According to the laws of learning the path from the existing condition toward the desired goal condition must take place through a successive series of small rewarding steps. This is called the shaping process. If any step along that path is too large or not sufficiently rewarding then the progress toward the goal will come to a halt, and perhaps even move further away from the desired goal.
As we view our present ‘existing condition’ it is a world with far too much that is wrong and far too little that is right. Our ‘desired goal condition’ is a world consistent with the Will of Allah, which will ultimately have no things that are wrong and all things that are right. It is important that we do not despair that our desired goal condition may presently seem so impossibly far from our existing condition. The laws of learning, to the degree we have so far correctly understood them, have been designed by Allah to provide us with a powerful tool of social change by which we can successfully achieve that seemingly impossible goal, a fully and truly Islamic world.
As we work toward the fulfillment of that most sacred goal we must be sure that we never attempt a step along the path that is too large – or we will fail. Also we must never attempt a step that is not sufficiently rewarding – or we will fail. If we never attempt a step that is too large or a step that is not sufficiently rewarding then we can not fail. To reach our goal of a world consistent with the Will of Allah will require, particularly in the early steps along the path, a great deal of patience and tolerance. The concerns of Muslims and non-Muslims alike must be given very high priority. Conditions must be carefully prepared so that by the time any step along the path to our desired goal is attempted, everyone who will be affected by that new step will be happy to make that step. This is the ultimate expression of the obligation upon all Muslims to ensure that there be no compulsion in the acceptance of the Islamic way of life