Sayyid Qutb was born in 10/1906 in the village of Musha, Egypt, to a devoted Muslim family. When he graduated high school Sayyid Qutb moved to Cairo, Egypt’s capital, for further education.
In the years 1923-1933, in Cairo, Sayyid Qutb continued to expand his education in Western studies and devoted himself to literature as an author and critic. Sayyid Qutb worked as a teacher in the Ministry of Education and in 1939 he was promoted to a higher rank in the Ministry.
Sayyid Qutb spent three years from 1948 to 1950 in USA on a scholarship from the Colorado State College of Education to study educational systems. He published in 1949 the first theoretical work of religious-social criticism named “Social Justice in Islam”.
When Sayyid Qutb, who never married, returned from USA he became extremely critical of many things in the United States: its materialism, individual freedom, economic system, the brutal sports, racisms and sexual permissiveness. He began to worry from the Westernization of the Islamic society in general and the Egyptian society in particular.
Sayyid Qutb joined the Muslims Brotherhood, became the chief editor of their weekly magazine – “The Muslims Brotherhood” and was appointed as a member of the leadership council.
Sayyid Qutb and the Muslims Brotherhood welcomed the Free Officers revolution of 07/1952 against the monarchist government, which brought to power, eventually, Gamal Abdel Nasser, as they believed that the new regime is against Western imperialism and pro Muslims. The Muslims Brotherhood found out very soon that Nasserism was a form of secular Arab socialism and Sayyid Qutb turned against Nasser’s regime too.
In 10/1954 Gamal Abdel Nasser blamed the Muslims Brotherhood of a failed assassination attempt against him. Sayyid Qutb was arrested with many other Muslims Brotherhood followers. From 1957 he was allowed better conditions in jail, including the opportunity to write. In jail Sayyid Qutb wrote his two most influential books “In the Shade of the Qur’an” and “Milestones”. In those books Sayyid Qutb preached his radically anti-secular and anti-Western claims based on his interpretations of the Qur’an, Islamic history, and reviewed the social and political problems of Egypt. The books became a source of inspiration all over the Muslim World and for the next two generations of Mujahidin – Islamic Holly Warriors.
In the request if Iraq’s President Abdul Salam Arif, Sayyid Qutb was released from jail in 12/1964 but was rearrested in 08/1965 and accused of plotting against the regime. The evidence against him was quoted from his book “Milestones”. He was found guilty, sentenced to death, and hanged on 08/29/1966. He is dead but his influence on the future generations of young frustrated Muslims is growing with time.
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