(4) Nur (Light) and Siraj Munir (illuminating lamp).
"0 Prophet! We have sent you as witness, and a bearer
of good news, and a warner. And as a summoner unto God by His
permission, and as an illuminating lamp". (The Qur'an 33: 45-46)
The Qur'an, the Message which Muhammad, peace be upon him, brought
forth from God, is described in the Qur'an as a cure and a mercy.
It is also described as a ruh (spirit) proceeding from God.
"And thus have We inspired in you (0 Muhammad) a spirit
of Our command. You know not what the Book was, nor what the Faith.
But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our
servants. And surely, you do guide unto a Straight Path. The Path
of God, unto Whom belongs what- ever is in the heavens, and whatever
is in earth. Surely unto God, all things return. . ." (The Qur'an
Moreover, the Qur'an has been described as a healing and a Mercy:
"And We reveal of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy
for believers though it increase the unbelievers in naught save
Due to the fact that Islam ceased to exist as a law and a state
in many Muslim lands today, Muslims are faced with the task of
reinstating it in all aspects of life. In setting about doing
this, Muslims are faced with the question of how to do it.
In this paper, I shall attempt to present an abstract model
of islamization, which is very much that followed by the Prophet,
peace be upon him, and his companions in the first Muslim era.
Only the essential traits are considered and preserved. Accidental
spatio-temporal characteristics are not important for our present
A STRATEGY OF ISLAMIZATION
Our proposed strategy for lslamizing the Muslim world must proceed
in stages. Every stage must be clearly conceived and defined to
achieve clear cut objectives. In our view the following stages
(1) The First Stage
The main task of this stage is to create and form a platform
of lslamization of the Muslim world today. Two things must be
accomplished: our conceptions of the new order which will be advocated
from the new platform must be worked out in the greatest clarity
that can be mustered.
Secondly, at the grass-root level, and by person to person contact,
a group of chosen men and women must be approached carefully,
educated about the new movement and invited to participate. Individuals
approached in this stage must possess the following characteristics:
(i) They must be persons who are sensitive to questions of right
(ii) They should not be part of the established orders, at least
do not possess vested interests in that order, and are not paramount
chiefs, priests or guardians of the status quo.
(iii) They must be judged to possess moral courage since only
such persons would be prepared to adopt new ideas and be vocal
(iv) They must be persons who are disaffected and alienated
by the prevailing conditions. They may not be aware of this dissatisfaction,
but as soon as a conflict between the new and old orders becomes
apparent, they will be aware of their real inclinations and would
side with the new movement.
(v) These conditions are almost always found in young people,
and therefore, they must be addressed effectively and in the most
sympathetic and intelligent manner.
What must be conveyed to them, at this stage, is the New Islamic
vision, stressing the following:
(i) God's ultimate design and purpose for mankind.
(ii) The Ultimate Truth and the Whole Truth about God, man,
life and the cosmos.
(iii) In as much as the real substance and real essence of this
Islamic vision is Rahmah (Mercy and compassion), it seeks to liberate,
to bless, to illuminate, to impart truth, to dispense justice
(iv) By achieving these meanings, it heals the ills of mankind,
wipes away his tears, and preserves his honour, dignity, blood
and property. It cures his wounds and removes causes of enmity
In less abstract terms, we carefully unfold the Message of Islam
(a) a Nur which seeks to educate man about his Lord and Creator,
and remove his ignorance about the ultimate realities of life
(b) a Huda (that is to say practical guidance in his affairs
(c) A Rahmah (mercy) and not as a Harai (embarrassment).
The connotations of Rahmah (mercy) are positive and soul-blessing,
providing comfort, compassion. They liberate, offer fulfilment,
satisfaction and bounty. The Da'wah of Islam, especially in a
world full of ignorance, injustice and misery, must be presented
in a positive, accommodating and comforting perspective. Most
of all, it must not be presented as a Haraj, that is to say as
The Da'i of Islam must take great pains so as not to project
himself as a prosecutor, always pointing an accusing finger at
others. It is not his primary job to accuse, judge and condemn
others. On the contrary, his job is more like that of a physician,
or spiritual physician, whose job is to illuminate minds that
have gone astray. He must seek to comfort hearts that have committed
Khati'ah, that is to say wrong.
Making use of the doctrines of Tawbah and Istighfar, we must
assist individuals to get rid of their guilt consciousness. Presenting
Islam as a harai is a great misreading of the Da'wah. It represents
Islam as a negative body of doctrines which stifles life and prohibits
enjoyment and liberty. If represented in this light, a vigorous,
life-loving person would tend to reject it and run away from it.
Thus if we adopt this negative approach of Haraj, we will not
be mubashshirun (those giving good news) but munaffirur (repulsors).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) enjoined us to be mubashshirun
The approach which depicts Islam as a Haraj, must be derided,
but it is also a very naive approach. It seeks to alter people's
behaviour and social manners, before it changes hearts and conceptions.
If a young Muslim drinks wine, or if a young Muslim woman is dressed
indecently, that is indeed indicative of his or her lack of adherence
and acceptance of the true Islamic ideas, values and conception.
Our task would then be that of cultivating an Islamic awareness
in those individuals. We cannot abdicate this task of educating
and of creating a new awareness and hope to appeal to those who
manifest deviations from Islamic behaviour.
It would not do to adopt a naive impulsive approach and start
issuing and preaching injunctions, prohibitions and commands.
By merely telling people what they ought to be doing, and what
they ought not to be doing, we cannot succeed in winning people's
hearts or in capturing their vision and imagination.
True Da'wah work has always been that of inspiring and enchanting
and of transforming people's lives and minds. The impulsive approach
must be ruled out because, unless we change people's conceptions
and win them emotionally, they will not be persuaded to change
their manners and conduct. We must follow the example of the Prophet,
peace be upon him, in this respect. The Prophet directed his initial
efforts to transform people's hearts and minds to the Creed of
Tawheed. He did not make any demands concerning people's manners
and conduct, not even did he prohibit wine-drinking, until much
How to Give Bushra
In order to give the true Islamic Bushra (or good news), we
must stress the positive aspects and the hopeful consequences
of adhering to and adopting the Islamic message. The Prophet,
peace be upon him, promised the Quraysh if they answer the call
to "La illaha illa Allah" that they will be sovereign power on
this earth and will enjoy paradise in the Hereafter, that they
will inherit the riches and political power of the unjust rulers
and unjust systems.
Much in the same vein, the Qur'an has promised victory and political
domination to the true sincere Muslim workers. That is to say,
if lslamization is to be successful, then the true, sincere workers
of Islam must gain ascendancy and political sovereignty.
There is no doubt in my mind that this goal of gaining political
authority for the sake of promoting Islamic ideals is both possible
and desirable. If the stages leading to it are all fulfilled,
then the political authority will inevitably be gained. In order
to give the Islamisation programme the full colour, imagination
and appeal which it both intrinsically possesses and deserves,
we must stress the positive aspect of Islam. Those positive aspects
(1) The spiritual and political emancipation of man and woman.
The aim of the spiritual emancipation is to remove and demolish
false gods in the lives of man. False beliefs and ideologies must
be challenged successfully and defeated on the intellectual and
the ideological plane. Islam must be portrayed as holding the
greatest promise of spiritual as well as intellectual redemption.
It must be as the greatest liberation ideology yet to be known
(2) The Emphasis on Social Justice
The insistence of Islam on the question of social justice must
not be underplayed, because some government or some powerful institutions
would not like such an insistence. This is a very explosive issue.
It is an issue that greatly concerns the hungry, ignorant and
deprived Muslim masses. If we do not play the right tune in this
respect, somebody else will play it. It will indeed be a folly
and a sorrow if fake and spurious claimants of socialism are allowed
to call the tune in this respect and thus deprive the Muslim workers
from a platform which is deservedly theirs.
(3) The ideals of Human Rights must be emphasised.
The Homo Islamicus is indeed worthy of human dignity and all the
human rights of the liberties of speech, worship, assembly and
of work and travel. Oppression can never be sanctioned by Islam
and the Homo Islamicus must not be denied his right to object
to any and all manifestation of oppression and injustice. The
Homo Islamicus does not lose his human rights just because he
happens to subscribe to political views different from those in
power, and to insist on expressing them.
(4) The ideals of equity and brotherhood of all mankind must
But we must not give the impression that Islam is nothing but a
police state whose overriding concern is to cut the hand of the
petty thief and to flog the wine drinker or fornicator when such
a wine drinker or fornicator is a member of the common or poor people
while the rich people and those enjoying special social status are
left beyond the reach of Shari'ah.
If this practice prevails in any society then we must indeed expect
a speedy collapse for that society, as the Prophet has indeed said,
concerning the ancient Jewish people of Banu Israel.
When the above objectives, with their proper nuances are realised
and pursued, then the tasks of the first stage can be viewed as
being in the process of completion.
(2) The Second Stage
The primary task of the second stage is to move from the technique
of person to person contact in soliciting support for the Islamic
call to the technique of public announcement, speeches and preaching.
It is the stage in which all people are publicly invited to respond
to the call of Islam.
In Islam, there is no aristocracy, no recognised class distinctions,
no caste system of any sort and no racial discrimination. No privileged
classes or organisation are recognised in Islam. There is no priesthood
and monopoly of political power, of wealth or of knowledge. These
ideals must be clearly formulated and put across forcefully to
the Muslim masses. We must warn here against the portrayal of
Islam as merely a system of Hudud, amputation of the hand of thieves,
flogging for wine drinking and the flogging of the fornicator.
Now, those aspects of Islamic law are a very important part of
Islamic order. We must do our best to assure and to secure the
speedy return of all the Muslim societies to the precepts of Islamic
The persons who accepted the lslamisation programme together
with their leaders make themselves known to the public at large.
Their programme of lslamization is also made public.
The task of the second stage will only be regarded as completed
(a) the lslamization programme reaches all people that matter,
that is to say all people that may react to it in one way or another,
(b) when all reasonable doubts and all genuine objections to
it are removed. The task of calling all the people publicly to
Islam will not be completed unless the Muslims project their programme
as a programme for social change. They must spell out all its
implications to the existing social order. They must leave no
doubts in the minds of anyone that they are out to undermine any
existing order that gives rise to oppression and injustice. The
Islamic order must be presented as a clear and superior alternative.
The assault upon the corrupt and false gods and norms, as well as
unjust practices of the status quo is an inherent part of the lnzar
function of the message of Islam. The Muslims must not shy away
from saying loudly what they think is wrong with the present system.
They must be both outspoken and vehement in their opposition to
the malpractices of the dominant un-islamic system. Such an opposition
forms part of the movement for change and reform.
(3) The Third Stage
The Muslims begin to encounter opposition, enmity and outright
persecution. This new dimension of their involvement in Da'wah
will, in effect, test their genuineness and sincerity, their forbearance
and fortitude in the face of hardship and persecution. As such,
it represents a new extension of the training (Tarbiyyah) which
started from the first moment they accepted Islam.
It is part of the Fitnah (persecution and trial) to which the
Muslims are subjected so that this is an essential stage in the
life of Muslim movements and Muslim workers. It is not an accident
of history that Sumayyah was killed in the way of God, that her
husband Yasir was also killed soon afterwards and that her son
Ammar was terribly tortured. Nor was it an accident of history
that in the twentieth century men like al-Banna and Sayyid Outb
were also killed.
"Or do you think you will enter paradise where yet there
has not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who
passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they
were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of God) and
those who believe along with him said, When comes Allah's help?
Now surely Allah's help is nigh". (The Qur'an 2: 214)
"Or think you that you would enter Paradise, while yet Allah
knows not those of you who really strive nor knows those (of you)
who are steadfast". (The Qur'an 3: 142)
The Minor Hijrah
Those among the persecuted Muslims who are left without protection
are permitted to undertake the minor Hijrah. (in the early history
of Islam the minor Hijrah was that to Abyssinia.) Muslims with
strong and influential protectors are not advised to undertake
the minor Hijrah. They must stay behind to propagate Islam. Thus
the Prophet, Ali and Abu Bakr remained in Makka, whilst 'Uthman
and Umar, and Ja'far ibn Abu Talib migrated to Abyssinia, may
Allah be pleased with them all.
The major objectives of the minor Hijrah was to act as a temporary
retreat for the Muslims. It provides them with a temporary haven,
where they enjoy peace, security and freedom. They freely practise
their religious duties and develop their religious thought. They
are safe and beyond the reach of their enemies who are seeking
to liquidate them physically.
It is important that Muslims must not accept the destination
of the minor Hijrah as the ultimate place of residence, or the
ultimate stage of their mission in life. Such an acceptance will
be disastrous both for them as individuals and for the ideal which
they defend and cherish. But there is no reason which prevents
them from availing themselves of the advantages of the minor Hijrah
as long as the circumstances which make it imperative are still
The Major Hijrah
This is the mass movement of the Muslim Ummah from a place which
reject the call of Islam to a new place which has accepted this
call. The aim of the Major Hijrah is to establish the Muslim state
and the political authority of the Muslims. The implication of
this Hijrah "The Political Implications of the Major Hijrah" *
are spelt out in a separate paper, carrying the above title.
(talk delivered in FOSIS 14th Annual Summer Conference)
* Read in the Seminar for the commemoration of Hijrah Centenary
Year, organised by the Muslim Institute, Slough, U.K.