• Significant Person or Practice (Sayyid Qutb)
• Contributions to the development and expression of Islam
• Impact on Islam
• Ethics (Sexual Ethics)
• Core ethical teachings
• Significant Practice (Hajj)
• Describe the practice
• Principal beliefs expressed through the practice
• Significance of the practice to individuals and the Muslim
Sayyid Qutb: Contributions
• His Writings (show context. When were they written? What
are they about? What was happening in his life at the time?)
• Social Justice in Islam (during his time in the USA)
• In the Shade of the Qur’an (upon his return to Egypt and
assuming a more active role in the Muslim Brotherhood)
• Milestones or Signposts (during his time in prison, whilst being
tortured and, eventually, executed)
• His position as editor of the Muslim Brotherhood newsletter
Qutb’s Contributions:
• He reintroduced/reinterpreted a number of Islamic concepts
• Jahiliyyah – pre-Islamic ignorance; people didn’t know what God’s
will was until Muhammad brought them the Qur’an. Qutb wrote
that Jahiliyyah refers to ANYBODY who is not Muslim (by his own
definition), and he also attached the idea that these people were
• Salafism – going back to the earliest days of Islam, under the Four
Rightly Guided Caliphs. Salafists believe that the earliest Muslims
were the most perfect and pious
• Jihad – “Struggle/strive against evil”. In Islam, the GREATER JIHAD
(internal struggle) is the most important, followed by the LESSER
JIHAD (physical struggle). Qutb, however, stated that physical action
had to take place (as part of his vanguard for an Islamic revolution).
Qutb’s Contributions:
• Takfir – Qutb had a very clear definition of “Muslim”. Anybody, even
Muslims, who were different to this idea were “excommunicated”.
• Nizam Islami – true Muslim
• Nizam Jahi – false Muslim, affected by “Jahiliyyah”
• Shari’ah – The law of Islam, i.e. God’s will, as determined through
Islamic Jurisprudence. Qutb argued that Shari’ah was the ONLY truly
Islamic way to govern any society/nation. Qutb argued against
secular governments because, he said, they remove the power from
God and give it to people.
• Tawhid – Qutb’s most central idea, also the central idea in all of
Islam. There is ONLY ONE GOD and, so, all things will be at peace if
they submit to the One God.
• Vanguard – Qutb called for a vanguard to eventually start an Islamic
Qutb’s Contributions:
• DEVELOPMENT = the ideas/theology/growth behind the tradition
of Islam
• EXPRESSION = the physical way the tradition of Islam is practiced
• IMPACT/EFFECT = what happened to Islam as a result of the
contributions? Short & long term?
Qutb’s Impact:
• Qutb had a LIMITED effect on Islam:
• Only a small section of Islam was directly effected by Qutb’s
ideas: Islamist groups.
• The majority of Islam was indirectly effected because Qutb was
offering a new interpretation – the rest of Islam would have to
reaffirm the more widely accepted understandings of Islam.
Qutb’s Impact:
• Short Term:
• He influenced the Muslim Brotherhood to rebel against the West,
specifically the Western-backed Nasser Government of Egypt
• During his life, Qutb’s contributions had a limited impact, directly on
those members of the Muslim Brotherhood who were given new
understanding of their Islamic faith through Qutb’s writings. The
majority of other Muslims in the world were unaffected, and Islam as
a whole tradition did not change significantly.
• Long Term:
• Years after Qutb’s death, his writings are still being used by Islamist
groups, and his ideas on jihad, jahiliyya, tawhid, etc, are also the
focus of many of these groups.
• Islam as a whole tradition, however, has not been impacted in a large
way by Qutb’s contributions, however moderate Muslim scholars
(ulama) continue to make more sense of the Qur’an and their faith in
ways significantly different to Qutb’s interpretations.
Quotes from Qutb’s writings:
• “Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice… because humanity is devoid of
those vital values which are necessary not only for its healthy development but
for its real progress… It is essential for mankind to have new leadership!”
• Qutb says humanity needs new leadership based on God’s will (Shari’ah)
• This quote demonstrates his call for an Islamic revolution
• “Only Islamic values and morals, teachings and safeguards, are worthy of
mankind… Islamic society is truly civilised”
• For Qutb, Islam is the only true system to live in peace in the world
• “Jahiliyya… takes the form of claiming the right to create values, to legislate rules
of collective behaviour, and to choose any way of life that rests with me, without
regard to what God has prescribed”
• Qutb defines jahiliyya
• “How must the Islamic resurrection begin? A vanguard must resolve to set it in
motion in the midst of jahiliyyah that now reigns over the entire earth”
• A call for a vanguard of Islamic revolutionaries
Sexual Ethics
• Always Remember:
• You MUST show an understanding of the Ethical System (i.e.
Islamic Jurisprudence)
• All these steps are taken to determine Shari’ah
Some terms:
Fiqh – legal rulings by the Ulama (Muslim scholars)
Fatwa – an instruction given by the Ulama
Sexual Ethics
• The ultimate purpose in Islam is to submit to the will of the
one God (Allah). SO, the ethical teachings determine actions
which are:
• Halal (permitted by God)
Fard (obligations)
Mustahab (highly recommended)
Mubah (neutral)
Makrah (highly discouraged)
• Haraam (forbidden by God)
• Also remember that family is fundamentally important in
Islam, so teachings on sexuality are often linked with the
concept of family.
Sexual Ethics
Some core teachings to consider:
• The belief in ONE God, which requires SUBMISSION to his will
• The strive for perfect submission to Allah’s will. Can be physical
(lesser jihad) or internal (greater jihad)
• An expression of faith, these are also obligatory actions which are
good, ethical actions.
Sexual Ethics
• Contraception
• Homosexuality
• Sex outside of marriage
• Are there any differences amongst Muslim variants?
Sexual Ethics (Contraception)
• In Islam, family is central and the ultimate ideal. The use of
contraception should be considered in this context
• Not forbidden, rather discouraged
• Hadith indicates Muhammad approved of birth control in
some instances
• Qur’an: “Do not kill your children for fear of want. Allah will
Sexual Ethics
(Pre/Extra-Marital Sex)
• Forbidden (Haraam)
• Hadith: “They will be punished, who engage in illicit sex”
• Hadith: “Let no man be in privacy with a woman who is not
lawful to him”
• Qur’an: “Those who seek anything beyond that (sex inside
marriage) are transgressors”
• Qur’an: “Let those who cannot find a match keep chaste”
• Sex is seen to be a natural part of the human experience, but
it should only occur within the context of marriage.
• To commit adultery, or to have sex before marriage, is seen to
be going directly against the will of Allah.
Sexual Ethics (Homosexuality)
• Forbidden (Haraam)
• Qur’an: “Of all creatures, do you approach males and leave
the spouses that the Lord has created for you?”
• Qur’an: “You come with lust unto men instead of women”
• Qur’an: “He creates mates for you, that you may find rest in
them, and he envisaged between you love and compassion”
• There is no justification for homosexual sex in Islam
Hajj (Describe the Practice)
• Describe the Hajj
• Step-by-step description of each day
• Give specific terminology, e.g.:
Tawaf (circling the Ka’bah)
Ihram (white clothing/state of mind)
Wuquf (Stand before Allah – on the Mount of Mercy)
Umma (worldwide Islamic community)
Hajj (Principal Beliefs)
• Principal Beliefs expressed in Hajj
• Be really specific about the beliefs expressed in Hajj, e.g.:
• Tawaf reflects Tawhid – the Umma acts as one in completely
submitting to Allah’s will
• Wuquf reflects Akhira – Muslims be God for forgiveness in the
hope that they may reach Paradise (Janna) when they die
Article of Faith
Event in Hajj
Belief expressed
Oneness of God &
Submission to God’s will
Circling the Ka’ba
Stand before Allah – at Arafat
Stoning of the Pillars
Feast of Sacrifice
Hajj was performed by the Prophets,
including Abraham and Muhammad
Sa’i – Jibr’il (Gabriel) saved Hagar and
Ishmael by providing them with water (Well
of Zamzam)
The Angel Jibr’il (Gabriel) intervened and saved Hagar and
Books of Allah
The story of Hajj is found in all sacred texts
– e.g. Abraham sacrificing his son
Qur’an clearly outlines the steps of Hajj in
the chapter titled “Al-Hajj”
Books of Allah are believed to be inspired words of Allah
The chapter “Al-Hajj” is the direct word and will of God
Shaving/cutting of hair
Muslims beg for forgiveness of their sins in this life, so as to
achieve Paradise in the afterlife
Shaving/cutting hair represents “rebirth”
Ihram symbolises the equality of all people on the Day of
Life after death/Judgement
The Ka’ba is a shrine to the One God. Through
circumambulation, Muslims show a sign of their unity (Umma)
and submission
People beg God for forgiveness as a sign of submission. They
restate their commitment to Islam
By rejecting Sata, Muslims are accepting Allah
Sacrificing a lamb reflects Abraham’s submission to God’s will;
Muslims emulate this
Prophethood places importance on Muhammad as the ideal
Muslim. Muslims try to emulate the actions of their prophets
Hajj (Significance)
• Significance to the Individual & Community
• Once again, give specific examples from the Hajj, e.g.:
• Individual: Wuquf is the most significant part of the Hajj for
individuals. They experience a “re-birth” or renewal of spirit.
Many pilgrims are deeply moved and experience strong emotions
• Community: Hajj is significant for the Umma. All men are
expected to wear only the Ihram as a sign of complete equality in
God’s eyes. So, rich and poor men from any nation are equals on
the Hajj. This builds a very strong sense of community amongst
groups of pilgrims

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