7 Sep 2005

QUTB, A BELOVED*

Sayyid Qutb invoked the concept of human nature, Fitrah, as an essential component of his discourse. Unlike early 19th century modernist thinkers who viewed human nature negatively, Qutb considered it a positive source of energy that could possibly lead to happiness. He believed that man is a privileged human, gifted with a Fitrah that is fundamentally good and constructive on the condition that his actions confirms with the pure nature of his Fitrah. Should ‘man’ respect his Fitrah’s impulses, it would guide him to a balanced and sustained state of happiness. However, what is the relation between man and his knowledge of his Fitrah.

Man’s sole and only guidance to understanding his Fitrah is through divine intervention. According to Qutb philosophy, between Fitrah and the natural order obtains a divinely ordained harmony; between man and the natural order may obtain happiness and harmony, or misery and discord depending on how man chooses to act. Between man and his Fitrah, there is ignorance of man to knowing his Fitrah without divine mediation. Thus, Qutb argues that man possesses very little knowledge to reach on his own any useful degree of understanding of that Fitrah. Man’s only source of guidance regarding what conforms to Fitrah and what violates it resides in what God has chosen to tell him through his word, the Koran, and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Therefore, if man desires to act in conformity with Fitrah, there must exist a willingness by man to receive the guidance offered by the Creator, God.

*Based on Qutb's book, Milestone

8 Comments:

Blogger zoss said...

Man’s sole and only guidance to understanding his Fitrah is through divine intervention.

I could go about trying to qualify this statement for myself, but I was curious if you have any insight into how Qutb justifies it. I mean maybe it's contained in the sentence that follows in your post, but I am afraid I don't understand it at all.

9/07/2005 08:27:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

Divine intervention doesnt by any means mean 'revelation'. But, according to what I understand from Qutb's writing, the 'intervention' is through following the revealed words of God, living in an islamic society, separating oneself from any Jahili traits and system that ruins one's fitra.

9/07/2005 08:36:00 am  
Blogger zoss said...

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear, but I was actually inquiring about a qualification of the reasoning, not a qualification of the 'intervention' -- that is to say the reasoning why Qutb thinks this statement is true, how did he come about it?

Thanks for the expansion though, it certainly clarified a bit the rest of the second paragraph. On a side note, the question of 'intervention' is certainly an interesting one -- I was thinking earlier today (and maybe I need to do more thinking and reading before I start shooting off, but since it came up) about the day of judgement, and whether it is something that we will bring upon ourselves, as opposed to the pervasive literal picture of the divine 'intervention', you know, with the turning the lights off and so forth... anyways, something to think about..

9/07/2005 08:56:00 am  
Blogger Al Sharief said...

Qutb*A BELOVED" ?? I thought you wrote before that you are Not a fan of Qutb? Was it because the topic then? I think you did a good post then, & Qutb was more than handy. What I'm missing?

Zoss: To understand How Qutb justfies it, and his qualification of the reasoning, I think one would need to look at the "Historian" part of Qutb and follow his Experience from 1952 till 1964 when Milestone was first published. After periodic presecution of Opposing Islamist during the consolidation of state power in Egyptduring that period, In a nut shell it is the answer to the state super domination over the simple citzen via the massive authority that the state claimed for it's self. And This can not be tolerated by Islam,Only God posses such Power & the Authority and hence he theorize on the Fitrah. This was very much the local & demostic injustice acting as drivers for his Milestone writing. Prior to the Milestone he wrote the "Social Justice" addressing the global injustice of World War II in lights of the competing ideolgies of Capitalism Vs. Communisim both as examples of man oppressing man and how Qutb felt threatend from both to impose itself on Muslims. This is considered to be the global Justification. I think?

Ahmed Abu Zaid does much better job in a comprhensive theses on this topic. For the Reasoning part try P 51 & 52.

haal you are the historian :) com on ! what do you think?

9/08/2005 03:01:00 pm  
Blogger Zettes said...

Speaking of Fitrah, did you see the Agassi-Blake match? And no American women in the quarters! Should be a great final. Sorry for putting this here, buy you are not responding to my emails:))

Everyone please carry on with thoughts on divinity....

9/08/2005 07:30:00 pm  
Blogger zoss said...

Al Sharief; Thanks much for the link.

9/08/2005 07:49:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Zettes,

You are a real sheep :)

Will respond. Give me some time!

9/08/2005 09:05:00 pm  
Blogger boumaaraf said...

Salam , i like your blog ,i have a great respect for Sheikh Qutb even if there is some contreversy about his ideas ,i'm Mohamed ,algerian journalist looking for arab bloggers ,pls visit my blog and let a comment , thank you .

9/12/2005 07:56:00 pm  

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