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Sayyid Qutb

Sayyid Qutb, 1906-1966, an Egyptian and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was a prominent Islamist (revivalist) figure whose career spanned the middle decades of this century. His thought, deeply influenced by Mawdudi's revolutionary radicalism,  falls into two distinct periods: that which occurred before President Nasser detained him in a concentration camp for political enemies (he was eventually executed in 1966), and that which emerged during the period of his internment. The first excerpt comes from an early work, Social Justice in Islam, which he wrote in 1949.  (Social Justice in Islam, trans. by John B. Hardie (New York: Octagon Books, 1970), pp. 19,49, 66). Note how Qutb builds on the Islamic idea of tawhid (the singularity of God and, therefore, of the universe):

So all creation issuing as it does from one absolute, universal, and active Will, forms an all-embracing unity in which each individual part is in harmonious order with the remainder...Thus, then, all creation is a unity comprising different parts; it has a common origin, a common providence and purpose, because it was produced by a single, absolute, and comprehensive Will...So the universe cannot be hostile to life, or to man; nor can 'Nature' in our modern phrase be held to be antagonistic to man, opposed to him, or striving against him. Rather she is a friend whose purposes are one with those of life and of mankind. And the task of living beings is not to contend with Nature, for they have grown up in her bosom, and she and they together form a part of the single universe which proceeds from the single will.

In 1964, Qutb, having suffered torture as well as ten years of incarceration in Nasser's concentration camps, published perhaps his best known work, Milestones, [Ma'alim fi'l Tariq ] a work that has inspired some of the more extreme expressions of Islamic revivalism, such as Islamic Jihad and Takfir wa-l Hijra. In addition to his experience of torture under Nasser, Qutb's concept of  jahiliyya ("pagan ignorance") was also deeply influenced by his unpleasant experience living in the United States from 1948 until 1951. He had been sent to the U.S. to study American educational institutions.  Qutb was deeply offended by the racism he observed (and experienced first-hand) and was scandalized by the openness between the sexes in American society. (see his comments on women)  In Milestones he wrote (Beirut: The Holy Koran Publishing House, 1980), pp. 7-15, 286):

Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice, not because of the danger of complete annihilation which is hanging over its head - this being just a symptom and not the real disease - but because humanity is devoid of those vital values which are necessary not only for its healthy development but also for its real progress. Even the Western world realizes that Western civilization is unable to present any healthy values for the guidance of mankind. It knows that it does not possess anything which will satisfy its own conscience and justify its existence...

It is essential for mankind to have a new leadership...

It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which positive and constructive, and which is practicable.

Islam is the only system which possesses these values and this way of life.

If we look at the sources and foundations of modern ways of living, it becomes clear that the whole world is steeped in Jahiliyya (pagan ignorance of divine guidance), and all the marvellous material comforts and high-level inventions do not diminish this Ignorance. This Jahiliyya is based on rebellion against God's sovereignty on earth: It transfers to man one of the greatest attributes of God, namely sovereignty, and makes some men lords over others. It is now not in that simple and primitive form of the ancient Jahiliyya, but takes the form of claiming that the right to create values, to legislate rules of collective behavior, and to choose any way of life rests with men, without regard to what God has prescribed. The result of this rebellion against the authority of God is the oppression of His creatures...

The Islamic civilization can take various forms in its material and organizational structure, but the principles and values on which it is based are eternal and unchangeable. These are: the worship of God alone, the foundation of human relationships on the belief in the Unity of God, the supremacy of the humanity of man over material things, the development of human values and the control of animalistic desires, respect for the family, the assumption of the vice-regency of God on earth according to His guidance and instruction, and in all affairs of this vice-regency, the rule of God's law [al-Shari'a] and the way of life prescribed by Him...

In the scale of God, the true weight is the weight of faith; in God's market the only commodity in demand is the commodity of faith. The highest form of triumph is the victory of soul over matter, the victory of belief over pain, and the victory of faith over persecution.




In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 9 (Surahs 10-11) : Sayyid Qutb

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 9 (Surahs 10-11) : Sayyid Qutb

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ISBN: 0860373347 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2004) Pages: 342 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an, a monumental tafsir is by far the largest and mos View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 8 (Surah 9) Sayyid Qutb

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran :  Volume 8 (Surah 9) Sayyid Qutb

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ISBN: 0860373681 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2003) Pages: 325 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an, a monumental tafsir is by far the largest and mos View more...
Social Justice in Islam

Social Justice in Islam

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ISBN: 1889999113 Author: Syed Qutb, Tr: Hamid Algar Publisher: Islamic Publications International, NJ Pages: 352 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: From the back cover: "Social Justice in Islam is perhaps the best known wor View more...
In The Shade of The Qur'an: Vol. 1: Surahs 1-2

In The Shade of The Qur'an: Vol. 1: Surahs 1-2

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ISBN: 1882837185 Author: Sayyid Qutb/Adil Salhi & A. Shamis Publisher: Islamic Foundation (UK) Pages: 366 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: 5.5"x9.5" In the Shade of the Qur'an is more than 'just another' commentary; yet i View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an Volume IV, Surah 5

In the Shade of the Qur'an Volume IV, Surah 5

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ISBN: 0860373460 Author: Sayyid Qutb Publisher: Islamic Foundation (UK) Pages: 303 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an is more than 'just another' commentary; yet it is not too over-reaching or out View more...
In The Shade of The Qur'an: Vol. 2: Surahs 3-4

In The Shade of The Qur'an: Vol. 2: Surahs 3-4

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ISBN: 0860373703 Author: Sayyid Qutb/Adil Salhi & A. Shamis Publisher: Islamic Foundation (UK) Pages: 366 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an is more than 'just another' commentary; yet it is not t View more...
In The Shade of The Qur'an: Vol. 3: Surahs 4

In The Shade of The Qur'an: Vol. 3: Surahs 4

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ISBN: 0860373169 Author: Sayyid Qutb/Adil Salhi & A. Shamis Publisher: Islamic Foundation (UK) Pages: 366 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an is more than 'just another' commentary; yet it is not t View more...
The Islamic Concept And Its Characteristics

The Islamic Concept And Its Characteristics

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ISBN: None Author: Sayyid Qutb Publisher: American Trust Publications (ATP) Pages: 210 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: "Islam came to deliver mankind from the rubbish heaps of philosophies…unfortunately mankind has again View more...
UQ-Fizilal-e-Qur'an, 6 Vol. Complete (URDU Only)

UQ-Fizilal-e-Qur'an, 6 Vol. Complete (URDU Only)

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ISBN: Author: Syed Qutb Publisher: Miscellaneous Pakistani Publisher Pages: 3000 Binding: Hardback Description from the publisher: Commentary from Arabic of famous 20th century revivalist and martyr Syed Qutb of Egypt. View more...
Islam: Its Meaning & Message (3rd Edition)

Islam: Its Meaning & Message (3rd Edition)

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ISBN: 0860372871 Author: Edited By Khurshid Ahmad Publisher: Islamic Foundation (UK) Pages: 279 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: Imagine if someone put together into one volume, essays by a variety of well-known Muslims d View more...
Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview (Sayyid Qutb)

Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview (Sayyid Qutb)

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ISBN: 1889999342 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Rami David (translator), Hamid Algar (preface) Publisher: Islamic Publications International IPI (2006) Pages: 230 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: Sayyid Qutb, executed in 1966 by th View more...
In The Shade of The Qur'an Vol. 30 (Juz Amma) Sayyid Qutb/Adil Salhi & A. Shamis [Budget Book]

In The Shade of The Qur'an Vol. 30 (Juz Amma) Sayyid Qutb/Adil Salhi & A. Shamis [Budget Book]

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ISBN: none Author: Sayyid Qutb/Adil Salhi & A. Shamis Publisher: Islamic Book Service, Idara Islamiyat-e-Diniyat, or Kitab Bhavan (India) Pages: 366 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: This is the English translation of the View more...
A Child From The Village : The Memoir of Sayyid Qutb as a Youngster (John Calvert, William E. Shepard)

A Child From The Village : The Memoir of Sayyid Qutb as a Youngster (John Calvert, William E. Shepard)

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ISBN: 0815608055 Author: Sayyid Qutb (Qutub); John Calvert, William E Shepard Publisher: Syracuse University Press ( Pages: 150 Binding: Hardcover w/ dust jacket Description from the publisher: A translation from the Arabic of Sayyid Qutb' View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an Volume 05 : Surah 6 (Sayyid Qutb)

In the Shade of the Qur'an Volume 05 : Surah 6 (Sayyid Qutb)

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ISBN: 086037307X Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator, editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (UK) Pages: 385 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an is more than 'just another' commentary; yet View more...
In The Shade of the Qur'an Volumes 1 to 18 (Complete Set) Complete English Translation of Sayyid Qutb's "Fi Zil al Qur'an"

In The Shade of the Qur'an Volumes 1 to 18 (Complete Set) Complete English Translation of Sayyid Qutb's "Fi Zil al Qur'an"

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ISBN: multiple Author: Sayyid Qutb (Qutub); Adil Salhi & A. Shamis (translators) Publisher: Islamic Foundation Pages: 7091 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: This is volumes 1 to 18 (Surahs 1 to 114, the entire Qur'an) of Q View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 6 (Surah 7) Sayyib Qutb, Adil Salahi

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran :  Volume 6 (Surah 7) Sayyib Qutb, Adil Salahi

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ISBN: 0860373827 Author: Sayyid Qutb, Adil Salahi (translator) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2002) Pages: 332 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 10 (Surahs 12-15) : Sayyid Qutb

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 10 (Surahs 12-15) : Sayyid Qutb

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ISBN: 0860373940 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator and editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2004) Pages: 370 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an, a monumental tafsir is by far the larg View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 11 (Surahs 16-20, Al-Nahl to Ta-Ha) : Sayyid Qutb

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 11 (Surahs 16-20, Al-Nahl to Ta-Ha) : Sayyid Qutb

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ISBN: 0860374203 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator and editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2005) Pages: 486 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: This volume covers Surahs 16 to 20 (Surahs al-Nahl to Ta-Ha). In View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 18 : Last Portion of Quran (Sayyid Qutb)

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 18 : Last Portion of Quran (Sayyid Qutb)

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ISBN: 086037369X Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator and editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2005) Pages: 412 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: In the Shade of the Qur'an, a monumental tafsir is by far the larg View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 12 (Surahs 21 - 25, Al Anbiya to Al Furqan) : Sayyid Qutb

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 12 (Surahs 21 - 25, Al Anbiya to Al Furqan) : Sayyid Qutb

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ISBN: 0860375005 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator and editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2006) Pages: 455 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: This volume covers Surahs 21 to 25, Surahs Anbiyya to Furqan. In View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 13 (Surahs 26 to 32)

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 13 (Surahs 26 to 32)

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ISBN: 0860375552 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator and editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2006) Pages: 481 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: Covers surahs 26 through 32. (Surahs Shu'ara, Naml, Qasas, Ankabut View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 14 (Surahs Surahs 33-39 : Al-Ahzab – Al-Zumar)

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 14 (Surahs Surahs 33-39 : Al-Ahzab – Al-Zumar)

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ISBN: 9780860374268 Author: Sayyid Qutb; Adil Salahi (translator and editor) Publisher: Islamic Foundation (2007) Pages: 474 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: This volume covers Surahs 33 to 39 (Surahs al-Ahzab to al-Zumar View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an Volume 15 : Surahs 40-47 (English Translation of Fi Zilal al-Qur'an) (Adil Salahi)

In the Shade of the Qur'an Volume 15 : Surahs 40-47 (English Translation of Fi Zilal al-Qur'an) (Adil Salahi)

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ISBN: 9780860374763 Author: Adil Salahi Publisher: The Islamic Foundation (2008) Pages: 444 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: This edition of the English translation of Sayyid Qutub's monumental tafsir work, Fi Zilal al-Qu View more...
Islam and Universal Peace

Islam and Universal Peace

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ISBN: 0892590076 Author: Syed Qutb Publisher: American Trust Publications (ATP) Pages: 81 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: View more...
This Religion Of Islam

This Religion Of Islam

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ISBN: None Author: Sayyid Qutb Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House; IIPH (Saudi Arabia) Pages: 104 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: Contents I- A Path for Mankind…1 II- A Unique Path…15 III- An Easy Path…27 View more...
In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran : Volume 7 (Surah 8) Sayyid Qutb, Adil Salahi

In the Shade of the Qur'an : English translation of Fi Zilal al Quran :  Volume 7 (Surah 8) Sayyid Qutb, Adil Salahi

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ISBN: Author: Publisher: Pages: 0 Binding: Description from the publisher: View more...
The Supreme Triumph and the Evident Loss In the Light of the Quran and the Sunnah (Saeed Ali al-Qahtani)

The Supreme Triumph and the Evident Loss In the Light of the Quran and the Sunnah (Saeed Ali al-Qahtani)

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ISBN: 9960850366 Author: Saeed Ali al-Qahtani Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House; IIPH (1999, 1420 AH) Pages: 139 Binding: Paperback Description from the publisher: The comparison between the bliss of paradise, the supreme t View more...