Living The Quran
From Issue: 517 [Read full issue]
Al-Hujurat (The Chambers)
Chapter 49: Verse 15
Agenda for Change
"Believers are those who (truly) believe in Allah and His messenger, then doubt not, but who strive with their possessions and their selves in the way of Allah; it is they who are the truthful ones."
Significant change cannot be effected solely through preaching and delivering sermons. These have a very limited and temporary effect on an audience and societal powers. The influences of society, or the dominant culture, are so huge that they very quickly wash away any effects produced by the preaching. Thus, change agents additionally require a clear practical agenda for change, backed up by sincere devotion, firm resolve and commitment, a spirit of sacrifice, and an investment of time, energy, and resources.
The kind of actions that a movement can engage in will naturally vary according to the social and political circumstances. For instance, if a people are oppressed by their governments, then armed struggle cannot be ruled out. Conversely, in peaceful conditions, actions can incorporate communication, dialogue and exerting social and political pressure.
In the light of Islamic guidance, actions for positive change should lead to a greater good and not to a worsening of the situation. If taking certain actions, no matter how crucial or effective they may be considered, leads to panic and confusion, or creates social upheavals that may give rise to more evil, then they must be avoided and patience exercised until condition change. This is because Islam aims to bring about peace and order not chaos; its aim is to reform, improve and develop a society, to remove wrongs and corruption rather than punish the wicked or create disorder on earth.
"Building a New Society" - Zahid Parvez, pp. 159, 160