Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood once said, “Let us cooperate in those things on which we can agree and be lenient in those on which we cannot.” His mission aimed to defeat Muslim friction, and petty infighting.
Hassan al-Banna’s revised approach viewed outreach, not dhikr (devotion), as the impetus for collective Islamic renewal. Although he remained steadfast in the spiritual benefits of Sufism, his new track of devotion and adhesion to the cause of Islamic unity, or brotherhood, would rise in the form of jihad.
The vehicle that would carry the banner of Islamic unity would be driven by mystical, spiritual warriors who successfully blended inner spiritual devotion, dhikr, with the exerted efforts of jihad. This hybrid approach rested on a jihadi platform, but was directed by Sufi thought. Once linked directly to Sufism, Hassan al-Banna gradually grew consciously aware of the divisions, and rifts it caused within the umma (community).
Hassan al-Banna’s relentless interest in Sufism was honest and transparent. Although Sufism underlined a type of apathetic, hands off approach to temporal concerns, it did deliver al-Banna the revelation that the Egyptian plight needed. Sufism also gave the original Muslim Brotherhood certain socio-political and economic parameters for Islamic renewal.
Hassan al-Banna’s first goal in reviving Islam was to amend his Sufi identity. Motivating the Muslim community in Egypt would be executed by decreasing the numerous movements that Islam already held. According to al-Banna the Muslim Brotherhood belonged to no sect or school, and was not exclusively Sufi. The meticulous efforts launched by the Muslim Brotherhood would shift power structures and identities in Egypt and the Middle East; people’s realities began to shift in front of their eyes.