Ahad, April 04, 2010

A Youth Guide to The Rise of Islam According To Sheikh Prof. Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Since the beginning of the consciousness of Muslims around the world in early 70s and 80s to accept ad-din as a way of life, al-Qaradawi relentlessly encourage young Muslims by giving them his opinion and analogical deduction from the Islamic movement point of view.

He is a member of the Islamic economic advisor to Faisal Bank and other financial institutions. He explained one of the diseases among Muslims contrary to the human nature is al-Ghulu (fanaticism) because it has certain limits in the path of Islamic revivalism, while at the same time the rights of others will not be taken care of.
Al-Qaradawi admits that with regard to the rise of Islam always become the main focal of his writings as far as the future of Islam is concerned.

This issue is important in order not to undermine the concerted effort and get diverted away. The revival of this religion must not be hindered with unnecessary obstacles. Thus, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has outlined 10 steps towards the revival of Islam, to move from the state of uncertainty to enlightenment:

1. From format and symbols to fact and substance

There are people who obsessed towards external aspects i.e. formality and form and never look into the facts and substance. Such example is lengthening beard, shorten clothing, bring siwak, banned all types of music and no alternative to purdah for women. Therefore, Muslims must devote attention to the substance and spirit of Islamic teachings from just the outer layer. Islam as a faith is deeply substantive. For worship the substance is sincerity, as is morality to love.

The shariah revolves around justice and civilization is all about balance. The absence of Islamic substance means the absence of Islam even though it holds strong to the symbol and shape. Al-Qaradawi brings an example of those who indulge in only theoretical knowledge, struggling with too many things that widen the differences rather than a consensus in faith to God. Some had envelope it as the only path that man can gain happiness in the world and the hereafter, by memorizing various terms and theories.

Worshipping God includes the conscience of the heart. It is a struggle of endeavour to attain purity of faith, trust and hope for His mercy. Some Islamic missionaries, according to him, forget this crucial aspect of Islamic faith which is the real substance of religion rather than by just focusing on physical and bodily action. It doesn’t bring any meaning when an action is not coming from the heart. Such basic thing about our heart can ensure happiness in this world and hereafter.

2. From Rhetoric and Debate Towards Action and Implementation

Among the negative attitudes that need to be avoided is adamant proud of the past history. There is a need to change in the form of action through continuous improvement of the current situation and expanding it towards the better. History of the past is good so long as it led to drive further success. The creation of success is a must for enriching the history. Past memories which include the bitter ones should not sink human potentials to overcome crisis and deterrence. It is actually a blessing in disguise which can transform individuals to the highest of their ability. Futile debates only bear arrogance besides wasting of time.

Therefore, Muslims must strive to perform better practices that have clear goals and objectives. Muslims can never live without a purpose and do things recklessly. We must determine the way toward that is in accordance with the conditions and capabilities that we have. Al-Qardawi criticized those who devote all attention to merely politics by and abandon thinking, education and social aspect of community. Similarly, those who live in ivory towers in the world and the idealistic theories had never been down and walk bare-footed as an example for people to act. Assumption about the only act that is the best is military aggression against the enemy is also misguided.

3. From sentimental and emotional attitude toward rational and scientific approach.

Muslims are able to control their emotion and intellect properly. They can think rationally and scientifically and conscious when they can be in love and hatred. Some of them delve in the imaginary world and have tendency to rely on faith alone, without any attempt to observe the truth. This emotional attitude tends to forget that sunnatullah occurred in natural and humanistic ways, which need no excessiveness in representing material or spiritual matter. Islamic movement must be built on the tradition of scientific and systematic planning.

Islamic movements should liberate themselves from the tendency of apologetic and emotion shifting towards rational with clear objective in evaluating an activity, at the same time understanding the reality and history. Objectivity encompasses any preconceived judgment towards others, giving due respect for one’s expertise, willing to admit errors and regularly self-contemplating. While observing manners and respect for dissent, many lessons can be obtained from the learned. He urged that spirit of tolerance and intellectual practice be part and parcel of Islamic movement in the dominant thinking structure in all sphere of life. Well grounded opinion should become a yardstick in responding to issues and making sound decision.
True believers always in the state of confidence. Suspicions, blind imitation and rigidity is not part of the religion.

4. Trifling oriented debate towards substantial issues.

According to al-Qaradawi, Islamic movement core business is the field of thought and culture and education. In his view, many activists of Islamic movements surrounded themselves in matters that are recommended (sunnah) and provision that close to makruh rather than focuses on public order which is obligatory or prohibitions which is not permitted. Muslims need to prioritize between obligatory duty than those that are recommended. Prioritization put things in order where the most important one fills the top place subsequently followed by the less important.

Among mistakes of some Muslims is strenuously stressing on things which is recommendable above the obligatory. Islamic movement should make a distance from an environment where so much energy being poured into discussing disputed issues that give rise to polemics, later consider it as an important agenda of the movement. The damage done shatter the harmonious climate within the Islamic group due to augment attention to questions that are not agreed upon by scholars.

They made khilafiah matters as litmus test to evaluate human behavior. Matters related to khilafiah are insulated later becomes the foundation of faith and worship as the law extended to keep or shorten the beard, the length of clothes, hand position during prayer, drawing and photography and legal status of the law to wear niqab to cover the face of women.

According to al-Qaradawi this occurs because of the assumption that khilafiah issues according to them as the sole truth and infallible. They put less attention to religious questions that have been unanimously agreed upon the answer. They also love to be in contradictory no matter even it hurt others coupled with proud of themselves is inevitably the turning point that will ruin themselves.

5. From complicity and threats to amenities and good tidings

Islam is a religion of mercy to all mankind not to miss everything in this universe. Allah commanded man to keep things simple and easy to comprehend. By comprehension it means to facilitate way by the means of tolerance and alleviating hardship. To imply hardship is to cause difficulties, pain and sufferings to people.

By nature, human beings prefer simplicity and easiness than complicity. In the Islamic sharia, the laws are based on convenience, not the other way round. Al-Qaradawi brings evidence from Quranic verses; al-Baqarah:185, al-Ma'idah:6 and al-Anfaal:66. However, these privileges are not meant to make the prohibitions in Islamic law permissible such as drinking, gambling and so forth.

All the verdict in its clear injunction can not be reconsidered. According to al-Qaradawi, strictness that is not within the context could harm the Islamic cause and eliminate goodness towards lager Islamic society. He strongly encourages Muslim activists to ascertain the signs of Islamic victory and the brightness of its future.

There is no place for them to entertain themselves with stories of disastrous event of the Final Day, pessimistic view on Islamic world and gloomy future of Islam as compared with the past. The weak of faith and tyranny can’t ever be the stumbling block to the revival of this religion in the eyes of true Muslim activists. All this will cause Muslims always in despair and not be able to make changes, straighten the crooked and change the situation for better.

by: Dr Rumaizuddin Ghazali