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Islam in Modern Egyptian Literature Author(s): M. M. Badawi Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of Arabic Literature, Vol. 2 (1971), pp.

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ISLAM IN MODERN

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The subject of this paper is Islam in modern Egyptian literature. I have chosen Egyptian literature, because Egypt is probably the most secular of Muslim Arab states, certainly more secular than many. Any developments that can be detected in it deserve our attention in so far as they may point to the direction in which other Muslim Arab States are moving. I shall limit the discussion to literature in the narrow sense of the term, namely to creative writing in prose and verse, for two reasons. First, if polemic and overtly religious and theological writings are included, the field may become too vast and unmanageable and the treatment of it will certainly require more space than can be afforded in a single article. Secondly, literature in the narrow sense reveals, often in a subtle way, the tacit and unquestioned assumptions operative in the life of a community, its mental make-up and its attitudes. It will be part of the object of this paper to try to discover if there is, expressed in this literature, anything more than a general religious impulse, anything, that is, which can be described as a specifically Muslim religious feeling. 1 have said that the theme of this paper is Islam in modern Egyptian literature. This is an ambitious theme and I must warn the reader at the outset that it is not my intention to provide a full and detailed picture of modern Egyptian literature, viewed from this angle. I shall not give a fully documented historical survey, tracing the development of Islamic thought and ideals in this literature, and marking every minute change that has occurred or seems to have occurred, although a study along these lines remains to be written and clearly deserves to be undertaken. I shall only attempt a very brief sketch, limiting my treatment to a few salient authors or literary works. Although I do not intend to give a sociological treatment of the subject some of the remarks I shall make in the course of this paper may have implications of interest to the sociologist. I shall begin with a discussion of poetry, partly because we need not dwell long on it and we had better therefore get it out of the way soon. As far as our theme here is concerned poetry occupies, or rather has to occupy, a secondary place. It is not that Islam or religion generally has become irrelevant to modern or even contemporary Egyptian poetry, although it must be admitted at once that it no

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longer holds a central place in it, any more than Christianity holds a central place in, say, modern English poetry. The point is that for an investigation into the place of Islam in contemporary Egyptian poetry to be indeed fruitful or meaningful, it is necessary that it should be carried out on a deeper level. It should deal with subtle and intricate matters, like an examination of imagery, of diction, of the associations and connotations of words, and even of rhythm and music, and such a discussion clearly presents rather difficult problems in translation. The poetry that I am going to discuss briefly here is the explicitly religious poetry, i.e. poetry that has for its themes Muslim religious subjects, and naturally my discussion will be Fmited to its more obvious and perhaps superficial aspects, namely ideas and general attitudes. As is well known, Arabic poetry, since the rise of Islam, has never been devoid of religious themes, so much so that in classical Arabic literary criticism poetry of asceticism al-.uhd is regarded as one of the established 'kinds', or aghrad of Arabic poetry, together with other 'kinds' like panegyric, satire, elegy or description. Moreover, I hardly need to remind the reader of the rise of mystical or Sufi poetry of a very high order indeed in the golden age of classical Arabic poetry. One of the very few classical poets that Egypt could boast of was the thirteenth century mystic 'Umar ibn al-Farid (11801234). It is also interesting to note, that perhaps the best known religious poem in medieval Arabic literature is the work of another thirteenth century Egyptian poet al-Busiri (1212-96). This is alBurda or The Mantle Ode, which was composed by its author while he was suffering from paralysis. It is a song of praise of the Prophet, full of the miraculous and supernatural in his life and embodying the medieval legend of Muhammad. It is claimed that after praying to God to heal him and reciting this poem several times, the poet fell asleep and saw, in a dream, the Prophet touching him and throwing his mantle over him, and when he awoke, he found he had recovered from his paralysis. Because of this the poem was for a long time regarded as possessing a miraculous healing power and was used as a charm against evil and calamities. During the long period of what is commonly regarded by literary historians as decadence, the period which also witnessed the spread of popular mysticism, devotional and mystical verse continued to be written, verse which did not rank very high as poetry, but which clearly expressed pious traditional religious sentiment. And one of the chief themes that

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run though most of this verse is the praise and glorification of Muhammad the Prophet. Popular poems in praise of the Prophet, al-madd'ihal-nabawuyya, were composed and recited at popular mystical ceremonies of dhikr. Together with these, constant use was made of Busirl's poem which understandably attained a remarkable degree of popularity among pious Muslims, to the extent that its verses were not only often learnt by heart, but, we are told, were "inscribed in golden letters on the walls of public buildings".' In the period known as the Renaissance or Awakening of modern Arabic literature, al-Nahda, the period which began roughly in the middle of the nineteenth century, the figure of Muhammad continued to play a significant part in Egyptian poetry. It is interesting to note that in this respect al-Baruidi (1839-1904), the first major figure in modern Egyptian poetry was to set the example for many of the poets who followed him, particularly (and not surprisingly), poets of the neo-classical school. Al-Bariidl wrote a long poem of over four hundred lines, entitled Kashfu 'l-ghumma madhi sayyidi'I-umma, fi which can be roughly translated as Relief of Affliction in Praise of the Master of the Nation. It is a poem inspired by al-Busiri and derives some of its material from Ibn Hisham's well known recension of Ibn Ishlq's Sira, biography of the Prophet. Like the neo-classicist he is, al-Bariidi is careful to emulate the example of the early Islamic poets who eulogized Muhammad, poets like Ka'b b. Zuhayr and Hassan b. Thabit whom he mentions in his poem. Al-Barudi traces sketchily the main events in the life of the Prophet from the moment of his birth until shortly before his death. The picture he draws of the Prophet is the traditional one: Muhammad is the seal of the Prophets, to whose authority the Arabs and non-Arabs have succumbed, he is the best of all men to whom God has revealed the secret of divine truth. Being a military man himself, the poet is clearly fascinated by the heroic element in Muhammad's character, by the military victories which he achieved over his adversaries and which were due to the justice of his cause. Yet al-Biiradi does not minimize the miraculous and the supernatural in Muhammad's life. All the prodigies and miracles which the pious imagination of generations of Muslims had woven round the figure of Muhammad are there, whether they are in Ibn Hisham or not. We read of the great light which emanated from the body of Amina, his mother, at his birth,
1 See R. A. Nicholson, A LiteraryHistoryof theArabs, Cambridge1962, p. 327.

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and which reached as far north as Syria, of the two angels clad in white robes, who cleft his belly when he was a child, drew forth his heart, and cleansed it, of the mysterious cloud that provided shade for him, of Bahira who foretold, when he saw him as a youth, that he was going to be the long-awaited Prophet, of the celebrated night journey and ascension al-isra' wa V-mi'raj. All of these supernatural happenings are narrated by the poet in a declamatory style, and although apparently accepted as historical facts they do not seem to be able to fire the poet's imagination to any remarkable degree. The poem, in fact, is by no means among al-Barudi's better works. Yet there is no reason to doubt the poet's sincerity when he tells us that he wrote it in the hope that the Prophet might intercede for him when he badly needed his help on the Day of Judgement. It is therefore as an evidence of the poet's religious piety, and not of his poetic power that it interests us here. Shawqi (1868-1932), the best known poet of the neo-classical school, is a greater poet than al-Btr-adi, and consequently his religious poems are on the whole much more satisfactory as poems. But the picture of Muhammad that emerges from his poetry is substantially the same as in al-Bdrudi, although of course much more poetically realized. Shawqi wrote much about Muhammad and Islam. His strong sympathies with the Ottoman Caliphate made him attach a great importance to Islam as a necessary political force to prevent the Ottoman empire from disintegration. Yet Shawqi managed to hold together, in a somewhat loose alliance, his sympathies for the Ottoman Caliphate and his feelings for Arab nationalism, and even for Egyptian nationalism. Often his pronouncements on Islam occur in poems dealing with one or another of these subjects. But Shawqi also wrote whole poems devoted to Muhammad and Islam: e.g. al-Hamzrjyya al-Nabawuyya (On the Nativity of the Prophet) 1 and Nahj al-Burda (In imitation of Busirl's poem al-Bllrda) 2 Dhikrd al-mawlid (On the Memory of Nativity).3 But whether he is explicitly didactic or writing more imaginatively, Shawqi's view of the Prophet remains in its essential features the same. It is the traditional view with all the popular supernatural accretions. It is not at all clear that Shawqi used the alleged miraculous elements in Muhammad's life purely for poetic effect; more probably he believed them himself.
2

IAhmad Shawqi, al-SbawqiyyjI, Cairo 1950, vol. I, pp. 36 ff.

Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 231 ff.

3 Ibid., vol. I pp. 70 ff.

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Muhammad is a human being who received divine inspiration. But he is more than an ordinary human being, in fact he represents all the virtues, all the ideal qualities of man; he is the Perfect Man, whose position is even higher than that of the angel Gabriel. In the parts of his poetry where he expresses his repentance and fear of God, Shawqi strikes a sincere note, and it is, I think, beyond any doubt that at least Shawqi the poet is a firm believer in Islam. If one were entitled to infer a poet's personal beliefs from his poetryperhaps a hazardous procedure at any time-one would say that Islam is an operative factor in his life. In any case, the sensitiv%e reader of Shawqi has no hesitation in describing him as an Islamic poet who at least in most, if not all, of his poetic writings uses a specifically Islamic idiom. His imagery, his allusions, his language, are all deeply and unmistakably rootedl in the Islamic religion an(dthe Islamic tradition.' The religious feeling which is expressed in his poetry, even the specifically religious poetry, combines fear of God with a lively but controlled and measured interest in wordly matters. In a poem written to commemorate the Birth of the Prophet he recommends that after giving God His share one should make provision for one's own future and for the future of one's children.2 This is a typically Muslim compromise between the claims of this world and those of the next. In this equal concern for the here an(d the hereafter, as in may other things, Shawqi's strikes me as a typically Muslim sensibility. Yet there is a new element in Shawqi's Islamic poetry, namely, a defensive, polemic note, hitherto unknown. It is Shawqi's response to the attacks by Christian missionaries, and western orientalists, and it concerns the use of the sword by Muhammad and the position of the sword in Islam. This is found most clearly in Shawqi's imitation of Busiri, the poem he wrote on the Prophet. Addressing the Prophet, he says: 'They say you have raided and God's apostles were never sent to destroy souls, they never came to shed blood. This is but ignorancc, falsification and sophistry, for you have conqucred by the word before conquering by the sword.' 3

1 Sce e.g. the analysis attempted by the present author in this issuc of one of Shawql's poems, 'Al-Hihal, Mloon or Poet?'. 2 Al-SbawqyydIt, vol. I, p. 71. 3 Ibid., vol. I, p. 242.

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Shawqi goes on to say that evil can be met effectively only by evil and tries to turn the tables on the Christians, saying that if it had not been for the subsequent support of the sword, Christianity itself would have remained the religion of the oppressed and the persecuted. Offering the orthodox Islamic view on Crucifixion, he says that Jesus himself, in spite of his goodness and purity, would have been nailed to the cross had it not been for God's intervention, for evil would stop at naught. Then he adds that, ironically, it is the followers of Jesus, those who attack Islam for its use of the sword, who have invented and used weapons of deadly power and horror. It is precisely Muhammad's use of the sword that provides the subject of a huge poetic work of over four hundred and fifty large pages by the poet I am going to consider briefly next. This is Diwdn majd al-Isldm aw al-ilyddha al-isldmiyya (the Glory of Islam, or the Islamic Iliad) by Ahmad Muharram, a work that was posthumously published in 1963, but was written nearly thirty years earlier. Muharram (who died in 1945) set out to versify all the stories of the raids and battles of the Prophet, both those in which he took part himself (al-maghadz)and those which were carried out at his behest, without him actually taking part in them (al-saraya). Muharram's intention was not to provide a biography of the Prophet; his poem, or rather collection of poems, begins towards the end of Muhammad's days in Mecca, before the flight to Medina, then gives a brief account of the flight and the early days in Medina, before it moves on to describe in detail the various battles waged to defend and fortify the position of the new religion. The main aim of the author is to celebrate the exploits and the military prowess of Muhammad and the early heroes of Islam. Unlike Shawqi, the author does not feel the need to apologize for the use of the sword; on the contrary, he seems to believe that death was a step towards a new and greater life for the whole nation-it was a necessary sacrifice in order that great good might
prevail.'

Muharram's work, I have said, has been given the grandiose subtitle The Islamic Iliad. But it is by no means an epic poem with a unified structure: it is a collection of individual pieces written in competent, but rather dull verse, all aiming at recounting the heroic deeds of the Prophet and his band of warriors. More than twenty years later (in 1953 or 1954) another poet, 'Amir Muhammad Buhayri
1 Ahmad Muharram, Diwan majdal-Isldm, Cairo 1963, p. 4.

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attempted to write an epic poem on the Prophet which he called Amir al-anbiyd'(The Prince of Prophets). Unlike Muharram, Buhayri deals with the whole life of the Prophet. I have not been able to get a copy of this book here, so I cannot judge the structure of the work or ascertain whether there is a unifying concept behind it, whether, that is, it has any aim other than the simple and pious one of versifying religious history. However, judging by the bits I have seen,' even those in which the author describes events of a miraculous or a supernatural order like the cleansing of the Prophet's heart by the two angels or the night journey and ascension, I do not find the author's creative imagination amongst his outstanding qualities. If anything the simple but at times colourful prose account of Ibn Ishlq is far more appealing: there is nothing in what I have seen of the poem, like the vivid description of Hell in Ibn Ishaq, where you get e.g. the almost surrealistic picture of naked women hanging by their breasts.2 However, it would be a methodological jump to argue from the absence of great poetic merit, that the author is lacking in religious conviction. For our purposes the very choice of the theme is more significant than the execution.3 Not many poets now turn to the life of the Prophet for their themes. The vogue of writing poems on the anniversary of the Prophet's birth or his Flight to Medina, which was once very commnon indeed, has now virtually disappeared, together with the vogue of writing what is disparagingly called sbhir al-mundsabat,i.e. topical poetry, or poetry on certain public occasions. Another conception of poetry has now prevailed, a conception which emphasizes the
I In Fariiq Khurshid and Ahmad Kamal Zaki, Muhammad fil adab al-mu'asir, Cairo 1959, pp. 141 ff. 2 Dr. Ferdinand Wustenfeld (Ed.) Das Leben Muhammad's nach Muhammad ibn

Ishak bearbeilet von Abd el-Malik Ibn Hisham, Gottingen 1859, p. 269. 3 It is, of course, naive to think, as many Arabs have done over the past half

century or so, that it is possible to write an epic poem at this day and age-although we must remind ourselves that this naivet6 was shared in nineteenth century England by a mind not lacking in subtlety, like Coleridge, (see BiographiaEpistolaris,ed. A. Turnbull, 1911, vol. 1, p. 130) and that despite the fact that he knew that the only successful long narrativepoem his friend Wordsworth could produce was a work, which in modern parlance would be described as an anti-epic, an epic the hero of which is the poet's own individual mind. However, what is interesting about the persistent, but futile, attempts made by the Arabs is that they are due in part to their feeling of inferiority because of what some regard as the lack of epic in the Arabic tradition-feeling which must be attributed directly or indirectly to Renan's attack on the Muslim and the Semitic mind, which he regarded as incapable of myth-making and therefore of epic writing.

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individual and personal and minimizes the public element in poetry, or at least demands that the public should be transmuted to, or filtered through, the personal. In this connection it may be relevant to mention that most of the poets who wrote explicitly religious and devotional poetry understandably belonged to the more traditional neo-classical school. Few romantic poets attempted it, and those who did, tended, like cAll Mahmad Taha to emphasize the idealistic aspect of Islam, the aspect of love, peace and universal brotherhood, rather than the military glory.' Most of the romantic poetry, however, is imbued with religious feeling, but perhaps it would be more accurate to describe it as mystical, or even metaphysical emotion. The best example of that is the work of the gifted Azharite poet, $alih. Sharniibl (1924-1950), who died so tragically young.2 In contemporary poetry the feeling is expressed, when it occurs, in a more indirect fashion still, as is clearly seen in the later symbolist work of Salah 'Abd al-Sabuir. It may have been noticed that in this hurried account of Islam in modern Egyptian poetry much space has been devoted to the authors' attitude towards the Prophet. This is not at all surprising, for in these writings the person of the Prophet occupies a large space, partly due to the influence of the earlier tradition I referred to at the beginning of this essay, a tradition which, in spite of the direct relation between God and man in Islam, interposed the interceding and mediating personality of the Prophet, partly to the fact that it is humanly easier to respond emotionally to a person than to an abstract idea. The same preponderant concern with the Prophet occurs in the creative prose writings on Islam. In a book of imaginative essays by the versatile writer Mahmiid Taymuir, entitled al-Nabiy al-insarnwa-maqdldt ukhar (The Human Prophet and other Essays) published shortly after World War II, the author starts with a long prayer to God which indicates the extent of his religious feeling, a feeling amply expressed in the rest of the book. What interests us here in the book is a short autobiographical essay, in which the author gives an account of his spiritual journey from blind and unthinking faith in Islam to agonizing doubt and back to an enlightened and confirmed faith. The part played by the person of the Prophet in this conversion or reconversion is very large indeed.
I

See Suhayl Ayyuib, 'Ali Mahmaid Tdhd,shi'r wa dirdsa,Damascus 1962, p. 465. See Sa1ihSharnfibi, Nasbid al-afa', Cairo n.d.
II

Journal of Arabic Literature, II

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The key to my understanding the message of Islam was granted to me when I pursued the life of the Prophet, in all its aspects: herein I found clearly a personality teeming with all the great virtues necessary for building a nation, and for the moral discipline of the individual, for a proper course of life for all manner of human beings. This outstanding personality took me by the hand and led me to the way of Truth and Faith, with the result that I found myself loving this Religion and loving in it the message it has brought to provide guidance and compassion to mankind. The personalityof Muhammad is a living translationof the Book of God ... It seems that God intended that the way of Religion set forth in His Book should receive its practical application in the life of Muhammad and that Muhammad should be the model for all human beings.' Now if we ask exactly what did Taymiir find in the Prophet, we find the answer summed up for us by him in this statement: 'Muhammad was at one and the same time a man of religion and a man of this world'. 2 Muhammad, he writes, 'loved what is good in the pleasures of life, which he sought after like a good man, pursuing good means, for he saw God in all he did, setting up his conscience as a watchful censor ... this is the pure essence of religion . .. This is Islam. For Islam urges you to enjoy your life here to the full and to your heart'sdesire, . . . to enjoy what you will in the way of food, drink, clothes and to pursue every pleasurein its lawful aspect . . . as long as in so doing you do not go to an excess or cause harm to others . .. Before being a prophet Muhammad had been a man, and when prophecy descended upon him, his humanity never abandoned him; on the contrary it grew purer and shone more brightly. In all the aspects of his life he remained a human being whose nature was connected with the world of men while his soul soared to the angels on high. Muhammad loved and hated, rewarded and punished, treated people as they ought to be treated, being neither unduly merciful nor cruel except when wisdom necessitated cruelty... Thus Muhammad lived in this world, a part of it: he neither divorced himself from it nor did he behave as an exception to the rest of mankind... Like Muhammad Muhammad's religion is human. Whoever understands its secrets ... will find in it the roots of human nature, with all its impulses and stages of development and at the same time a sublimation of it to the highest level.' 3
1
2

Mahmad Taymar, al-Nabiy al-insdn wa-maqdl/d ukhar, Cairo n.d., pp. 11-13.
Ibid., p. 13. Ibid., pp. 13-15.

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To Taymiir this then is the essence of Islam: that it is a religion which never loses sight of the basic nature of man, the ideal which it offers is capable of realization; it was realized in the person of the Prophet, the Prophet, who in all he did saw God, but who, nevertheless, loved and hated. There is nothing particularly original in this view of Islam: it is the view of the compromise between this world and the hereafter that we have already seen. So common is the view, in fact, that we find a professed Christian Egyptian writer, the Coptic Dr. Nazml Luqa writing a defence of Islam in his book Mubammad: al-risdla wa'l-rasuil (Muhammad: the Prophecy and the Prophet) along the same lines. His argument is that there was a need for the appearance of a universal religion after Christianity: Christianity can only be the religion of a few exceptional individuals, capable of a purely spiritual life, while for the mass of mankind the claims of this world are undeniable and irrepressible. There was therefore a need for a new religion that appeals to the whole of mankind, a religion in which there is something to satisfy the exceptional man and in which at the same time there is a share for the worldly man to relate his pursuit of this world to the lofty horizons of the spirit.' I have used Taymiir's book as a convenient starting point for the discussion of Islamic prose literature, because it helps to explain to us why most of this literature is concerned directly or indirectly with the person of the Prophet. In what follows I shall review quickly the work of six creative writers, all of whom dealt with the subject: Haykal, al-'Aqqad, Taha Husayn, al-Hakim, Fathi Radwan and 'Abd al-Rah.man al-Sharqawi. Haykal's IIaydt Muhammad(1935) (Life of Muhammad) does not concern us here; it does not form part of the creative or imaginative literature I have proposed to deal with. His other work Fl manzil al-waby (at the Site of Revelation), written in 1937, is of more direct interest to us. This is mainly an account of the author's pilgrimage, in which the various sites of historic interest connected with Muhammad's life and mission arouse in the author thoughts and meditations expressed often with great feeling. The extent of this feeling leaves the reader in no doubt as to the author's commitment to the Islamic ideal. In fact no impartial reading of Haykal or al-'Aqqdd in his 'Abqariyyat Mubammad(The Genius of Muhammad) (although the
1 See Khurshid and Zaki, op. cit., p. 63.

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latter's work belongs perhaps more properly to the polemic type of writings) can fail to convince us that both men were not only keenly aware of the Islamic tradition, but derived much spiritual sustenance from Islam or from what they sincerely believed to be Islam. Haykal's journey to the Site of Revelation is in many ways symbolic of his return to the roots of Islamic faith, a return to the sources of spiritual life, the Quran and the life of the Prophet, not however, to the detriment or even suspension of the human intellect. In this respect both Haykal and al-'Aqqad represent a modern variety of the school of Mu'tazila. Like the Mu'tazila before them they had to defend what they regarded as Islamic orthodoxy against the attacks of sophisticated opponents using the self-same weapons of these opponents. Both Haykal and al-'Aqqad, we must remember, wrote with the attacks of Christian missionaries and western orientalists very much in mind. Whether they succeeded in establishing their Muslim faith on rational foundations, whether indeed it is possible to establish any religious faith on rational foundations is not my concern at present: what matters, however, is that they have made the attempt and seem to have been honestly convinced themselves. In the conclusion to his book Haykal draws a comparison between the material and the spiritual, in which he writes: The best part of the teachings of the ages of decadence has been directed to the materialaspect of life and to its organization, and has regarded this organization of material life as amongst the principles or rules of faith, e.g. how to walk, how to eat, drink and dress, which clothes are permitted by religion, and which prohibited, how to deal with our wives, how to treat our patients, how to educateour children, how to manage our money. In these teachings such matters and the like have come to have precedence over faith and life.' But Haykal points out that these teachings, far from being injunctions from God, were merely recommendations made by ordinary mortals which it is the right of every believer to scrutinize and weigh in the light of reason and which could only be accepted if they agreed with the dictates of human reason. Here is a reinstatement of the right of Ijtihdd (the exercise of independent judgment) with a vengeance. Haykal even goes further and claims that each age ought to present the eternal truths of Islam in its own terms, that even the
1

Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Fi manzil al-wapy, Cairo 2nd. edn. 1952, p. 666.

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pillars of Islam, like prayer, fasting, alms-giving and pilgrimage, which are set forth in the Quran, should not now be accepted without conviction and rational argumentation.' What is the picture of the Prophet which emerges from Haykal's account and meditations? It is, as he himself tells us, that of a human being devoting his entire life to an ideal which he is willing to serve and promote even if it costs him his life. But the ideal which Muhammad serves Haykal claims to be, without the slightest doubt, the highest ideal possible for man. It is the Islamic ideal which consists in seeking God's pleasure by means of piety and good deeds, universal love and brotherhood among all believers.2 In spite of allegations of many the ultimate aim is peace,3 for how can it be otherwise if the ideal is seeking the pleasure of God, and in God's love there is ample room for everybody, irrespective of the colour of his skin or the origin of his birth. Indeed Muhammad fought, but he fought for the sake of peace, in self-defence when the very existence of God's religion was threatened or in order to forestall an attack on the believers. But amongst themselves the believers were brothers, who 'loved one another in the light of God'.4 Haykal criticizes those biographers of the Prophet who concentrate on his maghdgifighting during the Medina period, trying to show him in the role of a distinguished military leader, and explains this disproportionate concern with fighting by reference to the effect of the subsequent vast military conquests of the Islamic empire. What is more important is that in Islam the Jibdd (holy war) is an inner jihdd to attain human perfection in Faith,6 an inner war waged by the believer on the dangerous impulses of human nature lurking in himself. There is a stronger spiritual feeling in Haykal's writings than in those of al-'Aqqad. Al-'Aqqad's book on Muhammad, The Genius of Muhammad, the first of a series of character studies embracing, together with the Prophet, the four orthodox Caliphs, appeared during World War II. In the introduction the author says that his book is not a new biography of the Prophet, or an exposition of Islam or of certain aspects of it. Neither is it a defence of the Islamic religion or a refutation of the arguments used by those who attack it.
1 2

Ibid., p. 668.

Ibid., pp. 16-17. Ibid., pp. 454-55.

3 Ibid., p. 672.
'

5 Ibid., p. 455.

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It is, he says, an appreciation of the genius of Muhammad, the man, an appreciation which can be agreed upon by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Yet al-'Aqqad's book could only have been written by a Muslim: it is the strength of the author's feeling, his enthuFiastic and even rapturous response to the personality of the Prophet, together with a certain literary quality it possesses, that makes the work merit a mention, however, brief, in this account. On the whole the work is much more polemical and excursive than imaginative or creative. In spite of what the author says, it attempts to rebut the charges of orientalists: that is why it devotes two long chapters to the two points on which Muhammad has been attacked: his attitude to war and his attitude to women, in an attempt to prove that Muhammad, although he fought, did not spread the faith by the sword, and that although he had nine wives his primary motive in marrying them was not to satisfy his carnal desires. Al-'Aqqad admits that the book was partly inspired by Carlyle's essay on the Prophet as a Hero, read some thirty years earlier. But, of course, the impressionistic portrait he draws of the Prophet is free from the occasional blemishes in Carlyle's treatment. Al-'Aqqad sets out to show Muhammad's greatness as a preacher, a statesman, an administrator, and a military leader, as a man, a husband and a father. In all these roles Muhammad represents the limits of human perfection. In short, he describes him as 'a man, peerless among men'.' All this, he says, goes to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that he is the only man fit to be God's apostle. lt is an exercise in hero-worship, in which the author does not hesitate to draw a comparison a comparison which some may find not a little disconcerting-between the Prophet's military tactics and those of Napoleon 2 another of the heroes of Carlyle, though a minor one. The works I am going to consider next are of a decidedly more literary character. These are the play Muhammadby Tawfiq al-Hakim (1936), 'Aid Hdmish al-Sira (On the margin of the Life of the Prophet) by Taha Husayn (three volumes of short stories, of which the first volume appeared in 1933 and the last in 1943), the slightly novelistic al-thd'ir al-a'?:am(Muhammad the Greatest Revolutionary) Mubammad (Muhammad by Fathi Radwan (1954) and MubammadRasfil al-burrzyya
1

cAbbas Mahmiid al-cAqqad, Al-cabqariyyJt al-Js/imiyya, Cairo 1957, p. 313:

rajal la kamilblihi'l-r~idl. 2 Ibid., pp. 197 ff.

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the Apostle of Freedom) by 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sharqdwi (begun in 1953, but completed in 1961 and published in book form in 1962). Judging by the epigraph to his play, a well-known Quranic quotation, emphasizing the purely human nature of Muhammad, it would seem that, like al-'Aqqad, Tawfiq al-Hakim aimed at providing a psychological portrait of Muhammad, the man. The ultimate aim, of course, is to show Muhammad's greatness. To secure this aim al-Hakim felt that he should refrain from direct commentary, and as far as possible from any interference in the events; in a word, he should let the facts speak for themselves, as he is convinced that once the real historical facts are presented to the reader Muhammad's greatness becomes self-evident.' Unaware to a large extent of the naivete of this assumption of objectivity, al-Hakim saw that his best method would be to cast in a dramatic form the main events of Muhammad's life, narrated in what he described as the established authorities 2 and, to remain faithful to history, he sometimes used in his dialogue the very words reported in these authorities. The result is a work which cannot honestly be described as among al-Hakim's best dramatic productions. Stylistically I find the sudden shift from classical to contemporary literary Arabic a bit too abrupt and not conducive to creating a unified effect. Formally the play is a chronicle play, Brechtian in a bad sense: it is too episodic and loose. The only unity it has lies in the fact that it is all directly or indirectly connected with Muhammad. It opens with the announcement of his birth and ends with his death. The intervening events are shown in a Prologue of nine scenes, covering the period up till the Revelation, three acts, the first comprising no less than thirty-six scenes and ending with Muhammad's flight to Medina, the second consisting of twenty scenes and the third of twenty-three scenes, both dealing with the events leading up to the conquest of Mecca. Finally there is an Epilogue of eight scenes ending with his death. It is obvious that such a shapeless work cannot be acted and is not meant to be acted. Despite the potentially enormous magnitude of the theme, the reader does not get the impression of witnessing a heroic drama. This is due partly to the failure of al-Hakim to conceive the events really dramatically (casting them in dialogue form is hardly sufficient to render them into a fully-fashioned play), partly to the, artistically
See Tawfiq al-Hakim, Muhammad, Cairo n.d., the Introduction. These are Ibn Hisham's Sira, Ibn Sacd's Tabaqdt,Ibn al-Athir's Asad alGhdba,al-Tabari's Tdrikhand al-Bukhari's $ahih.
2

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speaking, absurd constraints which he deliberately imposed upon himself. Except for one small part of a scene, showing Satan disguised as a man from Neid, conversing with the Snake, al-Hakim did not grant himself any freedom of invention. All the events, natural and supernatural, do in fact come from his sources, for al-Hakim does include all the popular prodigies, miracles and supernatural happenings which have clustered round the life of the Prophet. Yet there is, albeit to a very limited extent, an interpretation of the character of Muhammad in the play, for, in spite of the author's claims of impartiality, certain traits in the character are somewhat emphasized. Although Muhammad the Prophet is presented in a number of scenes in which the Angel Gabriel converses with him or in which he is shown at moments of divine inpiration, it is Muhammad the man who occupies the bulk of the play. It seems that the author is more interested in Muhammad's relation to other men than in his relationship with God; it is the human, the social, rather than the spiritual aspect of Muhammad's experience which seems to move him. Not that there is in the play a profound or penetrating psychological analysis. There cannot be, since the scenes are mostly short, at times no more than flashes, fleeting with breathtaking speed, hardly long enough to enable the author to pause and delve deeply into the character or trace its development. Moreover, the portrait is full of contradictions: at one point al-Hakim emphasizes the human limitations of Muhammad's character, at another he endows him with supernatural powers like the ability to see into the future. Because al-Hakim tries to include practically everything he ends up by showing us nothing in particular: we have the traditional picture of Muhammad as a great leader of men, a great hero. Al-Hakim, however, makes an attempt to render his picture convincing, by humanizing it in a number of places, by perhaps emphasizing Muhammad's human weaknesses, e.g. Muhammad's love for women, his involvement in petty domestic misunderstandings, having to deal with a jealous wife, being subject to anger which brings out a gentle reprimand from Gabriel and an advice to forgive rather than take an eye for an eye. Muhammad experiences fear and loss and turns to his companions for advice, is troubled by rumours about his young and attractive wife 'A'isha, is delighted at the birth of his son and overpowered by grief at his death. I find these touches the most appealing part of the portrait: none of them have been invented, yet their occurring together here seems to have a cumulative

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effect, defining to some extent an image that is otherwise lacking in originality of conception although we must admit that it is a significant new departure, not lacking in courage, to use the life of the Prophet as a theme for a play. Perhaps the most original work of Islamic prose literature produced by this generation is that of Taha Husayn: 'Ald hdmishal-Sira (On the Margin of the Life of the Prophet). As the title suggests, it does not intend to deal with the Prophet's life. Taha Husayn, the artist, was right in avoiding this subject, because it meant for him a greater freedom of imagination. Unlike Haykal, al-'Aqqad and even al-Hakim, Tiha Husayn's aim in writing this book is, it is abundantly clear, primarily literary. Yet his book is by far the richest in spiritual significance. It strikes me as the most authentic and clearest expression of a genuine spiritual experience. In the introduction to the first volume the author writes: These pages were not written for scholars or historians. . . they constitute a picture that emerged in my mind in the course of my reading about the life of the Prophet, so I hastened to record it and I saw no harm in publishing it ... I was driven to write this book by an inner compulsion. As I read about the life of the Prophet I found my soul swelling with it, my heart overflowing and my tongue set free.' Taha Husayn derives his inspiration from early Arabic literature and heritage in the same way as a modern European author might turn to Homer and the rest of the ancient Greek heritage. In fact it is he himself who points out the analogy in the introduction, in which he underlines the need for modern writers to rework themes of their early literary heritage, since this is one way of keeping it alive. Taha IHusayn is aware that certain elements in his work-namely those relating to supernatural happenings-might not appeal to those who believe only in reason and trust nothing else. To them he replies by saying that these people must know that 'reason is not everything' and that men have other faculties whose need for satisfaction is no less than that of reason. These tales and stories, he adds, though they do not conform to reason and logic, appeal to people's hearts, feelings and imagination. It is therefore to people's feelings and imagination that the author addresses his work. Yet, it must be underlined that Taha Husayn does not give to his imagination and inventiveness
1 Taha Husayn, Al/d bamisb al-sira, Cairo n.d., vol. I. pp. 5 ff.

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an absolutely free rein. When it comes to matters of the Prophet's words or actions, or matters related to an aspect of religion, the author is careful to point out, he has not granted himself the slightest degree of freedom of invention, but reproduced the words of his accepted authorities. Fortunately there is not a great deal in his work that falls under this category. Nearly all the tales do in fact deal with events or characters 'on the margin' of the Prophet's life, at least of his career as a Prophet. If we consider the main themes of these stories, we find that broadly speaking they fall under two categories: a) those dealing with the unquestioning faith of humble and pious souls of a movingly simple nature, and b) those depicting the doubts and anxieties of sophisticated and restless minds dissatisfied with the religious solutions offered to them, and searching for some new faith. But the search is never futile, for the new faith is attained, or at least the hope of attaining it is within sight, and the new faith is, of course, Islam. The author manages to create a powerful atmosphere of waiting for some momentous event in the history of mankind to unfold itself. But this event will only happen in the fullness of time: the idea occurs time and time again in the book. The world is astir: sensitive men give up their comforts and riches and roam the desert, almost against their will, gladly enduring all manner of hardships, even the bondage of slavery, in their search for some sign of the new faith. Monks living in solitary cells on the edge of the desert vigilantly watch for certain tokens and pass on to other recluses mysterious messages. Men of a religious nature find themselves gravitating, in an uncanny way, towards Mecca: some perish tragically on the way, but do not, however, die in a state of despair, others are more fortunate and witness the appearance of the new faith. What Taha Husayn deals with is the background of Muhammad, including his ancestry and the background of the birth of Islam. But it is the moral and spiritual background that the author is interested in. That is why the emphasis is often laid on the supernatural and the miraculous, on suffering and martyrdom, and there is very little reference to fighting and the use of the sword. Here Taha Husayn does not conceive the Prophet as a hero, but as God's apostle: a man with an intense spiritual experience who brought about a new relationship between God and man. His victory and the victory of those around him, including those of the lower orders of society who suffered martyrdom, is primarily a triumph of the spirit. Moreover, one of the longest stories in this

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collection, al-Faylasxf al-bd'ir (The Perplexed Philosopher) deals with the inner drama of doubt and faith, a topic of relevance probably to the author himself and to his generation. As literature these stories are not of an even quality, but when he is at his best, because of the intensity of his experience, Taha Husayn attains heights of lyrical utterance of great poetic beauty indeed. It is clear then that with Tahd Husayn the focus of interest is Islam as a religious experience. The next two works on Muhammad show a gradual shift of interest. The first, Fathi Radwan's, attempts to relate the subject to the contemporary scene, i.e. to a particular political order, while the second, al-Sharqawl's, concentrates on the non-religious aspect of Muhammad's mission, or rather transforms the religious into something else. It is the most secular interpretation of Muhammad in Egyptian literature to date. We need not dwell for long on Fathi Radwan's work. The author, a competent writer and dramatist, once occupied the post of minister of culture under the Revolutionary Regime. His book, published in 1954, is cast in a somewhat novelistic form; it opens just before Muhammad's death. The author describes Muhammad's final sickness and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab's angry reception of what seemed to him to be the incredible news of his death. When 'Umar realizes that Muhammad is really dead and repents of his violent anger, in a calm but sorrowful mood the whole story of Muhammad's struggle and career passes through his mind. The book ends at the point where it almost began: 'Umar standing there with the voice of Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, lamenting her father's death in the background. The author gives his work the title Muhammad, The Greatest Revolutionary (Mubammad al-tha'ir al-a'?;am), but apart from a few perfunctory references to Muhammad's rebellion against the established order-far too few and undeveloped for a clear image of a revolutionary to emerge, the revolutionary element in Muhammad's character remains more in the title of the book than in its substance. There is one aspect of this work, however, which deserves to be mentioned, and that is the author's deliberate attempt to emphasize the youthfulness of Muhammad's followers and of the heroes of Islam when they embraced the new faith: I 'Umar was 26, Abii Bakr barely 40, 'All 14, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas 17, al-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam 16. 'The Prophet,'the author writes, 'blessed youth when
1 Fathi Radwan, Muhammad al-hd'ir al-a'Zam, Kitab al-Hilal, No. 38, Cairo 1954, pp. 176 ff.

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he was on his deathbed, and God chose for His soldiers young men to defend his faith. May people then make way for the young everywhere." The moral of this is only too obvious and the parallelism between the young army officers of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council, who were criticized for their youthfulness and lack of experience, and the young Arabs who followed Muhammad and brought down the established order of their time hardly needs to be commented upon. Technically al-Sharqdwi's book is by far the most satisfactory imaginative treatment of the life of Muhammad. Al-Sharqawi had already proved himself to be a master of the art of fiction: his novel al-Arrd (The Earth), despite certain defects, constitutes a valuable contribution to the Arabic novel, and when he wrote this book on Muhammad the Egyptian novel had already established itself as a major literary form. And if one expects to find a certain degree of consistency of outlook in the works of a writer, one will not be surprised to see the author of a novel like al-Ard presenting a portrait of Muhammad which is different from the traditional one. In the Introduction to the book, published in 1962, the author says that he did not intend to give a portrait of Muhammad the Prophet, but of Muhammad the man. Here he finds the story of a man with considerable heroism, who fought against brutal powers of oppression for the sake of universal brotherhood, justice, freedom, and the dignity of those with troubled hearts, for the sake of love, compassion and a better future for all without exception, those who believed in his Prophecy and those who did not alike.2 The title of al-Sharqawi's book is itself revolutionary: Muhammrad, rasal al- Iurriyya (Muhammad, the Apostle of Freedom). The universally accepted epithet, which you find in the first of the five pillars of Muslim Faith, the creed or al-shahddais rasil Alldh, i.e. God's Apostle. Al-Sharqawi uses al-Hakim's epigraph to his work, the Quranic verse to the effect that Muhammad is but a human being who receives Revelation, but significantly enough he omits the relative clause: only innama and basharunmithlukumappears. All this, of course, is deliberate. For what al-Sharqiwi gives us in his book is a humanist portrait of a revolutionary. The specifically religious experience, which is central in the work of someone like Taha
1
2

Ibid., pp. 185-86. rasil al-Hurriya, Cairo 1962, p. 5. CAbdal-Rahman al-Sharqawi, Muhammad

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Husayn, is clearly of no interest to him. The revelation is described in such a way that it could be understood to be only a dream, the result of Muhammad's obsession with the lot of the majority of his people.1 Even when Muhammad quotes the Quran there is generally nothing in the author's mode of narrative to suggest that he is quoting a revealed text, apart, of course, from the use of quotation marks. Needless to say the traditional miracles and supernatural accretions have all been omitted from this story of Muhammad.2 Al-Sharqawi's book has been attacked by both right and left. The religious condemned it because they felt that it represents a deviation from the religious ideal, the Marxists saw in it a retreat to passivity and mysticism. But of the two groups it is surelv the religious orthodox who have cause to complain, for al-Sharqawi's treatment and interpretation can hardly be described as a retreat to passive mysticism. The struggle of Islam as championed by Muhammad is seen by the author throughout as a class struggle, a struggle between the haves and the have-nots. The opposition to Islam came from the capitalists of Mecca, the government of which was in the hands of merchants and money-lenders. These were responsible for laws and traditions and the poor were left utterly unprotected, deprived of all rights as human beings: most of the males were slaves and the females were forced into prostitution.3 Muhammad belonged to the poor, his father had died while earning his living the hardest way; 4 he therefore identified himself with the poor and was sorely troubled by the miseries of slaves. Even the gods of Mecca had forgotten the poor,5 for they were the gods of the rich. Everywhere around him was a lie concocted by the rich, the capitalists, merchants and money-lenders and their supporters, the priests who served the gods.6 This is then the problem that worried Muhammad, the relation between the rich and the poor, and it is the problem that had worried what the author calls 'missionaries' before him, like Zayd ibn 'Amr, Waraqah ibn Nawfal, Ummayyah ibn Abi 'l-Salt and countless others.7 Their dissatisfaction with the prevalent polytheism is in the last analysis due to their dissatisfaction with the
1
2 3

4
5 8

Ibid., pp. 68 ff. See, e.g., ibid., pp. 143 ff. and p. 392. Ibid., p. 21. Ibid., p. 33.
Ibid., p. 41.

Ibid., p. 49. Ibid., pp. 53 ff.

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dominant economic system which was protected by the prevalent religion. 'The wealth of Mecca was concentrated in the hands of a few while thousands were suffering and the idols of al-Ka'ba were perfectly satisfied with all this', he writes.' Muhammad wondered why the previous teachers or missionaries had failed and in the author's account, this is how the situation struck Muhammad: 'Those great missionaries were all trying to patch up a garment that was already in shreds and no longer of any use... they were trying to repaira building about to tumble down. . . a building which should be pulled down to its foundations and then built anew ... They tried to reform their people while what their people needed was a total revolution which would pull out all the roots of corruption so that in their place new modes might appear, new relationships and different values. Man must be left alone with what he worships. No man should have a spiritual authority over another man ... The idols must disappear, together with those who serve them and who in their name control the fate of others'.2 Again in Medina Muhammad tries to explain to his supporters the aims of his mission. What he had brought, the author writes, 'was fraternity,equality and justice. . . He has come to free the heart from the authority of priesthood and idols and to liberate human effort from exploitation and to set free the slaves. He has come to free men's hearts from scorn, humiliation and fear, so that all their energies may be released to proclaim the nobility of human effort on the surface of the earth.'3 The picture that emerges from this speaks for itself: it is indeed a picture of the Apostle of Freedom but by no means the Apostle of God. If one was presented with passages like these out of context it would indeed be difficult to identify Muhammad in them. Far more likely, one would think, a radical reformer or revolutionary was meant, not some one who brought in a new religion or whose concern was first and foremost man's relation to the Creator. In the same way al-Sharqawi shows Muhammad glorifying manual labour,4 attacking monkery because it involves having to support a privileged class of people who do not earn their living by their own efforts,5
I
2

Ibid., p. 53. Ibid., p. 55.


Ibid., p. 148. Ibid., p. 333.

3 Ibid., p. 166.
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standing for the freedom of slaves,' for free scientific enquiry 2 and even for Arab nationalism.3 This is a far cry from the medieval picture of Muhammad of which we have seen some examples at the beginning of this essay. I do not think it would be exaggeration to say that the secularization of Muhammad is here virtually complete, for here Muhammad appears as the prototype of some kind of active Marxist revolutionary. Yet the secularist approach of al-Sharqawi would not have been possible without the rationalism of the previous generation of writers like Haykal and al-'Aqqad, which was, as it were, the thin end of the wedge. This brief discussion of al-Sharqawi's book brings to an end my very sketchy survey of Islam in Modern Egyptian literature. I am aware of the manifold limitations of my treatment. Let me mention some of them myself. In the first place, I have not dealt with mystical literature or literature which has pronounced mystical elements. This is clearly a subject for another paper, which I hope some one will undertake to write sometime. 1 think it would be most interesting to trace the change that occurred in the attitude of the main Egyptian writers to mysticism over the past fifty or sixty years. If we did that we would find that when mysticism was a social reality of great magnitude it was directly and squarely attacked by writers in vehement terms, in works like Haykal's novel Zaynab (1914) and Tihi Husayn's imaginative autobiography al-Ayydm (1926-27). A younger generation of writers looked upon mysticism more favourably. Their nostalgic literary treatment of it is in itself an indication that for them it had lost the immediacy of harsh reality. We can see this clearly in, for instance, Yahya Haqqi's tale,4 Qindil Umm Hashim (1944). Later still it becomes more rarified and transmuted into a harmless storehouse of literary symbols, as we find in a novel like Nailb Mahfiiz's al-Liss wa'l-kildb (The Robber and the Dogs) (1961). In an interesting poetic drama by the young poet Salah 'Abd al-Sabiir, entitled Ma'sdt al- Hallaj 5 (The Tragedy of al-Hallaj), and published in 1965, we find that the hero's tragedy is the result of his deliberate decision, in the face of so much poverty and oppression around
I
3
2 4

Ibid., p. 345. Ibid., p. 167.


Ibid., pp. 131; 394.

See the present author's discussion of this work in Journal of Arabic Literature, vol. 1, 1970, pp. 145-162. 5 Salah CAbdal-Sabiir, Ma'sdt al-Halldj (ma'sdtshiCriyya), Beirut, 1965.

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him, to relinquish the solitary path of mysticism and to engage actively in the social and political problems of the day-a thing which brought upon him the severe punishment of the authorities. Here, indeed, in the replacement of the religious by the social and political, we can detect a parallel development to what we have seen in al-SharqAwl's work. Secondly, I have not included in my treatment works of fiction about Islamic history: I do not mean works in which Islamic history is simply retold, like the historical romances of Zaydan, or the more mature novels of his successors. I mean works in which the Muslim author intends, through his treatment of Islamic history, to provide a commentary on Islam in contemporary Egypt, like for instance al-Thd'ir al-ahknar (The Red Revolutionary) (published in 1948) by the Indonesian-born Egyptian (Ali Ahmad Bakathir,1 in which he deals with the struggle between the communists and the Muslim Brothers in Egypt during and after World War II, but in terms of the conflict between the Carmathians and the Sunnis, preaching a return to the principles of Islam and showing the moral and spiritual disintegration which ensues from anti-Islamic movements like communism, of which he finds the Carmathian movement to be an early example. A third subject, omitted here, which would be of some relevance in deciding the degree of persistence of certain Islamic attitudes is the imaginative treatment of Christianity by Muslim writers. I am thinking of works like the novelistic biography of Christ, al-Masilj 'Isd b. Maryam by al-Sahhar 2 (1951) or the better known Dr. Muhammad Kamil Husayn's Qarya Zdlima (1954) (translated into English by Kenneth Cragg as City of Wrong),which is an imaginative treatment of the Crucifixion-in both of which the orthodox Islamic view is put forward in unmistakable terms. Lastly, I have not discussed works which deal with more basic religious themes, with religion as such and not with this religion or that, works which question the very existence of God, like e.g. (1959) or the more Najilb Mahfiiz's allegorical novel Awldd 1Hdratind recent play by Yiisuf Idris al-Farafir (1964), a play which has a multiplicity of disturbing themes, in which the world is conceived in terms of a play, the author of which has absurdly left it half-finished
Ahmad Bakathir, al-Th)d'ir al-ahmar, al-Kitab al-Dhazabi, Cairo, 1953. CAbd al-Hjamid Jiuda al-Sahhar, al-Masih 'lsa ibn Maryarn, Lajnat al-Nashr li)l-jamiciyyin, Cairo, n.d.
2 I 'Ali

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and disappeared in the void, but which has to be played through by the actors who must improvise their parts. All of these points are of varying degrees of relevance to our subject, but they simply cannot be dealt with in the present paper. The subject, as I have said at the beginning, is so vast that some selection has to be made, even though the omission of certain topics may strike some as arbitrary. To conclude then, I hope I have made it sufficiently clear how relevant Islam still is to modern Egyptian literature, but I would not wish to give the impression that all, or even most, contemporary Egyptian literature is concerned directly or indirectly with Islam. A vast amount of this literature is secular in the full sense of the term. Moreover, we have seen how even in works dealing with specifically religious topics, the approach has become considerably secularized. Furthermore, the mere fact that sacred history, that august religious topics like the life of Muhammad received 'literary' treatment, instead of being presented in the manner of solemn history or dealt with in traditional poetic style, is itself an indication of some measure of secularization. That the life of the Prophet should be presented in the form of a novel, short story or drama does not simply mean the possible introduction of a greater or lesser degree of freedom of the imagination: it also means submitting sacred Muslim history to non-Muslim, western literary forms. The significance of this cannot pass unnoticed. M. M. BADAWI

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