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Rethinking Political Thinkers

Rethinking Political Thinkers (1st edn)

Manjeet Ramgotra and Simon Choat
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date: 07 December 2023

p. 25715. Sayyid Qutblocked

p. 25715. Sayyid Qutblocked

  • Ayesha Omar


This chapter outlines some of the key ideas of Sayyid Qutb, a prominent Egyptian, Muslim political theorist and anti-colonial thinker. It begins by setting Qutb’s ideas in their intellectual contexts and discussing his theory of jahilliyyah (condition of ignorance), assessing how and why Qutb prescribes measures to counter the effects of jahilliyyah. The chapter then looks at Qutb’s conception of hakimiyyah (divine sovereignty), which is central to his project for Islamic renewal. It also considers Qutb’s contribution to revolutionary resurgence and in particular his theory of offensive jihad. Finally, the chapter highlights and problematizes Qutb’s enduring legacy both as a militant and decolonial political thinker, and underscores the manner in which his ideas continue to garner interest in the contemporary world.

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