Seyyid Qutb on Jihad and Takfiir

Well, I am now in chapter 4 entitled "Jihad in the Cause of God." It is easy to see why this guy is said to be a great inspiration for Al Qaeda and other groups which use violence. One of the things that surprised me is just how unapologetic he is about jihad NOT being about defense:

...these defeatist-type people try to mix the two aspects and want to confine jihaad to what is today called 'defensive war'. The Islamic Jihaad has no relation to modern warfare, either in its causes or in the way it conducted.

He chalks it up to a bunch of pseudo-Muslim scholars and orientalistis--this terrible plot to redefine Islamic jihad to deprive it of such an important element and tool.

He also begins to touch on takfiir, which is an important aspect of the spirituality of al qaeda type gorups today. The doctrine is that anyone who is no following true Islam, even if they say they are a Muslim, are not. Such a person practicing an incomplete or incorrect Islam is a hypocrite and an apostate, and apostates should be killed. Thus the taking of the lives of all those fake Muslims (ie, the government of KSA, American and British soldiers who are Muslims, Iraqi police officers, etc.) is not a violation at all of the command to not kill Muslims. They are all unbelievers, they are mukaffariin, excommunicated ones, by their own incomplete allegiance to God and his law.

Anyway, Qutb is quite clear on the question of violence, and it boils down to this: it is lawful and obligatory to use violence to overturn all form of government that are not truly Islamic (by his standards), which means probably every government in the world today.


Anonymous said…
Defensive warfare? I thought jihad meant "inner struggle."
Abu Daoud said…
According to Qutb it means neither of the two, ie means using the material resources of the Islamic community to ensure that God is lord over all men and that every human has the freedom to embrace Islam.

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