Freedom or Slavery

Sometimes slavery (thralldom) disguises itself in the garment of freedom. It then appears as breaking away from all restrictions, traditions and customs. It appears as removal from all human responsibilities in this life.


There is an essential difference between breaking the shackles of humiliation, pressure and weakness, and breaking those of humanity and its related responsibilities. The first means real freedom, while the second means giving up basic factors of humanity that release man from heavy animalism.

It is a false freedom because it is nothing but submissiveness and thralldom to ruffian desires and animalism. Humanity spent centuries on Earth struggling against those bestial desires to get rid of their choking shackles and move into human liberty.

Why does humanity feel ashamed of showing its physical needs? That is because it feels by nature that man’s elevation, despite his urgent needs, is the fundamental definition of humanity. Moreover, breaking away from the shackles of those needs is true freedom. That is because overcoming urges of flesh and blood, and defeating fears of weakness and humiliation, assert the true meaning of humanity!

Sayyed Qutb (a late Egyptian intellectual)

Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy


Touch the Good Side


When we touch the good side in people, we discover that there is much goodness that our eyes may not be able to see at first glance!!
I have tried this myself with many, even with those who appear at first as wicked or having little compassion.
If you show some sympathy to their faults and foolishness; some true cordiality to them and some genuine care- not artificial- to their interests and their concerns, then the spring of goodness in their souls will be revealed to you. That is when they give you their love, cordiality and trust in return for the little things you provide them from your own self whenever you give them in loyalty, sincerity and purity.

Evil is not deeply rooted in the human soul to the extent we may sometimes imagine. It is only in that hard outer shells by which humans face the struggle of life to survive. Whenever they feel safe, this hard shell reveals sweet and pleasant fruit. It only uncovers to those who can make people feel they have peaceful intentions, and can give them true cordiality and real sympathy in their struggle, pains, errors and foolishness as well. Showing some generosity at the very beginning can achieve all this sooner than many would expect. I have tried all of this, tried it myself. I do not raise it as just some winged words resulting from dreams and illusion.

Sayyed Qutb

Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy


Voluntary Night Prayer

Al-Hassan al-Bassry said, “I have found nothing of the acts of worship more vigorous than qiyam (voluntary night prayer). It was said to him, “Why do those, who pray voluntary at night have the best faces?” He answered, “That is because they devote themselves to be alone with their Lord, so He provides for them a ray of His Light”