This article by Islamic thinker Jamāl al-Bannā discusses the meeting points of Christian Protestantism and the Islamic resurgence and the points on which they diverge. He aims to show how things go bad when a religious institution [the church or the Azhar] imposes control over belief, thought and politics. It obstructs progress, he says.
Al-Bannā said Protestantism dealt with the Holy Bible as the only source for the Protestant belief and rejected traditionalism and church control. It canceled the priesthood because it saw that priests had the upper hand in the church. Protestantism said the interpretation of the Holy Bible was not the exclusive right of the clergy. It also rejected monasticism.
Protestantism was a reform call that put an end to church hegemony and indulgence.
Al-Bannā believes that the call for a resurgent Islam has been active for some years and has managed to co-opt new da‘wah personalities and followers who, though few in number, are influential. The Islamic resurgence trend does not much care about how many supporters it gains. What is more important is to disclose the truth as fully as possible and as clearly as possible in a way that many might not like.
Islam does not give the religious institution and its leaders the same amount of power and control given to a Lutheran church. In Islam, the religious institution was born as a result of the Islamic empire’s expansion and for need of special specialties.
The flaw appeared when Muslim scholars, who specialized in studying Islam more deeply to devise its rules and laws, monopolized the interpretation of the religion, relied only on salafi ideologies and rejected any ijitihād; something had hindered progress.
Out of the womb of such a state the call for an Islamic resurgence was born. It advocates that the Holy Qur’ān should be dealt with as it is, the Sunnah remain under its control and ijitihād be left permissible.
Islamic resurgence also advocates extra focus on the importance of work and development as the way to economic prosperity. Al-Bannā said Lutheranism and the Islamic revival meet on these particular points. He adds that Luther was influenced by Islam, not the opposite.