From Issue: 1007 [Read full issue]
Movement and Action
Movement is the constituent element of Islamic society, and this is what gives birth to it. Initially, the faith comes from its divine source, conveyed by God's Messenger in word and deed. In later generations, it is represented by advocates of the divine faith. Some people will respond to this advocacy, and they are met with resistance, and subjected to persecution by tyrannical regimes implementing different forms of Jahiliyyah. Some may succumb to persecution and turn away from the faith and its advocating movement, while others remain steadfast. Some of the latter may become martyrs, and others continue the struggle until God has judged between them and their opponents. This latter group will be granted victory by God, who makes them a means of fulfilling His will. He fulfils His promise to them of victory and power, so that they can establish the rule of divine faith. The victory is not theirs as a personal gain or reward. It is a victory of their message, so that they establish God's Lordship of mankind.
This group of people do not limit their faith to a certain piece of land, or to a certain race, nation, colour, language or similarly hollow tie. Their mission is to liberate mankind, the world over, from submission to anyone other than God, and to elevate mankind far above the level of subservience to tyrants, regardless of their type of tyranny.
As this movement goes on, people's qualities become apparent, and their respective positions are identified on the basis of standards and values that are firmly rooted in this faith and acceptable to all the community. These are values such as dedication to the cause, sacrifice, piety, a high standard of morals, efficiency and ability. All these values are judged by practice, as they become apparent through action and movement. Thus the community comes to recognize those who have them. Such people do not need to make any pretension to excellence.
In such a Muslim community, the social make-up is based on the distinction achieved through movement and action to implement the values of faith. That is what happened in the first Muslim community, when distinction was achieved by the early group of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, by the army in the Battle of Badr, by those who gave the Prophet the pledge to fight till death before the signing of the Treaty of Al-Hudaybiyah, and by the ones who fought in different battles for Islam before the victory that regained Makkah for Islam. In subsequent generations, distinction was achieved through dedication to the cause of Islam. In such a community people do not begrudge others their dues, and they do not deny them their positions of honour, even though human weakness may overcome some people who covet personal gains. This means that people do not need to extol their own virtues and seek power for themselves.
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Volume 10, pp. 73, 74