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Hasan al-Hudaybi and the Muslim Brotherhood: Can Islamic Fundamentalism Eschew the Islamic State?

Issue: Vol 3 No. 1 (2007)

Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies

DOI: 10.1558/cis.v3i1.39


Beginning with an examination of the writings of the Muslim Brotherhood‘s second General Guide, Hasan al-Hudaybi (from 1951 to 1973), this paper questions the general assumption that Islamic ―fundamentalism,‖ or Islamism, is necessarily a ―political Islam‖ that seeks to overthrow existing political entities in order to install an ―Islamic state.‖ Hudaybi personally denounced any violent means to promote the Brotherhood‘s cause and in his writings defined the Islamic state as a state in which the moral injunctions of the sacred texts are promoted—a program on which in Egypt Muslims and Christians can easily agree. The paper concludes that the key difference between Islamic activists who seek to overthrow existing structures and those who only seek a moral revitalization of society is to be found in their theological approach— both their hermeneutic and the choice of classical authorities they consult.

Author: David L. Johnston

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