Syrian political thinker, educator, writer, and founder of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Involved in political activism in Egypt, where he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and associated with Hasan al-Banna. Demonstrated against the British in Egypt and was imprisoned. Founded Shabab Muhammad (Muhammad's Youth) upon his return to Syria. Arrested and tortured by the French. Formed the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in 1946 through a merger of different Islamic organizations; was elected as its general guide. Conceived of the movement as ruh (spirit) intended to raise public consciousness to achieve comprehensive Islamic reform, rather than as an organization or political party. Argued in Socialism of Islam that Islam teaches a unique type of socialism conforming with human nature based on five natural rights: life, freedom, knowledge, dignity, and ownership. Viewed the role of the state as that of a regulator, through nationalization of essential public services, implementation of Islamic laws on mutual social responsibility, and sanctions.