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Sayyid Qutb

Concealment Is Not Permissible In Aqeeda

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Waiting for death: Sayyid Qutb with his fellow companions on trial in Cairo.

On August 29, 1966, Sayyid Qutb was executed along with two of his companions, Muhammad Yusuf Awwash and Abdul Fattah Isma’il.

Sayyid Qutb “welcomed” death and did not accept any attempts to change his stance until his end came. Because this, he felt, was how his words would truly impact the masses. He writes:

“Indeed our words will remain lifeless, barren, devoid of any passion, until we die as a result of these words, whereupon our words will suddenly spring to life and live on amongst the hearts that are dead, bringing them back to life as well…”

He would tell his fellow inmates, “Brother(s) push ahead, for your path is soaked in blood. Do not turn your head right or left but look only up to Heaven.”

One of his inmates asked him, “Why were you so open in the court that holds your neck under its threat?” He replied, “Because concealment is not permissible in Aqeedah, and it is not for the leader to take the allowances in religion.”

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Sayyid Qutb’s Execution And His Publications

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The day Sayyid Qutb was executed, six to eight thousand copies of ‘Fi Dhilal al-Qur’an’ were burned in the main streets, in other words 64,000 volumes of the book were burned. Anyone in Egypt who was found possessing any of Sayyid Qutb’s books – especially ‘Ma’alim fit-Tariq’ (Milestones)- was sentenced to ten years in prison.

That generation began asking itself: ‘Who is this man who was executed? What is this book ‘Ma’alim fit-Tariq’ and this book ‘Fi Dhilal al-Qur’an’ that he was sentenced for?’ Therefore, everyone began looking for these books to read them. This happened to the point that a failing Christian publishing company in Beirut was advised by other Christians: “If you want to save your company, print ‘Fi Dhilal al-Qur’an.” Yes, and he did so, and in the same year that Sayyid Qutb was executed, the book was printed seven times. During his lifetime, it was only printed one and a half times – they did not even complete the second printing.

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 242-243]

The American Islam

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Sayyid Qutb describes the “American Islam”, that aims to undermine the project of Islamic empowerment by deliberately infecting key segments of the native population with a twisted, “reactionary” version of Islam, by saying:

“The Islam that America and it’s allies desire in the Middle East does not resist colonialism and tyranny, but rather resist communism only. They do not want Islam to govern and cannot abide it to rule, because when Islam governs it will raise a different breed of humans and will teach people that it is their duty to develop their power and expel the colonialists.

American Islam is consulted on the issues of birth control, the entry of women into parliament, and on matters that impair ritual ablutions. However it is not consulted on the matter of our social and economic affairs and fiscal system, nor is it consulted on political and national affairs and our connections with colonialism.”

– Dirasat Islamia, Page 119-120

On The Execution Day Of Sayyid Qutb

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Generally prisoners would not know when they are due to be executed because of public sensitivities. Consequently, the date of the execution of Sayyid Qutb was kept hidden even from Sayyid Qutb himself. On the day of his execution, the military officers entered Sayyid Qutb’s cell, under the pretext that he has been ordered to change his cell quarters. However Sayyid Qutb knew that this was not just another cell change and said, “I know where you are taking me, for the Prophet Muhammed came to me in my dream and told me (about today), so take me.”

So they took Sayyid Qutb to the place of his execution. Everybody saw him with a beaming smile on his face, he was extremely happy and waving to the prison guards. Before the execution, he said:

“I am living a life that I have never lived before. I am feeling the true meaning of Emaan [true Belief]. I fully understand ‘Aqeedah (Islamic belief) as its meant to be understood more than ever before. I am waiting for my shahadah (martyrdom), and I have never lived a life better than the life I am living right now.”

On receiving his death sentence in court, Sayyid Qutb said, “Alhamdullilah. I performed Jihad for fifteen years until I earned this Shahadah (martyrdom).”

Mohammed Yusuf Hawwash

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Mohammed Yusuf Hawwash

Mohammed Yusuf Hawwash was executed alongside Sayyid Qutb during the Nasserite era. So, how was their relationship?

Their relationship probably started after their sentencing in 1955, for he had been given 55 years, and Sayyid Qutb 15; both were released in 1964. They remained throughout this period together, whether in prison or in hospital, so the relationship developed and strengthened, for each of them would find with the other, something he needed, so they would complete each other. Muhammad would benefit from and learn, the thought, culture, knowledge and depth of the shaheed Sayyid, while Sayyid would learn about the history of Ikhwaan, their organization, methodology, and anything related to the jamaa`ah from the shaheed Muhammad, because he had joined before him. And so, they were very attached to each other. Muhammad would say: “Every chapter and every phrase in the books of Ustaadh Sayyid, I know when it was written, what the occasion was, and the discussion about it when it appeared as it did.”

After their martyrdom, the brothers would say: “Indeed it is from the mercy of Allah over these two men, that He chose them both for martyrdom together, otherwise one would not be able to be patient with splitting from the other.”

-Excerpts from the interview with the Wife of Mohammed Yusuf Hawwash

The Reality Of A Tyrant

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Syrian President Bashar(Left) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi

Sayyid Qutb, in his exegesis, “In the Shade of the Quran”, while explaining Surah al – Naazi’aat, says:

“The tyrant is merely an individual who in reality possesses neither power nor authority. Rather, it is the heedless and docile masses who bend their backs for him so he can mount them, and stretch out their necks for him so he can drag them, and bow their heads before him so he can tower above them, and abandon their right to honor and dignity so he can be tyrannical towards them! And the masses do this both because they have been deceived and because they have been beset by fear; and this fear only springs from illusion.

The tyrant – who is no more than an individual – cannot possibly be stronger than thousands and millions of people, if only they were conscious of their humanity, dignity, honor and freedom; and every individual among them is equal to the tyrant in terms of strength, but the tyrant deceives them and makes them imagine that he can do something to them”

A Beautiful Love Story!

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Amina Qutb (1909-2007), Sister of Sayid Qutb, was born in Assiut, Egypt. She was known for her unique character and high level of Faith.

Kamal Al Saniniri, (1918-1981) who was imprisoned for his religious activities, met Sayid Qutb in jail and asked for Amina’s hand in marriage. They got married while he was in prison. She supported him and his path and made great effort to be by his side. Yet several years passed and Kamal began to sense Amina’s increasing exhaustion.

He presented to her the option to end the marriage saying: “Never do I want to impede your path to happiness…. But never will I succumb to the oppressor’s will by the permission of Allāh…even if they were to tear me into pieces”

Amina wrote back: “Allow me to be with you on your path…The path of Jihād and paradise, steadfastness and sacrifice, and commitment to the firm ‘Aqīdah (creed) that we dedicated ourselves to without any hesitation or regret.”

After 17 tough years, Sananiri was released in 1973 and had the time to live with Amina for 8 years before he was imprisoned again in 1981. This time, he was brutally tortured and his soul departed, martyred under the severity of the inflicted torment.

After his departure, Amina Qutb wrote the following words:

“Did we not tread the path of truth together?, So that good can return to the barren land;

We had made an agreement to walk together…Then you hurried, responding to the call of departure”

Which Bride Are You Referring To?

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The journalist Mahmud ar Rakaabi narrated a strange discussion that took place between himself and Sayyid Qutb(رحمه الله)at his house before his imprisonment.

Ar Rakaabi recalls, “I said to him, ‘Praise be to Allah upon well being–whatever Allah wills– your health is good, all you need now is a bride?’ So Sayyid laughed very much and said, ‘Which bride are you referring to [in this world or the next?]’ I said, ‘We were created for both of them.’

So we spoke for a while, then he suddenly asked me, ‘Can you interpret dreams? For I had a vision last night that a red snake wrapped itself around me and then tightened itself on me. Then I woke up that hour and couldn’t go back to sleep. I said, ‘My sir! That’s a gift, to be presented to you by one of the believers, wrapped with a red ribbon, and if you wish I will present it to you now, so take it and continue with your sleep.’ He said, ‘Why can’t the interpretation of the dream be that I am the gift presented to the believers?’ I said, ‘Isn’t the existence of the righteous more beneficial for the Islamic Da’wah? He said, ‘Not always. In fact, sometimes their departure is more beneficial! Although, I am not intending my own destruction, but we must intend firmness in our stance, knowing that the firmness in stance can bring about destruction.’ I said, ‘O Man! Don’t be pessimistic like that, for people should aim to be balanced in everything.’ He said: ‘You will come to know.’’
– Fareed, A., Mawaaqif Imaaniyah, p. 265, Dar Taybah ed.3.

Muhammed Yusuf Hawwash(رحمه الله)

Muhammed Yusuf Hawwash(رحمه الله), Companion of Shaheed Sayyid Qutb(رحمه الله) in life and Martyrdom.

During the final visit to her husband(Mohammed Yusuf) and prior to his execution, his wife asked the officer to bring in the food, and the officer refused.

Muhammad(رحمه الله) said to her: “Don’t tire yourself, and waste the time that we can spend together. If they bring the food in, then they will insist that I eat now, and I am fasting”.

His son Ahmad went and sat on his father’s lap and kept crying saying: “The boys keep saying to me, You whose father wanted to kill Abdul-Nasser”.

So the Shaheed replied to him:

“The scales today are reversed, and they will not be corrected today, indeed: We Shall set up the scales of justice for the day of judgement”

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