The Muslim Brotherhood, “Toward the Light” (1936)
After having studied the ideals which ought to inspire a renascent nation on the spiritual level, we wish to offer, in conclusion, some practical suggestions. We will list here only the chapter headings because we know very well that each suggestion will require profound study as well as the special attention of experts; we know also that the needs of the nation are enormous; we do not believe that the fulfilling of the needs and the aspirations of the country will be an easy thing; what is mote, we do not think that these goals can be reached in one journey or two. We realize the obstacles which these problems must overcome. The task will require a great deal of patience, a great deal of ability, and a willing tenacity.
But one thing is certain: resolve will lead to success. A dedicated nation, working to accomplish the right, will certainly reach, with God’s help, the goals toward which it strives.
The following are the chapter headings for a reform based upon the true spirit of Islam:
1st. To prohibit political parties and to direct the forces of the nation toward the formation of a united front;
2nd. To reform the law in such a way that it will be entirely in accordance with Islamic legal practice;
3rd. To build up the army, to increase the number of youth groups; to instill in youth the spirit of holy struggle, faith, and self-sacrifice;
4th. To strengthen the ties among Islamic countries and more particularly among Arab countries which is a necessary step toward serious examination of the question of the defunct Caliphate;
5th. To propagate an Islamic spirit with in the civil
administration so that all officials will understand the need for applying the
teachings of Islam;
6th. To supervise the personal conduct of officials because the private life and the administrative life of these officials forms an indivisible whole;
7th. To advance the hours of work in summer and in winter so that the accomplishment of religious obligations will be eased and to prevent all useless staying up late at night;
8th. To condemn corruption and influence peddling; to reward only competence and merit;
9th. Government will act in conformity to the law and to Islamic principles; the carrying out of ceremonies, receptions, and official meetings, as well as the administration of prisons and hospitals should not be contrary to Islamic teachings. The scheduling of government services ought to take account of the hours set aside for prayer.
10th. To train and to use Azharis, that is to say, the graduates of
II. In the fields of social and everyday practical life:
1st. The people should respect public mores: this ought to be the object of special attention — to strongly condemn attacks upon public mores and morality;
2nd. To find a solution for the problems of women, a solution that will allow her to progress and which will protect her while conforming to Islamic principles. This very important social question should not be ignored because it has become the subject of polemics and of more or less unsupported and exaggerated opinion;
3rd. To root out clandestine or public
prostitution and to consider fomkation as a reprehensible crime the authors of which should be punished;
4th. To prohibit all games of chance (gaming, lotteries, races, golf);
5th. To stop the use of alcohol and intoxicants — these obliterate the painfal consequences of people’s evil deeds;
6th. To . . . educate women, to provide quality education for female teachers, school pupils, students, and doctors;
7th. To prepare instructional programs for girls; to develop an educational program for girls different than the one for boys;
8th. Male students should not be mixed with female students — any relationship between unmarried men and women is considered to be wrong until it is approved;
9th. To encourage marriage and procreation — to develop legislation to safeguard the family and to solve marriage problems;
10th. To close dance halls; to forbid dancing;
11th. To censor theater productions and films; to be severe in approving films;
12th. To supervise and approve music;
13th. To approve programs, songs, and subjects before they are released, to use radio to encourage national education;
14th. To confiscate malicious articles and books as well as magazines displaying a grotesque character or spreading frivolity;
15th. To carefully organize vacation centers;
16th. To change the hours when public cafes are opened or closed, to watch the activities of those who habituate them — to direct these people towards wholesome pursuits, to prevent people from spending too much time in these cafes;
17th. To use the cafes as centers to teach reading and writing to illiterates, to seek help in this task from primary school teachers and students;
18th. To combat the bad practices which are prejudicial to the economy and to the morale of the nation, to direct the people toward good customs and praiseworthy projects such as marriage, orphanages, births, and festivals.
19th. To bring to trial those who break the laws of Islam, who do not fast, who do not pray, and who insult religion;
20th. To transfer village primary schools to the mosque....
21st. Religious teaching should constitute the essential subject matter to be taught in all educational establishments and faculties;
22nd. To memorize the Quran in state schools — this condition will be essential in order to obtain diplomas with a religious or philosophical specialty — in every school students should learn part of the Quran;
23rd. To develop a policy designed to raise the level of teaching.
24th. Interested support for reaching the Arabic language in all grades — absolute priority to be given to Arabic over foreign languages;
25th. To study the history of Islam, the nation, and Muslim civilization;
26th. To study the best way to allow people to dress . . . in an identical manner;
27th. To combat foreign customs (in the realm of vocabulary, customs, dress, nursing) and to Egyptianize all of these (one finds these customs among the well-to-do members of society);
28th. To orient journalism to-ward wholesome things, to encourage writers and authors, who should study specifically Muslim and Oriental subjects;
29th. To safeguard public health through every kind of publicity — increasing the number of hospitals, doctors, and out-patient clinics;
30th. To call particular attention to the problems of village life (administration, hygiene, water supply, education, recreation, morality).
III. The economic field:
1st. Organization of the zakat tax according to Islamic precepts, using zakat proceeds for welfare projects such as aiding the indigent, the poor, orphans; the zakat should also be used to strengthen the army;
2nd. To prevent the practice of usury, to direct banks to implement this policy; the government should provide an example by giving up the interest fixed by banks for servicing a person al loan or an industrial loan, etc.;
3rd. To facilitate and to increase the number of economic enterprises and to employ the jobless, to employ for the nation’s benefit the skills possessed by the foreigners in these enterprises;
4th. To protect workers against monopoly companies, to require these companies to obey the law, the public should share in all profits;
5th. Aid for low-ranking employees and enlargement of their pay, lowering the income of high-ranking employees;
7th. To encourage agricultural and industrial works, to improve the situation of the peasants and industrial workers;
8th. To give special attention to the technical and social needs of the workers, to raise their level of life and aid their class;
9th. Utilization of certain natural resources (unworked land, neglected mines, etc.). . . .