Islam: The Ideological Super Power
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number more than one billion today. If you go round the world to study the
minds of Muslims inhabiting various regions you will probably come to the
conclusion that Muslims all over the world share the feeling that the history
of Islam had reached an impasse. Despite enormous sacrifices no way out is in
It is our
firm belief that Islam offers guidance at all times and in all situations.
Therefore it must certainly be able to offer us a clear guidance as regards the
present state of affairs. I must say that it does exist in a very clear form.
The history of Islam provides us two very clear examples of bringing into play
the da‘wah power of Islam.
1. The first guiding example recorded in the
early period of Islamic history is that of Sulh-e-Hudaybiyya. As we all know,
the Prophet of Islam was compelled to migrate from Mecca to Medina. The
majority of Muslims followed him Consequently Medina became a center of
Muslims. However, afterwards the event took a more serious turn. The opponent
of Islam now started armed onslaughts against the Muslims. Yet after several
full scale wars and so many minor armed conflicts the balance failed to tip on
any side. Apparently the history of Islam reached an impasse.
At this critical juncture, according to
the Qur’an, the Prophet of Islam was shown the straight path in this matter
(48:3-4). This straight path was to create a conducive atmosphere for peaceful
da‘wah work by ceasing armed conflicts altogether. Accordingly the Prophet in
the 19th year of his prophethood entered into a peace treaty with his Arab
opponents. This step put an end to the state of war. This event is referred to
in the history of Islam as Sulh-e-Hudaybiyya. This peace treaty diverted the
field of encounter between Islam and its rivals from the battlefield to Da‘wah
This peaceful activism brought incredibly
The power of peace proved itself far
superior to the power of war. This treaty rendered a widespread interaction
between Muslims and the opposing group possible in normal atmosphere. In this
way the peace treaty cleared the path for the direct propagation of Islam to
take place. The opponents came to accept Islam in great numbers, ultimately the
numerical power alone sufficed for the victory of Islam.
According to Imam al-Zuhari,
Sulh-e-Hudaybiyya was the greatest victory in the history of Islam. Prior to
this whenever Muslims and their rivals encountered one another fighting ensued.
But after the reconciliation the state of war ended and peace prevailed. Now
they began meeting one another in normal, tension-free atmosphere. This
interaction naturally led to an exchange of ideas. When someone heard anything
of Islam and found it appealing, he would go in, without fail, to enter into
the fold of Islam. That is why after a mere two years of Sulh-e-Hudaybiyya such
large number of people entered the fold of Islam as had never happened before
(Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah Vol. 4, p. 170).
This great increase in term of numbers
resulted in making Islam a religion of majority in Arabia, this greatly
facilitated its dominance throughout the land.
2. The second well known example of the
caravan of Islam having reaching an impasse concerns the first half of the
thirteenth century with the emergence of the brute force of the Tartars. They
were able to destroy the Muslim power almost completely. It seemed as though
the journey of Islam has once again reached an impasse, finding no way out for
its further advancement.
At exactly that point in time the
ideological power of Islam made its appearance. Muslims being in no position to
take up arms to encounter them, diverted their field of action by silently
engaging themselves in peaceful da‘wah work among the victorious Tartars. This
act of da‘wah verified the dictum of the Qur’an that through da‘wah the
opponents of Islam will become its supporters and friends (41:34).
The historians have acknowledged this
event in quite clear terms. Philip K. Hitti, for instance, remarks, in his
famous book The History of the Arabs:
"The religion of the Muslims had
conquered where their arms had failed" (p. 488)
3. Now in the twentieth century the history
of Islam has once again apparently reached an impasse. Our enormous amount of
sacrifices have yet to succeed in taking the caravan of Islam forward.
According to al-Imam Malik the state of
affairs of Muslim Ummah will be reformed by following the same course of action
as were followed by the Muslims of the first phase to rectify their matters. In
the light of this remark it can be safely said that we must once again opt for
this tested method of the past. We must take such steps as put an end to the
hostile situation prevailing between Muslims and non-Muslims. This would result
in peaceful interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims in a normal situation.
Hudaybiyya symbolizes the greatness of the power of peace as against the power
of war. Today once again we need to follow this course of action.
As soon as this happens, the
ideological power of Islam will appear to its full force-- which is undoubtedly
eternally invincible. Afterwards the virtues of Islam will begin reaching
people automatically through exchange and interaction. Then it will also be
possible to perform da‘wah work properly. Under the influence of their own
nature people will start joining the ranks of Islam. And there is no doubt
about it that the greatest strength for any group consists in its manpower.
can be weakened and subjugated at any point in time. But Islam is an
ideological superpower forever. It has the capacity to conquer the greatest
power on earth through da‘wah. It is the need of the hour to produce conducive
conditions, on a universal scale. It is necessary to bring into play the
ideological power of Islam in order that da‘wah work could be set in motion in
the full sense of the word. And then certainly Islam will emerge as the
dominant and conquering force, and Muslims of the world too will receive their
place of honor and glory along with Islam.