Question 9. Precisely what are the short-term and long-term goals of IONA, and exactly how is it planning to achieve those goals?
The long-term goals of IONA can be summarized as follows. Keep in mind, however, that these goals must be appreciated in light of what has been said above regarding the overarching objective that IONA has set for itself, as well as IONA's understanding of the divinely ordained obligations that must be fulfilled in order to achieve that objective.
1. To understand and explain the guidance of the Qur’an in light of the Islamic scholarly tradition and our immediate historical and socio-cultural context. The main emphasis of this endeavor is to propagate on a large scale a clear understanding of our divinely ordained obligations as well as to conclusively establish the necessity of fulfilling them.
2. To organize those who respond to the above call into a disciplined and egalitarian community in accordance with Islamic principles. Since the obligations in question cannot be adequately fulfilled by isolated individuals, it is imperative that those wishing to fulfill these obligations to the best of their abilities join their hands, become each other’s supporters, and share their resources and energies in an organized fashion.
3. To continue the process of religious learning, spiritual growth, and mutual support while becoming increasingly better organized. This is achieved by following a voluntarily adopted discipline of “listening and obeying” within the bounds of the Shari’ah.
4. To cultivate constant self-transformation as well as religious and moral improvement under the guidance and direction of qualified teachers and mentors, in order to become increasingly sincere servants and worshipers of Allah (SWT). This is partly achieved through an emphasis on following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), cleansing our souls, improving our etiquettes and morals, and practicing patience and perseverance in the face of difficulties and temptations.
5. To continuously develop the knowledge of and insight into the meanings of the Glorious Qur’an, in order to acquire the ability to disseminate and propagate its message in an authentic and effective fashion given the realities of our context. To achieve this, the pursuit of both religious and secular education is encouraged at all levels of learning, including Arabic language skills and a regular schedule of recitation and contemplation.
6. To invest time and energy in calling people towards Islam in the best possible manner, using all available and legitimate means of communication, propagation, and persuasion. This goal is facilitated by the prior and simultaneous achievement of community, mutual support, solidarity, discipline, moral training, and education.
7. Insofar as social justice is an integral part of Islam, IONA is committed to serve as a vehicle for the eradication of corruption (fasad) and the establishment of justice in the world. An important goal of IONA, therefore, is to identify and oppose any systematic practice of injustice, oppression, and exploitation, initially through speech and persuasion but also, if needed, through nonviolent acts of moral protest and resistance. As the level of personal and organizational discipline increases, it is hoped that the organization's ability to “command what is good and forbid what is evil” will be proportionally enhanced to include increasingly bigger aims in this regard.
The above is a brief overview of the long-term goals that IONA has set for itself. As these goals are put into practice, in accordance with the unique configuration of given opportunities and restrictions, resources and organization, discipline and training, they are naturally translated into a wide variety of short-term goals. These short-term goals are then broken down into strategies, tactics, and logistics.