Hasan al- Banna

(d. 1949)

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(d. 1949)

Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (Jamiat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) in 1928. Held absolute personal authority over the movement and required personal loyalty and obedience from all adherents. Transformed it into a political movement in 1933. Active in the underground movement with the Free Officers in plotting to overthrow the Egyptian monarchy. In the 1930s and 1940s, founded Muslim schools and a publishing house that produced daily and weekly newspapers and Muhammad Rashid Rida's scholarly journal Al-manar. Proclaimed Islam as a comprehensive system of life and the Quran as the only acceptable constitution and law, with Muhammad as model. Rejected secularism and Arab nationalism because he considered all Muslims to be members of a single country. Declared that Muslims had an obligation to engage in individual, rather than collective, jihad. Advocated major principles of Islamic social justice, such as use of zakah exclusively for social expenses. Declared that the establishment of a just society would not occur through righteous thinking and good works alone, but required institutions, state intervention, and progressive taxes on income and wealth. Advocated implementation of Islamic law only after achievement of an Islamic society of social justice. Assassinated by Egyptian secret police in February 1949.

Subjects: Islam.

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