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Radical Islamism and Jihad (13 Apr 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Sayyid Qutb’s Concept of Jahiliyyah That Produced Islamist Extremists to Attack Mainstream Muslims

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

13 April 2019

Sayyid Qutb’s concept of Jahiliyyah is mired in a motley confusion of poorly understood concepts like Takfir, Tauheed al-Hakimiyyah, Shirk al-Hakmiyyah, I’tiqadiyat, Furu’i Ahkam, Aqaid-ul-Islam and 'amaliyat, etc. Driven by a variety of theological misconceptions, he freely invokes the concepts of Jahiliyya, and Takfir (branding as apostate) for all people of his age. These misperceptions have produced a large number of extremist organizations around the globe which believe that the current Muslim Ummah (global Muslim community) is living the life of Jahiliyya, entrenched into pre-Islamic Arabia, untouched by the Islam brought by Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). It is for this reason they are seeking to eliminate the contemporary Muslim community and establish a newly established self-proclaimed ‘Islamic community’. To achieve this goal, they consider it indispensable to take to armed resistance and rebel against established ‘Jahili governments’ of Muslims.

Sayyid Qutb’s concept of Jahiliyya left a heavy impact on the extremist outfits and their Takfiri movement. He used the term Jahiliyya 1740 times in his book of Tafsir “Fi Zilal al-Quran” and did Takfir of the common Muslims who, according to him, were willfully living under the domain of Jahiliyya state. His way of dealing with the term ‘Jahiliyya’, and thereby doing Takfir of Muslims and seeking to eliminate ‘Jahiliyya Muslim states’ are the fundamental errors that he committed so as to defeat all-time mainstream doctrine and concept of Muslims.

Mainstream Muslims from the beginning till now have differentiated between Beliefs or doctrinal rulings (I’tiqadiyat) and practices or derivative rulings (Furu’i Ahkam). On the contrary to this concept, Sayyid Qutb does not differentiate between Beliefs and derivative rulings and this was the reason that he made a serious mistake while dealing with the concept of Jahiliyyah. The following are some excerpts from his book of Tafsir “Fi Zilal al-Quran” which consider that both Beliefs (Aqaid or fundamental issues) and practices (‘Aamaal or derivative issues) are just the same and do not differ from each other.

Sayyid Qutb’s Mixing Beliefs With Practices

Sayyid Qutb says,

"إن حدود العقيدة تتسع وتترامى حتى تناول كل جانب من جوانب الحياة وقضية الحاكمية بكل فروعها في الإسلام هي قضية عقيدة كما أن قضية الأخلاق بجملتها هي قضية عقيدة" (في ظلال القرآن 4/2114 ، دار الشروق ، القاهرة ، سنة 1434هـ 2013م)

Translation: “Undoubtedly Belief (‘Aqida) comprises all aspects of life. In Islamic perspective, Hakimiyyah (sovereignty or dominion), with its entire derivative issues (Furu’), is the issue of Belief. Similarly Morality (akhlaq) is the issue of Belief” (Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran, Arabic version 4/2114)

Blending the Muslims’ belief ‘that God Almighty is the true Hakim’ with nature of implementing the juristic and derivative rulings, Sayyid Qutb invented a new version of Kharijite ideology that he termed “Tauheed al-Hakimiyyah vs. Shirk al-Hakmiyyah”. Sayyid Qutb says,   

"وقضية التشريع هي قضية الحاكمية وقضية الحاكمية هي قضية الإيمان" (في ظلال القرآن 3/1205)

Translation: “The question of legislation is a question of Hakimiyyah. And Hakmiyyah is the question of Faith” (Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran, Arabic version 3/1205)

Sayyid Qutb further said,

وقال أيضا: "ذالك ليقرر أن قضية التشريع والحاكمية هي كذالك قضية الدين والعقيدة" (في ظلال القرآن 3/1235)

“In this way the surah (6/Al-An’am) makes it clear that the issues related to legislation (Tashri’i) and sovereignty (Hakimiyyah) are the same as those issues that are relevant to Belief”. (Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran, Arabic version 3/1235)

"إن توحيد الألوهية وتوحيد الربوبية وتوحيد القوامة وتوحيد الحاكمية وتوحيد مصدر الشريعة وتوحيد منهج الحياة وتوحيد الجهة التي يدين لها الناس الدينونة الشاملة، إن هذا التوحيد هوالذي يستحق أن يرسل من أجله كل هؤلاء الرسل وأن تبذل في سبيله كل هذه الجهود وأن تحتمل لتحقيقه كل هذه العذابات والآلام على مدار الزمان لا لأن الله سبحانه وتعالى في حاجة إليه فالله سبحانه عني عن العالمين" (3/1902)

“The establishment of the oneness of God, the only God, oneness of Lordship and Sustainer in the universe, and the only source of legislation in all matters, and the establishment of the only way of life acceptable to God are all aims which merit the sending of God’s messengers. They also merit the exertion of great efforts by the messengers as well as the endurance of all the suffering the advocates of Islam have experienced throughout history. This is not because God needs to achieve these aims: He is in need of nothing and no one. They are worthy aims simply because human life cannot be put right, reformed, elevated and become worthy of man without the establishment of the faith based on God’s oneness”. (Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran 3/1902)

"ولم يكن الناس فيما عدا أفرادا معدودة في فترات قصيرة ، ينكرون مبدأ الألوهية ويجحدون وجود الله ألبتة ، إنما هو كانوا يخطؤن معرفة حقيقة ربهم الحق ، أو يشركون مع الله آلهة أخرى: إما في صورة الاعتقاد والعبادة وإما في صورة الحاكمية والاتباع وكلاهما شرك كالآخر يخرج به الناس من دين الله" (3/1555)

“All claims to lordship by human beings are null and void. Except for a few individuals here and there in history, mankind as a whole has never denied the existence of God or His sovereignty over the universe. It has rather erred in its understanding of His real attributes, or associated partners with Him, either in belief and worship or in assigning sovereignty. Both of these are forms of polytheism which take people out of the faith altogether” (Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran, 3/1555) 

وقال أيضا: "والقاعدة النظرية التي يقوم عليها الإسلام على مدار التاريخ البشري هي قاعدة "شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله" أي إفراد الله سبحانه ، بالألوهية والربوبية والقوامة والسلطان والحاكمية ، إفراده بها اعتقادا في الضمير ، وعبادة في الشعائر ، وشريعة في واقع الحياة ، فشهادة أن لا إله إلا الله ، لا توجد فعلا ولا تعتبر موجودة شرعا إلا في هذه الصورة المتكاملة التي تعطيها وجودا جديا حقيقيا يقوم عليه اعتبار قائلها مسلما أو غير مسلم" (3/1556)

“The theoretical foundation of Islam, in every period of history, has been the declaration by which a human being bears witness that “there is no deity other than God”. This means that God is the sustainer, the ruler and the real sovereign. This must take the form of a firm belief that is deeply rooted in one’s heart and manifested in both addressing all worship to God alone and putting His laws into practice. This declaration cannot be deemed to have been truly made with such complete acceptance of its meaning. It is only when a person accepts its significance fully that he is deemed to be a true Muslim” Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran 3/1556)

"إن المجتمعات البشرية اليوم- بجملتها- مجتمعات جاهلية‏.‏ وهي من ثم مجتمعات «متخلفة» أو «رجعية»‏!‏ بمعنى أنها «رجعت» إلى الجاهلية، بعد أَن أخذ الإسلام بيدها فاستنقذها منها‏.‏ والإسلام اليوم مدعو لاستنقاذها من التخلف والرجعية الجاهلية، وقيادتها في طريق التقدم و«الحضارة» بقيمها وموازينها الربانية‏"

“Human communities today are, generally speaking, overwhelmed by Jahiliyyah and as such, they are backward or reactionary in the sense that they have reverted to a state of ignorance after Islam had saved them from it” (Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Quran)

Sayyid Qutb erred in understanding the concept of Jahiliyya as a result of not differentiating between the beliefs or fundamental issues (I’tiqadi masail) and the derivative issues (furu’i masail) related to nature of practice. Thus the concept of Sayyid Qutb is antithetical to that of mainstream Muslims including the earliest and the contemporary ones.

Differentiating between Beliefs (‘Aqaid) and Practices (‘Aaamal), a mainstream classical Muslim scholar in his book “Sharh Aqaid al-Nasafi” wrties,

“You should know that of Al-Ahkam Al-Sharia’ [Sharia judgments] there are some which are related to nature of practice [kayfiyat al-‘amal] and are called derived (far’iya) and practical (‘amaliya); and there are others which are related to belief [I’tiqad] and are called fundamental [asliya] and doctrinal [I’tiqadiya].” (Taftazani, Sharh Aqaid)

Mainstream Muslim scholars unanimously agree with issues related to Beliefs while they seriously differ from one another on issues related with practical rulings or Furu’i Masail. As a result, we see that all four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence, Hanafi, Shafei, Maliki and Hanbali, unanimously agree with issues of Beliefs, while they differ from one another on numerous issues related to practices (‘aamaal). Despite differences on derivative rulings, they do not do takfir of one another, but instead they respect one another as Muslims, while sticking to their respective derivative practical rulings. As for Sayyid Qutb, he mixed Beliefs with Practices and put labels of Jahiliyyah and Kufr to Muslims who did not agree with him on issues of practical or derivative rulings. This is how Sayyid Qutb’s ideology manufactured neo-Kharijite extremists to eliminate “Jahiliyya Muslims” from the face of the earth.

A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a Sufi-Sunni background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A (Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is Interested in Islamic Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf).

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/ghulam-ghaus-siddiqi,-new-age-islam/sayyid-qutb’s-concept-of-jahiliyyah-that-produced-islamist-extremists-to-attack-mainstream-muslims/d/118313

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  • American Muslim Teachers in Indian Madrasas or CIA Agents and For What Purpose: The Latest Conspiracy Theory

    By Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor New Age Islam,

    Click and read,


    By Urooj - 5/12/2019 11:50:48 PM

  • False-flag acts of terrorism, character assassination and use of kahrijite narratives are all clearly working to deceive even elite panel of Muslims.
    Muslims, Hindus, non-zionist Jews and Christians all are confronted with false flag acts of terrorism.
    Despite their religious beliefs all religious people can live in peace and harmony but there are the people who do not want to see it happen. 

    By GGS - 5/12/2019 2:44:25 AM

  • What do you say about the judeo christain Zionist enemies who made NATO their formidable force and want to establish their rule over the entire world from Jerusalem by doing relentless oppression and making balant lies and flase flag acts of terrorism such as 9/11 attack on america?

    By Sahil Sharif - 5/12/2019 2:01:49 AM

  • Anti Islamic missionaries work on highlighting some selected subjects through which they want to make the faith of believers doubtful.
    Educated Muslims have lost their intelligence to be easily trapped by their tricks. 

    By Yuhana - 5/9/2019 8:58:29 PM

  • Hats Off is comparing his comments to imprecations in 1400 year old books! What he does not want to admit is that in this forum, he is the worst hatemonger constantly aspersing his own former community.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/22/2019 11:51:28 PM

  • dear mr GGS,
    i do not think that my comments are as crass and below the belt as many hadees and of course some verses of most holy books.
    just as prophets say unspeakable things and the (sahih) hadees exhorts muslims to kill the last jew so that quayyamat comes is also crass, dirty, murderous and of course below the belt.
    slaying people wherever you find them, taking up right hand posessions, maal e ghanimat, expelling jews from their ancestral lands are much much crasser than what i can ever type out.
    followers of any religion that hates someone something somewhere have no right to complain when they are hated back.
    what does your holy book say about polytheists, idolaters and the kuffar?
    more crass and further below the belt than any of my comments.

    By hats off! - 4/22/2019 6:18:01 PM

  • Dear Yasir,
    Tawaf means to walk around the Kaaba. It is farz to do Tawaf while performing Hajj. Allah Almighty says, “Perform Tawaf around the ancient House (Kaaba)” (22:29)
    Like Ruku’ as in the previous comment, Hanafi views is that the ruling of tawaf, as in this ayat, is mutlaq (free from any restrictive clasues) and hence doing Tawaf is Farz. One can perform this Farz without declaring Wuzu prerequisite or Farz for Tawaf. According to Hanafis, Tawaf is Farz and Wuzu is not Farz for Tawaf.
    On the contrary, Imam Shafei say Tawaf is Farz from the verse 22:29 and Wuzu is farz because of the hadith “الطواف حول البيت مثل الصلوة” meaning Tawaf around Kaaba is like the Salat” which implies that just as wuzu is Farz for Salat, so it is Farz for Tawaf too.
    Differing from the Shafei view, Hanafis say, the ruling of Tawaf mentioned in the word 22:29 is of mutlaq nature which can not be altered by any hadith of Khabre Wahid. Hanafis say we should practice on the hadith in a manner that it does not oppose the mutlaq nature the Quranic words, stipulating if it is not possible then the khabre wahid will not be practiced. In this regard, they say, Tawaf is Farz from the verse 22:29 while Wuzu is wajib from the hadith. Thus mutlaq nature of the Quran remains the same and we also get the way to act according to hadith.   
    Tawaf is mutlaqan Farz which can not be restriced to the clause of wuzu. But since wuzu for Tawaf is proved by the hadith, therefore it is wajib for Tawaf. Farz is greater than Wajib in rank. If you miss any Farz part of worship, your performance will be not be valid while without wajib the farz will be valid but not as much complete as with wajib. For example, during Namaz when a worshipper forgets any wajib, it is compulsory for him to do Sajda sahw but if he forgets any Farz he will have to resume his Namaz. 
    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 4/22/2019 4:08:12 AM

  • Dear Yasir,
    Taadeel means to carry out all the postures of Ruku, Sajda, Qiyam etc patiently and without rushing.
    Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “….do Ruku’ with those who do Ruku’..(2:43)
    English translators have translated it “bow down with those who bow down..” in such translations the common readers get confusion as to which type of bowing down is meant; bowing down in Ruku’ or bowing down in Sajda. Therefore It will be better if we translate it “do ruku with those who do ruku’”. Ruku refers to the bowing down from the standing position by placing hands on knees, while Sajda refers to placing forehead on the ground.
    From the verse above, both Shafei and Hanafi derive the ruling that Ruku’ is Farz in Salat (prayer/Namaz). There is no disagreement on Farz nature of Ruku.
    However Imam Shafei and Imam Abu Yusuf go on to say that Taadeel  is also Farz because of a Khabr-e-wahid hadith according to which the beloved Prophet asked a man to repeat his namaz which was offered without Taadeel.
    On the contrary, Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad Hanafi say that since Khabre-wahid hadith can’t abrogate mutlaq meaning of any Quranic verse nor can it alter the Quranic words. So they believe that in the verse 2:43 the word ruku’ is mutlaq (free from any restrictive clauses), therefore khabre wahid hadith can’t add to its mutlaq nature. As for the khabre wahid hadith, both Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad say one should practice on the khabre wahidh in a manner where one will not alter the mutlaq ruling of the Quran. Hence, according to them, Ruku is Farz and Taadeel is Wajib in Namaz. 
    According to the established opinion of Hanafis, Taadeel is Wajib for the postures which are Farz during Namaz, and Sunnah for the postures which are Wajib.
    Dear Yasir, if you are Hanafi, you can take this view and in case of being Shafei you can follow Imam Shafei's view.
    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 4/22/2019 2:02:50 AM

  • Dear bro, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi,
    My question is that is it farz in islam to do wuzu for doing Tawaf? I have read in a book that it is farz without which Tawaf is not complete while in some books it was written tawaf will be okay. I got confusion.
    Second is Taadeel farz in Ruku in Namaz? In a hadith it is written once a man did not do taadeel he was asked to repeat the Namaz. but i could not understand what is taadeel.
    Please reply to me soon.
    By Yasir Ahmad - 4/22/2019 12:34:11 AM

  • Hats off!
    Sometimes your comments are crass and below the belt!!!

    By GGS - 4/21/2019 11:16:20 AM

  • Silly comment from Hats Off! Is he calling Naseer sb. a moderate?
    And is there any religion which does not have diverse views?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/19/2019 1:02:19 PM

  • is there an "agreed upon Qur'an?" or alternatively why are two "moderate" muslims are unable to come to a common ground?
    By hats off! - 4/19/2019 6:04:32 AM

  • Throw the entire Arabic Literatures into the Arabian Sea. Peace will prevail. Arabic literatures are poisionous. Any attempt to gloss over  is  useless.

    By Dr.A.Anburaj - 4/19/2019 4:56:36 AM

  • Your criticism of Qutb was lukewarm but your support is firm.
    There is no agreed upon Sharia, so the term can be used any way one wants to, thus creating more confusion than clarity.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/17/2019 1:17:46 PM

  • I wonder how GM sb is blind to my criticism of Syed Qutub. However, I will not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Syed Qutub stood for implementing the Shariat and in principle, I cannot be against it.

    ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَىٰ شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

      نَّهُمْ لَن يُغْنُوا عَنكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ۚ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۖ وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ:



    We made for you a law (shariat)

                So, follow the Way

                And not the fancies of those,

                Who have no knowledge

                They will be of no avail to you against Allah in anything

                It is only the Zalimin (that stand as) protectors, one to another:

                But Allah is the Protector of the Muttaqin

    I will not stand with those who cite "fiqh" to oppose it and justify not implementing the shariat.

    The problem with the "fiqh" of every Imam, is that their shariat is far, far away from the shariat of the Quran which is what makes everyone dread "shariat" and I dread it too. We have wonderful fuquha who have turned shariat into a dreaded word by their excesses and also justify not implementing it! This is why I said that our scholars have all along been cosy with the ruler even when it was a colonial ruler and bent with the times.

    There are many verses of the Quran about the hypocrisy of the Jews and the Muslims of today outdo them in every way.  I had a poor opinion of our "fiqh" but did not know that it also justifies not practicing what you believe or making hypocrisy a respectable part of our faith!

    Is there a hadith that says that the Muslims will one day become worse in hypocrisy than the Jews who are the subject of the verses? If there is, then I must agree that there are a few good and genuine hadiths.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 4/17/2019 1:20:08 AM

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