Historical Origins of the Ideology of ISIS and other Militant Groups Who Commit Terrorism in the Name of Islam - Part 4:
Sayyid Qutb’s antithetical innovations into Islam - the concept of jahiliyya, the doctrine of takfir, inspired by Social Darwinism
After 9/11 western academic authorities that were familiar with the history discussed in the previous article, and Sayyid Qutb’s role and influence in inspiring Al Qaeda and their like, were quick to pen articles and books replete with articulating the notion that Qutb had borrowed the methods of Marx and Lenin in authoring political tracts and exhorting the masses to rebellion against the rulers while he was imprisoned in Egypt; same as we have been asserting here.
However, because western scholarship writes for a western audience, which is almost without fail lacking a thorough familiarity with Islamic scholarship, the academics themselves typically have less emphasis on the deviation of these ideologies from that which has merit from within Islam itself; giving this notion declarative mention at times but rarely parsing out in detail the connection all of this has with the implications that are latent in the extremity of Qutb innovating into Islam. (Conversely, we will later show how an inverse phenomena exist in the Muslim world where major and highly-respected Islamic scholars regularly identify and reprimand Qutb, Al Qaeda, and ISIS and the like for innovating matters into Islam, but do so in routes of characterization that generally do not concern itself with demonstrating their methods of borrowing from Marxism and Social Darwinism, because Islamic scholars themselves are either less concerned with, or perhaps less familiar with, those ideologies and their respective histories).
Malise Ruthven, who holds a PhD from Cambridge University and was a longtime BBC correspondent on Middle Eastern Affairs, authored a book shortly after 9/11 to encapsulate the ideological development that had taken place in the Muslim world which led to the attacks. He had long been familiar with this from his studies of political science that focused on that part of the world. In his book A Fury For God: The Islamist Attack on America he writes extensively about Qutb.
In reference to the heavy influence of European thinkers and writers in Qutb's education and development of literary style he writes:
Qutb fell under the spell of ‘Abbas Mahmoud al-’Aqqad, leading light of the so-called Diwan group of Egyptian writers (whose) preference was for English rather than French literary models...Qutb devoured everything he could in translation (from al-Aqqad), becoming generally knowledgable in the literature and culture of Europe."
On Qutb authoring tracts in prison and their corollary to the communist tracts of Marx and Lenin:
During his sojourn in prison and out of it Qutb produced his two most influential works…Fi zalal al-Quran (In the Shade of the Quran) and the tract Ma’alim fi’l-tariq (sic) (“Singposts on the Road” [aka Milestones]). The latter has been usefully compared to Lenin’s What Is to Be Done?, the tract which, in combination with the Communist Manifesto (1848) of Marx and Engels, stoked the fires of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia…” (emphasis mine)
Qutb’s tract deserves to be treated at length, for more than any other text it articulates both the rage and the revolutionary energy underpinning the Islamist movement. It also reveals the extent to which the values and aspirations of the movement are rooted in classical Islam, while also significantly departing from it.” (emphasis mine)
Ruthven mentions the two main tracts that Qutb wrote in prison and then acknowledges that they illustrate the extent to which they depart from “classical” (or orthodox) Islam. Milestones is the tract we will be talking about mainly as it was the main one that implored the Muslim masses to revolutionary fervor. But we will discuss Qutb's manner of exegesis of the Qur'an in this article, which is relevant to both In the Shade of the Quran and Milestones.
Ruthven comments on Qutb’s methodology (or lack thereof) in his exegesis of the Qur’an in these tracts:
…the fabric of traditional exegesis, according to which any one statement in the Quran must be balanced by all the others, is completely cut away.”
Ruthven is absolutely correct here, but also his characterization of traditional exegesis as one where, “any one statement in the Quran must be balanced by all others” is a massive oversimplification of the Islamic science of Quranic exegesis which is called tafsir. Tafsir (the word comes from the verb fasara which means "to interpret" and is the word used to refer to Qur'anic hermeneutics) is an elaborate field whereby meanings of the Qur’an are established not only by referencing other verses of the Qur’an but also by referencing hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and the explanation of verses he gave, sayings and explanations of the Quranic verses of his companions and the two generations that followed, as well as following the science of qiyas (analogical deduction) that was established by the second generation of Islamic scholars to follow the Prophet - this a rudimentary outline of the Usool At-tafisr (principles of Quranic exegesis) that has been long established and accepted in the history of Islamic jurisprudence . Jonathan Brown, an Associate professor of Georgetown University who has been called, “Among the most talented and productive scholars in the field of Islamic Studies today” (in the West this would mean) says about understanding even the shortest chapter of the Qur’an, “Even the approximate meaning of such a passage does not become clear until read in the light of reports of Tafsir, or reports from the early Muslim community about the meaning of Qur’anic words and verses as well as the contexts in which they were revealed” .
One does not take prominence as an expert in tafsir until after a near lifetime of study under experts who had done the same; and the type of reverence to learned men of religious knowledge that the Arab-Muslim world traditionally had is something that the colonial and post-colonial Arab world lost its grip on to a fair degree; helping to spur along this phenomenon of ideological blending exhibited by Qutb. There are authoritative and voluminous canons of tafsir of the entire Qur’an that have long been referred to as reference points for religious knowledge in Islam throughout history due to their established authenticity. Such as the tafsir of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, a scholar from the late 9th and early 10th century; considered one of the great historians of all time who traveled the world in pursuit of Islamic knowledge and collected the Prophet’s hadith and their chains of transmission. Also the tafsir of Ismail ibn Kathir of the 14th century. Another well known historian who studied under other great Islamic scholars. His tafsir is well known and has been translated into many languages. When one reads the works of these exegetes they find constant reference to the tools I have listed here, in addition to the balancing one verse of the Quran against another that Ruthven referred to.
In both In the Shade of the Qur'an and Milestones, just as one does not find Qutb balancing one verse against another in his Quranic exegesis you do not find him referencing to these past and well established authorities or utilizing the tools from the principles of tafsir that have been long established in Islamic jurisprudence. No, rather you find that it is mere conjectural ramblings of an imprisoned man who is simply reading the Quran and then explicating his personal thoughts and projections of it; regardless of whether they correlate to the established practice, history, or meanings of the verses he comments on. It is blatantly pseudo-exegesis and no one who analyzes his work with even just a basic knowledge of the tradition of tafsir really disputes this.
This is not to say that Ruthven provides this oversimplification as a means to diminish the gravity of divergence from Islamic orthodoxy that is prevalent in Qutb’s writing - but it is rather a fact that Ruthven is writing for a Western audience who he knows lacks the background of understanding to appreciate this issue's depth and weight; for him to offer a thorough and comprehensive elaboration of Islamic history is something both he and his readers would rather not get into as, after all, the purpose of the book is to inform readers about recent historical events that led up to 9/11, not to explain on the Islamic sciences. This is not atypical of academic or journalistic writing in the West on this topic, to oversimplify a matter related to the Islamic sciences, scholarly tradition, and religious history with a generalization that gives the western reader some basic idea but little window into the details behind it. Within this an opportunity is missed for people to understand Qutb as a blatant innovator into Islam, and to understand the implications of casting him as such as an effective tool for rebuking the ideology of Al-Qaeda/ISIS and other terrorist groups who have followed his ideology; this treatise and what continues is a humble attempt here to fill in some of the gaps in background knowledge that western readers may have.
What follows is in no way a complete discourse on how Qutb's writing relates to these classical sources, but it is meant to offer a window into how his assertions about the religion and the philosophized meanings he espouses of Islamic words and Qur'anic verses are patently incorrect. The further an elaboration on this would go the further that point would be proven. To reference classical tafsir I use that of Ibn Kathir because it is likely the most well-known in the Muslim world (which is not to say everyone in the Muslim world has studied it, but people know about it in the Muslim world like people know about, say, War and Peace in the Western world) and highly regarded work of tafsir that there is. It is important to note that while the Qur'an is a small book, the abridged version of Ibn Kathir's tafsir runs upwards of 5,000 pages. It is not likely that Qutb had access to it while he was writing in prison; but even if he cared to be considerate of it, the fact that he would go on and make his own conjectural interpretations of the religion without reference to its classical sources speaks to his own irreverent nature as an innovator.
Jahiliyya & Takfir in the tracts of Sayyid Qutb
The western critiques do offer valuable insight and verification into how Qutb borrowed from western ideologies to formulate his revolutionary manifesto in Milestones. Part of the strength of the Marxist/Leninist manifestos in imploring the masses into action that induces civil-strife and unrest is the art of denouncing whole societies or whole societal systems as a means of dispelling the legitimacy of their existence. We will show how Qutb borrowed this tactic and put it into “Islamic clothing” while making religious assertions through his limp exegesis of the Qur’an that were in reality antithetical to the edicts of Islam.
…he [Quṭb] identified his own society (in this case, contemporary Muslim polities) as among the enemies that a virtuous, ideologically self-conscious, vanguard minority would have to fight by any means necessary, including violent revolution, so that a new and perfectly just society might arise. His ideal society was a classless one where the ‘selfish individual’ of liberal democracies would be banished and the ‘exploitation of man by man’ would be abolished. God alone would govern it through the implementation of Islamic law (shariʿa). This was Leninism in Islāmist dress.” - Ladan and Roya Boroumand, French-Iranian scholars of history, in an article entitled Terror, Islam, and Democracy in the Journal of Democracy in 2002. (emphasis mine)
Essential to Qutb’s arc in denouncing the contemporary Muslim polities and invoking lay Muslims into anti-Islamic revolutionary rebellion is a misuse and overcasting of the Islamic term “jahiliyya” to excommunicate (takfir) all governments of the Muslim societies and their rulers from the fold of belief in Islam and being Muslim - and to another extent all Muslims within those societies as well - i.e. declaring them to be non-Muslims and therefore apostates from the religion and traitors. In this line of thinking Qutb’s reliance on his own conjecture and philosophizing vs. reliance on evidences from the religion of Islam itself is blatant.
The first part of this series already established that the line wherein disobedience to a ruler may enter a Muslims’ realm of consideration is when the ruling authority fails to permit the Muslims to pray (3). This is consistent with the ruling in Islam that abandoning the prayer (and "abandoning" the prayer in Islamic jurisprudence means to believe, in contradiction to Islamic teaching, that it is not an obligation upon a Muslim to perform the prayer; and to willfully act accordingly - it does not mean incidental forgetting or missing of the prayer out of laziness or personal strife) is what stands between belief and disbelief. This is according to the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ):
Between disbelief and belief is abandoning the obligatory prayer” (4)
But what we will see Qutb do is use the concept of jahiliyya in Islam to denounce the entirety of Muslim societies as disbelievers, even though Islam is still present in those societies, the rulers still permitted and the people to pray and facilitated the congregational prayers taking place in the mosques throughout the society.
The term Jahiliyya, means “ignorance” in Arabic. In Islam, and in the numerous sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), it is used to refer to the pre-islamic period before he had received his revelation. So amongst his followers who had accepted Islam after his prophethood began they would refer to having been in “jahiliyya” before they entered Islam. Likewise, the people and tribes of Arabia who continued in idol worship and who opposed the Prophet during his time would be referred to as “jahil” by the Prophet and his companions for maintaining the ignorance of idol worship over the message of monotheistic worship of Islam. Generally speaking it can be said that “jahiliyya refers to that which came before Islam” (5).
Famously, one of the rulers of the Quraysh tribe that opposed the Prophet was dubbed by him as “Abu Jahl” (the father of ignorance). These people and tribesmen who vehemently opposed the Prophet Muhammad in his time were openly espoused worshippers of idols and people who expelled the Prophet from his home in Mecca and later declared war on him when he was the ruler of the city of Medina. There may be some Islamic precedent in characterizing acts done today that are forbidden in Islam or that were done in the pre-Islamic period of Arabia as jahil or being like that of jahiliyya to the extent that they may represent "foolishness" and "misguidance" (from Islam) that are inherit in the meaning of the word. However, Qutb ultimately analogizes the term to such a degree that it is used as justification for making mass excommunication (takfir) of all the current day Muslim rulers of Muslim lands, and from there extend this excommunication to all Muslim societies. He does this in contradiction to evidences within Islam itself. When using and applying the term in Milestones he barely even feigns attempts to use Islamic evidence for his declaration that the “whole world is steeped in Jahiliyyahh” as is evidenced in the various quotes that follow from Milestones:
Not only this, but they ought to be aware of their position (i.e. the position of the revolutionary vanguard) vis-à-vis this Jahiliyyahh, which has struck its stakes throughout the earth: when to cooperate with others and when to separate from them: what characteristics and qualities they should cultivate, and with what characteristics and qualities the Jahiliyyahh immediately surrounding them is armed; how to address the people of Jahiliyyahh.” - pg. 28
We are also surrounded by Jahiliyyahh today, which is of the same nature as it was during the first period of Islam, perhaps a little deeper. Our whole environment, people's beliefs and ideas, habits and art, rules and laws is Jahiliyyahh, even to the extent that what we consider to be Islamic culture, Islamic sources, Islamic philosophy and Islamic thought are also constructs of Jahiliyyahh.” pg. 34
“It is therefore necessary, in the way of the Islamic movement, that in the early stages of our training and education we should remove ourselves from all the influences of the Jahiliyyahh in which we live and from which we derive benefits.” pg. 34
Jahili characteristics, is not worthy to be compromised with. Our aim is first to change ourselves so that we may later change the society.
Academics in the west have done some comprehenisve studies into the use and develompent of the concept of Jahiliyya in Qutb's works. Most of them focus on ascertaining the fact that jahiliya for the most part refers to the pre-Islamic period in Arabia. An example of this is by Sujata Ashwarya Cheema, PhD in Political Science from the School of International Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and contributor to the Middle East Institute think tank, who did an analysis of Qutb’s development and use of this concept and expounded on it in an article for the social science journal Islam and Muslim Societies, where she writes:
By describing the modern western societies and contemporary Islamic societies [as] jahili, Qutb transforms an early phase in the history of Islam into a metaphor. Jahiliyya in Islamic history denotes pre-Islamic pagan beliefs and practices – ignorance of God’s Word as revealed through Prophet Muhammad. Contemporary societies exhibit jahiliyya because, as in pre-Islamic Arabia, they choose to subordinate two pre-eminent principles: “The exclusiveness of divine commandment, and absolute obedience to His words.” (Klien in Nettler 1993:50)” 
What is said here is correct. But it could also be said that it does not portray the full shade of truth as it leaves the impression that any application of the word jahiliyya to something after the time Islam came is a misuse. This would not be a fully correct impression, this is illustrated in the explanation of the emanate Islamic scholar ibn Tayymiyah:
...after the coming of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), it (jahiliyya) may exist in one place and not another – as it exists in the lands of the kuffar (non-Muslims) – and it may exist in one person and not another; a man is in state of Jahiliyyah before he becomes Muslim, even if he lives in a Muslim land.
Notice here that ibn Tayymiyah, an actual scholar of Islamic jurisprudence, refers to actual things the Prophet said to his companions. Further, the part that I have emboldened is a reference to a hadith and prophecy of Muhammad that is well known. This illustrates a key difference in methodology of Islamic exegesis between a scholar of the religion and a philosopher/political activist like Qutb. The former refers to the religious sources, the latter refers to their won conjecture. Several verses of the Qur'an admonish people for following conjecture*, and hence the orthodox tradition of Islamic scholarship is one where expounding on the religion must be done through reference to its original sources.
We see here from ibn Tayymiyah that jahiliyya does refer to what came before Islam and that there can also be some application of it to people and places in times after that. But Qutb makes an overextension of this with his conceptualization and it leads him to err greatly in declaring the whole of modern day Muslim societies as jahiliyya and by extension disbelievers. For elucidation on this it is beneficial to look at the words of Muhammad Nasri ad-Din al-Bani, one of the most highly revered Islamic scholars (in the Muslim world) of the 20th century. He was asked specifically about Qutb's conceptualization of jahiliyya and this was how he responded:
What I think is that this phrase, “The Jahiliyyah of the twentieth century”, is not free of exaggeration about the current century – the twentieth century. The fact that Islam is alive in this century, even though it has been infiltrated by things that are not part of it, means that we cannot say that this century is like the first Jahiliyyah of old. We know that what is meant by the first Jahiliyyah is the Arabs only: they were idolaters, they were clearly misguided, and it applies to the religions that existed around the Arabs, namely Judaism and Christianity, which are distorted religions. Therefore, at that time there was no pure religion left that had not been changed and altered. Undoubtedly describing that era as Jahiliyyah is correct. But that is not the case in the present era, because Allah blessed the Arabs first, then the rest of mankind, by sending to them Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the Seal of the Prophets, to whom He revealed the religion of Islam, which is the final religion, and Allah has promised to preserve this religion as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” [15:9]. His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that the Muslim ummah (nation), although it would be faced with some deviation as befell the nations before it, he said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will enter it too.” We said: “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: “Who else?” I say, Although the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that the Muslims would deviate to a large extent and they would imitate the Jews and Christians in that deviation, at the same time he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also gave his followers the glad tidings that they would continue to follow the line that he drew for them. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “My ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all of whom will be in Hell except one.” They said: What is it, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “It is the jamaa’ah (main body of the Muslims)” and according to another report he said: “It is the group that follows the same path as me and my companions.” 
Al-bani was known for having the highest accumen in referring to the Islamic texts when dispensing answers and clarifications on issues and that can be seen in his explanation here. If Muslims are to believe in the Qur'an then they are to believe in what al-Bani has cited here that Allah will "guard" it from corruption and that there will always be Muslims who follow the correct path. Therefore, following the orthodox tradition of exegesis within Islam it is antithetical to Islamic belief for Qutb to say that, "the whole world is steeped in jahiliyya" - it is an overreach and contradictory to the statement in the Qur'an that Islam will be protected and contradictory to the statement of the Prophet that the main body of Muslims and the group that follows the path of him and his companions will always be following Islam.
Furthemore, what is actually the evidence of Jahiliyya today according to Qutb? Milestones is full of conjectural statements like the ones above that make sweeping generalizations about society being “surrounded by” or “stepped in” or in an “ocean of” jahilliyya. By my count, from the preface onwards, Qutb uses the word jahiliya 120 TIMES (and that is not counting when he uses the adjective jahili) in Milestones, but in only ONE instance is the use connected to an actual Islamic source (meaning the Qur’an, or a saying from the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, or the elucidation of revered Islamic scholars) wherein jahiliyya is described, and this is one that describes things that went on during the time of jahiliyya in Arabia before the prophethood of Muhammad wherein his wife Aisha describes the different types of marriages that existed. Qutb cites this narration of Aisha to demonstrate that there was much fornication during the time of jahiliyya; he then connects that to how there is apparently the same thing in the mid-20th century also. His second source of evidence is Arabic poems from the pre-Islamic period that confirm oppression existed then and that glorify drinking and gambling; he cities that as evidence that drinking and gambling were rampant in the pre-Islamic period, like they are apparently are/were in the 20th century also. Qutb rationalizes that since these things now exist and are perhaps even now allowed by law to some degree by the governments in the Muslim world, then those governments and those Muslims have committed treason against Islam and must be rebelled against by a morally conscious reformist group of people who are "unhappy about the moral degeneracy of their society" as he states it in Milestones .
No doubt, it is true that fornication, oppression, drinking, and gambling are sinful behaviors and un-Islamic. They are major sins in Islam. The problem with Qutb’s theorization here is that in Islam committing major sins does not excommunicate one from the religion and this is an issue that has been established and elucidated since Islam's inception. Excommunicating someone or people from Islam, meaning to declare them to be unbelievers, is called takfir. Qutb is the progenitor of an ideology that espouses takfir of whole societies of “today” without using evidences from the religion itself. If the evidences of the religion are looked into it is easily found that making takfir upon someone is not a light matter and can only be done under certain conditions and Qutb’s takfir does not meet these conditions. Qutb states (as we showed above) in Milestones:
We are also surrounded by Jahiliyyahh today, which is of the same nature as it was during the first period of Islam, perhaps a little deeper. Our whole environment, people's beliefs and ideas, habits and art, rules and laws is Jahiliyyahh, even to the extent that what we consider to be Islamic culture, Islamic sources, Islamic philosophy and Islamic thought are also constructs of Jahiliyyahh.”
This is an ignorant statement considering the “nature” of jahiliyyahh as it was during the first period of Islam would be one marked by idol worshipped, ignorance and complete unawareness of the Qur’an, and ignorance and complete unawareness of the Prophet Muhammad and his teachings. That some sinful behavior that also exists in the modern day may have emanated from that ignorance is one thing, but the roots of the sin is different, and the point is crucial because sinful behavior does not excommunicate one from Islam and this point cannot be driven home enough because the basis of Sayyid Qutb’s ideology and that of the terrorist groups that have followed him rest on this misguided perception.
It is well established in the Qur'an that repentance is available for sinful behavior and illustrated by the following verses, the like of which there are many.
‘Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise." (An-Nisaa [chapter 4] Verse 17)
And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.
And in the following saying from the Prophet Muhammad, again which there are many more like.
The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.” 
The Qur'an states that the only sin that Allah will not forgive is what is called shirk in Arabic. Shirk comes from the Arabic verb sharaka which means "to share" and the sin shirk is called that because it means "sharing" or "associating" worship or testification of faith with something (or someone) other than God. The idol worshippers in Mecca at the time of the Prophet were called mushrikeen, which is the anthro-nominalization of that verb, because they worshipped stones and innanimate objects and beleieved that those things had the powers of God. The relevant verse is here:
Indeed, Allah does not forgive association (shirk) with Him, but He forgives whatever is below that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray." (Al-Nissa [chapter 4] 116)
If one cares about the books of tafsir and looks into them for further elaboration on the meaning of this verse it becomes even more clear that committing sin does not make one a disbeliever. In the tafsir of Ibn Kathir that elaborates on this verse he cites Ahmad ibn Hanbal (who was discussed in the first part of this series) who reported that the Prophet's companion Abu Dharr al-Ghifari reported the Prophet as having said, in relation to this verse, that Allah said to him:
O My servant! As long as you worship and beg Me, I will forgive you, no matter your shortcomings. O My servant! If you meet Me with the earth's fill of sin, yet you do not associate any partners with Me (committ shirk), I will meet you with its fill of forgiveness."
And Abu Dharr further reported the following, beginning with the Prophet speaking:
No servant proclaims,`There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah,' and dies on that belief, but will enter Paradise.'' I (Abu Dharr) said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft?'' He (The Prophet) said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' I (Abu Dharr) asked again, "Even if he committed adultery and theft?'' He (The Prophet) said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.''
And that is only a peek and the beginning of how the elaboration in tafsir of this (very famous) verse goes on to cite reports from the Prophet and his companions that make it clear that major sins are forgiven for those who repent in Islam and do not constitute disbelief.
But Qutb goes on to expound and rationalize that what he dubs "jahili" societies are such, not because of what they worship or profess to worship, but because of their "way of life" which refers to the sin that was described before. He even explicitly states that even though these societies and people believe in Islamic monotheism, they are still jahili, this goes into direct contradiction of the words of the Prophet cited above.
Lastly, all the existing so-called 'Muslim' societies are also Jahili societies. We classify them among Jahili societies not because they believe in other deities besides Allah or because they worship anyone other than Allah, but because their way of life is not based on submission to Allah alone. Although they believe Tawhid [this is the word that means "monotheism" and belief in Allah in Islam], still they have relegated the legislative attribute of Allah Almighty to others and submit to this authority, and from this authority they derive their systems, their traditions and customs, their laws, their values and standards, and almost every practice of life.” - pg. 93
It's interesting how Qutb says "We classify them..." - it is almost as if he knows he cannot say "Islam classifies them..."
Here Qutb is getting to the crux of his rationalization that all Muslim societies today are in disbelief and jahil- not because of anything they believe or testify but because they do not “legislate” according Islam in “their traditions and customs, their laws, their values and standards, and almost every practice of life.” To emphasize this point he cites the following verse from the Qur’an:
........And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then it is those who are the disbelievers.” (5:44) [the ellipsis is present in Milestones, Qutb did not cite the entire verse where he quotes it on page 94]
And he elaborates upon this:
Before this, Allah Almighty accused the Jews and Christians of committing Shirk, (association of other gods with Allah), of Kufr (unbelief) and of taking priests and rabbis as lords in addition to Allah Almighty, only because they had given certain rights and privileges to their priests and rabbis, which today those who call themselves 'Muslims' have given to some people among themselves.” pg. 94
And you see the point here, that those today who claim they are Muslims are not really Muslims because they let people adjudicate. It is important to remphasize the point here that Qutb cites the Quranic verses without any reference to the canons of tafsir that exist and that are crucial to understanding the verses of the Quran. Qutb’s total disregard for tafsir and preference for his own conjectural interpretations (which are muddled by his intrigue and familiarity with western ideologies) is wholly irreverent to Islam, its edicts, and its traditions.
What should first be pointed out to Qutb is that he himself has long ceased to “judge by what Allah has revealed” in his orchestrating and invoking people to rebellion against the rulers (even if they are oppressive), which goes against the clear orders of the Prophet Muhammad, and Allah revealed that Muslims are to obey the Prophet.
But what is completely amazing here is that this rationalizing by Qutb with the verse of the Qur’an about “…whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed…” illustrates his ignorance lucidly as he is falling into making a crass rationalization (that people cannot adjudicate or arbitrate matters between one another) that was actually propagated by antagonists in the early time of the Muslims under the 4th Islamic Caliphate Ali ibn Abi Talib the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad (Qutb hallows Ali in other parts of Milestones all the while clearly not having a full grasp of his biography).
Ali faced hostilities from the the Levantine province that was under his rule in his time over a dispute about the murder of his predecessor. He led his army to Syria from where there was a long standoff as neither side wanted to fight. Some Muslims on the Levantine side requested arbitration with the Qur’an. When Ali appointed two men from the companions of the Prophet to arbitrate the matter members of the Levantine side declared Ali as being a disbeliever (they made takfir upon Ali, the leader of the Muslims) for allowing men to arbitrate a matter, and that group adopted the slogan of “…arbitration is for Allah alone”. Ali and the Muslims dubbed these rebels as the “khawaraj” which means “outsiders” or those who have removed themselves from the main body of Muslims and (like Qutb and the terrorist groups) would claim that anyone who commits sins is an unbeliever.   There is much more to be said about this term khawaraj that will hopefully elaborate on in a later article as it is a useful term and categorization with Islamic jurisprudence that is frequently utilized by Islamic scholars who practice polemics against ISIS and Al-Qaeda and their likes; they characterize them with this term to show the relation between this “takfiri” mentality espoused by Sayyid Qutb and followed by terrorist groups.
It is in reading the above quote where one can really start to question Qutb’s basic familiarity with the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the well-accepted exegesis of these verses. It is well known that the Prophet appointed men to arbitrate matters amongst men. It is also readily apparent in the books of tafsir that this verse refers to actually changing what the holy book says - the revelation of this verse came to the Prophet in reference to an incident in which two Jews in Medina (during the time in which the Prophet was the ruler there) arbitrated a matter of adultery but did it by claiming that the Torah said something it did not and actually attempted to change and conceal the words of the Torah when arbitrating the matter (in following Islamic law, the Jews of Medina at the time of the Prophet were judged in their matters according to their holy book). This is why the words of the verse before what Qutb quotes are “…do not exchange my verses for a small price…” and the books of tafsir relate this verse to verse 4:46 which admonishes the Jews because “They change the words from their places” - and both these verses refer to incidents in which Jews (from Medina at the time of the Prophet) attempted to change or conceal actual words in the Torah . The situation and context in which that verse was revealed is not equatable with that of the 20th century Muslim polities that Qutb describes. Those Muslim governments in Egypt and elsewhere never tried changing the actual words of the Qur'an, nor did they try to pretend that actual parts of the Qur'an that do exist really do not.
Ali bin Abi Talib also stated about this verse that the companion Abdullah Ibn `Abbas (who is a well known companion and was revered amongst the early Muslims for his erudite knowledge of the meaning of the Quran - in the books of tafsir you see reports from ibn Abbas referred to over and over again and many consider him to be the first great exegete of the Qur'an - he settled in Iraq after the time of the Prophet and it is from his lineage that the Abbasid empire was founded) commented on a critical distinguishment to be made in regards to this verse means, he said the meaning of this verse is that:
Whoever rejects what Allah has revealed, will have committed Kufr (disbelief), and whoever accepts what Allah has revealed, but did not rule by it, is a Zalim (unjust) and a Fasiq (rebellious) and a sinner.'' 
According to Abullah ibn 'Abbas, the great companion of the Prophet Muhammad and paramount exegete of the Qur'an, it is not the commitment of sin that qualifies disbelief, it is the practice of changing the revealed book that constitutes that per the ruling of the verses that Qutb cites. If a Muslim were to attempt to change the words of the Qur’an or claim that the Qur’an made fornication, gambling, and drinking permissible when it does not and did so willfully and with knowledge of what the Qur’an actually says and its teachings that would meet the Islamic qualifications for disbelief. But for the people to commit sin out of temptation or weakness, or for the rulers to allow sinful practice to take place while not restricting the prayer from happening, does not constitute disbelief. The men in Syria who the 4th caliph Ali dubbed as the “khawaraj” made the same mistake that Qutb made 1300 years later.
This is very important elaboration from the books of tafsir where ibn Abbas states the difference between rejecting what has been revealed on one hand (which is disbelief) and accepting it but not following on the other (which is sin and oppression only). The latter only constitutes sin and oppression; is sin and oppression from the rulers cause enough for rebellion? No! It is not as we established in the first article.
What also needs to be addressed here is the implicit assumption that underlies Qutb’s referring to “those who call themselves ‘Muslims’” which is clearly meant to state that the rulers and people of today call themselves Muslims but really are not and Qutb somehow knows what is in their hearts and minds better than they do. Later on, Qutb directly states that people of today “proclaim” to be Muslim, but really (according to him and his conjectural thinking) they are not:
This ought to be made clear. Indeed, people are not Muslims, as they proclaim to be, as long as they live the life of Jahiliyyahh. If someone wishes to deceive himself or to deceive others by believing that Islam can be brought in line with this Jahiliyyahh, it is up to him. But whether this deception is for others, it cannot change anything of the actual reality. This is not Islam, and they are not Muslims. Today the task of the ‘Call’ is to return these ignorant people to Islam and make them into Muslims all over again.” pg. 154 (bold mine)
Presuming someone to not be a Muslim when they claim that they are, even in circumstances that dictate the person would have a worldly or ulterior motive to say so is not in line with the Prophetic teachings and directly contradicts instructions the Prophet gave to his companions.
This is illustrated in a narration narrated by the Prophet’s companion Usama bin Zaid bin Haditha. The story told here is from the time that the early Muslims were in Medina (where the Prophet was the ruler) and in battle with tribes of polytheists trying to destroy them and assassinate the Prophet. The companion reports:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) sent us (to fight) against Al-Huraqa (one of the polytheistic sub-tribes) of Juhaina (the larger tribe). We reached those people in the morning and defeated them. A man from the Ansar (a tribe that had become Muslim and was assisting the Muslims in Medina) and I chased one of their men and when we attacked him, he said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah." (this is the Islamic declaration of faith, saying it shows one is a Muslim). The Ansari refrained from killing him but I stabbed him with my spear till I killed him. When we reached (Medina), this news reached the Prophet. He said to me, "O Usama! You killed him after he had said, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah?"' I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! He said so in order to save himself." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "You killed him after he had said, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah." The Prophet (ﷺ) kept on repeating that statement till I wished I had not been a Muslim before that day (meaning he felt adomonished and wanted forgiveness).” 
This narration makes it clear that the Prophet did not approve of punishing someone who declares themselves to be a Muslim even if one suspects they do not really mean it; and in this case even if that person is from a faction of people that has declared outright war on the Muslims and is actively figthing them. This narration has been cited as evidence of this fact throughout the centuries. Yet Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood have or attempted to assassinate successive rulers, who claimed they were Muslim and for all that is apparent were Muslims, in Egypt since 1952. Despite the fact this narration and much other evidence from the religion is a complete rebuke of Qutb's irreverent and reckless takfir statements in Milestones. In other parts he extends this takfir to whole Muslim societies.
It is well established and forbidden in Islam to declare a Muslim to be a disbeliever even if that person has said clear words of disbelief because it may be that the person is saying those words out of lack of knowledge and understanding rather than rejection of belief. This is an another issue that was well established by the Prophet Muhammad and has been through the centuries.
Abu Waqid Al-Laithi, the companion of the Prophet, reported that while they were out on a trek outside of Makkah when the companion Abu Waqid was new to Islam, meaning he had recently become Muslim, and they saw polytheists performing acts of worship around a tree where they had hung their weapons and seeking blessings from the tree. This type of idol creation and seeking blessings from inanimate things was common practice amongst the pre-Islamic Arabs (they would call such a temporary idol a Dhaatu An’wat) and doing such is considered shirk. So acting like this is no small deal. Upon seeing this, and being new to the religion, in his ignorance Abu Waqid said to the Prophet, "Oh Messenger of Allah make for us a dhaatu an’waat just as they have a dhaatu An’wat.” Despite the companion saying this the Prophet did not declare him a disbeliever or order him to be punished, but rather, he educated him, and said,
Allah Akbar Allah Akbar Allahu Akbar! Indeed this is a custom (of old). This (what you are saying) is like what Musa's (Moses) people said: Make for us a god like their gods. By the One in Whose is my soul! You shall follow the way of those who were before you." 
The emboldened part here is a verse from the Qur’an that he was teaching to the companion and refering to the story of Moses. Scholars have pointed out that in this narration where the companion is actually saying words of shirk the Prophet rebuked what the companion had said that was wrong and corrected him, but because it is a statement made out of ignorance the companion was not declared a disbeliever and lived on as a righteous companion who spread the Prophetic teachings . As far as constituting whether or not someone is a Muslim, a statement like the one made by Abu Waqid Al-Laithi is more incriminating than major sins like fornication, gambling, drinking, or ruling over the people unjustly because these are sins that can arise out of weakness and temptation and are sins that are readily forgiven for those who seek repentance. Yet Qutb assess those lesser sins as justification to condemn whole societies as disbelieving and in jahilliya. What Qutb should have done is heeded the words of the Prophet Muhammad that:
Whoever says to his brother, "Oh disbeliever, oh hypocrite, or oh evil one or Oh enemy of Allah while he is not like that; then it will return against him." 
Qutb projected the ideology of French philosopher Alexis Carrel on Islam to formulate his jahilliya concept
What is not difficult to ascertain here is that Qutb’s basis for societal wide condemnation was not inspired by his readings on Islam but rather he read into Islam that of which had inspired him from his studies of western philosophies. It has been acknowledged by many academics and examiners of his writings and biography that his development of the concept of Jahilliyya is more closely connected to the idea of barbarism penned by the French Social Darwinist Alex Carrel, whose work Qutb had read thoroughly and previously held in high regard in his life.
L. Carl Brown, Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University, writes in "Islam and Politics Past and Present: A Bibliographical Essay", referencing Youssef M. Choueiri,
Youssef] Choueiri also explicates one of those seemingly minor points that actually is very revealing (pp. 142-49). This is the extent to which Sayyid Qutb was influenced by Alexi Carrel (1873-1944).”
Carrel himself was an individual not devoid of rancor in his time. His biography mentions many points of being angry with varying establishments that had spurned him. First by his colleagues in France in the early 1903 for their criticism of him as gullible when he reported that he had allegedly witnessed a medical miracle in Lourdes. This sent him off to North America where he was clearly a committed medical researcher leading to him winning the Nobel Prize in 1912. Hwoever, he is said to have been “bitterly disappointed” at being released from the Rockefeller Institute only for turning the age 65, which sent him back to France in 1939 two months before World War II started and just 10 months prior to the Nazi Invasion of France. In 1940 the Nazi controlled government of Vichy offered Carrel the chance to continue his research at his own institute that he would name the “Institute of Man.” Carrel would recruit professionals from both biological and social science backgrounds to work here thinkimg that the “problems of man” we’re interrelated across these domains and solutions could be found imperically at his institute. So here we have another early 20th century thinker out to save humanity from itself! Since the institute operated in collaboration with the Nazis you can just imagine how well this all went .
It was during this time that Carrel authored the book he is best known for Man the Unknown. In it he espouses a theory of modern-day man’s “degeneracy” leading him backward towards “barbarism.” As was cited above Qutb’s pre-revolutionary writings cited Carrel more so than any other author and we find that Qutb’s concept of Jahiliyya (which as we showed was not based on Islamic evidence) mirrors Carrel’s concept of barbarism and degeneracy.
From Man the Unknown:
The groups and the nations in which industrial civilization has attained its highest development are precisely those which are becoming weaker. And whose return to barbarism is the most rapid. But they do not realize it.”
Compare this to Qutb’s previously cited espousal on Jahiliiyya. First we see the concept of “modern” or “industrial” (as Carrel puts it) ways of living being and being steeped in it.
If we look at the sources and foundations of modern ways of living, it becomes clear that the whole world is steeped in Jahiliyyahh, and all the marvellous material comforts and high-level inventions do not diminish this ignorance”
Later on we see the concept of peoples “returning” to jahiliiyya just as Carrel saw a “return to barbarism.”
After each Prophet, there was a period during which people understood this religion, but then gradually later generations forgot it and returned to Jahiliyyahh.”
Qutb actually says that it is okay for Muslims to learn “abstract sciences” from non-Muslims as he calls them and also references that they should not fear the dreaded “return to jahiliyya” if they do so.
Thus there is no danger that a Muslim, by learning these sciences from a non-Muslim, will distort his belief or will return to Jahiliyyahh.”
So I guess we can suppose Qutb would have thought learning about eugenics from Alex Carrel would not have “returned” him to jahiliiyah.
We mentioned that Qutb’s basis for asserting the whole of the Muslim societies as jahiliyya was that fornication, gambling, and drinking had become rampant. In Carrel’s writings we see him bemoaning the same vices and asserting it as “barbarism”. In Reflections on Life he writes (pg. 193):
It is to these vices that the great nations partly owe their decline. In the years before the war they were the greatest consumers of alcoholic drink in the world. Alcoholism, nicotine poisoning, sexual excesses, the drug habit, mental dissipation and low morals all constitute extremely dangerous breaches of the law of self-preservation. These vices weaken the individual and mark him with a special stamp. The young Frenchman of the defeat: rude, slovenly, unshaven, slouching about with his hands in his pockets and a cigarette in the corner of his mouth, was all too representative of the anemic barbarism on which the France of those years prided herself.”
In talking about the Days of Jahiliyya and comparing it modern times Qutb writes (Milestones pg. 41):
Drinking and gambling were traditions of the society and people were proud of these habits. All the poetry of the Days of ignorance (jahiliyya) revolves around the theme of wine and gaming.”
Fornication was rampant in various forms and was considered something to be proud of, as is the case among all Jahili societies, old or new.” (pg. 42)
Also in Reflections on Life Carrel writes:
Civilization is first and foremost a discipline; a discipline which is physiological, moral and scientific. Barbarism, on the contrary, is essentially undisciplined. But where as primi-live barbarism was subject to the hard authority of nature, our anemic modern barbarism is completely unrestrained.” (pg. 200)
Qutb borrows the “primi-live barbarism” idea by comparing the lack of morality in jahili societies to that of animals:
“In all modern Jahili societies, the meaning of 'morality' is limited to such an extent that all those aspects which distinguish man from animal are considered beyond its sphere.” (pg. 111)
The denunciation of present-day society as the starting point for revolutionary justification is quintessential in the Marxist/Leninist revolutionary formula. Qutb was committed to provoking the masses using this formula that he had learned about in his studies of Western philosophies. He then took the Social Darwinist theories of Alexis Carrel and cast them into Islamic terminology all while making declarations that are in actuality antithetical to Islam when Islam is understood according to its original sources.
This denunciation of the Muslim societies as being in jahiliyya (and ergo disbelief) is the starting point in Qutb’s theology to justify revolution and rebellion that he then casts into the terminology of jihad. In the next article we will examine Qutb’s porous outline of jihad in Milestones and how it borrows on the exhortations of social-structural “abolishing” and “vanguard” formation from the writings and doctrines of Marx and Lenin.
References & Notes
*One example, Chapter 6 (Surat-al-An'aam) Verse 116, "And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's Path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie." See also verses 4:157 - 10:36 - 10:66 - 34:53 - 45:24 - 45:32
1 - see the book An Explanation of Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s Introduction to the Principles of Tafsir by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymin. Al Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution Ltd. Retrievable here: https://archive.org/details/IntroductionToThePrinciplesOfTafsirByIbnTaymiyyah
2 - Brown, Jonathan A. C., Misquoting Muhammad. One world Publications. 2014. page 92.
3 - “The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke God's blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you. It was asked (by those present): Shouldn't we overthrow them with the help of the sword? He said: No, as long as they establish prayer among you. If you then find anything detestable in them you should dislike their administration, but do not withdraw yourselves from their obedience.” - Sahih Muslim 1855 a - In-book reference : Book 33, Hadith 101 - USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 20, Hadith 4573
4 - Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2618 In-book reference: Book 40, Hadith 13 English translation: Vol. 5, Book 38, Hadith 2618
5 - For a long elaboration on the term from Islamic scholars both current day and classical see here: https://islamqa.info/en/103660
6 - “Sayyid Qutb’s Concept of jahiliyya as a Metaphor for Modern Society”, Islam and Muslim Societies (New Delhi), vol. 2, no. 2, February 2006, pp. 391-410. Reproduced in Nadeem Hasnain (ed.), Beyond Textual Islam (New Delhi: Serials Publication, 2008), chapter 8, pp. 143-172.
7 - Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem. Retrieved from: https://islamqa.info/en/103660
8 - Credited to his biography Hayat al-Bani (The Life of al-Bani) retrieved from: https://islamqa.info/en/103660
9 - On page 41-42 of Milestones Qutb writes:
At the time of the Prophet's call to Messengership, the moral level of Arabia was extremely low from every point of view. Only a few primitive tribal mores prevailed.
10 - Sunan ibn Majah 4250 English reference : Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4250 Arabic reference: Book 37, Hadith 4391
11 - Shaykh Saleh bin Fawzan bin ‘Abdillah al-Fawzan. Declaring a Muslim To Be an Apostate & Its Guidelines. Maktabatulirshad Publications. January 2012. pp. 22-24
12 - Timami, Hussam S. American University Studies VII : Theology and Religion : Modern Intellectual Readings of the Kharijites. Peter Lang Publishing. December 2007. p. 47
13 - From the tafsir of ibn Kathi translation on verses 5:41-44:
﴿يأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لاَ يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِى الْكُفْرِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ ءامَنَّا بِأَفْوهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قُلُوبُهُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ هِادُواْ سَمَّـعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ سَمَّـعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ ءاخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ يُحَرّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوضِعِهِ يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُواْ وَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئاً أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يُطَهّرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ لَهُمْ فِى الدُّنْيَا خِزْىٌ وَلَهُمْ فِى الاْخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ- سَمَّـعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّـلُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ فَإِن جَآءوكَ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ أَوْ أَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَإِن تُعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ فَلَن يَضُرُّوكَ شَيْئاً وَإِنْ حَكَمْتَ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِالْقِسْطِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ- وَكَيْفَ يُحَكّمُونَكَ وَعِندَهُمُ التَّوْرَاةُ فِيهَا حُكْمُ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ مِن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ وَمَآ أُوْلَـئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ-إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالاْحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَـبِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَآء فَلاَ تَخْشَوُاْ النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِـئَايَـتِى ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ﴾
(41. O Messenger! Let not those who hurry to fall into disbelief grieve you, of such who say, "We believe'' with their mouths but their hearts have no faith. And of the Jews are men who listen much and eagerly to lies, listening to others who have not come to you. They change the words from their places; they say, "If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!'' And whomsoever Allah wants to put in Fitnah, you can do nothing for him against Allah. Those are the ones whose hearts Allah does not want to purify; for them there is a disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a great torment.) (42. They (like to) listen to falsehood, to devour Suht. So if they come to you, either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least. And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.) (43. But how do they come to you for a decision while they have the Tawrah, in which is the decision of Allah; yet even after that they turn away. For they are not believers.) (44. Verily, We did send down the Tawrah, therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged for the Jews. And the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar, for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.)
Retrieved from: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=778&Itemid=60#4
Elaboration on the meaning on the context of the verses:
﴿يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُواْ﴾
(they say, "If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!") It was reported that this part of the Ayah was revealed about some Jews who committed murder and who said to each other, "Let us ask Muhammad to judge between us, and if he decides that we pay the Diyah, accept his judgement. If he decides on capital punishment, do not accept his judgement.'' The correct opinion is that this Ayah was revealed about the two Jews who committed adultery. The Jews changed the law they had in t heir Book from Allah on the matter of punishment for adultery, from stoning to death, to a hundred flogs and making the offenders ride a donkey facing the back of the donkey. When this incident of adultery occurred after the Hijrah, they said to each other, "Let us go to Muhammad and seek his judgement. If he gives a ruling of flogging, then implement his decision and make it a proof for you with Allah. This way, one of Allah's Prophets will have upheld this ruling amongst you. But if he decides that the punishment should be stoning to death, then do not accept his decision.'' There are several Hadiths mentioning this story. Malik reported that Nafi` said that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "The Jews came to Allah's Messenger and mentioned that a man and a woman from them committed adultery. Allah's Messenger said to them,
«مَا تَجِدُونَ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ فِي شَأْنِ الرَّجْمِ؟»
(What do find of the ruling about stoning in the Tawrah) They said, `We only find that they should be exposed and flogged.' `Abdullah bin Salam said, `You lie. The Tawrah mentions stoning, so bring the Tawrah.' They brought the Tawrah and opened it but one of them hid the verse about stoning with his hand and recited what is before and after that verse. `Abdullah bin Salam said to him, `Remove your hand,' and he removed it, thus uncovering the verse about stoning. So they said, He (`Abdullah bin Salam) has said the truth, O Muhammad! It is the verse about stoning.' The Messenger of Allah decided that the adulterers be stoned to death and his command was carried out. I saw that man shading the woman from the stones with his body.'' Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected this Hadith and this is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.
Retrieved from: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php option=com_content&task=view&id=776&Itemid=60
14 - From the tafsir of ibn Kathir elaboration on verse 5:44:
`Ali bin Abi Talhah also stated that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
﴿وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ﴾
(And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers,) "Whoever rejects what Allah has revealed, will have committed Kufr, and whoever accepts what Allah has revealed, but did not rule by it, is a Zalim (unjust) and a Fasiq (rebellious) and a sinner.'' Ibn Jarir recorded this statement. `Abdur-Razzaq said, "Ma`mar narrated to us that Tawus said that Ibn `Abbas was asked about Allah's statement -
Retrieved from: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=774&Itemid=60
15- Sahih al-Bukhari 6872 In-book reference : Book 87, Hadith 11 USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 9, Book 83, Hadith 11
16 - Reported in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (96/255) #21897; and the Sunan of at-Tirmidhi (4/412): the book of Fitan. Retrieved from: Shaykh Saleh bin Fawzan bin ‘Abdillah al-Fawzan. Declaring a Muslim To Be an Apostate & Its Guidelines. Maktabatulirshad Publications. January 2012. Page 16.
17 - Shaykh Saleh bin Fawzan bin ‘Abdillah al-Fawzan. Declaring a Muslim To Be an Apostate & Its Guidelines. Maktabatulirshad Publications. January 2012. Page 16.
18 - Sahih Muslim in the Book of Iman (1/79) Hadith #112
Retrieved from: Shaykh Saleh bin Fawzan bin ‘Abdillah al-Fawzan. Declaring a Muslim To Be an Apostate & Its Guidelines. Maktabatulirshad Publications. January 2012. p. 20
The Shaykh elaborated it means that “the sin of this disgusting speech will come back non the one who said it; it will not return to the one whom it is said about if he is not deserving that. You are only committing a crime against yourself.”
19 - Sade, robert M., “Transplantation at 100 Years: Alexis Carrel, Pioneer Surgeon.” The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. 2005. Retrieved from: http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/humanvalues/pdf/transplantationat100years.pdf