The Prophet and the Pharoah

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Events that have riveted world attention--the World Trade Center bombing, assassinations in Beirut, the attempt on the life of the Pope, the assassination of Sadat--are illuminated by this penetrating study which surveys the background of the Islamist movement beginning with the Muslim Brotherhood in The Society of Muslims. Legalists Despite Themselves. The Vanguard of the Umma. Indeed, the difference between an ideological approach and bureaucratic attitude is explicit.

On one side is a regular political agent and on the other side an idealist religious activist. One very appealing aspect of this book is that the author shares her spiritual achievements, characteristics and states as well as her political engagements and daily travails. She confesses not only that her Islamic ideology and beliefs helped her to remain resistant and steadfast throughout her periods of hardship, but also that many dreams and visions came to her during this time.

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Many of these happened at especially difficult junctures: when for example her second husband was forced to divorce her, she had a vision of the Prophet. These visions provided comfort to Zainab and helped to remain faithful. She had many verses of the Quran memorized and often quoted them in her replies to interrogators.

Reflections on Zainab al-Ghazali’s “Return of the Pharaoh”

Moreover, this volume describes the spiritual and intellectual resources of the Muslim brotherhood and their link with various schools of Islam. It reveals which resources and references from Islamic tradition are studied and used by the Muslim Brotherhood and what notions and terminologies are utilized by them to develop and justify their ideology. Hence, an authorized source to examine the intellectual development of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also, there are some materials to differentiate the Muslim Brotherhood from opposing Islamic schools like Sufism and Classical Islam.

Moses in Islam - Wikipedia

The book often uses terms like jahiliyyah , jihad , rukhas , azimah , and taqiyyah , which helps the reader to capture their true and dynamic meaning and implications in context. I was amazed when I learned that the Egyptian army used the Dari word Shafakhana hospital and the Turkish title Pasha. This suggests the possible value of a cross-cultural study of terminology common to multiple countries in the Middle East, and of how such words, as well as the ideas and the institutions they inform, circulate in the region.

Several points seem however worthy of critique. As empathetic as the author may be with her colleagues in the MLG and the Muslim brotherhood, she is biased against the governmental agencies. For instance, it goes beyond the question of tension between ideologues and politicians that she does not consider her opponents true Muslims, or even quite human. The German philosopher Nietzsche once advised that when one is fighting against a monster, one should be careful that one does not change into a monster oneself.

Though Zainab al-Ghazali remained strong in many difficult situations, she could be somewhat monstrous at certain junctures, coming at times to resemble her enemies in some respects. For instance, she uses the same impolite language as the investigators: to those who insult her by calling her a bitch, she replies by calling them butchers.

The author illustrates the battle between darkness, oppression, and being misled, and another side full of light, justice, and a clear way of life; there is no grey zone between white and black extremes. There is little chance of any switch in allegiance between the two camps.

  1. The Reese Boys;
  2. BBC - Religions - Islam: Musa - the Muslim view of Moses.
  3. Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and Pharaoh, With a New Preface for by Gilles Kepel?
  4. Muslim extremism in Egypt : the prophet and pharaoh.

For example, among hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, only two people left their party and others remained steadfast, faithful, and loyal: the people of true Islam remain faithful. All the hardships tolerated by Zainab could bring change to only one or two people of the opposite camp.

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  • I cannot emphasize enough how great and unbridgeable the gap between true Muslims and fake Muslims is, in this view. University of California Press, pp. Ivan Briscoe. Hacker and Paul Pierson.

    About the Author

    The U. Afshon Ostovar. Stay informed. Get the latest book reviews delivered to your inbox.

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