Al-Isra (The Night Jorney)
Chapter 17: Verse 80 (partial)
"and give me a sultan (i.e. power, authority, government) for my help ..."
It is a reality of our world that power only respects power. For transforming society and the world according to Islamic ideals, great power needs to be acquired and mobilised. This is why the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, prayed and worked for gaining power and authority as mentioned in this verse of the Quran.
Power is crucial for advancing positive values and changes in society and for checking corruption and evil. However, it is only a means and not an objective in itself. Power is for Islam, for implementing Islamic values and justice, for the betterment of humanity and not for any personal or national vested interests. Islam stresses that power should be accountable and accessible, and not become an instrument of manipulation, persecution, aggression and injustice.
Power takes many forms and is generally distributed unevenly through society. Besides faith in Allah, determination, cohesion and moral power, other sources of power that can be mobilised by a movement include: money, material resources, technology, sources of information, media and political platforms, as well as skills and specialised knowledge.
Islam instructs Muslims to seek means for strengthening themselves - they should endeavour to become strong in faith, strong spiritually and morally, strong socially, physically, intellectually, financially, and militarily. Although corrupt elements did their utmost to eliminate the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions and resisted reforms and changes in society, he was however alert to their plots and prepared his social movement well to meet their aggressions and hostilities.
"Building A New Society" - Zahid Parvez, pp. 203, 204