After demonstrating the superiority of the Islamic family by suggesting that women should raise children to the exclusion of any other role in life, Sayyid Qutb, in the seventh chapter of Milestones, reminds us of the thesis with which he began the chapter, namely, that Islam only recognizes two types of society -- the pure Islamist society and the Jahliyyah, the society living in ignorance. Qutb tells us,
Thus, only Islamic values and morals, Islamic teachings and safeguards, are worthy of mankind, and from this unchanging and true measure of human progress, Islam is the real civilization and Islamic society is truly civilized.
I passed over that paragraph two or three times without so much as batting an eye -- I suppose I've read enough Qutb to no longer be shocked by his obvious cultural chauvinism. And what is the basis of this Islamic civilization? Qutb offers his own "Pillars of Islam":
The Islamic civilization can take various forms in its material and organizational structure, but the principles and values on which it is based are eternal and unchangeable. These are: the worship of God alone, the foundation of human relationships on the belief in the Oneness of God, the supremacy of the humanity of man over material things, the development of human values and the control of animalistic desires, respect for the family, the assumption of being the representative of God on earth according to His guidance and instruction, and in all affairs of this vicegerency the rule of God's law (al-Shari'ah) and the way of life prescribed by Him.
That's a little different than those specified by the Prophet, which consist of making the declaration of faith (which I think Qutb covers in the worship of God alone), the times and manner of prayer, paying the Zakat or tax that supports the poor, the fast during Ramadan, and the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca.
And that's it for tonight. I'll probably move on to chapter 8 next -- there's more I'd like to say about the seventh chapter, but my books are still packed away while we remodel stately ideofact manor, and an area I wanted to explore in more detail will have to wait...Posted by Ideofact at March 8, 2004 11:22 PM