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Islamic scholars: Hassan-al–Banna and Yusuf-al–Qaradawi Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2019

Hassan- al –Banna and Yusuf-al –Qaradawi are among the most renowned Islamic scholars. The two are famous for their role in championing for the rights of Muslim during the 20th century. As such, the two leaders are regarded as the fathers of contemporary Islamism. Banna was among the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

By the year 1945, the group had millions of followers across the Arab world. On the other hand, Qaradawi was a student of Banna. After Bannas death in the year 1949, Qaradawi became very prominent. He has written over a hundred books focusing on Islam, politics, and the association between Muslims and non-Muslims. This article seeks to highlight on the solutions and suggestions offered by the two leaders in relation to the political crises that affected Muslims during the 20th century.

In his writings, Banna pointed out that Muslims could liberate their country from the political bonds if they adopted the way of Islam (Euben & Muhammad 57). He noted that the Muslim world had lost its freedom and sovereignty to the colonialists. He suggested that during his era political struggle had subsided.

Banna asserted that there are only two ways, which people could orient their nations for a better course. People could adopt either the western way of life or the Islamic way of life. He believed that each of the two ways had disadvantages and advantages. According to him, the Islamic way was the only means Muslims could solve their political crises.

He suggested that if nations were to orient along Islam path, several benefits were going to be realized. To him, Islamic way fosters sanctity and stability in the minds of the people. Through this, he believed that once people get oriented to the Islamic way of life they will take pride in their nationality and portray sincere patriotism.

He further suggested that taking his proposed course could strengthen Islamic unity and end the political issues faced during the 20th century. Banna urged the Islamic countries to unite. He suggested that united Arab countries could lead to a practical and vital deliberation on the issue of the departed caliphate.

Equally, he also suggested that Islamic countries could reduce political issues if they end party rivalries in their countries. He urged them to channel their political forces into a single phalanx.

He asserted that after ending party rivalries, countries should reform their laws to ensure that they conform to Islamic teachings. Throughout his arguments, he always blamed the west for corrupting the Arab youths. He believed that Arab Muslim were better off without the influence of the west. To him, the western way of life had made some Muslims to be selfish.

Another reform postulated by Banna was that all Muslims nations should strengthen their armed forces. He suggested that renascent nations need strength. He believed that during his time peace could only be guaranteed through strength. During his era, there were numerous conflicts between the Arabs and the Israeli and their allies. Therefore, he supposed that a strengthen armed forces would only guarantee peace to the Arab Muslims.

On the other hand, Qaradawi believed that political crises in the Muslim world have been fueled by misunderstanding between Islam and Democracy (Euben & Muhammad 231). During the 20th century, some Muslim extremists insisted that democracy could not coexist with Islam. Other clerics insisted that democracy was unbelief.

They believed that through democracy, humans had embraced human rulers rather than a Godly ruler. Qaradawi acknowledged in his writings that misunderstanding about democracy was the major cause of political conflicts both in the West and in the East.

Qaradawi proposed that there was a need to end the misunderstanding between Islam and democracy. He refuted claims by the Muslim extremist that democracy was unbelief. He suggested that in fact Islam prohibited dictatorial leadership. He points that the Quran rejects the notion that leaders lead individuals in prayer they do not accept. He further suggests that the best of the Islamic leaders are those that love their followers and are loved in turn by their followers.

He suggested that the Muslim world could end their political issues if they embraced democracy by rejecting tyrant leaders. He associated tyranny with corruption. He further alleged that the Quran does not only reject tyrant leaders but also those who obey their commands. In this argument, he was referring to the police and the armed forces of the tyrant leaders in the Arab world during the 20th century. He suggested that the teachings of Prophet Muhammad forbidden the oppression and unjust treatment of the people by their leaders.

He further suggested that democracy was the only tool available that can be used against tyrant leaders. Although democracy is not free of faults, he believed that it should be used to protect people from dictatorship leadership until another better approached is identified. He urged the Muslim world to adopt democracy because through it their leaders could respect their human rights and treat them equally.

As noted above there are major differences between the two scholars’ suggestions about how to end the Muslims’ political crises. Banna believed that the Muslims woes were directly related to the western influence. As such, he blamed the Westerners for corrupting the Muslims cultures.

On the other hand, Qaradawi believed that the confusion between the democracy and was the major factor that should have been blamed for the political issues faced in the Muslim world. Unlike Banna, he blamed the tyrant leaders for the increase in political issues.

Another major difference between the two scholars’ arguments was that Qaradawi did not condemn the western way of life in the manner in which Banna condemned. Qaradawi noted that values that that are in line with the Quran are aimed at helping the people should be tolerated.

He even embraced democracy as a means of ending tyrant leadership in the Arab world. This implies that he was more lenient to the western ideologies compared to Banna. On the other hand, Banna insists that Muslims could end their political rivalry if they embraced the Islamic way of life rather than the western way of life. This implies that he was totally against the western influence.

Based on the above argument, it is apparent that Qaradawi embraced democracy while Banna was against democracy. Qaradawi argued that through democracy the Muslim world could liberate itself. However, Banna insisted that through the Islamic way of life Muslims could liberate themselves.

Banna provided several ways through which the Arab nations could enhance their unity. Surprisingly, he never mentions about democracy in his proposals. Some of his proposals are against the will of democracy. For instance, he urges the nations to have control over the media.

Works Cited

Euben, Roxanne Leslie, and Muhammad Qasim Zaman. Princeton readings in Islamist thought: texts and contexts from al-Banna to Bin Laden. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Islamic scholars: Hassan-al–Banna and Yusuf-al–Qaradawi." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/islamic-paper/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Islamic scholars: Hassan-al–Banna and Yusuf-al–Qaradawi'. 7 May.

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