Sayyid Qutb: Wikis


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Sayyid Qutb behind bars in an Egyptian prison.

Sayyid Qutb (Arabic pronunciation: [ˈsajjɪd ˈqʊtˁb]) (also Said, Syed, Seyyid, Sayid, or Sayed; Koteb, Qutub, Kotb, or Kutb) (Arabic: سيد قطب‎; October 9, 1906[1] – August 29, 1966) was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamist, poet, and the leading intellectual of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s.

Author of 24 books, including novels, literary arts’ critique, works on education, he is best known in the Muslim world for his work on what he believed to be the social and political role of Islam, particularly in his books Social Justice and Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones). His magnum opus, Fi Zilal al-Qur'an (In the shade of the Qur'an), is a thirty-volume commentary on the Qur'an that has contributed significantly to modern perceptions of subjects such as jihad and ummah.[citation needed]

Even though most of his observations and criticism were leveled at the Muslim world, Qutb is also known for his intense disapproval of the society and culture of the United States[2][3] which he saw as obsessed with materialism and violence, "animalistic desires," and "awful sins."[4] Views on Qutb vary widely. He has been described by supporters as a great artist and martyr for Islam,[5][6] but by many western observers as one who shaped the ideas of Islamists[7] and particularly of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda[8][9][10][11] Today, his jihadist supporters are often identified as Qutbists[12] or "Qutbee", though they do not use the term to describe themselves.


Life and public career

Qutb was raised in the Egyptian village of Musha and studied the Qur'an from a young age. He moved to Cairo, where he could receive an education based on the British style of schooling, between 1929 and 1933, before starting his career as a teacher in the Ministry of Public Instruction. During his early career, Qutb devoted himself to literature as an author and critic, writing such novels as Ashwak (Thorns) and even helped to elevate Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz from obscurity. In 1939, he became a functionary in Egypt's Ministry of Education (wizarat al-ma'arif ).

From 1948 to 1950, he went to the United States on a scholarship to study its educational system, studying for several months at Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, Colorado. Qutb's first major theoretical work of religious social criticism, Al-'adala al-Ijtima'iyya fi-l-Islam (Social Justice in Islam), was published in 1949, during his time in the West.

Though Islam gave him much peace and contentment,[13] he suffered from respiratory and other health problems throughout his life and was known for "his introvertedness, isolation, depression and concern." In appearance, he was "pale with sleepy eyes."[14] Qutb never married, in part because of his steadfast religious convictions. While the urban Egyptian society he lived in was becoming more Westernized, Qutb believed the Quran taught women that `Men are the managers of women's affairs ...' [15] Qutb lamented to his readers that he was never able to find a woman of sufficient "moral purity and discretion" and had to reconcile himself to bachelorhood.[16]


Visit to America

This turning point resulted from Qutb's visit to the United States for higher studies in educational administration. Over a two-year period, he worked in several different institutions including what was then-Wilson Teachers' College in Washington, D.C. and Colorado State College for Education in Greeley, as well as Stanford University[17]. He also traveled extensively, visiting the major cities of the United States and spent time in Europe on the return journey to Egypt.

On his return to Egypt, Qutb published an article entitled "The America that I Have Seen." He was critical of many things he had observed in the United States: its materialism, individual freedoms, economic system, racism, brutal boxing matches, "poor" haircuts,[3] superficiality in conversations and friendships,[18] restrictions on divorce, enthusiasm for sports, lack of artistic feeling,[18] "animal-like" mixing of the sexes (which went on even in churches),[19] and lack of support for the Palestinian struggle.[20] He noted with disapproval the sexuality of American women:

the American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs — and she shows all this and does not hide it. [3]

And American taste in music:

“Jazz” music is [the American's] music of choice. This is that music that the Negroes invented to satisfy their primitive inclinations, as well as their desire to be noisy ...[18]

One of the most popular of his books, Social Justice in Islam (1948), also reflects his critical attitude to the West.

Return to Egypt

Qutb concluded that major aspects of American life were primitive and "shocking", a people who were "numb to faith in religion, faith in art, and faith in spiritual values altogether". His experience in the U.S. is believed to have formed in part the impetus for his rejection of Western values and his move towards radicalism upon returning to Egypt. Resigning from the civil service, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1950s[21] and became editor-in-chief of the Brothers' weekly Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin, and later head of its propaganda [22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] section, as well as an appointed member of the working committee and of its guidance council, the highest branch in the organization.[32]

In July 1952, Egypt's pro-Western government was overthrown by the nationalist Free Officers Movement headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Both Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood welcomed the coup against the monarchist government — which they saw as un-Islamic and subservient to British imperialism — and enjoyed a close relationship with the movement prior to and immediately following the coup. Many members of the Brotherhood expected Nasser to establish an Islamic government. However, the cooperation between the Brotherhood and Free Officers which marked the revolution's success soon soured as it became clear the secular nationalist ideology of Nasserism was incompatible with the Islamism of the Brotherhood. Nasser's regime refused to ban alcohol, or to implement other aspects of Islamic law.

After the attempted assassination of Nasser in 1954, the Egyptian government used the incident to justify a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, imprisoning Qutb and many others for their vocal opposition to various government policies. During his first three years in prison, conditions were bad and Qutb was tortured. In later years he was allowed more mobility, including the opportunity to write.[33]

This period saw the composition of his two most important works: a commentary of the Qur'an Fi Zilal al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Qur'an), and a manifesto of political Islam called Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones). These works represent the final form of Qutb's thought, encompassing his radically anti-secular and anti-Western claims based on his interpretations of; the Qur'an, Islamic history, and the social and political problems of Egypt. The school of thought he inspired has become known as Qutbism.

Qutb was let out of prison at the end of 1964 at the behest of the then Prime Minister of Iraq, Abdul Salam Arif, for only 8 months before being rearrested in August 1965. He was accused of plotting to overthrow the state and subjected to what some consider a show trial.[34] Many of the charges placed against Qutb in court were taken directly from Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq and he adamantly supported his written statements. The trial culminated in a death sentence for Qutb and six other members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was sentenced to death as the leader of a group planning to assassinate the President and other Egyptian officials and personalities, though he was not the instigator or leader of the actual plot.[35] On 29 August 1966, he was executed by hanging.

Evolution of thought

Different theories have been advanced as to why Qutb, turned from secular reformism in the 1930s to Islamic extremist in the 1950s and 1960s. One common explanation is that the conditions he witnessed in prison from 1954-1964, including the torture and murder of Muslim Brothers, convinced him that only a government bound by Islamic law could prevent such abuses. Another is that Qutb's experiences in America as a darker skinned person and the insufficiently anti-Western policies of Nasser demonstrated to him the powerful and dangerous allure of jahiliyyah — a threat unimaginable, in Qutb's estimation, to the secular mind. However, there are indications his feelings about the West had developed before he ever set foot in America. On his boat trip to America in 1948 he wrote:

Should I travel to America, and become flimsy, and ordinary, ... Is there other than Islam that I should be steadfast to in its character and hold on to its instructions, in this life amidst deviant chaos, and the endless means of satisfying animalistic desires, pleasures, and awful sins? [4]

Finally, Qutb offered his own explanation in Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq, arguing that anything non-Islamic was evil and corrupt, while following Sharia as a complete system extending into all aspects of life, would bring every kind of benefit to humanity, from personal and social peace, to the "treasures" of the universe.[36]

In general, Qutb's experiences as an Egyptian Muslim—his village childhood, professional career, and activism in the Muslim Brotherhood—left an unmistakable mark on his theoretical and religious works. Even Qutb's early, secular writing shows evidence of his later themes. For example, Qutb's autobiography of his childhood Tifl min al-Qarya (A Child From the Village) makes little mention of Islam or political theory and is typically classified as a secular, literary work. However, it is replete with references to village mysticism, superstition, the Qur'an, and incidences of injustice. Qutb's later work developed along similar themes, dealing with Qur'anic exegesis, social justice, and political Islam.

Qutb's career as a writer also heavily influenced his philosophy. In al-Taswiir al-Fanni fil-Quran (Artistic Representation in the Qur'an), Qutb developed a literary appreciation of the Qur'an and a complementary methodology for interpreting the text. His hermaneutics were applied in his extensive commentary on the Qur'an, Fi zilal al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Quran), which served as the foundation for the declarations of Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq.

Late in his life, Qutb synthesized his personal experiences and intellectual development in the famous Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq, a religious and political manifesto for what he believed was a true Islamic system. It was also in this text that Qutb condemned Muslim governments, such as Abdul Nasser's regime in Egypt, as secular with their legitimacy based on human (and thus corrupt), rather than divine authority. This work, more than any other, established Qutb as one of, if not the premier Islamists of the 20th century.

Political philosophy

Whether he espoused dictatorship,[37] or later rule by Sharia law with essentially no government at all,[8] defensive jihad or later offensive jihad, Sayyid Qutb's mature political views always centered on Islam — Islam as a complete system of morality, justice and governance, whose Sharia laws and principles should be the sole basis of governance and everything else in life. In an earlier work,[38] Qutb described military jihad as defensive, Islam's campaign to protect itself.[39]

On the issue of Islamic governance, Qutb differed with many modernist and reformist Muslims who claimed democracy was Islamic because the Quranic institution of Shura supported elections and democracy. Qutb pointed out that the Shura chapter of the Qur'an was revealed during the Mekkan period, and therefore, it does not deal with the problem of government. It makes no reference to elections and calls only for the ruler to consult some of the ruled, as a particular case of the general rule of Shura.[40]

Qutb argued (at that time) that a 'just dictatorship' would be more Islamic than a tyrannous one.[41] Qutb also opposed the then popular ideology of Arab nationalism, having become disillusioned with the 1952 Nasser Revolution and having been exposed to the regime's practices of arbitrary arrest, torture, and deadly violence during his imprisonment.

Jahiliyyah vs. freedom

This exposure to abuse of power undoubtedly contributed to the ideas in his famous prison-written Islamic manifesto Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones), where he advocated a political system the opposite of dictatorship — i.e. one with no government. There Qutb argued:

  • Jahiliyyah is the worship of some people by others; that is to say, some people become dominant and make laws for others, regardless of whether these laws are against God's injunctions and without caring for the use or misuse of their authority.
  • The Muslim world had ceased to be and reverted to pre-Islamic ignorance known as jahiliyyah, because of the lack of sharia law. Consequently all states of the Muslim world are not Islamic and thus illegitimate, including that of his native land Egypt.
  • Rather than support rule by a pious Muslim(s), (either a dictator(s) or democratically elected[42]), Muslims should resist any system where men are in "servitude to other men" — i.e. obey other men — as un-Islamic and a violation of God's sovereignty (Hakamiyya) over all of creation. A truly Islamic polity would have no rulers — not even have theocratic ones — since Muslims would need neither judges nor police to obey divine law. [43][44] It was what one observer has called "a kind of anarcho-Islam."[8]
  • The way to bring about this freedom was for a revolutionary vanguard [45] to fight jahiliyyah with a twofold approach: preaching, and abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system by "physical power and Jihad."
  • The vanguard movement would grow with preaching and jihad until it formed a truly Islamic community, then spread throughout the Islamic homeland and finally throughout the entire world, attaining leadership of humanity. While those who had been "defeated by the attacks of the treacherous Orientalists!" might define jihad "narrowly" as defensive, Islamically-correct Jihad (according to Qutb) was in fact offensive. [46]

Qutb emphasized this struggle would be anything but easy. True Islam would transform every aspect of society, eliminating everything non-Muslim.[47] True Muslims could look forward to lives of "poverty, difficulty, frustration, torment and sacrifice." Jahili ersatz-Muslims, Jews and Westerners would all fight and conspire against Islam and the elimination of jahiliyyah.

Among these enemies Qutb was particularly enraged by Jews, whom he saw as a great menace to Islam despite their small numbers. Qutb repeatedly talked of "the wicked opposition of the Jews to Islam," their "conspiracies" and "scheming against Islam" over the centuries.[48] Qutbism#Jews


Though greatly admired by many,[49][50] Qutb also has critics. Following the publication of Milestones and the aborted plot against the Nasser government, mainstream Muslims took issue with Qutb's contention that "physical power" and jihad had to be used to overthrow governments, and attack societies, "institutions and traditions" of the Muslim — but according to Qutb jahili — world.[51] The ulema of Al-Azhar University school took the unusual step following his death of putting Sayyid Qutb on their index of heresy, declaring him a "deviant" (munharif). [52]

Reformist Muslims, on the other hand, questioned his understanding of sharia, i.e. that it is not only perfect and complete, but completely accessible to mortals and thus the solution to any of their problems.[53][54] Also criticized is his dismissal of not only all non-Muslim culture, but many centuries of Muslim learning, culture and beauty following the first four caliphs as un-Islamic and thus worthless.[55]

Conservative/puritan criticism went further, condemning Qutb's Islamist/reformist ideas — such as social justice and redistributive economics,[56][57][58] banning of slavery, — as "western" and bid'ah or innovative (innovations to Islam being forbidden ipso facto). They have accused Qutb of amateur scholarship, overuse of ijtihad, innovation in Ijma (which Qutb felt should not be limited to scholars, but should be conducted by all Muslims[59]), declaring unlawful what Allah has made lawful,[60][61] assorted mistakes in aqeedah (belief) and manhaj (methodology)[62], and of lack of respect for Islamic traditions, for prophets and for early Muslims. Supporters have also defended him from at least some of these and other charges.[63][64]

And finally, following the 9/11 attacks, Westerners looking for who and what may have inspired Al-Qaeda discovered Qutb and found many of his ideas not too Western, but too anti-Western.[65] Complaints here include that contrary to what Qutb preaches, neither the Jews nor the West are conspiring against Islam; that the West is neither "evil and corrupt" nor a "rubbish heap;" that an offensive jihad to establish Islamic rule (or "the sovereignty of God and His Lordship") "throughout the world," would be aggression, not liberation; and finally that Qutb's call for the destruction of jahili Muslim governments may have roused terrorist jihadis to attack Western countries, thinking that Western support for these "jahili" governments stands in the way of their elimination.[66][67][68]


Alongside notable Islamists like Maulana Mawdudi, Hasan al-Banna, and Ruhollah Khomeini, Qutb is considered one of the most influential Muslim thinkers or activists of the modern era, not only for his ideas but for what many consider his heroic martyr's death.[34][69]

His written works are still widely available and have been translated into many Western languages. Qutb's best known work is Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones), but the majority of Qutb's theory can be found in his Qur'anic commentary Fi zilal al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Quran). This 30-volume work is noteworthy for its innovative method of interpretation, borrowing heavily from the literary analysis of Amin al-Khuli, while retaining some structural features of classical commentaries (for example, the practice of progressing from the first sura to the last).[citation needed]

The influence of his work extends to issues such as Westernization, modernization, and political reform and the theory of inevitable ideological conflict between "Islam and the West" (see Clash of civilizations), the notion of a transnational umma, and the comprehensive application of jihad.[citation needed]

Qutb's theoretical work on Islamic advocacy, social justice and education, has left a significant mark on the Muslim Brotherhood (at least outside of Egypt).

Al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad

Qutb had influence on Islamic insurgent/terror groups in Egypt [51] and elsewhere. His influence on Al Qaeda was felt through his writing, his followers and especially through his brother, Muhammad Qutb, who moved to Saudi Arabia following his release from prison in Egypt and became a professor of Islamic Studies and edited, published and promoted his brother Sayyid's work.[70][71]

One of Muhammad Qutb's students and later an ardent follower was Ayman Zawahiri, who went on to become a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad [72] and later a mentor of Osama bin Laden and a leading member of al-Qaeda.[73] Zawahiri was first introduced to Qutb by his uncle and maternal family patriarch, Mafouz Azzam, who was very close to Qutb throughout his life. Azzam was Qutb's student, then protégé, then personal lawyer and executor of his estate — one of the last people to see Qutb before his execution. According to Lawrence Wright, who interviewed Azzam, "young Ayman al-Zawahiri heard again and again from his beloved uncle Mahfouz about the purity of Qutb's character and the torment he had endured in prison."[74] Zawahiri paid homage to Qutb in his work Knights under the Prophet's Banner.[75]

Osama Bin Laden was also acquainted with Sayyid's brother, Muhammad Qutb. A close college friend of bin Laden's, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, told Wright, that bin Laden regularly attended weekly public lectures by Muhammad Qutb, at King Abdulaziz University, and that he and bin Laden both "read Sayyid Qutb. He was the one who most affected our generation."[76]



  • Mahammat al-Sha'ir fi'l-Hayah wa Shi'r al-Jil al-Hadir (The Task of the Poet in Life and the Poetry of the Contemporary Generation), 1933
  • al-Shati al-Majhul (The Unknown Beach), 1935
  • Naqd Kitab: Mustaqbal al-Thaqafa fi Misr (Critique of a Book by Taha Husain: the Future of Culture in Egypt), 1939
  • Al-Taswir al-Fanni fi'l-Qu'ran (Artistic Imagery in the Qur'an), 1945
  • Al-Atyaf al-Arba'a (The Four Apparitions), 1945
  • Tifl min al-Qarya (A Child from the Village), 1946
  • Al-Madina al-Mashura (The Enchanted City), 1946
  • Kutub wa Shakhsiyyat (Books and Personalities), 1946
  • Askwak (Thorns), 1947
  • Mashahid al-Qiyama fi'l-Qur'an (Aspects of Resurrection in the Qu'ran), 1946
  • Al-Naqd al-Adabi: Usuluhu wa Manahijuhu (Literary Criticism: Its Foundation and Methods'), 1948


  • Al-Adala al-Ijtima'iyya fi'l-Islam (Social Justice in Islam), 1949
  • Ma'arakat al-Islam wa'l-Ra's Maliyya (The Battle Between Islam and Capitalism), 1951
  • Al-Salam al-'Alami wa'l-Islam (World Peace and Islam), 1951
  • Fi Zilal al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Qur'an), first installment 1954
  • Dirasat Islamiyya (Islamic Studies), 1953
  • Hadha'l-Din (This Religion is Islam), n.d. (after 1954)
  • Al-Mustaqbal li-hadha'l-Din (The Future of This Religion), n.d. (after 1954)
  • Khasais al-Tasawwar al-Islami wa Muqawamatuhu (The Characteristics and Values of Islamic Conduct), 1960
  • Al-Islam wa Mushkilat al-Hadara (Islam and the Problems of Civilization), n.d. (after 1954)
  • Ma'alim fi'l-Tariq (Signposts on the Road, or Milestones), 1964 [1] (Reviewed by Yvonne Ridley)
  • Basic Principles of Islamic Worldview
  • The Islamic Concept and Its Characteristics
  • Islam and universal peace

See also


  1. ^ Some sources (e.g. U.S. Library of Congress) give 1903.
  2. ^ PBS program America at the crossroads.
  3. ^ a b c David Von Drehle, A Lesson In Hate Smithsonian Magazine
  4. ^ a b 'Qutb: Between Terror And Tragedy' by Hisham Sabrin quoting Hourani, A. Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798-1939. Cambridge University Press, 1962. and Mitchell, Richard S. The Society of The Muslim Brotherhood. Oxford University Press, 1969.
  5. ^ Interview with Dr Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh -- Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader May 8 ,2008
  6. ^ Sayyid Qutb by Ahmed El-Kadi, MD
  7. ^ The Osama Bin Laden I Know By Peter L. Bergen p.18-20
  8. ^ a b c Robert Irwin, "Is this the man who inspired Bin Laden?" The Guardian (November 1, 2001).
  9. ^ Paul Berman, "The Philosopher of Islamic Terror", New York Times Magazine (March 23, 2003).
  11. ^ The Evolution of Al-Qaeda: Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
  12. ^ Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic-Fascism by Dale C. Eikmeier. From Parameters, Spring 2007, pp. 85-98.
  13. ^ Sayyed said about the Qur'an: "Allah has bestowed upon me with the life in the sades of the Qur'an for a period of time, I have tasted, during it, of his grace and beneficence, what I have never tasted at all in my life." Fi Zilal al-Qur'an, Introduction, 1st Chapter.
  14. ^ Hamudah, Adil, Sayyid Qutb: min al-qarya ila al-mashnaqa (Cairo, Ruz al-Yusuf, 1987), p.60-61, quoted in Moussalli (1992), p.35
  15. ^ SHEPARD, William, Sayyid Qutb and Islamic Activism: a translation and critical analysis of Social Justice in Islam Leiden, EJ. Brill, 1996, p.62
  16. ^ Qutb, Sayyid, Dan-bat al-tatawwur, Majallat al-Shu'un al-Ijtima`iyya fi al-Islam, 1940, 6, 43-6, quoted in Calvert (2000)
  17. ^ "Encyclopedia of World Biography", 2004
  18. ^ a b c Excerpt from Qutb's article "Amrika allati Ra'aytu" (The America That I Have Seen)
  19. ^ Qutb, Milestones, p.139
  20. ^ Calvert, John (2000), "`The World is an Undutiful Boy!`: Sayyid Qutb's American Experience," Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. II, No.1, pp.87-103:98.
  21. ^ 1953 according to Calvert (2000), 1951 according Kepel (1985)
  22. ^ "Qutb, a one-time literary critic, was not a religious fundamentalist, but a Goebbels-style propagandist for a new totalitarianism to stand side-by-side with fascism and communism." Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2) by Marc Erikson; 8 November 2002, Asia Times Online
  23. ^ "Others, such as Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading intellectual, or bin Laden’s first theological mentor, Abdallah Azzam, a Palestinian Sheikh who first conceptualised global jihad, have laid out the theological tenets of jihadist terrorism better than he [Osama bin Laden]." "People of the decade: From Osama to Obama", 25 December 2009, The National
  24. ^ "About that time Sayyid Qutb accepted an appointment to head the Muslim Brothers' propaganda department, called the Propagation of the Message Section." "Sayyid Qutb: The Karl Marx of the Islamic Revolution"
  25. ^ "It is evidence of ideological continuity with the radical Islamist propaganda coming from wartime Berlin. Qutb fused the radical anti-Semitism of modern European history with a radical anti-Semitism rooted in a detailed reading of the Koran. Qutb continued and expanded on the project of cultural fusion and selective appropriation of the traditions of Islam that Husseini and his associates in wartime Berlin had performed." 2009 Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World 2009, Jeffrey Herf
  26. ^ "Upon his return to Egypt, he formally joined the Muslim Brotherhood and became the head of its propaganda (tabligh) department." Cultural transitions in the Middle East (1994), Şerif Mardin
  27. ^ "Sayyid Qutb (1906-66) of Egypt provides another example. He became the intellectual spokesman for the Musliam Brotherhood." Muslims: their religious beliefs and practices (2005), Andrew Rippi
  28. ^ "The basic texts of the Muslim Brotherhood and allied movements contain openly anti-Jewish rather than anti-Zionist propaganda....Texts such as the books of Sayyid Qutb - often called the father of radical militant jihad, who was executed in Egypt in the days of Gamal Abdel Nasser - targeted Judaism." The changing face of antisemitism: from ancient times to the present day (2006), Walter Laqueur
  29. ^ "In 1953 he formalized his Islamist leanings by joining the Muslim Brotherhood. He was appointed head of its propaganda department and used his position to try to convince 'Abd al-Nasser and the officers to implement Islamic law in Egypt." Islamism: a documentary and reference guide (2008), John Calvert
  30. ^ "In their propaganda, they increasingly refer to Jahiliyah, a term used most often to reference the pagan time before the rise of Islam - literally 'ignorance' - to signify the modern era. This application of the term Jahiliyah to modern government and situations was made popilar by Sayyid Qutb, a key ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt..." Islamic radicalism and global jihad (2009) Devin R. Springer, James L. Regens, David N. Edger
  31. ^ "Foreign visitors to Syria reported...that textbooks and religious propaganda were offered for sale or distribution in the streets to all seekers; it was said that the works of Sayyid Qutb were available." Asad's legacy: Syria in transition (2001), Eyal Ziser
  32. ^ Moussalli, Radical Islamic Fundamentalism, (1992), p.31-2
  33. ^ Berman, Terror and Liberalism, (2003), p.63
  34. ^ a b Hasan, S. Badrul, Syed Qutb Shaheed, Islamic Publications International, 2nd ed. 1982
  35. ^ (Sivan (1985) p.93.; Fouad Ajami, "In the Pharaoh's Shadow: Religion and Authority in Egypt," Islam in the Political Process, editor James P. Piscatori, Cambridge University Press, 1983, p. 25-26.)
  36. ^ Qutb, Milestones, p.90, 32
  37. ^ Sivan, Emmanuel, Radical Islam : Medieval Theology and Modern Politics, Yale University Press, c1985, p.73
  38. ^ Qutb, Social Justice in Islam
  39. ^ Berman, Terror and Liberalism (2003), p.98
  40. ^ Sivan, Radical Islam, 1985, p.73
  41. ^ al-Akhbar, August 8, 1952
  42. ^ "assemblies of men which have absolute power to legislate laws" is un-Islamic as well (Milestones, p.82)
  43. ^ Freedom in Milestones
  44. ^ Qutb, Milestones, p.85, 32
  45. ^ Though Qutb's program for a vanguard to lead a revolutionary bears some resemblance to Vladimir Lenin's Communist Party, he was strongly opposed to all Western ideologies, Communism included.
  46. ^ Qutb, Milestones, (2003) p.63 p.69
  47. ^ Milestones, p.130, 134
  48. ^ Fi zilal al-Qur'an
  49. ^ major architects and "strategists" of contemporary Islamic revival
  50. ^ an Islamic intellectual and leader of rare insight and integrity
  51. ^ a b Qutbism#Takfir
  52. ^ Kepel, Jihad, 1986, p.58
  53. ^ Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq#Sharia
  54. ^ Abou El Fadl, The Great Theft (2005), p.1982
  55. ^ Meddeb, Malady of Islam (2003), p.104
  59. ^ Moussalli, Ahmad S., Radical Islamic Fundamentalism: the Ideological and Political Discourse of Sayyid Qutb by Ahmad S. Moussalli, American University of Beirut, 1992 p.223
  60. ^ Cassette: "Sharh Kitaab Masaa’il ul-Jaahiliyyah", 2nd cassette, 2nd side.
  61. ^ Baraa’ah Ulamaa il-Ummah of Isaam bin Sinaanee (a compilation of the sayings of the scholars on the deviations of Sayyid Qutb)
  62. ^ Abdullaah ad-Dawaish, 'al-Mawrid az-Zalaal fit -Tanbeeh alaa Akhtaa az-Zilaal'
  63. ^
  64. ^ Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 3/306
  65. ^ Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq#Western and Jewish Conspiracies
  66. ^ Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq#Freedom
  67. ^ Qutb's Milestones
  68. ^ al-I'tidāl Fī Sayyid Qutb 1st Rabī' al-Awwal 1414AH
  69. ^ Sivan, Emmanuel, Radical Islam : Medieval Theology and Modern Politics, Yale University, 1985
  70. ^ Kepel, War for Muslim Minds, (2004) p.174-5
  71. ^ Kepel, Jihad, (2002), p.51
  72. ^ Sageman, Marc, Understanding Terror Networks, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, p.63
  73. ^ How Did Sayyid Qutb Influence Osama bin Laden?
  74. ^ Wright, Looming Tower, 2006, p.36
  75. ^ Sayyid Qutb's Milestones (footnote 24)
  76. ^ Wright, Looming Tower, 2006, p.79


  • From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism - Adnan A. Musallam
  • The Political Thought of Sayyid Qutb: The Theory of Jahiliyyah (2006)- Sayed Khatab
  • The Power of Sovereignty: The Political And Ideological Philosophy of Sayyid Qutb (2006)- Sayed Khatab
  • The Political Theory of Sayyid Qutb: A Genealogy of Discourse (2004)- Mohamed Soffar
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External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Sayyid Qutb (October 190629 August 1966) was an Egyptian author, Islamist, and the leading intellectual of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 60s. He is considered a major influence on Sheikh Osama bin Laden and Imam Khamenei.


Ma'alim fi'l-Tariq (Signposts on the Road, or Milestones) (1964)

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