Al-Qaradawi: Qutb’s thought does not seem to belong to Brotherhood or Sunnis.

Al-Qaradawi: Qutb’s thought does not seem to belong to Brotherhood or Sunnis.

The Islamic preacher and scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had never adopted the excommunication violence ideology.  In fact, the ideas the Islamic intellectual Sayed Qutb conveyed in his writings were not compatible with the path of the followers of Al Sunnah and Jama’ah, He cast blame on Qutb for his excommunicating ideologies rather than the Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi explained that the Muslim Brotherhood does not deal with the radical ideology; in fact the thought of the Brotherhood is non-radical.

Qaradawi’ historical testimony about Sayed Qutb reported in an interview with Dr. Diaa Rashwan, an expert on Islamic movement’s, in his TV show “sermons and canons”  on Al Faraeen Channel opened the door for discussion on  Qutb’s’ ideological thought debating whether it was relevant, ranking or belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. Did he belong to the Brotherhood, Salafi or associate himself with the jihad movement?

Moderate thinking 

–         Sayed Qutb lies outside the circle of suspicion… But! (File)
– QARADAWI questions Do Sayed Qutb accuses Muslims today with atheism?

–         QARADAWI’s reproach on Qutb 

In his speech aired on Friday, July 8, 2009 on Faraeen Channel, he claimed that in the 1950’s Sayed Qutb belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood. He willingly and contentedly joined the Muslim Brotherhood, indicating that this remarkable shift from moderation to militancy in his thoughts was patent in his late writings particularly in his most common interpretation of “In the Shade of the Qur’an” and his renewed book “Milestones on the road”. Qaradawi emphasized  the change when  comparing the first edition “In the Shade of the Qur’an”” with the second edition in which he started speaking about the ignorance of divine guidance “jahiliyyah” and the “governance of God” in Islam.

Qaradawi emphasized “The line of thought of Sayed Qutb was written during the last phase of his life affirming the somewhat deviation from the right path of the followers of Al Sunnah and Al Jama’ah,”   Al Sunnah followers refrain from accusing any person of atheism unless “there are decisive and conclusive evidences proving that the individual has completely turned back from Islam.”

“I believe that in this regard, Sayyed Qutb had missed the right path of Al Sunnah and Al Jama’ah followers where he refers to several reasons most significantly in his deepest and most profound writings of his imprisonment,” he asserted. He firmly believed that the State had deviated from the Islamic approach empowered by the communists.

Al-Qaradawi perceived if it was predetermined for Sheikh Qutb to survive after his term of imprisonment and had gotten involved in dialogue and debated his ideas; certainly he would have given up many of his ideas just as his brother Muhammad Qutb had put away the idea of public penance. Because his ideas directly threatened the legitimacy of Nasser’s government, Qutb was rearrested and sentenced to death in August 29, 1965.

Qutb and the doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood

In response to whether or not Sayed Qutb could be classified as connected to the mainstream of the Muslim Brotherhood’s school, Qaradawi asserted that Sayed Qutb was a great admirer of the Imam Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. He wrote about him in his article “Hassan Al-Banna and the genius of building”, reflecting al-Bannas’ ability to organize, manage and take charge of the movements’ structure.

Qutb did not transcribe al-Banna’s thought as much as he quoted from Sheikh Abu al-Ala Maududi. Qutb was deeply influenced by Maududi and learned from the theory of “Jahiliyyah and Governance”. However, Qutb ultimately concluded that his theory of the entire non Islamic community’s ignoring of the divine guidance differed to the opinion of Maududi. 

The Governance ideology is unimpeachable, although it is an intrinsic Islamic idea, Qaradawi maintained. “That is to say, in fact, the Islamic law is the only source of legislation which Imam Abu-Hamid Al-Ghazzali and other Muslim scholars referred to,” he continued.

Qutb’s fundamental criticism of all systems of life which he views as non-Islamic is that they are “jahiliyyah” for Qutb, it completely differs with what is written in the Holy Quran according to Al-Qaradawi on citing by Qutb in his book “Milestones on the road”. Qutb considered that the community is mainly non-Islamic and the reformers’ task is to initially bring back people to the right Islamic doctrine testifying that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Qaradawi underscored that Qutb erred not only when he accused the ruling Muslim regimes but also the Muslim masses with infidelity explaining that Qutb bore some responsibility for the atonement. Qutb borrowed Maududi ideas and generated results that were not arranged or thought of by Maududi, and put them into practice. The same also was exercised by Mustafa Shukri and others where they borrowed Qutb’s’ ideas.  Shukri regarded the “Muslim community” as the only Muslims while others are infidels.

“Jahiliyyah” and trial thought of Sayed Qutb

Qaradawi, however, denied, that his testimony against Qutb writings  as a mere fabricated lie, adding that he judged him through his own writings and texts contained in his books. In response to these claims the Secretary-General of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of its leading figures Mahmoud Ezzat,   asserted that the real mistake is the misunderstanding of Sayed Qutb and not what was written by Sayed Qutb.

Qaradawi argued that the words quoted by Qutb about the apostasy and jahiliyyah are plain, citing the novel of Dr. Mohammad Abdullah al-Mahdi who was detained in 1965. Qutb assured that his writings in the first phase of his career like “Social Justice in Islam”, “World’s Peace and Islam”, and “scenes of the Resurrection in the Qur’an,” did not represent his view or the new doctrine. However, the new trend that he adopted and pursued was proved in his last book when he was in prison when he wrote “milestones on the road”, and the second edition “In the shade of the Quran”, “This is religion of Islam” and “Islam and the problems of civilization.”

Al Qaradawi stressed that anyone contemplating the writings of Sayed Qutb will undoubtedly affirm that Qutb had exaggerated in the excommunication issue, confirming that Qutb’s method is not the Muslim Brotherhood method that the Imam Al Banna based his foundations on in “the twenty origins “. He pointed out that Qutb was not brought up among the group’s members nor was he raised to fight their cause. In fact his presence among the Brotherhood’s members was short and no sooner had he entered the prison the changes to his ideologies appeared.

Qaradawi stated that attributing Sayed Qutb to The Brotherhood or any other movement is not significant, however what is significant are his thoughts, saying: “We judge and criticize writings and ideas and only  who write and bring about these ideas should be held responsible and not the Muslim Brothers… I believe that these ideas are not compatible with the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology because the movement embraces only peace in its manners.

Is he a MB member or jihadist or Salafist?

Qutb, in fact, was excited by Imam Hassan Al-Banna. However, he was not impressed with his ideas and what appeared in his writings.

A controversy was stirred up about the thoughts of Qutb among the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafi and jihadist movements, Qaradawi explained. This debate was attributed to his thoughts that formed a strong ground for jihadists quoting and taking advantage. Salafi movements also refer to his ideas; however, they did not recognize him as a Salafi belonging to them because he was always smoothly-shaven where Salafis wore beards… The Brotherhood also benefited from his ideas, emphasizing that they still read selected writings of Sayed Qutb and take what they see may be beneficial. Accordingly, his writings are very useful.

Al-Qaradawi cautioned everyone who reads Qutb’s publication from falling into the trap of his thoughts particularly since he was a great influential writer and thinker. He wrote these books in moments of spiritual purity and sincerity with himself and had a talent for writing that attracts the reader which if allowed will strongly affect him.

 Qaradawi concluded that despite the fact that his testimony and disagreement with Qutb’s blasphemed ideas where his theory was  not of the followers of the entire Muslim world, “this  does not stop me from asserting that this man was a great and influential writer in terms of creativity and a good literary critic. Sayyed Qutb was a great preacher and thinker and a brilliant Muslim gaining this great grandeur not only of his ideas but also through his self-sacrifice. He sacrificed himself as redemption for his call and for the sake of the Almighty Allah.