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the moving of a nation or people or individual from one condition to a better condition

An-Nahdah (The revival): As we have said An-Nahdah is a modern Istilaah (terminology) and has been put down to express a specific reality which is the moving of a nation or people or individual from one condition to a better condition. However what condition do we mean? It has become evident to us that the abundance of educated people and graduates, the increase in wealth or resources and the existence of many affluent people does not mean (the realisation of) Nahdah? Therefore what is this transformation or moving whose existence is an expression of the existence of Nahdah within a nation, people or individual?

This is the crux of the matter to determine that which distinguishes one nation from another. And what is the difference between a revived people and a declined people? What is the measurement that distinguishes between a revived person and a low or declined one? What distinguishes one individual from another whilst both of them are human enjoying the same faculties and specificities and both of them strive to fulfil their needs and satisfy their hungers? Despite this we describe one as being an elevated person and the other declined whilst paying no regard at all to his outer appearance, the size and shape of his body or the colour of his skin. Having said that we are certain that the judgement that we have made upon them is a correct judgement and that it is a true judgment upon that is applied upon the person’s reality.

This is because we do not judge him except after witnessing his conduct and after we have seen his behaviours and interacted and dealt with him. So that we do not pronounce a haphazard judgment upon him and do not describe him falsely then his conduct, the manner that he regulates his relationships and proceeds in life is the mirror that makes evident his true reality and it is the definite proof that we rely upon in making our judgment. In this way we are able to describe the people as being elevated or declined built upon their conducts and behaviours and this description would then be applicable upon the person’s reality without excess or negligence. It is possible that we read the works of a certain author, or hear the speeches of another, or listen to a lecture of a lecturer or sit in a gathering of a certain person and as a result we could be enchanted by these writings or our hearts affected by these speeches. We could also denounce what came in the lecture or condemn what was mentioned in certain discussions however despite this we are not able to describe him from what we have heard from him or read from him.

Rather we describe what we heard and what we read so the description is for the lecture and not the lecturer or the talk and not the speaker. As for the description of the lecturer, author and speaker then this is not arrived at unless we see or witness from his behaviours, conduct and actions that which allows us to make a judgement upon him. As such the one who defined Imaan (belief) as: ‘The belief in the gardens (Janaan), the pronouncement with the tongue (Lisaan) and the acting according to the Arkaan (fundamentals)’ or as: ‘That which is pronounced by the tongue and affirmed by the acts’. This is because the definite proof and true mirror applying upon his image in its true reality is that which is reflected in his conduct, behaviours and actions and none other than these. As for the statements and written works then these represent no more than an indication that acts as an incentive to monitor or follow up upon that person to understand his true reality. Allah (swt) states: And of the people is he whose speech pleas es you in worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the fiercest of opponents.

And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption (Al-Baqarah 204-205). And He (swt) said: They say with their tongues that which is not in their hearts (Al-Fath 11). And He (swt) said: O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do (As-Saff 2). As for confirming and verifying the true reality then Allah (swt) said: And say: Perform acts for Allah will see your deeds, and [so, will] His Messenger and the believers. (At -Taubah 105). As for passing judgement over speeches that we have heard, articles and books that we have read and discussions that we have listened to then these represent a collection of thoughts which are judged according to the manner that thoughts are judged.

 Thoughts have specific rulings, principles and criteria that allow the correct thought to be distinguished from the thought that holds no value and for the shallow thought to be distinguished from the deep thought. Therefore when we pass judgement on a book, article or lecture we do not pay attention to the person giving the lecture or the writer but rather we pay attention to the thoughts and concepts that he has produced in terms of the words and meanings and without being affected in the least by the personality of the writer and knowing him. We make a judgement upon these thoughts and concepts built upon solid criteria and specific principles which exist specifically to understand the truthfulness of ideas and concepts and their correctness. Therefore the judgement upon a person is not arrived at except by knowing his conduct and behaviours and the judgement upon a person in terms of being elevated or declined would be judged through his behaviour which is different from the judgement that is made upon beliefs, thoughts, concepts and news. That which applies to the individual also applies upon the society because the society is a group of people who have permanent relationships that exist between them.

These permanent or continuous relationships is what transforms this group of people into a society and without them the group would have remained merely a collection of individuals like those found travelling together on a journey on a ship who are not called a society. The importance is therefore placed upon these relationships and the judgement upon the society is based upon these permanent relationships and it is not based upon suffering and deprivation or the enjoyment of riches and luxuries that are present. So the relationships are the true mirror that reflects the true reality of the society and it is these that regulate the life of the people and by which the customs and traditions are defined. By examining these relationships and taking note of how the people conduct themselves in accordance to these relationships and their interests then we make a judgement upon the society in terms of the society being sound or degenerate so that we can ascertain that the society is elevated or declined. In this evaluation there is no place for considering the abundance of the educated, cultured and graduates or the growth in trade and industry, or economic flourishing and the existence of obscene riches.

Rather the consideration rests in the foundations that have made the society a society meaning that the consideration lies in the thoughts and concepts that dominate the society and by which the people’s interests are arranged in accordance with. This is in addition to the sentiments of displeasure and contentment that these thoughts and emotions have generated and the values and high example that the people believe in, and then the general system that regulates these relationships, organises them and preserves that which the people have agreed upon. In this way the relationships represent the true mirror that makes clear the true reality of the society and the description of the society would be built upon that perceived reality as a true description. Therefore if there was harmony between the public or general custom and the system where the thoughts and sentiments were the same as the system we would say: This society is harmonious and that there is complete harmony between the citizens and those responsible for the citizen’s affairs.

 And if the relationships were good and the sentiments were good, the values high representing a high example and that those responsible took care of these affairs, then we would say: ‘This society is an enlightened one and it is a revived society’. The opposite is also true with a society where the relationships are in conflict and contradictory, the thoughts are scattered and fragmented built on a dull sensation and differing sentiments which hold hatred towards the regime and undermine it, the people are ruled by iron and fire, the mouths are gagged, necks are tied and sources of sustenance are cut and where selfishness and apathy dominate.

 In this case how would we describe such a society? This is the reality of all of the societies in our Islamic world irrespective of what they contain in terms of universities, colleges, educational institutes and schools and regardless of what these societies possess in terms of numbers of educated people, graduates and those holding higher educational certification, and irrespective of what Allah (swt) has bestowed upon these lands in terms of natural resources and riches. Regardless of all of this, these lands are still called the third world and the people are described as being backward. The examples for this are many and clear. There is not a natural resource or treasure except that we have a lion’s share of it. So we have oil, natural gas, various minerals that are beneath the earth, agriculture and cattle in their many forms, a plentiful supply of sources of energy, onyx and marble amongst other valuable rocks and materials in addition to much more that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us, all of which no other nation or people possess the like of.

On top of this we have a huge working man force and a large number of them carry certificates and are specialists in every field but have been driven to fill vacancies all over the world, whilst seeking a living and dignified life. We have all of this and yet the reality of these societies has not changed in the least and they have not elevated to a fitting level. Indeed they remain in the abyss of decline and have reached rock bottom or near rock bottom. All of this is because these matters do not represent the basis of revival or the basis by which a society moves from a condition to a better condition and state, and because these do not reflect the basis upon which a society is established. They do not represent the components of a society because the formation of a society rests upon its components and the components of the society are the bases that the permanent relationships are built upon and what regulate them.

As such the formation of the society rests upon the knowledge of what it contains in terms of thoughts and concepts, and what emanates from these in terms of sentiments and values. Following this is the knowledge of that which regulates the relationships in terms of systems and laws. There is no relation in this to the natural resources or other matters in regards to the formation of the society and in relation to explaining its values and the level that it has reached in terms of elevation or decline. And by taking a close look to these societies which exist in our Islamic world we find that in addition to the intellectual decline, dull sensation and contradictions within the people as a result of attempting to reconcile between that which exists within the people and that which regulates their relationships, and the poisoning of their thoughts by the Western thoughts, in addition to all of this there is a difference or contradiction in relation to the system that is applied upon them which has made anxiety and confliction the basis of their lives.

This has led to those who are in charge of implementing the system to resort to suppression and force by use of iron and fire to compel the people to submit to the system and to run their relationships and conducts in accordance to the laws that have been enforced upon them despite being contrary to their Aqeedah and thought. The people then began resorting to hypocrisy, desperate measures, plotting, weaving conspiracies or even seeking assistance from Shaytaan to get rid of the situation they found themselves in and to remove their dominance over them. The situation (today) remains the same in terms of domesticating and taming the people and humiliating them until they accept that which is implemented upon them. This is the reality that the societies in our Islamic world are suffering from, corruption and confliction in the thoughts, weakness in sensation and differing sentiments or emotions with hostility existing between the people and the regime, so that those in authority became the number one enemy to the masses.

How do we view this reality in relation to the statement of the Messenger (saw): Verily the Imaam alone is the shield, he is fought behind and protection is found in him. (Muslim, Al-Bukhaari, Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’iy). And his statement (saw): The best of your Imaams are those whom you love and they love you, you make supplication for them and they make supplication upon you. The worst of your Imaams are those you hate and they hate you, and you curse them and they curse you. (Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and Ad-Darami). Al-Insaan (the human being): This study concerns the human and understanding his level of elevation or decline and the way of ascertaining that emanates from his actions and behaviours whether this applies upon an individual or a group, as the study relates to the human in his capacity as a human being. Therefore it is essential to understand this human upon his true reality, so that we can know when he is declined and when he is elevated.
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