The story of the enmity that turned into friendship between Al-Shaarawy and Al-Hakim

In the book “Tawfik Al-Hakim remembers” by the great writer Gamal Al-Ghitani, one of the most important writers in the history of Egypt and the Arabs, Tawfiq Al-Hakim talks about many moments of his life , of his childhood, his marriage and then the death of his wife and son, on the beginning of his professional writing, and on his vision of art and other things. .

But among those stories that Al-Hakim tells Al-Ghitani is the story of the communication he submitted to the Attorney General against Sheikh Muhammad Metwally Al-Shaarawy.

On March 6, 1983, Sheikh Al-Shaarawy said in the issue of Al-Liwaa newspaper, commenting on articles written by Tawfiq Al-Hakim titled “A Conversation with God”:

Almighty God wanted this writer not to leave this world before revealing to people what he hides of ideas and beliefs, that he spoke in a low voice and did not dare to publish, and he is without credit to my faith.

A few days after Sheikh Al-Shaarawy said this, Al-Hakim saw on his return home a man staring at him and looking at him for a long time, and when he asked the caretaker of the property who was this person? Al-Hakim knew he was an informant appointed by the police to protect him, before he was assigned a guard. After everyone read Sheikh Al-Shaarawy’s hadith about Tawfiq Al-Hakim, many – the first of them are the Salafists and the hardliners – saw that Tawfiq Al-Hakim is an infidel and an apostate, and it became possible to assassinate Tawfiq Al-Hakim at any time. Because in the view of some, the sage’s blood became permissible, and his person must be eliminated, and accordingly the police appointed guards to protect the sage, who felt that his life was in danger.

All for the sake of a number of articles published in Al-Ahram newspaper titled “A Conversation with God.” The most important of what Al-Hakim said in these articles was the following:

“It is your ability, my Lord, to decide, to be and it is, and I do not ask you to answer to the judiciary, but I ask you for kindness, and your religion is a religion of kindness and of mercy, and the supreme duty of your religious men is to instill in the hearts of the people your mercy and kindness, and that love is for you, and not only fear of you is the entrance to your satisfaction. But most of them exaggerate in describing what scares them of you more than what they love about you, so they have established Islam on fear more than love, and that is not what what you wanted to say or what your Messenger, prayer and peace of God be upon him, worked for, with your words and your tongue (there is no compulsion in religion). can’t be a sincere basis for love.

That’s what the sage said because he sees through a hadith from the servant to God that true faith should be based on love, not coercion and fear, because if I believed in God just to Because of my fear of him, my faith would be incomplete, because it came without conviction, and true faith is in the creature’s love for its Creator. .

As for the sheikh, he saw that the wise man was wrong, that he is misguided and misguided, and that he fights the constants, because a slave must not speak to God as anyone speaks to another person , even if it is through literary writing. wrote what he wrote because he saw that the sage crossed the boundaries of literature between the servant and the Creator? Or is it because al-Hakim’s speech about the sheikhs describing God was not from the same point of view as al-Shaarawy?!

On the contrary, Al-Shaarawy went too far in his rhetoric and his attacks, to the point of blaming the state itself, as the great journalist Wael Lotfy mentioned in his book “Lawyers of the era of Sadat”, in which it was stated that Sheikh Al-Shaarawy said:

“Fire was opened on these dialogues because they are a call to disbelief and insults to the sublime self, and if the state had embraced religion as it embraced and imposed a system, no one like this writer would would be able to undermine true religion.”

El Shaarawy continued:

“Religion has no companion in our society, as evidenced by the fact that those attributed to it, when exposed to the regime, were imprisoned.”

Thus, the Sheikh owes this incident, which was initiated by a “creature” writer speaking and pleading with his Lord “His Creator” to accuse society and the state as a whole, portraying the state as fighting religion, and even imprisoning and subjugating those who speak in the name of religion.

Thus, a war has been waged between intellectuals and between the sheikh and his fans, so much so that the great writer Youssef Idris described the sheikh Al Shaarawy, saying that he is a semi-talented actor who has the ability to persuade the simple audiences and the ability to represent with weapons and facial expressions, and the ability to keep a big pocket always open for the money, and Idris mentioned some of the positions of the sheikh that he supports any decision taken by the ruler , especially Sadat.

As for this debate, it ended with the withdrawal of the intellectuals from their position. So much so that Idris says that everything that has been posted on his tongue is just a typo, and that he considers Al-Shaarawy a great, great sheikh, and Tawfiq Al-Hakim has also withdrawn after seeing that he had become insecure about his life. .

But in the book “Tawfiq Al-Hakim remembers”, Al-Hakim says to sum up this problem:

“To pose a problem, you need strong democratic traditions. This was not the case in the middle of the first century. We suffer from intellectual lethargy, and this lethargy is one of the most dangerous. If this intellectual lethargy has a thought , this is what one might call a demagogic thought.

This incident is not the first and will never be the last in the history of the Arab world, and the eternal question remains, why are the clergy afraid of others talking about God or religion?

If you look at this story that took place between one of the most famous clerics of the modern era and the great writer Tawfiq Al-Hakim, you have seen that this story, with all its details, sums up for you the magnitude of the panic in which the artist lives in his native country.

The artist is bound by many things that hinder his creativity, the first of these things is the accusation of touching religious constants and disregarding religions, on the basis of which the artist can be murdered by all methods simply because that he pleads with his Lord, while the clergy still see the persons who treat them as an essential part and pillar of the religion, and not as physical persons, error may seep into their actions, opinions and judgments, no matter how innocent, and makes people close their eyes to all the errors and contradictions that can come from a cleric. How did Al-Hakim and the intellectuals back down in their discussion in which Sheikh Al-Shaarawy was the second part, and we also see through this incident how the sanctity of one who wears the turban of religion has increased .

But the question remains, how long will the artist remain besieged and watched from all sides? And when can one say that one can establish a useful and beneficial discussion between two different parties, and that takfir or demagoguery will not seep into it? when?!

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