was Sayyid Qutb?
Qutb had no knowledge of the fundamental or subsidiary matters of
Shaykh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaanee
Qutb (1906-66) was born in a small town in Upper Egypt and moved
to Cairo as an adolescent in order to further his education.
began to write in the late 1920s as a poet and literary critic,
writing about social and political matters from a secular standpoint.
By 1948, Qutb changed his mode of writing, and began to write from
a more Islamic perspective, according to the limited knowledge of
Islam that he had. Social Justice, his first Islamic book,
was published in 1949.
his return from a two-year study tour in the United States that
ended in 1950, Qutb joined al-Ikhwan
al-Muslimun (the Muslim Brotherhood), becoming one of
their leading spokesmen. After the movement openly opposed the government
of Jamal Abdul Nasser, Qutb essentially spent the rest of his life
in prison after 1954, except for a brief period in 1964-65. After
being temporarily released, Qutb was re-apprehended, tried and executed
for treason in 1966.
lack of knowledge in Islam coupled by his jailing led him to change
his understanding of Islam according to the circumstances he was
faced with. Consequently, his writings became more and more radical
as time went by. Eventually, his revolutionary ideology of takfir
(excommunication) and setting out against the authorities became
ingrained in the minds and hearts of a new generation of youth who
were looking for something greater than the failed way of al-Ikhwan
al-Muslimun. To this day, Qutb is considered to be the head
of this ideology for all insurrectionary groups.
new-fangled way of understanding Islam is evident in his attempt
to write a tafsir (explanation) of the Quran called Fi
Thilalil-Quran (In the Shade of the Quran). Qutb was not interested
in following the traditional approach of explaining the Quran, which
is to firstly refer to the Quran itself for other verses which clarify
the meaning, then the Haadeeths of the Prophet (may Allah
raise his rank and grant him peace) which deal with the meanings
of specific verses, or if this does not exist, to refer to the explanations
of his companions. Hence, it cannot be referred to as a tafsir in
the conventional sense.
to the explanations of the companions is a legislated matter in
Islam, because they witnessed the revelation of the Quran and were
taught its understanding and application by the one to whom it was
revealed. Consequently, they were commissioned to transmit the texts
of the Quran and Haadeeths that we read today and were also charged
with the responsibility of retaining the explanations of the texts
as well as their causes and occasions of revelation. Instead of
referring to these important sources, Qutb used his own opinions
to explain the Quran - over and above these sources. Consequently,
this tafsir contains numerous errors which the Salafi
scholars have already clarified for the people.
of his ignorance of the orthodox system of Islamic belief, Qutb
came up with a hodgepodge of statements collected from all of the
various Islamic sects which have sprung up since the earliest years
of Islamic civilization. Far from being upon the creed of the "Wahhabis",
Qutb was influenced by the Mu'tazili/Sufi
philosophical school of thought which prevails in that area of the
Middle East. This system of belief runs completely contrary to the
he abandoned the methodology of returning to the understanding of
the Prophet (may Allah
raise his rank and grant him peace) and his companions when approaching
the texts of the Quran and Sunnah, Qutb became engrossed in the
faults and sins of those around him, particularly those of the rulers.
the Islamic groups such as al-Ikhwan
al-Muslimun sought to usurp the authority of the Egyptian rulers,
the government responded by clamping down on them, sometimes in
brutal ways. This environment caused Qutb to form a particular outlook
of the world, and his absence of proper grounding in the methodology
of the early rightly-guided Muslims caused him to fall into the
dangerous orientation of expelling people from the fold of Islam
due to their sins...