Religious Extremist

Religious Extremist

The Concept of Jahiliyyah

The term jahiliyyah has had different translations throughout history. For instance, it has been utilized to refer to the age of ignorance within the framework of the Islamic religion. In reference to the classical Islam, the term has been used to refer to the pre-Islamic situation in Arabia characterized by acting contrary to the teachings of God. Qutb expounds on jahiliyyah but does not describe it as a period but rather as a condition (Cheema, 2006). He refers Jahiliyyah as a condition that exists when an Islamic society adapts a foreign culture that tends to undermine the word of God. In reference to the contemporary Islamic societies, they are in state of jahiliyyah. The people in these societies tend to conduct their activities according to their wills and desires rather than the will of God. In this case, the aspect of God’s will refers to the guidelines specified by the teachings of the word of God, or the Quran.

The Quran specifies the laws to follow; Sharia laws. A society that does not follow these laws is termed as jahili. The western countries, which are perceived to follow human-made laws, have been used traditionally as the reference point to identify whether a society is jahili. According to Qutb, the western society, by carrying out their affairs without following the teachings specified in the Word of God, is undermining the spiritual affairs of the law. They, therefore, tend to undermine the importance of God in making laws as they place their beliefs in rationality and Science; thus ignoring the Word of God (Khan, 2013). By embracing the western culture, the Islamic society will become jahili. Jahiliyyah also includes aspects such as Darwinism, capitalism, racism, nationalism among other practices in the society that are condemned in the Word of God.

Overall, it is important to observe that the concept of jahiliyyah is suggestive of a situation where a society deviates from religion and adopts ways that lead them astray from God. The concept focuses especially on formulation of laws that do not incorporate the teachings of God or leading the society astray from the path of religion.

Response to postings

Response to the first post

I agree with the factors that you have highlighted relating to the execution and aftermath of Operation Ajax and how it led to Islamic revolution in Iran. The connection between the various factors that led to the situation was an important aspect to explain while answering this question. The 1953 Iranian coup that ousted the government that was in place at the time triggered the revolution of Islamic revolution in Iran. The series of events intending to change the government system from adopting Western culture that took place after this coup contributed to the current state of Iran. However, it could have been better if you incorporated the aspect of the dispute of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in the introductory paragraph. This event was significant in Operation Ajax and thus appears misplaced when you address it at the last part of your work.

Response to the second post

Society of Muslim Brothers and Hasan al-Banna were important in shaping the Islam religion. I agree with the aspects that you have addressed relating to how they were formed, succeeded and the downfall of the Society that consequently led to transitioning to fundamentalism. The way that you have addressed the series of events that took place since their formation to their downfall was effective in highlighting factors that were important for their success. Formation of the Society in 1928 with the intention of ensuring that it followed the specified guidelines by the Word of God was an important aspect to focus on and the right way to introduce your work. However, it could have been effective if you expounded on the operations of the Society in World War II in Egypt. It does not connect effectively with the argument of your work.




















Cheema, S. A. (2006). SayyidQutb’s Concept of Jahiliyya as Metaphor for Modern Society. Islam and Muslim Societies2(2).

Khan, A. (2013). Human Ignorance (Jahiliyyah): Past & Present. Dialogue (Pakistan)8(4).

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