- June 13, 2007
The fruitful tree, the MB call (1)
The Muslim Brotherhood group was founded in March 1928, in al-Esma”elia by a youth teacher and six youth workers and craftsmen. In October 1932, the founder moved to Cairo, and then the MB had fifteen branches in Egypt.
By February 1935, the MB had fifty branches with known addresses and premises (the MB branches outside Egypt were not included in this number.) Muslim Brotherhood magazine, 2nd year- 37th issue- 17th Dhil-Qaeda 1353= 21st February 1934
In 1948,”the practical members of MB in Egypt were half million, the associate members and supporters mounted as doubles of this number, there were 2000 branches in Egypt and 50 in the Sudan (their branches in the rest of the Arab and Muslim countries, friends in Europe and America are not in included in the pervious numbers.)”, mentioned Muhammad Shawqi Zaki- MB and the Egyptian society- page 32.
Egypt”s census- then- was about 18 millions, 50% of the Egyptians were under 16 years old, if we exclude them besides who were over 60, women and Christians, we will meet the great fact that the MB was very dominant and popular among all the Egyptians. Khaled Muhammad Khaled didn”t exaggerate when he said “it was difficult not to find one of them in every house.” Khaled Muhammad Khaled- facing Abdul-Nasser and Sadat- Mahmoud Fawzi page 41.
A question arises: How did that happen?
First: the enthusiastic and marvelous nature of al-Banna:
Robert Jackson described him saying “the man began working and gathering few people around him in the narrow back alleys of Cairo- in al-Room quarter, Sooq al-Selah, Nafi” turn and al-Shamashergi quarter,”
The Algerian al-Fudail al-Wartalany described him saying “al-Banna worked day and night without being tired or bored, whoever stayed a night chatting and discoursing with him, surely he believed that al-Banna rested in the morning, and vice versa.” Al-Da”wa- 3rd year- issue 104-10/2/1953
Methodology of al-Banna”s movement:
“Al-Banna used to visit the general headquarter in the early morning to leave his notes in which he outlined instructions and works to be achieved, then go to the school, he would go to the station from the school, if he was traveling, if not, he would revisit the general headquarter. In the evening he would visit the headquarter for the third time meeting the visitors and delegations or absorbing in meetings, all that did not hinder him to travel to the countryside in holidays, he visited every village in the Upper Egypt in twenty days, sometimes he would be in Bai-Swaif in the morning, have lunch in Beba, in al-Wasta in the evening and stay the night in al-Fayoom. In his weekly holidays, he would visit the near places, and in the annual one he would visit the far ones”, mentioned Muhammad Shawqi Zaki- MB and the Egyptian society- page 22.
His schedule for visiting both the Upper and Lower Egypt is very strange and astonishing, because: first, in summer, he would visit the Upper Egypt, where the very hot atmosphere usually exists, in contrary, he would visit the Lower part in the winter, when it”s usually very cold and rainy; he disregarded the people”s customs to visit the lower part in the summer and the upper in the winter, but he regarded the Call for Allah first and foremost.
All who were around him, followers and supporters, found him very strange, to the extent that one of the brothers composed a poem titled (His summer resort was Luxor, the very hot, and its neighboring places), quote:
He may be in Cairo in the morning
And may be in Alexandria in the noon
Abdul- Hakeem “Abdeen, quoted from”Hassan al-Banna…a life of a man”-Anwar Algendi page 49
Who looks closely at al-Banna”s great effort in these journeys in a short time, certainly he will be astonished. For example, he visited 21 towns in the Upper Egypt in seven days, i.e. three towns a day. You will be more astonished when you know that these visits basically include public lectures, and private ones for the brothers, visits of the nobles and participating in different occasions.
In (Hassan al-Banna, the assassinated who survived the others) a splendid essay wrote by his successor, Hassan al- Hudaibi:
“While we were traveling by train, one of my colleagues pointed to a mountain, where I saw people, very small like the ants, up there on the mountain. He told me that al-Banna and a group of brothers climbed the mountain where they found very rough people- due to living in such a place- Imam al-Banna began to teach them Islam, befriend them and fine their nature!!”
Under a rotten tree, another brother said “we get out of the bus here targeting one of the villages, we looked at a—Banna and found his beard and clothes very dusty, not because of traveling hardship but more than that, we opened our bags to get a brush and remove the dust. After that we went to the village and called them for Allah and his religion.”
We reached a station (might be Edfu), then another one said” Imam al-Banna stayed a night before this inn on a chair, because one of the villagers called al-Banna to inaugurate a new MB branch, but unfortunately, he didn”t receive the letter of the exact time in which al-Banna would come, so he stayed the night here after taking a chair from the owner of the inn. In the morning he went to the village and called them for Allah and his religion.”
We moved to the Lower part of Egypt where we found that all the villages had been visited by al-Banna, moreover we reached them easier than him; we used vehicles to shorten the distance and time, but he went their either on foot, or by animals. These villages were very remote, forgotten by both the people and government till they were visited by al-Banna to call them for Allah and his religion.” Al-Da”wa- 3rd year-issue no.104-10/2/1953.
Second: the youth of MB and spreading the Da”wa outside Egypt
The movement was not restricted to al-Banna, but he prepared his call men (Du”at), in order to be callers who struggle for the truth inside and outside Egypt:
In his book (religious and political trends in Egypt), James Hewarth said “al-Banna selected the religious students, who were identically taught the Glorious Koran, Arabic language, oratory and principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Those who were not affected by the western criteria and beliefs. They were mostly young and enthusiastic enough to go on hard missions, which require sacrifice and boldness. They worked in mosques; where they could maintain and carry out the daily prayers, especially the Jum”a (Friday noon prayer) to call their people for Allah. They used to hold separate circles to teach them Islam, then the political and religious principles of MB, sometimes speak about certain issue or vices prevailing among people, such as drugs, wines or prostitution urging them to face and eradicate these vices through being recruiting in MB” (Muslim Brotherhood in the western writings- Zeyad Abu-Ghanemat- page12)
“Al-Banna was intelligent at benefiting from the religious and national occasions to make the callers of MB attract the people, also when national crises happen, Al-Banna would orientate his callers towards stimulating the people against Britain and its supporters in Egypt, using their talents in oratory. Also he recruited these youth to travel to every place in Egypt to gather money for the Palestinians, after speaking out to the people instigating them against the English occupiers and the Jews.” he added in Page 13
These are some practical examples of the MB members” movement:
1- the MB summer mission to the beloved in the beautiful country (1936): “the general bureau of MB decided this year to select a delegation from both Alazhar and the Egyptian universities to divide the country among them to call for Allah and educate our beloved people; ten committees were established for the posted mission… our brothers and leaders (Nuqaba”), will you please help them in their target (which is the same target of all of us), and provide them with the necessary guidelines to crown their work with success, because their mission is considered a Hijra (religious migration for the sake of Allah), which we ask Allah to accept, reward us all for it, and guide this country to the right path” the MB magazine- 4th year- issue no. 10-26 Rabi” al-A”wal- 1355-16/6/1936.
The MB magazine indicated that these summer missions had great impacts and good consequences, such as:
“in al-Buhaira: the call of the MB in al-Buhaira found a fertile land that”s why it was very fruitful, consequently the MB group in Fleshan Buhaira, and Sama”na had a good effect; on Friday evening, 21, Rabi” Athani, a great number of the nobles of Sama”na, Faquos, Sharqia, met at brother Said Ahmad effendi”s and formed a branch for the MB after being fully convinced with the aims and principles of the society by Muhammad Effendi Abdul- Aziz Khater. In Kumumbo: a branch was established including 27 members of the nobles and merchants, after the advertisement made by the representative of the society, Sheikh Muhammad Badr.
In al-Gharbia directorate: the representative of the society mission, both Hamdi Effendi el-Gereesi, and Muhammad Effendi Zaki Saleh, informed us that they reached Qwesna and promoted the call of the society, where they met Mahmoud Effendi al-Tori, the son of its mayor and an employee in the village council of Manshiat Sabri, in Qwesna, they pledge to establish an MB branch. The Muslim Brotherhood magazine- 4th year- issue no.16- 28/7/1936
2- the continuous activity of the MB members and branches:
This activity went on all over Egypt, which instigated the General Executive Bureau (GEB) to revive this activity through issuing a statement titled (the call in the countryside and the central branches duty towards it). the statement include: “many MB central branches went on calling in weekly journeys, on Friday, it was fruitful; among the most active branches are Tanta, Banha, Zefta, Asuit, Zaqaziq, al-Qattawiat and Abu-Hammad, because they had good consequences; that they established new sub-branches, that”s why the GEB urges the rest of branches to stay the same course i.e. to visit villages and outskirts at least on Fridays, the GEB is ready to provide them with the necessary publications and visit these branches after establishment, the bureau is waiting for more efforts to be exerted in this respect. May Allah help us all go on good deeds ” the secretary) al-Natheer magazine 2nd year- issue no.17.
The MB branches responded to these instructions, these are some benefits and fruits of their activity:
“in al-Saff: the society (MB) there is still advertising and going on the activity of Da”wa and establishing branches, the representative traveled to Miniatul Reqa and Kafr Qandil, consequently they founded a branch presided by the honored brother Abdul-Muhsen Suleiman Effendi. The reps of the central branch met with the nobles and inhabitants of Kedaya, and established a branch including many nobles of the country, Sheikh Jum”a Abdul- Samad was chosen a deputy” al-Natheer magazine 2nd year- issue no33- 25 Sh”aban 1358= 2/10/1939.
“Banha branch visited Beltan village, where a new branch was established. They visited Qaliub, Kum Ashfeen, and Talha, where they established branches in Kum Ashfeen, and Talha” (Alta”aruf -5th year issue no.28.
Lessons and lectures:
Lessons and lectures were among the most significant means of Da”wa used by al-Banna and the MB members; there were regular weekly lectures delivered by al-Banna in the general headquarter of Cairo, every Tuesday, known as (Tuesday”s speech), in addition to a lesson specified to the students, known as (Thursday”s speech.) (al- Natheer 2nd year- issue no. 42-18/2/1939)
In the other branches of MB, there were also regular lectures, here”s a sample published in the MB weekly magazine titled, (lectures in the MB society): “there is a weekly lecture on Saturday evening at Shubra”s branch in Cairo, in the society”s club at 6, Abu- tulba street. After Isha” (night prayer), on Sunday evening, there is a lecture at the premises of the society in Zawiat Sharkas, Buolaq branch, Cairo. In Port said, there is a weekly lecture on Thursday evening, at Tawfeeq St. on Abu- Swair, there”s a lecture on Saturday evening, in the club next to the mosque. The title of this week”s lecture is “Envy and its maleficence”, it will be delivered by Sheikh Abdullah Saleem, the rep of MB. The Sheiks of the society will deliver their speeches in Cairo at al-Khazendar, Kakhia and al-Gohari at al-sseka al-Hadeed (the railway station) mosques.” Muslim Brotherhood magazine 1st year- issue no. 20- 12th Sha”ban 1352 = 30/11/1933.
Al-Banna and the callers used to deliver speeches and lectures in different mosques and clubs of Cairo. Muslim Brotherhood magazine stated that “Hassan Effendi al- Banna, the chairman of MB, will lecture at Fadel mosque in al-Jamameez road. Sheikh Mustafa al-Tair, MB deputy in Cairo, will deliver al-Juma”a speech and resume after the prayer at Isma”eel Bek Barakaat mosque, Rood al-Farag, Dhul-Faqqar st., Mr. Abdul-Rahmaan Effendi al-Sa”ati will also lecture after al-Jum”a, at Sha”rani mosque, the lecture will be titled (the civilization of Islam.)”Muslim Brotherhood magazine 1st year- issue no. 20- 30/11/1933.
3- Celebrations with the Islamic occasions:
Celebrations with the Islamic occasions was one of the used means of MBs, to remind the people of the Islamic history and the prophet”s life, and use these occasions to call for sticking to the Islamic teachings, good morals, adhering to the Islamic principles and avoiding blind imitation of the west and its culture…
– Hijra (Immigration) anniversary (al- Natheer: 2nd year- issue no. 2)
– The prophet”s birth anniversary (al- Natheer: 2nd year- issue no. 12)
– Isra” and Me”raag (Night journey and ascension) anniversary (al- Natheer: 1st
year- issue no. 19)
– Ramadan anniversary (al- Natheer: 1st year- issue no. 25)
– Badre Battle anniversary (al- Natheer: 2nd year- issue no. 38)
4- MB callers and Salat (prayers):
MB callers initialized campaigns calling for performing Salat in mosques, they helped the people perform al-Fagr (Dawn) prayer and Jum”a; they advised the people not to be absorbed in worldly works neglecting Jum”a prayer: Muslim Brotherhood magazine published a call- launched by Suez branch- to the people included “O, ye Muslims: make the Jum”a time only for the sake of the Hereafter, stop being absorbed in the worldly benefits, and be aware that no matter what the worldly benefits of Jum”a time would be, it is Haram (unlawful) without blessing. Believe that you will be reckoned before Allah, the One and Only, He will ask you about your luxury.” Muslim Brotherhood magazine 3rd year issue no. 2
Tanta branch issued a statement titled “Jum”a”s cry”, to urge the Muslims keep on the rituals, especially Jum”a (Muslim Brotherhood magazine 3rd year issue no. 55-17/3/1945). Al-Mahalla al-Kobra”s branch invented a new means to gather the merchants and the commons for al-Jum”a; prepared a car with speakers calling the people to close their shops and go for al-Jum”a. Muslim Brotherhood magazine1st year issue no. 10- 9/1/1943. Alexandria branch passed in the streets before the Dawn to remind the sleepers of the prayer, which was admired by the people. Muslim Brotherhood magazine 3rd year issue no.55-17/3/1945.
5- MB and calling the Non-Muslims:
MB callers didn”t neglect calling the non-Muslims. When the discarded sect in India declared that they left Hinduism and wanted another religion, al-Banna sent to the Grand Imam of al-Azhar appealing him to rapidly react with them, because it was an advantageous opportunity. Muslim Brotherhood magazine 4th year issue no.11, it is worthy mentioning that Ghandy”s son converted to Islam and renamed himself Abdullah, al-Banna had several correspondences with him, and sent him an overt letter through (the weekly Muslim Brotherhood magazine), in which he provided him with so many advices and orientations. Muslim Brotherhood magazine 4th year issue no. 15