The Method of Islamic Revolution
Keeping in mind the nature of the Islamic state as explained above; let us consider the means to be employed for bringing it into being. As I have pointed out in the beginning, the ideological, moral and cultural conditions existing in a society bring forth by their inter-play the type of Mate suited to them. It is not possible that a tree may shape as a lemon from its rudimentary stages right up to the state of its completion but when it reaches the stage of fruition, it should all of a sudden begin producing mangoes. An Islamic state does not spring into being all of a sudden like a miracle; it is inevitable for its creation that in the beginning there should grow up a movement having for its basis the view of life, the ideal of existence, the standard of morality, and the character and spirit which is in keeping with the fundamentals of Islam. Its leaders and workers should be men who psychologically and spiritually are fit to accept this particular mould of character. They should then, by ceaseless efforts, create the same mental attitude and moral spirit among the people and on the basis of moral and intellectual tendencies so created they should build up a system of education to train and mould the masses in the Islamic pattern of life. The system would produce Muslim scientists, Muslim philosophers, Muslim historians, Muslim economists and financial experts, Muslim jurists and politicians ; in short, in every branch of knowledge there should be men who have imbibed the Islamic ideology and are imbued deeply with its spirit, men who have the ability to build a complete system of thought and practical life based on Islamic principles and who have strength enough to challenge effectively the intellectual leadership of' the present Godless thinkers and scientists. With such an intellectual background the movement should take the field against the wrong system of life which is to be found all around us over the wide world. In this struggle its torch-bearers should furnish proof of their moral strength and sincerity by facing adversities, braving dangers and by offering sacrifices in money and lives. They must go through all forms of trials and emerge like pure gold which every one may declare unalloyed after having it tested. During their struggle they should by word and deed exemplify in their conduct and bearing, that particular ideology which, they claim to represent. In everything they say or do, it should be apparent to all who come into contact with them that the ideological state to which these selfless, truthful and God-fearing men of pure character and sacrificing spirit are inviting the world must certainly be a guarantee of social justice and world peace. Through such struggle all those elements in society whose nature is not entirely devoid of truth and justice will be attracted to the movement. The influence of people of low mentality and those who resort to mean tricks will disappear to a palpable degree in the face of a lofty movement like this. A revolution will take place in the mentality of the masses and the collective life of humanity will cry out for a state system like this, so that after a time it will become impossible in the changed society of the day for any other system of life to maintain its existence. Ultimately, as an inevitable and natural consequence, that particular state system will be set up for which the ground has been prepared in this manner; and as soon as this system is set up, office-bearers from the lowest officials right up to ministers and administrators of every rank and status will be available for running it through the out-turn of that particular system of education and training which I have mentioned above.
Gentlemen! This is the natural method for bringing about that revolution and setting up that state system which is called the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic state. You are all men of learning; the history of revolutions in the world is before you. You cannot be unaware of the fact that a particular type of revolution demands the same type of movement, the same type of leaders and workers, and the same type of social consciousness and cultural and moral atmosphere. The French Revolution needed that particular kind of moral and mental basis which leaders like Rousseau, Voltaire and Montesquieu had prepared. The Russian Revolution could only be brought about by the ideas of Marx, the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky and thousands of other Communist workers whose lives were cast in the Communist mould. The National-Socialism of Germany could only take root in the moral, psychological and cultural conditions which had been created by theories of leaders of thought like Hegel, Fichte, Goethe, Nietzsche and many others including Hitler. Exactly in the same way the Islamic Revolution can be brought about only when a mass movement is initiated based on the theories and conceptions of the Qur'an and example and practice of Muhammad (peace be upon him) which would, by a powerful struggle, effect a wholesale change in the intellectual, moral, psychological, and cultural foundations of social life. It passes my understanding how any movement of a nationalistic character with its background of an imperfect educational system like the one prevalent amongst us, which is based on utilitarian morals and pure opportunism, can ever bring about the Islamic Revolution. I do not believe in the kind of miracles in which M. Reynaud, the former Premier of France, believed. [1. Mr. Reynaud, when he was Prime Minister of France during the present war, said in a radio broadcast a few days before the defeat of France: "Only a miracle can now save France and I believe in miracles."] I believe that the means employed in securing an end inevitably leave their effect on the results produced.
There is a misunderstanding amongst us that if the Muslims are- fully organized and develop a solidarity of their own, that would be a panacea for all our ills. It is thought that, in order to reach the desired goal of the Islamic state or of "free Islam in free India", the only means that need be adopted are that individual comprising the Muslim nation should be knit together into a strong unity and develop a central organization of their own working in obedience to a central leadership. As a matter of fact this is a nationalist program. Any nation, desiring to become powerful, great and strong, will adopt these methods to secure such ends, be it the Hindu nation or the Sikhs, the Germans or the Italians. A leader who is devoted to his nation, who is an adept at varying his plans and strategy to suit the needs of the moment and who is so gifted by nature to have his orders carried out is always fit to lead a nation on the path of ambition, whether he is a Moonje or a Savarkar, a Hitler or a Mussolini. And hundreds and thousands of young men who can move in an organized manner and do the bidding of their leader for their national ideals can always raise the standard of any nation, irrespective of the fact whether they believe in the Japanese. or the Chinese ideals. Now, if Muslims are a nation by racial or historical ties and the end in view is merely to make this nation powerful and great, then the employment of these methods is no doubt necessary. Muslims will have to tread the path of national ambition so familiar to those who know the history of Western nationalism and, as a result thereof, we can secure a national government of our own or at least secure a reasonable share in the government of our country. But let us be clear in our minds, that this is not even the first step on the road to Islamic revolution or the creation of an Islamic state; it is in fact a reverse process which will lead us backward.
The community which is at present known by the name of Muslim is a hybrid mixture of all sorts of people with hardly a common standard of behavior. From the point of view of moral conduct, you will find among Muslims as many varieties of character as are to be found among the non-believers. The proportion of those who are prepared to give false evidence in law-courts is probably as large among Muslims as among non-Muslim communities. Muslims are not a whit behind any other people in bribery, burglary, adultery, lying, and the other moral evils. All the methods which are used by non-Muslims for earning their bread and acquiring wealth are also resorted to by the members of the Muslim community. A Muslim pleader, when he advocates the cause of his clients, knowing full well that the tatter's case is unjust, is as much devoid of the fear of God as a non-Muslim pleader. A Muslim aristocrat, when he comes across wealth, and a Muslim official, when he holds office, behaves exactly as a non-believer would do. To weld such elements into an organized unity and teach them by political training the duplicity and cleverness of a fox or by military training impart in them the bestial vigor of a wolf, may succeed in securing for them the kingdom of the jungle; but I cannot imagine how the Kingdom of God can come through such people and by such methods. Who will acknowledge their moral superiority 7 Who will regard them with feeling of respect and reverence? Whose heart will be attracted to Islam on coming into contact with such people? With such an uninspiring leadership, can they hope to repeat the historical performance alluded to in the Qur'anic words: "They will join the Divine faith in large numbers?" Where on this broad surface of the earth will their spiritual leadership be recognized? In which part of the globe will the oppressed people welcome them as liberators? The task of "exalting the Word of God" requires a group of workers who are fearful of God and implicitly follow the law of God without consideration of gain or loss, no matter where they come from, whether from this community which is now called Muslim or from outside. A handful of such men are more valuable for this purpose than the huge crowd of which I have just spoken. Islam does not stand in need of a treasure of copper coins which passes for gold mohurs. Before examining the stamp on the coins, Islam necks to find out whether or not pure gold lies beneath. One such coin is more valuable to Islam than a whole heap of spurious gold coins. Then, again, the leadership which God requires for the glory of His name is the type of leadership which should not budge an inch from the principles which Islam seeks to uphold, no matter what the outcome may be, whether all the Muslims perish by hunger or go down before the sword. Leadership which seeks only the advantage of its own community and without adherence to principles is prepared to adopt any plan with which it can secure the worldly salvation of its flock : leadership which is devoid of the fear of God is utterly unfit for the ideal which Islam has fixed for its followers. Then, again, the system of education and training which is based on the well-known maxim that one should move with times can never serve a religion of which final and irrevocable command is that whichever way the wind may blow and whatever path the world may follow, you must at any cost traverse the path which has been marked out for you by God. I assure you that, even if you are presented as a free gift a particular place of territory to rule over, you will not be able, as things go now, to administer it according to Islamic principles even for a single day. You have made no preparations to train or educate people imbued with the moral spirit and possessing the intellectual attitude which is necessary for running an Islamic state, its police, law-courts, army, revenue, and enforcing its financial, educational and foreign policy. The education which is imparted in your colleges and universities can doubtless produce, for an un-Islamic government, the type of men who can serve as secretaries and ministers; but I hope you will not be offended if I say that it cannot produce even peons for the Islamic courts, nor constables for the Islamic police. And this defect is confined not only to your present educational system. Our own old system of education which does not believe in the motion of the earth is equally useless from this point of view and cannot give to the Islamic state a single qazi, finance ministers or director of education. And with such utter lack of preparation to think of the formation of an Islamic state is pure moonshine. Those who talk in this strain are completely ignorant of the true conception of an Islamic state.
Some people, however, argue that once a national state of Muslims is set up, may be of a non-Islamic character, it could be changed gradually into an Islamic state by education, training and moral reformation. But whatever little I have studied of history, politics and sociology, compels me to repudiate this theory as untenable. If such a plan succeeds I shall regard it as a miracle. As I have explained already, the form of organization of a state has deep roots in social life. Until there is a change in the social fabric, no permanent change can be produced by artificial means in any system of government. A powerful ruler like the Omayyad `Umar, the son of `Abdul 'Aziz, who had at his back a party of men trained by the Companions of the Prophet of Islam, completely failed in his efforts to transform the Omayyad state, because society as a whole was not prepared for reformation. Powerful potentates like Muhammad Tughlaq and Aurangzeb `Alamgir, in spite of their individual piety, could not effect any. change in the system of government. Even a strong monarch like Mamoon-ul-Rasheed, who wanted to make only a superficial change in the form of government, was wholly unsuccessful. And this happened in a period when the power and strength of an 'individual could accomplish a good deal. I am, therefore, unable to understand how a national state, formed on a democratic basis can easily go through the process of such a basic transformation. In a democratic state, power is wielded by persons who have the approval of the voters. If the voters do not possess the true Islamic mentality and the moral attitude which Islam inculcates; if they are not able to tolerate the Islamic standards of integrity and moral purity, and if they are not prepared to accept the impartial justice and firm principles on, the basis of which an Islamic state is run, then their votes can never return the true type of Muslims to a parliament or assembly. Under these circumstances, power will come into the hands of those individuals only who, though they may be registered as Muslims in the census, are far removed from Islam lad their ideas and modes of behavior. The wielding of power by such people means no more than this: that we shall stand where we are under a non-Muslim government. We may even occupy position worse than that, because a national state bearing the label of Islam will be bolder and more fearless than a non-Muslim state in suppressing an Islamic Revolution. Such a Muslim national state will pass a sentence of death and outlawry for acts which a non-Muslim, state will punish only with imprisonment and all the same the leaders of this state will be called "ghazis" during their life time and saints after their death, because they happen to be Muslims by birth. Hence it is utterly wrong to think that this type of national state can in any sense be helpful in bringing about the Islamic Revolution. The question which confronts us is that if we have to revolutionize the social life of humanity, even fn a Muslim national state, and if we have to do this without the aid of the state, more probably in tine face of active opposition by the so-called Muslim state, why should we wait for that opposition to take shape instead of starting forthwith on the road of revolution? Why should we foolishly waste our time in expediting the so-called Muslim national state and fritter away our energies in setting it up? We know that it will not only be useless for our purpose but will rather prove an obstacle in our path.