The fundamental goal of IONA is to assist its members to attain the good pleasure of Allah
(SWT) in order to gain salvation in the Hereafter. IONA believes that this can only be achieved by fulfilling the pre-requisite duties ordained in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Consequently, the primary focus of IONA is to help the individual Muslim fulfill the following four basic duties of a Muslim in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
1. Conviction of the Heart: Iman
The first duty of a Muslim is to develop Iman (conviction of the heart). This can be achieved by believing, reciting, understanding and pondering over the ayat of the Qur’an and behaving accordingly. In short, one must establish an intimate relationship with the Qur’an in order to increase one’s Iman.
One must wage a constant struggle (jihad) in order to fulfill the duty of attaining and increasing one’s Iman. This struggle is fulfilled through the following three levels:
- Remembrance through the Qur’an (Tazakkur ): To grasp the most essential and basic meanings of the Qur’anic ayat through constant recitation.
- Pondering over the Qur’an (Tadabbur): To ponder deeply over the Qur’anic ayat in order to understand its wisdom (hikmah).
- Learning the Arabic Language: An intimate relationship with the Qur’an can only be genuinely established if its message is understood in its own language. Translations are not sufficient.
2. Complete and Loving Submission to the Will of Allah (SWT): Ibadah
To become a genuine slave (‘abd) of Allah (SWT), one must willingly, completely and at all times submit to His commands with a sense of love and gratitude. This submission is not to be limited only to the five pillars of Islam; it is also required in one’s economic endeavors, political conduct and social behavior. Thus, the total submission to Allah (SWT) must encompass all of our individual and collective affairs.
In order to fulfill this duty, a struggle (jihad) must occur through the following three levels:
- Jihad against one’s own soul – nafs (the impulses of the self)
- Jihad against the whispering temptations of Satan
- Jihad against the wrong trends of society
3. Bearing Witness unto Mankind: Shahada ‘alan-Nass
Since there is no prophet after the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), it is the duty of the Muslim ummah to collectively deliver the message of Islam to humanity for all times to come. The message has to be delivered through words and actions.
There are three levels of jihad to fulfill this duty:
- Call with Wisdom (Da’wah bil Hikmah): To spread the message of the Qur’an in the highest intellectual idiom of the day, so that its knowledge and wisdom is understood and acknowledged by the intellectual elite of society
- Admonition (Da’wah bil Mawa’izah Al-Hasanah):To spread the message of the Qur’an with the utmost sincerity in simple language. This sincerity should be reflected by the exemplary behavior of the message-giver
- Debate (Mujadalah): To respond to the confrontational and evil spirited propaganda against Islam in the best manner through debates and arguments,
4. Establishment of the just socio-politico-economic Islamic Order: Iqaamat-ud-Deen
It is only by establishing a just socio-politico-economic order, as outlined in the Qur’an and Sunnah, that Muslims will be able to genuinely fulfill the obligation of Shahada ‘Alan-Nas(witness unto mankind). Struggling to establish the Deen is an obligatory duty on every Muslim, a duty that the ummah has practically neglected or forgotten.
- IONAbelieves that the three initial steps mentioned above are necessary to fulfill this most important duty, Iqaamat-ud-Deen.
The struggle (jihad) required to fulfill this duty can only be accomplished through a well-structured and disciplined organization (jama’ah) and must pass through the following three phases:
- Passive Resistance: The members must endure with steadfastness and perseverance(sabr) any oppression, slander, torture or opposition directed against the Islamic movement
- Active Resistance:Upon achieving a sound infrastructure, critical mass, and moral credibility to confront the shortcomings of the present corrupt system, the organization (jama’ah) will engage in active resistance by means of a non-violent mass movement to promote its goal of establishing the Deen of Allah (SWT)
- Disciplined, Non-Violent Mass Movement: Through active resistance the movement will use all constitutionally sanctioned means to bring about just changes in social, political, and economic practices. This includes non-violent direct action and civil disobedience
In a Nut Shell, IONAis an organization dedicated to reviving the Qur’an into the hearts of Muslims, bringing its message to non-Muslims while struggling to promote and establish the Just Social Order of Islam.