The Oxford dictionary defines ideology as: “a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy or a set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual.”
The word itself originated from the French Revolution and was coined by a French philosopher, Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1789 derived from the word ide’ologie which originally means “science of ideas” and has since been used in the context of propagating ideas that are underpinned by political, economic or social construct with a view to propose the aims, functions and nature of these ideas to be practically instigated into the political and social life of all humans regardless of language, race or geographical factors related to human beings.
Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabahani defines ideology as: “The ideology (mabda'a) is a rational doctrine from which a system emanates. The ‘Aqeedah (doctrine) is a comprehensive idea about man, life and the universe what preceded this life, what is to follow it, and the relationship of this life with what preceded it and what is to follow it.” [System of Islam]
When one looks to understand Islam and the life of our beloved Prophet Mohammed PBUH, the inquirer may attribute this term to Islam and the struggle to establish Islam by our final Prophet PBUH. Indeed this term can be correctly attributed and be used explicitly to describe the life of Muhammed PBUH or the nature of Islam, because Islam itself is an ideology that encompasses comprehensive and detailed systems defined to us by the Quran and the life of the Prophet PBUH was an ideological struggle to be applied on Earth in all aspects of the human cycle from an individual private level and unquestionably on a public state level governing life’s affairs in every dimension of human construct from the social paradigm of human beings to the economic policies that affect them to the reigns of foreign policy all over the world.
Historically there has been no ambiguity in the understanding of Islam as nothing but an ideology as our forefathers demonstrated to us by propagating Islam far and wide to the extent that the Khilafah State went from being a seed in Madinah to a tree that was 4500 miles tall, spreading over the frontiers of China in the Eastern part of the world to the South of France in the Western part of the world. It was the their understanding of Islam as an ideology that created ideologically driven Muslims whose every action was linked to their creed and it was this Islamic Aqeedah that drove them to implement Islam all over the world.
A Muslim must therefore understand Islam in the same ideological narrative since any slight deviation from this understanding will affect the actions of a Muslim and could aid the disbelieving colonialists plan’s to dilute the message of Islam from being a struggle and challenge against all false ideas that exist in the world to a pluralistic understanding of Islam that consists of contradiction, incongruity, compromise and skepticism as we see so common today.
The danger and consequences of this are real and a reality that we witness as an Ummah today in which we find Muslims believing in the message of Islam whilst calling for a democratic state to rule over them. We see Muslims who choose to avoid some haram such as abstaining from alcohol, sex before marriage and eating pork whilst playing with interest in their businesses or taking an interest based student loan. We see Muslims who visit the Mosque regularly and are even engaged in the call for Islam, but because of the absence of an ideological understanding of Islam, they call for individual reform and philanthropy based on the Western view of morals and ethics or the call to detach themselves from the material world, privately following Islam but publicly neglecting it.
Another issue in which a Muslim should be familiar with and understand is that the ideology of Islam has historically, presently and will always be an opponent to all other ideological views whether they be prominent such as capitalism or obsolete such as tribalism, socialism, anarchism, or any other ism that seeks to penetrate the world. Within this struggle of ideas, a Muslim must not be, by any means, scared, nervous, shy, intimated or cowardly in any way when propagating or working for the implementation of the ideology of Islam regardless of the pressures artificially created by the media, public opinion or politicians of any kind. In the last decade we have witnessed a plethora of attacks against the Shariah of Islam ever since the 9/11 attacks and the global war on terror led by the U.S followed by significant events that have taken place such as the London bombings, Indian Bombings, Suicide bombings and other recent events like the Boston Bombings and the event in London regarding the stabbing of a British soldier, to the extent that any political word, term or phrase said in the context of Islam has become synonymous with highly politicised terms such as terrorism, extremism, fanatical, fundamentalism, radical e.t.c. This ideological attack on Islam by the imperialists are not new to Islam nor are they scandalous, because the Ummah of Islam has witnessed this for centuries ever since the creation of Adam A.S and can expect such challenges until the end of time. Indeed the ideology of Islam is a threat, not to the citizens of any state that exists today, not to Non-Muslims who are regarded as Dhimmi (legal citizens of the Islamic state), not to the innocent women or children of the world regardless of religion, beliefs or values, but to the disbelievers who work tirelessly and timelessly to prevent the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah and prevent the revival of the Islamic ideology in order to fulfil their own desires or nourish their hatred for Islam.
Islam came as a timeless ideology to be applied all over the world. Islam has a unique political system in which government accountability is transparent, it has a unique economic system which has a primary aim to eradicate poverty and any obstacles to the distribution of wealth and the Prophet PBUH exemplified how Islam should be put into practise in all walks of life. This is the ideology which is a threat to human beings who aim to do the complete opposite by exploiting the freedom that Allah SWT has given to them and walk arrogantly across the Earth in order to oppress other human beings. This is the ideology which is a threat to Capitalism simply because it will reverse the outlandish results of capitalist economics in which 80% of the world’s wealth remains in the hands of 5% of the world’s population. This is the ideology that is being attacked and secularised intensely in order to narrow down Islam from an ideology to a mere blind faith.
A Muslim who embraces Islam is inherently ideological since he is required to source rules for all of his actions from the Aqeedah of Islam which defines how he should live his life and his idea about state governance is consequentially of what Islam has defined for us to be the ruling systems that prescribe the constitutions and cannons in order to solve all of the world’s problems. Believing in Islam means to believe in the idea that Islam should rule the world since it has been ordered to us by Allah SWT.
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [3:110]
The ideological Muslim will be careful in all of his actions to ensure that they comply with the Shariah of Islam and exert his effort to follow Islam in its entirety. The ideological Muslim will yearn for the superiority of Islam in the world, since he understood the mission and objective of our Prophet Muhammed PBUH. The ideological Muslim will remain humble in his service to Islam doing all actions purely for no other desire except the desire of our creator as he understands the consequences of his actions and the accountability process he will go through on the day of Judgement facing his Lord, Allah SWT.
A Muslim who wishes to resemble the life of Muhammed PBUH and please Allah SWT should reflect on his understanding of Islam. Is your idea of Islam in accordance to the reality of Islam as an ideology? If not, then what Islam do you believe in? A Muslim cannot ignore or neglect the versus of the Qur’an which talk explicitly about the Shariah rules and Jihad etc. Just because they are in the spotlight and labelled as extreme, rather the ideological Muslim must learn about these topics and study them in order to understand and carry the Da’wah to defend the Shariah or foreign policy of Islam that is criticized so heavily.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Any action done not in accordance with what I have brought it is rejected”
An ideological Muslim should view every problem from the perspective of Islam. It is indeed a life time journey for a Muslim to unwire his previously inclined thoughts, likes and dislikes from other ideologies including cultures and traditions that are not from Islam and to perfect his actions to be in accordance to Islam in its pure form. The reality is that with the absence of the Islamic State which is the means to culture the Ummah with Islam, any Muslim is prone to the false notions that conflict with Islam whether these ideas are secular, modernist, reformist, cultural or foreign e.t.c. Due to this it makes it twice as important for a Muslim to understand Islam as an ideology and thus forming the Islamic personality.
The motivation for working meticulously and assiduously for the revival of Islam is an outcome of the ideological understanding of Islam. When a Muslim senses a problem, whether this problem is a personal problem at home with his family, or a problem he senses with the outside world in the day to day interaction in public life during shopping, working, travelling etc. Or a problem that is discussed politically such as the destitute economies in the Muslim world or the dictatorial regimes and Western interference in our lands, he examines the nature of the problem carefully thus realizing that the problem exists due to the absence of the Islamic rules in the world. It is the absence of the ideological understanding of Islam in Muslims who are neglecting Islam in their actions and are using the criteria of Western ideas such as Freedom of speech or freedom of ownership to decide if he could do a particular action or not rather than the reference to Islam. We see examples of this when you may hear a teenager Muslim say “I can do what I want, it is my choice” or a couple expecting and in the process of buying their first house on an interest based mortgage claiming it is justified for them or a Muslim in the community who thinks he can help Islam by mobilising the Muslims to vote for a particular MP. The Muslim who understands Islam in its correct ideological narrative will link back these problems to the absence of Islam in public life.
"The example of those who maintain Allah's limits (hudood) and those who surpass them is like the example of those who share a boat. Some would occupy its upper deck and some its lower deck. The occupants of the lower deck would have to go to the upper deck to have access to the water. If they said, why don't we drill a hole in our part (to directly access the water) and do not cause any inconvenience to those above us. If those on the upper deck let them do what they wanted then all of the passengers would sink. However, if they prevented them from doing so then all would be saved" [Bukhari]
He will appreciate that it is the capitalist economics that have created a situation in which it is impossible for a person to buy a house and is practically forced to go to the bank for a loan whilst Islam prohibits interest, thus opposing the idea of a debt based economy. He will appreciate that the absence of a strong public opinion against sexual freedom as well as the Shariah to regulate this is the cause of a Muslim fulfilling his instincts in a haram way or a Muslim women not wearing the Islamic dress code due to a Western social system that gives the women the option to dress lustfully whilst Islam has defined a specific uniform for a Muslim women. The ideological Muslim appreciates that the young Muslims today are growing up with the absence of Islamic sciences in their education, the absence of Islamic culturing in all aspects of life is the reason for a teenage Muslim today following his whims and desires as oppose to the criteria of Islam. It is the absence of the Islamic State that has taken the natural environment for a Muslim to practice his deen away and the installation of an ideology that is absurd to Islam such as the corrupt secular ideas or corrupt cultural ideas from tribalism.
Many sincere Muslims carry out actions in order to aid the propagation of Islam. It is vital that these actions are linked to the ideological objectives that Islam has defined to us. One only has to ponder upon the life of the Prophet Muhammed PBUH in Mecca. Even a non-Muslim will be able to appreciate that the mission of Prophet Muhammed PBUH was equivalent to what people may call today a revolution. He PBUH transformed society from following the social norms of Arabic traditions to the rules of Islam. This continued to spread all over the world until the destruction of the Islamic State in 1924. Therefore a Muslim who is attempting to carry the Da’wah of Islam must have the same objective in mind which is to call for the implementation of the Islamic rules all over the world. This is what we require today after 89 years of living without the Islamic rules in state and society the Muslim world is yearning for the Shariah to be applied in the world once again. Countless surveys have indicated that majority of the Muslim world want to live under the Shariah rules, not that we need surveys to substantiate this. A person just has to look at the last 2 years to understand that the Muslim world are willing to die for Islam as seen in the example of the Ummah in Syria. Therefore, a Muslim who has understood Islam correctly will identify that the Islamic State is the nucleus for the revival of the Muslims and thus call for this in attempt to aid the call for Islam and the mission of the Prophet PBUH.
The ideological Muslim who seeks to revive Islam will not have a mundane routine in which he goes to work, comes homes, sleeps and relaxes on a weekend. This is because he senses thousands of problems every day realizing the urgent need for Islam. He realizes the magnitude of what he holds and is eager to spread these ideas as far and wide as his limbs can take him. His mind cannot accept how humanity has reached its depth of Kuffar in neglecting Allah SWT and the oppression on humanity that has come as a result of this whilst little is being done to resolve this by the Muslims in large.
"It is He who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and deen of Haqq, to prevail over all other religions even though the idolaters may abhor it." [At-Tubah: 33]
His pursuance of the news doesn’t allow him to relax on a weekend because he senses the propaganda and new forms of attack on Islam, he develops a deeper understanding of the relationships between states and the shrewd joint efforts by states to maintain their imperialism over the Muslim lands preventing the rise of the Islamic State and thus feeling the need to challenge this via political activism and analytical discussion amongst his community. He wishes for humanity to be at peace and understands this can only happen when humanity is revived by Islam. Thus in his spare time his hands don’t recede without a book to develop his understanding of a particular discussion, his interaction within public life does not fall short of a discussion in which he can share his ideology. His time with his wife, family or friends is turned from being only enjoyment with irrelevant discussions to a magnified opportunity to attract and call more people to the ideology of Islam. He works to a plan in which his weeks are refined to be as productive as possible and prioritised in line with the call for revival. He sacrifices his desires such as going to watch the latest movie in the cinema, or frequently visiting the latest restaurants with his wife, or spending more than sufficient time on engaging in sporting activities, or wasting time being a perfectionist in his domestic preferences whether this maybe in his house, car or his gadgets.
Being an ideological driven Muslim means that the call for this ideology is the central point of his life to which his life revolves around. If this is not the case, then the Muslim has not understood Islam as an ideology i.e an idea which surpasses racial or geographic boundaries that encompasses rules for all people, at all times in all circumstances coherently in an individual’s personal life and the public domain.
We were blessed with Islam by Allah SWT to be the chosen ones to carry the ideology of Islam to the rest of the world and are plentiful across the world due to the actions of our forefathers who raised the Rayat of Islam and dedicated their lives to the implementation of Islam with their correct ideological comprehension of Islam. If we don’t comprehend Islam in the same way, the Muslims will remain in the shadows of Kuffar and our generation will not witness the practical manifestation of Islam via the Khilafah. The work for the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah will only be done by ideological Muslims and the revival of Islam can only take place once the Ummah has clearly understood Islam as an ideology.
“This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion AL-ISLAM” [5:3]