Sayyid Qutb, Marxist Socialism and the Leninist Revolutionary Vanguard
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Topics: Sayyid Qutb
The esteemed scholar, Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee, who has authored numerous works in refutation of the heresies and extremism of the father of all modern takfiri groups, pointed out in 1995 Qutb's exposition of elements of Communist ideology as well as his Leninist revolutionary activities.
Secondly: This tashree (legislation) that Sayyid Qutb ascribes to Islaam (referring here to some aspects of socialism-marxism related to confiscation of wealth from the rich for redistribution amongst the poor that Qutb permitted), he borrowed them from the Communist and Western principles (mabaadi) and theorems (nadhariyyaat) which had become widespread in his lifetime. In fact he himself used to imbibe (such principles and theorems) and they remained settled in his soul and in his intellect at the time when he would write in the name of Islaam. Especially when he mounted the peak of the Nasserite Taaghootee revolution which in its application, centred around Socialism, based upon the theorem of Sayyid Qutb and his likes, those who had mixed Marxist Socialism with the garment of Islaam, and by which Islaam and the Muslims were pounded.
And in the footnote, the Shaikh adds to this:
And the Free Officers, at the head of them, Jamaal Abd an-Nasser, used to be students, learning from the books of Sayyid Qutb, and he (Qutb) used to partner with them in plotting the revolution. Refer to the book "Sayyid Qutb min al-Meelaad Ilaa Istish.haad" (p.299-304) and before these pages, and also the book "Sayyid Qutb al-Adeeb an-Naaqid" (p.105-107)."
Similar observations were made many years later by non-Muslim writers and academics. By way of example, Ladan and Roya Boroumand wrote in an article titled "Terror, Islam and Democracy", Journal of Democracy 13.2 (2002) 5-20:
Like Mawdudi and various Western totalitarians, he [Qutb] identified his own society (in his case, contemporary Muslim polities) as among the enemies that a virtuous, ideologically self-conscious, vanguard minority would have to fight by any means necessary, including violent revolution, so that a new and perfectly just society might arise. His ideal society was a classless one where the "selfish individual" of liberal democracies would be banished and the "exploitation of man by man" would be abolished. God alone would govern it through the implementation of Islamic law (shari'a). This was Leninism in Islamist dress.
While Qutb may have criticisms against Communism and Socialism within his works, this does not negate the fact that he was influenced by them in the formulation of some of his ideas.
Contemporary members of the Muslim Brotherhood acknowledge that Qutb was influenced by Leninist revolutionary methodology. Ibrahim al-Houdaiby writes in an article "Four Decades After Sayyid Qutb's Execution" (bold emphasis is ours):
In "Milestones" Qutb presents a manifesto for change, one heavily influenced by Lenin's "What is to be done," with the clear Islamization of its basic notions. He argued that society was suffering from "jahiliyya" (a state of ignorance which preceded the revelation of Islam) and that consequently, there is no room for middle ground between Islamists and their societies.
Though he acknowledged this much, al-Houdaiby makes a very miserable attempt to defend Sayyid Qutb, trying to absolve him of radicalism, and attempting likewise to absolve the Muslim Brotherhood in general, from responsibility for the spread of Qutb's extremist, alien to Islam ideologies.
Paul Berman writes in an article published in the New York Times, 23rd March 2003:
The few had to gather themselves together into what Qutb in "Milestones" called a vanguard - a term that he must have borrowed from Lenin ...
In "Sayyid Qutb: The Father of Al-Qaida", published in the Independent in August 2006, Daniel Martin quotes from Lawrence Wright observing about the book "Milestones":
...Its ringing apocalyptic tone may be compared with Rousseau's Social Contract and Lenin's What Is to Be Done? - with similar bloody consequences.
Rod Dreher writes in the Dallas Morning News (27th August 2006):
What is to be done? Lenin famously asked about Czarist Russia. Qutb's answer to the same question about the West was, in part, "Milestones," a Leninist-style tract advocating worldwide Islamic revolution.
These are just a selection of observations made by writers, many years after what Shaikh Rabee wrote in the early to mid-90s, regarding the not so Islamic origins of Qutb's extremism.
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