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Zainab Al-Ghazali Dies at 88


Zainab Al-Ghazali groomed generations of female preachers, who defended the status of women in Islam

By Sahba Mohammad

CAIRO, August 3, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) ? Leading Muslim female preacher and activist Zainab Al-Ghazali died Wednesday, August 3, at the age of 88, leaving her indelible mark on da`wah.

Born in the Egyptian governorate of Al-Bihira in 1917, Ghazali is the descendent of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the second Muslim caliph, and Al-Hassan Bin Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

Ghazali showed early signs of brilliance and was known for her eloquence at the very young age of 10. Throughout the years she has set herself up as a paradigm for self-educated people.

Her vaulting ambitions and staunch resolve have helped her move up the educational ladder at a time when female education was something of a rarity if not a taboo.

She was keen on striking the right balance between modern and religious subjects, receiving her religious education from prominent scholars in Al-Azhar like Sheikh Ali Mahfouz and Mohammad El-Naggar.

Early in her youth, she was an active member of the Egyptian Feminist Union, founded by Huda Sharawi in 1923.

At the age of twenty in 1937, she founded the Muslim Women's Association in order to organize women's activities according to Islamic norms and for Islamic purposes.

She resigned her membership in disagreement with the secular ideas of the women's liberation movement, though she held Sharawi in high esteem and hailed her as a faithful and committed woman.

No sooner had she established her association than she swung into action and secured licenses from the Minister of Waqfs (religious endowments) to build 15 mosques along with dozens of self-financed mosques.

Her association groomed generations of female preachers, who defended the status of women in Islam and firmly believed that their religion permitted women to play a pivotal role in public life, hold jobs, enter politics and speak their minds out.

She was influenced by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna and was firmly of the view that religion did not conflict with politics.

She was an outspoken defender of Shari `ah and often ran into trouble with the regime of late Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Naser.

Imprisonment and torture, however, never broke her staunch will and emerged stronger than ever.

She left behind a legacy of uphill struggle to defend Islam and a reputation of a Muslim feminist, who undoubtedly replaced secular and liberal ideologies with Islamic values.

___________________________________ _____________________________

Jazakum Allahu Khayran Angie and Ehaab for the link: www.islamonline.net

Insha` Allah do make good du`a's for her.

   Comments: 10     Raters: 6     August 4, 2005 at 2:49am         


The opinions expressed in this journal are of the author and not necessarily of Naseeb.

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SHAYuwSUKAR (August 7, 2005 at 9:55pm)
belladona (August 7, 2005 at 2:43pm)
Allah bless her soul.(ameen)
SHAYuwSUKAR (August 7, 2005 at 1:40am)

Amin to your du`a's.

Jazak Allahu Khayr for sharing a glimpse of her life. She was a remarkable women, someone that is definitely a role model to the youth of todays day and age. May Allah shower her with His Mercy. Amin.

Thanks so much for sharing that article with us. It was a powerful piece of information, that not only portrayed how great some of the men of the Ikhwan were, but also the torture they had to endure for the sake of Allah. Baarak Allahu Fihum.

Imagine that she was given so much respect, that not only would the men not beat her, but her husband refused to divorce her. Subhan-Allah what an honor to have her live through the trials she was put through, such a noble woman to have had with us. Also, she provided amazing da`wah for the next Muslim generation with her life story. Such a sahabah like woman she was. Again, Baarak Allahu Fiha.

Thanks so much Fahad for sharing all this with us, it was all very much appreciated. Baarak Allahu Fik, wa Jazak Allahu Khayra.
Cheeta786 (August 6, 2005 at 2:52am)
Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raji'un
:sa: :(
She will :i: be in my duahs! May the blessings and love of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salla Allaahu 'alayhi wa salaam), his wives, his children, his righteous family, and upon his companions and followers.
May the blessings, love and peace be upon our Father Adam ('AlyheeSalaam), and upon all Prophets and Messengers after him, to the seal of all Prophets, Muhammad (salla Allaahu 'alayhi wa salaam).
Cheeta786 (August 6, 2005 at 2:42am)
In August 1965, Nasser?s secret police arrested Zainab al-Ghazali 45, founder-president of Egypt?s Muslim Women Movement (MWM) for three hours She was kept in a small room with a bunch of hungry dogs who, just sat and kept staring at her. Then she was taken to her cell, not far away from the cell where Sayyid Qutb (ra) was kept in isolation. The police brought half a dozen of young Ikham (Muslim Brotherhood) members in front of her cell and ordered them to abuse her. When they refused, the police whipped them mercilessly. After a while they would stop the torture and order them again to abuse her. on their refusal, they were beaten again. This orgy kept going on-and-off, while the young Muslims kept repeating: ?how can we abuse her - she is just like our mother??

This despicable ordeal kept on going until the nightfall, then police removed the men. When she fell asleep that night, she had a dream. in the dream. She found herself in a big desert crowded with camels on each of which were riding four pious men. A long row of camels was passing through one end of the desert to another. At the end there stood a man with a glowing face that commanded respect also. He was holding the reins of numerous camels. She asked gently: ?Are you the Prophet (pbuh)?? Turning to her he replied: ?O?Zainab! You are following the path of Allah and His Prophet.? She asked him again whether she was on the right path. the Prophet (pbuh) replied: ?You, O Zainab Ghazali, you are on the path ordained by Allah?. Yet she persisted in her question: ?O Prophet of Allah (pbuh)! am i on the path of Muhammad, Allah?s servant and His messenger?? The Prophet (pbuh) made the same reply: ?O Zainab, you are on the path of Muhammad, Allah?s servant and His messenger.?

The 18-year-old Zainab al-Ghazali, laid down the foundation of ?Jamiat-al-Sayyidat-ul-Muslimeen?, an organization for welfare of women. Highly inspired by the performance of Ikhwan-al-Muslimun in Palestine Jihad, during king Farooq?s regime, she came closer with Imam Husan al-Banna (ra). During her captivity (1965-71), she was tortured like anything, but the hypocrites could not see a single change in her attitude and stand. She was released in August 1971, while many others including Sayyid Qutb (ra) were hanged to death. During her captivity, her husband was murdered by Nasser?s secret police for refusing to divorce her.

Her first statement on release was: ??..the armed Ikhwan organization is a story fabricated by the friend of Israel. It is incumbent on Muslims to establish the Islamic state and make call to it as the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions did. This should be the ideal of every true Muslim, be an Ikhwan or a non-Ikhwan.?
SHAYuwSUKAR (August 6, 2005 at 1:14am)
AbdMuslim (August 6, 2005 at 1:06am)
May Allah subhanaho wa taalah grant her forgiveness, May she rest under His Throne, and May she enter the highest levels of Paradise without any account.
SHAYuwSUKAR (August 5, 2005 at 12:04am)
Amin to both of your du`a's.
Najamuddin (August 4, 2005 at 6:48pm)
Inna lillahi wa inna lillahi rajioon.

Allah(swt) grant us all your mercy and forgiveness in this life and in the hereafter and make us of the successful ones.
islamaholic (August 4, 2005 at 3:25am)
insha Allah she will be amoung those who will be in Jannat Al Ferdaws and insha Allah we will meet her there! Ameeen!

Inna lillahi wa inna lillahi raji3oon...