“It is necessary that the theoretical foundation of Islaam, i.e. the belief, should take in practice the form of an organised and active group right at the outset.
It is also necessary that this group should separate itself from jaahiliyyah society and remain independent of, and distinct from it.
After all, Islaam aims to dismantle jaahiliyyah society altogether. At the centre of this new group there should be a new leadership. Such leadership first came in the person of the prophet (saw) himself. In later generations, it has been delegated to those who strive for bringing people back to believing in Allaah as the only God (one worthy of worship) in the universe and who accept His sovereignty, authority and laws. Every person who bears witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is Allaah’s Messenger should cut off relations of loyalty to jaahiliyyah society, which he has forsaken, and its ignorant leadership, whether it takes the guise of priests, magicians or astrologers, or in the form of political, social or economical leadership, as was the case with the Quraysh at the time of the prophet (saw).
Full and complete loyalty must be given to the new Islamic movement and the new Muslim leadership.
This decisive step must be taken at the very moment when a person makes his verbal declaration bearing witness that ‘there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and Muhammad is Allaah’s Messenger.’ A Muslim society cannot come into existence without this. It does not become a reality when it is no more than a belief held by individual Muslims, numerous as they may be. They must form themselves into an active, harmonious and cooperative group with a separate and distinct existence. Like the limbs of a human body, all individuals in this group work together to strengthen its foundation, and to enable it to expand and defend itself against any external attack which threatens its existence.
In all this, they must work under a leadership that is independent of that of jaahiliyyah society. The role of this leadership is to regulate, harmonize and direct their efforts to the strengthening of their Islamic character and to resist and abolish the hostile jaahiliyyah set-up.
It was in this way that Islaam was established for the first time. It was founded on a creed which, though concise, encompassed all life. This creed immediately brought into action a viable and dynamic group of people who had become independent and separate from the jaahiliyyah society that rose to challenge it. It never came as an abstract theory devoid of practical existence. Similarly, it can be brought about in the future only in the same manner. There is no other way for the survival of Islaam, in any area or period of time, unless it wants to remain under the yoke of jaahiliyyah. Effort to bring about a revival of Islaam must always be equipped with a thorough understanding of its character which tries to be represented in a movement and in an organic system.”
[Fee Zhilaal Al-Quraan, by Sayyid Qutb, 7/209-210]
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