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Brief history of Islam

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extremist Islamist organizations. Quilliam aims to generate new 

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

Quilliam, January 2010 

© Quilliam 2010 – All rights reserved 

Disclaimer: The views of individuals and organizations used in this booklet 

do not necessarily reflect those of Quilliam 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

01 

Introduction 

On the morning of the 19th of Ramadan of the year 40 AH (CE 661), Ali ibn Abu Talib

the fourth Caliph of Islam and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, entered the Great 

Mosque of Kufa in Iraq and began the call to prayer. After completing this call, he calmly 

took his place in the alcove and waited for the worshippers to arrive. Once they had 

gathered and taken their places behind him in serried ranks, the prayer began. 

However, this prayer gathering was slightly different. Standing in the front row, with 

other worshippers, was a man called Abdur Rahman bin Muljam who had arrived in 

Kufa a few days earlier for a very specific purpose. 

A few years earlier, in 37 AH (CE 657), Ali had temporarily ended hostilities with his 

long-time rival Muawiyah, through arbitration. As Ali and his army marched back to 

Kufa, a group of 12,000 men kept their distance from the main part of the army − they 

were not happy with the way things had ended. They denounced Ali and Muawiyah for 

accepting arbitration as a means of resolving hostilities because in their view, only God 

could decide such matters. They adopted ‘La Hukma Illa Lillah’, meaning, ‘No rule 

except by Allah’ as their slogan and they became known as the Khawarij (Arabic for 

‘renegades’). The Khawarij became very hostile to the Muslims around them to the 

extent that Ali had no choice but to face them on the battlefield; in 38 AH (CE 658) the 

Battle of Nahrawan took place. The Khawarij stood no chance against the far superior 

army of Ali, and they were all killed save for nine men who managed to escape. Abdur 

Rahman belonged to the Khawarij and he was also on the battlefield in Nahrawan that 

day. He was one of the lucky ones who had escaped but he was consumed with the 

desire to kill Ali, and was on a quest to do so. 

Abdur Rahman watched Ali very closely as he stood behind him in the great Mosque of 

Kufa. He had come prepared with a sword soaked in poison that he hid under his cloak. 

When Ali’s head touched the ground in prostration, Abdur Rahman crept up behind him. 

As Ali lifted his head from the ground Abdur Rahman struck and shouted at the fallen 

Ali, ‘authority belongs to God, Ali, not to you’. The Muslims of Kufa were devastated, but 

little did they know that the Khawarij slogan was to be revived 1,300 years later. 

Egypt: Mother of the World 

By the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was in rapid decline and many of its 

former territories had been taken over by European colonial powers. European political 

ideas along with social and cultural values were highly visible in a number of Muslimmajority 

countries. In this context, a number of progressive Muslim reformers arose who 

sought to advocate a simple and crude form of pan-Islamism as a form of resistance to 

European colonialism. Prominent amongst these were Jamal ad-din al-Afghani 

(1837-97) and his student Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905). These individuals maintained 

that whilst Muslims needed to adopt certain ideas from the West in order to progress, 

they should also formulate a Muslim response to Western cultural and political 

hegemony. They suggested that Muslims should reject the blind following of earlier 

Muslim authorities, whom they accused of having deviated from the true message of 

Islam whilst emphasizing the need to follow the example of the first generation of 

Muslims. They were also strong advocates of rational thought and hence many of their 

contemporaries called them ‘neo-Mutazilites’ (a reference to a movement of Muslim 

rationalists established in 8th century CE). 

Rashid Rida (1865-1935) was a devout follower of Abduh and in 1897 he left his home 

near Tripoli, now in Lebanon, in order to work with Abduh in Cairo. 

Rida published a Magazine called Al Manar from 1898 until his death in 1935. Like his 

predecessors, Rida focused on the relative weakness of Muslim societies that in his 

view had facilitated European colonialism. He blamed this on Sufi excesses, the blind 

imitation of past scholars and stagnation of learning and knowledge among the 

scholars, which had resulted in the failure to achieve progress in science and 

technology. He believed that these weaknesses could only be surmounted by a return 

to what he saw as the ‘true Islam’. An Islam purged of pagan and Western influences, 

as practised by the first generation of Muslims, an Islam that was in tune with the needs 

of modern society. 

Rida’s magazine managed to attract a number of regular readers, including a former 

school teacher by the name of Hassan al-Banna (1906–1949). Al-Banna had moved to 

Cairo from the small town of Mahmudiyya in the early 1920s, and was disturbed by the 

perceived Westernization he experienced there. As well as being an avid reader of Al 

Manar, he also immersed himself in the writings of Abduh and Afghani. Al-Banna 

shared Rida’s central concern about the decline of Muslim societies in relation to the 

West. He decided that the key to reform was to resist Western secular ideas and in turn 

to promote Islam as a political ideology. To this end, he established the Ikhwan 

al-Muslimeen (The Muslim Brotherhood) in Cairo in 1928. His organization decided to 

adopt the motto: 

‘Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our constitution. Jihad is 

our way. Martyrdom is our highest hope’. 

Over the next two decades, al-Banna worked relentlessly at the grassroots level to 

establish a complex but structured organization that propagated its ideas effectively. 

The Ikhwan attached itself to, and built strategic relations with mosques, welfare 

associations and neighbourhood groups, whilst seeking to influence existing activists 

with its revolutionary ideas. By joining local cells, members could access a 

well-established and well-resourced community of activists who would help them in 

all aspects of their lives. The foundations of what we now know as Islamism were being 

laid. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

02 

By 1948, the Ikhwan had become quite successful, buoyed by the establishment of 

Israel; they had over one million members in Egypt and had branches in other parts of 

the Middle East. 1948 was also the year in which tension between the ruling monarchy 

and society was reaching its zenith. In December 1948, then Prime Minister Mahmoud 

an Nukrashi Pasha was increasingly concerned with the assertiveness and popularity 

of the Ikhwan and so, shortly after rumours of an Ikhwani coup, the group was banned 

and its assets were impounded. Less than three weeks later, the prime minister was 

assassinated by a member of the Ikhwan, a veterinary student called Abdel Meguid 

Ahmed Hassan. This in turn prompted the assassination of al-Banna a month and a 

half later. 

Al-Banna was only 43 years old when he was killed and, according to many, was at the 

height of his career. His assassination did not signal the end of his movement and 

certainly not the end of his ideas. Indeed, many of the young middle class individuals 

who had joined the Ikhwan would go on to form and inspire the vast spectrum of 

Islamist and jihadist movements we see around the world today, including a young 

newly-qualified pediatrician called Ayman al-Zawahiri. Only a few years after al-Banna’s 

death, the Ikhwan also managed to attract a young man who had just returned from the 

United States (US). This man was about to have a huge impact on the future direction of 

the newly-born political ideology of Islamism. In the meantime, Islamism was being 

developed and shaped by other ideologues in different parts of the world. 

Trouble in the Holy Lands: Hizb ut-Tahrir 

‘Resisting a ruler who fails to implement the true Islamic system is also of immense 

importance. So much so that the rule by a Kufr [non-Islamic] system must be prevented 

even if this led to several years of fighting and even if it led to the killing of millions of 

Muslims and to the martyrdom of millions of believers…’ 

1Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) was founded in 1953 by an appeals court judge from Palestine called 

Taqiuddin al-Nabhani (1909-1977). Galvanized by the establishment of Israel in his 

homeland and the creeping influences of Western political ideas, Nabhani had formed 

this political party with the sole objective of establishing an Islamist super state. 

Nabhani too was close to the Ikhwan in his early years and many viewed HT as an 

offshoot of the Ikhwan. Nabhani, being a former Ba’thist, was also heavily influenced by 

Arab nationalism. He maintained his Arab-centric outlook but presented it in the Islamic 

language of a super ‘Islamic’ state – concentrating on the Arabic-speaking 

Muslims – superimposed on his Arab super-nation state concept. He was also regarded 

as a neo-Mutazilite by many of his contemporaries for his emphasis on rational thought 

in theology and his dismissive attitude towards the spiritual dimensions of life. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

03 

1 Abdul Qadeem Zalloom (2000), How the Khilafah was Destroyed (London: Al-Khilafah Publications), p.199. 

After establishing his political party, Nabhani took the bold step of taking the Islamist 

ideology, which had been evolving for more than 30 years, to the next level. For the first 

time ever he produced a detailed constitution for a future ‘Islamic state’, also outlining 

so-called ‘Islamic’ social, political, judicial and economic systems. Nabhani maintained 

that Islam was not a faith but a political ideology that pre-defined how a government 

should be structured and run. Whilst al-Banna had spoken in vague terms about 

‘Islamic governance’, Nabhani crystallized these ideas and produced a blue print. 

This attention to detail, however, was to prove to be a strategic blunder, since it allowed 

followers very little room for creativity and instead contributed towards creating a 

personality cult, rather than an inclusive political party. 

It is fair to say that HT was not very successful as a party. In the early 1950s many of its 

senior members stood in the Jordanian elections but failed to win a seat. They then 

withdrew from the political process, condemned democracy as being anti-Islamic and 

instead focused on building support for their ideas through political activism. 

The masses, however, were not responsive to their message and they failed to garner 

sufficient support for a revolution. Over the next few years they were outlawed in Jordan, 

Syria and Palestine. The resulting frustration inspired coup attempts in 1968-69 and in 

1971-72 in Syria, Jordan and Iraq. Needless to say, all such attempts were unsuccessful 

and subsequently the groups’ members were oppressed. Support for the party 

continued to decline to the extent that in the late 1970s, the party admitted that their 

activities had come to a standstill. The masses were simply not inspired by their shallow 

sloganeering and many of their members either left to join more radical groups or 

simply gave up struggling for the cause. Help, however, was on its way from the most 

unlikely of sources. 

During the 1980s, a number of HT activists fled the Middle East and found refuge in the 

United Kingdom (UK). They immediately recognized the opportunities offered by a 

secular democratic state like the UK that had a proud tradition of free speech and 

tolerance for diverse political ideas. HT was given a new lease of life and a whole new 

generation to reach out to – they were not about to waste the opportunity. By targeting 

higher education institutions, these exiled activists managed to appeal primarily to a 

section of disillusioned second generation British Muslims of South Asian heritage. This 

required slightly tailoring their message whilst remaining faithful to their Arab-centric 

roots. Within the next few years, HT was able to export these new recruits back to their 

fathers’ homelands to establish cells in South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. 

We Want the World: Jamaat-i-Islami 

In the wake of Pakistan’s nuclear test, young fresh HT activists began arriving in 1999. 

They soon realized that the Indian subcontinent was no stranger to Islamism. Indeed, 

roots had already been put down by an Indian journalist-cum-pseudo-theologian called 

Syed Abul ala Mawdudi. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

04 

‘Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth, 

which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or 

the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own 

ideology and programme, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standardbearer 

of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the 

establishment of an ideological Islamic State. Islam requires the earth — not just a 

portion, but the whole planet’. 

2Mawdudi was born in Aurangabad, in what was then British India, in 1903. His early 

education came primarily from home tutoring and a range of Islamic schools and 

seminaries. His formal secondary education was disrupted by the death of his father 

and so was completed away from mainstream educational institutions. In 1918 he 

turned his hand to journalism and wrote for, and edited, a number of newspapers that 

were primarily aimed at the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. In 1927, he wrote a 

book called Jihad in Islam in which he highlighted his view that the role of jihad was to 

fight to establish Islam as a political ideology and then use jihad to forcibly spread the 

ideology to the whole world. Mawdudi was writing at a time when the people of the 

subcontinent were struggling for independence from the British and so his ideas hit a 

nerve. Despite being denounced by most of the mainstream scholars of the time, his 

prominence grew and in 1941 he established a political party called Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). 

After partition, JI was split into three factions: one for India, one for West Pakistan and 

one for East Pakistan. Mawdudi decided to move to Lahore in order to focus on pushing 

for Pakistan to become an Islamist state. His activity resulted in him being frequently 

arrested and incarcerated, often for long periods of time. After being released from 

prison in the 1950s for opposing the Government’s policy of sending fighters to fight the 

Indian army in Kashmir, Mawdudi decided to stand in provincial elections. He did 

disastrously at the ballot box. He did, however, succeed in generating tension on the 

streets. In 1953, he was sentenced to death for writing a seditious book against the 

Ahmadiyya 

ensured that he only received a prison sentence and was released a few years later. 

By 1956, Mawdudi and his party had become a powerful force in Pakistan, and this was 

reflected in the final shape of the 1956 constitution that Mawdudi helped to draft. 

The Government of the time saw this as a way of keeping the Islamist groups quiet and 

strengthening their own weak position. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

3 community, but strong public pressure and support from Saudi Arabia05 

Syed Abul ala Mawdudi (1927), Jihad in Islam (Beirut: The Holy Koran Publishing House), p.6.

Mirza claimed to be the promised Messiah for all Muslims and as such his followers today view themselves 

as revivers of the true Islam. They remain a controversial movement in the Indian subcontinent and were 

declared non-Muslims by the government of Pakistan in 1984. 

The Ahmadiyya movement was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed in 1889 in Qadian, India.This constitutional victory was to be short lived for in 1958, under the orders of General 

Ayub Khan, the armed forces seized power, shelved the constitution and banned JI. 

During the next decade JI and similar groups remained on the back foot as Ayub Khan 

tried to implement his modernization programme and keep religion out of politics. 

JI continued to operate and frequently built alliances with other secular parties in order 

to restore democracy and end military rule. 

In the post-Ayub era, JI re-emerged as a political force and fielded 151 candidates for 

the national assembly in the elections of 1971. However, they were bitterly disappointed 

when they managed to win only four seats. At the onset of civil war later that year, 

Mawdudi, in the name of Muslim unity, supported the Government’s military actions 

against the people of East Pakistan. The West Pakistani military sought to curb Bengali 

nationalism with ‘Operation Searchlight’, in which the military were accused of rounding 

up and killing Bengali students, intellectuals, artists and poets. According to most 

estimates, anywhere between 300,000 and three million Bengalis were killed and a large 

number of women were reportedly systematically raped. These actions ultimately 

resulted in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, with the assistance of India and the 

international community. It also created widespread unpopularity for JI and Islamist 

parties in Bangladesh – an unpopularity that continues to this day. 

Despite failing once again to win more than a handful of seats in the election of 1977, the 

JI retained political influence in Pakistan. It was galvanized into action with the arrival of 

Zulfiqar Bhutto and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which it felt would threaten the 

Islamic foundations of Pakistan. JI worked tirelessly to mobilise the masses against 

Bhutto’s Government and helped to shape an opposition alliance called 

Nizam e Mustafa (Order of the Prophet). Within a few years there was yet another 

military coup, Bhutto was overthrown by General Zia ul Haq, and the JI had bolstered 

its image and support base. 

According to author Seyyed Vali Reza Khan in his book Mawdudi and the Making of 

Islamic Revivalism (1996), Mawdudi was disappointed with what he had created. 

In Mawdudi’s eyes, JI had lost its innocence and frequently found itself entangled in 

moral dilemmas that political life gives rise to. After this period of active opposition to 

the socialist policies of Bhutto, Mawdudi passed away in April 1979. He did not live to see 

the ‘Islamization’ programme of General Zia ul Haq, which changed the social fabric of 

Pakistan irreversibly. 

Mawdudi was condemned by many orthodox religious scholars of his day, but despite 

this he has had a lasting impact on religion and politics in the Indian subcontinent. 

He continues to be an inspirational figure for a number of ‘revivalist’ movements which 

are still active in the UK and North America. His popularizing of religious slogans as a 

means of galvanizing the masses continues to be a popular tactic adopted by political 

parties in Pakistan. The JI student wing, Islami Jamiat e Taliba (IJT), remains active on 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

06 

the campuses of Pakistan’s higher education campuses. This student group stands 

accused of frequently attacking, bullying and even murdering other students in its quest 

to prohibit ‘vice’ and promote ‘virtue’. Mawdudi also left behind a body of works that 

provide inspiration for Islamists and Jihadists all over the world. His work also 

influenced the ideas of a young Egyptian man, who had just returned from a difficult 

spell in the US. 

The America that He Saw: Syed Qutb 

‘…..the American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it 

lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in 

the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs — and she 

shows all this and does not hide it…’ 

4Syed Qutb (1906–1966) was not happy with what he saw in America, and after a two-year 

stay he returned to Egypt. On his return, Qutb wrote a book called Amrika allati Ra’aytu 

in 1951 (The America That I Saw), in which he complained about the free mixing of the 

sexes, materialism, individual freedoms and the lack of emphasis on moral and spiritual 

values. This experience had a profound effect on Qutb and helped shape his future 

thoughts and ideas – ideas that would one day inspire another young Egyptian to also 

travel to the US to take part in one of the most infamous terrorist atrocities of all time. 

Qutb was born and raised in a small Egyptian village called Musha but moved to Cairo in 

1929 where he received a Western education before he embarked on a career as a 

teacher. Qutb was also very fond of literature, becoming an author and a critic until he 

eventually obtained a job at the Egyptian Ministry of Education. From 1948 to 1950, he 

was in the US on a scholarship to study the education system, spending several months 

at Colorado State College of Education. On his return from the US, disillusioned with 

increasing Western influences in Egypt, he resigned from the civil service and joined 

Egypt’s largest Islamist group, the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen. 

By June 1952, Egypt’s pro-Western government had become widely unpopular and was 

eventually overthrown by the nationalist Free Officers Movement headed by the 

charismatic Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser. Prior to the coup, the Ikhwan had enjoyed a 

good relationship with the Free Officers Movement having worked together for a spell. 

Nasser, being an astute politician, had paid lip service to the Ikhwan’s ideas, provided he 

received their support. After all, they both aspired to overthrowing the Government of the 

time and claimed to oppose British colonialism. Naturally, the Ikhwan welcomed the 

coup but they expected Nasser to establish an Islamic government. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

07 

Syed Qutb (1951), The America that I Saw (Kashf ul Shubuhat Publications), p.13.It soon became clear that this was not Nasser’s intention and so relations began to turn 

sour. The Ikhwan were once again said to resort to their favoured tactic of expressing 

their dissatisfaction. The attempted assassination of Nasser, allegedly by Mahmoud Abd 

al-Latif, a member of Ikhwan, was followed by a brutal crackdown on the Ikhwan that 

included the imprisonment of many of its senior members. This included Qutb who, 

after joining the Ikhwan in the early 1950s, had rapidly risen through the ranks to 

become chief editor of their weekly magazine and a member of their ‘Guidance Council’, 

the most senior authority in the Ikhwan. 

During his first three years in prison, Qutb was made to reside in appalling conditions 

and was routinely beaten and tortured. This, however, only strengthened his resolve and 

conviction that only Islamism could rescue Egypt from the ‘new pharaohs’. After this 

initial period of difficulty, life for Qutb was made slightly easier in prison in that he was 

offered greater mobility and far more importantly, he was able to write. This was to 

prove a huge blessing for Qutb who used the opportunity to compose two of his most 

important and influential works. During his incarceration, 1954-1964, Qutb wrote various 

volumes of a commentary of the Quran called Fi Zilal al-Qur’an (In the Shade of the 

Qur’an). He also wrote a manifesto on Islamism called Ma’alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones) in 

1964. According to Anthony Black in The History of Islamic Political Thought (2001), this 

book was heavily influenced by the works of Lenin in that it advocated a clandestine 

armed vanguard movement that would engage in a liberation struggle. 

Qutb’s ideas had been steadily evolving up to that point and these books represented the 

culmination of his thoughts. His disgust with American society, his disillusionment with 

Western influences in Cairo, his time with the Ikhwan and the torture he had received at 

the hands of the Egyptian state had all shaped Qutb’s thoughts. In these works, Qutb 

expressed his radically anti-secular and anti-Western ideas based on his interpretation 

of Islam. 

‘We are also surrounded by Jahiliyyah [ignorance] 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 Jahiliyyah, even to the 

extent that what we consider to be Islamic culture, Islamic sources, Islamic philosophy 

and Islamic thought are also constructs of Jahiliyyah!’ 

5‘There is only one place on earth which can be called the home of Islam (Dar al-Islam) 

[sic], and it is that place where the Islamic state is established and the Shari’ah is the 

authority and God’s limits are observed, and where all the Muslims administer the 

affairs of the state with mutual consultation. The rest of the world is the home of 

hostility (Dar al-Harb) [sic]. A Muslim can have only two possible relations with Dar 

al-Harb [sic]: peace with a contractual agreement, or war. A country with which there is 

a treaty will not be considered the home of Islam’. 

6A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

08 

Syed Qutb (2007), Milestones (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service), p.20.

Qutb, Milestones, p.118.Qutb’s main argument was that the so-called ‘Muslim societies’ all over the world had 

reverted to pre-Islamic ignorance (Jahiliyyah) because they didn’t refer to Allah in all 

matters. Hence all leaders in Muslim-majority countries were illegitimate and should be 

forcibly removed through offensive jihad. The ideas first espoused by the Khawarij 1,300 

years ago which tore early Muslim communities apart had been revived to wreak havoc, 

but this time with a 20th century twist. The Jahiliyyah argument had been used before by 

reformers such as Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab (founder of Wahabism) but Qutb 

combined it with a radical new socio-political ideology – Islamism. He was also perhaps 

the first to popularize the idea of forcibly removing governments through armed struggle 

and vehemently opposed the idea of democracy. Over the next 50 years these ideas were 

to become the bedrock of jihadist movements and they were transported to Saudi Arabia 

and Afghanistan by his younger brother, with devastating effect. 

Saudi Arabia: Islamism, Wahabism and (Takfiri) Jihadism 

In 1965, Qutb was charged with treason, tried in what many considered a show trial and 

sentenced to death. On 29th August 1966, Qutb was executed by hanging. In the 

aftermath of Qutb’s execution a number of Ikhwan activists fled Egypt and found refuge 

in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. Amongst them was Qutb’s younger brother, 

Muhammad Qutb, who had been released from prison in 1972 after serving a seven year 

sentence for conspiring to kill leading political and cultural figures and plotting to 

overthrow the Government. In Saudi Arabia, he became a professor of Islamic studies at 

King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah and used this opportunity to publish his brother’s 

works and give lectures which were regularly attended by a wealthy young Saudi man by 

the name of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden would go on to recommend one of 

Muhammad Qutb’s books in a 2004 videotape. King Abdul Aziz University managed to 

attract a number of exiled dissidents during this period including a Palestinian activist 

who had just been expelled from Jordan for his radical views. 

‘Jihad and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogues [sic]’. 

7Abdullah Azzam was born in 1941 in a small village in the West Bank called as-Ba’ah 

al-Hartiyeh, near Jenin. After completing his education, he moved to Damascus in 1966 

and studied Shari’ah at the university there. After completing his degree he moved to 

Jordan and joined the Ikhwan. The Arab-Israel six-day war in 1967 and the subsequent 

occupation of the West Bank had a profound effect on Azzam and it propelled him to join 

the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). But he soon became disillusioned with the 

secular nationalist approach of Yasser Arafat and moved to Cairo to study Islamic 

sciences at the world famous Al-Azhar University. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

09 

Abdullah Azzam (1987), Join the Caravan (Azzam Publications) p.9.During his time in Egypt, Azzam interacted with a number of senior Ikhwan figures and 

followers of Qutb including Omar Abdel Rahman (the blind Sheikh) and a rising star of 

the Islamist scene whom he would meet again in Afghanistan, one Ayman al-Zawahiri. 

In the early 1970s, Azzam moved to Saudi Arabia and lectured at the King Abdul Aziz 

University until 1979. Bin Laden also studied at this university during this period, and it is 

believed that this is where he first met Azzam, who went on to become his mentor. 

Islamism as developed by al-Banna and Qutb first arrived on the shores of Saudi Arabia 

in the late 1960s. On arriving there it immediately came into contact with Wahabism, an 

ultra-conservative brand of Islam that had been developed by a cleric called Muhammad 

ibn Abdul Wahab in the 18th century. Abdul Wahab had become increasingly concerned 

about the type of Islam he had witnessed being practised around him. He sought to rid 

Islam of the traditional practices that he viewed as heretical innovations and corruptions 

such as mysticism, the visiting of tombs and Shi’ism. He viewed anything that did not 

come out of Arabia proper as ‘un-Islamic’ and sought to restore what he viewed as a 

‘pure Islam’ informed by Bedouin Arab culture alone. 

He pursued his vision with a puritanical zeal and deadly violence, which included the 

murder of rival scholars, the destruction of Islamic holy sites and the extermination of 

entire villages. This included the destruction of the homes and graves of members of the 

Prophet’s family which had stood and been revered for hundreds of years. The Wahabi 

movement entered into an alliance with the ‘House of Saud’ quite early on and together 

they plotted to capture the holy lands of Hejaz which were held by the descendents of the 

Prophet. They also conspired to free Arabia from the Ottoman Empire and they 

successfully enlisted Britain’s help in doing so. In later years the Saud family, with the 

help of petro-dollars, would export this harsh intolerant brand of Islam all around the 

world. 

When Wahabism and Islamism first interacted they found that they had much in 

common. They were both revolutionary, they both condemned the vast majority of 

Muslims, they both ignored hundreds of years of traditional Muslim scholarship and they 

both relied on a literalist and vacuous re-reading of scripture. Whilst they clearly had 

their differences too it was the merging of this ultra-conservative and puritanical 

understanding of Islam with the socio-political ideology of Islamism that would go on to 

produce the most deadly concoction of all – takfiri Jihadism. This form of Jihadism made 

no distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim or between civilian and combatant. 

As far as Takfiris were concerned, whoever disagreed with them was an apostate and 

deserved to be killed, even if they were women and children. However, it was still early 

1979 and, although the fusion of Islamism and Wahabism had already begun, another 

event later that year would accelerate the process and, for the first time in history, allow 

the disparate Islamist and jihadi groups from all over the world to come together in a 

common cause. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

10 

The year 1979 was an eventful one in the Islamist calendar. In April, the deeply 

unpopular Shah of Iran was overthrown in a popular revolution which brought Khomeni 

to power. In November, a group of radical Wahabis, led by a former corporal in the Saudi 

National Guard called Juhayman al-Uteybi, stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca. 

The siege was initially blamed on the Iranians who subsequently issued a statement 

blaming the US and Israel for orchestrating the siege. This led to anti-American riots in 

a number of Muslim-majority countries, which included attacks on embassies, 

consulates and banks. The siege itself resulted in a lengthy and violent military 

confrontation, involving French commandos. Juhayman and his men were eventually 

overpowered and those that were not already dead were beheaded by the Saudis. 

However, Juhayman’s influence remained and one of his former associates, a 

Palestinian preacher called Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, went on to become a leading 

ideologue for al Qaeda (AQ) and spiritual mentor of Abu Musab al-Zaraqawi. 

Afghanistan: the Mujahidin and the birth of Al Qaeda 

Another side effect of the Meccan siege was that the US decided to move a battle group 

to the Persian Gulf in order to protect its interests there. This alarmed the Soviets, 

encouraged their regional ambitions and in late December 1979 they invaded 

Afghanistan. The Soviets were initially invited into Afghanistan at the behest of the 

pro-Soviet Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin. Afghanistan’s previous government had 

overthrown the monarchy a few years earlier and began instigating social reforms. 

Many of these reforms, such as land re-distribution and women’s rights, were viewed as 

foreign and un-Islamic by the majority of the deeply conservative Afghan population. 

Mujahidin groups rose to resist and overthrow the Government plunging the country into 

civil war. The Soviets sought to support the communist regime of Amin and safeguard its 

interests in Afghanistan against Iran and the West. The US and UK viewed the Soviet 

invasion as the new front line in the cold war and immediately began to supply the 

Mujahidin with weapons and aid. Pakistan viewed Afghanistan as it’s ‘backyard’ and 

wanted to bolster pro-Pakistan elements in order to counter Indian influence. To this 

end, they also threw their weight behind the US/UK efforts to support the Mujahidin. 

In 1980, Azzam set up an organization in Peshawar called Maktab al-Khidamat (Services 

Office) with the sole intention of providing accommodation and training for young 

recruits who had come to aid the Afghan war effort. He was joined a year later by the 

wealthy bin Laden who used his wealth to fund the transportation and training of the 

Mujahidin. Azzam was very successful in motivating and recruiting fighters from all over 

the world with his speeches and his writings. He believed that the defeat of the Soviets 

would allow for the establishment of an Islamist state in Afghanistan which would lead 

the jihad to liberate other Muslim-majority countries that were under occupation, 

starting with his homeland of Palestine. This view, however, was not universally shared. 

It put him at odds with another former Ikhwan member who had also joined the war 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

11 

effort in Afghanistan and, more crucially for Azzam, was also hoping to exert influence 

over the wealthy bin Laden. 

Ayman al-Zawahiri was born in 1951 to a wealthy and well-established family in Cairo. 

His parents and many of his uncles were in admirable professions and his family was 

well known and widely respected. At the age of 14, he joined the Ikhwan and came under 

the influence of his uncle Mahfouz Azzam who was a devout follower of Syed Qutb. 

Zawahiri initially set up an underground student cell which he hoped would work 

towards overthrowing the Egyptian Government. According to Lawrence Wright in his 

book The Looming Tower (2006), Zawahiri developed a mission in life to put Qutb’s words 

into action. Like many others at the time, Zawahiri became disillusioned with the Ikhwan 

who, with the tacit support of President Anwar Sadat who wished to use them as a 

countering-influence to secular- leftist groups, publicly renounced violence in the late 

1970s. Instead, he joined a group called ‘Tanzim al-Jihad’. This group was much more 

militant in its approach and they saw themselves as the true heirs of Qutbism. Their 

spiritual leader was the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman who was later given a life 

sentence for conspiring to bomb New York’s World Trade Centre in 1993. 

In 1981, Tanzim al-Jihad plotted to assassinate Sadat who had angered the Islamists of 

Egypt by signing a peace deal with Israel. They succeeded in their mission, and 

subsequently many Islamists were rounded up and jailed, including Zawahiri. During 

their time in prison, Tanzim al-Jihad split into two factions, Islamic Jihad and Gama’a 

al-Islamiyya, with Zahawiri leading the former and Omar Abdel Rahman leading the 

latter. Zahawiri suffered heavy torture in prison and apparently revealed the 

whereabouts of an Islamic Jihad activist in the process. He was released in 1986 and 

moved to Peshawar to work in a hospital to treat wounded fighters. In Peshawar, he 

interacted with other Islamic Jihad fighters who had made the same journey as him and 

they began exchanging ideas. It was around this time that he befriended bin Laden. 

Zawahiri sought to influence bin Laden and channel his wealth towards his circle of 

fighters, but his takfiri philosophy was at odds with Azzam, who preferred to focus on 

fighting non-Muslim occupiers of ‘Muslim lands’. 

In 1989, after one failed attempt, Azzam was assassinated along with his two sons as he 

travelled to offer Friday prayers at a mosque in Peshawar. One of Jihadism’s most 

illustrious and influential figures had been killed. Suspicion immediately fell on Zawahiri 

who had regarded Azzam as a rogue element and an obstacle that stood in his way. 

The Soviets also withdrew in 1989 after losing thousands of soldiers and being 

frustrated by the guerrilla tactics of the Mujahidin. This was a humiliating defeat and 

was followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ironically, both Western capitalists and 

Islamist jihadists celebrated the demise of the Soviets as a great victory for their 

ideology. However, the good times were to be short lived as jihadists now focused their 

attention on the near enemy (Muslim-majority governments) as well as the far enemy 

(the West). 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

12 

In the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal, Mujahidin groups in Afghanistan turned on 

each other in their pursuit of power. It is said that Kabul received more shelling in the 

year after the Soviets withdrew than during the entire ten years that they were there. 

Many of the Arab takfiri jihadists rallied around bin Laden and Zawahiri and formed what 

we know today as al Qaeda (AQ). Amongst them were figures such as Abu Musab al- 

Zarqawi who went on to lead a sectarian jihadist campaign in Iraq that took the country 

to the brink of civil war. Despite the Soviet withdrawal, Afghanistan continued to attract 

jihadists from around the world that were looked after and trained in facilities set up by 

the AQ leadership. This included many young Muslims who had been born and raised in 

the West, including a young teaching assistant from Leeds in England called 

Muhammad Siddique Khan. Western governments, however, had lost interest in 

Afghanistan but Pakistan continued to support elements that it thought would serve its 

interests. 

One such group that attracted attention from Pakistan was made up of Pashtun and 

Pakistani Deobandi students who were fighting other ethnic and religious groups to 

control Afghanistan. They were known as the Taliban. The Taliban was run by a former 

Mujahidin commander called Mullah Umar who, as well as receiving support from 

Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), maintained a good working relationship with 

AQ. The Taliban, however, did not believe in expansionism and were quite content to 

govern the ‘Islamic emirate of Afghanistan’ with an ultra-strict interpretation of Shari’ah 

that was in fact more informed by the Pashtun tribal code than by Islam. The Pakistani 

policy of support towards the Taliban was about to backfire in spectacular fashion due to 

a plot that was being hatched on the streets of Europe. 

Jihad goes Global: The Road to 9/11 

During the 1990s, Islamist groups came close to achieving power in Algeria, only to be 

prevented by the military. The subsequent civil war gave birth to a number of much 

harsher and more violent groups such as Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) and AQ North 

Africa. They were also given the opportunity to form a government in Sudan with 

disastrous consequences. Causes such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya and Kashmir 

continued to attract young zealous jihadists and Islamist groups (eager to seek attention 

by pretending to represent Muslims) set up front organisations in Europe and North 

America. A number of Islamist and jihadist dissidents from the Middle East also found 

refuge and safety in Europe, using the opportunity to recruit young Muslim students to 

their cause. Europe proved to be a fertile recruiting ground and many Muslim students 

from Muslim-majority countries came to Europe to study. Many of these students hailed 

from largely middle class and moderate families in the Middle East and North Africa. 

However, some were to experience what Qutb had experienced in the US 40 years 

earlier. One such student was an Egyptian man called Muhammad Atta who arrived in 

Hamburg in 1992. Atta would go on to succeed where Omar Abdul Rahman before him 

had failed. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

13 

Atta’s fellow students and flatmates found him to be introverted, shy and at times 

aggressively rude. They also found him to be closed minded and noticed that he had 

become increasingly ritualistic in religious observations since he had arrived in 

Hamburg to study Urban Planning. He often expressed his outrage over Western policies 

in Muslim majority-countries and was deeply affected by the Palestine-Israel conflict. 

By the mid-1990s Atta began attending a local mosque in Hamburg that was known for 

its hard-line views and he even taught classes there. 

This gave him the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals with whom he shared his 

views. It is believed that around this time he was recruited to AQ by Muhammad Haydar 

Zammar who had just returned from fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the next 

few years Atta frequently went missing for long periods of time and is believed to have 

travelled to a number of countries including Afghanistan. What is known is that by March 

2000 Atta, along with other AQ members based in Europe, had begun making enquiries 

at flight training colleges in the US. 

In June 2000, Atta and a number of fellow AQ recruits moved to the US to focus on 

learning how to fly aeroplanes. Over the course of the next year or so, Atta and his 

accomplices honed their aeronautical skills in Florida, also frequenting the strip joints of 

Las Vegas whilst they were out there. By early September 2001, Atta (after months of 

lessons and hours spent with flight simulators) had become relatively competent with 

planes. On 10th September 2001, Atta travelled from Boston to Portland with fellow 

flying enthusiast Abdul Aziz al-Omari. The next day they boarded a Boeing 767 that was 

heading back to Boston, but the plane was not to reach its intended destination. Within 

15 minutes of the flight taking off, Atta had taken over the controls and at 08.46 local 

time the plane collided into the north tower of the World Trade Centre. 

Conclusion 

What began as an attempt to re-assert Muslim pride in the face of unrelenting European 

colonialism by the likes of Abduh, Rida and al-Banna, led to the taking of more than 

3,000 innocent lives in the most spectacular terrorist attack of all time. Muslims and 

non-Muslims around the world struggled to understand what could have inspired 

19 young men, full of potential, to take their own lives along with thousands of others in 

such a shocking fashion. By 12th September 2001, the Manhattan skyline, along with the 

rest of the world, had changed forever. 

Islamism was born in an age of empires, an age in which European colonial powers 

were exerting a huge amount of influence in many Muslim-majority countries. European 

ideological, political and cultural trends were beginning to influence societies the world 

over and the social values and norms of predominantly Muslim societies were being 

challenged. Islamism was a product of this environment. It was a rebellious child of 

colonialism, a child that hated its parents despite being shaped by, and inheriting much 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

14 

from them. The very early Islamist ideologues felt threatened by the onslaught of 

Western secularism and sought to respond by incorporating aspects of ideologies such 

as socialism and fascism with a literalist and puritanical understanding of Islam. 

Their experiment failed to provide the Muslim masses with what they needed, and was 

rejected and condemned by the vast majority of orthodox theologians. But this rejection 

only agitated and frustrated Islamists further, forcing some to moderate but others to 

become even more extreme. Islamist terror attacks are symptomatic of the failure of 

Islamism in general, and they point to the self-righteous and arrogant nature of 

Islamists. Instead of accepting their own failures they continue to seek attention through 

more drastic and violent means. Years of frustrated attempts to seize power and 

galvanize the masses led to what we have today – a vast spectrum of always 

authoritarian and often brutal Islamist groups and movements that have in many cases 

turned on each other in their quest for domination. 

Islamists remain frozen in an age of warring empires and cosmic wars. They desperately 

cling to their binary view of the world despite it not being supported by the reality around 

them. Dreams of an imperial future in which divinely-inspired warriors conquer and rule 

the world bring contentment to the hearts of some, but instil terror in the minds of 

others. 

Ghaffar Hussain 

Head of Outreach and Training Unit (QOTU) 

London 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

15 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISLAMISM 

16 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Azzam, Abdullah (1987), Join the Caravan (Azzam Publications). 

Abou El Fadl, Khaled M. (2005), The Great Theft, Wrestling Islam from the Extremists 

(New York: HarperCollins). 

Aslan, Reza (2009), How to Win a Cosmic War (New York: Random House). 

Black, Anthony (2001), The History of Islamic Political Thought (New York: Routledge). 

Fatah, Tareq (2008), Chasing a Mirage, The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State (Ontario: John Wiley). 

Kepel, Gilles (2000), Jihad, The Trial of Political Islam, trans. by Anthony E. Roberts 

(London: I.B.Tauris). 

Ala Mawdudi, Syed Abul (1927), Jihad in Islam (Beirut: The Holy Koran Publishing House). 

Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza (1996), Mawdudi and the making of Islamic Revivalism 

New York: Oxford University Press). 

Qutb, Syed (2007), Milestones (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service). 

Qutb, Syed (1951), The America that I Saw (Kashf ul Shubuhat Publications). 

Sageman, Marc (2008), Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century 

(Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press). 

Trofimov, Yaroslav (2007), The Siege of Mecca, The Forgotten Uprising (London: Allen Lane). 

Wright, Lawrence (2006), The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the road to 911 (New York: Knopf). 

Zalloom, Abdul Qadeem (2000), How the Khilafah was Destroyed (London: Al-Khilafah 

Publications). 

Quilliam 2010 – All rights reserved 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this report do not 

necessarily reflect those of Quilliam and organizations 

and bodies referenced in this report are not necessarily 

endorsed by Quilliam. 

For further information contact: 

Quilliam 

Email: information@quilliamfoundation.org 

Tel: +44 (0)207 182 7280 

http://www.quilliamfoundation.org 

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Should America support Israel?

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By Annie Hamilton

Israel’s right to exist, to occupy their land is a right that is entrenched in historic relevance.  
    
Israel existed right up until the time of the Roman Empire. When the Romans conquered the land, Jews were permitted to live there.

There are two periods where they were effectively forced from their property, the first time in 70 A.D. and the other sometime around 135 A.D.

There’s always been a Jewish presence in Israel and for hundreds of years; the Middle East was easily the most peaceful part of the World.

Some have forgotten that Rahm Emanuel arranged meetings between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat back in the early nineties and during this exchange, Jewish leaders expressed the need to create a Palestinian government to remove the rapidly expanding Palestinian population away from Israeli hands.

The pressing concern of ‘the day’ was Israel’s inevitable destruction and as such the situation must be handled immediately to manage any potential hostile presence in the region.

This seemed agreeable to Israel although it’s not been terribly smooth. (A peace agreement including both sides of the Gaza along with the United States of America)

Obviously following incidents in the late nineties as well as September 11th, Israel has remained steadfast in reliability with America struggling to define and contain threats, global and domestic pertaining to hostile enemies from within the Palestinian and other Islam-based territories.

Now we’re under a different Administration that still includes Emmanuel, oddly enough and things have never been worse.

We have a Muslim President who lied his way into the oval office and since then has appointed several fellow Muslims, radical Marxists, Socialists or other unsavory characters that have effectively dismantled our founding papers since 2008.

This Administration lies to the American people and ridicules our allies while bowing to Islamist leaders, something never done in the history of America, turning the United States Presidency into a mockery, something to be laughed at, no longer respected. Yet, all things considered, Israel must be reckoned with, a formidable force.

Why should the US support Israel? I can give you two solid reasons.

Israel commands the strongest military presence in the Middle East and America would be wise to continue considering Israel a strong ally and perhaps working a little harder on that relationship (perhaps not forcing Bibi to use the servants entrance during meetings at the White House?)

If the powers in Washington had operational brain cells, perhaps they’d use their resources to neutralize Iran’s capacity to maintain nuclear weapons, (yes they have them)

Israel is fundamentally part of the United States’ fabric, part of who we are as a people.

(When the current undocumented President announced that we’re a ‘Muslim’ Nation, he was obviously off of his meds, for we could be nothing farther from)

Our founding draws on the uniquely Hebrew concept of the holiness of the individual and love for the vulnerable. We’re connected for this and other reasons and our destinies and welfare will always be connected, never to be separated.

In many ways, the sacredness of both lands reflect upon one another and must not be banished from political exercise, religion, public life or any other action.

Liberals and their universalism demands that Israel make concessions to appease Arabs but this rarely appeases anyone and the truth is that there is plenty of room for Arabs in other areas and Israel must be left alone at this point.

This Administration’s betrayal of Israel is both shocking and disheartening and exposes the range of evil and/naïve thinking in the people in today’s government AND media who seem to not understand (or care) what is truly at stake right now.

This immoral behavior should disturb us all

Written by anniehamilton805

September 3, 2010 at 5:26 am

Why so many continue to misunderstand Islam

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Don’t be deceived by Muslims’ Tayyiqa.

by DrThomas Ahmed on Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 10:48am
  
  
  
additional note: to order the Islamic trilogy: Hadiths, Sira, Qur’an in ENGLISH in its’ entirety, please log onto http://www.PoliticalIslam.com
Many people make the mistake of trying to understand Islam by reading the Qur’an alone. Muslims succeeded in convincing large number of non-Muslims that Islam can be found only in the Qur’an. They argue that the sunna or the hadiths of the prophet Muhammad are not always reliable sources of Islam because there are authentic and unauthentic sunna or hadiths. If you fall into that trap then you cannot establish any valid arguments against the teachings of Islam on terrorism and the abuse of women. 75% of the teachings of Islam on those two topics come from the hadiths. Therefore, Islam is to learn about the life, teachings, and wars of the prophet Muhammad. In other words to understand the core teachings of Islam is to know Muhammad from the time he was born until he breathed his last breath.  

In order to know Muhammad you need to read his biography, hadiths, the Qur’an, and commentaries on the Qur’an. The hadith is what Muhammad taught and did. The hadiths and the Qur’an are two faces to one coin. Both are believed to be the words of Allah. The hadith is believed to be nothing short of revelation [for the Qur’an says of Muhammad] `he does not speak out of low desires. It is not but inspiration inspired” (Qur’an Surah al-Najim 53: 3-4). The only difference between the Qur’an and the hadith is that whereas the former was revealed directly through the angel Gabriel with the very letters that are embodied by Allah, the latter was revealed without letters and words” (Haqq & Newton 1996: 1). The Qur’an strongly testifies to the importance and the authenticity of the hadith and doesn’t allow Muslim men and women to choose between the two: “Whenever Allah and the Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a faithful man or woman to follow a course of their own choice” (Qur’an al-Ahzab 33: 36).  

The biography of Muhammad contains his marriage life, wars, and teachings about various topics. There are four well-known biographies of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Bihaqi, Tabari, and Ibn Sa’ad. The earliest of those biographies was written by Ibn Ishaq which was lost and only quotations of it could be found in the other four biographies. Again none of those biographies can give you everything about Muhammad. You need to read all of them to get full story of Muhammad. For example, the famous story of the satanic verses could not be found in the widely accepted biography of Muhammad by Ibn Hisham.  

There are nine collections of the hadiths of the prophet Muhammad accepted by the Sunni sect (85% of Muslims are Sunnis)– Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunnan Abu Dawud, Sunnan Al-Tirmizi, Muttwa Malik, Musnad Ahmad, Sunnan al-Nasa’i, Sunnan Ibn Majah, and Sunnan al-Darami. There are 600.000 hadiths. After editing them the Muslim scholars reduced the number of the hadiths to 60.000 hadith. This big number of the hadiths are scattered in a chaotic fashion in those accepted collections of the sayings and deeds of Muhammad. You can get all these 60.000 hadiths in something called Mishakat Al-Masaabih. Al-Bukhari included 7275 hadith in his Sahih, many of which were variants of others with different chains of transmission. Of these, 2712 were not duplicates. It was reported that he had originally collected 600,000 hadith before subjecting them to his critical method. The method that he used was emotional and religious rather than academic. He used to pray and then ask Allah after his prayer to give him peace in his heart and on that basis he would determine whether the hadith is acceptable or not. He did not use any intellectual or academic method except his prayers and beliefs. Sahih Muslim included 9,200 hadith, of which 4,000 were not duplicated. Originally, he had collected 300,000 hadith. Out of these 300,000 only 9200 met his criteria of authenticity. Muslim used the same method that al-Bukhari followed in his selection of what to include and not to include in his collection.  

It is impossible to read and understand the Qur’an without reading the four accepted commentaries written by Ibn Kathir, Al-Quortobi, Al-Tabari, and Al-Jalalin. Besides that you need to read the nine collections of the hadiths and the four biographies of Muhammad to know what the Qur’an is meant by every verse and every Sorah. Moreover, no commentator would give you a clear-cut explanation of a particular verse or passage in the Qur’an. The commentary gives the views of at least ten to fifteen Companions of the prophet on that verse and it is up to you which one you would like to choose. (And there is something very important you need to keep in mind while you are trying to learn Islam; you must grasp the theory of abrogation to help you bridge the gap between the huge contradiction of the Makkan verses which granted freedom of faith and the Medinian verses which denied freedom of choice and made Islam compulsory for every infidel if he wanted to escape the death and save the honor of his family and protect his wealth and property).  

The most difficult of all the above is the task of trying to know the Shari’a Law. Shari’a is the body of legal rulings that defines how a Muslim man/woman should behave in all circumstances wherever he/she lives. The main sources of the Shari’a laws are the Qur’an and the hadiths. Those laws are formed by the founders of the four legal schools of Islam – Shafi’, Maliki, Hanifi, and Hanbali.     

Accordingly, you need over twenty years of rigorous studying and researching to read the writings of the five biographers, the nine collections of the hadiths, the four commentaries of the Qur’an, and the works of the four founders of the Shari’a schools. I began my journey in learning Islam and comparing it with other religions in 1986 and finished my last degree in 2009. During this long period I obtained two Bachelor degrees, two Master degrees, and a (PhD) Doctorate degree in philosophy and religious studies. Therefore, it took me over twenty years to learn Islam and still I can’t claim that I have finished my study of it. However, I can correctly claim that I have learned a great deal of it and that enabled me to write twelve books on the issues of Muslim women and the teachings of Islam on terror. Accordingly, I invite you to look into my writings and that may save you the troubles of going through those huge volumes which most of them are in Arabic language and have not yet been translated into English or any other Western languages. Information on how to view my books is listed below.  

“Irshad and the Abuse of Muslim Women”  http://www.publishamerica.net/product90819.html  

“Ibtihal and Muslims’ Liberation Movement” http://www.publishamerica.net/product56703.html  

“THE HIDDEN LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD” http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Life-Prophet-Muhammad/dp/1425905714/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230517064&sr=1-1  

“Insaaf: A Story of an Arab Girl” http://www.amazon.com/Insaaf-Story-Arab-Girl-Ahmed/dp/1414000707/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230705999&sr=1-1  

“Intisar: A Story of a Muslim Girl” http://www.amazon.com/Intisar-Story-Muslim-Girl-Ahmed/dp/1403306273/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230704235&sr=1-1  

Diana Stone wrote: “Dr. Ahmed, I’m reading your book, Ibtihal and Muslims’ Liberation Movement. You did an outstanding job of providing more information about Islam in one book than I have read anywhere. Writing it in a novel format made it easier to understand and retain the information. It’s a massive volume you must have spent years working on it”.  

   

Diana Stone wrote again, “”Folks, I’m reading this book. It’s a wonderfully written and very informative book, written in a novel format, about Islam. It is a scholarly work of almost 700 pages. If you want to learn more about this religion and read it in an interesting format, this is the book. And know, I am not getting paid for advertising!”.  

Trojan Horse strikes again!

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California’s Education Department is reviewing its guidelines for teaching Islamic Studies to seventh-graders in its public schools. While it’s true that the California standards require the study of all religions, Islam is examined disproportionately.

The latest attempt to revamp the California rules could be of concern.

For example, the treatment of Shari’ah law in the framework for Islamic studies developed by the California Department of Education is, to say the least, problematic. “Students learn how the Qur’an and the Sunnah served as foundations for the Shari’ah, the religious laws governing moral social, and economic life,” the suggested framework reads. “Islamic law, for example, rejected the older Arabian view of women as ‘family property,’ declaring that women and men are entitled to respect and moral self-governance.”
 

I’m assuming that rules regarding Jihad, Honor killings, and other unsavory practices are left out of the curriculum, although kids often are told that Muslim explorers discovered ‘the new world’ prior to Columbus. Somehow, the curriculum also encourages students to investigate the role of women in Islamic civilizations.

While it all sounds great on paper, it hardly decipts the reality of Islam.

And of course, God and Christ are always left out of the discussion, most teachers will only teach the ‘Big Bang’ theory but never bring ‘Creationism’ into dialogue.

 For children and families in California, this represents an unbalanced and biased educational system brought on by a society to weak and PC to stand up to the liberal left

Written by anniehamilton805

September 1, 2010 at 5:10 am