Thursday, November 14, 2013

Notes on Sayyid Qutb

I've just been re-reading through some of my notes on Sayyid Qutb's 'Milestones'. Qutb, a favorite of Sunni extremist movements, inspires and encapsulates the totalitarian worldview that defines the political ideology of groups like al-Qaeda. Anyway, here are some of my more relevant notes.

Page 4
Complete subservience to Allah liberates the believer from his subservience to others.

Qutb's take on 'Jahiliyyah' (humanity's separation from God)- Jahiliyyah constitutes a direct rebellion against the sovereignty of God. Need to establish a pure ‘Din’ generation.

''Jahili society because of its Jahili characteristics is not a worthy partner for compromise.''
NOTE: The importance of unyielding resistance to Jahiliyyah – The faithful must not stray ''even one step'' from 'Din'.

‘There is no God but Allah’
NOTE: A fanatical interpretation of the Shahada: Allah’s path is the only path. God's authority is not debatable.

On the nature of 'Din' - ''It's system extends into aspects of life; it treats all minor or major affairs of mankind; it orders man’s life – not only in this world but also in the world to come: it gives information about the unseen as well as about the visible world; it not only deals with material things but also purifies intentions and ideas.''
NOTE: 'Din' offers a total, unencumbered guide for successful existence.

Prior to the formal adoption of Islamic law... ''The hearts and consciences of a people must be committed to a belief system that forbids submission to anyone other than Allah and that rejects the derivation of laws from any other source. Then, when such a group of people is ready and also gains practical influence in the society, various laws will be legislated according to their practical needs.''

Government must ''derive its laws from him (Allah) alone.''
NOTE: True freedom only exists under the protection of God's law.

The Muslim obligation is ''….to establish Allah’s authority on Earth.''
NOTE: The duty of an expansive Islamic Ummah.

'The object of this Din is all humanity and its sphere of action is the whole Earth.''
NOTE: The mission is global and total. See my related thoughts on the nature of global jihad.

Non-Muslims must pay tribute.

''There is my straight path. Then follow it, and do not follow other ways because they will scatter you from his path.''
NOTE: The only path is the path of 'Din'.

''But any place where the Islamic shari’ah is not enforced and where Islam is not dominant, becomes the home of hostility ('Dar al-Harb') for both the Muslims and the Dhimmis (non-Muslim residents).''
NOTE: Absent God's ordained will, society will perish.

''Grouping according to family and tribe and nation, or race and colour and country, are residues of the primitive state of man.''
NOTE: The supremacy of an encompassing faith.

''There is no Dar al-Islam where Islam’s way of life and its laws are not practiced.''
 NOTE: Absent God's ordained will, society will perish.

''There is nothing beyond faith except unbelief, nothing beyond Islam except Jahiliyyah, and nothing beyond the truth except falsehood.''
NOTE: The totalitarian nature of Islam as proscribed by Qutb.

''Islam cannot accept or agree to a situation which is half-Islam and half-Jahailiyyah.''
NOTE: In practical terms, this statement represents the inversion of Lincolnian virtue.

''Islam does not sanction the rule of wild desires. It has come to abolish all such concepts, laws, customs and traditions, and to replace them with a new concept of human life, to create a new world on the foundation of submission to the creator.''
NOTE: The fundamental power of theocratic rule against human interests.

''We need not rationalize Islam to them.''
NOTE: Qutb's Islam is beyond question or reproach. It's authority is both implicit and intrinsic.

''The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam…''
NOTE: Acceptance of Islam is not a choice, but a necessity.

''Do not be dejected nor grieve. You shall be the uppermost if you are believers.''
NOTE: The strength of ‘God’s' community.

''Do not consider those as dead who were killed in the way of Allah. They are living in the presence of their Lord and find sustenance from their sustainer. They enjoy what Allah has given them from his bounty, and are glad that those who are left behind and have not yet joined them shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in the glad tidings of Allah’s blessings and bounty, and in the promise that Allah will not fail to reward the believers.''

NOTE: Implication - although the path may appear tough, the outcome is certain and the rewards of 'service' are limitless. This has two points of immediate relevance. First, it reinforces the notion of jihadist martyrdom. Second, it obviously the reinforces the power of the theocratic elite.

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