Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Thinker and Activist in Muslim Brotherhood

Sayyid Qutb was author, poet, educator, Islamist theorist, and leader of Muslim Brotherhood in 1950s and 1960s. He received death sentence due to plotting the assassination of Gamal Abdul Nasser, Egyptian President.

As author, he had written approximately 24 published book and more than 30 unpolished ones. Moreover, he also published hundreds of articles in many areas as critic, education, and scholar. More about him will be explored in below sections.

Early Life and Education

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He had distant Indian ancestry from paternal side. He was born on 9 October 1906, in Musha, village located in Asyut province. His father was landowner of family estate and administrator. His father was also very political.

His first education was from local school. He memorized Quran and learned some subjects, such as stories, astrology, even magic. He liked to collect book and read more type of books.

In 1929, he went to Cairo to further his education. Sayyid Qutb learned many things in British style of schooling. After that, he started career as teacher in government department.

Career and Activity

In 1940s, he met Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner. This was the time when he started to think about western civilization that had to look deeply for spiritual side. He became to think more liberal and received scholarship to the United States.

He studied in educational administration. In two years, he went to Wilson Teacher College and Stanford University. He also visited several cities to explore philosophy.

He returned to Egypt and joined Muslim Brotherhood. His view was changed then saw Islam as the answer for human life. He began to develop propaganda and reached high rank in organization.

Egypt and His Death

Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egyptian President in 1952 after the long monarchist government. In early years, Nasser likes to visit Sayyid Qutb. However, people from Muslim Brotherhood and nationalist wanted revolution.

Unfortunately, the situation was not favorable. Nasser had vision to develop Western country for Egypt. On the other side, Muslim Brotherhood wanted to put every life based on Quran.

Due to extreme opposition, Qutb was arrested and thrown in jail. He refused to sign. Some members of Muslim Brotherhood plotted to kill the president. He was sentenced to death on 29 August 1966.

Political Philosophy

He was born in family with strict religious practice. He studied Quran since early age and developed affinity to anything related to Islam.

United States gave him new perspective. However, his principle still considered Islam and Quran as solution. This is why he devoted to Muslim Brotherhood. He was very active to spread his political view and philosophy.

Legacy and Works

He was considered as the most influential figure in Islam. His legacy came from his activities, political view, and works. With tons of writings, people learn what he had done since early life as teacher until his death.

Some works are published, but there are still many books that only printed for limited occasion. Before active in Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb was active to write article regarding the topic like art, politic, social, and many more.


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