Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Office of the Presidency of Islamic Research and Legal Verdicts

Question:
Some youth call Shaykh Sayyid Qutb a heretic and prohibit the reading of his books, and they say a similar statement regarding Hasan al-Banna, as they also say regarding some of the scholars that they are Khawarij. Their argument is that [they do this] in order to ‘expose the errors [of these men] to the people,’. even though [these youth] are until now [only] students [of knowledge]. I hope for a response so that doubt may be removed from us and others, [and] so that this [phenomenon] will not spread.

Response:
All praise belongs to Allah alone. To proceed: It is impermissible to [unjustly] call the Muslims heretics or wicked as is evidenced by the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) “Whoever says to his brother ‘O enemy of Allah,’ and he is not such but that it returns back to him.” While in [another] hadith ‘Whoever calls a Muslim an infidel it returns back to one of them.’ While in another hadith: “A man passed by another while he was doing a sin and he said to him, ‘By Allah, Allah will not forgive you.’ So [Allah] said: ‘Who is he who can pass judgment on my behalf that I will not forgive so and so, I have forgiven him and have nullified your deeds.'”

With this I say, Sayyid Qutb and Hasan al-Banna are among the scholars of the Muslims and among the people of da’wa. Allah has brought benefit by them and through them He has guided many people. They both have efforts [for Islam] which should not be denied. For this reason Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz interceded on behalf of Sayyid Qutb when the order for his execution was given. [Ibn Baz] was gentle in his intercession, but President Gamal [Abdel Nasser] did not accept [Ibn Baz’s] intercession, may Allah send upon him [i.e. Abdel Nasser] what he deserves. When both men [i.e Hasan al-Banna & Sayyid Qutb] were killed, each was referred to as a martyr, as each was killed unjustly. This is borne witness to by those close [to them] as well as by the general public. As it was widely spread in the papers and books without anyone ever objecting. Moreover, the scholars have received their books [with acceptance]. No one has attacked them for more than the [last] twenty years. If some [heresy proceeded] from them, then [these mistakes] are similar to an-Nawawi, as-Suyuti, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn ‘Atiyah, al-Khatabi, al-Qastalani and the likes of many of them. I have read what Shaikh Rabi al-Madkhali has written in his refutation of Sayyid Qutb and I found that he has placed statements where they do not exist. For this reason Shaikh Bakr Abu Zaid, may Allah perserve him, refuted him. Likewise, [al-Madkhali’s] unjust attacks of Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahman [‘Abdul-Khaaliq] and his [twisting ‘Abdur-Rahman ‘Abdul-Khaaliq’s words] in order to find errors which would make [‘Abdur-Rahman ‘Abdul-Khaaliq appear] misguided, even though [Shaikh Rabi] befriended him for a lengthy period of time and he never found any such errors [in the past].

And the eye of pleasure sees every fault insignificant,
But the eye of hatred always finds fault.

Dictated by
Abdullah b. Abd al-Rahman b. Jibrin
26/2/1417 AH

Summary:

1) Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb are scholars of Islam

2) Both aforementioned figures are remembered as martyrs

3) They have never been attacked since the last twenty years (of writing this fatwa)

4) Their mistakes are similar to those of the well-respected classical scholars, such as al-Nawawi and Ibn Hajr

5) Rabi’ al-Madkhali has been unjust towards them both and have quoted them out of context

6) Bakr Abu Zayd has adequately refuted Rabi’ al-Madkhali regarding Sayyid Qutb

7) Rabi’ al-Madkhali has attacked Abd al-Rahman ‘Abd al-Khaliq in a similar fashion, despite of having known him for a long time.

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