oa Scriptura : Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa - Muslim fundamentalism : the case of Sayyid Qutb : defining fundamentalism and religious conservatism in South Africa

Volume 99, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0254-1807
  • E-ISSN: 2305-445X



This paper deals with the concept of Muslim Fundamentalism and places Sayyid Qutb within this broad context. The paper discusses two key concepts of Qutb's fundamentalism, namely jihad (struggle) and jahilliyyah (ignorance). Qutb introduced a new understanding of ignorance, which originally referred to non-Muslims, but which for Qutb can also refer to those Muslims in government who do not live by the laws of God (Shari'ah). The paper also seeks to examine his last work, Milestones, which led to his death-sentence in 1960 by the Gamal abd al-Nasr regime of Egypt. There is no doubt that the impact of Qutb's thought is still felt today, and some would even argue that he is the main inspiration for contemporary Islamic terrorism.

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