allah?" He said: "The love of this world, and the fear of death.
Dont you see that the Prophet stressed on the causes of the weakness and humiliation of nations and concluded that it is the feebleness of their spirit, the weakness of their minds, and the emptiness of their hearts devoid of any morality and the true qualities of manliness, even if they are many in number and their resources and products are abundant?
A nation that wallows in luxury, grows accustomed to affluence, it drowns itself in the charms of material existence, and is seduced by the glamour of the life in this world. It soon forgets how to bear hardship and misfortune and neglects to strive in Allahs way, and as a result, it will inevitably bid farewell to all its glory and hope.
Many people assumed that the East would rise up and compete with the nations which have stolen its rights and oppressed its people, but for the fact that it is lacking in material strength in the form of money, equipment and combat vehicles. This is true and important; but what is more important and necessary is spiritual strength consisting of great moral character, high-mindedness, confidence and knowledge of its rights and reason for existence, and a determined will. Finally self sacrifice in the line of duty and good faith upon which trust and unity are built. Upon these two, strength is created.
If the East believed in its right, Brought changes within itself, concerned itself with the strength of the spirit, and took pains to rectify its moral fibre, then the means of achieving material strength would come to it from every direction, for the unquestionable facts are in the pages of history.
The Muslim Brotherhood believes this fervently, and are therefore diligently purifying their souls, strengthening themselves, and rectifying their moral character. And it is for this reason that they are striving to fulfil their mission, convincing people to accept their principles, and demanding that the Umma reform itself and rectify its moral character.
They have not innovated In the context of what they have to say: rather have they drawn their inspiration from the Mightiest Ocean, the Boundless Sea, the Firm Constitution, and the Loftiest Source the Book of Allah (SWT); but you have already heard that
Allah does not change the circumstances of a people until they change what is in themselves.
(Surat-ar-Rad (13), ayah 11)
The Quran discloses this theme in many of its Verses; indeed; it has given us a proverbial example, in the saga of the Children of Israel, that magnificent saga which depicts to every grieving nation the way to rebuild.
The Muslim Brotherhood believe that when Allah (SWT), sent down the Quran and commanded His worshippers to follow Muhammad (PBUH), He gifted them with Islam as the true religion, incorporating within it all the fundamentals necessary for a nation to live advance and prosper. This is confirmed in the words of Allah (SWT):
Those who follow the Messenger, the Illiterate Prophet, whom they will find mentioned in the Torah and the Injil, he commands them to do the good and forbids them to do evil; he makes lawful to them what is beneficial and prohibits for them what is vile; and he puts off from them the burden and the shackles that were upon them.
(Surat-Araaf (7) ayah 157)
And in the truthful words of the Apostle (PBUH):
By Allah, I no sooner abandoned an evil thing but I forbade you to do it.
If you examine the teachings of Islam, you will find that it sets forth the soundest principles, the most suitable regulations, and the most precise laws for the life of the individual, man or woman, for the life of the family both during its growth and its dissolution. And for the life of nations during their development, their strength, and their weakness, and prescribes ideas in front of which even reformers and leaders of nations have stood hesitant.
Globalism, nationalism, socialism, capitalism, Bolshevism, war, the distribution of wealth, the link between producer and consumer, and whatever is closely or distantly connected to the discussions preoccupying the statesmen and the social philosophers, we believe that all of these have been dealt with thoroughly by Islam, and that Islam has set forth the regulations assuring that the world employs all that is good, as well as avoiding whatever may lead to danger or disaster. Presently however, this is not the place to go into details about such subjects. For we are only stating our beliefs and explaining to humanity exactly what we are calling them to.
Since the Muslim Brotherhood believe in this understanding, they demand that the people work so that the foundations of modern Eastern resurgence are built on the basic principles of Islam, in every aspect of life. And they believe that every feature of modern renaissance which is contrary to the principles of Islam and conflicts with the laws of the Quran only serves corruption and worthless experimenting, which after making enormous sacrifices the nation will not have benefited from. It is more advantageous for the nation which seeks revival to take the shortest route by adhering to the precepts of Islam.
The Muslim Brotherhood are not addressing their appeal to any one particular Islamic country. They are sending out their call, hoping that it will reach the ears of the leaders and chiefs of state in every country whose people follow the Islamic way of life. To that end, they are taking this opportunity which all Islamic countries are bound by, as they seek to build their future on solid foundations embodying the basic element of progress, advancement, and civilisation.
The greatest fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is that the Eastern Islamic nations may let themselves be swept along by the current of blind imitation, and patch up their revival with outdated concepts that contradict themselves and which hindsight has proven to be corrupt and valueless. Each one of these Islamic nations has a constitution, and it is necessary that the source of those constitutions be derived the from the rules and regulations of the Noble Quran. Furthermore, nations which declare in the first paragraph of their constitution that their official religion is Islam must conform with this principle in the rest of its paragraphs. Every paragraph which Islam cannot tolerate and which its laws do not sanction must be expunged, so that no contradiction will appear in the fundamental law of the state.
Every nation has a set of laws in which the people partake their ruling. These sets of laws must be derived from the proscriptions of the Islamic Shareeah (drawn from the Noble Quran, and in accordance with the basic sources of Islamic jurisprudence). The Islamic Shareeah and the decisions of the Islamic jurists are completely sufficient, supply every need, and cover every contingency, and they produce the most excellent results and the most blessed fruits. If the punishments prescribed by Allah were carried out, they would be a deterrent dismaying even the most hardened of criminals, restraining even the habitual thug, and relieving governments of the annoyances of worthless experiments. Experience confirms and supports that, basic assumptions of modern legislation proclaim and sustain it, and Allah (SWT) has commanded and prescribed it:
And they who judge not according to what Allah has sent down, they are unbelievers.
(Surat-al-Maaidah (5) ayah 44)
In all nations there are aspects of social life controlled by their governments, regulated by their laws, and protected by their authorities. It is up to every Eastern nation to exert itself so that all these internal features are in conformity with the aspects of religion and consistent with Islamic legislation and its decree. Officially condoned prostitution is a mark of shame on the forehead of every nation that values virtue, how much more so in the case of Islamic nations, whose religion commands them to wage war on prostitution and to punish adulterers severely.
Let not compassion for the two of them seize you in respect of Allahs religion, if you believe in Allah and the Last Days, and let a party of the believers witness their punishment.
(Surat-an-Nur (24), ayah 2)
Pubs on the most prominent streets and the most notable quarters of any city, those tall, wide signs advertising alcoholic beverages. Those plain, obvious posters display the very source of debasement, rejected by religion and most strictly forbidden by the Noble Quran!
This perverted temptation to vice, this destructive pleasure, this frivolous self-indulgence in the streets, in the meeting places, in summer resorts, in the country, all contradict what Islam commands us to follow in the way of chastity, decency, renunciation, and dedication to serious work and abstention from frivolous activities.
Truly Allah loves noble things and detests the frivolous.
It is the duty of the Islamic nations to do their utmost to fight and resist these practices and their like, with all the power their authority and laws are capable of exerting, without slacking or growing indifferent.
Every Islamic nation and community pursues a policy in educating and bringing up the new generation, and producing the adults of the future upon whom the life of the new nation will depend. This policy must be based on wise principles which guarantee religious immunity for the upcoming generation, a moral impregnability, and a knowledge of the precepts of their religion as well as an appreciation of its ancient glory and its vast expansion.
This is only a small selection from the many principles which the Muslim Brotherhood wish the Islamic nations to consider carefully in bringing about the modern revival
And they are directing this appeal to all Muslims, to both the people and the governments. Their means of achieving lofty Islamic ideals are: to show clearly the advantages and perfections that are within it, so that when people bring this to mind and are convinced of its privileges, it will induce them to work for it and yield to its judgement:
Say: This is my way: I summon unto Allah according to a clear understanding, I and whoever follows me. Glory unto Allah! I am not of the polytheists!
(Surat-Yusuf (12), ayah 108)
Islam calls out to its sons and followers, saying:
Cling fast to the rope of Allah, all of you, and do not become divided. Remember Allahs grace to you when you when you were enemies; and He united your hearts, and through His grace you became brethren.
(Surat-aal-Imran (3), ayah 103)
And in another verse the Noble Quran says:
The believers are nought other than brothers.
(Surat-al-Hujuraat (49) ayah 10)
And in another verse:
The believing men and the believing women are protecting friends of one another.
(Surat-at-Tauba (9), ayah 71)
And the Noble Prophet (PBUH) says:
Be you worshippers of Allah, and brothers.
This is the manner in which the first Muslims, Allahs grace be upon them, understood this concept of fraternity in Islam. Their faith in Allahs religion dictated that they share the most enduring sentiments of love and affection, and the most noble expressions of brotherhood and friendship. They were like one man with a single heart and hand, so that Allah conferred His blessing on them. he says in His Book (SWT):
And He has united their hearts. If thou hadst expended all that is in the earth, thou wouldst not have united their hearts, but God united them.
(Surat-al-Anfaal (8), ayah 63)
The Emigrant who had left his people behind, forsaken his homeland in Mecca, and fled with his religion, found in front of him the young men of Yathrib as the sons of Islam, awaiting and yearning to see him, with love for him, and rejoice at his advent. They had no prior acquaintance with him or ancient ties: no bond of marriage or blood relationship united them. Nor did any personal motive or self interest impel them towards him. It was only the Islamic creed that made them sympathise with him, join him, and look upon him as one of their own and as a spiritual brother. No sooner had he arrived at the mosque, that his new followers from Aws and Khazraj surrounded him, each inviting him to his home, choosing him for himself, pledging himself and his family as his protector even unto death, and stubbornly insisting on this claim until the matter had to be settled by casting lots. About this, the Imam Al-Bukhari transmits this text:
No Emigrants of mine settled down with my Auxiliaries except by lots.
Even the Quran has preserved for all eternity the excellence of the Ansaar, and the highlight of their lives remain radiant across the ages in the words of Allah (SWT):
And those who occupied the abode and the faith before them, love those who emigrate to them, and find no need in their breasts for that which they have been given, but prefer them over themselves, even though there would be poverty amongst them; those protected from avarice of soul, they are the prosperous.
(Surat-al-Hashr (59), ayah 9)
Such was the level of the children of Islam, especially those who where from the first ranks of Islam and found intimacy of faith amongst themselves. There was no division between the Emigrant and the Helper, nor between the Meccan and the Yemenite, so that the Noble Apostle extolled the Asharites (of the people of Yemen), saying (PBUH):
How excellent are the people of the Asharites! When they wage jihad in expeditions or against settled communities, they gather together all they possess and put it together, then they divide it among themselves with perfect equality.
And if you read the Noble Quran, and the Traditions of the Prophet (PBUH), and study the biographies of the fortunate and glorious adherents of this religion, you will see therein matters to delight your soul and to fill your mind and heart.
This creed has produced two fruits which we must harvest, whose sweetness we must show you, their enjoyment, their goodness, and their utility. The first of these has to do with the fact that this creed resulted in Islamic domination resembling no other in all of history, neither in its aims nor in its operations and conduct. not in its results or benefits. For the Muslim sovereign conquered a land only to exalt the Word of the Truth, and to illuminate its horizons with the teachings of the Noble Quran. For whenever the light of Muhammads (PBUH) guidance shone upon the souls of people, all differences were obliterated, wrongs were wiped out, justice and equality prevailed in their midst, along with love and brotherhood. There was no question of a triumphant conqueror and a vanquished enemy, but simply one of affectionate and devoted brothers. The notion of nationalism thenceforth melts away and disappears just as snow disappears after bright, strong sunlight falls upon it. It is in contrast with the Islamic concept of brotherhood, which the Quran instils in the souls of all those who follow it.
The Muslim conqueror who entered new territories, even before he fought and defeated his enemies, had already sold himself and his people, and had rid himself of communal loyalties and nationalism in the path of Allah. He did not fight for the sake of such loyalties, nor did he conquer for the sake of nationalism, and he did not win victories for the sake of racial sentiment; but rather acted only for the sake of Allah and Allah alone, who has no partner.
The most remarkable story that has been related about sincere dedication to a goal, and the eradication of desire from the inner-self, is one which occurs in the Noble Traditions, the gist of which is that a man came before the Prophet (PBUH) and said: Prophet of Allah, I wish to wage jihad in Allahs way, and I would like to see what my portion [thereafter] will be. The Prophet (PBUH) remained silent, without answering. And the following Quranic verse was revealed:
Whoever hopes to meet his Lord, let him do a righteous work, and let him not associate anyone as partner, in worshipping his Lord.
(Surat-al-Kahf (18) ayah 111)
Dont you see how Islam looks to that individuals search for commendation and praise, both of which are from the natural disposition of the soul and a minor form of shirk, from which one must be cleansed and rise high above in honour to reach that noble goal? Is there anything more sincere than a man who neglects his own self in the way of his goal? Do you expect that a man whose religion imposes him to free himself of his self, to suppress his sentiments, his inclinations, and his desires, so that his jihad is sincerely for Allah alone, will think thereafter to wage it for communal loyalties, or to go on campaign for the sake of race or nationalism? By Allah, certainly not!
The conquered, who was destined to prosper under Islam and to be directed by its guidance, did not abandon his land and soil to a stranger who dominated it and subjected him to lowly servitude, monopolising all the resources while excluding him from it. Rather, all that he abandoned was because the conqueror fused and blended with him in soul and spirit, and called out to him with sincerity: You have the same rights and responsibilities as we! The Book of Allah (SWT) will decide between us. Each of them passed away in achieving his goal, and was sacrificed in the path of his own principles. Everything he abandoned was in the hope that Allahs light might be shed over all of humanity and the light of the Noble Quran might shine upon them. For in this lies their absolute happiness and achievement , if they but knew.
The second fruit is that Islamic brotherhood compelled every Muslim to believe that every foot of ground supporting any brother who held to the religion of the Noble Quran was a portion of the larger Islamic homeland. It was the duty of every single Muslim to work for the its protection and prosperity. The result was that the horizons of the Islamic homeland expanded and transcended the bounds of mere geographical and ethnic patriotism to one of lofty principles, pure, accurate articles of belief, and truths which Allah set down as a guiding light for the world. For Islam, when it points this concept out to its people and fixes it firmly within their souls, imposes upon them the unavoidable obligation to protect the territory of Islam from the attack of the aggressor, to deliver it from occupation, and to fortify it against the ambitions of the transgressor.
I hope that these words have clearly explained the call of the Muslim Brotherhood, have disclosed their goal to our noble readers, and have made clear, to some extent at least, the mechanism by which they intend to move towards this goal. I had earlier addressed at great lengths to many of our zealous brothers the subject of Islam and its grandeur, in very much the same way as our readers now see it under the present title of To What Do We Invite Humanity
From my discourse with them, I was received with gratifying attention, and we mutually understood what was being said point by point, one after the other, until we came out of the discussion absolutely satisfied with the integrity of our goal and its ultimate feasibility. How great was my astonishment when I saw that they were practically unanimous in their agreement that the way, despite their acknowledgement that it would be successful, was a long one, and that the destructive, violent currents existing within our country were too powerful. At this point, despair began to creep into their hearts and despondency took hold of their spirits. Just so that our noble readers will not uncover these feelings within their own selves, as was earlier done, I would like to infuse these words with a overwhelming hope in the certainty of success, by the will of Allah, for the matter is ultimately with Allah. Therefore, I shall narrow down the subject to two positive points of view.
The social scientists say that the realities of today were the dreams of yesterday, and that the dreams of today are the realities of tomorrow. Now this viewpoint is supported by reality and validated with proof and evidence. In fact, it is at the core of human advancement and its upward progress towards perfection, for who could have believed that scientists would make such discoveries and inventions as they have done before they came to light a few years ago? Until reality established and supported these discoveries with evidence the scientific authorities themselves rejected them as they were first encountered! Examples of this are plentiful, and they are so well known that we do not need to spend any more time discussing them.
All nations began their revival from a position of weakness, so much so that to the observer it seemed that it would be impossible for them to attain the desired goal. But despite this presumption, history has shown us that patience, steadfastness, wisdom, and persistence have carried these movements, so weak in their beginnings and so feeble in resources, to the pinnacle of the success and fortune that their leaders were hoping for. Who would have believed that the Arabian Peninsula, that dry and infertile desert, would ever produce enlightenment and learning, with which the spiritual and political influence of its people would rule over the mightiest states of the world? Who would have imagined that Abu Bakr, that tender hearted, mild mannered person, against whom the people had rebelled and whose companions rights they flouted, could send out eleven armies in one day that would suppress the rebels and set the wrongdoer straight, punish the transgressor, take vengeance on the apostates, and exact Allahs dues in alms from the rebels? Who would have believed that frail, underground following of Ali and Al-Abbas would be able to overturn that far flung and powerful state overnight. Previously they had been exposed, each day, to murder, persecution, banishment, and threat! Who would have imagined that Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi would hold his ground so firmly, hurling back the kings of Europe on their heels, despite their enormous numbers and brave show of armies, such that twenty five of their greatest kings would unite their efforts against him?
All that is ancient history. In modern history, there is an even more astonishing example, for who would have imagined that King Abdul-Aziz Aal-Suud, whose family had been banished, whose people had been persecuted, and whose kingdom had been stolen, would win back that kingdom with twenty or so men; and that afterwards he would become one of the hopes of the Islamic world to restore it back to its grandeur and to rebuild its unity? And who would have believed that that German working man, Hitler, would ever attain such immense impact on world politics.
There are two negative viewpoints which produce exactly the same result, both of which direct the heart of the zealous to act with strength and determination. The first is that the direction, however long it may take, is the only one suitable for erecting the foundations of the revival on a sure basis, and experience has confirmed this viewpoint.
One carries out a duty firstly for the sake of doing so, then secondly for a reward in the hereafter, and thirdly for personal advantage. If he works in this way and performs his duty, he will thenceforth win Allahs approval - there is no doubt of this as long as all the conditions are fulfilled; then only his personal advantage remains, and this is a matter which is in Allahs hands. Perhaps an opportunity, quite outside his calculations, will arise and render his act productive with the most blessed fruits; while if he refrains from acting, the sin of negligence falls upon him, thus losing the reward of jihad, and being absolutely deprived of any personal benefit. Which of these two alternatives stands fairer and is more noble? The Noble Quran has pointed this out clearly and unequivocally in this verse:
'And when a community among them said to them: Why do you preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or punish with a severe punishment? The preachers said: As an excuse to your Lord, perhaps they will show piety. So when they forgot that of which they had been reminded, We rescued those who had forbidden evil, and We seized those who had been unjust with a grievous punishment, for that they had been transgressors.
(Surat-al-Araaf (7) ayahs 164-165)
Weakness: We have before us an arrogant tyrant who enslaves Allahs worshippers, branding them weak and using them as servants, attendants, slaves, and livestock; while on the other hand we have noble and glorious people bound
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|Title:||TO WHAT DO WE INVITE HUMANITY?|
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