II. THE COMPULSORY NATURE OF ISLAMIC ACTIVISM
Working for Islam means to reform oneself so that one’s life teaches others true belief and Islamic behaviour. Working for Islam equally means to form a society that is committed to the Islamic way of thinking and Islamic way of life, which means to form a government that implements principles of justice embodied in the shariah to guard the rights of every person and community, and establish truth and justice, and at the same time call others toward Islam - truth, peace, and justice.
These three responsibilities are obligatory not merely for the entire Muslim community but for every individual Muslim until we have established a system of governance adequate to the task. Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful. These sins of omission will not be forgiven until they take a quick action to carry out all their responsibilities and Islamic duties.
These responsibilities to change both oneself and the world are binding in principle, in law, in self-defense, in community and as a sacred obligation of jihad, as explained in this chapter.
Working for Islam is a must in principle because it is the core of all the duties that have been prescribed by Allah for all human beings. This responsibility to work for Islam was enjoined by all prophets and messengers, for all human beings until the Day of Judgement. Allah, the Almighty, has said:
I swear by the declining day, that man is in loss, except those who have faith and do righteous deeds and counsel one another to follow the truth and counsel one another to be steadfast. [Qur’an 103:1-3]
On those who conceal the clear (signs) We have sew down our guidance, after We have it clear for the people in the Book, shall be the curse of Allah, and the curse of those entitled to curse them. [Qur’an 2:159]
In the sunnah of the Prophet (s) there are many narrations directly related to teaching the truth (dawah), enjoining the good, and forbidding evil. The Messenger of Allah (s) said:
Whosoever of you sees in evil action, let him change it with his hind, and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and it-he is not able to do so. then with his bean - and that is the weakest of faith.[Trimidhi]
Oh mankind, verily Allah says: "Order them to do good and forbid them from doing evil [while they still have a chance] before (the time) when they will pray to Me but I will not answer, they will ask (something) from Me but I will refuse, and they will seek My help but I will not help them.
Working for Islam is a must from the Islamic point of view because the existing political and economic system and manmade laws operate functionally to deny the wisdom of Allah on earth. This denial makes it compulsory for every Muslim to establish 2 functionally Islamic society in every country on earth and to restore the Islamic way of life taught by 211 the prophets. It is also every Muslim’s responsibility to remove all impediments to the worship of Allah alone, by every human being in belief, behavior and social life. Allah, the Almighty, has said.
By your Lord, they can have no (real) faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them. and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. [Qur’an 4:65]
In whatever you disagree among yourselves, the decision is with Allah. [Say therefore] "Such is Allah, my Sustainer; in Him I trust and to Him I turn." [Qur’an 42:10]
If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah has revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers. [Qur’an 5:44]
If any do fail to judge by (the light of ) what Allah has revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers. [Qur’an 5:45]
If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah has revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. [Qur’an 5:47]
Since transforming every society into a functionally Islamic community and governing in accordance with the law of Allah, the Almighty, is a must, therefore every effort to accomplish these goals, according to the shari’ah is also a must. Whenever the accomplishment of something compulsory is impossible without accomplishing something else, that prior accomplishment is also compulsory.
The Muslim countries have been ruled by manmade systems with elements borrowed from the Romans, Chinese, French and many other cultures. The economic systems in these countries are capitalistic, Socialist, or a mixture of both evils. This overlay of secular cultures makes it all the more necessary to abolish all traces of such primitive life (labiliyya) and to reinforce the understanding and application of the eternal and universal Islamic din until it becomes the ruling power throughout the world.
The application of the Islamic din depends on the elected ruler or leader. Their election depends on the existence of Islamic power, which alone can implement the shari’ab as an Islamic system throughout society in every field, whether it be economics, family law, war, disarmament, or international law, or any other, throughout the world.
Working for Islam is necessary to counter attacks from every materialistic ideology and system that threatens the existence of Islam as a global paradigm of thought and system of life. In most of the Muslim world today it is necessary in self-defense to form an Islamic opposition. From a legal (fiqhi) perspective such an organized effort is obligatory.
Many Muslim countries suffer from the oppression of non-believing occupiers, such as Palestine, Kashmir, Eritrea, Cyprus, Bukhara, Samarkand, and many more. Other Muslim countries suffer from the brutality of an evil minority, which governs through the iron-fist. In still others, the Muslims complain of the cruelty inflicted on them because they either are controlled by the left or right wing or must suffer from bloody wars between the two.
This general situation is so acute because the whole Muslim ummah or global community is still living in a crisis of political, economic and social ignorance, oppressed by overall decadence in values, thought and behavior.
The very extreme of these general and local conditions proves that Working for Islam is necessary and compulsory in self-defense against the external machinations of secular powers and against the collaboration internally between these enemies and their local puppets. The Qur‘an says:
And fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. [Qur’an 8:39]
The responsibility to work for Islam is the personal duty of every Muslim. As in the case of every Islamic duty one is rewarded if and only if one fulfills these responsibilities, and one is punished for neglecting them. Allah, the Almighty, has said:
Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds. [Qur’an 74:38]
And everyone of them will come to Him singly on the Day of Judgement. [Qur’an 19:95]
No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another. [Qur’an 6:164]
And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own soul. [Qur’an 29:6]
Allah has made every human being responsible to sacrifice according to his own ability and limitations in organizing and developing one’s life, on condition that one has reached adulthood, and is of sound mind and body. Each of these persons, with responsibilities appointed by Allah, are to form a society and operate as a living cell so that each person will participate in building the truth and see this as compulsory. Each person in the community then will give freely of his or her own talents and compete to do whatever work is needed. From this we see why personal work for Islam is an Islamic duty.
Just as working for Islam is compulsory for each person, there is a collective obligation of the community to act in a movement of solidarity to carry out its specific responsibilities. This collective obligation is necessary for a number of reasons.
- The responsibilities and duties to work for Islam are too big a load for one person, because the goal is to obliterate jahiliyyah (evil ways and systems of thought and life) down to their roots and replace it with the truth of Divine Revelation. This requires sacrifice, energy and power in amounts not possible from one man alone, even working to his fullest capacity and with maximum effort and unlimited readiness to suffer. This obligation can be carried out only by an organization that has a certain level of consciousness and organizational capability to confront the existing evil systems.
- The fact that working for Islam is a collective responsibility is borne out by the life-example of the Prophet (s) and his companions, who faced the jahiliyyah together in order to form a society that could follow the teaching of Islam and preserve the Islamic way of life. The life-example of the Prophet (s) proves that he did not operate as an individual, but rather realized the importance of forming a community right at the beginning. He chose the right people to form the new community, and he trained each member of the community until he or she was strong and able to carry out the process of transformation.
- The path of Islamic activism is full of hardship because, as Syed Qutb said, the devil is at work wherever good Muslims are active. The challenges are great and there are so many evil powers always looking to use them as weapons to destroy Islam and its followers. These challenges, make it necessary to build an organized movement of sufficient size and quality to carry on every level of Islamic work and also to handle unexpected situations and needs. The Qur’an and hadith of the Messenger of Allah (s), demonstrated repeatedly that working for Islam in an organized group is a necessity. Allah, the Almighty, has said:
Help one another in righteousness and piety, but help not one another in sin and rancor. [Qur’an 5:5]
Those who work for Islam must be clear that they need Islam more than anyone else. They should be aware that when they are working, striving, and fighting for Islam this is an opportunity granted by Allah to purify their souls so that they will be rewarded by Allah in the Hereafter. On the Day of judgement, all eyes will be cast down and their souls will be in utter humiliation because of their fear of punishment.
Those who continue working for Islam are the ones who will prosper and those who withdraw will be in terrible loss. Allah, the Almighty, has said:
For Allah does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds. [Qur’an 29:6]
If you turn back (from the path), He will substitute in your stead another people; then they will not be like you! [Qur’an 47:38]
Muslims should realize that their self-value derives only from Islam, without which they are like animals or worse. They must know however, that true honor can never be achieved unless they continue actively to involve themselves in the Islamic Movement. Those who remain in isolation will be in the Hellfire. Those who join in the Islamic Movement are joining themselves with an honorable people. They are the enlightened, the -prophets- and the -martyrs- on whom Allah, the Almighty, bestows his blessings. How fortunate they are!
They should know that constancy in solidarity with the community is a condition for being steadfast. As the Prophet (s) said:
Verily, a wolf will eat a sheep only when it is separated (from the herd).
Living in a decadent society is like being lost on a dark night. Those who are far from the advice of their companions in Islam and from encouragement to be patient and virtuous cannot survive in jahili society without being influenced by the surrounding filth. In the Qur’an, we read:
But teach (your message), for teaching benefits the believers. [Qur’an 51:55]
I swear by the declining day, that man is in loss, except those who have faith and do righteous deeds and counsel on another to follow the truth and to be steadfast. [Qur’an 103:1-3]
Therefore, Muslims are required always to live within the faithful family of Islam and to unite in the ummah under the banner of Islam, to transform the world. Allah, the Almighty, has said:
And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His presence: and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; and pay no heed to one whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his won desires, and whose [transgressions] have gone beyond all bounds. [Qur’an 18:28]
Muslims should never forget that they are striving for Allah, the Almighty. The path to Allah is long and full of hardship. Heaven is surrounded by unpleasant obstacles while Hell is surrounded by everything pleasant to human lusts.
The road is difficult for those who fear to lose their money and secure future. The end of the road can never be reached by those who love leisure and pleasure, by the narrow minded and weak, the impatient and stingy, the arrogant and lazy, and by those who refuse to support what has been decided in the community.
The path of Islamic activism purifies and liberates a person and teaches one to he strong. It is a path of blessings and honor, but it requires patience and endurance, honesty, and sincerity. A path with these characteristics can be traversed only by those who are confident of the truth, and who rely on Allah always and everywhere. Allah, the Almighty, has said:
And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is [Allah] for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose; verily all things has Allah appointed in due proportion. [Qur’an 65:3]
Then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and if anyone fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, Allah will soon grant him a great reward. [Qur’an 49:10]