The Golden Letter From al-'Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid to Rabee' al-Madkhali
The respected brother, Shaikh Rabee bin Hadee Al-Madkhali,
Assalamu Alaikum wa ramhatullahi wa barakatuh…
I draw your attention to your request from me to read the book attached: “Adwa’ Islamyyah ‘Ala ‘Aqeedat Sayyed Qutb Wa Fiqrih.” (Islamic lights on the Aqeedah & Ideas of Sayyed Qutub)… Are there any notes against it? And whether these notes mean that this project should be disregarded and never be narrated again? Or Is it considered from which that can be edited and qualified to be printed and distributed to serve as a reward for you in the day of Judgment, and as a guidance to those whom Allah wills from his servants. Thus I say the following:
1- I looked into the first page where the index of topics are listed, and I found topics against Sayyed Qutb, may Allah have mercy on him, that collects the basics of kufr, atheism, heresy, belief in Wahdat Al-Wujood , the saying that the Quran is created, the saying that it is permissible for other than Allah to legislate, the exaggeration in glorifying the attributes of Allah, not accepting the Mutawatir Ahadeeth, doubts in matters of Aqeedah that one must be certain about it, making takfeer on communities …etc from such topics that makes the believer’s hair stand on end. I felt sorry for the Muslim scholars around the world who did not pay attention to such destructive matters. Then I wondered why with such destructive matters, we find the spread of the books of Qutb on the horizon like the spread of the sun, the common people benefit from them, and even you (Rabee Al-Madkhali) in some of your writings. Therefore, I started comparing the topics with the contents. I found that the contents prove the opposite of other contents; and these topics, in general, are some provocative topics to withdraw the attention of the regular reader to bash Sayyed (Qutb), may Allah have mercy on him. I hate for you, me and all of the Muslims (to fall into) the zones of sin…It is from deception when a person talks about the good in front of whom he hates.
2- I looked, and found that this book lacks: the basis of the scholarly research, the Manhaj of criticism, the trust of quoting (from others sources), the trust of knowledge, (and) not transgressing on others.
Regarding the etiquette of dialogue, the goodness of the approach, and the strength of introducing the material, then the above have nothing to do with this book by any mean… the proofs are:
First, I saw that you depended in quoting old editions of the books of Sayyed Qutb, like the books: Fee Thilaal Al-Qur’an, Al’Adalah Al Ejtima’eyyah, while knowing, as in the margin of page 29 and other (places), that there are some revised editions that came afterwards. It is obligatory according to the basics of criticism and the trust of knowledge to criticize - if it was about the contents of the last edition of any book because the changes in it (i.e. the last edition) abrogates the previous ones. This thing, inshallah, is not hidden from your basic information, but it is probably a mistake of a student who prepared this information for you who was not aware of that. It is well known that there are many similar situations for the people of knowledge, for example the book, Al Rooh, of Ibn Qayyim, when many scholars looked into it they said: it is probably issued during his early life. This also happened in many cases. The book (of Sayyed Qutb) Al’Adalah Al Ejtima’yah was the first (book) that he (Sayyed Qutb) authored about Islamic issues.
Second, the topic in the index of this book: Sayyid Qutb allows other than Allah to legislate, made my hair stand on end. I rushed to this topic before anything else. What I found out is just a single quote from lots of lines in his book, Al’Adalah AlEjtima’yah. His sayings do not confirm this provocative topic. Let us suppose that there is a general or vague sentence, why do we turn it into a takfeeri (blasphemy) matter against him to destroy what Sayyed Qutb based his life upon and what he dedicated his pen for: the da’wah towards the monotheism of Allah “in ruling and legislating,” rejecting the man made laws, and confronting those who committed that (legislating and ruling by other than Allah’s rule). Allah loves justices and fairness in every thing; and I do not see inshaallah except that you are about to go back to justice and fairness.
Third: One of the provocative topics is your topic: Sayyed Qutb believes in Wahdat Al-Wujood. Verily, Sayyed Qutb, may Allah have mercy on him, said something not clear (that might make the reader think that he believes in Wahdat Al-Wujood) using the style (of literature) in commenting on Surat Al-Hadeed, and Surat Al-Ekhlaas, and based upon it the accusation that he believes in Wahdat Al-Wujood was made. You did something good when you quoted his saying in commenting on Surat Al-Baqarah, and his (Sayyed Qutb) clear rejection to the idea of Wahdat Al-Wujood. From these quotes (Sayyed Qutb wrote): “and from here we find that there is nothing in the true Islamic ideology called the idea of Wahdat Al-Wujood.” To add, in his (Qutb) book: "Muqawwimat At-Tasawwur Al-Islami” there is a clear response to those who belief in Wahdat Al-Wujood. Therefore, we say may Allah forgive Sayyid Qutb for these vague statements that he expanded upon using his literal style; and what is vague does not overcome the clear cut statements from his saying. Thus, I wish that you rush into deleting this hidden takfeer of Sayyed Qutb, and I feel sorry for you.
Fourth, I say clearly to you with all respect, that under these topics: the contrary of what Sayyed Qutb commented on the meaning of La Ilaha Illah Allah, to the scholars and the people of language; and that he (Qutb) is not clear about (tawheed) Ar-Ruboobiyah and Al-Uloohiyyah. I say to you, my beloved, that you have destroyed, without making sure, all of what Sayyed (Qutb), may Allah have mercy on him, confirmed from the aspects of Tawheed and what it necessates and confirms, which occupied the major aspect of the long life of Sayyed Qutb. All what you (Rabee Al-Madkhali) said is nullified by one word: that the monotheism of Allah in legislation and ruling is from the necessities of the word of Tawheed. Sayyed, May Allah have mercy on him, emphasized on this a lot when he saw the corrupted courage to dismantle the legislations of Allah from courts and other places, and replacing it with man-made laws. Without a doubt, this is a great courage (the courage of changing the rules of Allah) that the Ummah never experienced before 1342 Hijri.
Fifth: from the topics of the index: “Sayyed Qutb confirms the belief that the Quran is created, and that the speech of Allah is just the will”… When I went back to the pages that talk about that, I did not find a single letter where Sayyed Qutub, may Allah have mercy on him, declared this saying: “The Quran is created.” How do you easily accuse with these takfeeri matters? The only sentence that I noticed is his (Qutb) saying: “They cannot author from it—the Muqat’ah letters—a book similar to this book because this book is created by Allah and not by the humans”… There is no doubt that this sentence is wrong, but does this sentence make us rule that Sayyed Qutb confirms the kuffri saying that the Quran is created? O Allah I cannot tolerate the burden of this! This reminded me of a similar saying of Shaikh Muhammad ‘Abdulkhaliq ‘Atheemah, may Allah have mercy on him, in his book’s introduction: Studies on the style of the Noble Quran, that is printed by the Islamic University of Imam Muhammed bin Sa’ud. Do we accuse all people by the saying that the Quran is created. O Allah No.
What we mentioned so far is sufficient in talking about the subjective perspectives, and this is the important matter.
Talking about other perspectives:
1- The original copy of this book lies in 161 pages written by hand. These writings are different. I do not know of a single page written by you as usual, unless your handwriting differed from usual, or I missed up something, or you gave the job about Sayyed Qutb to some of the students, and each student wrote what he found under your supervision, or by your dictation. Therefore, I cannot confirm that this book belongs to you except by what you wrote on it that it is authored by you, and that is enough in considering it to belong to you.
2- Even though there are differences in the handwritings, there is a common trend; This book has the common trend of the disturbing manner, the continuous anger, the same jump on the sentence to generate huge mistakes, rushing into conclusions where there is a possibility to prove otherwise, and depending on the vague sentences and leaving the clear ones, which is a solid rule that do not accept any argument about it….This is considered as betraying (violating) the Manhaj of criticism (named): Al’Haydah Al’Elmiyah.
3- Regarding the style of literature, if we were to compare it with the style of Sayyed Qutb, then this style is of descending style. The style of Sayyed (Qutb) is high. If we considered it as your (Rabee’s) style, then it is very elementary, and does not suit a student of knowledge who has great degrees. So there should be a balance between the literal taste, the ability of using the language and clearly presenting the matter, and the beauty of presenting; or otherwise the pen should be broken ( i.e. otherwise do not bother writing it).
4- The common trend was the trend of anger and frightening which overtook the scientific Manhaj of criticism, thus your response lacked the etiquettes of dialogue.
5- This book from its beginning tells the end has an offensive trend and narrowness in mind and lack of patience in the sentences… why?
6- This book creates a new hizbiyah that establishes the trend of making tahreem here, and nullifying it there; and to call this a bid’ah and that person a Mubtadi’, to call this deviancy and that person a devient… whithout enough proofs. This also generates ghuroor (i.e. deception) of being religious, being proud to the extent that when one of them does that he (thinks that he) gets rid of a huge burden from his back; and that he is saving the Ummah from falling from an edge; that he is considered of a high example of Wara’ (fearing Allah) and gheerah (jealousy) on the rulings of Shari’ah. This (Judging) without making sure, is a way of destruction, even if it is considered as a high constructed building, its destiny is destruction and disappearance with the winds.
These are six aspects that this book enjoys, which made it not enjoyable. This is what I see regarding what you requested. I apologize for being late to respond to you, but I used not to read the books of this man (Sayyed Qutb), even though it is popular amongst the people. However, the dangerous remarks that you talked about made me do lots of readings into his books, and I found in his books many good things, a great faith, clear truth, exposing the plans of the enemies of Islam, and some mistakes in the contents and saying some things that I wish he never said. He nullifies lots of these things in other places, and to be perfect is hard. This man was a great writer and a great criticizer, and then he moved towards serving Islam through the great Quran, the noble Sunnah, and the beautiful Seerah. This shaped his attitude regarding the issues of his time. He insisted on his attitude (to continue what he is doing) for the sake of Allah. He also clarified the issues about his past. It was requested from him to write some words of apology, and he said his faithful and famous word, that "I will not use the finger which I raise for shahad’ah (i.e calling to Tawheed) to write something against Tawheed…" or a word close to this.
Therefore, the obligation of everyone is to make du’a for him that Allah forgive his sins, to benefit from his knowledge, to clarify his mistakes, and that his mistakes do not make us not benefit from his knowledge, or to abandon his books. Consider, may Allah protect you, his situation like the situation of those of the salaf like Isma’eel Al-Harawi and Al-Jilaani, and how Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah defended them, even though they fell into many awful mistakes, because the basis of their approach was to defend Islam and the Sunnah. Look to the (book), “Manazil Alsa’ereen”, and you will find strange things that cannot be accepted; however, you find Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, making excuses for him and not accusing him, as he clarified it in the book “Madarij As-Saalikeen". I also expanded on this matter in the book “Classifying the people between doubts and certainty,” and I put some rules regarding it.
In conclusion, I advise the brother in Allah, not to print this book “Adwa’ Islamiyyah..”. It is not permissible for this book to be distributed or printed because of what it has of the exaggeration, and the training of the youth of the Ummah to slander the Ulama’ (scholars), and to put down and disregard their virtues. Forgive me, may Allah bless you, if I was harsh in my sentences, but it is because of what I saw from your exaggeration, because I want the good for you, and because your eagerness to know what I have about him. This is what my pen wrote, and may Allah correct the way of all of us..
Wa assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi Wa barakatu….
Footnotes:  Wahdat al-Wajood is the belief in pantheism; that everything, including the Creator is One, i.e. that Allah is everywhere and in everything. Ahlus-Sunnah affirm that Allah is above His Throne, above the seven heavens.