Author: Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Publisher: Awakening Publications
Pages: 253 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
An enlightening thought provoking book written by one of the leading Islamic scholars of today- Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. In this book the author defines the concepts and parameters of the Islamic movement. He critically analyses the ideology and program of the Islamic movement and offers valuable advice and suggestions in establishing Islam in the post modern era.
The Movement is Organized Collective Work Besides being work undertaken solely for Allah’s sake, the Islamic Movement is an organized and collective work. It is not sufficient that sincere volunteering individuals work separately in scattered areas, though their effort and work will be rewarded on the Day of Judgement by Allah, for Allah does not disregard the efforts of man or woman. Every individual will be rewarded for his actions according to his intention and perfection of his work: [And whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it] 4
In the contemporary circumstances of the Muslim Ummah, individual work will not be enough for bridging the gap and realizing the aspired hope. Collective work is a must, as it is ordained by Islam and necessitated by reality.
Islam calls for jama’ah (organized and collective work) and opposes isolation and straying as Allah's Hand is with the jama’ah and he who strays shall stray into Hell. It is only the stray and isolated sheep that the wolf attacks. A prayer is not valid if the worshipper performs it separately from the congregation or stands ahead of the line. A believer to another believer is like one firm building, one strengthening and supporting the other. Cooperation in righteousness and piety is one of the obligations of the Deen, and the mutual teaching of truth and patience is one of the preconditions of saving oneself from loss in this world and the Hereafter.
The sheer state of affairs makes it inevitable for a hopefully fruitful work to be done collectively. It takes two hands to clap, and one is weak by himself, strong by his fellows. Great achievements are only made through concerted efforts, and decisive battles are won only through the unity of hands, as the Qur'an says: [Verily Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in rows (ranks) as if they were a solid structure] 5
Collective work should be organized and based on a responsible leadership, a solid foundation and clear perceptions that define the relationship between the leadership and the grassroots according to fundamentals of obligatory shura (consultation) and compulsory obedience.
Islam recognizes no collective work that does not have a system. Even a small scale collective prayer is based on organization, for Allah does not look at the row which is not straightened, and the rows are to be closed. No gap should be left in a row for it will be filled by shaytan. Each person stands shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot. There is unity of movement and appearance as much as there is unity of doctrine and direction: "Do not differ so that your hearts may not differ."
The Imam is required to oversee the alignment of the row behind him until it is straightened and without any gaps, before starting the prayer, and he advises the worshippers to 'be responsive to the (guiding) hands of your brothers'. The prayer in congregation requires a measure of flexibility for harmony of the rank as a whole.
Then comes the obedience to the Imam: "The Imam is appointed to be followed, if he says 'Allahu Akbar’ then say 'Allahu Akbar" if he bows, bow, if he prostrates, prostrate. If he recites, listen to him."
Nobody is allowed to break the line or precede the Imam in bowing or prostrating so that he does not upset the harmony and create an irregularity in such an organized and coordinated structure. He who does that should fear that Allah will transform him (metaphorically) into a man with a donkey's head.
However, should the Imam make a mistake, it is the right, even a duty, of those behind him to rectify his mistake, whether it is the result of impropriety or forgetfulness, whether it involves word or deed, or happens in recital (of the Qur'an) or in other fundamental parts of prayer. Even women in the back rows in prayer are allowed to clap their hands if the Imam makes a mistake, so as to attract his attention to the mistake.
Congregational prayer is a miniaturization of the overall Islamic congregational system and of what the inter-relation between the commander and the troops should be like: there is neither infallible leadership nor absolute and blind obedience.