He had a special disdain, however, for schools that specialized in religious studies only, and sought to demonstrate that local schools that held regular academic classes as well as classes in religion were more beneficial to their pupils than religious schools with lopsided curricula. At this time, Qutb developed his bent against the imams and their traditional approach to education. This confrontation would persist throughout his life. 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.
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And this book has also earned the author his reputation as the major architect of modern militant Islamism. This article will try to analyze the impact of his last work in the shadow of his martyrdom.
According to Qutb, the only hope that remains is for a new Islamic movement to rescue mankind from the crutches of ignorance.
First and foremost was the clear spring from which the first generation of Muslims quenched their thirst. It was according to the well thought-out plan to prepare a generation pure in heart, pure in mind and pure in understanding.
They will then react to the verse immediately like soldiers on battlefields who will react spontaneously upon instructions. According to Qutb, this understanding that instruction is for action, had opened-up the doors to spiritual fulfillment and to knowledge.
The method of later generations was instruction for academic discussion and without doubt, this is the second major factor that made later generations different from the first unique generation of Islam. This renunciation of the jahili environment, its customs and traditions, ideas and concept, according to Qutb; proceeded from the replacement of polytheism by the concept of Oneness of God, of the jahili view of life and the world by that of the Islamic view.
His arguments refuse to allow any middle-path or grey-areas in-between these two extremes. What set Islam apart from the other systems is its intense concern for social justice. According to Qutb, those who obstruct the path of Islam at any time realize that the pure and straightforward Islamic way of life endangers their unjust order, interests, hollow structure and deviant practices.
Qutb even envisages persecution and hostility to any group of people that may accept the responsibility to initiate the process that will lead to the structural change he is advocating in the book. If violent uprising is what he had intended, then the final chapter of the book would have been on a different story altogether. Right: Qutb during his incarceration in Egyptian jail.
He was subsequently sentenced to death. This is the story of a group of people who believed in God and openly proclaimed their belief. They encountered tyrannical and oppressive enemies who were bent on denying the right of a human being to believe in the Almighty God.
The believers will be tortured by the tyrants, burned alive, and provide entertainment to his tormentors by his cries of agony. Qutb asserts that even if a Muslim fails to achieve earthly victory, he still achieves victory because the highest triumph is the victory of faith over persecution.
And perhaps this non-violent concept of struggle against oppression is a more effective way for the weak to fight against tyrannical rulers and injustices. It must be understood that in the discourse on violence and terrorism, it is the powerful who will ensure that the discourse will be in their favour.
While the world gets excited about some act of violence of some group or other in the Muslim world seeking a modicum of justice, the terrorism of the powerful very cleverly clothe their terrorism in a moral garb, as if they are defending freedom or human rights or democracy. As a result, their immorality is not exposed. Sayyid Qutb had lived-out and died for his beliefs.
This article was also published by Harakah Daily.
Revisiting Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones
And this book has also earned the author his reputation as the major architect of modern militant Islamism. This article will try to analyze the impact of his last work in the shadow of his martyrdom. According to Qutb, the only hope that remains is for a new Islamic movement to rescue mankind from the crutches of ignorance. First and foremost was the clear spring from which the first generation of Muslims quenched their thirst. It was according to the well thought-out plan to prepare a generation pure in heart, pure in mind and pure in understanding.