By Gudrun Kraemer
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Additional info for Hasan al-Banna
Some of those present were moved to tears. Out of this came the journal al-Fath and, later, the Society of the Muslim Brothers. The anecdote could be read as the “framing” of his youthful enthusiasm as kalimat haqq, “speaking truth in the face of the mighty,” confirming al-Banna in his role as counsellor and earnest “warner”–telling, not as a statement of fact, but as an instance of self-projection and quite possibly self-perception as well. Al-Fath was combative and polemical, committed to the defence of Islam and what it considered Islamic morality; it also fought many of the socio-cultural “ills” al-Banna and the Muslim Brothers were later to attack – but it was not al-Banna’s creation.
Hasan al-Banna was part of the large population of rural migrants to the city, yet he does not seem to have felt the effects of migration the way his parents did. For one thing, Damanhur had already introduced him to an urban lifestyle. Also his connections with the countryside were not cut off, for during the summer breaks he returned to al-Mahmudiyya, his friend al-Sukkari and the Hasafi brethren, justifying the expense (and his absence too) by setting up a watch repair shop there. According to his own testimony, he enjoyed being independent, working with his hands and earning his own money.
Shaykh Ahmad was attached to Sufism and endowed with an aesthetic sensibility that he passed on to his children, two of whom, ‘Abd al-Rahman and ‘Abd al-Basit, wrote poetry; the former also played the rababa, a traditional string instrument, and the latter the ‘ud, or lute. ‘Abd al-Rahman later wrote Islamic plays for the theatre and ‘Abd al-Basit composed a number of songs. Their elder brother Hasan was more attracted to the written word. Shaykh Ahmad was not just literate in a society that was overwhelmingly illiterate.
Hasan al-Banna by Gudrun Kraemer