March 08, 2004

2 Qutb 7e

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


Your statement is unfair.

Qutb does not say that these are new 'pillars of Islaam.'

The Prophet (saw) did say that "Islaam is built on five" and then named the five things that you mentioned.

The Prophet (saw) also made thousands of other statements. In the words of God in the Qur'aan and in all the statements of the Prophet (saw) which are inspired by God, there are many many evidences to back up the principles enunicated here by Qutb.

If you really doubt this I could start listing them.

Posted by: Abu Noor al-Irlandee at March 9, 2004 05:30 PM

With all due respect, I find it difficult to be unfair to a man who would argue that I do not have control of my animalistic desires merely because I don't share his faith.

Yes, I know the Prophet said thousands of things -- you might be interested in this post on the reliability of some of those sayings.

Posted by: Bill at March 11, 2004 12:47 AM