Hassan al Banna

From Academic Kids

Imam Hassan al Banna (October 14 1906 - February 12, 1949) was an Egyptian Islamist best known as founder of the Muslim Brotherhood or Ikhwan ul Muslimeen or al-Ikhwan.

He was born in Al Mahmoudiyyah, Beheerah, Egypt on the northern banks of the River Nile to a humble family that lived a very simple life.

Hassan's country was boiling under the raging popular sentiments against the British occupation. Hassan took up teaching and became an elementary teacher for Al Ismaieliah School on the West bank of the Suez Canal. The Muslim world was going through turmoil. Hassan al Banna was still an elementary teacher when he founded the Ikhwan and wrote the book Letter to a Muslim Student which describes the Muslim Brotherhood's fundamentals.

He advocated such economic reform as land reform, the introduction of social welfare programs, and the replacement of foreign capital by local investment. His belief in social justice was more than just legislation; it was in effect part of a social ethos that could be realized only by a return to Islamic values.

In 1939, Hassan al Banna's Muslim Brotherhood became an official political organization. However, it was banned from Egypt due to violence from some of the Brotherhood's members toward King Farouk's government after World War II.

Hassan al Banna's Muslim Brotherhood moved to Transjordan. Hassan and his supporters were some of the first Egyptians to enter Palestine and go to war during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949. The Brotherhood met disaster and hundreds of Egyptians were killed attempting to destroy well fortified Israeli villages in the Gaza area. On December 28, 1948, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi. Consequently, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned. Hassan al Banna was later assassinated by government agents in Cairo on the February 12, 1949.

His last daughter was born on the day he was killed, and her mother named her "Isteshhad", Arabic for "martyrdom".

He is the maternal grandfather of writer and academic Tariq Ramadan.



His father, a watch repairman, Shaikh Ahmed Abdul Rahman El Banna, who had a sizable Islamic library at home, was a graduate of al-Azhar Theological Seminary, a top Muslim seminary. Shaikh noticed Hassan's intelligence and sent him to memorize the Qur'an early in childhood. Hassan memorized the entire Qur'an. He was known for being very articulate as he gave sermons in Mosques at a young age.

Hassan al Banna attended the Teachers' Training College in Damanhour where he excelled. Four years earlier than his peers, Hassan attended Mosque of Al-Azhar at the age of 16 where he graduated as the first in his class. He refused a scholarship opportunity from The Ministry of Education in Europe.

See also

de:Hasan al-Banna nl:Hassan al-Banna


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