Writer and editor, scion of landowning Egyptian family. Studied law at King Fuad University (Cairo); served as a prosecutor and edited the first Egyptian law journal. Member of the secret society that became the National Party. Lived in Europe; influenced by Muhammad Abduh (d. 1905). Gained fame by defending the accused in the famous Dinshaway incident (1906). Beginning in 1907, was editor of the liberal newspaper Al-jaridah; later became spokesperson of the Ummah Party. Was a leading early member of the Wafd Party, with ideas that stressed educational reforms and Egyptian patriotism, but then distanced himself from it, abandoned politics, and focused on translations and writing.