In today’s world where religions (including Islam) are being cast aside from the universal moral, political and socio-economic systems, the role of religion has to be put back into its place.
Not only Islam, but all religions are being pushed into the personal instead of the public sphere, where Islam belongs. Replacing this void are modern ideologies that are perceived by the masses – including by the Muslims – as more relevant, just and fitting.
Unfortunately, our leaders too are among those trapped in the mess, being apologetic, and nowhere closer to bringing back the topic of religion and God’s sovereignty into those systems.
Reawakening Islam: Muslim leaders and the Daies first
Where are you currently residing, and is the religious reawakening happening there?
Whether to start the reawakening or to bring the current reawakening a step further, it takes the leaders and the Daies like you to be the role model.
Are you ready to embark on a mission of Islamic revival? The Jihad of religious reawakening is necessary and it should be driven by the leaders.
You ought to be exemplary with regard to this religious reawakening alongside the welfare and social issues of which you are dealing with.
However, it needs to be stressed that the required spiritual uplifting is not the kind which is simply measured by physically fulfilling the daily obligations of prayers and reciting the Quran.
In other words, the hearts have to be there first and foremost in the spiritual journey.
Research has proven that the ‘missing heart’ was the very reason why religious rituals have not correlated significantly with leadership effectiveness (insignificant, although having a positive relationship).
It seems that only by their genuine spiritual reawakening will the advocates impact their audience.
Now, what sort of reawakening?
While some Daies chose the path of introducing the pure form of religious reawakening, others opted to assimilate the religious elements into the social culture. The latter group did this to avoid cultural shocks and bring in more acceptance.
In any case, both modes of religious reawakening may find some resemblance with the way of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
In his 23 years of divinely inspired Da’wah, his cornerstone move was initiating a religious reawakening. His first ten years were essentially about establishing Tawheed and belief in the Hereafter. Thanks to that, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the awakened Sahabahs managed to construct the Islamic civilisation at the end of the day.
History taught us this much: that the role of leadership and the Daies in engaging the people and instilling religious values into their daily matters is imperative to make change happen.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi in ‘The Role of Zakat to Remedy Economic Issues’ suggested three indicators of the beginning of Islamic reawakening among the people:
- More people start to come to the masjid, especially the youths.
- The spread of the wearing of the hijab.
- The increase in the sales of religious books.
According to him, all these signs are motivated by people’s desire to return to Allah by complying with the Islamic teachings.
With today’s expanding discourse on the implementation of Islam, more emphases should be given to spotlighting universal values aligning with Islam such as justice, integrity, tolerance and citizenship rights. These are indeed fundamental components for Islamic reawakening as they bring our non-Muslim Mad’us who embraced similar values to fight alongside us.
However, let us not forget the rekindling of Tawheed as an integral part of a religious reawakening, just as the Prophet ﷺ taught us. With Tawheed leading the way, those universal values will find their natural space thus clearing the path for Islamic revival.