by Amr Khaled
Translated by Dar al-Tarjama Team
Today, with extreme hope and seriousness, I would like to announce that the number of ideas received exceeded half a million. The majority were sent through the Internet on the website (ww.amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)) and the rest were received by fax, telephone and by mail so that everybody had a chance to participate. During the previous episode, we introduced the idea of "brainstorming". Muslims in the past were the first to invent and implement this idea. Brainstorming consists of a group of people who meet and converse together, resulting in the creation of endless numbers of ideas. It seems that the idea of brainstorming is the reason behind the addition of 250,000 new ideas since last week.
We received many ideas outlining scientific research in our countries after twenty years, and many university professors participated: Dr. Aisha Abdel-Aziz from Bahrain University, Dr. Nader Nada from the American University in Dubai, Dr. Anwar Abdel-Sattar from the Al-Nahrein University in Iraq, Dr. Mahmoud Abdel-Qawy Zahran, Professor of Botany who has sent a comprehensive blueprint on how we would cultivate the desert, and Dr. Suad Moneim, Professor of Medicine in Assiut.
We now have a huge number of ideas for our countries that we did not have before. Again, it seems that the idea of brainstorming gave these results.
I have outlined in the previous episode that we also need the common people's dreams; we received a number of their simple yet important dreams: they want to drink clean water, and for their sons to have the chance to be educated. In addition, many women requested a new interpretation of many parts of the Qur'an and Sunnah, because these texts are wrongly interpreted by many people and the result is injustice towards women – surely Islam is far from being unjust to women.
I can see that there is a great hope in this nation, whose hearts are beating with anticipation for the next project. Let us listen to that great verse "And never give up hope of AllÃ¢h’s Mercy" (12:87). We should not despair and think that there is no hope, for we have many promises and reassurances from Allah (SWT). He is with us, He will be Benevolent to us, and our Prophet (PBUH) promised us too. Our mission is to seek the rise of our country and to revive it to change it for the better. The following verse clearly emphasizes this: "Two men of those who feared (AllÃ¢h and) on whom AllÃ¢h had bestowed His Grace (they were YÃ»sha‘ and KÃ¢lab) said: Assault them through the gate; for when you are in, victory will be yours" (5:23). It is as if the verse is telling us to act and take the first step. Then the verse continued: "And put your trust in AllÃ¢h if you are believers indeed" (5:23).
Why do we always think that Tawakul (placing complete trust and faith in Allah (SWT)) is only relevant with regards to sustenance or disasters? What about Tawakul in the revival of our country? Tawakul means that we have to exert our best efforts then put our trust in Allah (SWT). If we do so, we will surely have fruitful results. We need to transform the individual concept of Tawakul in our personal life to a wider concept that applies to our country. If we put our trust in Allah, He will grant our country power, glory and honour; we just have to believe that Allah is capable of doing this. If you look at the following sentence in the noble Qur'an: "AllÃ¢h (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)", you will discover that it was only used for the sake of Islam as a nation and never for an individual.
The Prophet (PBUH) said "AllÃ¢h (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)." It was also said by Ibrahim (Abraham) (AS) when he was thrown into the fire. It was said by Musa (Moses) (AS) when his companions told him, "We are sure to be overtaken" (26:61), and Allah (SWT) saved him along with his people. It was also said by Muhammad's Companions when they were told, "Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them. But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: AllÃ¢h (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)" (3:173). "So they returned with Grace and Bounty from AllÃ¢h. No harm touched them" (3:174). Let us also listen to these verses: "Truly, AllÃ¢h defends those who believe" (22:38), "AllÃ¢h has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land" (24:55). That is our religion. Great things will happen to us if we start taking steps, the first steps that have to be taken are to show our trust and confidence in Allah (SWT); the dominion of earth belongs to Allah, and if He permits (SWT), this revival will be realized overnight.
Take Uzair's (Ezra) (AS) story in the noble Qur'an as an example: "Or like the one who passed by a town while it had tumbled over its roofs" (2:259). The buildings of this town had collapsed and its people were in a state of despair. "He said: Oh! How will AllÃ¢h ever bring it to life after its death? So AllÃ¢h caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again)" (2:259). Allah (SWT) caused him to die for a hundred years, and during this period Allah permitted the people of that village to revive themselves and rebuild it .The verse ended, "I know (now) that AllÃ¢h is Able to do all things" (2:259).
Let us have a look at the following of Allah's miracles:
The knife that did not slaughter Isma’il (Ishmael) (AS).
The fire that was cool and safe for Ibrahim (AS).
The fish whose belly Yunus (Jonah) (AS) remained in but did not eat him.
The desert that turned into a sea for Nuh (Noah) (AS).
All these happened for the sake of His righteous slaves who put their trust in Him (So Glory be to AllÃ¢h Who Has power over all things). I would like to show you that the trust in Allah should be implanted in us, and that Allah will be Benevolent to us. Before we start on the details of this stage, I believe that the revival we are seeking needs more discussion. The people who sent us their dreams have to be sure about that point and have to be convinced that Allah (SWT) is with us and will be Benevolent to us. Moreover, I would like to draw your attention to an important point and a pleasant meaning. If we looked back throughout the history of humanity, we will find that Allah never wasted the effort of anyone who did righteous deeds, no matter what his religion or belief was, and he who exerts the best efforts will be rewarded for them.
Take Germany as an example. In twenty years, the Germans made their revival happen. Can you imagine how the Germans were before and after the revival? I want you to feel the sweet taste of revival. I wish that, when you watch me and hear me (brothers and sisters), you can realize that if the dream controls people's minds, it will definitely come true – that is the rule.
In the previous episode, I talked about our dreams in two fields: agriculture and scientific research. In twenty years, we will depend upon ourselves, we will produce our own food (cultivating wheat and producing vegetable oils), and we will not depend on others. The people who sent us their dreams are visualizing those dreams:
Our countries will turn into green lands
The Arabian Peninsula, as our Prophet (PBUH) said, will return to its green nature once again.
There are palms all over the desert roads; in front of each house in all our countries there is one palm from which we eat dates.
We will take the lead in scientific research (as previously mentioned, we have the solar energy) and we will teach the world our sciences.
Who will be the equivalent of Muhammad Al-Fatih (the conqueror of Constantinople) who will make the desert green?
We now understand why the Companions used to sacrifice everything – because their dream was Al-Madinah Al-Munawara. The price was to abandon all their property, but their dream was much greater than anything else. Thus, the dream of going to Al-Madinah Al-Munawara came true and then came children, property and so on, because of the preciousness of their dream. Do we remember the harm that happened to them, do we remember Somaya and what Abu Gahl did to her, and Khabbab Ibn Al-Art when he was explaining how the Kuffar (disbelievers) tortured him; they made him lay on his back and ignited coals under him until they glowed, and that glow did not go out until the cells on his back had melted. But despite all that torture, he did not give up. Do we remember what happened to Suhaib? Then listen to the following verse: "And We have sent you (O Muhammad): not but as a mercy for the ‘Ã‚lamÃ®n (mankind, jinn and all that exists)" (21:107). Despite all the difficulties Muslims faced, they succeeded. At first they were in Al Arqam house in the small city of Makkah and they were full of fear, and the noble Qur'an revealed to them that they represented mercy for all mankind. But look at them on the day of the Fath (conquest) of Makkah, when the Prophet (PBUH), along with ten thousands Muslims, recited the following verse loudly: "Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad) a manifest victory. That AllÃ¢h may forgive you your sins of the past and the future, and complete His Favour on you, and guide you on the Straight Path" (48:1-2), until the verse "Muhammad is the Messenger of AllÃ¢h. And those who are with him…" (48:29). Then they all entered Makkah with him (all ten thousand Muslims), and Bilal, who was once beaten in this city, climbed to the top of the Ka'ba and called out loudly, "Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest". Can you imagine their feeling and their happiness after their dream had come true?
… Today, we have two more fields, whose purpose is to spread hope. These dreams are based on your suggestions, so let us discuss them and afterwards I will explain to you what you have to do to turn these suggestions into reality.
The First field: Education
We received a huge number of suggestions from headmasters, teachers, social workers, secretaries, psychiatrists, house wives, students, teachers who give private lessons, and university professors, all of which are on the website. I will try to give you a summary of these suggestions; the main target for doing so is to let you visualize these dreams before your eyes. …
If we look at the opinions sent by youth, men and women, our first impression is that they have already finalized this curriculum. The following are some of these ideas:
1. Erasing, in one year only, all illiteracy from the Nation of Iqra' (Read) (the Muslim nation who was ordered to read in the first Qur’anic verse revealed). The suggestions supporting this idea were sent by over a hundred people. They suggested organizing a public awareness campaign for youth, so that all our students in high schools and universities would use the summer vacation in teaching illiterate persons in villages and hamlets. They did not forget also the difficulties of implementing such project, so they suggested creating training courses for youth on television in order to teach them how to do so. The success of this project is possible, it only requires finding premises for that purpose, however there is another problem: how could we convince illiterates that they should learn? The solution is to fine them if they refuse to learn after six months; that suggestion came from a young man of 17, who said that he got this idea by imitating Muhammad (PBUH) who eliminated the illiteracy of 700 Companions within a month. The Companion Zayd Ibn Thabet, who collected the noble Qur'an, was one of them. The problem is that many people believe that Islam means only praying and fasting. ..
2. Many people suggested that education should be based on the use of the mind and research, not by memorizing. The student should actively search for the information instead of being spoon-fed it; this is the best way to use the mind, instead of using our minds as a storage place for information, we will have active minds that think. So education will be based on 'searching for the required information', students will be taught that there are many solutions for each problem and not only one, and they will learn that they have many alternatives to questions.
3. Among the great suggestions we received, was the idea of using sciences in practical life; every student should have the right to refuse to learn, even a single word, without being told its relation to practical life and the benefits that can be gained from it.
… Relating science to the real world is not enough for us, and this is what will set us apart, for we will provide unconventional education. Relating science to Allah the Almighty is the key; for instance, in Physics. Why not mention the Creator of this formidable universal system, atoms, measurements, metals, and relativity? Isn’t the Creator Allah the Exalted? This way we rest assured that our children will be level-headed, especially in their teenage years, since everything they learn in school will be linked back to Allah the Exalted. The knowledge in their minds is hence connected to the belief and knowledge of Allah in their hearts. Even at home, mothers will teach their children to learn about Allah. Science will also be related to the heritage of the Muslims. But how?
Edited by Zeinab, 15 October 2008 - 08:38 PM.