s h u r o o q :: focusing on tazkiyah (purification) & tarbiyah (self development)

May 1, 2007

Quotes from Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi

Filed under: Islamic Personalities,Quotes,Wisdom — by s h u r o o q @ 1:31 am

Recently I borrowed from a sister the book “Let Us Be Muslims” by Sayyid Mawdudi. I started reading it in the weekend and subhaan Allaah the main thing that I really liked about the book (so far) is the style of his, rahimahullaah, speech/writings. As, Khurram Murad (rah), puts it in the introduction:

“This appeal to reason, thirdly, is one of the most outstanding characteristics of Sayyid Mawdudi’s discourse. However ordinary and illiterate his addressees may be, for him they are responsible, intelligent and reasonable people. They are supposed to think for themselves, and they are capable of doing so. That is how God has made them. That is why Sayyid Mawdudi does not treat us as objects to be manipulated by cheap rhetoric and non-rational appeals. Instead, he persistently appeals to our reason with cogent reasoned arguments.
For this purpose, he again and again confronts us with questions rather than dogmatic statements. These questions are artful premises from which we can easily deduce the necessary conclusions, or they reinforce his argument, or they serve as conclusions which, though irrefutable, we are still free to accept. The question-answer style constantly employed throughout the book, turns his discourse into a dialogue rather than a monologue. Thus, we become equal partners in his explorations instead of remaining passive receivers of his findings.
(Let Us Be Muslims, The Islamic Foundation, 2002, p. 18)

Pay attention to the simplicity in style, yet the strong meanings behind his messages. Here are some quotes:

“You know the damage caused if crops are burnt; you know the suffering which results from failure to earn a livelihood; you know the harm resulting from loss of property. But you do not know the loss of being ignorant of Islam.”
(p. 22)

“To be slaves of the three idols, I say, is the real Shirk (idolatry). You may have demolished the temples of bricks and mortar, you may have broken the stone of idols in them, but you have paid little attention to the temples within your own hearts. To smash these idols is the essential precondition to becoming a Muslim. With these idols in your hearts you cannot become slaves of God. Merely by offering Prayers many times a day, by ostentatiously observing Fasts, and by putting on the outward face of Muslims you may deceive your fellow beings – as well, indeed, yourselves – but you will never be able to deceive God.” (p. 27. Note: Sayyid Mawdudi is referring to self, society, family or nation, men (especially the rulers, the rich and the false thinkers) as gods besides Allaah swt, if obeyed besides Him, i.e. shirk).

“The moment you recite the Kalimah: “La ilaha illa ‘llah Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah”, you accept that the only law you recognize is the law of God, only God is your sovereign, only God is your ruler, only God you will obey, and only the things given in God’s book and by His Messengers are true and right. It means that as soon as you become Muslims you must renounce your authority in favour of God’s authority.
Consequently, you have no right to say, “My opinion is this, the prevalent custom is this, the family tradition is this, that scholar and that holy person says this.” In the face of Allah’s word and His Messenger’s Sunnah, you cannot argue in this manner. You should judge everything in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah; accept what is in conformity with them and reject what runs contrary to them, irrespective of the people who may be behind them. It is a contradiction in terms to call yourselves Muslims on the one hand, and, on the other, follow your own opinions and customs of society or some person’s words or actions as against the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Just as a blind person cannot claim to have eyes, nor a deaf person to have ears, so a person who refuses to subordinate the affairs of his life to the dictates of the Qur’an and the Sunnah cannot call himself a Muslim.”
(p. 66)

“You will naturally reap whatever you have sown in the land. If you sow wheat, only wheat will grow. If thorns are sown, only thorns will grow. If nothing is sown, nothing will grow. Whatever mistakes and errors you make in the course of ploughing, sowing irrigating and tending your fields, the effect will become apparent at the time of reaping the crop. But if you have carried out all the necessary preparations properly, you will get your reward at the time of reaping.” (pgs. 86-87)

Regarding Muslims of today, he says: “So many Muslims today are all too ready to accept whatever is convenient in Islam but all too quick to change direction when conflict arises between Islam and Kufr. This weakness is found even among some of those claiming to be the greatest champions of Islam. They will shout “Islam! Islam!” and sing many songs praising it until their mouths are dry. They will be seen doing some work for Islam. But if they are told, “Let us now implement the law of Islam which you are praising so highly”, they will at once say, “There are some difficulties and obstacles, it is better to leave things as they are for the time being.”
What they mean is that Islam is a beautiful toy, to be displayed on a shelf and praised from a distance, but to be strictly avoided if the question is raised of enforcing its laws to govern ourselves, our families and relations and our businesses and the general conduct of our lives. This is the attitude of even some so-called religious people today.
As a result, neither Prayer nor Fasting nor reciting the Qur’an nor outward adherence to the Shari’ah is effective. When the soul departs, what feats can a dead body perform?”
(p. 110)

Regarding True Muslims, he says: “The second kind of Muslims are those who completely merge their personalities and existences into Islam. All the roles they have become subordinate to the one role of being Muslims. They live as Muslims when they live as fathers, sons, husbands or wives, businessmen, landlords, labourers, employers. Their feelings, their desires, their ideologies, their thoughts and opinions, their likes and dislikes, all are shaped by Islam. Allah’s guidance holds complete sway over their hearts and minds, their eyes and ears, their bellies, their sexual desires, their hands and feet, their bodies and souls. Neither their loves nor their hatreds are formed independently of Islamic criteria. Whether they fight or make friends, it is purely for the sake of Islam. If they give anything to anybody, it is because Islam requires it to be given. If they withhold anything from anybody, it is because Islam wants it to be withheld.
And this attitude of theirs is not limited to personal lives; their public lives, their societies is also based entirely on Islam. Their collectivity exists for Islam alone; their collective behaviour is governed by the precepts of Islam alone.”
(p. 115)

In shaa Allaah, I hope that this is enough for now. It took me some time to write this all but I hope that we all benefit from these beautiful advices in shaa Allaah ta’aalah, aameen.


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