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THREE VOICES OF EGYPTIAN ISLAM Shaykh `Abd al-Halim Mahmud, author of Fatawa `an al-shuyu`iyya (Fatwas on Communism), written in early 1970s Khalid Muhyi al-Din, author of al-Din wa al-ishtirakiyya (Religion and Socialism), written roughly at the same time

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THREE VOICES OF EGYPTIAN ISLAM

  • Shaykh `Abd al-Halim Mahmud, author of Fatawa `an al-shuyu`iyya (Fatwas on Communism), written in early 1970s

  • Khalid Muhyi al-Din, author of al-Din wa al-ishtirakiyya (Religion and Socialism), written roughly at the same time

  • Sayyid Qutb, author of Ma`alim fi al-tariq (Signposts on the Road), released from prison in 1964


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FATWAS ON COMMUNISM

  • Compilation of legal opinions

  • Shallow in quality, but part of “hegemonic discourse” of the Ulema

  • Fatwas regarded as binding religious opinions, behind them is the authority of dominant tradition and the state

  • Religious interpretation in the service of political power. Al-Azhar=Islam


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1-RELIGION AND SOCIALISM

  • A collection of essays: Muhyi al-Din is a Marxist and a Muslim

  • Islam is socialist and collectivist; the earth common heritage of all; early Muslims social rebels

  • Islam a revolutionary enterprise: preaches a doctrine of social justice and gives people right to challenge inequality and injustice


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2 -RELIGION AND SOCIALISM

  • Islam is not a political but a religious order

  • Invoking divine sanction or claiming infallibility for political power is alien to Islam

  • The state to stand on its own without the cover of religion, authority is civil

  • Ali: “The Qur`an is but words between two covers. It does not speak; men do.”


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THE MUSLIM BROTHERS (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin)

  • Founder: Hasan al-Banna (d. 1949) in 1928

  • Social, cultural and political factors that led to the Society’s founding:

    • (1) post-war (1919) orientations to apostasy and nihilism;

    • (2) attacks on tradition and orthodoxy; and

    • (3) secularist and libertarian trends


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ISLAMIC CHARACTER OF THE SOCIETY

  • At first moral and didactic youth club

  • Moved towards militancy and political action as it struggled against British imperialism

  • The impact of Palestinian Crisis and Arab-Israeli hostilities

  • Political radicalism thrives on the threat of an external enemy


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ISLAM AS A TOTAL IDEOLOGY

  • ISLAM = comprehensive system, self evolving (mutakamil bi-dhatihi)

  • ISLAM emanates from two fundamental sources: The Qur’an and Sunna (Tradition)

  • ISLAM applicable at all times and places

  • The movement follows Salafiyya program: a Sunni way, a Sufi truth, a political organization, an athletic group, a social idea, a cultural link, an economic enterprise


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THE PROGRAM OF THE SOCIETY

  • TWO ITEMS:

    • “internationalization” of the movement, liberation of “the Islamic homeland”

    • “to institute in this homeland a free Islamic government, practicing the principles of Islam


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SAYYID QUTB’S “SIGNPOSTS ON THE ROAD”

  • Most sustained and inspiring book of the Muslim Brotherhood

  • Divides social system into two: al-nizam al-jahili (a decadent or ignorant order) and al-nizam al-islami (Islamic rule)

  • “Ignorant Order” betrays the essence of Islam

  • Worth taking the risk to change it to Islamic Rule


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“A COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS IN A JAHILI SOCIETY”

  • Has an obligation to obliterate a nizam jahili

  • To die while trying to change this Ignorant system is not sedition and terrorism but martyrdom

  • In Sayyid Qutb’s trial: Encounter between the Islam of the state and the Islam of revolution

  • Rebellion = a sense of violation and injury, a vision of struggle


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JAMA`AT-I-ISLAMI OF PAKISTAN

  • ISLAM = justification for the creation of the state

  • SHOWS a greater political maturity, influenced constitutional development

  • PARTICIPATED with the state in the structure of Islamic Republic of Pakistan

  • Like Palestinian Crisis, Indian nationalism instrumental in nourishing fundamentalism


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ABUL A`LA MAUDUDI, founder of JI (d.1979)

  • Not an `alim by training, but in close association with Ulema

  • Self-taught, semi-Westernized

  • Believed in ijtihad within the norms of Shari`a and taqlid of old schools of law

  • Opposed to women’s right to occupy high political offices


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