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The Islamic Threat - Myth or Reality?

By Imam Hasan Al-Banna


Westerners are very concerned with Islamic resurgence and see it as an eminent danger. Hostility and an attitude of confrontation is the reaction that has been formed. For, they see it as nothing more than the victory of the old regressive traditions, and the coming together of the 'barbarians' against the new civilized world. This is a profound illusion and a grave mistake, as well as being a misconception of evident truth. It is our purpose in writing the following words to make two important points:

First: To prove the idea of the fundamentals of the Islamic social system, and its unique status among the other systems that have recently emerged. Among these fundamentals of Islam are:

1.       Human brotherhood and the abolishment of the spirit of hatred and rigidity are core principals of Islam.

2.       Peace is the real purpose and philosophy of Jihad that many orientalists distorted or were ignorant of.

3.       Islamic position and principals regarding slavery is liberty and freedom.

4.       Social justice is the basis of the Islamic system of government.

5.       Islam shows the meaning and realization of the "good life".

6.       Islam has a holistic view of the family; provides rights of women, discourages polygamy and divorce.

7.       Islam defines work and earning; the different means of earning money and the real meaning of Tawakkul. (Confidently putting one's trust and reliance in God).

8.       Islam places the utmost emphasis on Knowledge: those who accuse Islam of encouraging ignorance and stagnation are ignorant of the history of Islam.

9.       Islam teaches Organization: those who think that lack of discipline and order are inherent in Islam are in error.

10.   Islam shows the essence of Religiousness: and in it there is the truth of faith in God, virtue and reward.

Second: To argue that the good of all humanity is in the return of Muslims to their religion and that this will be the most important step towards peace on earth. Also, one must realize that the motive of Islamic revival is not blind fanaticism but rather conviction in what the virtues of Islam have brought to humankind. These are the virtues that conform totally with the highest of what contemporary thought has managed to discover about righteous social principles and the pillars upon which they stand.

Declaring Human Brotherhood and Bringing Glad Tidings of the Universal Idea

Islam came to announce human brotherhood and give glad tidings of a call to universality, to eradicate all forms of discrimination, and to establish this noble system using all the practical and theoretical means at its disposal.

Reaffirming Racial and Ethnic Unity

Islam has reaffirmed the racial and ethnic unity of all mankind; the Prophet Muhammad said:

'For, man is from Adam, and that there is no supremacy of an Arab over a non-Arab and no supremacy of a black man over a red man except in piety'

The wisdom behind dividing people into tribes and nations is nothing more than the creation of variety, so that they may come to meet each other in an atmosphere of mutual respect and co-operation, and not for the promotion of hostility and difference. Sharing and caring and competing only for righteous deeds and holy virtue, competing for the benefit of the masses and individuals and seeking the pleasure of God who is the Lord of all, and who watches this brotherhood, protects it and calls all his servants to practice and establish it. The Holy Qur'an declares all these meanings very clearly when God says:

'O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created His wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear God through whom you demand mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relation of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, God is watching over you.' (Quran 4:1)

God also says:

'O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, That you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is that (believer) who has piety and righteousness.' (Quran 49:13)

Prophet Muhammad says in his famous sermon during the farewell pilgrimage:

'God has relieved you from the burden of ignorance with its pride in the fathers and the ancestors. You are all from Adam, and Adam is from dust. There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab, nor between a black man and a red man except in piety"

He also says:

'He who calls to tribalism is not one of us, nor is he who fought for it, nor is he who died for it.' (Abu Dawood).

With this declaration Islam totally forbids racism and tribalism - a trend which is still alive in modern western societies.


Excerpted from 'Peace in Islam' an essay written by Imam Hasan Al-Banna in 1948 for the monthly magazine known as Shihaab.


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