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Abū Muṣʿab Al-Ṣūrī: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Jihādī Strategist: Al-Mawdūdī and Quṭb Are the Pioneers of Jihādī Ideology

Posted by Abu Iyaad on Friday, October 14, 2016 and filed under Jihād (War)

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Abū Muṣʿab al-Ṣūrī (Muṣtafā Setmariam Naṣār) is a highly influentital theorist (a Qaʿdī ) for the modern Takfīrī-Jihādī Khārijites of al-Qaeda and ISIS. He has written extensively on the subject and he presents a theorisation of jihād, following on from those who have influenced him such as Abū Muḥammad al-Maqdisī, Sayyid Quṭb and Abū al-Aʿlā al-Mawdūdī. Here we want to document from his writings the affirmation that 20th century Takfīrī-Jihādī ideology has its foundations in the writings of al-Mawdūdī and Quṭb.

In his work “Daʿwah al-Muqāwimah al-Islāmiyyah al-ʿĀlamiyyah” (2004) pp. 691-692, he writes:

In Pakistan during the fifties the writings of the highly-accomplished unrivaled teacher, Abū al- Aʿlā al-Mawdūdī (may Allāh have mercy upon him) provided the basic materials for the crystallisation of jihādī ideology. He (may Allāh have mercy upon him) criticised the foolish situation of traditional religious circles in Pakistan and through his books and writings and newspapers founded a movement which he called, ‘The Islāmic Jamāʿah in Pakistan’ and presented many of the important issues of Sharīʿah politics. He evaluated the situation of the Muslims in light of them. He also wrote of the necessary requirements of testifying to Tawḥīḍ, the foundations of loyalty and disloyalty and defined jihād and its objectives and goals. He also wrote about the birth of the Islāmic State, its distinguishing features, its constitution, characteristics and the path to establishing it. One of this books, ‘The Four Terms’ comprises many of the foundation of the contemporary jihādī ideology. But the pioneer of the jihādī ideology in the contemporary era without any doubt, to which the birth of the methodology of complentation and theorization for the movement of the contemporary jihādī current was, without any doubt, the tutor, martyr and teacher Sayyid Quṭb (may Allāh have mercy upon him).

ففي الباكستان وخلال الخمسينيات شكلت كتابات الأستاذ العبقري الفذ أبو الأعلى المودودي رحمه الله مادة أساسية لتبلور فكر الجهاد .. فقد انتقد رحمه الله الحالة البليدة التي تعيشها الأوساط الدينية التقليدية في باكستان ... وطرح عبر كتبه ومقالاته وجريدة حركته التي أسسها باسم (الجماعة الإسلامية في باكستان) كثيرا من أهم المسائل السياسية الشرعية، وعرض واقع المسلمين المعاصر من خلالها ... وكتب عن مقتضيات شهادة التوحيد .. .وعن أسس الولاء والبراء ... وعرف الجهاد وأغراضه وأهدافه ... وكتب حول ميلاد الدولة الإسلامية ومميزاتها وعن دستورها ومواصفاتها والطريق لإقامتها. واشتمل أحد أهم كتبه وهو (المصطلحات الأربعة) على كثير من أساسيات الفكر الجهادي المعاصر. ولكن رائد الفكر الجهادي في العصر الحديث بلا منازع والذي يعود لأفكاره ميلاد منهج التفكير ونظريات الحركة في (التيار الجهادي المعاصر) كان بلا شك الأستاذ الشهيد المعلم (سيد قطب) رحمه الله


  1. In his lectures and writings al-Mawdūdī presented the call of the Prophets as one in which they came to snatch power from tyrants who had usurped ḥākimiyyah (lawgiving) sulṭah (political authority), setting themselves up as deities and to establish social justice. He claimed that the same situation exists today in all parts of the world and revolutions are necessary in order to facilitate the establishment of a khilāfah. He made this political meaning to be the most special meaning of the Muslim’s declaration of faith. Influenced by his writings Quṭb developed these ideas further and in more detail. He was also influenced by the French philosopher, Alexis Carrel, in developing the concept of jāhiliyyah (pre-Islāmic ignorance, essentially a judgment of disbelief and apostacy) and ascribing it to all contemporary Muslim societies. On the basis of these concepts (ḥākimiyyah and jāhiliyyah) he made takfīr of all contemporary Muslim societies and announced the necessity of violent jihād against them. His writings were taken as a manifesto in this regard. These writings influenced the leaders of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawāhirī was a prison inmate in Egypt and a follower of Sayyid Quṭb’s ideology. During the 80s and 90s this takfīrī-jihādī ideology was clothed with the garment of Salafism as a means of presenting the basic core concepts of al-Mawdūdī and Quṭb to Salafī audiences, and those guilty of this crime became leaders and advisors for many Khārijite groups and movements in various parts of the Muslim world.

  2. Within this Khārijite ideology, jihād is framed in a way where Muslim rulers, governments and societies are the primary target, and the greatest goal is the establishment of a leadership (imāmah) or political body (khilāfah) that will establish social justice, since the grievance of of the Khārijites is in relation to social, political and economic issues. This is a corrupted, innovated understanding of jihād – rather it is the methodology of the Khāriijtes. This basic framework is nowhere to be found with the Salaf, past or present and nor is it anywhere in the books of Ibn Taymiyyah or Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb or any of the well-known contemporary Salafī scholars who have a chain of scholarship tracing back to those scholars.

  3. On the basis of this corrupt, Khārijite doctrine, the texts pertaining to jihād, enjoining the good and prohibiting the evil and loyalty and disloyalty are used completely out of context as part of a body of jurisprudence that regulates and justifies the activities of these Khārijites.

Abu Iyāḍ
3 Muḥarram 1438 / 14 October 2016

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Takfīr (Excommunication)
Ḥākimiyyah (Lawgiving)
Khurūj (Revolution)
Walaʾ & Barāʾ (Loyalty and Disownment)
Jihād (War)
Imāmah & Khilāfah (Leadership & State)
Irhāb (Terrorism) & Plunder

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