I have just run across Marisa Urgo’s explanation of Hassan al-Banna’s On Jihad. It is definitely worth a look. A couple interesting things. First, she nicely points out the importance of the structure that al-Banna imparts to the work. Second, she says “This translation comes from Wendell’s 1977 collection, Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949), and is the only one available that has not been sanitized for Western audiences.” That told me something I didn’t know.
Also of interest is how al-Banna handles the “greater jihad” vs. “lesser jihad” question.
In addition, Urgo does a similar treatment of al-Banna’s 1936 “Toward the Light” (which I have not previously read) which is on governance. When I speak about Salafi jihadism, I am routinely asked “what does al Qaida have to say about governance?” I know that al- Banna is not the same as al Qaida, but there is a genetic relationship so this work may be useful in that context.
Only two recent jihadist texts that I know of speak to governance in more than passing terms. One is Abu Bakr Naji’s Management of Savagery. The other is Omar Bakri Muhammad’s “First 24 Hours after the Establishment of the Islamic State.” This latter is…well, it’s sincere, but it’s also rather lacking in gravitas.