”Islam is the religion of rational and critical minds. This is why one of its fundamental goals is to make man aware of the paramount significance of gradation, fortitude, and maturity. Haste is an inherent characteristic of man in general, and of the young in particular. Indeed, haste is an outstanding characteristic of our own age. It has made our youth eager to saw the seeds today and to harvest the next day. But Allah's will in His own creation does not allow that.” Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi

This online-text is based on the second revised edition of "Islamic Awakening Between Rejection And Extremism," (1991) by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Extracts… quotes… Some parts of the text here has been updated with the help of the latest, the Third Edition (2006). This updated Second Edition is the pdf to the right here.

For the chapter "The Causes of Extremism" some quotes will be presented, which should be seen as an introduction into his way of dealing with the important problem of extremism in Islam, and which - at the same time - is an eminent proof of traditional Islam always being far from extremist view-points.

Concerning the Shaykh, we take from the learned and the scholars what we find to be true and what corresponds to the teachings of Islam and we leave what could be misunderstood, applying to the rule “take what you are sure of and leave what causes doubt.”

The whole pdf-text of the Second Edition_B is here for
[ download ].

Other webtexts by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi are:
- Characteristics of Extremism (part 1)
- Main Causes of Extremism (part 2)
- Toward a Remedy for Extremism (part 3, below)
- Duties Of Young Muslims (part 4)

Quotes From:

Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism

Toward A Remedy For Extremism

by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Edited by OmarKN

Part 3

”It should be emphasized at the outset that the remedy is inseparable from the causes and must, therefore, be as varied and complex as the causes themselves are.
No magical touch can put an end to extremism or bring back the extremists to the line of moderation. The malaise afflicting the soul and mind of mankind is far more deeply rooted than we think, and consequently more difficult to treat. Extremism is essentially a religious phenomenon with a variety of psychological, social, and political dimensions. As such, all of these aspects must be tackled from an Islamic point of view...

It is unjust to hold the young alone responsible and to exonerate the society, the regime, and its governmental departments especially those in charge of education, guidance, and the media. The responsibility is in fact mutual, and each partly played an important part.
The Prophet MHMD said: "All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care." Therefore, we intend to discuss in the following part the duties that should be played by society in order to overcome extremism, as well as the duties of the youth to resist this destructive tendency.” p.87

greenstar2sat(1) Duties of Society

I have already pointed out that the inner contradictions and the chaos which characterize present-day Muslim societies, as well as the estrangement of these societies from Islam, have significantly contributed to the birth and spread of extremism. Therefore, these societies must play a positive role in the remedy. The initial step for a Muslim society is to acknowledge and confirm its genuine commitment to Islam. This cannot be achieved through a verbal declaration or expression, or through a set of slogans or a clause in the constitution stating that "Islam is the official religion of the state," but only through true adherence to the teachings of Islam.

Islam is a comprehensive system of life. It invests its divine character in life and guides it along an ethical direction; it sets up the framework, the landmarks, and the limits which govern the movement and goals of life, always keeping it on the right path, protecting it from pitfalls or from straying.

For this reason, Islam consists of beliefs which can enrich the mind, of 'ibadat which purify the heart, of morals which purify the soul, of legislations which establish justice, and of manners which beautify life. To be really Islamic, society must commit itself to Islam in its totality, unlike the Israelites who adopted only parts of the Torah, but ignored the rest. Consequently, Allah (swt) admonished them in the Quran:

{ Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in, and do you reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty.}

For a society to be Islamic it must be willing to apply Allah's injunctions and the Sunnah of His Prophet MHMD on all the affairs and aspects of life: social, economic, political, or intellectual. This is the requisite of iman:

{ But no, by the Lord, they can have no [real] faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.} (p.88) And:
{ The answer of the believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey." It is such as these that will attain felicity.}

Our societies must endeavor to eliminate this obvious contradiction we believe in Islam both as a divine creed and a Shariah, but we have abandoned its Shariah and disregarded its guidance and moral teachings.

These we have replaced with imported systems and alien ideologies from both the East and the West yet we still claim to be Muslims!

Our rulers must understand and realize that they are in a Muslim land and are ruling Muslim peoples who are entitled to be governed in accordance with the teachings of their religion.

Constitutions, laws, educational systems, etc., must all reflect and express the people's beliefs, values, and traditions, which must also be guided, consolidated, and disseminated via the media. The economic and social policies - at local and international levels - must be formulated within the framework of these beliefs and must serve their goals. The failure of the rulers in Muslim countries to live up to these legitimate expectations is utterly unacceptable and is in stark contradiction to Islam.

Indeed, these rulers' defiance of the conscience of Muslims in most Muslim countries has become intolerable. Some of them openly reject Islam and express their commitment to an Eastern or a Western ideology.

Moreover, they deprive Islam of any form of expression. Even the mosque and its religious activities are manipulated to express support for regimes and rulers. Those who dare to object are harshly and severely punished. Other rulers in Muslim countries profess to be Muslims, but their concept of Islam is a version of their own coinage and satanic whims...

It is indeed high time for our rulers to realize that there can neither be stability in their societies nor hope for their peoples except real commitment and adherence to Islam. 'Umar ibn al Khattab (ra`a) said: "We had been the lowest of nations, but Allah honored us with Islam. Should we try to attain honor through means other than Islam, Allah will debase us." Furthermore, unless Shariah is applied, our societies will continue to breed extremists, religious or otherwise.

greenstar2sat(2) Relate To Them In A Spirit Of Fatherhood And Brotherhood

The second step of the remedy pertains to the attitude of the society towards the youth. To begin with, we - the old - must not address them from ivory towers, showing a superiority or a disregard for them. This attitude is bound to create a deep rift which will force them to refuse to trust or listen to us.

Equally, we must not fail to understand them or to have insight into the deep recesses of their lives and the reality of their concerns. Our attitude towards them should not only be that of accusation mainly concerned with publicizing their demerits, exaggerating their negative characteristics and suspecting and discrediting their intentions and actions in an endeavor to prove them eligible for the most severe punishments.

On the contrary, we should first and foremost treat them with paternal and brotherly love, making them feel that they are a part of us, our beloved ones, and the hope of the future of the Ummah. Through love and compassion, rather than through accusations and arrogance, we can come nearer to them.

We should stand in their defense since allegations from all directions are raised against them­, true and false, well-meaning and malicious. If we cannot assume the role of the defender, for one reason or another, we should at least stand firmly for the application of justice, which neither punishes without evidence nor sides with either the claimant or the defendant.

A person should - in the light of the following Quranic verse - be evaluated on the basis of the totality of his actions and behavior: { Then those whose balance [of good deeds] is heavy, they will attain salvation.}

I myself have known very well many of these young Muslims in many Muslim countries; I bear witness that I found strength in their iman, firmness in their convictions, truth in their words, and sincerity in their work. I also admire their love for the truth and hatred of falsehood (batil), their passion for disseminating the divine message, their determination to command the common good and forbid harmful (evil) and the undesirable, their zeal for jihad (struggling against oppression and corruption), their concern for Muslims everywhere in the world, their aspiration to establish an Islamic society which lives in accordance with the teachings of Allah (swt), (is guided by Islam, and disciplined by Shariah and its ethical values.) [Older translation in parenthesis.]

My meetings and contacts with these youth have convinced me of the tremendous differences between our traditional* Islamic conception and theirs; they are committed to a new vital Islam which opposes our own worn­out traditional belief. Their iman is warm and ardent while ours is cold; their determination to righteousness is solid and unflinching while ours is apathetic; their hearts fear Allah (swt) and are full of love for Him - their hearts beat with His remembrance in their constant recitation of the Qur'an.[* The author has a more ”common usage” of the term ”tradition,” which is different from our strict definition of the word, at Livingislam.org, see f.ex. mmt_e]

One must also acknowledge their determination to recapture the true Islamic spirit and to reconstruct (p.92) life according to it. I know that many of them spend whole nights in ibadah, offer siyam during the day, ask Allah's forgiveness at dawn, and emulate good deeds. It is for this reason that many people, including myself, entertain the hope that the future of Islam will, in shaa Allah, be realized through the determined endeavors of these youths.

Go to part 4: Duties Of Young Muslims