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Pre-Islamic Arabia

Structure of the Arabian Society

Bedouins -
Kingdoms (North-East
Hadar Arabia)
(Sedentary) -
Town Dewellers Loose Tribal Himyar in Yemen
Entities (Abyssinian
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Urban Centres of Hijaz
Makkah Quraysh

Al-Taif Thaqif


Yathrib Khazraj Banu

Jewish Banu
Tribes Qaynuqa
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Status of Makkah and Quraysh

Religious Economic
Leaders Annual Significance On the trade
Pilgrimage route from
(Hajj) to the Yemen to
Kabah Syria

Kabah as a Hajj as a
Centre of Idol commercial
Worship opportunity
Hajj and Related Administration

Al-Sidana and Maintenance of the Kabah and

opening and closing of its doors
Al-Hijabah By Banu Abd al-Dar Ibn Qusayy

Al-Siqayah Providing the pilgrims with drinking

water and other refreshments
and Al-Imarah By Al-Abbas ibn Al-Muttalib

Providing food for pilgrims

Al-Rifadah By Banu Abd Manaf
Beginning of the Prophethood

The Makkan

Invitation to Visit to Taif to Contacts with Migration to

Quraysh invite Tahqif Arab Tribes at Madina
to Islam Hajj

Migration to Formation of Pledge of

Abyssinia the Muslim Aaqabah
Beginning of the Prophethood
Migration to Abyssinia
First migration to Abyssinia (5 A.B.)
Consisted of 11 men and 4 women
Including Uthman bin Affan and his wife

Second migration to Abyssinia

Consistedof 83 men and 19 women
Led by Jafar bin Abi Talib
Beginning of the Prophethood
Invitation to Quraysh
O King! We were ignorant people and we lived like wild animals. The
strong among us lived by preying upon the weak. We obeyed no law and
we acknowledged no authority save that of brute force. We worshipped
idols made of stone or wood, and we knew nothing of human dignity. And
then God, in His Mercy, sent to us His Messenger who was himself one of us.
We knew about his truthfulness and his integrity. His character was
exemplary, and he was the most well-born of the Arabs. He invited us
toward the worship of One God, and he forbade us to worship idols. He
exhorted us to tell the truth, and to protect the weak, the poor, the humble,
the widows and the orphans. He ordered us to show respect to women, and
never to slander them. We obeyed him and followed his teachings. Most of
the people in our country are still polytheists, and they resented our
conversion to the new faith which is called Islam. They began to persecute
us and it was in order to escape from persecution by them that we sought
and found sanctuary in your kingdom. Jafar bin Abi Talib in the Court of
Negus of Abyssinia
Beginning of the Prophethood
Formation of the Muslim Community

Education and training of the believers

Dar Al-Arqam as a training centre
Learned Muslims teaching newer Muslims (e.g.,
Khabbab bin Al-Arat)
Muslims as a minority in the Christian Abyssinia
Muslims as a minority in the polytheist Makkah
Emergence of a new and distinct social order
Beginning of the Prophethood
Visit to At-Taif
Increase in persecution of Muslims after the death of
Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib and passing of Banu
Hashims leadership to Abu Lahab led to the Prophet
seeking support and a home from Islam outside of
Thaqif of At-Taif has close familial and commercial ties
with the Quraysh
Did not want to offend the Quraysh by giving refuge to the
Prophet returned to Makkah under the security of a
Makkan notable: Al-Mutim bin Adi
Beginning of the Prophethood
Contacts with Arab Tribes
Using the annual pilgrimage to spread the message
of Islam beyond Makkah
to Bani Amir bin Sasaah and their response
Conversions to Islam from outside of Makkah start

Visit from Yathrib

Six Khazrajis accept Islam in Makkah in 11 A.B.
Beginning of the Prophethood
First Pledge of Aqabah
Five of the six Khazrajis returned the next year with
seven other Yathribis (five of Khazraj and two of Aws)
to pay homage
Known as the first Bayah (pledge) of Aqabah
An apolitical pledge
You will not:
Associate any with Allah
Commit adultery
Kill children
Utter lies
Disobey the Prophet in any good
Beginning of the Prophethood
Second Pledge of Aqabah
Musab ibn Umayr sent to Yathrib to teach its Muslims
the Quran
A year later, Musab returns to Makkah with 73 men
and 2 women
This led to the Second Bayah of Aqabah
A political pledge
To listen and obey in all difficulty and ease
To spend in plenty as well as in scarcity
To enjoin good and forbid evil
To fear the censure of none in Allahs service
To aid the Prophet when he comes to them, to protect him from
whatever they protect themselves and their women and children
Madani Period

Departure from Makkah to Madina

Building of the mosque in Madina
Establishing the brotherhood between believers
Charter of Islamic Brotherhood
An internal document between the Emigrants and
The Madina Document
Between all citizens of the new state
Madani Period
The Madina Document

Citizens of the Qurayza
New State

Jews Banu

Arab Mushriks Banu Nadeer

Madani Period
The Madina Document
1. Islam is the frame of reference for citizenship of
the State
2. The document speaks of two Ummahs

Ummah of all citizens Ummah of believers

All accept political leadership Accept divine mission of

of the Prophet (reciprocity of the Prophet
rights and responsibilities)
Madani Period
The Madina Document
3. The State is founded on:
a. Tawhid
b. Justice
c. Brotherhood (equality)
4. Treaties
a. Establish a concept of treaties in regional and
international relations
b. Treaties may be joined by other parties in the future
Madani Period
The Madina Document
5. Forbids entering into unilateral treaties with hostile
6. Punishment is deserved only by those proven guilty
7. Keeps traditions and norms that do not contradict
Islamic values
Madani Period

Ghazwat and treachery of the fifth column

Role of Munafiqoon under Abdullah bin Ubayy
The treaty of Hudaybia
Correspondence beyond Hijaz
Letter to Abyssinia
Letter to Muqawqis of Alexandria
Envoy to Chosroes of Persia
Envoy to Caesar of Byzentine
Letter to Mundhir bin Sawa of Bahrain
Letter to Haudah bin Ali of Yamamah
Letter to Al-Ghassanids of Damascus
Letter to King of Oman
Madani Period

Consolidation of power around Madina

Conquest of Makkah and At-Taif
Wide-spread acceptance of Islam by Arab tribes
The year of delegations
The farewell pilgrimage
Madani Period
Practice of Shura
Shura is a Quranic injunction
Shura is a necessity since it is a requirement of ijtihad
But, what is the essence of Shura and how is it put into practice?
Examples of Ijtihad and Shura during the time of the
a. Palm trees pollination incident
b. Camping site at Badr.
c. Captives of Badr incident
d. Battle of Uhud site incident
e. Al-Khandaq (ditch) incident
f. Al-Hudaybiyah truce treaty with Quraysh
Madani Period
Practice of Shura
Lesson learned by the companions
Prophets actions, sayings and choices are:
Eitherdivinely inspired
Or his own personal ijtihad
3 Caliphate of the Rightly Guided
Caliphate of the Rightly Guided
Debate over Prophets desire to write a will
Debate over Osamas army
Debate over Prophets death
Debate over where to bury the Prophet
Debate over leadership
Caliphate of the Rightly Guided
Dispute over the land at Fadak
Dispute over fighting Zakat withholders
Debate over Abu Bakrs decision to name Omar as
Debate over the Shura process upon Omars
Dispute during Alis time
Caliphate of Abu Bakr

The Saqifah (shed) Incident

The polarization between Al-Ansar & Al-Muhajirun; the
proposal of two Amirs
The arguments at the saqifah

Bayah to Abu Bakr, first at the saqifah and then at the

mosque (632CE/11H)
Rida wars
Caliphate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab

His suggestion regarding the collection of the

Quran (Zayd ibn Thabits report)
His nomination & bayah (634CE/13H)
Ijtihad during his term
His assassination & the six member Shura Council
Rapid & significant changes in the size and
composition of the Ummah
Caliphate of Uthman Ibn Affan

Selection process
His decision to centralize copying Al-Quran from a
standard version that was collected by Abu Bakr
and kept with Hafsa; he ordered the burning of all
else (Hudhayfa ibn al-Yamans report)
Complaints and grievances
Events leading to his assassination (655CE/36H)
The essence of shura remains but the mechanism no
longer works
The Fitnah (Sedition)

The rebels & Ali bin Abi Talib

Dispute between Ali and Muawiyah
Arbitration and the Khawarij (Kharijites)
Assassination of Ali (661CE/41H)
4 After the Rightly Guided Caliphs
The Ummayyads

Al Hasan and Muawiyah (661CE/40H)

Muawiyahs caliphate (661-680CE/41-60H)
The killing of Shura (Al-Hasan al-Basri)
Al- Hussain and the Iraqis, the tragedy of Karbala
Ibn Al-Zubayr and Al-Hajjaj (683-692CE/64-73H)
The Withering of Shura

The end of the Rightly Guided Caliphate.

Al-Khawarij (The Kharijites)
Al-Shiah (The Shiites)
The historic compromise
Political theorists
The Kharijites
Plural of khariji, which means exiter
A consequence of the great fitnah between 37
and 41H (656-661 CE)
Born out of the dispute over al-tahkim (arbitration)
Al-Tahkim (Arbitration)
It was the Al-Khawarij who insisted on Ali to stop the
fight despite his warnings that it was a trick by
Muawiyahs army
It was them that rejected any arbitration in what, to
them, seemed the absolute truth and nothing but the
They ended up declaring infidel whoever that
disagreed with them, including Ali himself
Their Slogan
No one decides but God

Ali was demanded to admit his guilt, even his
infidelity, and to repent
Having debated with them and lost hope in
convincing them to re-join his camp, Ali responded
to their slogan: This is word of truth intended to
serve falsehood

The Shiites
Companions who thought Ali should have been the
successor of the Prophet
The killing of Ali and initiative of ending the
bloodshed by Al-Hassan
The murder of Al-Hussayn
The era of political and military strife
The evolution of shiite ideologies
The Historic Compromise

Initial attitude of scholars

In fiqh: The era of tadwin (writing down) followed
by the era of shuruh (explanations): did not deal
with government explicitly
In hadith: a special section was always allocated, cf.
Al-Bukhari (Al-Ahkam), Muslim (Al-Imarah), Abu
Dawud (Al-Imarah)
In kalam: Defending/justifying the past, cf. Al-
Ashari (Al-Ibanah)
Islamic Political Thought

Political ideas derived from or based on Islamic

values and teachings?
Historical political experience of the Muslims?
Political ideas, choices and practices by Muslim
powers, groups or individuals, both historical and
The Islamic Sources

Al-Quran (The revealed Book of Allah)

Al-Sunnah (Sayings and actions of the Prophet)
Al-Ijma (Consensus)
Ijtihad through Qiyas (Analogy)
Early Political Theorists

Early attempts by
(d. 403H)
Al-Baghdadi (d. 429H)

First comprehensive treatments:

Al-Mawardi (450/1058)
Abu Yala (380-458) [almost replica]

Abu Al-Maali Al-Juwayni (419-478H)

Most Quoted Classical Political
Al-Mawardi (d. 450/1058)
Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyah
Ibn Taymiyah (661/1263-728/1328)
Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah
Al-Shatibis (d. 790/1388)

Ibn Khalduns (732/1332-808/1406)

Milestones in Political Ijtihad

Ibn Taymiyhs Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah and his

interpretation of verse 25 of Surat al-Hadid and
verses 58-59 of Surat al-Nisa
Al-Shatibis Al-Muwafaqat and his theory of
maqasid al-Shariah (the purposes of Shariah)
Ibn Khalduns masterpiece Al-Muqaddimah and his
theory of al-umran (civility)
Surat Al-Hadid [57: 25]

We sent aforetime our messengers with clear signs and
sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of right
and wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and we
sent down iron in which is great might as well as many
benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that
will support Him and His Messengers in the unseen.
Verily Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.
Surat Al-Nisa [4: 58-59]

Allah does command you to render back your trusts to those to
whom they are due; and when you judge between people that you
judge with justice; verily how excellent is the teaching with He gives
you, for Allah is He Who hears and sees all things.

O you who believe, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those
charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among
yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you do believe in
Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final
Al-Shatibis Theory of Maqasid

Shariah-based obligations relate directly to their

purposes in the lives of humans.
These purposes, he suggested, belonged to one of three
necessities that are indispensable for both faith and life and
whose loss will lead to misery, destruction and death;
utilities that are needed for the purpose of avoiding
hardships that may in turn lead to discomfort; and
ameliorates that may be expressed in terms of good
Necessities or Essentials

The protection of faith;

The protection of life;
The protection of progeny;
The protection of wealth; and
The protection of the mind.
Utilities or Special Requirements

These according to Al-Shatibi are requirements

without which man would be in distress and would
suffer hardship.
They include the requirement to enjoy lawful and
good things in life.
Ameliorative Requirements

These are requirements whose absence would not

seriously undermine life.
They include the various manners related for
instance to eating and drinking etc.
The fulfilment of such requirements is aimed at
improving the quality of life or imparting beauty on
5 Revival and Revivalism

Ihya (revival) --- muhyi[ddin]

tajdid (renewal) --- mujaddid
Islah (reform) --- muslih
Phases and Stages

Eighteenth century
Nineteenth century
Twentieth century
Pre-modernity Revival


Abu Dawud narrated that the Prophet peace be
upon him said: Verily, Allah sends to this Ummah at
the turn of each century one that renews its religion
for it
The work of Abulhasan Ali al-Hasani al-Nadwi
entitled in Arabic:
--- Rijal Al-Fikr Wal-Dawah

Omar ibn Abd Al-Aziz (62-101H)

Al-Hasan al-Basri (21-110H)
Ahmad ibn Hanbal (164-241H)
Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari (270-324H)
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (450-505H)
Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (470-561H)
Jalal al-Din al-Rumi (604-672H)
Ibn Taymiyah (661-728 H)
Ahmad al-Sirhindi (971-1034H)
Shah Wali Allah al-Dahlawi (1114-1176H)
6 18th Century Reformers
Eighteenth Century Revivalism

Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1115-1206 H /

Shah Wali Allah al-Dahlawi (1114-1176 H
/ 1703-1762 CE)
Uthman bin Fudi (Usuman dan Fodio) (1168-1232 H
/ 1754-1817 CE)
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
(1703-1791 CE)
He was born in al-Uyaynah in Najd
He studied Hanbali jurisprudence, tafsir, hadith and tawhid under
the tutorship of his father
His opposition, in his twenties, to shirk (polytheistic) practices and
rejection of laxity alienated him from the establishment ulama and
led to dismissal of his father from the position of qadi
In 1726, his family had to leave their home town to neighbouring
Huraymila while he stayed back for a while
He was eventually forced out and went to al-Hijaz where he studied
under renowned Hanbali scholars
He visited al-Basra in Iraq where he engaged Shiia scholars in
debates but was forced out of the region for his views
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
(1703-1791 CE)
He joined his family in Huraymila where he began to criticize bida
(innovations). This time he met opposition not only from the Najdi ulama but
also from his own father
It was during that period that he composed his most important work Kitab
al-Tawhid (Book of Monotheism), which quickly spread throughout Najd
The year 1740 saw the death of his father and the birth of what later on
became known as the Wahhabi movement. Now he felt less constrained
since his father was no longer around
The first fruit of the consolidation of his movement was the offer of
protection made to him by the ruler of al-Uyaynah, his home town to which
he loved to return. He even married al-Jawharah, the rulers aunt. This was
the first political empowerment he received
Najd ulama were alarmed by his rising influence and managed to
convinced the ruler to terminate his support for him and even ask him to
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
(1703-1791 CE)
He sought refuge in al-Diriyah at the invitation of its ruler
Muhammad ibn Saud
For two years he sent letters to rulers of neighbouring
regions inviting them to join his movement. Responses were
varied and mixed
The year 1746 saw the waging of jihad by the allied ibn
Abd al-Wahhab and ibn Saud against those who opposed
the Wahhabi teachings
His death in 1791 did not stop the expansion of the new
Saudi state
In a relatively short period of time, the movement was able
to spread to Makkah and al-Madinah, which were captured
in 1805 and 1806 respectively
Shah Wali Allah al-Dahlawi
(1703-1762 CE)
His tutor was his own father Shah Abd al-Rahim (d. 1719), a well-known
scholar in charge of his own madrasah in Delhi and a leading sufi
In addition to religious studies, Wali Allah was taught falak (astronomy),
hisab (mathematics), Arabic and Persian language and grammar, and tibb
(medical science)
He married at the age of fourteen and accepted by his father as a disciple
in the Naqshabandi order at the age of fifteen, when he was permitted to
teach others the Islamic sciences
In 1731, twelve years following the death of his father, he left India to
perform hajj where he stayed at Makkah and al-Madinah for some
fourteen months, where he studied hadith, fiqh and tasawwuf with various
eminent teachers
During his stay in al-Hijaz he developed an interest and respect for Maliks
Al-Muwatta on which he later wrote two commentaries: Musawwa in Arabic
and Musaffa in Persian
Shah Wali Allah al-Dahlawi
(1703-1762 CE)
In the decade following his return home he wrote his most famous work
Hujjat Allah al-Balighah in Arabic, in which he aimed to restore the Islamic
sciences through hadith studies.
Following his return to India he taught at his madrasah, acted as a guide in
sufism, and wrote on a wide range of Islamic subjects.
Among his important works is the pioneering annotated Persian translation
of the Quran.
After his death, his teachings were carried on by his descendants, in
particular his sons, Shah Abd al-Aziz (d. 1824) and Shah Rafi al-Din (d.
1818), and his grandson Shah Ismail Shahid (d. 1831).
Today, all major religious movements in Muslim South Asia claim Shah Wali
Allah as an intellectual progenitor.
He is claimed by the Deobandis, Ahli-I Hadith and the followers of
Mawlana Mawdudi.
Usuman dan Fodio (1754-1817)

He is the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, which continues to exert

strong cultural influence in Nigeria
He was born into a family of Muslim Fulani scholars in the Hausa
kingdom of Gobir in present-day northern Nigeria
He was taught the Islamic sciences by his parents and his
grandmother, and then by renowned scholars
A form of mixed Islam (combining animist practices and elements of
Islam) prevailed as he grew up prompting him to declare jihad bil-
When his peaceful dawah work was obstructed and his followers
persecuted he led his followers on hijrah and then on a campaign of
jihad bil-sayf that led to the establishment of the Sokoto caliphate
Usuman dan Fodio (1754-1817)

He is said to have been the first African daiyah to have sought to

change munkar with his heart, his tongue and his hand and then
established a shariah implementing political order moulded on the
first ideal model of khilafah
Unlike Ibn Abd Al-Wahab, he did not rely on an existing power or
political leaders to accomplish his mission
No less than one hundred renowned scholars graduated from his
school that was Maliki in jurisprudence, Ashari in Kalam and Qadiri
in tasawwuf (mysticism)
He set up his own mystic tariqah (order) known as al-Fudiyah, which
was still a form of Qadiriyah
The Sokoto caliphate lasted until 1903 when it was brought down by
the British
Sokoto Caliphate
Sokoto Caliphate
7 19th Century Struggles and Reforms
From Commerce to Colonialism

1510: Portugal chose Goa to be the capital of all their Indian

possessions. Throughout the 16th century, the Portuguese were the
sole European power to conduct significant trade with India
1521: Magellan discovered the islands of the Philippines leading to
establishment of links between the islands and Spain
1526: Beginning of the Mughal Empire in India
1600: Founding of British East India Company
1650-1690: Dutch seize many Portuguese ports posts and become
dominant mercantile power
17th Century: Dutch, English, French & Danish companies established
coastal trading centres across S. and S.E. Asia
Empires and Colonial Powers

1280-1923: Ottoman Empire

1500-1722: The Safavid Empire
1526-1857: The Mughal
1779-1925: The Qajars
1857-1914: British control of S. Asia.
1798: Napoleon takes Egypt
1830: The French occupy Algeria
1882: The British occupy Egypt
1883: The French take Tunisia
1912: Italy invades Libya
19th Century Jihad-Revivalists

1786-1831: Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi (Shahid)

1787-1859: Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Sanusi
1844-1885: Muhammad Ahmad Al-Mahdi
19-20th Century Reformers

1801-1873: Rifaah al-Tahtawi

1810-1899: Khairuddin al-Tunisi
1838-1897: Jamal al-Din al-Afghani
1849-1905: Muhammad Abduh
1849-1903: Abdurrahman al-Kawakibi
1865-1935: Rashid Rida
1873-1960: Badee-u-Zaman Said Nursi
1889-1940: Abd al-Hamid ibn Badis
20th Century Activism

1903-1979: Sayyid Abu Al-Ala

1906-1949: Hasan al-Banna
1905-1973: Malik Bennabi
1906-1966: Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi (Shahid)
He was born into a family of sayyids (known for their piety and
learning) in a small town (Rae Bareli) about 50 miles from Lucknow
in the old Mughal province of Awadh in N. India
From 1806-1811, he entered into the circle and dawah programme
of Shah Wali Allahs family in Delhi
At 25 years, he left Delhi to spend seven years as a cavalryman for
Amir Khan (1768-1834) in central India
Back in Delhi, he rejoined the reformist ulama but rapidly
distinguished himself by more stringent reform, opposing certain sufi
practices and enjoining the re-marriage of widows
His teachings were compiled in two books Sirat Mustaqim &
Taqwiyat al-Iman, both circulated in the vernacular Urdu
Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi (Shahid)

Of particular interest to him was identifying false doctrines and practices

(from both sufism and shiism) that compromised tawhid (monotheism).
With some followers, he toured N. India in 1818-1819.
In 1821, he undertook the hajj as a prelude to jihad.
He returned to Raibareilly in 1823 and spent 2 years teaching and
preparing for jihad. Some of his followings saw him as the mujaddid of the
age, some even the Mahdi.
In 1826, he left for the frontier, an area of Muslim population, to launch
jihad on the Punjab, then under Sikh rule. His followers called him amir al-
In 1831, he was trapped with some 600 followers in Balakot and killed.
His followers continued jihad after him until the 1860s; his teachings
inspired reformers long after his death.
Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Sanusi
He was born near Mostaganem in Algeria
As a young boy, he learnt sufism and Islamic sciences in the reformist
environment of Fez, and in 1823, he moved to Cairo and later to
Hijaz for further studies
In Mecca he met Ahmad ibn Idris from whom he took his sufi
doctrine. When Ibn Idris left for Yemen, ibn Ali took charge of his
students in Makkah and built the first lodge at Abi Qubays, outside
Makkah, in 1827
Al-Sanusi moved back to N. Africa and in 1841 settled in Cyrenaica
(N.E. Libya)
His movement is known as Al-Sanusiyah, a revivalist brotherhood
whose doctrine doest not show great variation from traditional
sufism except in its disapproval of excesses in ritual, such as dancing
& singing, and its emphasis of following the Prophets model
The Sanusiyah Movement

Shortly before Al-Sanusis death (1859) a lodge was established in

Jaghbub, on the Libyan Egyptian border
Toward the end of the 19th century, the movement spread across the
Sahara to the area east of Lake Chad where it gained adherents
from other population groups
In 1895, the centre of the order moved from Jaghbub to Kufra, in
the middle of the Libyan desert
The French, who were moving toward Lake Chad, saw the Sanusiyah
as a threat and opened hostilities at Bir Al-Ali lodge in Kanem in
Igoi. Initially the Sanusiyah withdraw but later carried arms and led
the local populations struggle against the French until 1913-1914
The Sanusiyah Movement 2

In the meantime, the Italians invaded Libya in 1911. When

Turkey withdrew from Libya the following year, Sanusi
leader Ahmad al-Sharif raised the call for Jihad against the
Italian invaders.
Omar al-Mukhtar led the jihad until 1932.
When modern Libya was created Muhammad ibn Idris was
brought back from exile and appointed king in 1951.
Since Qaddafi came to power in 1969, the movement has
been banned inside Libya and the only remaining lodge is
that at Abu Qubays near Mecca.
The Mahdi of Sudan (1844-1885)

Muhammad Ahmad al-Sayyid Abdallah

The armies of the Egyptian viceroy Muhammad Ali took
control of the Nilotic Sudan in around (1820-1822)
Originally from Dongola, Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad, of the
Sammaniyah Sufi order, led a revolutionary movement
against Egyptian authority
On the basis of someones dream, in 1881 the Shaykh
declared himself to be the Expected Mahdi and called for
the overthrow of Turkish rule
His successes against government troops sent to arrest him
enhanced his credibility and authority
The Mahdi of Sudan 2

After an initial victory in August 1881, he emulated the Prophets hijrah by

moving from the white Nile to the more defensible highlands of Kordofan
He named his followers Al-Ansar and declared jihad against those that
opposed him
The provincial capital of Al-Ubayid surrendered to him in January 1883
In Nov. 1883, he successfully destroyed the British-commanded force at
Shaykhan in Kordofan and by early 1884 he was in command of the
northern provinces of Egyptian Sudan
In May 1884 the city of Berber fell paving the way for the fall of Khartoum
on 25 January 1885
Six months later, the Mahdi died of sudden illness in Omdurman
The Mahdiyyah Movement 1

The Mahdi was succeeded by Abdallah ibn Muhammad, one of his

earliest followers
According to Mahdist ideology, the Mahdi was Khalifat Rasul Allah
(successor of the Prophet) while his successor was Khalifat al-Siddiq
(successor of Abu Bakr), etc.
This ideology was born out of the predicament caused by the
Mahdis premature death
Other successors included Ali ibn Muhammad, of the white Nile
Arabs, named Khalifat al-Faruq (succ. of Omar) and Mhammad
Sharif ibn Hamid, the Mahdis cousin, named Khalifat al-Karrar
(succ. of Ali); Succession to Caliph Uthamn was offered to
Muhammad al-Mahdi of the Libyan Sanusiyyah but was declined
The Mahdiyyah Movement 2

Jihad, the original raison detre of the Mahidyya, came

to an effective end with the destruction of the Mahdist
army by the Anglo-Egyptians at Tushki, north of Wadi
Halfa in August 1889
Anglo-Egyptian invasion led to the occupation of
Dongola province in 1896. A railway line built across
the Nubian desert paved the way for more Anglo-
Egyptian take over up the Nile
The end of the Mahdiyah came at the battle of Karari,
north of Omdurman, on 2 September 1898
Session East-West Rendezvous: 19th and 20th
Century Reformers
East-West Rendezvous

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1812)

Muhammad Ali Pasha (1769-1849)
Uprooting the Wahhabis (1811-1819)
Failed Industrialisation
Era of Secularisation
East-West Rendezvous

Decline and Backwardness
Colonial Onslaught

Admiration of (or Infatuation with) Europe

Encounter with Europe

Rifaah Tahtawi (1801-1873)

Khairuddin At-Tunisi (1810-1899)
Jamal Ad-Din Al-Afghani (1838-1897)
Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905)
Abdurrahman Al-Kawakibi (1849-1903)
Muhammad Rashid Rida (1865-1935)
Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938)
Rifaah Tahtawi (1801-1873)

The first Islamic scholar to campaign for interacting with the

European civilization with the objective of borrowing from it that
which does not conflict with the established values and principles of
the Islamic Shariah
Shortly following his return to Cairo from Paris, Tahtawi published in
1834 his first book Takhlis Al-Ibriz Ila Talkhis Bariz in which he
summarized his observations of the manners and customs of the
modern French
He praised the concept of democracy as he saw it in France and as
he witnessed its defense and reassertion through the 1830 revolution
against King Charles X
He tried to show that the democratic concept he was explaining to
his readers was compatible with Islam. He compared political
pluralism to forms of ideological and jurisprudential pluralism that
existed in the Islamic experience
Khairuddin At-Tunisi (1810-1899)

The leader of the 19th century reform movement in Tunisia and author of
Aqwam Al-Masalik Fi Marifat Ahwal Al-Mamalik in which he attempts to
tackle the question of political reform in the Arab world
He warned the general Muslim public against shunning the experiences of
other nations on the basis of the misconception that all the writings,
inventions, experiences or attitudes of non-Muslims should just be rejected or
He called for an end to absolutist rule, which he blamed for the oppression
of nations and the destruction of civilizations
He believed that kindling the Ummahs potential liberty through the
adoption of sound administrative procedures, and enabling it to have a say
in political affairs, would put it on a faster track toward civilisation, would
limit the rule of despotism, and would stop the influx of European civilisation
that is sweeping every thing along its path
Jamal Ad-Din Al-Afghani (1838-1897)

Dispute over his origin; Persian Asad Abad or Afghani Asad Abad
Hence is the dispute over his madh-hab
Having acquired Arabic and Islamic sciences at home, in 1855,
around the age of seventeen, he traveled to India for the first time
From India, al-Afghani traveled in 1857 to Mecca for hajj. Then he
returned to Afghanistan where he served in the government of Dost
Muhammad Khan until he died in 1864
He returned to India in 1869 where he stayed until 1883 during
which period he came face to face with British imperialism whose
primary victims were the Muslims
Al-Afghani in Egypt

In 1870 he arrived in Egypt for the first time having been expelled
from India by the British colonial authority. But soon afterwards he
received in invitation from the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz but Shyakh
Al-Islam turned against him out of envy
He returned to Egypt less than a year later in 1871 where he was
welcomed and honored until 1879 when, under pressure from the
European governments, Khedive Tawfiq issued a deportation order.
He left for India for the third time where the British sought to
suppress his activities
In 1883, he left Calcutta for London and then to Paris where he
published Al-Urwah Al-Wuthqa whose main objective was to
combat British colonialism and awaken Muslims in the Arab world
and in India
Al-Afghani on Government

He diagnosed that decline in the Muslim world was due to the absence of
adl (justice) and shura (council) and non-adherence by the government to
the constitution
One of his main demands was that the people should be allowed to assume
their political and social role by participating in governing through shura
and elections
He criticised thinkers in Muslim countries of the Mashriq for failing to
enlighten the public about the essence and virtues of republican
government. For those governed by the republican government, it is a
source of happiness and pride
To Al-Afghani, a republican government is a restricted government, a
government that is accountable to the public, and that is thus the antithesis
of the absolutist one. It is a government that consults the governed, relieves
them of the burdens laid upon them by despotic governments and lifts them
from the state of decay to the first level of perfection
Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905)

Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) believed that Islams relationship with the

modern age was the most crucial issue Islamic communities needed to deal
In an attempt to reconcile Islamic ideas with Western ones, he suggested
that maslaha (interest) in Islamic thought corresponded to manfaah (utility)
in the Western thought
He equated shura with democracy and ijma with consensus
He denied the existence of a theocracy in Islam and insisted that the
authority of the hakim (governor) or that of the qadi (judge) or that of the
mufti was civil
He demanded that ijtihad should be revived because emerging priorities
and problems, which are new to Islamic thought, need to be addressed
He was a proponent of the parliamentary system, defended pluralism and
refuted the claims that it would undermine the unity of the Ummah
Abdurrahman Al-Kawakibi
He wrote two books on the subject, Tabai Al-Istibdad (The Characteristics of
Tyranny) and Umm-ul-Qura (The Mother of Villages)
In the first book, he defines despotism and explains the various forms it may take
While stressing that Islam as a religion is not responsible for the forms of despotic
government that emerged and reigned in its name
The entire book is an attempt to explain the reasons why the Muslim Ummah had
declined and had become an easy prey for 19th century colonial powers
In his other book, he constructs a series of dialogues among what he describes as
thinkers, each belonging to a known town in the Muslim world. In their conference
held at Umm-ul-Qura (Mecca) during the hajj (Pilgrimage) season they discuss the
causes of decline of the Muslim Ummah
The conferees finally agree that progress is linked to accountability while regress is
linked to despotism
Muhammad Rashid Rida (1865-1935)

He believed that the cause of the Ummahs backwardness was the

loss by the Muslims of the truth of their religion. Bad political rulers,
he explained, had encouraged ignorance
True Islam, he added, involves two things, acceptance of tawhid (the
creed of monotheism) and shura (council) in matters of State. But
despotic rulers, he lamented, have tried to make Muslims forget the
second by encouraging them to abandon the first
He stressed that the greatest lesson the people of the Orient can
learn from the Europeans is to know what government should be like
In his book Al-Khilafah (The Caliphate) he stresses that Islam is
guidance, mercy and socio-civic policy, which he seems to use as a
synonym for politics
Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938)

Philosopher, poet, and political leader, born in Sialkot, India (now Pakistan).
He was considered the foremost Muslim thinker of his day
In 1905 he went to Cambridge then to Heidelberg and Munich where he
obtained his doctorate in philosophy
In 1927 he was elected to the Punjab provincial legislature and in 1930
became president of the Muslim League
Initially a supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity in a single Indian state, he later
became an advocate of Pakistani independence
His poetry and philosophy, written in Urdu and Persian, stress the rebirth of
Islamic and spiritual redemption through self-development, moral integrity,
and individual freedom
His many works include The Secrets of the Self (1915)--a long poem; A
Message from the East; and The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
10 20th Century: Abul Alaa Mawdudi
Abul Alaa Al-Mawdudi

Was born at Aurangabad, Deccan, which is now

known as Maharashtra, on 25 September 1903
Mawdudi in Brief

Influenced Muslim thinkers and activists from

Morocco to Indonesia
Had a marked influence particularly on Sayyid
His ideas have been embodied in the actions and
policies of Islamic groups in the Indian continent
His Family

Is from Delhi, the descendents of renowned leaders

of the Chishti Sufi order, credited for the spread of
Islam in India
Was close to the Mughal court, especially during
the reign of Bahadur Shah Zafar
Was adversely affected by the 1857 British
onslaught on Delhi, especially upon the end of
Islamic governance in India
His Father: Sayyid Ahmad Hasan

Was among the first to join the Muslim Anglo-

Oriental College at Aligarh
Was among the first to embark on Sayyid Ahmad
Khans experiment with Islamic modernism
Moved to Allahabad to study law and then to
Haydarabad and finally settled down in
His Father: Sayyid Ahmad Hasan

Left his profession for a while to devote himself to

the Nizamuddin Auliya in New Delhi
His sufi inclination impacted on the environment he
chose for rearing his children
He was keen to teach his children classical Islamic
studies intentionally excluding English from their
He taught them at home: Arabic, Urdu and Islamic
Abul Alaa Mawdudi: His Education

At the age of 11, young Mawdudi was enrolled at

Al-Furqaniyah school in Aurangabad where he
came face to face with modern education for the
first time in his life
At the age of 16, he was forced to abandon school
due to sickness and then death of his father
Career in Journalism

In 1918, he joined his brother Abul Khair in Bijnor to

practice journalism
Between 1918-1919, with his interests being
secular, focusing primarily on nationalist issues, he
wrote articles praising the leaders of the Hindu
Congress especially Gandhi and Madan Muhan
Shortly he moved to Delhi where he was exposed to
the various intellectual trends dominating the Muslim
community there
Congress and Khilafat

Upon learning modernist writings and acquiring

knowledge of the independence movement, he
moved to Jabalpur in 1919 to work for the pro-
Congress Taj newspaper
It was there too that he became involved with the
Khilafat movement and engaged in mobilizing the
Muslims in support of the Congress Party
His passionate articles eventually led to the closure
of the weekly by the authorities
Tahrik-i Hijrat

He then returned to Delhi where he met Muhammad

Ali, a leader figure in the Khilafat movement
He continued supporting the Independence
Movement but from an Islamic perspective
For a brief period, he joined Tahrik-i Hijrat
movement which encouraged Muslims to migrate
from British India (dar al-harb) to Afghanistan (dar

In 1921, Mawdudi met two prominent leaders of

Jamiyatul Ulama-i Hind, Maulana Mufti
Kifayatullah and Maulana Ahmad Said. They found
him talented and assigned him the task of editing
the groups publication Muslim and later on Al-
Jamiyat, which replaced it
He continued in the service of Jamiyat until 1924,
when he developed an acute awareness of Muslim
political consciousness and became more directly
involved in the affairs of his faith
Focusing on Muslim Plight

Mawdudi started writing on the plight of the Muslims in

India, the predicament facing the Turks in their
confrontation of European imperialism, and the past
glories of Muslim rule in India
So far, his writings had been communalist and political;
revivalism was not yet a central focus of his writings
He embarked on a journey to intellectual growth and
learning; he learned English and acquainted himself
with Western thought
Religious Education

Mawdudis association with Jamiyat motivated him

to acquire religious education
He learned Arabic and started darsi nizami, the
syllabus of education of ulama in India
In 1926, he obtained Ijazah in religious studies and
became a Deobandi alim, something that has not
been well known about him until his death
Parting with Nationalism

The end of the Caliphate in 1924 was a turning point in his

life. He lost faith in nationalism and became convinced that
Egyptian and Turkish nationalists were responsible for
ending Muslim unity
He became suspicious of the Congress Partys manipulation
of nationalist sentiments to serve Hindu interests
Eventually he found himself at odds with Jamiyat and
decided to part with his Deobandi mentors who chose to
support the Congress in favour of getting rid of British rule
Instead, he advocated an Islamic anti-imperialist platform
Jihad in Islam

In 1925, a Muslim zealot assassinated Hindu revivalist leader

Swami Shradhanand leading to widespread press criticism of
Islam as a religion of violence
Motivated by an appeal to Muslims to defend their religion
made by Muhammad Ali in a Friday sermon at the Jami
mosque in Delhi, Mawdudi wrote his book Jihad in Islam to
explain Islams position on violence
From that day onwards, Mawdudi became convinced that his
mission in life was to pave the way for the political and
religious salvation of Indias Muslims
The Road to Activism

In 1928, Mawdudi moved to Hyderabad and dedicated

himself to writing and translation
He wrote A History of Hyderbad and several Islamic texts the
most famous of which was Towards Understanding Islam
This period witnessed his adoption of an Islamic
appearance: beard, Islamic Indian costume, etc.
The political situation in Hyderabad prompted him to think
of the causes of decline of the Muslims, which he attributed
to corruption and deviation from true Islam
He lost trust in existing Muslim political structures and found
the solution in radical reform
Mawdudis Revivalist Position

Assertion of Muslim rights

A program for promoting and safeguarding these
Severance of all cultural, social and political ties
with Hindus in interest of purifying Islam
Advocating a separate cultural homeland for Indian
Model Community

In 1932, he purchased Tarjuman al-Quran journal,

which became his forum
In 1938, he agreed to head Darul-Islam, an
educational project founded by the famour
philosopher-poet Muhammad Iqbal in Pathankut, a
hamlet in Punjab
There, he set up a model Islamic community in the hope
that it would lead Islamic reform in India
Political Activism

He became embroiled in the struggle between the

Pakistan Movement and the Muslims of the Congress
He first criticized Congress Muslim supporters, who
were his mentors in Jamiyatul Ulama-i Hind
accusing them of betraying the Muslim cause
Then he denounced the Muslim League supporters
for their secular communalism
Mawdudi in Lahore

Mawdudi moved to Lahore to involve himself in

direct political activity
He worked as a lecturer at the Islamiyah College,
Lahore, and took part in the debates about the future
of Muslims in India
It was here that the idea of an organizational
expression of his ideas, combining a model
community and a political party, found shape in his
thoughts and works
Jamaat-i Islami

Together with a number of young ulama and

Muslim literati, Mawdudi formed Jamaat-i Islami in
He moved the headquarters to Pathankut where he
articulated the ideology and the plan of action of
the Jamaat
When India was partitioned, Mawdudi divided the
Jamaat into independent Indian and Pakistani units
and moved back to Lahore
Mawdudi and Islamic State

His discourse turned into a campaign to establish an Islamic state

Mawdudi concentrated on motivating the Ulama so as to push for an
Islamic constitution
He was soon accused of undermining the state and of being a tool of India
and a subversive element
He was imprisoned 1948-1950 for refusing to religiously legitimize the
military campaign in Kashmir
Back to Prison

He was imprisoned once more in 1954 and sentenced

to death for his role in instigating disturbances against
the Ahmadiyah in Punjab
The death sentence was cancelled and he was released
in 1955
He was imprisoned twice afterwards in 1964 and 1967
for challenging Ayoub Khans regime
In 1969, he led a campaign against Awami Leagues
effort to gain independence for East Pakistan and for
putting Pakistan Peoples Party out of power

His efforts did not succeed and his Jamaat lost the
1970 elections, the first open election in the country
that were won by the left
As a consequence, Mawdudi resigned from his
leading position in the group and dedicated his life
to writing
He passed away in Buffalo, New York on 22
September 1979; his funeral was attended by more
than a million people
11 20th Century: Hasan al-Banna
Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949)
Hasan Al-Banna

Nominated Muslim personality of the 20th century

Founder of al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun
His writings and speeches have been compiled in:
Majmuat al-Rasail (Letters)
Mudhakkirat al-Dawah wa-al-daiyah (Memories)
His influence, and that of the movement he founded, has
been global and instrumental in effecting revival across
the Muslim world

Born in Mahmudiyah near Alexandria, Hasan al-

Banna, from his youth onwards, took part in the
Hasafiyah Sufi order with his friend Ahmad al-
After attending the Damanhur teachers training
college (1923-1927) he went to Dar al-Ulum in
Cairo, founded by Muhammad Abduh (d. 1905)
and made famous by Muhammad Rashid Rida, who
taught there until his death in 1935
Growing UP 2

While a student, he read Spengler, Spencer and

In September 1927, he began teaching at a
primary school in Ismailiyah
While on the job he wrote for the Cairo Muslim
Youth magazine Al-Fath and pursued his
relationship with Ridas al-Maktabah al-Salafiyah
group and with his scholarly journal Al-Manar,
which Al-Banna took over from 1939-1941
Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun

In March 1928, al-Banna and six of his friends

founded a religious association devoted to the
promotion of good and rooting-out of evil, a
branch of the Hafsiyah
By 1929, the organization was already being
referred to as Jamiyat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun in the
Al-Ahram newspaper, where a photograph of the
group was shown
Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun

The growth of movement, which moved to Cairo in

1933, was rapid: 4 branches in 1929; 15 in 1932;
300 by 1938; more than 2000 in 1948. By 1945,
it had half a million active members in Egypt
Between 1946 and 1948, branches were opened in
Palestine, Sudan, Iraq and Syria
Facing the World

Opposition to the British & Palace

Attempts at Politics
Jihad in Palestine
Mass detention of members
Assassination of the Imam
Free-Officers Revolution
Internal Feud
Reign of Terror
The Genius of Al-Banna

He took to the masses the concerns of the

intellectuals, working not from mosques or cultural
clubs but from caf shops and popular meeting
The Genius of Al-Banna

He reiterated in simpler more direct terms the calls for

reform made by reformers of the 19th century:
on colonialism (Al-Afghani & Mustafa Kamal);
on riba (Abduh & Rida);
on foreign companies (M. Kamal);
on intellectual chaos and loss of moral values (Abduh &
on blind imitation of the West (Afghani & Arsalan);
on man-made laws that fail to curb crime or deter criminals
on mismanagement of education (Abduh);
on signs of desperation and loss of will (Arsalan & Kamal).
The Genius of Al-Banna

He was the first to condemn partisan divisions

His mass mobilizing movement is said to have
learned the lessons of previous failing renaissance
attempts and to have benefited from the example
of the powerful Fascist and Nazi movement in
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936)

German historicist writer born in Blankenburg, Harz.

He is famous for his work Untergong des Abendlandes
(1918-1922), translated as Decline of the West (1926-
1929), in which he argues by analogy, in the historicist
manner of Hegel (1770-1831) and Marx (1818-1883), that
all civilizations and cultures are subject to the same cycle of
growth and decay in accordance with predetermined
historical destiny.
The soul of Western civilization is dead. The age of soulless
expansionist Caesarism is upon us. It is better for Western
man, therefore, to be engineer rather than poet, soldier
rather than artist, politician rather than philosopher.
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

English philosopher born in Derby.

His particular interest was in evolutionary theory which he
expounded in Principles of Psychology in 1855, four years
before The Origin of Species by Darwin (1809-1882).
He applied his evolutionary theories to ethics and sociology
and became an advocate of social Darwinism, the view
that societies naturally evolve in competition for resources
and that survival of the fittest is therefore morally justified.
His other works include: System of Synthetic Philosophy
(1862-1893); Social Statics (1851); Education (1861); The
Man Versus the State (1884); and Autobiography (1904).
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975)

English historian who was born in London, educated at

Winchester and Balliol College, Oxford, and became a
fellow there.
He served in the foreign office in both world wars and
attended the Paris peace conferences (1919 & 1946).
He was Koraes professor of modern Greek and Byzantine
history at London (1919-1924) and director and research
professor of the Royal Ins. of Int. Affairs, London (1925-
He is well-known for his grand scale monumental ten-volume
History of the World (1934-1954).
He also wrote: Greek Historical Thought (1924) and War
and Civilization (1951)
12 20th Century: Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb

was born in the village of

Musha nearby Asyut in Upper
Egypt in 1906
His Significance

Literary critic, novelist and poet and Egypts most

famous Islamic activist
Some experts list him among the greatest Islamists
of the 20th century:
Badiuzzaman Sayyid Nursi (1873-1960)
Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949)

Al-Mawdudi (1903-1979)

Ali Shariati (1933-1977)

Ayatollah Khomeyni (1902-1989)

His Family

His family is said to have been partly of Indian

He was the eldest of two brothers and three sisters
His father Qutb Ibrahim was a member of the
Mustafa Kamil-led National Party
He attended the Kuttab as a child and memorised
the Quran at the age of ten
His Education

He finished government mandatory schooling in

He then moved to Hilwan, a district of Cairo, in
1919 (or 1920) and graduated from the Teachers
Training College in 1928
In 1930, he enrolled at Dar al-Ulum (founded in
1872 as a modern Western-style Egyptian
university) and graduated in 1933 with a BA in Arts

He worked as a teacher at Dar al-Ulum and then

joined the Ministry of Education as an inspector until
In the thirties, Qutb wrote in fiction, literary criticism and
He was influenced by Taha Hussein, Abbas al-Aqqad
and Ahmad al-Zayyat (all three of them were
Qutb soon turned against al-Aqqad for his overtly
intellectualized writings and against Taha Hussein for his
Western orientations
Higher Education

He became critical of the Ministry of Education for

its submissiveness to the British
He joined Sad Zaghluls Al-Wafd Party but then
left it to join the breakaway Sadist Party that was
founded in 1937 only to abandon it in 1942
In 1948, Qutb was dispatched by the Ministry to
the U.S.A. to study Western Methods of Education
He studied at Wilsons Teachers College for three
years until 1950

On his way back from the U.S. he toured Britain,

Switzerland and Italy arriving back home in 1951
His experience in the U.S. was a defining moment
for him
Hisinterest shifted from literary and educational
pursuits to intense religious commitment
Without denying Americas scientific progress, he
disliked its racism, sexual permissiveness and pro-
The Ikhwan

Upon returning home, he refused to work at the

Ministry in spite of an offer of promotion
He started writing articles for different publications
on issues of society and politics
Upon joining the Ikhwan (MB) in 1953, he was
appointed editor of their publication Al-Ikhwan al-
He then became the director of the MBs
Propaganda Section
At the forefront

Soon afterwards he became a member of the MBs

Guidance Council and Executive Committee, the two
highest bodies in the MB
He was a key liaison between the MB and the Free
Officers, who overthrew the king in 1952
A dispute erupted between the MB and Nassir over
the 1954 withdrawal treaty with Britain, which
recognized Britains right to re-deploy its troops in
Egypt within seven years should its interests be

The MB demanded a plebiscite on the agreement to

the displeasure of the Free Officers and the R.C.C.
In October 1954, an assassination attempt was
made on the life of Nassir, who used the occasion to
hit hard at the MB
Qutb had initially been imprisoned for three months
early 1954. As a result of severe torture he was
transferred in May 1955 to the prisons hospital
and was released due to bad health

In July 1955, Qutb was sentenced to 15 years, most of

which he spent in hospital
While in prison he witnessed the persecution of his
colleagues. He was particularly affected by the Turrah
prison massacre in 1957. No less than ten MB members
where killed and many more wounded when prison
guards opened fire at them in their cells
That was the moment he started thinking of the creation
of a disciplined secret cadre of devoted followers
Qutbs ideology

Qutbs initial objective was self-defense

He later believed that the MB had the right to
resort to violence to respond to state violence
The culmination of his theory was the belief in the
use of violence against the unjust state that refuses
to alter its behaviour
Upon an appeal for clemency by Iraqi President A.
Arif, Qutb was released from prison in 1964
In August 1965 he was re-arrested and charged
with terrorism and sedition

The trial was a fiasco. Initially the press were permitted

to cover it. As soon as defendants started testifying,
proceedings were held behind closed doors
Milestones (1964), the evidence presented in court
against Qutb, was not convincing because, in it, he never
called for a coup against the regime but to resistance
through isolation from society so as to form the model
Qutb and two of his colleagues were executed on 29
August 1966

Qutb continues to inspire those who believe in the

necessity of resisting the West and Arab and Muslim
rulers that are seen as serving Western interests
Qutb considered leaders of Muslim societies, and even
those societies that agree with them, to be living in a
jahiliyah, a term referring to all that is inimical to Islam
In Milestones, Qutb launched a scathing attack on this
jahiliyah, which pervades contemporary life throughout
the Islamic world
His books have been translated into Persian, Turkish,
Urdu, English and several other languages
Terms and Concepts

Prior to Milestones, Qutb wrote in 1962 a book

entitled: Khasais al-Tasawur al-Islami wa
Muqawimatuh (The Characteristics and Constitutive
Elements of the Islamic Conception)
In Khasais, Qutb indirectly emulates Mawdudi by
elucidating in detail a number of concepts
He explains wahdaniyah (oneness of Allah) and
rububiyah (Allahs divine nature)
Terms and Concepts 2

He also explains the permanence of Allahs order

and the all-encompassing nature of Allahs order
Qutb also addresses the concept of hakimiyah
(obedience to the sovereign commands of Allah)
Qutb emphasized the interpretation of verses 5: 44,
45 and 47: implying that those who do not judge
according to what Allah has revealed are
unbelievers, oppressors and sinners
The verb yahkumu in his exposition is equaled to to
rule instead of to judge
Terms and Concepts 3

Al-Tajammu al-Haraki (Dynamic concrescence) is

the embodiment of the Ummah, whose success in its
mission is translated into acceptance of the trust
given to it by Allah
The mastery of the Ummah as a result of accepting
this trust is aimed at accomplishing al-Hakimiyah
This seems to have given way to the concept of
taliah, the vanguard who figures in Al-Tajammu al-
Haraki at the time when the Ummah is absent
Groups claiming to be inspired by
The Technical Military Academy Group
Al-Takfir wal-Hijrah (Pronouncing unbelief upon
infidels and emigration to Islam)
Al-Jihad, which assassinated Anwar Sadat
Al-Gamaah al-Islamiyah, whose spiritual leader is
Sheikh Omar Abdurrahman
There is no doubt that Qutb has had a lasting
influence on many MB members as well
Ideologues claiming to be inspired by
Muhammad Abdussalam Farag in his book Al-
Faridah al-Ghaibah (The Absent Precept) [1981]
Ayman Al-Zawahiri in his book Al-Hasad al-Murr
(The Bitter Harvest)
Some of the ideas and writings of Hizb al-Tahrir,
especially with regard to democracy and the West,
are said to derive from Sayyid Qutb as well
Session Islam, Democracy, Secularism,
Human Rights
What do we mean by democracy?

An American concept of democracy

An Economist article once claimed that as far as the
USA was concerned democracy means two things:
Free-market, and
Posing no threat to American interests.
But is democracy really what you make
of it?
Modern democracy according to the academics has five
main stipulations:
1. government and legislatures are chosen directly or indirectly by
periodic elections with universal equal franchise, the voters
choice being normally a choice between political parties;
2. there is a sufficient degree of civil liberties (freedom of speech,
publication, and association, and freedom from arbitrary arrest
and imprisonment) to make the right to choose effective;
3. there is formal equality before the law;
4. there is some protection for minorities; and
5. there is general acceptance of a principle of maximum
individual freedom consistent with equal freedom for others.
Democracy is understood as

A system of procedural rules which specify who is

authorized to make collective decisions and through
which procedures such decisions are to be made
Democracy comprises procedures for arriving at
collective decisions in a way, which secures the
fullest possible participation of interested parties
Democratic Procedures

Formal equality before the law

Majority rule and guarantees of minority rights, which
ensure that collective decisions are approved by a
substantial number of those expected to make them
The rule of law
Constitutional guarantees of freedom of assembly and
expression and other liberties, which help guarantee
that those expected to decide or to elect those who
decide can choose among real alternatives
Democracy in brief is

A method of preventing those who govern from

permanently appropriating power for their own ends.

A system of governance in which rulers are held

accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens,
acting indirectly through the competition and cooperation of
their elected representatives.
If this is what democracy is about, is it not compatible with
the value of shura as practiced by the Prophet peace be
upon him and by his rightly guided successors?
Democratization versus Liberalization

Liberalization entails a mix of policy and social changes,

for example:
less censorship of the media,
somewhat greater space for the organization of
autonomous working-class activities,
the introduction of some legal safeguards for individuals,
the releasing of political prisoners,
the return of exiles,
perhaps measures for improving the distribution of income,
toleration of opposition.
Democratization versus Liberalization

Democratization is the transformation from

authoritarian systems of government to democratic
systems of government where open contestation
over the right to win control of the government
through free competitive elections takes place in an
atmosphere of respect for basic human rights and
the freedom of speech and assembly.
Islamic Perspectives on Democracy

Malik Bennabi (1905-1973) called for founding democracy in

Islamic thinking and practice, and for translating democracy into an
educational enterprise
He further believed that democracy ought to be considered from
three aspects:
democracy as an attitude toward the ego,
democracy as an attitude toward the other, and
democracy as the combination of the socio-political conditions necessary
for the formation and development of such attitudes in the individual.
He stressed that democracy can never be accomplished as a political
reality unless its conditions are fulfilled in the character building of the
individual and in the norms and traditions of the country. Democracy is
not a mere political process. Nor is it simply a process whereby powers
are handed over to the masses, to a people whose sovereignty is
recognized by a specific statement in the constitution.
Rachid Ghannouchi

The Europeans benefited from the Islamic civilization

in creating profoundly enlightened conceptions of
social values whose fruit was the emergence of liberal
His most important book is in Arabic and is entitled:

Al-Hurriyyat al-Ammah fil-Dawlah al-Islamiyyah

(Public Liberties in the Islamic State)

Tawfiq Ash-Shawi

Democracy is a European version of Islams shura.

When the tree of shura withered in the land of Islam
for lack of maintenance, its seeds landed, that is
during the renaissance, in the lands of the Europeans
where the tree of democracy grew and blossomed.
His most important book is in Arabic and is entitled:

Fiqh al-Shura wal-Istisharah

(The Jurisprudence of Shura and Consultation)

Hasan At-Turabi

The origin of modern democratic thinking is traceable

back to the contract of bay`ah.
The Europeans derived the origin of democratic theory
from their contacts with the Islamic political fiqh.
His most recent book on governance is in Arabic and is
Al-Siyasah wal-Hukm: Al-Nuzum Al-Sultaniyah bayn al-Usul
wa-Sunan al-Waqi
(Politics & Governance: Sultani Rules between fundamentals
and the norms of reality)
Secularism: Reading Material

The following papers are strongly recommended:

John L. Esposito, Islam and secularism in the 21st century
Azzam Tamimi, The origins of Arab secularism

John Keane, The limits of secularism

Peter L. Berger, Secularism in retreat

Abdelwahab El-Messiri, Secularism, immanence and

In Azzam Tamimi & John Esposito (Eds.), Islam and
Secularism in the Middle East, London: Hurst & New
York: NYUP, 2000
Arabic Derivative of Secularim

Secularism in Arabic is either ilmaniyah (from ilm -

science) or alamaniyah (from alam - world)
More accurately it should have been translated into
the Arabic dahriyah or dunyawiyah, meaning that
which is worldly, mundane or temporal
Colonial Package

Together with other related terms - such as


Westernisation and

The concept of secularism came to the Muslim region

within the context of colonialism
Marginalizing Religion

In the Western tradition, secularisation is usually taken

to imply liberating the political from the authority of the
In the Muslim world it has been used to describe a
process aimed at the marginalisation of Islam, or its
exclusion from the process of re-structuring society
during both the colonial and the post-independence
In the Arab region, it has entailed severing societys
cultural roots
The objective has been to effect a complete break with the
Christian Roots 1

In the English literature on secularism, it is agreed

among historians that secularism is a Christian product
Whether defined as a reaction or a protest movement,
as a doctrine or an ideology, whether the eventual
objective is to deny God and eliminate religion
altogether or just to restrict religion to the private
sphere and recognise the existence of a god that has
no say in peoples worldly, or secular, affairs, secularism
cannot be comprehended unless viewed within the
context of Europes evolution and its Christian reform
Christian Roots 2

In the middle ages, the term secular was used to

describe functions that were extra-ecclesiastical
In order to survive in the first centuries of its
existence, Christianity had to posit the principle of
the separation of faith and the city; a separation
that ran parallel with the distinction between the
world and the body
Christian Roots 3

Christs injunction of render unto Caesar - which

became extremely important in St. Pauls writing -
added a political dimension to Christianity and the
already dual nature of Christ
Christian reform movements, which sought to purge
Christianity of cultural, traditional, or superstitious
accretions, had an almost explicit secularising
impact. In the process, religious institutions ceased to
be central in society and religious consciousness
Term and Concept

George Jacob Holyoake (1817-1906), coined the term

Secularism described a 19th century movement that was expressly
intended to provide a certain theory of life and conduct without
reference to a deity or a future life, thus proposing to fulfil a
function of religion, apart from religious associations
It proclaimed the independence of secular truth, arguing that
secular knowledge was founded upon the experience of this life and
could be maintained and tested by reason at work in experience
In its mildest forms, secularism deals with the known world
interpreted by experience and neither offers nor forbids any
opinion regarding another life
Theoretically, unless dogma actively interfered with human
happiness, secularism was content to leave it to flourish or perish as
it may
Term and Concept 2

Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891), an associate of

Holyoake, considered that secularism was bound to
contest theistic belief and that material progress was
impossible so long as superstition so powerfully
manifested itself
His position was further bolstered by the assumption
that the attempt to ignore, rather than deny, religion is
impractical because religion embraces both secular and
spiritual concerns
It would be impossible to maintain that there is a God,
but that He does not concern material existence

The French equivalent of secularism, laicisme, has a

much more radical connotation than the English term
Laicisme is conceived of as a doctrine of complete
freedom from, and non-interference by, religion
The Origin of Secularism in Muslim
The rise of secularism in the Muslim world occurred
in completely different circumstances
It was during the Western colonial era that Muslim
lands witnessed gradual intellectual, social and
political changes as a result of the impression left
by the modes of thought and conduct brought to the
area by the Western colonialists
The Rise of Arab Secularism

By the middle of the 19th century, Europe began to

have a tangible cultural impact on the Arab region.
It was then that secularism entered the intellectual
debate in the Arab world
A new cultural model was being introduced quietly
by enthusiasts and admirers of the West, or
imposed by the authorities of colonialism that put
forward a new set of standards alien to the Islamic
standards upon which local culture was based
Diagnosis and Remedy

The early Arab debate on secularism centred

mainly on the relationship between religion and the
state, and on the means of accomplishing the
successes Europe had been able to achieve in
science, technology and governance
The decline of the Islamic civilisation had prompted
a number of Arab intellectuals, some of whom had
already been exposed to European culture and had
been impressed by the accomplishments of Europe,
to call for radical reform
Between Religion and Reason

Conflicts were initiated between din (religion) and

`aql (reason), between asalah (nobility) and
mu`asarah (modernity), between din and dawlah
(state) and between din and `ilm (science or
Two trends were initially distinguishable among the
intellectuals engaged in the debate; one Islamic and
the other Christian
Early Advocates of Arab Secularism

A group of Christian Arabs some of whom had

received their education at the Syrian Protestant
College and then settled down in Egypt were the
first to campaign for secularism. The group included:
ShibliShumayyil (1850-1917)
Farah Antun (1874-1922)
Georgie Zaidan (1861-1914)
Ya`qub Suruf (1852-1917)
Salama Musa (1887-1958)
Nicola Haddad (1878-1954)
Intellectual Platforms

Al-Muqtataf and Al-Hilal, founded respectively in

1876 and 1892, were two bulletins published and
edited by writers and thinkers belonging to this
group to propagate such ideas as the love of
country and fellow countrymen should transcend all
other social ties even those of religion
The main aim of these intellectuals was to lay down
the presuppositions of a secular state in which
Muslims and Christians could participate on a
footing of complete equality
Muslim Pioneers of Secularization

Qasim Amin (1865-1908), known as the emancipator of

women, suggested that the problem with the Muslims
was the lack of science. He wrote:
Perfection was not to be found in the past, even the Islamic
past; it could only be found, if at all, in the distant future. The
path to perfection was science, and in the present age it was
Europe which was most advanced in the sciences and therefore
also on the path to social perfection. Europe is ahead of us in
every way, and it is not true that while they are materially
better than us we are morally better. The Europeans are
morally more advanced; their upper and lower classes, it is
true, are rather lacking in sexual virtue, but the middle class
has high morals in every sense, and all classes alike have the
social virtues.
Muslim Pioneers of Secularization

Ahmad Lutfi As-Sayyid (1872-1963) believed that

religion, whether it be Islamic or not, was relevant only
as one of the constituent factors of society
Ali Abd Ar-Raziq (1888-1966), an Al-Azhar graduate
who had come to Oxford for higher education,
published a book in 1925 entitled al-Islam wa Usul al-
Hukm: Bahth fi al-Khilafah wa al-Hukumah fi al-Islam
(Islam and the Fundamentals of Government: A Thesis in
Caliphate and Government in Islam)
He claimed there were no such things as Islamic political
principles and denied the existence of a political order in
Islam claiming that the Prophet never established one and
that it was not part of his mission to found a State
Islamic Critique

The pioneers of Arab secularism founded the principles

of their thought on a number of incorrect assumptions
Islam was assumed to have a spiritual authority, or a
clergy, that hindered progress and prohibited the
freedom of thought, and that should therefore be
prevented from interfering in temporal matters
It was furthermore assumed to conflict with reason and
science. This led to the conclusion that as Europe rid
itself of the influence of religion as a prelude for
progress, the Arabs needed to constrain Islam
Islam and Human Rights
Basic Questions
What is Islam?
What is Islams vision of humanity?
Can a concept of human rights be found in Islam?
Islam is a faith that demands living in
accordance with
A divine frame of reference
A divinely ordained standard of preference
A divinely structured code of morality
The Beginnings of the Islamic Discourse

Egyptian Islamist thinker Ali Abd al-Wahid Wafi

authored Huquq al-Insan fil-Islam, in which he
defended Islams record on human rights and tried
to show that Islam both preceded the West in
declaring rights and continues to offer a superior
Leftists and liberals migrating to the Islamic camp
after the defeat of the Arabs in 1967
The Islamic left and Al-Muslim Al-Muasir (Beirut) in
the mid 70s
Mawdudis Input

Mawdudi delivered a lecture at the Civil Rights and

Liberties Forum in Lahore, Pakistan in November
He argued that the call for respect for basic human
rights had been anticipated by Islam and that its
teachings in this regard were far superior to
Western norms
He spoke of Islams guarantees of the rights to life,
property, freedom of conscience and expression,
justice, etc.
Islamic Conventions and Declarations

In 1980, the University of Kuwait hosted a seminar

on Islam and Human Rights in collaboration with the
International Commission of Jurists and the Union of
Arab Lawyers
In 1981, the London-Based Islamic Council
produced its Universal Islamic Declaration of Human
Rights, emulating the UN Univ. Dec. article by article
The OIC Cairo Declaration of Human Rights (1991)
Islamic Human Rights Activism

Islamic Movements introduced human rights into their

discourse starting with the Tunisian Islamic Tendency
Movement in the early eighties, the Turkish Islamists
in the early nineties and later on the Muslim
Brotherhood in the mid-nineties
The first Islamic organisation for the defence and
promotion of human rights was the London-based
Liberty for the Muslim World (1992-1998)
In Turkey, the Islamists set up Mazlum Der (Home of
the Oppressed) in around 1993-1994
Islamic Thinkers on Human Rights

Since the early eighties, several prominent Islamic

thinkers have address various aspects of Human
Rights in Islam
These include from the Arab world:
Fat-hi Osman, Muhammad al-Ghazali, Hasan Turabi,
Muhammad Amara, Muhammad Salim El-Awwa, Tariq
al-Bishri, Fahmi Huwaidi, Rachid al-Ghannouchi, Yusuf
Al-Qaradawi, Abd al-Wahab El-Affandi, and others
Rooting the Concept in the Islamic
Ibn Taymiyhs Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah and his
interpretation of verse 25 of Surat al-Hadid and
verses 58-59 of Surat al-Nisa
Al-Shatibis Al-Muwafaqat and his theory of
maqasid al-Shariah (the purposes of Shariah)
Ibn Khalduns theory of al-umran (civility) in his Al-
Quranic Principles

Al-Hadid (25): We sent aforetime our messengers with clear signs

and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of right and
wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and we sent down iron in
which is great might as well as many benefits for mankind.
Al-Nisa (58-59): Allah does command you to render back your
trusts to those to whom they are due; and when you judge between
people that you judge with justice; verily how excellent is the
teaching with He gives you, for Allah is He Who hears and sees all
things. O you who believe, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and
those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything
among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you do
believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for
final determination.
Legitimate Rights

Shariah-based (legitimate) rights in the Islamic

conception are not the product of some philosophical
contemplation, but are religious rights & duties
Scholars classified legitimate rights into two categories:
the rights of God, which refer to whatever pertains to
the public good (or the interest of the public at large); they
are not exclusive to an individual or a group of individuals,
the rights of the servant, which refer to whatever pertains to
an individual (personal) interest.
These two categories refer to the rights of the
community and the rights of the individual
An Islamic Conception

Rights are part and parcel of a whole system of

social functions and responsibilities that take into
consideration the rights of others
Legitimate human rights include guarantees of both
individual and communal interests in an endeavour
to establish a balance between individuality and
the need to protect the security and harmony of the
entire community

Human rights in Islam are faith-based rights that aim to

accomplish the objectives of human existence
Human rights in Islam are derived from what Al-Shatibi (d.
790H/1388CE) the five necessities of protecting faith, of
protecting life, of protecting the mind, of protecting progeny
and of protecting property
These necessities are individual duties as much as they are
individual rights. For instance, preserving life entails the
individual responsibility of guaranteeing the individuals
moral and material dignity. Since man does not possess his
soul, which is the property of its Creator, he has no right to
kill himself or to inflict harm on his body let alone causing
death or harm to others
Al-Shatibis Theory of Maqasid

After thorough consideration of the rules of Shariah,

Al-Shatibi concluded that Shariah-based obligations
relate directly to their purposes in the lives of humans.
These purposes, he suggested, belonged to one of three
necessities that are indispensable for both faith and life and
whose loss will lead to misery, destruction and death;
utilities that are needed for the purpose of avoiding hardships
that may in turn lead to discomfort; and
ameliorates that may be expressed in terms of good manners.