Title: Return of the Pharaoh
Author: Zainab al-Ghazali
Publication: The Islamic Foundation 2006
ISBN: 0 86037 240 5
Reviewed by: Safwan
“This is but one story, but represents countless similar stories which have never become known to the general public” – Translator’s note.
The true story, which holds readers’ breaths, happened in
The large bulk of the narration concentrates on the era of the despots. Jamal Abd al-Nasir, indeed was an ikhwan, received ikhwan’s popular support in the coup. But it did not take the ikhwan long before they realised that Jamal had no interest in upholding the values of Quran into his system. In no time, the atrocities began.
The author, along with Sayyid Qutb and Abd al-Fattah Ismail, tried to revive the group, then weakened by the demise of its founder and all the restrictions and banning imposed by Jamal’s regime. Abiding to the Islamic teachings of not to wage war against muslim rulers, they opted a path purely educational. Their aim was pure and simple- to educate the ummah, but the plan was meticulous, requiring piles of integrity and perseverance.
However, as the author tells, Jamal was afraid of them. He accused ikhwan of planning his assassination. No later many of its members, including Zainab herself, was taken into military prisons. She was quick to realise that they were not dealing with human beings any longer. These people are barbarous, brutal and ruthless- if only words can describe. In the words of Zainab, “they are worse than the beasts”.
The subsequent chapters depict situations where one with a sense will hesitate to talk about. The sufferings that the author went through were unimaginable. In a captivating manner, she described the ordeal she went through in the notorious Egyptian prisons. It was a real trial and test from Allah. The pharaoh had returned, in order that Allah takes more martyrs out of his evil acts.
The book ended with the author’s release. She was behind bars 1965-1971.