The greatest concern of the conversant Muslim reformer is to raise a new Muslim generation that deserves to be named the ‘victorious generation’. This is the top priority of our nation.
A generation that brings Islam to its pure springs, understands it rightly and completely, free from redundancy and blemishes. It is not an Islam of myths in its doctrines, of religious innovation or heresy in devotions, negativity in morals, or inactivity, imitation and fanaticism to one school of Fiqh (jurisprudence) over another. Rather, it is the Islam which is revealed in the Quran, propagated by the Noble Messenger, Muhammad in which the Companions believed; by which the rightly guided Caliphs ruled; upon which a sound lofty civilisation was erected. A civilisation that linked the earth to the heaven, led the world by religion and brought knowledge and assuredness together.
It is the Islam of the Quran and Sunnah (prophetic sayings, actions and approvals), of truth and strength, learning and acting, Jihad and Ijtihad (juristic reasoning in the absence of texts from the Quran or the Sunnah), and of comprehensiveness and balance. What is meant by Jihad here is not “holy war” in one sense only, rather, it is in its broader concept, which is the opposition of all kinds of wrong and crookedness whether it stems from ones’ self, Satan or other people. Opposing one’s whims and Satan’s whispers is a high rank of Jihad. Fighting the enemies who oppose Allah’s Message and hinder its spread or those who transgress on Islam and Muslims is one aspect of Jihad.
It is the Islam of individual dignity, family ties, social solidarity, Shoora (counselling), productivity, and fairness in distribution of duties and rights.
Islam redirects the entire individual’s life for the sake of Allah, the Most High, namely, no ulterior motives, no conflict; as the purpose is united, the direction is fixed, and the path is clear; Allah Says (what means): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.’” [Quran 6:162]
It is Islam that makes the whole life of the society for the sake of Allah, the Most High. It cannot be divided into two conflicting powers: one portion, called ‘the state,’ being for Caesar; and the other, called ‘religion’ for God, because Caesar and his state both belong to Allah, The One and Only.
Islam invites to justice, even if it is for the interest of its deadliest enemies; Allah Says (what means): “…And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; Indeed Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran 5:8]
It also forbids aggression, even if it is towards its most hostile adversaries; Allah Says (what means): “…And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (in Makkah), lead you to commit aggression. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah…”[Quran: 5:2].
Islam battles with the atheist communists and the capitalists, and rejects class struggle and oppressive sects. It calls for religiosity that instils love; not for sectarianism that inculcates grudge.
Islam also fights oppressive rulers and the oppressors’ rule. It is Islam that says to the ruler: “Do not oppress” and to the people: “Do not cringe.” It teaches the Muslim to supplicate in his prayer: “O Allah! We do thank You and refuse to be ungrateful; we cast and abandon whoever disobeys You.”
Islam makes the best type of Jihad speaking the truth before a tyrant ruler.
It aids the weak till they get their rights from the strong and fights the rich, should they abstain from paying Zakah (obligatory alms) to the poor. It urges believers to fight in defence of the oppressed. Allah Says (what means): “…in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children…” [Quran 4:75]
This is Islam of the Quran and Sunnah, as understood, believed in and invited to by such a desired generation. It is this Islam that has illuminated the minds and hearts of past generations. With its guidance they realised their goal, made their way to glory, knew themselves and their Lord, their religion, world, heritage, age, life, friends and foes. With Islam, one would know who shows him the way and who wants to mislead and derail him off the right track.