Islam today has over 1.65 billion adherents with an enormous wealth of resources and a near-perfect geo-strategic position. More than anything else, our greatest strength is Islam itself, the values and guidance from the One True Creator, Allah and the active help from Him as He has promised, if we keep our duty to Him. And that Allah may help thee with powerful help. (48:03)
Islam came as a Mercy to mankind. It represents a shift in religious thinking and differs from all other belief systems, doctrines and philosophies preceding it, in that it advocates simultaneously living in the material world and the spiritual, and provides a synthesis of relating the two. Buddhism, Taoism and Catholicism are inclined to the interior life, in rejection of the exterior. Confucianism and Calvinism (or its many intellectual offspring), and political systems such as Marxism and Capitalism, focus on the exterior life and are belief systems that are focused on the external and the material world.
Islam provides a solution in a complete and comprehensive understanding of the human paradigm, encapsulating simultaneously and in balance, the interior and the exterior, the material and the spiritual, the social and individual aspects of man. Islam can thus be explained as “religion without mysticism and learning without atheism”. It is not a question of one or the other, but a question of finding the right balance. The balance of Islam is a mercy from our Creator.
The success of this paradigm was exemplified in the rapid rise of Islam – moral, economic, political and military, as the central driving force in the world. Islam towered as the dominant civilization and political empire for over a thousand years. But today Muslims are in a steep political and economic decline. The world has been in a state of great turmoil and change and Muslims are at a final crossroad to either fade away as a political force or re-energize and rejuvenate. The Uthman Empire is no more and its tiny fragments are now weak and subjugated by various foreign powers.
Beyond armies and the force of arms, these foreign powers are using their ideologies and world views to secure themselves in our lands and to keep us economically, politically, militarily and spiritually starved and dependent.
Today's state of subservience is a highly unnatural position for the Muslim world, given our history, and to correct such a position is not outside the realms of possibility, but rather one that would represent a natural progression of events, and correction of balance.
Muslim thinkers have attempted to correct our course throughout history and this is yet one such attempt. This book is written in all earnest, given that the Muslim Ummah today is stateless and in the throes of extreme internal crisis and external attacks. No matter how hard our scholars have tried in the past to reform and rejuvenate, after brief successes, we have now reached close to rock bottom, with Malek Bennabi reminding us of our position with the following diagram:
Given also that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has warned us of the Final Days and the signs of its coming, and that those signs are being rehearsed to us in the most direct terms, the threat today must be considered even more elemental. Let us be warned by Ibn Khaldun what may happen to us if we continue to be dominated and subjugated:
“A nation that has been defeated and has come under the rule of another nation will quickly perish. The reason for this may possibly lie in the apathy that comes over people when they lose control of their own affairs and, through enslavement, become the instrument of others and dependent upon them. Hope diminishes and weakens. Now, propagation and an increase in civilization (population) take place only as the result of strong hope and of the energy that hope creates in the animal powers (of man). When hope and the other things it stimulates are gone through apathy, and when group feeling has disappeared under the impact of defeat, civilization decreases and business and other activities stop. With their strength dwindling under the impact of defeat, people become unable to defend themselves. They become the victims of anyone who tries to dominate them, and a prey to anyone who has the appetite. It makes no difference whether they have already reached the limit of their royal authority or not.“Here, we possibly learn another secret, namely, that man is a natural leader by virtue of the fact that he has been made a representative (of God on earth). When a leader is deprived of his leadership and prevented from exercising all his powers, he becomes apathetic, even down to such matters as food and drink. This is in the human character. A similar observation may be made with regard to beasts of prey. They do not cohabit when they are in human captivity. The group that has lost control of its own affairs thus continues to weaken and to disintegrate until it perishes. God alone endures.” (Al-Muqadimah)
Understanding this fundamental threat to our civilization, we must make the greatest effort to restore Islam to its proper place or risk losing what many of us may already have forgotten that we have inherited. Let us then, with all seriousness and the greatest effort, set about our work in reviving the Muslim Ummah, insh'Allah.
The solution in meeting this challenge lies within Islam; Islam has been and continues to be the most powerful and dynamic force in the Muslim World and the only pragmatic solution to our present crisis. What galvanized Muslim India to seek freedom as Pakistan? What inspired the Chechens, Bosnia and Afghanistan under Soviet occupation? What caused the emergence of Somalia’s Islamic Courts and the Hezbollah in Lebanon? The answer remains the same throughout.
The contention here is that this primary force within us can best be articulated and come to its full expression through the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) methodology. The methodology is of preaching about the solution, getting enough adherents, and then utilizing the political entity of Medina to implement that solution. This book attempts to define how such a methodology can be followed insh'Allah and the major issues that the Islamic state needs to resolve.
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