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Sayyid Qutb
  The Mistakes and Innovations of Sayyid Qutb
Article ID : NDV010008  


Amongst those who have criticised Sayyid Qutb include:

  1. Shaikh Abdullaah ad-Dawaish - may Allaah have mercy upon him. He criticised 'az-Zilaal' a number of years ago and recorded over 180 mistakes in the matters of 'aqeedah and manhaj in his book 'al-Mawrid az-Zalaal fit -Tanbeeh alaa Akhtaa az-Zilaal'
  2. And for his takfeer of the whole Ummah he was even criticised by some of the prominent figureheads of Ikhwaan, indicating that at his time, his ideas were not really widely accepted.
  3. Shaikh Mahmood Muhammad Shaakir and others criticised him in his lifetime and refuted him regarding his reviling and slander of Uthmaan (ra) and the other Companions such as az-Zubair, Sa'd, Abdur-Rahmaan bin 'Awf and also some of the taabi'een.
  4. Shaikh Muhammad Hamood an-Najdi in his book 'al-Qawl ul-Mukhtasir al-Mubeen fee Manhaahij al-Mufassireen' regarding his position on the Sifaat...
  5. Muhammad Tawfeeq Barakaat in his book 'Sayyid Qutb Khulaasatu Hayaatihi' (p.176-177) said:In these pages we shall try - with the help of Allaah - to state the most important criticisms that have been directed at Sayyid Qutb - may Allaah have mercy upon him - whether it is positive or negative, trying to do that to the best of our capability. And to the extent of my knowledge, there has not appeared any Muslim writer who has been promoted to such a high level, or whose position has been disparaged and reduced to a low level as the likes of Sayyid Qutb - and we are not festering this second aspect [i.e Qutb's disparagement]. Let us then look at some of the things that have been said about him, generally:
    1. It has been said: That he is a new prophet for a specific Jamaa'ah of the Muslims
    2. It has been said: That he does not know what comes out of his head, the strong sentiments and fluency of the language led him to words which are but useless [no meaning behind them]
    3. It has been said: That he is a man of imaginations/ideas, he makes his rulings upon whims and he flies in the wind/breeze of the soul therefore he does not correctly know the true state of affairs
    4. It has been said: That he used to speak about the ahkaam (rulings) of the Sharee'ah without having any knowledge whatsoever of fiqh
    5. It has been said: That he desires to bring about a massive barrier between the Muslims and the Islamic fiqh
    6. It has been said: That he desired to cut the people off from the books of tafseer with the use of sentimental words in his Zilaal
    7. It has been said: That he declared all the Muslims to be disbelievers and did not leave save a few people who were still revolving around Islam.
    8. And many more things have been said about him
  6. Shaikh Muhammad Naasir ud-Deen al-Albaanee who criticised him for his speaking with 'wahdatul-wujood' and said that he was merely a writer [adeeb], who was ignorant, with no knowledge, and that he did not call to the Tawheed of Allaah.

It is not correct therefore to claim that Sayyid Qutb is being criticised and disparaged now, in the Nineties by a single or perhaps two or three scholars. Rather a fair number of scholars have criticised him for many things and additionally he was criticised during his lifetimes very heavily for many matters in which he made grave and serious errors.

Amongst them are:

His rebuke and censure of the Prophet of Allaah, Moosaa (alaihis-salaam) and making him the object of ridicule.

Sayyid Qutb said, in at-Tasweer al-Fannee fil-Qur'aan: "Let us take Moosaa - he is the example of the fiery, excitable leader [quotes Qasas 28:15] and here his zealous , excitable spirit appeared, just as his emotions in favour of his nation were shown; but this emotional impulse quickly passed away - and he regained his composure - and this is what happens with the excitable folk. [Quotes Qasas 28:15-17, 18] - and this change shows a well-known manifestation, that of one who is afraid, distressed and expecting evil in every moment - and this is also the sign of the excitable (folk). Then along with this and along with the fact that he promissed that he would not aid the wrongdoers - then let us see what he did [quotes Qasas 28:18]. He desired to attack the other man just as he did the day before, and his zeal and emotion led him to forget his having sought forgiveness, his regret, his fear and his anxious watchfulness... So let us leave him here, to meet him again, at a second period in his life, ten years later. So perhaps he had calmed down and became a man who was of calm nature and gentle-natured. No indeed! So here he was, being called from the right hand side of the mountain: that he should throw down his staff, so he threw it down and it became a snake - moving quickly, he hardly saw it before he jumped and ran, not looking back and not turning aside... he was the same highly strung youth... ..."

His rebuke and censure of the Companions of Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , especially Uthmaan (radiallaahu anhu). [The way of the Rawaafid] On this issue he was corrected and refuted by Mahmood Shaakir in his lifetime but he maintained his position and did not recant. His refusal is in the magazine ar-Risaalah vol 977 in the year 1952. This was after Mahmood Shaakir wrote four treatise against him the titles of three of them being: hukmun bilaa bayyinah, laa tasubboo ashaabee, al-alsinatu al-muftireen. They were published in the magazine al-Muslimoon starting in Muharram of the year 1372 hijri.In spite of this he still allowed the book 'Al-Adaalat ul-Ijtimaa'iyyah' to be published before his death.

He said in the aforementioned book for example:

"Indeed, it was a truly a trial that Alee was not the third of the Rightly Guided Caliphs" (p.191 5th edn & p.162 12th edn.)

"And we tend to the opinion that the khilaafah of Alee was the natural extension of the khilaafah of the two shaikhs [i.e. Abu Bakr and Umar] and that the era of Uthmaan was merely a gap in between" (p.206 5th edn.)

"And it is unfortunate that the khilaafah came to Uthmaan when he was an old man; his determination had weakened and did not reach the goals intended by Islaam; and his resolve was too weak to steadfastly face the plots of Marwaan and plots of Umayyah beyond that." (p.186 5th edn.)

"The Companions saw this deviation from the spirit of Islaam, and would call one another to al-Madeenah to save Islaam and to save Islaam from the trial; and the khalifah - in his old age, and his state brought about by advanced age - did not possess control of his affair to the expense of Marwaan. It is difficult to accuse the spirit of Islaam in the person of Islaam, but it is likewise difficult to pardon him for the error of the unfortunate occurrence of his taking the khilaafah whilst he was a weakened old man, who was surrounded by evil courtiers from Banu Umayyah..." (p.189 5th edn and its meaning is on p.161 of the 12th edn.)

His declaration of all societies to be disbelievers without exception. [The way of the Khawaarij]

And this is confirmed by Yoosuf al-Qardaawi in his book - The Priorities of the Islamic Movement (p.110) where he explains that the books of Sayyid Qutb appeared in which Qutb performs takfeer of all societies and in which he announces a destructive jihaad against the whole of mankind.

His saying that the Qur'aan is created. [The saying of the Jahmiyyah].

His saying that existence is one (wahdatul wujood). [The way of the Soofiyyah]

In his explanations of Surah Ikhlaas and also the beginning of Surah Hashr. He said, for example, in his Zilaal (6/4002): "Verily it is a single existence, and there is no other reality save that of His, and there is no true and real existence save His - and every other existing thing then its existence is an extension of His existence ... and when this perception becomes firmly established, the one which sees nothing in existence except the reality of Allaah..."

And in some of his other books, Sayyid Qutb affirms this and also praises the Soofees and their actions

He said in his Zilaal (6/3291): "And there are a people who worship Allaah, because they thank him for His favours which they cannot count - and behind this worship, they do not look for Paradise or Hellfire, nor to pleasure or punishment at all..."

His saying of the divine indwelling (hulool) and also Jabr (mankind having no free will - being compelled to act). [The way of the Jabariyyah].

His denial of some of the Attributes of Allaah in the way and style of the Jahmiyyah. [The way of the Mu'attilah]

For example his denial of Istiwaa by explaining it away - that it is merely an allegorical expression as he said in his Zilaal (3/1762) and also in many other places such as: (1/53), (/1/54), (3/1296), (4/2045), (5/2807)

And likewise his denial of the Meezaan (Scales) in the way and style of the Jahmiyyah (4/2481).

His attacks on the Miracles of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .

His refusal of the acceptance of ahaad hadeeth in matters of Aqeedah. [The way of the Mu'tazilah]

He said in his Zilaal (6/4008): "And the Aahaad hadeeth are not to be taken in the matters of aqeedah, the source is the Qur'aan - and something being mutawaatir is a condition [that has to be fulfilled] in accepting hadeeth in the issues of belief..." And in this he is more astray than the Ash'arees

His denial of the magic that was practiced upon the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .

His denial that Eesaa (as) was raised to the heaven

His claim that the point of dispute between the Messenger and the Pagans was with respect to Tawheed ur-Ruboobiyyah only and that Tawheed ul-Uloohiyyah is but Tawheed ur-Ruboobiyyah.

He said in his Zilaal (4/1846): "Then the issue of Uloohiyyah was not the point of difference, indeed, it was the issue of Ruboobiyyah which the messages (of the Messengers) addressed. And this was what the final message was addressing also."

His claim that the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah) are but mere imaginations (takhyeel).

And for those who call for Haakimiyyah and raise its banner high, then it is well known to the lowest student of knowledge that the Haakimiyyah of Allaah Azzawajall applies even more so to His Essence, His Names and Attributes [as well as His Sharee'ah etc.] So the one who does not judge - in the matters related to knowledge about Allaah - by what Allaah has revealed - then it is more befitting for him to be labelled a rejector of the Haakimiyyah of Allaah Azzawajall. What is required is justice and fair speech and speaking the truth, even if it be against one's own soul - and applying the fundamental principles of Islamic Belief justly and fairly to every individual that they apply to - and this is a sign of a Muslims honesty, integrity and love for the Revelation of Allaah.

His refusal to pray Salaatul-Jumu'ah with the justification that there is no khilaafah at the present time.

Alee Ashmaawee says in his book: "The Secret History of Ikhwaan ul-Muslimeen" (at-Taareekh as-Sirree li-Jamaa'atil-Ikhwaan il-Muslimeen): "And the time for the Jumu'ah prayer arrived so I said to him: 'Let us leave and pray' and it was a surprise that I came to know - and for the first time - that he did not used to pray Jumu'ah" (p.112)

His speaking with "Hurriyatul-I'tiqaad" [The Freedom of Belief] - meaning that people can be left upon the religion that they are upon. [So Christians should be left as Christians - Jews as Jews etc...] - Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen was asked 'What do you say about the one who speaks with Hurriyatul-I'tiqaad?' The Shaikh replied: 'The one who allows Hurriyatul I'tiqaad - that a person can believe in whatever religion he wishes is a Kaafir...'. NOTE: TAKFEER IS NOT BEING MADE HERE - Since even though someone utters something which necessitates disbelief, the conditions have to be fulfilled and the preventive barriers [mawaani'] have to be removed before the verdict of disbelief can be issued and that is for the Ulamaa' alone - BUT THIS IS TO SHOW THE NATURE OF QUTB'S IGNORANCE OF FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF THE RELIGION. Shaikh al-Albaanee commented about Qutb that he is merely a writer (adeeb), lacking in Islamic knowledge.

"For Islam does not desire the freedom of worship for its followers only, rather it affirms this right for all the different religions and it tasks the Muslims to fight and defend this right for all people and it [even] allows them to fight under this flag, the flag which guarantees the freedom of worship for the adherents of all other religions...so that it is realised that it is a free world order... (Nahwa Mujtami' Islaamee p.105)

"And Islaam does not feel uneasy about the differences of mankind in aqeedah and manhaj, rather it considers this as something necessitated by natural disposition and a goal from ahgher will in life amongst the people...(Nahwa Mujtami' Islamee p.103)"

His speaking about the Qur'an with mere personal opinion. There are 181 mistakes in matters of aqeedah and issues of knowledge in his Fi zilaal il-Quraan as pointed out by Shaik Abdullaah bin Muhammad as-Dawaish in his book, Al-Mawrid uz-Zilaal fit-Tanbeeh alaa Akhtaa'a az-Zilaal and as the saying goes: Al-Lamsu wal-Basar khairun min as-Sam'i wal-khabr.

For a full and excellent refutation of Sayyid Qutb refer to the following books by the Shaikh Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee, which have been recommended by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin, Shaikh Bin Baz and others.

1. Adwaa al-Islaamiyyah alaa Aqeedati Sayyid Qutb
2. Mataa'in Sayyid Qutb fis-Sahaabah
3. Al-Awaasim mimmaa fee kutub Sayyid Qutb minal-Qawaasim
4. Al-Hadd ul-Faasil bainal-Haqq wal-Baatil

After reading these it should become clear to the one who is free from ta'assub and hizbiyyah that Sayyid Qutub is most certainly not a mujaddid, in the league of the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah as is ignorantly propagated by many.


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