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LegalismProperty and Ownership$
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Georgy Kantor, Tom Lambert, and Hannah Skoda

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813415.001.0001

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‘Everything Belongs to God’

‘Everything Belongs to God’

Sayyid Qutb’s Theory of Property and Social Justice

Chapter:
(p.149) 6 ‘Everything Belongs to God’
Source:
Legalism
Author(s):

Walter Rech

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198813415.003.0007

This chapter examines and contextualizes Sayyid Qutb’s doctrine of property and social justice, which he articulated at a time of deep social conflicts in Egypt. The chapter describes how Qutb, along with other writers concerned with economic inequality in the 1920s–40s such as Hasan al-Banna (1906–1949) and Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri (1895–1971), conceptualised private ownership as a form of power that must be limited by religious obligations and subordinated to the public good. The chapter further shows that Qutb made this notion of restrained property central to a broader theory of social justice and wealth redistribution by combining the social teachings of the Qur’an with the modern ideal of the centralized interventionist state. Arguably this endeavour to revitalise the Quranic roots of Islamic charity and simultaneously appropriate the discourse of modern statehood made Qutb’s position oscillate between legalism and anti-legalism.

Keywords:   Sayyid Qutb, Egypt, Social Justice, Islam, State, Inequality

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