March 09, 2005

Qutbdex 1

I've been asked for this before, and generally left it to others to keep track, but, what the hell, I wanted to look over this anyway -- so here's the beginnings of a slightly annotated index to all Sayyid Qutb posts on paleo Ideofact and ideofact.

The first work I looked at was Social Justice in Islam. The posts (in order):

Qutb 1 critiques Qutb's rather simplistic view of history, particularly his notion that the West advanced technologically and scientifically only by abandoning Christianity, a faith which, he says, demands that its followers despise this world;

Qutb 2 notes his rejection of Muslim philosophers like Averroes and Avicenna as being inauthentically Muslim, and also notes a certain vagueness in Qutb's thinking;

Qutb 2 Cont. notes that "Everything that is not legally forbidden is perfectly permissible."

Qutb 3:1 looks at chapter three. Not a lot of analysis here.

Qutb 3:2 quotes that women working "is a form of slavery and servitude in an atmosphere of the smoke of incense and opium," while noting that Qutb also says that for fourteen centuries Islam has granted women the right to work and the right to earn.

Qutb 3:3 points out, among other things, this passage, in which Qutb argues that actually believing in equality destroys society and the individual:

Such freedom he might be led to expect by his belief in the absolute equality that exists between himself and all other individuals, in respect of all his privileges; but such an expectation is responsible for the destruction not only of society, but also of the individual himself.

In Qutb 4, we read, "As 'Uthmann ibn 'Affan said: 'Allah restrains man more by means of the ruler than by means of the Qur'an.'"

Qutb 5 displays my regrettable tendency to wander off topic, and also Qutb's regrettable recourse to compulsion in religion: "There can be no permanent system in human life until this integration and unification has taken place; this step is a prerequisite for true and complete human life, even justifying the use of force against those who deviate from it, so that those who have wandered from the true path may be brought back to it." (emphasis added)

Qutb 6 is about economics, or perhaps Qutbonomics is a better term, which I describe as a prescription for poverty.

Qutb 7:1 was actually quite interesting for me to reread, and deals with adultery and stoning, Qutb's insistence on death and the unreliability of certain Hadith, and finally, some common sense from a Muslim posting on a BBC forum.

Qutb 7:2 turns from sex to war, and Qutb explains that "Three possibilities are placed before the people of a conquered country, one of which everyone must choose -- Islam, the poll tax, or war." Given those choices, I think I'd take door number three, Sayyid...

Qutb 7:3 notes, I think for the first time, that Islam, for Qutb, is a "tempermental flower that will wilt if subjected to the slightest breeze."

Qutb 7:4 (hey, shut up already!) notes that Western civilization "is a civilization founded on pure materialism, a civilization of murder and war, of conquest and of subjugation," and little (nothing) else...

Qutb 7:5 is about the lack of efficiency of making the caliph the primary milk maids of the caliphate.

Qutb 7:6 is sort of silly, but does point out principles like "it's not so great if your next door neighbor starves to death." Still, it probably could be skipped...

Qutb 8:1 notes his views on the fragility of Islam.

In Qutb 8:2, the disaster of, for example, Persians converting to Islam is quoted.

Qutb 8:3 contains information on Mongols, Stephen Schwartz and Ghazan Khan, all of whom fare better than Ibn Tamiyyah and Qutb.

Qutb 8:4 provides us with the important information that crusading is in the blood.

Qutb 8:5 notes that he believes "the wide powers entrusted to the head of state -- all these are living methods of ensuring growth through development and adaptation, in order to keep pace with life and to meet its needs as they emerge." Dictatorships are so much more responsive to the people's needs, after all.

In Qutb 8:4:1, the lack of nuances in Qutb's thought are noted, particularly regarding variations in Islamic belief.

Qutb 8:6 finds surprising similarities between Qutb's economic and political ideas and those of totalitarian Europe.

In Qutb 9, we learn that Austin Powers' instincts on being unfrozen, and told the Cold War was over, were correct: "Well! Finally those capitalistic pigs will pay for their crimes, eh? Eh comrades? Eh?"

I'll continue the index later...

Posted by Ideofact at March 9, 2005 11:30 PM

fantastic! thank you.

Posted by: Stygius at March 11, 2005 01:31 PM