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Societal Progress Is Nurtured upon Islamic Devotion

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Saʿdī

An admonition against those who claim the teachings of Islām do not lead to societal progress.

The established fundamental principles of Islām clarify, both intellectually and legislatively, the inherent falsehood in the claim made by certain Christian fanatics and those employed by them, that the religion of Islām represents an obstruction to progress and societal prosperity. This horrid, contemptible claim represents unadulterated arrogance. For the foundations of true societal progress is an impossibility, and shall remain unattainable, except if that progress is built upon the rules and principles of this religion (i.e. Islām). As it is undeniable that the rules and fundamentals of this religion are the greatest reason and the only path towards elevated states of happiness and victory. True success is unattainable in the absence of these conditions. Any perceived “progress” that lacks these foundations has in actuality been built on the unstable brink of a precipice, ready to crumble down at any moment. For how can an elevated status really be achieved when the hearts and souls of the people have not been elevated by love for Allāh, seeking forgiveness from Him, being humble before Him, while showing strength in both īmān and true reliance in Him. Can complete progress and development really be achieved when the people have not developed their own behaviours and conduct by adorning it with the traits of goodness attributable to this religion, ridding themselves of all forms of detestable corruption and mannerisms?

How can true progress be achieved without the legislated form of striving in the cause of Allāh by clarifying the truth and guidance, while also accepting it wholly and completely, and defending oneself against the enmity and hostility shown by the transgressors against this religion. The legislated form of striving in Allāh’s cause is to combine between immaterial strength in the form of having complete īmān in Him, seeking His support, showing true reliance in Him and seeking His aid. While also enacting all the physical means by which striving in His cause may be accomplished. This is inclusive of gathering physical, material strength. For Allāh has encouraged the believers to ready against the enemies of Islām all they can of power1, both intellectual and governmental, learning the tactics and strategies that aid one in striving in the cause of Allāh and taking every precaution to protect themselves from their enemies in every way possible.

So woe unto the one who could claim that the elevated, great teachings of this religion do not lead to progress. That such progress is attainable only in relation to material strength, completely unrelated to religious teachings, built upon foundations of harshness, barbaric savagery, predation, oppression, and discarding of religion in its entirety. Most people are deceived by the outward appearance and physical forms of things, lacking true understanding that facilitates observation of the realities of these matters and that which represents actual benefit to them, that which ultimately results in many forms of goodness, and the attainment of eternal happiness.


[1] See Sūrah al-Anfāl, verse 8:60:

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِن شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ

“And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war to threaten the enemy of Allāh and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allāh does know. And whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allāh shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.”

Source: Uṣūl ʿAdhīmah: 63-65
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: March 25, 2024
Edited: May 29, 2024

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