This is a reply to the enlightening article on the blog muslimmatters.org [link] on the subject of Muslims living in secular Western societies. While the issues raised were engaging and highly relevant, the presentation of the thought of Syed Qutb and Syed Maududi was over-simplified and far from accurate.
Contributing to the Dialogue
This is not a rebuttal, refutation or response to the article by my teacher and shaykh Yasir Qadhi, but an informed contribution to the discussion he helped jumpstart.
The founders of the contemporary Islamic movements, including Hasan al-Banna, Syed Qutb and Abul A‘la Maududi are among the most misunderstood personalities in modern times- and that doesn’t exclude Muslims. The Al-Qaeda hysteria and the global chaos caused by terrorism, both real and imagined, both individual and state-sponsored, has rendered a sound understanding of Islamic religion, history and thought extremely challenging if not impossible. This preoccupation keeps leading to outlandish conclusions that we have all heard all too often, and attempts to link contemporary violence to Qutb, Maududi, al-Banna, or even to earlier figures such as Muhammad b. Abdulwahhab, Ibn Taymiyyah and others.
I believe it is more than obvious, from the thoughts, writings and works of these figures, that there is no need to theorize whether they would have agreed with contemporary extremist tendencies or not. The answer is resoundingly clear to all those who have any rudimentary familiarity with their life work. Continue reading