To Be A Muslim


  • bookcover

  • To Be A Muslim


  • IV. DISTINGUISHING THE MOVEMENT FROM SPECIALIZED ORGANIZATIONS

    Those who join the Islamic movement should do so after careful study, so that they know how it differs from all other Islamic organizations, both in goals and methods, and can distinguish between Islamic and non-Islamic groups. There are four kinds of organizations with inadequately universal goals:

    First, there are spiritual groups. Most of these groups stress personal spiritual growth but neglect other essential aspects of Islam, such as thought, politics, strategic planning, and work. Such inner-directed groups may become isolated and unable to understand the environment in which they live. Therefore they cannot directly influence or change the environment.

    Second, are ecumenical groups. These groups exist in order to address problems jointly with Christians and Jews. These groups usually restrict their goals to the limitations imposed by non-Muslims. Because to that extent, they are non-Islamic and will give a distorted image of Islam.

    Third, are welfare organizations. These organizations were formed in order to help those in need of various kinds of help, such as medical, financial, and shelter. Although they have done a good job in their fields - these jobs are required by Islam - they are restricted in their work to their goals. These groups cannot be considered as a movement of reformation, because their goals are not to establish an Islamic society nor to move forward to the Islamic way of life.

    Fourth, are political movements. They may operate under the name of Islam, but they rarely base their work on the Islamic creed or principles. In some situations, these political movements, without hesitation, violate the principles of Islam. They justify this by claiming that they want to exhibit the flexibility of Islam or pursue the general good of the people. They rely on the non-believers and on man-made systems of government, and usually focus on insignificant matters of marginal value.

    None of these four groups work for the real and comprehensive objective of Islam, which is to transform the jahili society into an Islamic community in order to save the world from the false gods of modernism rampant in Western civilization by building the human person, family, community, and government in the Islamic mold.

    The work of all these organizations is deficient and incomplete. Some of these groups even condemn Islam, although, they claim to work under the name of Islam. The compartmentalization of being and action on which these groups are based give the erroneous impression that Islam is similarly based on such erroneous premises. This implies that man-made systems are acceptable, which will only prolong their life.

    Any groups, no matter what their names are, in any country who work under the name of Islam, with a goal of preparing or establishing a complete change in all aspects of society are indeed the right groups to join because all of their work converges on a single understanding and on common goals and methods.

    Imarn Hasan AI-Banna clarified the characteristics of the group that best works for Islam by saying:

    My brothers, you are not a welfare organization, nor a political party; you are not a limited-goals organization, but a new spirit that moves in the nerves of people. Your are the new light that will destroy the darkness of materialism. You are the voices that echo the message of Prophet Muhammad (s).

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