In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
The most distinctive feature of our Invitation is that it is Divine and universal:
Firstly, it is Divine because all our goals revolve around the principle that man should recognise and be familiar with his Lord and should generate from this submission an immense level of spirituality that would enable him to free himself from the shackles of materialism which have abandoned the very notion of humanity; its essence and beauty. We are the Muslim Brotherhood, and we call out from the depths of our hearts: ‘Allah is our ultimate goal’. The foremost aim of our Invitation, is that the people should recall their relationship with Allah the Most Gracious. They forgot this relationship so he made them forget their own selves: ‘People, worship your Lord, who created you and those who were before you, So that you may attain piety.’
In reality this is the master-key, which can resolve the problems of humanity, which has been undermined by stagnation and materialism. It is a problem that mankind cannot solve by itself nor using any other key.
Secondly, the message is universal, because it is directed towards the whole of mankind, and mankind in our view is one brotherhood: their origin is one, their father is one and their descent is one. They have no preference over one another except by the extent of fearing God and the contribution of good and benefit to all humanity. In the following verse, there is a hint to this aspect: ‘O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single living being and from him created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women.. And fear Allah, by Whom you ask for your mutual(rights), and do not cut the relations of the wombs (Kinship). surely Allah is an Ever all Watcher over you.’
Therefore we do not believe in racism nor do we advocate discrimination in terms of colour and race. But we call towards a true sense of brotherhood between all of mankind.
Once I read a statement from one of the western leaders. He had divided the whole of humanity in to three categories: Builders, Defenders, and War-mongers.
He considered his nation, the builder of humanity, called another Western nation the Defender of humanity and called us, the people of the East, the Warmongers. This is a completely unjustifiable division, and altogether false, as humanity as a whole, whichever land and region it may belong to, whatever qualities it may have, and however much it might have developed, has the same blood running through its veins, and is created from the same soil. Accordingly, if any human being receives the light of civilisation, he can attain high levels of achievement. There is no race on this earth, which in its special circumstances and environment, cannot reform itself.
This is one point of view, from another, history proves that the East (which was labelled as the war-monger) has been a source of light for civilisation and culture, and the domain of the Prophetic revelations. All this far exceeds anything the West has ever been able to offer. Only he who is overcome with pride and ignorance will question this. Such false imagery is from the self-deceptions of arrogant and disorientated men. It is evident that such thoughts and ideas cannot be based on the principles of civilisation. As long as such minds exist amongst us, which bear such feelings about their brethren, there can be no safety, peace or tranquillity. The dawn of peace and security will appear once again when the people raise the standard of brotherhood, which will cover them in its shade and tranquillity, shake hands of friendship. This will not be possible, until people make Islam their guide, as it is said in the book of Allah: ‘O men! we created you from a man and a woman and made you into different tribes and nations, so that you may get to know one another. In the eyes of Allah, the most respectable amongst you, is he who is the most God-fearing.’
And the Prophet (PBUH) clearly states: ‘He who invites towards partisanship, is not from amongst us and he who dies for partisanship, he too is not from us.’
Ever since man made his appearance on the earth, human intellect has continuously deteriorated. Similarly it had given in to suspicion, this was until Allah guided it, between three stages (of the development of the mind).
The first stage is when there was a predominance of superstition and gullibility and the human wisdom bowed before the unknown, unseen and mystical forces. Accordingly humans associated everything with them. Every event was explained in that light and man did not see himself in a position to do or think by himself. This was the condition of man, when he was in the rudimentary or initial stages, when he lived on the earth, but was unaware of it and it was ‘unaware’ of him. And perhaps some nations still live under such conditions.
The second stage was that of stagnation and materialism and a denial of the unknown and the unseen. Man rebelled against the notion of an external force, as being unacceptable to human nature and remained stubborn towards any rationale put forward. This stage gave purely materialistic interpretations of the phenomena of this world, that conformed to so called ‘scientific’ principles, which man has discovered after considerable thinking, constant search and long experimentation. And now that man has disclosed many of nature’s unknown secrets and found out the properties of a number of objects, he presumes that he has arrived at the peak of knowledge and with this method nothing can escape his grasp, though in relation to what he does not know, his knowledge is like a drop in the ocean or a particle in the desert.
In this stage, the materialistic man has denied divinity, Prophethood, the Hereafter, the concept of reward and punishment, the spiritual world and everything that it contains. That only thing that he conceives is this lowly and limited world as interpreted by him solely due to its natural senses and laws.
Both these types of thinking are obviously wrong and extreme, and are the result of man being unaware of his surroundings. Islam came and made an accurate analysis of this problem. Accordingly, it acknowledges the spiritual world and clarifies the connection of man with Allah, the Sustainer of the entire World, and man’s connection with the life to come after this temporary life. It affirms the belief in Allah as the foundation of self reformation, because like it or not, it is related to the spiritual world and without belief it, reformation is not possible. It describes the unknown and unseen world in such a way, that it attracts the intellect, and does not clash with the inborn faculty of the mind. However It also recognises the material world and all that lies in it for the good of man, if he lives as he ought to live, benefits from it, and remains within the bounds of that which is good. It invites man to ponder over the kingship of the heavens and the earth and regards this as the closest way to know Allah the Most High. In this way this deen (way of life) imparts to us a new way of thinking, which for the realities of life and the universe is the most comprehensive, perfect and practical. Its greatest benefit for mankind is that it reconciles between belief in the unseen and the use of the mind. This is because we are practically connected with not only a single world but two worlds, and we are helpless in explaining and interpreting many of the nature’s phenomena. We are incapable of comprehending all the basic realities that surround us. We proceed from one unknown reality to another and try to investigate it, until our helplessness makes us bow before the Greatness of Allah. And then we feel a powerful will towards belief in the depth of our hearts, because belief is implanted in our very nature. It is as indispensable for the heart and soul, as food, air and water are for our bodies. And then we sense that human society will not reform itself unless it has a spiritual belief which creates in our souls God consciousness and a great sense of having faith in him. From this arises the essential prerequisite that we return to the belief in Allah, and we accept divinity, Prophethood, the Hereafter, the soul and the concept of reward for our actions: ‘He who does an atoms weight of good, shall see it. And he who does an atoms weight of evil shall see it.’
At the same time humans should investigate with an open mind; to learn, to know, to invent; to make use of materials and to benefit from the treasures of this world. ‘And say My Lord increase me in knowledge’. We invite mankind to this mode of thinking which brings together the two mentalities of believing in the unseen and having a scientific approach. In its last years the west has lived a materialistic life. It only feels and acknowledges tangible things. The result is that any inclination towards mercy has been wiped away from their hearts. And their minds are devoid of divine spirituality. Then the West, due to its knowledge and ideas, inventions and discoveries, materials and goods, armies and soldiers and glamour and splendour, dominated the entire world. Therefore it left a deep mark on the human thinking. Now that the world is smouldering in the aftermath, the call is emanating from a new direction and it is inviting every one from the East and the West, not to differentiate between the soul and the matter. They should have faith both in the hidden and the apparent; and should once again become familiar with Allah: ‘Then you hasten towards Allah. I give an open alarm to you from Him.’
Just as this Invitation of ours is a Divine invitation, calling for man to save himself from materialism, to rise in opposition against and to stand in the face of tyranny and oppression and confine its dominance, to hasten towards Allah, having faith in Him, depending on Him and being fully aware of His presence in every action one undertakes, it is also a humanitarian invitation. It gives the message of brotherhood to all human beings and struggles for the welfare of the world, because this is what Islam decrees and Islam is not for a particular race or a nation. It has come for the whole of mankind. This reality is apparent from the following verse: ‘Blessed is He Who sent down the criterion (that which distinguishes between good and bad i.e. Qur’an) to His servant, so that he warns the people of the World.’. ‘Say(O Muhammad), O Mankind! verily I am sent to you all as the messenger of Allah, to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens, none has the right to be worshipped but He. It is he who gives life and causes death, so believe in Allah and his Messenger (Muhammad), the unlettered Prophet, who believes in Allah and His Words, and follow him so that you may be guided.’. ‘And We did not send you (O Muhammad) but as a bearer of glad tidings and a Warner to all mankind.’
Just as the message of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was universal, in the same way our invitation is also universal in its aims and objectives. It teaches people to become brothers, and for all to struggle for the common good. It does not recognise the difference of colour or race and is not affected by any distinction of nationality or country.
Nowadays both people and leaders use many slogans to convey their thoughts and ideologies. What is the place of such slogans in our message? Every sentence and idea has a special place in our invitation. Not that we want to please people nor that we do not believe in formality regarding thinking or ideology. No, the reason is that this is the nature of the Invitation. One which is very comprehensive and universal.
(A) Egyptian nationalism has a definite place in our call. It is its right that it should be defended. Surely we are Egyptians; the most honourable place on this Earth to us, we were born and raised up here. Egypt is the land, which has been an abode of belief. It gladly embraced Islam and gave it a new territory; it has repelled the enemies many times during the course of history; It was sincere in its embrace, a cradle of good wishes and noble sentiments. It cannot reform itself except by Islam, which is alone in providing a cure. In light of the present circumstances, the responsibility for the safeguarding of Islamic thinking is upon its shoulders. So how can we not work for Egypt and its welfare? Why shall we not defend it with all of our energy and strength? How can it be said that the Egyptian Nationality can not fit in with the demands of the belief of a Muslim. We take pride in being sincere to our dear land. We struggle for it and wage jihad for the sake of its good and welfare. We will continue as long as there is life in our limbs, assured that this is the first stage in a series of revivals and aspirations. This is only a part of the entire Arab homeland. Therefore, whatever effort we make for the welfare of Egypt, would in reality be for Arabia, The East and Islam.
It would not harm us if we study the history of ancient Egypt, its heritage, customs, culture and learning. We welcome and greet ancient Egypt, a history full of glory, knowledge and understanding. However, we vehemently oppose any view that suggests we should adopt it as a system of living, and invite others to it, especially after Allah has guided Egypt to the teachings of Islam, expanded her heart and blessed her with the light of vision, nobility and glory. What justification could there then be to give up such a perfect system and in its place adopt a defective one?
(B) Arabism. This too has a special place in our Invitation, as the Arabs were the Islamic nation and they are the chosen community. The Holy Prophet (saw.) said: ‘If the Arabs will degenerate, Islam too will degenerate.’
Islam cannot be revived, unless the Arabs start to revive and become a unified force. It is for this reason that we regard every inch of the native land of the Arabs, part of our own homeland.
How can these geographical boundaries and political divisions, terminate the value and feelings of the Arabic/Islamic Unity, which united in the hearts of myriads, one hope and one goal, turning all these countries into one nation, regardless of how much the nationalists have spread lies and people have tried to break up this unity.
In this regard the most enchanting definition for the meaning of Arabism is the one that is given by the Prophet, ‘Arabism, if it is explained, is the name of a language and Islam.’ [meaning that it is a culture and aspirations, giving it a wider meaning.]
Hafiz Ibn Asakir quoted the following Hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH) from Imam Malik: ‘O mankind. surely your Lord is one. And your father is one, your religion is one. None of you is an Arab, through just his father or mother. But surely it is a language. Thus whoever speaks Arabic is an Arab.’
From this we come to know that all the nations, covering the vast area from the Persian Gulf to Morocco and Tangiers on the Atlantic coast, are all Arabs, united by belief and language. They are brought together by relating circumstances and a single stretch of land which has no boundaries dividing it and no distinction within its borders. And we take it that if we work for the cause of Arabism, we would in reality be working for the welfare of Islam and the World.
(C) Orientalism: This also has a position in our invitation, although it is based entirely on ephemeral and transitory things. It so happened that the West became unduly proud of its civilisation, Accordingly, it abandoned and isolated the Eastern nations, dividing the world into two parts: one was named the East, and the other, the West. It called it by such divisions until an influential poet went to the extent of saying: ‘East is East and West is West And never the Twain shall meet.’
This made the Easterners feel that they were one battalion, ready to meet the ranks of the West, until such a time when the West would return to the path of justice and abandon its hostile attitude, only then would the East relinquish its temporary stance of segregation, and try to find a common ground of understanding, one of mutual help and an effort for the general welfare and advancement of mankind.
(D) Globalism: This is our highest objective and greatest aim – the last link in the chain of reform, and the world is moving towards this. The only way forward is by joining together all nations, races and communities. This should include the weak who would then have the opportunity to become strong; this interaction will improve the chances of a long lasting unity. All this will prepare the grounds for this universal call and will put into perspective the ideas of nationalism and patriotism, which mankind have been staunch believers in before. In the beginning it was necessary to believe in racial and nationalistic ideals. However it was necessary to drop such ideals in order to be accepted as part of a much larger community. In order to fulfil this complete and universal unity, we must realise that it is something that will surely come about, although slowly, with the advent of time. Therefore, we must make it a part of our target, placing it in front of our eyes, we must commence with the construction of humanity, one brick at a time, we are not responsible to complete the construction, for every deadline has its divine decree.
If in the world we live in today we find a great number of associations and organisations that are built on the principles of national fanaticism, attracting the hearts of the people and moving in them the narrow-minded sentiments of the one and only nation, then there are painful and harsh lessons to be learnt from this. The world is now suffering from the effects of racist trends, this should be enough for mankind to take refuge in religious guidance and return to the path of brotherhood and mutual co-operation.
Islam has already set out this path. First of all it established a universal belief, then, a universal system and mode of work. Thus it became plain for all to see the just and noble sides of Islam in all aspects of human life.
Accordingly the Lord of mankind is One. The origin of this religion is one. The Prophets are all respected and honourable. All the holy scriptures are from Allah, and their purpose is to unify the hearts of the believers.
‘He has ordained for you the same religion, which He ordained for Noah and that which He has inspired on you (O Muhammad) and which We ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus saying you should establish religion and not to be disunited.’
And the Qur’an, which is the foundation of this deen, is in Arabic. The five obligatory prayers are the best way of getting closer to Allah. These are practical measures to unify the language and unify the belief.
Salaah, Zakaah, Hajj and Fasting are all social legislations, their aim is to strengthen the bonds of unity – to unite people and put an end to dissent and division, to break down the barriers that have separated mankind for so long. Similarly, our call has different stages. We hope that we can progress through all these stages and reach our destination.
In Egypt, we long for such a Muslim State, striving to convey the message of Islam, to unify the Arabs, to work for their common good, to protect Islam wherever it may be, from the worst forms of aggression, to spread the word of Allah and to convey His message, until there is there is no more tumult on this earth and the religion is all for Allah.
People always look to the outward actions and characteristics of a movement. However many neglect looking into the spiritual and moral aspects, which are really the backbone and the source of nourishment of any movement, and upon which its success and growth depend. No one can question this fact, except he who is unaware of the history of movements and their secrets. Behind the outward forms of all movements, their secret lies in their spirit; their spiritual strength keeps them going, has full control over them and defends them. It is impossible for any community to make progress unless the hearts, souls and emotions of the people are well and truly awakened: ‘Because, Allah will never change which he has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls.’
Therefore, what we attach most importance to, is the spiritual awakening, as the growth, progress and success of this movement depends on it. What we seek first of all is to raise the spirits, to invoke the consciousness of the people and to awaken their inherent emotions. Such talk about what we want from this call (about the different aspects of practical reform) is not as important to us as standing by what we say and establishing ourselves with regard to this ideology.
We are in search of spirited, energetic and strong young people, new hearts that are filled with life; fiery, jealous and dynamic emotions; souls that are full of ambition, aspiration and vigour; that have great goals, rising and aspiring to reach them until they eventually arrive at their destination. However we must define these objectives and limit these emotions and feelings within a boundary. We must consolidate and establish ourselves in such a way that our belief (‘Aqeedah) is not open to criticisms, doubts and suspicions. So what are the limits of these objectives and what are their aims?
We desire to place our invitation on the lines of the very first call. We are trying to make this new call an echo of the old one, which started in the valleys of Mecca thirteen and a half centuries ago. We are the first to return to this period, which was illuminated by the light of Prophethood, and to rejoice with the greatness of the rays of the revelation of Allah. We will stand before the First Teacher (PBUH) who is the master of all guides and head of the rightly guided Prophets. We will learn from him once again the lessons of reformation and we will study the methods of invitation.
What divine light was ignited by the holy Prophet in the hearts of his companions, thereby overwhelming them with joy after a period of darkness and ignorance. What water which overflowed from the fountain of spiritual life – stirring them to life, sprouting and growing into flowers that blossomed full of energy and nurtured great emotions and feelings.
The Prophet managed to drive into the hearts of the companions three sentiments that lit up their souls and from which they were able to draw solace:
(a) Their hearts were gripped with the firm conviction that only the deen with which he (saw) came with was right and that all the other religions were false. His (saw) message was the highest; his way the noblest and his system the most perfect system, on which depends the welfare of the world. He regularly recited to them verses from the book of Allah which strengthened them in their conviction and gripped their hearts. ‘Then grasp firmly the thing which has been revealed to you. Doubtless you are on the right path; no doubt this is a reminder to you and to your people and very soon you shall be questioned.’. ‘You trust in Allah. Verily you are clearly in the right.’. ‘Then We placed you on the evident way of Deen Therefore you follow that way. And do not follow the wishes of those, who do not know.’. ‘Therefore, no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept them with full conviction’. They were fully convinced of this and proceeded to meet its demands.
(b) They were also convinced that as long as they remained the people of truth and the bearers of the message of light, while others remained disorientated in darkness, and as long as the heavenly guidance to guide the entire world lay between their hands, it was their duty to play the role of teachers to mankind. They were sympathetic and affectionate, guiding their pupils, rectifying their shortcomings, supporting them and leading them to the good.
The Holy Qur’an has also established this side of the matter and furthermore has clarified it. ‘You are the best Ummah (religious community) assigned for the guidance of the people. You order (people) to do good and forbid (them) from evil. And believe in Allah.’. ‘And likewise, we made you into a middling or a moderate Ummah, in order that you bear witness to the people and the Prophet bears witness to you.’. ‘And wage jihad in the way of Allah as is its due (struggle hard). He has chosen you, and has not placed any constraint in the deen.’. Again they had full conviction in this and acted accordingly.
(c)The idea that as long as they remained firm believers of this truth, they would be amongst the honourable and the valiant, had taken hold of their hearts. If people rejected them, then surely Allah would be with them, helping them, guiding them, giving them victory, aiding them and supporting them. If they were attacked He would defend them. He was with them wherever they were. If the armies of this world would not arise with them, then support from the Heavens would descend upon them. This is what they clearly understood when they read the Book of Allah: ‘Verily, the earth Allah’s, He gives it as heritage to whom He wills of His servants. And ultimate success shall be that of the righteous.’. ‘Verily, our righteous servants shall inherit this land.’. ‘Verily Allah shall help those who help His cause. Truly Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty’. ‘Allah has decreed: ‘Verily, it is I and My Prophets who shall be victorious.’’. ‘And Allah has full power and control over his Affairs. But most people do not know.’. ‘Remember when your lord inspired the angels, ‘Verily I am with you. Therefore keep firm those who have believed.’’. ‘And as for the believers it was incumbent upon Us to help them.’. ‘And wished to do a favour to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land.’
Belief in the greatness of the message of Allah, pride in embracing this message, and hope in His support, were the three things, that the First Guide (saw) managed to embed in the hearts of his companions. He defined for them their objective in this life. They, therefore boldly embarked throughout the world carrying with them their message, safeguarded within their chests the Qur’an, evident from their character and actions. They were highly pleased with the honour bestowed upon them by Allah and confident of his victory and support; The earth was indebted to them as they brought to this world a civilisation of virtue, morals, benevolence and justice. They replaced the evils of materialistic stagnation with the blessings of eternal life. Allah will not complete his favour on anything other than Islam. The first part of our invitation involves calling to these three feelings.
O Mankind, before we speak to you about prayer, fasting, issues of government, customs and habits, rituals in worship and the social welfare system, our main concern is to speak about a conscious heart and soul, the sensitive self, the alert being and deep faith based on the three pillars already mentioned.
Such powerful emotions must overflow from one’s self, and this spiritual awakening, which we are inviting mankind towards must have a practical effect on the lives of the people! If this is the case it can only win them over, leaving no room for doubting a practical revival that will include the individual, the family and the society at large.
(A) This awakening will have its effect on the individual, he will represent the true example of a Muslim, and will be there whenever Islam may need him. Islam needs someone who is sensitive to beauty and ugliness, someone who can differentiate between that which is right and that which is wrong. It wants someone who is decisive, who does not become weak nor soft when he is defending the truth. A strong body is also desired, one that can bear all the burdens that mankind demands of him. His tools and instruments (for carrying out the message) should be finely tuned so that the plan can be perfectly executed and truth, and righteousness can prevail.
In Islam, individual responsibilities create these qualities within a man. Therefore, the best forms of Islamic worship are those that link the heart with Allah, nurture internal feelings and delicate sentiments, those things that expand the intellect and compel it to discover the secrets and miracles of the universe.
Likewise Islamic morals give rise to a resolute will and a long standing, solid determination. The Islamic manner of eating, drinking, sleeping, sitting and everything concerning the day to day activities of life will keep the body safe from incurable and fatal diseases.
Therefore, we make it incumbent on our fellow Muslim brothers to obey what Allah has commanded so that they may progress in life. We also make it obligatory on them to study as much as they can to add to that which we already know. We should nurture ourselves with Islamic morals so that we can develop a strong will, and we should observe the Islamic manners of eating, drinking, sleeping etc. so that Allah may protect our bodies from weaknesses. When Islam laid down these rules it did not confine them to only men or only women, but as an individual duty on both. The Muslim sister has the same responsibility as the Muslim brother, in her life, the extent of her knowledge, her place in creation and her health.
(B) Reforming one’s self will also affect the family, because the family consists of a group of individuals. If the husband and wife reform themselves, they will be able to create an exemplary home, as both of them are the pillars of their home. Islam has laid down the rules and regulations for family life in the most perfect way and urges people to make the right choice. It has shown the best method of having a good relationship and has defined rights and obligations of both parties. And it has been made the responsibility of each spouse to take care of the fruits of marriage, so that they are ripe. They should, at no cost, be neglectful or careless. Islam has provided an accurate cure to the frequent problems encountered in marital life. It has chosen in all aspects the path of moderation, without overlooking anything or being excessive.
(C) And if the family has been reformed, then surely the nation would also have been reformed, as the nation is made up of individual families. You can say that the family is resembles a small nation and a nation resembles a large family. Islam has laid down some rules for living a blissful social life. For this purpose, it has linked the descendants of Adam with a mutual bond of brotherhood and has made this an essential part of belief. It has raised the degree of this relationship beyond one of love – to that of self sacrifice and has put an end to all things that sever or weaken this connection. Islam has defined such relationships as well as one’s rights and duties. Thus the father has his rights alongside his duties. The same goes for the mother, children and relatives. It has differentiated in detail the roles of the ruler and the ruled and has very clearly elucidated the ways in which humans Between Independence and Imitation Our General Methods… Between Organisation and Ideology
 (Surat-al-Baqarah(2), ayah 21)
 (Surat-an-Nisaa’ (4) ayah 1)
 (Surat-al-Hujuraat (49), ayah 13)
 (Ahmad from Jubair ibn Mut’im)
 (Surat-az-Zalzalah (99), ayah 78)
 (Surat-adh-Dhaariyaat (51), ayah 50)
 (Surat-al-Furqaan (25), ayah 1)
 (Surat-al-A’raaf (7), ayah 158)
 (Surat-Saba’ (34), ayah 28)
 (Surat-ash-Shura (42), ayah 13)
 (Surat-al-Anfaal (8), ayah 53)
 (Surat-az-Zukhruf (43), ayahs 43-44)
 (Surat-an-Naml (27), ayah 79)
 (Surat-al-Jaathiyah (45), ayah 18)
 (Surat-an-Nisaa’ (4), ayah 65)
 (Surat-al-Baqarah (3), ayah 110)
 (Surat-al-Baqarah (2), ayah 143)
 (Surat-al-Hajj (22), ayah 78)
 (Surat-al-A’raaf (7), ayah 128)
 (Surat-al-Anbiyaa’ (21), ayah 105)
 (Surat-al-Hajj (22), ayah 40)
 (Surat-al-Mujaadalah (58), ayah 21)
 (Surat-Yusuf (12), ayah 21)
 (Surat-al-Anfaal (8), ayah 12)
 (Surat-ar-Rum (30), ayah 47)
 (Surat-al-Qasas (28), ayah 5)