The Muslim Brotherhood
Hasan al-Hudaybi and ideology
Routledge – 2009 – 206 pages
The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most influential Islamist organisations today. Based in Egypt, its network includes branches in many countries of the Near and Middle East. Although the organisation has been linked to political violence in the past, it now proposes a politically moderate ideology.
The book provides an in-depth analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood during the years of al-Hudaybi’s leadership, and how he sought to steer the organization away from the radical wing, inspired by Sayyid Qutb, into the more moderate Islamist organization it is today. It is his legacy which eventually fostered the development of non-violent political ideas.
During the years of persecution, 1954 to 1971, radical and moderate Islamist ideas emerged within the Brotherhood’s midst. Inspired by Sayyid Qutb’s ideas, a radical wing evolved which subsequently fed into radical Islamist networks as we know them today. Yet, it was during the same period that al-Hudaybi and his followers proposed a moderate political interpretation, which was adopted by the Brotherhood and which forms its ideological basis today.
'…for those interested in a full understanding of how the Muslim Brothers evolved from Hasan al-Banna’s time to its present status, the work is indispensable reading.' - Bjørn Olav Utvik, University of Oslo, The Middle East Journal, Summer 2009
Introduction Part 1: The Muslim Brotherhood during the Years 1949-1973 1. The Brotherhood in Disarray: The Legacy of Hasan al-Banna 2. The Struggle for New Leadership: Al-Hudaybi and his Competitors 3. The Brotherhood and the Revolution: Co-Operation, Contention, Clash 4. The Time of Persecution: Dissolved but not Dispelled 5. Reestablishment under a New Paradigm Part 2: The Discourse of the Prison Years: Radical Ideas and Moderate Responses 6. Sayyid Qutb: Father of Radical Islamist Ideas? 7. Qutbists and their Worldview Part 3: Preachers not Judges 8. Text, Composition and Authorship 9. The Ultimate Question: Muslim or Kafir? 10. Shari’a: Divine Law or Human Consent 11. The theology of an Islamic Government 12. Obedience or Opposition
Barbara Zollner is Associate Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Birkbeck College