You can acknowledge the practicalities of the real world and still aspire to an ideal. What I will never understand are those who focus on practicality but also denounce the ideal and castigate the idealists.
Case in point: Those Muslims who emphasize khilafah. For some reason, these Muslims have become the punchline and the target of ridicule by supposedly traditional Muslims. Why? Is not the khilafah the ideal we should all, as Muslims, aspire to?
Of course it is. Sure, there might be difference of opinion on what to emphasize and when to emphasize it. Other aspects of Islam may be seen as a more practical issue to focus on in a given context than khilafah. But does that practicality necessitate mocking those who put their efforts on the khilafah and bringing about the ideal of the khilafah? Is it necessary to resort to name calling and smearing these brothers and sisters as idiots?
Idealism is something we need in the Ummah. We don’t need to all be idealists but the fact that some of us are idealists is critical for keeping a balance. The idealists keep the pragmatists in check and vice versa. Whether we are pragmatists or idealists, though, we should all remember right and wrong and that the most just society, the most righteous society is one where the Word of Allah is above all. No matter how bad the situation of society and the difficulties facing Muslims, this truth, this dream should never be erased from our hearts and tongues.