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]