If we look at Islamists and the Machiavellian tactics they have used in North America to attain power and control such as by taking over Masajid and MSAs via deception and strong arm tactics, we see nothing but systemic chaos and confusion. All of their strategizing and infiltration tactics have born very little fruit. What have Islamist organizations produced since their inception? Not much.
The problem with Islamists is that they are Islam-ists when they need to be Ihsan-ists. The Islamic state is predicated on our spiritual state. The absence of spiritual excellence manifests itself in the mediocrity we see in our communities. Our collective condition will not improve until our state with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) improves. If Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) isn’t a central focus in our activism, then our activism is based on our egos and there will be no baraka in what we do. No amount of activism can ever replace dhikr, salawat, and the seeking of sacred knowledge.
The vision of Islamism is Islam, Muslims, or the Ummah. Until they attain the vision of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), they’ll ultimately be nothing more than a materialist worldly ideology covered with a sprinkling of cosmetic, generic, mediocre Islam. Our community doesn’t have a problem with rulership of states but rulership of ourselves. Ibn Arabi’s “Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom” is a powerful read for activists and Islamists.
Sincere worship of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) manifests itself in spiritual excellence (ihsan), etiquette (adab), and chivalry (futuwwa) – all of which are absent from Islamists. The absence of sincerity also manifests in rapid fluctuations for if one were sincere to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) they would remain firm in their belief under various circumstances. With Islamists, one sees their beliefs and actions fluctuate like a pendulum, from one extreme to the next. So we see some condemning secular states not too long ago and now some are saying it is wajib to vote in democracies. We see some argue for the defense of the Shari’ah but engage in actions such as the killing of civilians – completely violating the Shari’ah. Some engaged in revolts against states and now some promote citizenry in the nation-state model. It wouldn’t be surprising to find Islamists working for the Pentagon on one extreme to being incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay on the other extreme. The lack of consistency is astounding, but not surprising.
When activism isn’t guided by sincerity to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) but by devotion to the cult worship of cryptic pseudo-intellectuals and the ‘Ulema are ignored or disparaged, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Islamists are like the foam of the sea – vast in numbers but lacking substance. The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) warned us that the Muslims towards the end of time will be like that and he specifically high lighted the two spiritual diseases of that era – worldliness and the lack of the remembrance of death. The problem with Islamism is that they are fighting for a role in a world that is destined to perish like children building a sandbox that will be washed away by the ocean of eternity. Islamism is an exercise in futility.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) grant us tawfeeq and tayseer. Ameen.