A few thinkers and innovators whose personal lives are as inspiring as their ideas and creativity, on top of this few – Arab – Taha Hussein. The dividend was not for a boy who lost his sight at the time of his birth a better share than reading the Qur’an in the graveyard in exchange for some alms. Perhaps this blind fate awaits today in the Egyptian countryside. Therefore, teaching the biography of Taha Hussein “Al-Ayyam” to high school students for decades has been a successful work that instills in young people the will to challenge, regardless of their circumstances, and a message to everyone who suffers from health disabilities or poverty: Yes, you can!
Blindness was not Mahbas Taha Hussein alone, but the scientifically humble environment in the village and then the rigid Azhar study, but he made his way on the guidance of his mental intuition and following the example of some of his enlightened elders, and soon became a brilliant young man, then a thinker whose ideas did not outdated and were forgotten, but they did not settle either. This is regrettable.
His disciples did not forget him, nor did his opponents forget him. He issues books that re-examine his ideas, and opponents are active in revolving old accusations based on rumors, and those that put his visions in confrontation with religion.
From the ranks of the newest students, the critic Mamdouh Farraj Al-Nabi comes out with the book “The Restitution of Taha Hussein,” issued by the Jordanian House “Lines and Shadows,” about a year ago. .
In the face of the first section, the reader may ask himself: Should we go back to defending Taha Hussein today? Should we recall the battles of the early decades of the twentieth century and accusations against the man claiming that he impersonated a method, an idea or a text after it was proven malicious, and that what was behind it was the plot of the zealots at one time and the plot of an envious colleague at other times?
But a search on the Internet confirms that al-Nabi has some right to restore this history, because the descendants of opponents are still opponents who repeat the same sayings, and they find in many newspapers and websites spaces in which they re-broadcast their lies.
His call for rationality shook the constants of reassuring minds to their stagnation contented with re-presenting explanations after explanations of ancient texts without a desire to transcend. This is the origin of the raging hostility to this day.
Despite the fame of the battle of pre-Islamic poetry, it was the second ordeal, as Nabi goes back to what Taha Hussein’s doctoral thesis brought about, “The Memory of Abu Al-Ala,” which he later published under the title “Renewing the Memory of Abu Al-Ala.” It was the first doctoral thesis to be presented in 1914 to the emerging Egyptian University. .
Taha Hussein discussed in the letter three sheikhs, two of them, Mahmoud Fahmy and Muhammad al-Khudari, said that the student was given a high rating, and the third sheikh, Muhammad al-Mahdi, refused, because Taha Hussein had a previous opinion on him, and the result was that Taha Hussein was given a “very good” rating. And this is not all. Abdel Fattah El-Gamal, a member of the Legislative Assembly from Port Said, demanded that Taha Hussein be deprived of the rights of university students “because he wrote a book in which there is infidelity and atheism,” but Saad Zaghloul, president of the Assembly, killed the strife in the bud by summoning the deputy and convincing him to rescind his memo.
And it is the leader Saad himself who will bow down to the storm of “pre-Islamic poetry” and speak softly to the angry students of Al-Azhar, not to worry because Islam is well-established, and to interrogate Prime Minister Adly Yakan about publishing the book. Al-Nabi finds the explanation for this that in the first ordeal he managed to get out the flames, but the flames got out of his control in the second ordeal, so he was forced to compromise.
The predicament of pre-Islamic poetry is the greatest. It led Taha Hussein to trial, ignited demonstrations against him, subjected him to harsh articles challenging his religion, and violently mixed political papers that affected the palace, the ministry, and the university with the person of Taha Hussein.
Al-Nabi believes that every writing on Taha Hussein should begin with “Al-Ayyam,” the most famous book in the Arabic library after The Thousand and One Nights. In view of the timing of the publication of its first part, he believes that it is not just a biography book. The Brigadier General began publishing his episodes in “Al-Hilal” magazine a few months after the ordeal of pre-Islamic poetry, in 1926, for a year, and then they were published in a book in 1929, at this time Taha Hussein was still thirty-eight, and this is not the time to write Biography, but rushed to it after the ordeal. In defense of himself and a declaration of his singular self, and its revolution against all that restricts it.
And the “days” themselves will be the second trap. After the religious uproar about pre-Islamic poetry and the sayings about its reliance on an article by the orientalist Marjliouth, the turn came to challenge a creative book, where Ahmed Deif, a colleague of Taha Hussein’s mission to France, claimed that the dean stole his novel “Mansour” Including “days”. Today, a guest finds someone who recalls his sayings about Taha Hussein, based on the fact that the hero is a rural boy and nothing more!
The observation of a guest of Taha Hussein is the least coherent and the most revealing, but the Margalioth case took longer, although the exaggerations would turn the matter into a joke; Where the opponents have once again implicated themselves in the name of Margalioth, in a book by Sheikh Ali Abdel Razek, “Islam and the Origins of Governance.”
Taha Hussein did not base his work on the entire Cartesian skepticism approach, and it cannot be placed within this approach alone, because he was always searching for a method. His use of the social method appeared in the study of Abu Al-Ala. He wrote: “Abu Al-Ala is one of the fruits of his time. He worked in its ripening time and place, the political and social situation, and even the economic situation.” And in the book Thought Leaders (1925), he says: “The poet and writer do not derive his personality from his person alone. Rather, he derives more of his art and more of his personality from other things in which he has no trick (…) I would almost say that the individual himself is a social phenomenon.” It also seems clear to Taha Hussein that he relied on the historical method in investigating and refuting the sources.
Al-Nabi cites the study of Sayyid Al-Bahrawi to confirm that Taha Hussein knew the materialistic method as it was understood by the French of the eighteenth century, and its extension to the owners of the natural school of criticism. In all of this, Taha Hussein always emphasized the need for the researcher to be free of passion and emotion.
The researcher devotes a chapter of his book to comparing the two visions of Taha Hussein and Tzvetan Todorov for teaching literature, to find the similarity between what Taha Hussein began with his life in research and what Todorov concluded at the end of his journey through his book “Literature in Danger – 2007”.
Between a cry at the beginning of the twentieth century and another in the beginning of the twenty-first century, Al-Nabi believes that the literary lesson was lost and his students continued a state of alienation, during the dominance of formal curricula. What Todorov revolted against in the end is similar to Taha Hussein’s revolution against linguistic explanations as he found it in the lessons of his sheikhs such as Sayyid bin Ali al-Marsafi.
The author reads the intersections between Taha Hussein and Todorov, despite the time difference between them; Both studied in France, and were influenced by his French teachers. Taha Hussein mentioned that he was influenced by the sociologist Émile Durkheim, who supervised his treatise on Ibn Khaldun, as well as Todorov was influenced by Roland Barthes and Gerard Genette. Both arrivals (Taha Hussein and Todorov) were affected by the political and economic conditions in their relationship with France, so they ended up emphasizing the social purpose of literature.
Taha Hussein has many faces. He is the lover, the solid fighter in politics, and the violent critic whose criticism is not without harshness. This richness in the person of Taha Hussein is another richness in the aspects of his writing and its diversity, between story, criticism, biography, history and political articles.
This wealth made for the brigadier general his dervishes and made his enemies as well, and they described his authority as “intellectual feudalism” as Abdul Hai Diab went in a book with this title, but Al-Nabi does not appear to be one of those or those, studying the positions of both parties, returning to many articles and books, not angry. He ignored the dean’s intellectual lapses and transformations, for example his position on the sit-in of Doria Shafik and nine women in the Journalists Syndicate in protest against Ali Maher’s 1954 Constitution Committee. July), citing that the circumstance does not tolerate unrest, while he had written in his youth advocating women’s issues in opposition to his teacher Sheikh Abdul Aziz Jawish in 1911.
Al-Nabi seeks an explanation for Taha Hussein’s intellectual cruelty in the circumstances of his upbringing and the endurance of his sheikhs and opponents since the beginning of his academic path and throughout his life with writing and publishing. However, despite his cruelty, he devised a method for himself, which he explained in his presentation of his friend Ahmed Amin’s book “Duha al-Islam,” which is not to wrong a book because its owner is a friend or opponent, but he considered the most heinous injustice “to commend what is not worthy of praise.”
Al-Nabi concludes his book “Taha Hussein’s Recovery” with a chapter on his trip to the Hejaz lands on the occasion of his arrival in Jeddah on a cultural mission for the Arab League, a trip that the atonement camp considered a return to Islam and repentance.
Taha Hussein did not write anything about that trip, unlike his trips in Europe, and he left the matter of writing it down to others, and it was recorded by Muhammad Abdul Raziq Al-Qashami in his book “Taha Hussein in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The Echo of the Visit of the Dean of Arabic Literature to the Kingdom.” A day started by Taha Hussein on January 15, 1955, during which he was received by the late King Fahd, who was then Emir and Minister of Culture. After the end of his official visit he traveled to Mecca and Medina. The visit and the words he gave, and his feelings when he embraced the Black Stone had an effect on rousing the disciples and opponents, and renewing the controversy of doubt and faith, a controversy that will apparently continue for a long time.
And for all this richness in personality and production, the Prophet believes that Taha Hussein is right in describing him, his phrase is what he said in the right of Al-Mutanabbi: He filled the world and occupied people.