Page 32 - Islam In Focus

Basic HTML Version

foundation of the community in Islam is the principle which designates submission to
the will of Allah, obedience to His law and commitment to His cause. In short, an
Islamic community is present only when it is nourished and fostered by Islam.
The Islamic community has a historic mission far beyond mere survival, sheer power,
breeding, or physiological continuity. Such a mission is described in the Holy Qur’ an
as follows:
Let there be a community (or ummah) among you, advocating what is good,
demanding what is right, and eradicating what is wrong. Theses are indeed the
successful (3:104). You are the best community ever raised, you enforce what is right,
fight what is wrong, and believe in Allah (3:110).
The historic role of the Islamic Community is to be the true embodiment of the
virtuous, the wholesome, and the noble. A truly Islamic community is the alert
guardian of virtue and the bitter enemy of vice. What is required of the community at
large is likewise required of every individual member. This is because the whole
community is an organic entity and every individual is accountable to Allah. The role
of the individual Muslim is best described by the statement of the prophet:
Whoever of you sees something wrong must seek to rectify it by action or deed; if he
cannot, let him try to change it by word; if he cannot, let his feelings of disapproval
and condemnation intensify and this is the minimal degree of faith.
As we can see, this description is very significant and comprehensive. In this age of
revolutionary media, no one in his right mind can underestimate the power of
concerted actions, or the power of communicable words, or the power of feelings.
The historic role of the Islamic community is further restated in the Qur’ anic verse:
We have made you middle nation, a well-integrated community, a balanced ummah,
so that you may be witnesses over other people and the Messenger a witness over you
Such a role of witnessing is both highly significant and extremely demanding. It
means that the community of Islam must be exemplary. It must set the highest
standards of performance and be the reference point for others. It must avoid excesses
and extravagances, static rigidity and instant evaporation. To strike a middle course of
action, to be steadfast and consistent, to know what to accept and what to reject, to
have principles and at the same time remain adaptable is probably the hardest test of
the human character and social viability. But this is the role of the Islamic community
and the historic mission of Muslims. And it is this very criterion that qualifies the
Muslim as the best human community ever to evolve.
The identity of the community centers upon the principles of consistent balance,
exemplary conduct, unity of purpose, reciprocity of feelings, solidarity, and equity.
Numerous are the statements of the Qur'an and Sunnah to this effect (for example
4:135, 21:92, 23:52).