Toward The Light

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Imam Hassan Al Banna
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 14 | Size: 1 MB

The most dangerous period in the life of a nation, and the most deserving of critical study, is the period of transition from one situation to another. It is then that plans for the new period are laid and its guiding principles and policies are drawn up, according to which, the nation will be formed and towhich it will adhere. If these plans, principles, and policies are clear cut, sound, and solid, then announce for this nation of a long and extended life, of prosperous and flourishing work. Inform them of success and give them glad tidings of a great reward, eternal fame, the just verdict of history, and a good reputation.

This important task poses two conditions: The first is to liberate the nation from its political bonds so that it may obtain its freedom and regain its lost independence and sovereignty. The second is its reconstruction, so that it may follow its own path among other nations and compete with them in its progress toward social perfection. For the time being, the political struggle has come to a halt, and you, along with the nation, are facing a new period. You will now see two ways before you, each one urging you to turn the nation in its direction and to follow its path . Each has its particular characteristics, its distinguishing features, its effects, its results, its advocates and its promoters. The first is the way of Islam and its principles, its rules, its culture and its civilization; the second is the way of the West and the outward aspects of its life, its organization and its methods. It is our belief that the first way, the way of Islam, its principles and rules, is the only way which ought to be followed, and towards which the present and future nation should direct itself.

If we take the nation along this path, we shall be able to obtain many benefits, among them is the Islamic methodology which has already been experienced and history has testified as to its soundness. It has produced for the benefit of mankind a nation, most powerful and virtuous, most merciful, and righteous, blessed above all other nations. It possesses a sanctity and stability in the minds of men which makes it easy for all to adopt and understand, to respond to, as well as to adhere to, once they are properly oriented to it. Add to that national self esteem and sincere patriotism. For then we will construct our lives on our own rules and principles, taking nothing from others. Herein lie the highest ideals of a social and active independence, after political independence.

To take this course, will firstly mean a strengthening of Arab unity, and secondly, a strengthening of Islamic unity. The entire Islamic world will support with its heart and soul. They will see us as Brothers, and we will stand behind and support each other. And herein lies a great moral advantage which no intelligent person will shun.

This course is complete and comprehensive, and guarantees a nation the best system of organization for public life, both practical and spiritual. This is the advantage that distinguishes Islam, for it bases the organization of the life of a nation on two important pillars: the adherence to good, and the avoidance of that which is harmful. Continue reading

The Moral Foundations Of Islamic Culture

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Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 117 | Size: 1.5 MB

It is important to understand Islaam from a cultural point of view because the basis of much of the current turmoil within Muslim countries and conflict with their neighbors can be attributed to cultural clashes. Consequently, a clear understanding of culture and its derivatives is necessary to comprehend the relevance of Islaam to the civilization of Muslim peoples in the twentieth century and beyond. The word “culture” comes from the Latin cultura which is a derivative of the verb colere meaning “tending” or “cultivation.” It was first recorded in the Oxford Dictionary of English in 1510 as meaning: “training of the mind” or “manners.” However, culture in anthropological usage, may be defined as “the way of life of specific group.”

“Basically, the idea of culture arises from the observation that what human beings do and what they refrain from doing is, in part, a consequence of being brought up in one group as opposed to another. People have a social heredity as well as a biological heredity.” Biological heredity represents practices common to all human societies, like, sleep, marriage, care for children and smiling, while social heredity refers to customs which usually vary from one society to the next. A simple definition of culture would then be ‘the man-made part of the human environment.’ “Members of the human species are trained in the family and in their education, formal and informal, to behave in ways that are conventional and fixed by tradition.”

The culture of most of the world today is that of Western Europe and America. It was exported to the remainder of the world during the period of European colonization and continued during the neo-colonial era by way of indirect rule. In the twentieth century Western culture has been promoted on a massive scale through the far-reaching effects of the media. Today, it is not surprising to find in the pages of National Geographic pictures of South American Indian youths in loin cloth in the middle of the Amazon wearing baseball caps with a Nike logo or Mongolian horsemen in the middle of the Gobi Desert wearing striped Adidas sweat pants and Rebok trainers. Western culture now represents the dominant cultural influence in most countries, both non-Muslim and Muslim. And it is the natural conflict that arises from the clash of cultures, which dominate the social and political policies in both the West and the East. Harvard University Professor, Samuel P. Huntington summed up the essential issues of the cultural clash in his following observation.

“The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not CIA or the U.S. department of defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to impose that culture throughout the world. These are the basic ingredients that fuel conflict between Islam and the West.” Continue reading

General Introduction To Islam

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Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 334 | Size: 2 MB

Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi was born in Damascus, Syria in 1909. He is well-known all over the Muslim world – a recognized authority on Islamic sciences, and widely read in the modern culture. He is the author of over forty books. The present book is one of the best introductions to Islam. It has gone into more than twenty-five Arabic editions, and translated into several languages, such as English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Bosnian etc. Describing the book, Sue Lake, from B.BC. in London, has said: “The anecdotal examples that Sheikh Tantawi gave clarified complicated concepts about Islam, particularly about the psychology of human beings, our weakness, our relationship with the cosmos, and therefore the need to follow the sharia in order to develop our inner faith and dependence on God, and therefore evolve in the best possible way during our short time on earth”. Continue reading