Comments: 2 Qutb 7c

It's possible that Qutb was confusing countercultural mores for general societal mores. There was a great deal of pro-libertine and pro-homosexual attitudes in the beatnik circles, throughout the postwar period. I think he spent some time in American university circles in the late 40s or early 50s?

Posted by Mitch H. at February 12, 2004 09:07 AM


Not sure I'd agree, although for a while I assumed this to be the case. But check out what Qutb had to say about that center of the counterculture, the church social. (Warning: it's a blogger post, so it might not actually be there, although it's working now).

Posted by Bill at February 13, 2004 12:33 AM

Ooh, ouch. Yeah, that's nuts. Unless somebody took Qutb to some sort of deranged Beatnik Baptist church I've never heard of... Any idea where Lewis got the passage he was paraphrasing?

Posted by Mitch H. at February 13, 2004 08:32 AM

I'll try to check. It's not in any of the Qutb stuff I've read, but I've only read a tiny fraction, and the guy was prolific. Unfortunately, all my books are packed away while we renovate parts of our house. I'll swing by a Borders and see if Lewis provides a reference.

Posted by Bill at February 13, 2004 10:41 AM


While you or I may disagree with particular views of Qutb regarding woman's role in family, what Qutb is basically arguing is that it is more important and more beneficial for a woman to spend her time raising a family than in some low level commercial activity.

This should be obvious to anyone, and I really wonder about those who would really think that it is more important to serve strangers drinks on a plane than to raise one's own child.

The idea of temporary marriage which exists among the Shi'a is yet another anomaly of this sect's misguidance. 90% of Muslims realize that this is nothing but adultery and do not permit or sanction it in any way. This is not meant as a prejudiced or bigoted insult of Shi'a but just a factual statement regarding how the Sunni Muslims of the world view this issue.

Posted by Abu Noor al-Irlandee at February 13, 2004 10:49 AM

Abu Noor,

I believe Qutb has objected to the idea of any woman working anywhere, independent of the question of her having children. In Social Justice in Islam, he also objected to women being reporters, which is not exactly a low level menial position (I also think stewardesses, who require some special training and do a good deal more than serve drinks, are not exactly earning minimum wage).

Not every woman wants to have children, and some women are infertile. What option does Qutb leave open to them?

Regarding the Iran example I cited, you are no doubt right that it's a Shi'a phenomenon. The Sunni Islamists have a much more humane solution to the problems of sex. Sa'id Hawwa, a member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, suggested that if marriage is impossible for a young man, it is permissible for him to have sex with his female slave. I suspect that's not an option in Syria today, but in the Qutbtopia, well, it's all covered by the Sharia...

Posted by Bill at February 13, 2004 12:29 PM