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In The Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Preface

Praise be to Allah the Almighty, with Whose Grace all good deeds come to fruition, and peace be upon His Chosen Prophet, his family and companions. It was a fortunate occasion that brought me together with my honourable brother, Mohammad Al-Hashemi Al-Hamedi, the conscientious Muslim writer, when we attended the Annual Congress of the Arab Muslim Youth Association in North America last winter (December, 1989). It was there that he told me about the “Centre for Studies on Islamic Future”, which was established by a group of Muslim thinkers, and urged me to cooperate with and support it.

He also talked to me about the Centre’s intention to organize a symposium on the issues of Islamic future, telling me about its topics and participants and seeking my opinion. I welcomed both centre and symposium, sparing no advice that I could give in that direction. However, he would Settle for nothing less than my promise of active participation. To make his offer the more attractive he said, “we will be holding the symposium in the country that you love and that loves you -Algeria”. He asked me to devote my paper for the symposium to the topic “Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the next Three Decades”, as he saw my interest in what I termed as “the fiqh [understanding] of priorities”. I have focused on this branch of fiqh, talking much about it, as it is a part of my interest in righting the course of the Islamic Movement and rationalizing the Islamic Awakening, for this is my first and foremost concern. It is such a significant concern that I pray Allah to help me give it its due attention and serve it properly. It was for this reason that I could do nothing but accept my honourable brother’s invitation. The topic, the person who extended the invitation, the participants and the venue were all factors that made acceptance attractive, even compulsory.

I asked Allah’s help and set myself on writing the required paper, despite the frequent trips that I had to make at that time, which often inter upted my thinking and my research work.The fruit borne by my work is the following pages. I hope they contain a ray of light that, dim as it may be, will show us the right path. If it does not, it will be enough that we have raised this topic for research and discussion, for it will then serve as a reminder and an enlightenment. What I have written here is a continuation of what I wrote before on the Islamic Movement in particular and the Islamic Awakening in general, including books, papers and articles.

The difference between a movement and an awakening is that a movement represents an organized group or groups with specific objectives and clear-cut courses, while an awakening is a general, churning current that encompasses individuals and groups, both organized and otherwise. Between the two of them there exists, to quote logicians, an absolute generality and an absolute particularity; every movement is an awakening while not every awakining is a movement. Therefore, an awakening is of a wider, more extensive scope than a movement, and rightly so.

An awakening is a tributary that supplies and reinforces a movement, while a movement is a guide that steers an awakening h1 the right ditrection: the relation between the two of them is one of interaction.

I would like to underscore an important point here: wherever I mention the Islamic Movement, the movement I mean is the Islamic Movement in its all-embracing sense, not any particular movement.

However, in most examples I will be citing the Muslim Brotherhood, because that is the movement where I grew up; I experienced all its hardships and good times, and shared in many of the events it witnessed over almost a half-century.

I have chosen the title of my paper as “Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase”, but I did not confine my work to the “three decades” as requested, since I do not approve of such strict limitation in this rapidly-changing age.
And the close of our prayer is “Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds”.

Doha, in Ramadan, 1410 A.H. (April, 1990 A.D)
Yousef Al-Qaradawi