Weaknesses of Islamic Movements

25 Apr

Here is an excerpt from Islamic Movement: An Overview, published by the Shah Foundation.

Eminent Iraqi scholar Dr. Taha Jabir al Alwani in his monograph Missing Dimensions In Contemporary Islamic Movements has highlighted some of the very fundamental weakness of the Islamic movements:

1.      The Islamic movements have become tainted with a partisan mentality; they have allowed themselves to turn into groups at odds with the higher interest of Islam. Indeed they have become incapable of carrying out any form of collective work within the body politic. That is why they have become easy targets of others to isolate or destroy them.

2.       Some of the Islamic movements are confused about distinction between the sacred texts with human interpretation and jurisprudence of ijtihad based on these texts.

3.      This confusion of the divine and the human has resulted in some of these movements claiming that they are the sole possession of the Truth, thus conferring on their own human thought and ijtihad the sanctity of fundamental texts. By the same token, they have expropriated the historical achievements of the Muslim community as a whole and credited it to themselves through the claim that they are the only extension or embodiment of the historical reality.

4.      Some Islamic movements have deluded themselves into believing that they could do without intellectual effort or ijtihad so long as they had the Quran and the Sunnah to hand. By thinking along these lines they have failed to link the Islamic text with the real world and lost the ability to actualize the faith. Some of them have indeed launched themselves as full-fledged organization well before determining or reforming the world of their thoughts. It followed that they began to haphazardly select notions from the real world and Muslim tradition in order to respond to the requirements of their organizations and everyday activities instead of proceeding in the light of sound and rational judgment.

5.      Besides their claim to encapsulate, through their ideological platforms, the whole faith, many of these movements have claimed to embody, through organization and membership- and to the exclusion of all other groups- the whole Muslim community. This cannot but be the result of intellectual immaturity and a juvenile fondness for exclusiveness and theatrics.

6.      Despite their untiring verbal commitment to the Quran and the Sunnah, these movements have failed to draw up appropriate programmes for themselves, thus reflecting a poor grasp of the methodological foundations of Islamic doctrines and Shariah. Indeed methodology constitutes the cornerstone towards the development of comprehensive Islamic discourse capable of implementing the ultimate objectives of the Islamic message.

7.      Since the beginning of modern contacts with the West, the Islamic discourse has been marching on the spot, stranded as it were, between high and low tide, between progression and retrogression. At times when all-out mobilization of effort and resources was needed to ward off an outside danger, it rose to the occasion; however, during times of construction and development, the Islamic discourse seemed – almost everywhere- pathetically lacking in vigour and wholeness. Be that as it may, an analysis of the silent characteristics of the present Islamic discourse ought to instill among the Islamic activists more awareness towards rectifying the form and content of Islamic discourse to make it more viable in an age fraught with intellectual and other challenges.

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Islamic Movements

Social, Political, and Societal Islamic Movements Around the World.