This is why one of its fundamental goals is to make man aware of the paramount significance of gradation, fortitude, and maturity. Haste is an inherent characteristic of man in general, and of the young in particular. Indeed, haste is an outstanding characteristic of our own age. It has made our youth eager to saw the seeds today and to harvest the next day.
But Allah's will in His own creation does not allow that. Extracts… quotes… Some parts of the text here have been updated with the help of the latest, the Third Edition This updated Second Edition is the pdf to the right here. For the chapter "The Causes of Extremism" some quotes will be presented, which should be seen as an introduction into his way of dealing with the important problem of extremism in Islam, and which - at the same time - is an eminent proof of traditional Islam always being far from extremist view-points.
Mere sacrifice cannot realize goals in the absence of its well-planned, well-thought strategies.
Islamic Awakening: Between Rejection and Extremism
This conception encourages young Muslims to sacrifice their lives and wealth yet fails to make them endeavor and persevere to study and to comprehend. Another reason is that self-sacrifice could result from a momentary impulse; but the pursuit of knowledge demands unflinching perseverance, consciousness, critical analysis, and insight, all of which ensure continuity and enhance success.
Why is this so? Islamic texts call upon Muslims to excerise moderation and to reject and oppose all kinds of extremism: ghuluw excessiveness , tanattu' trangressing; meticulous religiosity and tashdid strictness; austerity.
Exceed not in your religion the bounds [of what is proper], trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by who misled many, and strayed [themselves] from the even Way. After reaching Muzdalifah - during his last hajj - the Prophet requested Ibn 'Abbas to gather some stones for him. Ibn 'Abbas selected small stones.
Islamic Awakening between Rejection And Extremism
Upon seeing the stones, the Prophet approved of their size and said: "Yes, with such [stones do stone Satan]. Beware of excessiveness in religion". This clearly indicates that Muslims should not be so zealous as to believe that using larger stones is better, thus gradually allowing excessiveness to creep into their lives. Al Imam Ibn Taymiyah argues that this warning against excessiveness applies to all forms of belief, worship, and transaction, and notes that since the Christians are more excessive in faith and in practice than any other sect, Allah swt admonishes them in the Qur'an.
The first indications of extremism include bigotry and intolerance, which make a person obstinately devoted to his own opinions and prejudices, as well as rigidity, which deprives him of clarity of vision regarding the interests of other human beings, the purposes of Shariah, or the circumstances of the age.
The second characteristic of extremism manifests itself in a perpetual commitment to excessiveness, and in attempts to force others to do likewise, despite the existence of good reasons for facilitation and the fact that Allah swt has not ordained it.
However, such a lack, which does not imply total ignorance, does not lead to extremism or excessiveness, but rather to their opposites, i. It implies, however, semi-knowledge.
He argued that self-presumption and conceit are the root causes of bid'ah as well as the disunity of the Umma, and could lead to internal schism and gradual disintegration. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray. Thus it has been said that a trustworthy person never betrays a trust, but the traitorous one does. When he was asked whether a calamity had befallen him, he replied, 'No, but people are seeking fatwa from persons who possess no knowledge.
The fact is that semi-knowledge, coupled with vanity and pride, is more dangerous and subversive than an admitted total ignorance, because the former is the ignorance of a person who is not aware of his limitations.
Such ignorance manifests itself in various ways, the most important of which is sticking rigidly to the literal meanings of the texts in total disregard for their essence and purposes. It is also strict, excessive and overburdening to require people to observe superetogatories in the same way as they would observe the obligatories, or hold them accountable for the things which are makruhat as if these were muharramat.
In fact, we should demand that people observe only what Allah swt has categorically commanded. The extra and additional forms of ibadah are optional. If a Muslim in this age observes the wajibat and eschews the most heinous of the muharramat, he should be accommodated in the fold of Islam and regarded as one of its advocates so long as his loyalty is to Allah swt and His Messenger.
Even if he commits some minor muharramat, the merits gained by his observance of the five daily salawat, salat al jumuah Friday prayers , siyam, etc. The following incident shows that this was also the Prophet's opinion. A bedouin once asked the Prophet about the obligatory prescriptions required of him.
The Prophet mentioned only three: salah, zakah, and siyam. When the bedouin asked if there was anything else which he must do, the Prophet replied in the negative, adding that the bedouin could volunteer to do more if he so wished. As the bedouin was leaving, he swore never to increase or decrease what the Prophet had asked him to do. In view of the above evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah, how could we expel a Muslim from the fold of Islam merely because of his commitment to certain controversial matters which we are not sure are halal or haram, or because of his failure to observe something which we are not certain is wajib or mandub?
Islamic Awakening: Rejecting rifts and regaining unity within Muslims
This is why I object to the tendency of some pious people to adopt and cling to hard-line opinions, not only in their own personal practice, but also in influencing others to do the same. I also object to the charges levered by such people against any Muslim 'alim who disagrees with their line of thought and opts for facilitation in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah in order to relieve people of distress and undue restrictions in their religious practice.
The third characteristic of extremism is the out-of-time and out-of-place religious excessiveness and overburdening of others, i. With all these, emphasis should not be put on either minor or controversial issues, but on fundamentals.
Endeavors should be made to correct their concepts and understanding of Islam before anything else. Once the correct beliefs are firmly established, then one can begin to explain the five pillars of Islam and gradually to emphasize those aspects which make a Muslim's belief and practice compatible, and his entire life an embodiment of what is pleasing to Allah swt.
He told him: You are going to [meet] people of a [divine] scripture, and when you reach them call them to witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger.
Islamic awakening between rejection and extremism pdf files
And if they obey you in that, then tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five salawat to be performed every day and night. And if they obey you in that, then tell them that Allah has enjoined upon them sadaqah [zakah] to be taken from the rich amongst them and given to the poor amongst them. I was shocked and dismayed during a tour of North America to find that devout young Muslims - who belong to some Muslim groups - have initiated a great controversy because Muslims sit on chairs during the Saturday and Sunday lectures in mosques instead of sitting on mats on the ground, and do not face the Ka'bah as Muslims do and also because those who attend wear shirts and trousers rather than loose outer coverings, and sit at dining tables to eat rather than on the ground.
Another characteristic of extremism manifests itself in harshness in the treatment of people, toughness in the manner of approach, and crudeness in calling people to Islam, all of which are contrary to the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah.
Allah swt commands us to call to Islam and to His teachings with wisdom, not with foolishness, with amicability, not with harsh words:. It grieves him that you should perish, ardently anxious is he over you.
To the believers he is kind and merciful. Firmness and harsh-heartedness are mentioned only in connection with two issues in the Qur'an. First, in connection with war, when a successful military strategy necessitates fortitude and the shelving of leniency until the war comes to an end. But in the field of dawah, there is no place for violence and harshness.
Violence can do nothing more than distort dawah to the path of Allah swt. Dawah seeks to penetrate the innermost recesses of man to transform him into a godly person in his conceptions, emotions, and behavior by altering his thoughts, feelings, and will as well as the whole of his being, thereby shaping him into a different person. It also shakes up the structure of the society and alters its inherited beliefs, well established traditions, moral conventions, and prevailing systems.
All this cannot be achieved without wisdom and amicability, and without taking into consideration human nature - man's obstinancy, resistance to change, and argumentativeness.
These characteristics necessitate the exercise of kindness and gentleness when attempting to reach man's heart and mind so that his hardness can be softened, his rigidity abated and his pride checked.
This approach was described for us in the Quran as having been followed by earlier Prophets and sincere believers who called people to the ibadah of Allah swt. Let us listen to and contemplate the spirit in which the Believer - a man who possesses iman from among Pharaoh's people - addresses Pharaoh:.
Yours is the dominion this day: You have the upper hand in the land: but who will help us from the punishment of Allah should it fall upon us? Follow me! I will lead you to the Right Path. O my People! This life of the present is nothing but [temporary] convenience. It is the Hereafter that is the home that will last.. My [own] affair I commit to Allah, for Allah [ever] watches over His servants.
This is the approach and manner which contemporary Muslim duah should emulate and adopt with the stubborn, and with people of other religions.
But speak to him mildly, perchance he may take warning or fear [Allah]. No wonder, then, that experienced people in da'wah reject and disapprove of the young peoples' manner in arguing with those who hold different opinions! Rather than calling people to the Way of Allah swt with wisdom, they are quite often harsh, tough, and crude. No distinction is made between the old and the young; no special consideration is given to those whose age or status deserves special respect, that is, parents, teachers, the learned, or those who have precedence in da'wah and jihad Such lack of insight is still dominant in Muslim society, despite the fact that the early scholars of ahadith literature distinguished very clearly between the common innovators, who did not call others to their innovation and those who deliberately publicized and defended their bidah condemned innovations.
The reports of the former were accepted, while those of the latter were rejected. Suspicion and distrust are also manifestations of extremism.
Characteristics of Extremism
An extremist readily accuses people and quickly passes judgement contrary to the generally accepted norm: "innocent until proven guilty. He jumps to conclusions rather than looking for explanations.
The slightest mistake is blown out of all proportions; a mistake becomes a sin, and a sin kufr. Such a reaction is a stark violation of the spirit and teachings of Islam which encourage Muslims to think well of other Muslims, to try to find an excuse for their misbehavior, and to help them improve their words and deeds. The religious sincerity and integrity of those who disagree with such an extremist are always called into question.
An extremist would depict people as being guilty of transgression, innovation, or disrespect for the Prophet's Sunnah even if their views are solidly based upon authentic Islamic texts. One could cite many examples: If you argue that carrying a stick or eating while sitting on the ground has nothing to do with the Sunnah, you would be accused of disrespect for the Prophet himself.
If a faqih gives a fatwa which facilitates matters for Muslims, he is considered lax on religious issues; if a Muslim daiyah caller tries to call to Islam in a manner suitable to the spirit and the taste of the age, he is accused of succumbing to and patronizing Western civilization. The gravest shortcoming of the contemporary extremists is suspicion. Had they understood and comprehended the Quran and Sunnah, they would have discovered that both seek to foster in the mind of each and every Muslim the confidence and trust of other fellow Muslims.
A Muslim is not even allowed to publicize the minor mistakes and faults of others or become blind to their merits; but some people are interested in criticizing others and in praising themselves:.
Avoid suspicion as much [as possible]: for suspicion in some cases is a sin. The origins of all this include suspicion as well as arrogance and the despising of other people.
It is worthwhile to heed the warning embodied in the following hadith: "If you hear a person saying that people are ruined, he himself will be ruined [for being vain and conceited.
Vanity is one of the human traits which causes degeneration and which our Muslim scholars call the "sins of the hearts.
It is reported in hadith literature that this Qur'anic verse is about people who do righteous deeds but fear that Allah swt may not accept them. Ibn Ata said: "Allah may open up for you the gates of obedience, but He may not open up for you the gates of acceptance. He may ordain you a state of disobedience which may happen to lead you to the right path. The disobedience which teaches you humility is better than the piety which vests you with vanity and arrogance!