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Sayyid Qutb, executed in 1966 by the Egyptian government but still broadly influential today, was deeply convinced that Islam provides an ideal framework for all of human existence -- individual and social, political and economic, intellectual and spiritual. He believed equally that in all these various aspects the religion had been obscured or distorted by an influx of alien influences. In this, one of this most widely read works, he addresses himself to the task of retrieving what he regards as the authentic mode of thought that is distinctive of Islam or even unique to it. This he does through the concise presentation of seven characteristics of Islamic thought, abundantly illustrated with citation of relevant Qur'anic verses.
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The tanslation has been edited and introduction by Hamid Algar, who places Sayyid Qutb and his work in his historical and contemporary context, and evaluates the ideas contained in the book. Hamid Algar is a professor of Persian and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published widely on both Sufism and Shi'ism.
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