Shi'ite Analyst on the Role of the Books and Ideologies of Sayyid Qutb in Shi'ite Islamism
Mehdi Khalaji is a Shi'ite political analyst, he was raised and trained in Shi'ite theology in Qom, the traditional center of Iran's clerical establishment. He wrote an article titled "The Dilemmas of Pan-Islamic Unity" published in "Current Trends in Islamist Ideology" (vol. 9, 2009). It explores the relationship between the Shi'ah and Muslim Brotherhood "Islamists." It is an interesting article and it brings together many of the affairs that we have pointed out (and will continue to elaborate upon) in numerous articles on this website.
Excerpts from the Article
Towards the beginning Khalaji writes, indicating that the origins of Hasan al-Banna's "Muslim Brotherhood" lie with the activities of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (a Baatinee Ismaa'eelee Freemason):
The Brotherhood's origins may in fact be traced back to a Shiite cleric. The Persian activist-intellectual Said Jamal Assadabadi, who is perhaps more widely known today as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, was a key architect of the first wave of religious revivalism that swept across the Sunni world during the latter part of the 19h Century. After migrating to Egypt in 1871, Afghani began spreading his reformist teachings, and influenced a new generation of Egyptian scholars who became passionate advocates of pan-Islamist ideals.
He says later:
In yet another twist in Muslim history, the Muslim Brotherhood would in turn requite Afghani's gift to Sunni revivalism by directly stimulating the emergence of a unique form of Shiite Islamism in Iran in the 1950s. Indeed, the Islamic paradigm of pre-revolutionary Iran was profoundly shaped by the ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as by kindred Sunni movements such as the Indo-Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami and its founder Sayyed Abul Aala Maududi. In this way, Sunni revivalist ideology helped pave the way for the 1979 Iranian revolution that culminated in Shiite Islamism?s greatest achievement: the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Revolutionary Iran's founders including Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's current Supreme Leader were all deeply influenced by Fadaian-e Islam, and by extension, by the Brotherhood revivalist ideology that undergirded Safavi's teachings. In his autobiography, Ali Khamenei says that he entered into the world of politics under the influence of Navvab Safavi. Today's Supreme Leader himself became an early champion and translator of the works of the Brotherhood intellectual, Said Qutb.
Had it not been for Fadaian-e Islam's early sympathetic support of the Muslim Brotherhood, many of the philosophical writings of the Muslim Brotherhood might never have been as influential in Iran. But a massive process of translating Sunni revivalist authors from Arabic to Persian started less than a decade after Safavi's execution. In addition to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's translations of Said Qutb, other Brotherhood revivalists including Said's brother, Mohammad Qutb were also extensively translated into Persian. Besides the works of these Egyptian writers, the main writings of Abul Ala Mawdudi and other Pakistani and Indian Islamists were translated into Persian at around the same time. These books became the main source of nourishment for Iranian militant clerics' sermons and writings during the pre-revolution era.
There is a footnote to the previous paragraph which elaborates upon the translation of Sayyid Qutb's books into Persian:
Ayatollah Ali Khameini translated Al-Mustaqbal le haza al-Din, (Ayandeh dar Qalamrov-e Islam, Entesharat-e Sepideh, Mashhad, 1345), (Eddea Nameh-I Alay-he Tammaddon-e Gharb va Resalat-e Islam, Mashhad, 1349, with his brother Hadi); Tafsir-o fi Zelal Al-Quran (Tarjomeh-ye Tafsir-e fi Zelal Al-Quran, Tehran, 1362--this translation was completed before the revolution). Khamenei's brother, Mohammad, also a cleric, translated Qutb's Khasaes Al-Tassavvor Al-Islami (Vijeggi-ha-ye Ideology Islami, (Tehran: Moassesseh-ye Melli, 1354). More than ten other works of Said Qutb were translated later on by others. For a detailed report on books translated from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Pakistani and Indian Islamists see: Jafarian, Rassoul, pp.378-388. Mohammad Ali Guerami, a cleric who translated Al-Adala al-Ijtimaiya fil Islam into Persian, cites one member of the revolutionary movement who admitted to the influence of the book on other mujahidin members. Guerami, who was imprisoned during the Shah's reign, remembers that political prisoners were reading this book too. In the "translator's preface," Guerami states that the government should be run by clerics and Islamic jurists (faqihs), a philosophy which lives on until today in Iran. (Guerami, Mohammad Ali, Khaterat, Markaz-e Asnad-e Enqelab-e Eslami, (Tehran, 1381) pp.59-60).
The reason why the Raafidah took a liking to the books of Sayyid Qutb and Abul A'laa Mawdudi is because they contain the poison of the Raafidah, revilement of Uthmaan and Mu'aawiyah (radiallaahu anhum) and in the case of Sayyid Qutb, takfir of Mu'awiyah, his parents and Banu Umayyah (radiallaahu anhum).