Inner change (Tazkiya) and Activism:
That Allah never changes the condition of a people unless they change what is in themselves [13:28] enjoins on us, not just some external reform fixated on a few manifestations of outward piety and morality, but instead an inward transformation – a realignment of the soul – which reflects genuine piety and purity of the heart.
Regrettably, some see in this a call to quietism, while in reality it is a position of empowerment.
For as we work on our inner world, keeping a keen eye upon the obligations and responsibilities we have in the outer world, we will begin to see the promise of Allah come to fruition in the human saga: “If the people of the cities had but believed and shown piety, We would surely have opened for them blessings from the heaven and from the earth.” [7:96]
To think that we should put all or most of our eggs in the basket of political activism, letting spiritual activism play second fiddle, isn’t just religiously naive; it continues to invite humiliation upon this blessed, yet fragile ummah too.