50 Point Manifesto (Hassan al-Banna)
The 50 point Manifesto was written in 1936 by Hassan al-Banna, the Sufi founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. His interpretation of Islam and his vision of its application is still held by the Muslim Brotherhood, and is shared by countless others, including the Muslim Association of Canada and the Muslim apologist Tariq Ramadan.
Text of Manifesto
A. Political, judicial and administrative sectors
- An end to party rivalry, and a channelling of the political forces of the nation into a common front and a single phalanx.
- A reform of the law, so that it will conform to Islamic legislation in every branch.
- A strengthening of the armed forces, and an increase in the number of youth groups; the inspiration of the latter with zeal on the bases of Islamic jihad.
- A strengthening of the bonds between all Islamic countries, especially the Arab countries, to pave the way for practical and serious consideration of the matter of the departed Caliphate.
- The diffusion of the Islamic spirit throughout all departments of the government, so that all its employees will feel responsible for adhering to Islamic teachings.
- The surveillance of the personal conduct of all its employees, and an end to the dichotomy between the private and professional spheres.
- Setting the hours of work in summer and winter ahead, so that it will be easy to fulfill religious duties, and so that keeping late hours will come to an end.
- An end to bribery and favoritism, with consideration to be given only to capability and legitimate reasons [for advancement].
- Weighing all acts of the government acts in the scales of Islamic wisdom and doctrines; the organization of all celebrations, receptions, official conferences, prisons and hospitals so as not to be incompatible with Islamic teaching; the arranging of work-schedules so that they will not conflict with hours of prayer.
- The employment of graduates of Al-Azhar in military and administrative positions, and their training.
B. Social and educational sectors
- Conditioning the people to respect public morality, and the issuance of directives fortified by the aegis of the law on this subject; the imposition of severe penalties for moral offences.
- Treatment of the problem of women in a way which combines the progressive and the protective, in accordance with Islamic teachings, so that this problem - one of the most important social problems - will not be abandoned to the biased pens and deviant notions of those who err in the directions of deficiency or excess.
- An end to prostitution, both clandestine and overt: the recognition of fornication, whatever the circumstances, as a detestable crime whose perpetrator must be flogged.
- An end to gambling in all its forms - games, lotteries, racing, and gambling-clubs.
- A campaign against drinking, as there is one against drugs: its prohibition, and the salvation of the nation from its effects.
- A campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior; the instruction of women in what is proper, with particular strictness as regards female instructors, pupils, physicians, and students, and all those in similar categories.
- A review of the curricula offered to girls and the necessity of making them distinct from the boys' curricula in many of the stages of education.
- Segregation of male and female students; private meetings between men and women, unless between the permitted degrees [of relationship] to be counted as a crime for which both will be censored.
- The encouragement of marriage and procreation, by all possible means; promulgation of legislation to protect and give moral support to the family, and to solve the problems of marriage.
- The closure of morally undesirable ballrooms and dance halls, and the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes.
- The surveillance of theatres and cinemas, and a rigorous selection of plays and films.
- The expurgation of songs, and a rigorous selection and censorship of them.
- The careful selection of lectures, songs, and subjects to be broadcast to the nation; the use of radio broadcasting for the education of the nation in a virtuous and moral way.
- The confiscation of provocative stories and books that implant the seeds of skepticism in an insidious manner, and newspapers which strive to disseminate immorality and capitalize indecently on lustful desires.
- The supervision of summer vacation areas so as to do away with the wholesale confusion and licence that nullify the basic aims of vacationing.
- The regulation of business hours for cafés; surveillance of the activities of their regular clients; instructing these as to what is in their best interest; withdrawal of permission from cafés to keep such long hours.
- The utilization of these cafés for teaching illiterates reading and writing; toward this end, the assistance of rising generation of elementary school teachers and students.
- A campaign against harmful customs, whether economic, moral, or anything else; turning the masses away from these and orienting them in the direction of ways beneficial to them, or educating them in a way consonant with their best interests. These involve such customs as those to do with weddings, funerals, births, the zar (a ceremonial of exorcism), civil and religious holidays, etc. Let the government set a good example in this respect.
- Due consideration for the claims of the moral censorship, and punishment of all who are proved to have infringed any Islamic doctrine or attacked it, such as breaking the fast of Ramadan, wilful neglect of prayers, insulting the faith, or any such act.
- The annexation of the elementary village schools to the mosques, and a thoroughgoing reform of both, as regards employees, cleanliness, and overall custodial care, so that the young may be trained in prayer and the older students in learning.
- The designation of religious instruction as a basic subject in all schools, in each according to its type, as well as in the universities.
- Active instigation to memorize the Qur'an in all the free elementary schools; making this memorization mandatory for obtaining diplomas in the areas of religion and (Arabic) language; the stipulation that a portion of it be memorized in every school.
- The promulgation of a firm educational policy which will advance and raise the level of education, and will supply it, in all its varieties, with common goals and purposes; which will bring the different cultures represented in the nation closer together, and will make the first stage of its process one dedicated to inculcating a virtuous, patriotic spirit and an unwavering moral code.
- The cultivation of the Arabic language at every stage of instruction; the use of Arabic alone, as opposed to any foreign language, in the primary stages.
- The cultivation of Islamic history, and of the national history and national culture, and the history of Islamic civilization.
- Consideration of ways to arrive gradually at a uniform mode of dress for the nation.
- An end to the foreign spirit in our homes with regard to language, manners, dress, governesses, nurses, etc; all these to be Egyptianized, especially in upper class homes.
- To give journalism a proper orientation, and to encourage authors and writers to undertake Islamic, Eastern subjects.
- Attention to be given to matters of public health by disseminating health information through all media; increasing the numbers of hospitals, physicians, and mobile clinics; facilitating the means of obtaining medical treatment.
- Attention to be given to village problems, as regards their organization, their cleanliness, the purification of their water supply, and the means to provide them with culture, recreation, and training.
C. Economic sector
- The organization of zakat (charity) in terms of income and expenditure, according to the teachings of the magnanimous Sacred Law; invoking its assistance in carrying out necessary benevolent projects, such as homes for the aged, the poor, and orphans, and strengthening the armed forces.
- The prohibition of usury, and the organization of banks with this end in view. Let the government provide a good example in this domain by relinquishing all interest due on its own particular undertakings, for instance in the loan-granting banks, industrial loans, etc.
- The encouragement of economic projects and an increase in their number; giving work to unemployed citizens in them; the transfer of such of these as are in the hands of foreigners to the purely national sector.
- The protection of the masses from the oppression of monopolistic companies, keeping these within strict limits, and obtaining every possible benefit for the masses.
- An improvement in the lot of junior civil servants by raising their salaries, by granting them steady increases and compensations, and by lowering the salaries of senior civil servants.
- A reduction in the number of government posts, retaining only the indispensable ones; an equitable and scrupulous distribution of the work among civil servants.
- The encouragement of agricultural and industrial counselling; attention to be paid to raising the production level of the peasant and industrial worker.
- A concern for the technical and social problems of the worker; raising his standard of living in numerous respects.
- The exploitation of natural resources, such as uncultivated land, neglected mines, etc.
- Priority over luxury items to be given to necessary projects in terms of organization and execution.
Summary of Manifesto
From a reading of all the points of this manifesto (particularly points A. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, B. 2, 14, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 28, and C. 1, 2), we gather the following aims:
- To unite all Muslims under one single Ummah with a uniform Shari'ah Law. This will unite all Muslims into the envisioned world Caliphate.
- To encourage and strengthen the Jihadist zeal in Islam into a formidable fighting force.
- To control all government institutions to observe Islamic principles throughout and to eliminate corruption.
- To strictly control Islamic education to abide with Islamic objectives.
- To ensure that the public are subject to the strict control of Shari'ah Laws, including those governing dress.
- To ensure that the media and the press conform to Islamic codes of conduct.
- To ensure that Islamic charity is observed in accordance with the Qur'an.
- To prohibit Usury (monetary loans charging interest).
- "About the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)", MACnet.ca (archived), http://web.archive.org/web/20121113030033/http://www.macnet.ca/about-mac.php.
- Alain Gresh and Tariq Ramadan, L'Islam en questions, Sindbab, 2002, pp. 33-34
- Based on Charles Wendell's translation of Hassan al-Banna's book, "Five Tracts." (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1978).