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Islamic ideology and its implementation

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan Sunday, October 09, 2011

In his talk, the Maulana explains that there are two basic aspects of Islam ideology and practical wisdom. Ideology is based on ideal because it is necessary for the ideology to be correct in the ideal sense; ideology cannot be less than ideal. Practical implementation on the other hand, does not have an ideal; in the case of practical implementation, ideal cannot be achieved. He further explains that through the two branches of Prophet Abrahams descendents, God established examples to help man lead his life successfully. Through Banu Ismael (son of Prophet Abraham), God established how through sacrifices a team of dedicated individuals can be raised even in this world of distractions; the reward for their contribution towards the cause of God would be immeasurable. Through Banu Ishaq (Prophet Yusufs lineage), God established the example of how despite political confrontation, dawah opportunities can be availed. This method is very relevant to the present times.

Islam began with the first thereafter a series of prophets were sent to various corners of habitation. Prophethood came to an end with the last Prophet, Muhammad. While during the times of the earlier prophets, Islam or the religion of God could not remain preserved, it was by way of special divine intervention that God ensured its preservation till eternity through the last prophet. Islam as such is not a superior religion but a preserved religion. Because the religion of only one Prophet (Muhammad) was preserved therefore for all future generations, it becomes the only authentic source for knowing the scheme of God.

Two aspects of Islam

There are two basic aspects of Islam ideology and practical wisdom. Ideology is based on ideal because it is necessary for the ideology to be correct in the ideal sense; ideology cannot be less than ideal. Practical implementation on the other hand, does not have an ideal; in the case of practical implementation, ideal cannot be achieved.

Ideology therefore must be 100% correct. The mission of Islam is to spread the Creation Plan of God to mankind so that they do no remain unaware of the scheme of God. For the practical implementation of this mission, bringing into existence a team and making the ideology of Islam understandable to the people (method) in the world become critical.

Ideology of Islam
The source of ideology of Islam is Quran. According to a verse Now that Islam is a preserved religion, it is therefore authentic and shall be approved by God (1)

Quran therefore, is the only authentic source of knowing the Creation Plan of God. In other words, if man wants to know why he was born, where he will go after he dies and how he can be successful in his life, Quran alone can provide answers that would satisfy him ideologically. For instance, Quran clarifies that the purpose of human existence is not merely to take birth in the world and perish. The present world is a testing ground for man and God has granted complete freedom so that he can be tested.

Everything in this world mountains, stars, animals, trees, oceans has wilfully submitted before God. Their workings are governed by the law of nature. They do not have the freedom to opt out of the course of divine law; they follow a compulsion. Man on the other hand, is required to comply with Gods will despite having freedom.

Every creation in this world is acknowledging its Creator bur in silent language. Man has two choices, either to acknowledge or to not acknowledge. Despite his freedom, if man chooses to acknowledge, it is this superior conduct that would make him worthy of paradise.

Team and method

God established various examples through prophets so that man may learn to implement the divine ideology. But people consider other prophets as historical figures and not as models, even though Quran clearly states In every Prophet, is an example for you (2)

I will discuss two examples, one of Prophet Ismail and the other of Prophet Yusuf, to clarify my point.

Prophet Ismail
Through Prophet Ismail, God established the example of how a team should be formed. This is critical because however robust the ideology may be, unless there is a team, no big work can be accomplished.

The process of building the team did not materialise over night. It began with Prophet Abraham who was born in Iraq. Since no team could come into existence there, God ordained him to inhabit his wife (Hajra) and child (Ismail) in the deserts of Arabia. According to the Quran, Prophet Abraham said I have inhabited my child in the desert (3)

This illustrative example teaches that in order to form a team, we must find individuals who would be willing to settle in the desert. The word desert in the present-day context has a symbolic connotation.

While Prophet Abraham actually inhabited his wife and son in a desert, it was done so as to raise a team in an environment free from all forms of temptation and distraction otherwise prevalent in civilised cities. In todays context, desert is not a place where the task of team building may be accomplished. This task is required to be done in our place of inhabitation itself; the only requirement being such individuals who are courageous enough to control their mind from succumbing to material interest and temptations.

We live in the age of media, which makes available several platforms to gain popularity and limelight. This serves as a source of distraction. Individuals with the will to rise above the distractions of the present world - fame, material interest and money, are needed for this mission. Such individuals will successfully tread the path of the sons of Prophet Abraham, who rose above the material interests of their times and inhabited the desertlands where generation after generation, a team came into being.

An important point of consideration in the present times is that we need not wait for so many generations to elapse before a team comes into being; it can be done in the same generation given the opportunities of multimedia, rapid transport and unprecedented means of communication.

Another crucial aspect of the above verse is that when individuals devote themselves for the cause of God and formulate a team, then outpouring of divine succour takes place. God throws open the floodgates of his resources to enable the dayees to attain their goals. In other words, God will not leave individuals, who are willing to give up the worldly temptations of fame and material interests, unprovisioned for. According to a Hadith Aap jab apne aap ko allah ke mission ke liye daal den, toh al3lah ki nusratein toot padti hain [He who casts him for Gods mission becomes entitled to a surge of divine blessings](4) Therefore, it is not the form of the Hajra- Ismael model, which seeks revival; instead it is that spirit of sacrifice that needs to be re-lived in form of such individuals who would be willing to cast themselves in the path of God.

This has come to pass in the CPS mission where individuals in various parts of the world have devoted themselves to fulfil the divine mission. As a result, the true face of Islamic ideology has been brought to the forefront; work has been done on translation and commentary of the Quran; and such individuals has come together who are preparing themselves as a team to discharge their role in the global mission of Islam.

Methodology of Islam
The big question which poses before man is how through the situations of conflict of interest, should he carry out his mission and conform to his ideology. In other words, in a world full of temptations and distractions, how man should dedicate himself for the cause of a team.

This dilemma that man faces is answered in the Quran through the example of Prophet Yusuf. The Quran refers to his story as the best story Asarul qasas (5)

It is noteworthy that Surah Yusuf is the only Chapter in the Quran, which focuses in entirety about the life of Prophet Yusuf. Through his lifes, God taught man to find opportunities amidst conflicting situations in life. Prophet Yusuf was born in a village in Canan (Palestine), away from all city allurements but such situations developed that he was brought to the city of Egypt. This relocation of Prophet Yusuf was in accordance with the divine plan. According to this plan, God had to establish the example of conflict management in the wake of political rule. Egypt had a flourishing political system unlike Canan (Palestine), where Prophet Yusuf previously lived. Political ruler is the biggest source of conflict but through Prophet Yusufs example, God taught man how dawah work can be performed even in such a situation.

When he was brought to Egypt, Prophet Yusuf interpreted a dream that the Egyptian ruler had seen. According to this interpretation, seven years of abundance were to be followed by seven years of drought across the kingdom. The king was relieved to learn about the interpretation and offered the food ministry to Prophet Yusuf.

The instance mentioned above entails a significant learning. Even though the ruler (Hyksos king) was a polytheist, Prophet Yusuf accepted the offer of controlling the food ministry under his sovereignty. He accepted the law of the land and thus the entire Egypt became a platform for him to carry out his mission. This is an example of practical wisdom. Had Prophet Yusuf practised idealism and said that he would first establish Gods rule, the king would have killed him. He de-linked the two and agreeing to the political authority of the king, availed all the opportunities in the non-political field.

Through the two branches of Prophet Abrahams descendents, God established examples to help man lead his life successfully. Through Banu Ismael (son of Prophet Abraham), God established how through sacrifices a team of dedicated individuals can be raised even in this world of distractions; the reward for their contribution towards the cause of God would be immeasurable. Through Banu Ishaq (Prophet Yusufs lineage), God established the example of how despite political confrontation, dawah opportunities can be availed. This method is very relevant to the present times. In earlier times, kings were despotic rulers and their authority encompassed all activities. However, as the political philosophy developed, political rule became confined to administrative activities and that is why in todays times, the term administration is used to denote political authority in United States of America. This development brought about a paradigm shift. The de-linking of administrative activities paved way for all other opportunities to be availed without any political involvement. For example in our case, no political power is required to print the Quran; this could not have been possible in times of kingship.

It was a blessing of God that He established such a model through Prophet Yusuf. In doing so, God gave sanction to the approach of restricting oneself to the peaceful arena so as to avail the existing opportunities.

God then brought forth a team of individuals (Prophet and his companions) who struggled relentlessly and whose sacrifices led to the preservation of the Quran. It is to acknowledge these efforts of the Prophet and his companions that believers recite darood for them. Without Prophet Yusufs example, people would have destroyed themselves by confronting with the political authority. Opportunities in the present-day world provide the platform to do dawah work without confronting with the political powers. This is the best method of working. It is noteworthy that all 193 members of the United Nations have subscribed to the fact that only by refraining from violence and militancy, all opportunities can be peacefully availed. This is a strange development of the modern world. In earlier times, people were killed on account of saying, God is One, as it was believed that the religion of state (which was the centre of all power) could not be belied. It is the delinking of religion and politics that has led to this phenomenal change.

A dayee therefore should never adopt confrontational course. He must do dawah work in the wake of prayers; prayers that wish well and prayers to acknowledge the contribution made by those who established the infrastructure of communication and multimedia. Acknowledging this contribution is critical because that is the least that we can do to recognise the efforts of those who gave their lives to bring us into the age of modern civilisation.

I would cite here an instance of a Tabaieen (companion of a companion), Uqba bin Nafe, which illustrates the zealous spirit with which Sahaba (companions) and Tabaieen (companions of companions) did dawah work. After traversing through the terrains of the African continent, when Nafe along with a group of companions, reached the shores of Atlantic Ocean, he could only see the endless ocean before him. Disheartened by the halt, he prayed to God in these words, O God! If I knew of any other human habitation that lay beyond the [Atlantic] ocean, I would have cast myself into this ocean till the Word of God spread all over the world [Ae Allah! Agar mein janta ki is samandar ke us paar bhi ek duniya hai jahan log rehte hain toh main is samandar mein ghus padta yahan tak ke saari duniya apne Rab se bakhabar ho jaye] (Al Bidaya)

Despite being imbued with the spirit, the companions and the companions of the companion could not undertake global dawah work because of lack of means of communication and other resources.

Today God has made the situation entirely favourable - from bringing in a modern civilization to the advanced means of communication. He has laid open a great opportunity before the modern-day dayees to begin their journey from where the journey Uqba had ended.

Quran was revealed to give warning to the whole world. When such forms of communication did not exist, such a mission was not possible. For those who have embarked themselves on the mission on spreading the Word of God, all opportunities are ripe, they only need to get up and disseminate the message!

May God accept us and make us live and die for the cause of this mission!

Question- Answers Q1: How do thoughts originate? What is their source? A: I have understood from my study that mans Creator filled his mind with all knowledge, potentially; mans thought merely unfolds this potential. By saving his mind from distraction and keeping alive the objectivity of his mind, man can understand the right meaning of thoughts as they unfold.

Q2: Am not able to concentrate on anything. What should I do? A: Inability to concentrate is an unnatural phenomenon and unnatural habits can be overcome easily. The biggest hurdle in such a case is distraction. Commonly, people keep getting distracted at all times - money, family, children, jobs, business. If you cast your mind away from these, then what remains is concentration. In order to do so, you will have to curb your passion and kill you interest. In my own life, many things that I desired did not materialise; I can count atleast 12 such things that did not happen. I thought that had even one of those 12 happened, it would have been disastrous for me.

However, man is a strange being. Even if one thing that he desires does not come to pass, he succumbs to despair. In my case, I would not have discovered truth, not become a man of mission and would have become an earning animal like all others, had even one of my desires got fulfilled. My formula is therefore do not allow anything to become a source of distraction; ignore everything except your focussed goal. I follow this and my concentration is maintained through the 24 hours.

Q3: What are the different categories of Hadith and what are its sources? How should a common man like me, interpret a Hadith?

A: A common man should not ask such a question. It is strange that man does not want to devote such time to read through books and literature; instead he engrosses his mind in futile debates. You can either read books written by the Muhaditheen (teachers of Hadith) or their excerpts complied by the Ulema. When all the literature has been prepared already, the wheel need not be reinvented. If you have time, then study for a lifetime, if not then, avail guidance. Do not take a third option because that will not work.

Q4: What is darood and what is its relevance? How many are authentic? A: It is not a question of authenticity. Any darood that you remember can be recited. It is not a matter of words but of spirit. If you acknowledge the sacrifices of the Prophet and his Companions from your heart, that is what is counted as real.

Q5: How should we be idealistic in ideology and practical in methodology? A: Everyone follows this approach in their personal matters but in cases of national interest, he seeks ideal. So far as business, childrens education and things of personal interest are concerned, everyone adopts a practical approach. but in case of community and society, people do ideal talk. Therefore, it is not a question of man not knowing how to practise it because each person is already practising it in their personal lives. It is instead a matter of hypocrisy or dual-policy. If only man refrains from this, he will be able to understand everything clearly.

Q6: What is working on individual-base? A: There are two ways of working targeting individual and targeting the system. Only Prophets made individuals their target, everyone else made system their goal and all those who did so never got a positive result in return. Our mission is not system-based but individual-based, that focuses on transforming the existing line of thought to positive frame of mind. Those who do system-based work give importance to the crowd and do not think in terms of result. Only those who worked on individuals could deliver positive result. Our aim is re-engineering of minds but it is a very difficult work as it demands sacrifices of you being separated from your community; relinquishing fame and poor visibility in terms of showcasing the work done. But this is a result-yielding work.

Q7: When the implementation of an ideology is less than ideal then what is the purpose that an ideology serves? A: Ideology is what a person keeps in mind to correct himself. In a society, man has to become practical. Idealism is very important at the personal level because it gives a target to man. If there is no ideal, an individual will not have a target to strive for. Therefore idealism for an individual and practical wisdom applies for the society.

Q8: Since the agitation of Anna Hazare, there are a lot of debates about ending corruption. What are your views?

A: An evil like corruption cannot be brought to an end by fasting; thinking so is underestimating the gravity of the situation. In order to remove corruption, a long process is required during which the thought process of people be targeted and transformed through informal education and other means.

Q9: Can we pray to God to forgive the scientists and techonologists ? A: Islam does not subscribe to the view that someone elses prayer can lead to someone elses sins being pardoned. Each soul must pray for his forgiveness. All those who made the civilisation should be acknowledged because it is due to them that we are availing the benefits of modern technology. The Westerners did a great deal of work towards human development so we must have true well wishing for them in our hearts. The decision of hereafter however, is not as per our prayers; it is Gods domain. Q10: What does the term taghoot in Quran, mean? A: Taghoot refers to Satan. Some misinterpret it to mean the rule of man, but it is clearly wrong. Taghoot is one who transgresses beyond limits, which is what Satan did. Q11: What does the Quranic verse mean in the context of giving all power to Yusuf? A: Here power does not mean political power because Quran says that despite Prophet Yusuf being there, law of land was someone elses. It can therefore not be deduced that the political power was with him. Bible gives greater detail on this. The term power here refers to the management of all agricultural affairs being under his stewardship. Agriculture was the largest ministry and it was given to him to manage. It can therefore not be assumed that Prophet Yusuf had political power because Quran clearly states the contrary.

Q12: Many a times it happens that I know a particular thing is a source of distraction but I get distracted and later repent. How should I avoid this? A: There is no magic trick for this. You need to develop your conscious mind and thinking because man is controlled by his mind. Only an underdeveloped mind gets distracted. When I had not developed enough, I used to get distracted but when my intellect grew, everything came within my grips; I can think in any direction. The key here is that a developed mind does not get distracted. Q13: Why Muslims, Christians and Jews recite the word Ameen whereas all these religions are conflicting with each other?

A: It is not the religion and ideology that lead to conflicts amongst people. This is not the correct analysis because conflicts arise even within the people of same community.

Q14: Why do we grieve to lose something which is not ours? A: All this is a phenomena of immaturity. You need to study more and develop your intellect.

Q15: If something motivates us and we are afraid of losing it. What should we do if loss of it may distract our mind? A: These are phenomena of immature minds. When people neither study, nor develop their consciousness, these things are bound to happen. You have to develop your mind, then all these things will disappear.

Note: In my talks and writings, I include examples from everywhere. However, I must clarify that I do not consider anyones example/ reference in the matter of ideology. This is because the most important idea that an ideology offers is the concept of One God, which is confusing everywhere else. It is my discovery that the most authentic source of ideology is Quran. But in practical life, we have ample examples from the lives of other people. I use them in my writings, which are useful.

Note: The idea of be-adbi and be-hurmti (showing disrespect) are not found in the Quran. They have been crafted by Muslims like other innovative practices. All those who cite this do not give a single reference from the Quran or Hadith. It must be remembered that doing is a concern of the other person. The responsibility of a dayee is to give, whatever he may do, he is answerable for it before God. It is Gods jurisdiction.