Toward a sound awakening
(Renovating religion and promoting life)

by Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Table of Content:

Chapter 1: The correction of concepts
The renovation of religion in light of the Prophet's tradition
A Muslim is required to work always for both his religious and worldly matters
Discussion and Preponderance
When does renovation take place?
Whom is the renovation for?
What is the renovated religion?
The Meaning of Renovation
Innovation of faith
The importance of faith in our life
Our need for a faith-based education
Innovative Research and Renovation - In the midst of legislative orders and modern necessities
Islam and Evolution - Is evolution becoming Islamic or is Islam evolving
The status of man in Islam
Chapter 2: A Dialogue on Some Intelectual Issues Concerning the Alien Trends
The need for a normative standard
The nationalist call in the view of Islam
Chapter 3: Between the Reasons of Hope and the Factors of Despair
Returning to Islam, between the hopeful and the despaired
This Nation Will Not Die
Chapter 4: What is itr We Need
An Omar's wish or Our need for leaders
The force which is never defeated
Are we true believers ?
The Only Path
Islam: a call to knowledge and progress
Combat illiteracy


One of the distinct features of the current reality of the Muslim Ummah is the dynamic resurgence that it is experiencing, today, after crossing the dark eras of stagnation and loss, in which it was prey to the overriding forces of covetousness. Not only did these forces seek to blot out the Ummah's identity, but they also strove to undermine its faith and sow the seeds of despair in the hearts of Muslims, insidiously propagating the idea that modern life was in diametric contradiction to faith, and that to think about their conciliation was pure wishful thinking. An array of misconceptions were thus concocted and widely circulated through the cultural institutions of these evil forces. To this end, a powerful arsenal of means was harnessed, so much so that they virtually succeeded in turning fallacy into taken-for-granted fact, aided in this by the lack of an objective awareness about the Islamic truths and the failure to publicize the Islamic teachings.

Worse still, even certain Muslims were not far from being deceived by the stratagem, in their very homes. Hence the sporadic emergence, now and then, of ideas fabricated by a bunch of people belonging to certain research institutions and centers within the Muslim countries, pinpointing the essence of faith and instilling the delusion that it is religion, not ignorance of religion, which is to blame for the rampant impotence, dependence and blindness that caused the backwardness and weakness of the Ummah.

Amidst these vicissitudes, there emerged on the scene of Islamic cultural and intellectual action a group of eminent scholars, who set to enrich the Islamic thought with their vast knowledge, supplementing it with their judicious thinking and objective awareness of the challenges facing the Ummah in the multifarious areas of intellectual production and development. The praiseworthy contributions of these prominent figures take root in the efforts exerted by scholars and thinkers since the 7th century of the Hegira, who have devoted themselves to safeguarding religion against misconceptions, sparing no effort to consolidate the bond uniting Muslims with their religion on the basis of an enlightened assimilation of the Islamic principles and values, shunning excesses and extravagance. Their contributions had an indubitable impact on the movement of resurgence, the groundwork of which was laid by a group of scholars and thinkers renowned for their diligent endeavour to correct the deep-seated fallacies coined about Islam, renovate the Muslims' understanding of their religion and strengthen the relevance of religion to society, indeed to all walks of life.

Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qardawi, Director of the Center of Researches on the Sunnah and the Sirah, University of Qatar, represents one of the milestones of this straight path. Since the 1950's, he has embarked with an elite of established scholars, well versed in the Islamic culture and fiqh, on the noble enterprise of devising an Islamic method characterized by an integrated perception of religion and life, a staunch commitment to the immutable principles, and a vast, profound grasping of the objectives of legislation and its applications to the contemporary reality. The aim was to rekindle the spark of religion in the self by going back to the pure sources, and shed light on the flexibility, tolerance and ability of Islam to assimilate developments, in all times, as it enshrines the divine message sent down to all mankind.

Dr. Al-Qardawi underlines that the problem facing the Muslim society has no bearing whatsoever to Islam. Rather, it is ascribed to a misunderstanding of Islam either by design or ignorance. This truth is portrayed by the author through the various chapters of the book, which have taken a long time to elaborate, and are published under the comprehensive title of (Towards a Sound Awakening: Renovating Religion and Promoting Life). This is a sizable contribution, added to the already towering edifice built up by the author, consisting of over fifty publications that all concur to achieve the same end.

Given its foremost responsibility which consists in evolving a sound thinking likely to serve as the fulcrum of the Ummah's progress, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization takes pleasure in presenting to the reader this book, in English, hoping it will contribute to expounding the Islamic stance vis-a-vis the issues preoccupying the Muslim, today, on the forefront of which is the relation between religion and worldly life. The book provides an occasion to contemplate the solutions offered by Islam to the problems in which positive ideology has erred a long way notwithstanding the abundant, influential means of dissemination it wields.

May the Almighty help us disseminate the truth and expound His religion. May He lead us to the straight path.

Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri
Director General of ISESCO