Al-Albaani asked about Sayyid Qutb and his advice to the Youth | 5 | ‘Look for an excuse for your brother …’

by The Albaani Blog


The Previous Interjector: Our noble brother commented with the following on these statements [of Sayyid Qutb], which it seemed to me were the statements of Ibn al-Qayyim written in today’s style! He said: ‘… and in these statements there is, firstly, a slight on the call of the Messengers …’

Al-Albaani: No. Ibn al-Qayyim’s statements are like these [i.e., the Shaikh is saying that Ibn al-Qayyim has statements similar to the above statements of Qutb].

Interjector: ‘… [a slight on the call of the Messengers …] which focused on idol worship.’ Is there a slight in this?

Al-Albaani: [It’s] clear.

Interjector: I.e., no?

Al-Albaani: Of course.

Interjector: He said, ‘Secondly, it diverts the callers from the greatest and biggest forms of disbelief and shirk which all of the Messengers and Prophets and righteous people strove against, and they understood that it was the greatest danger facing mankind.’ Is there, in those statements, a diversion [of the callers from the greatest and biggest forms of disbelief and shirk as suggested by this brother]?

Al-Albaani: That is not found.

Interjector: Not found?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: ‘Thirdly: in those statements there is confusion/a mix up between issues of major and minor shirk, and between the issue of sins, both major and minor.’

Al-Albaani: Where?

Interjector: Wallaahi, I don’t understand? But I will [try and] tell you where.

Al-Albaani: [Will you do so] with understanding or without?

Interjector: In shaa Allaah, with understanding. Some people hold that the issue of haakimiyyah and the rulers in general is minor shirk, and that grave worship overall is major shirk and they do not differentiate between shirk in actions and shirk in belief except when it comes to the ruler.

And they do not include people who fall into grave worship in this, for they see that this distinction is not to be made in this [i.e., grave worship], [they hold that] any shirk which a person commits as part of grave worship then he is outside the fold of Islaam without any elaboration, without [the excuse of] ignorance, without establishing the proof [against the person] … and so on.

But as for that [other shirk], then there is elaboration. And maybe if I am right, and you can correct me if I am wrong, it is in this way that [he says that] there is a mix-up [between the two types of shirk], even though he mentioned some fine statements.

Then the second point is that they say that he [i.e., Qutb] described shirk as being unsophisticated/simple, there is no doubt that it is so, so I don’t know whether they understand the meaning of unsophisticated or not?

He says: these people who worship idols, their shirk is unsophisticated, but those others who worship, obey and do what is in that beautiful hadith that you mentioned, then this is also included in shirk

Al-Albaani: … yes.

Questioner: Is it right that we call idol worship primitive?

Al-Albaani: O my brother, may Allaah bless you. The phrase, ‘primitive shirk,’ has it been revealed in the Quraan or the Sunnah?

Quesitoner: No.

Al-Albaani: Okay … who said it? Just an ordinary person [lit. ‘Zaid from the people …’], we ask for an explanation from him, by the word ‘primitive’ does he mean that it does not take one out of Islaam after the proof has been established? If he means this we renounce it and if he means to slight [the seriousness of] this shirk then again we seek clarification from him, [asking], ‘What do you mean by the term, ‘primitive?’’

That which I understand is that he means that these Arabs are idol worshippers, not having a book like the Jews and the Christians to direct, show and guide them, even if only in some matters which remain preserved with the People of the Book and have not been altered, so they are idol worshippers living like this in ignorance. This is what he means by, ‘primitive shirk.’

I don’t understand [from this phrase] that he means that it is shirk which is not worthy of being given any attention, and I think you and people like you want to understand that it does.

For this reason, don’t stop at these words.


Because, firstly, they did not emanate from an infallible person. Secondly, try to understand what he means by this phrase, as is reported from some of the Salaf, ‘Look for an excuse for your brother,’ this [i.e., looking for an excuse] is when a phrase has a suggestion of something against the legislation. As for when the phrase is not clear, then take it to hold the better of the two meanings.

Questioner: Maybe in this, inshaa Allaah