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Milestones Paperback – July 31, 2006
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Qutb (1906-1966) was an Egyptian novelist and literature teacher who received a western-style education and even earning his Master's Degree in Education in the United States, where he lived from 1948-1950. At least partially due to Qutb's experience living in the United States, he developed an anti-western anti-modernization attitude. While in The United States, Qutb was horrified to witness such lewd events as Church sock-hops, where a female could look a male in the eye and talk to him without fear of having a male relative automatically assume the worst and cut her throat. He wrote:
"They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire..."
Whether this is what he actually saw at a church event in late 40's America (sounds more like Woodstock), whether it means Americans were dirty and immoral, or Qutb's own mind simply had a particularely laschivious bent which he deigned to blame other innocent people for, the reader must decide. The fact is that this "immorality" and events similar to it he witnessed in the West, coupled with injustices he saw and experienced in Egypt before and after his sojurn in the U.S. led Qutb to become heavily involved with the conservative Muslim Brotherhood upon his return to Egypt.Read more ›
Milestones is meant to a be a handbook for a vanguard of "true Muslims" ready and willing to fulfill God's plan for humanity - a plan that was clearly elucidated and even demonstrated in Medina under Mohammed in the late seventh century. Qutb forcefully argues that this first generation of Muslims in Medina was also the last generation of true and pure Muslims. "They [the first generations of Muslims at Medina] became the bearers of this trust when no promise was made to them of worldly benefits which they could have demanded, nor were there sights fixed on acquiring such benefits. They were dedicated servants of God from the day they knew of no reward except his pleasure."
Qutb calls for a new generation of Muslims willing to sacrifice worldly pleasures, throw off loyalty and commitment to their families and nations, and perhaps give their lives to join a new generation of Muslims modeled on those who lived with Mohammed. A critical objective to achieving God"s Will is to remove all social, economic and political structures that impose the rule of one man over another and thus usurps God's sole and unabridgable authority to sovereignty over mankind.Read more ›
Qutb in fact had little if any connection with the Wahhabi Saudi movement to which Bin Laden belongs, the books of Qutb are considered 'Bida' (an innovation) by Wahhabis and are by and large banned in the Gulf states. Qutb rather is a 'scholar' of political Islam, a system that ranges from electoral participation to political terrorism to retreating from city life to start a new life and system.
In order to examine why Qutb came to the conclusions in his book you need to look at the wider context in which he lived. The trauma of colonialism, the betrayal of the Nassirsit revolutionaries, the disaster of the Arab-Israeli war, the cold war and the social alienation of traditional societies (which much of Egypt in Qutbs time was) from the modern world.
When Qutb spoke out against corruption of political officials he struck a chord with the Arab youth who had came from the provincial towns and major cities alike and saw for themselves the nepotism that ruled political and social life. When he spoke out against the moral corruption again, for a society used to a more conservative way of life the excess as they saw of the West in particular (It is doubtful they would have had such a wide knowledge of the former Eastern block) When he spoke out against the Mosque and those that preached but did not practice he again caught the ear of the youth who saw themselves as distant from the previous generation who followed the local Sheikh, attended the Mawlid.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The message of this book is exceedingly strange, but that is what makes it so interesting. The author claims that Western society is backward relative to Islam because we focus on... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Danny Lynn Sherrod
A worthwhile read for both the Believer and the Kafir (non-muslim). A peak into Islam from the point of view of a non-apologetic true believer. Read morePublished 3 months ago by mike katz
Good starting point to understand Islamic fundamentalism. Qutb's influence to later radicals is certainly genuine. Milestones is a succinct summar of his ideology.Published 4 months ago by Leon Lam
Might want to find another publisher. Received book and noted that several pages in the middle of the book were assembled upside down and backwards. Read morePublished 5 months ago by 2dumb
It is best as our war against terrorism continues to 'know the foundations' of your opponent. In special operations and intelligence, one needs to learn the concepts and beliefs... Read morePublished 6 months ago by SFWarrior852
This book is the Mein Kampf of the jihadists. Look on the book shelf of any Salafi leader whether Osama Bin Laden or Al Baghdadi and you will see it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by David Larson
This is a very violent book. About one-fifth of it is dedicated to advocating that Muslims destroy every nation in the world through violent warfare. Read morePublished 11 months ago by John P. Juedes