What ought we to do for the realization of the ideal Islam sets forth before us? Granted that Islam is the best system to be found on this earth and that as our historical, geographical as well as international position shows, Islam is our only means to regain honor, leadership and social justice in this world, the question is whither lies the way that leads to the realization of Islamic ideology in a world hostile to it and in the presence of the dictatorial rulers in some Muslim lands who fight against it even more furiously than its enemies from abroad do?
Yes, whither is the way? What ought we to do? The answer is that there is one and only one way to attain the Islamic goal as there has always been the case with all the movements springing up in human history and that in one word is: Faith.
It was this very faith that helped the early Muslims: it still remains the only force that can help their present generation. Our stand and position today as Muslims is not in the least different from that taken up by the early Muslims. They were just a handful of men but were out to fight against two of the most powerful and proud states of that time, the Roman Empire on their left and the Persian to their right. Both of these adversaries were far superior to them in men, material wealth, art of war, military science as well as political insight. But despite this the great miracle happened and the handful of Muslims overpowered both the Caesars as well as the Kosroes in less than half a century. They captured their vast territories stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. How did this miracle happen?
No materialistic interpretation of history can adequately explain this great miracle. The one thing with which we can unravel its mystery is faith and faith alone. It was this very faith that made one of these early Muslims stand up saying: "Is it not true that nothing intervenes between me and paradise but that I should go and kill this man (i.e. the unbeliever fighting against Muslims) or get killed by him?" And then saying this he would advance towards the battlefield as tight-heartedly as if he were going to embrace his bride. Or he would jump into the field saying to his adversaries:
"Do you await for us but one of the two most excellent things: victory or martyrdom?" That then is the way to realize our objectives as this has always been the only course before any other movement originating in history.
There are certain people who ask us, some out of sincerity and others because of their defeatist mentality, as to where is the necessary weaponry for this purpose. Weapons? Yes, we do need weapons, but we must not overlook the fact that the first and the foremost requisite for us is not the weapons, for weapons only can not in this respect help a nation in the least. During the last World War the Italians possessed most effective and deadly weaponry, but still it could not save them, nor could they achieve with it any glorious success. They excelled in one thing only: running away from the battlefield leaving all their weapons in the hands of their enemies. What they wanted was not weapons but faith and inspiration.
On the other hand, we find that a handful of inspired fighters whose total strength did not exceed a hundred men at the most and whose nocturnal raiding parties never included more than six or seven men in a party at a time, so perturbed the leaders of senile old empires that they preferred leaving the country to those handful of men rather than conquer them. This faithful band of warriors did not possess deadly weapons; they did not have heavy artillery, jet-fighters or the armored corps. They fought with ordinary revolvers, guns and rifles but they had with them a weapon far deadlier than what their enemies possessed: they possessed faith! They had in them the spirit the early handful of Muslims had, fighting in the way of God killing the non-believers or themselves getting killed by them. That is how they succeeded against such heavy odds.
We know that the path we have chosen for ourselves is not strewn with flowers. It is rather a way that calls for sweat, blood and tears. It demands sacrifices, self-immolation, tribulations and a readiness to exert ourselves to the utmost. But there is nothing strange in this, for similar is the case with every other movement. Sacrifices are inevitable. There is no short cut to success.
But why should we not strive hard and be ready to suffer for the lofty cause before us-for honor, glory and for social justice when the sacrifices already experienced by us because of opprobrium, obloquy, poverty, weakness and disintegration are no less great and severe than the sacrifices called for by Islam? Millions of men from different Arab nationalities were killed in the last World War; thousands more perished by the bombardment of the Allied planes; properties were destroyed and a large number of men were made prisoners; all material resources were confiscated without any fighting against the conquerors on the part of their possessors. But still after suffering all this Mr. Churchill was not satisfied with us. He told us bluntly: "We have saved you. Now pay us the price for it."
It was only a short while ago that the western powers were so anxious to get the Arabs agree to conclude a joint defense pact with them. Their real purpose was to incorporate at least half a million Arabs in their armed forces so as to try their deadly weapons on them and thus save the white men of America and England from their deadly effects. In doing so they forcibly captured all the food production of the Arab world, exposed its people to dishonor and disgrace and when at last they no longer needed their services, kicked them out.
There is, of course, no escaping from death, from sacrifices and tribulations. Men died even for ignominy and ingloriousness: half a million at least laid their lives in the last Great War fighting for the Allies. Why should we then flinch back from laying down our lives for Islam, for glory and truth? When there are half a million men (as many as died for the Allies!) ready to lay down their lives for Islam the results will surely be different. There shall not remain even a single insolent dictator and tyrant on this earth, there will be no Christian or heathen imperialism to strut abroad then. Doesn't that show how we can achieve our goal? There is the way.
Some people are perturbed over the spread of communism in the modern world. But in fact there is nothing to he upset about that, for so far as Islam is concerned the world situation has not undergone any change whatsoever. The countries under communist control at present are what formed a Part of Christendom before the advent of communism and were as such as hostile to Islam and Muslims are they are today. Russia, for instance, even before the Communist Revolution used to send groups of infiltrators into the Muslim states to sow dissension and discord among the Muslims.
Similar was the case with Europe. It fought crusades against the Muslim world in the past and is still engaged in that war. Nothing has changed since then so far as the Muslims or Islam is concerned.
In such a situation, our standpoint must also remain unchanged. We stand exactly where the early Muslims stood when they were hemmed in from right and left by two of the most powerful countries of that time.
It is heartening to note that despite all hurdles and ruthless opposition, Islamic forces are gathering strength day by day. On balance, the revival of Islam seems but inevitable. In the world today, it is destined to playas glorious a role as it played in the first days of its history. It promises peace and tranquility to the world of today which is wholly taken up with material pleasures and gains, and is as a result thereof stricken with conflicts and disruptions. Islam strikes a balance between matter and spirit, and is thus the only hope for humanity to get out of the present mess. As such the world is bound sooner or later to realize the importance of Islam and adopt its principles even if it does not formally embrace it as its religion.
As to ourselves-the workers of Islam-we admit that we are fully alive to the fact that the path before us is not a bed of roses. We Muslims will have to offer sacrifices-great and many sacrifices, in order to convince the world of the intrinsic goodness and truth of Islam. But let us ever bear in mind that the only way towards that end is but that of self-immolation: "God will certainly aid those who aid His (cause): for verily God is full of strength, Exalted in might, (Able to enforce His will) (xxii: 40).