How I came to know Dr. Al-Hilali?
Dr. Al-Hilali (photo1), was brought to my attention as a modern apologist of Islam, while I was student and then Nuclear physics Laboratory Assistant at The Faculty of Sciences (University Mohamed V) (1965 – 1971). He wrote a series of articles in the magazine “Da’wat Al-Haq” (دعوة الحق) (The Truth’s Call), published by “The Ministry of endowments and Islamic affairs” (وزارة الأوقاب والشؤون الإسلامية) of Morocco Photo1
These articles were later assembled and published together by the “Ad-Da’wah Ila-Allah” (The Call to God Association) (جمعية الدعوة إلى الله) of Casablanca in 1970 under the title: “Dawã’ As- Shãkkin wa Qãmi’ Al-Mushakkikin” (The Cure of the skeptics and the muzzle of the doubters) (دواء الشاكين وقامع المشككين.) (photo2). Photo2 .
Dr. Al-Hilali, who was then teaching at the Faculty of Letters (University Mohamed V, Morocco) in the two cities of Rabat and Fez during the period (1959 – 1968), brought home some contemporary controversial issues, which have made the news for awhile in certain scientific and religious circles in Britain and the United States, during the fifties of the twentieth century, and about which, the old traditional Moroccan religious elite and guard, reputed for its dreary backwardness, calcified thinking and blatant analphabetism in Science, knew hardly anything!
It was through these articles that I got my first foretaste of the arguments generally used by contemporary Christian believers and atheists in the English speaking Western World for proving or denying the existence of God!, by making appeal to Science as a sort of an Occam’s Razor, for judging the issues!
These two polarized opposing viewpoints were faithfully represented in the English Literature by the books of the British biologist and apologist Dr. Julian, S. Huxley (1887 – 1975)1 (photo3); “Man Stands Alone2”, for the Neo-Darwinian atheists, and its anti-thesis; “Man does not Stand Alone” and “Seven Reasons Why a Scientist Believes in God” of Dr. A. Cressy Morrison, former President of the New York Academy of Sciences, and “Nature is a fact not an Explanation” of Dr. Cecil Boyce
Dr A. Cressy Morrison’s “seven reasons” appeared first in the January 1948 issue of the “Reader’s Digest” magazine and were republished again in the November 1960 issue of the same magazine, on recommendation of Professor C. A. Coulson, F. R.S., Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University.
To paraphrase Dr. Morrison;We are still in the dawn of the scientific age and every increase of light reveals more brightly the handiwork of an intelligent Creator. In the 90 years since Darwin (photo4) we have made stupendous discoveries; with a spirit of scientific humanity and of faith grounded in knowledge. We are approaching even nearer to an awareness of God.
For myself I count seven reasons for my faith Photo4
First: by unwavering mathematical law we can prove that our universe was designed and executed by a great engineering Intelligence. Suppose you put ten coins, marked from one to ten, into your pocket and give them a good shuffle. Now try to take them out in sequence from one to ten, pulling back the coin each time and shaking them all again. Mathematically we know that your chance of first drawing number one is one in ten; of drawing one and two in succession, one in 100; of drawing one, two and three in succession, one in a thousand, and so on; your chance of drawing them all, from one to number ten in succession, would reach the unbelievable figure of one chance in ten thousand million. By the same reasoning, so many exacting conditions are necessary for life on earth that they could not possibly exist in proper relationship by chance. The earth rotates on its axis at one thousand miles an hour; if it turned at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would then burn up our vegetation during each long day, while in the long night any surviving sprout would freeze. Again, the sun, source of our life, has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and our earth is, just far enough away so that this ‘eternal fire” warms us just enough and not too much! If the sun gave off only one-half its present radiation, we would freeze, and if it gave half as much more, we would roast. The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our season; if it had not been so tilted, vapors from the ocean would move north and south, piling up for us continents of ice. If our moon was, say, only 50 thousand miles away instead of its actual distance, our tides would be so enormous that twice a day all continents would be submerged; even the mountains would soon be eroded away. If the crust of the earth had been only ten feet thicker, there would be no oxygen without which animal life must die. Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could exist. Or if our atmosphere had been thinner, some of the meteors, now burned in space by the million every day would be striking all parts of the earth, starting fires everywhere. Because of these, and host of other examples, there is not one chance in millions that life on our planet is an accident.
Second: The resourcefulness of life to accomplish its purpose is a manifestation of all-pervading Intelligence. What life itself is no man has fathomed. It has neither weight nor dimensions, but it does have force; a growing root will crack a rock. Life has conquered water, land and air, mastering the element, compelling them to dissolve and reform their combinations. Life, the sculptor, shapes all living things; an artist, it designs every leaf of every tree, and colors every flower. Life is a musician and has each bird to sing its love songs, the insects to call each other in the music of their multitudinous sounds. Life is a sublime chemist, giving taste to fruits and spices, and perfume to the rose changing water and carbonic acid into sugar and wood and, in so doing, releasing oxygen that animals may have the breath of life. Behold an almost invisible drop of protoplasm, transparent and jelly-like, capable of motion, drawing energy from the sun. This single cell, this transparent mist-like droplet, holds within itself the germ of life, and has the power to distribute this life to every living thing, great and small. The powers of this droplet are greater than our vegetation and animals and people, for all life came from it. Nature did not create life; fire-blistered rocks and a saltless sea could not meet the necessary requirements. Who, then, has put it here?
Third: Animal wisdom speaks irresistibly of a good Creator who infused instinct into otherwise helpless little creatures. The young salmon spends years at sea, then comes back to his own river; and travels up the very side of the river into which flows the tributary where he was born. What brings him back so precisely? If you transfer him to another tributary he will know at once that he is off his course and he will fight his way down and back to the main stream and then turn up against the current to finish his destiny more accurately. Even more difficult to solve is the mystery of eels.
These amazing creatures migrate at maturity from all ponds and rivers everywhere – those from Europe across thousands of miles of oceans – all bound for the same abysmal deeps near Bermuda. There they breed and die. The little ones, with no apparent means of knowing anything except that they are in a wilderness of water nevertheless find their way back not only to the very shore from which their parent came but thence to the rivers, lakes or little ponds – so that each body of water is always populated with eels. No American eel has ever been caught in Europe, no European eel in American waters. Nature has even delayed the maturity of the European eel by a year or more to make up for its longer journey. Where does the directing iruptilse originate? A wasp will overpower a grasshopper, dig a hole in the earth, sting the grasshopper in exactly the right place so that he does not die but becomes unconscious and lives on as a form of preserved meat. Then the wasp will lay her eggs handily so that her children when they hatch can nibble without killing the insect on which they feed, to them dead meat would be fatal. The mother then flies way and dies; she never sees her young. Surely the wasp must have done all this right the first time and every time, or else there would be no wasp. Such mysterious techniques cannot be explained by adaptation; they were bestowed.
Fourth: Man has something more than animal instinct – the power of reason. No other animal has ever left a record of its ability to count ten or even to understand the meaning of ten. Where instinct is like a single note of a flute, beautiful but limited, the human brain contains all the notes of all the instruments in the orchestra. No need to labor this fourth point; thanks to the human reason we can contemplate the possibility that we are what we are only because we have received a spark of Universal Intelligence.
Fifth: Provision for all living is revealed in phenomena which we know today but which Darwin did not know – such as the wonders of genes. So unspeakably tiny are these genes that, if all of them responsible for all living people in the world could be put in one place, there would be less than a thimbleful. Yet these ultra- microscopic genes and their companions, the chromosomes, inhabit every living cell and are the absolute keys to all human, animal and vegetable characteristics. A thimble is a small place in which to put all the individual characteristics of two thousand million human beings. However; the facts are beyond question. Well then, how do genes lock up all the normal heredity of a multitude of ancestors and preserve the psychology of each in such an infinitely small space? Here evolution really begins – at the cell, the entity which holds and carries genes.
How a few million atoms, locked up as an ultra-microscopic gene, can absolutely rule all on earth is an example of profound cunning and provision that could emanate only from a Creative Intelligence – no other hypothesis will serve.
Sixth: By the economy of nature, we are forced to realize that only infinite wisdom could have foreseen and prepared with such astute husbandry. Many years ago a species of cactus was planted in Australia as a protective fence. Having no insect enemies in Australia the cactus soon began a prodigious growth; the alarming abundance persisted until the plants covered an area as long and wide as England, crowding inhabitants out of the towns and villages, and destroying their farms.
Seeking a defense, the entomologists scoured the world; finally they turned up an insect which exclusively feeds on cactus, and would eat nothing else. It would breed freely too; and it had no enemies in Australia. So animal soon conquered vegetable and today the cactus pest has retreated, and with it all but a small protective residue of the insects, enough to hold the cactus in check for ever. Such checks and balances have been universally provided. Why have not fast-breeding insects dominated the earth? Because they have no lungs such as man possesses; they breathe through tubes. But when insects grow large, their tubes do not grow in ratio to the increasing size of the body. Hence there has never been an insect of great size; this limitation on growth has held them all in check. If this physical check had not been provided, man could not exist. Imagine meeting a hornet as big as a lion!
Seventh: The fact that man can conceive the idea of God is in itself a unique proof. The conception of god rises from a divine faculty of man, unshared with the rest of our world – the faculty we call imagination. By its power, man and man alone can find the evidence of things unseen. The vista that power opens up is unbounded; indeed, as man is perfected, imagination becomes a spiritual reality.
The contribution of Dr. Al-Hilali to this old/new recurrent eternal debate, notwithstanding the fact, that he was not himself a scientist, was creditable on two accounts:
- He managed to translate into Arabic Dr. CRESSY Morrison’s main ideas in his book and his article, which was a laudable undertaking in itself,
- He added his own commentaries to the issues at hand, from what he perceived then, as an Islamic perspective, giving this opportune debate an Islamic flavor and propensity, long forgotten since the memorial treatise; “Al-Fisãl fi Al-Milal wa-An-Niħal” (الفصال في الملل والنحل) of the Spanish (Andalusia) apologist; Abu Mohammad, ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn Sa’id Ibn Hazm (أبو محمد، علي بن أحمد بن سعيد بن حزم الأندلسي) (384 a.h/994 – 456 a.h/1064)
These two factors made me realize for the first time, that Islam is more than just;
- Laws that regulate diet, purity and dress…etc.
- More than historical agglutinated thoughts and ideas that originated in ages, and geographical settings, entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state of awareness and thinking.
- More than the pervasive flat sermons, delivered weekly in our mosques by the old drowsy, sleepy official’s Khaţţibs (preatchers), who were always out of touch with their epoch, and out of tune with the ethos of their contemporary societies and whose dull and monotonous speeches fail to impress the young modern Muslim with a spirit of awareness, holiness; or motivation to change either his behavior, or his fate…etc.,.
But my very first encounter with the man, whose full name is Abu Shakib; Mohammad (Taqi- Ad-Dine) ibn Abd-Al-Kader Al-Hilali, happened only one decade later (December 1976), when I paid him a courtesy visit in his residence in the imperial city of Meknes (photo5) just a few days before my departure to the United States, to prepare for a Master degree in Meteorology. Photo5
I was introduced to him then by some of his followers, who where acquaintances of mine.
The aim of my visit, as a new neophyte3, was to benefit from his long experience as an advocate of Islam abroad, and seek his recommendations and advices concerning ways and means of propagating the message of Islam in the free and open society of the United States, given that Muslims don’t have any specialized institution or official organization that can tackle such issues.
To my great surprise and satisfaction, he invited me to stay in his home as his guest, for as long a period of time as my time allowed, in order for him, he explained, to have ample time for answering any question I may have, concerning the subjects I had in mind, since his free time was very limited and tight, given the many activities he was engaged in.
Elated by this turn of events, I accepted ecstatically his invitation and stayed with him for four days.
My recollection of that sojourn as a guest of Dr. Al-Hilali is that his house served as a kind of an open seminary, where discourse on any given subject followed the old traditional setting of the Sheikh/Disciple replica.
In this learning arrangement, one of the disciple of Dr. Al-Hilali4, would read aloud a text from a given book, while Dr. Hilali, who was already blind at the time, would embark upon the task of expounding the text, clarifying its content, explaining the meaning of difficult words, making extensive use of grammatical, rhetorical and syntactical analysis of the text, and calling on other related or relevant disciplines, as the theme or the context may need or require, while answering all of his student’s questions all long.
This scene was a reminder of the ways the same curriculums were thought in the Mosques of Al-Basrah, Al-Koufah, Damas, Baghdad, Cordoba,…etc. centuries back, save for some minute details of no relevance.
But, in spite of the obvious obsoleteness of this type of setting and learning, of quite another age! I realized immediately the advantage I can make of these initiating seminars as an autodidact.
In this kind of open seminar, one ended up learning at once, not only about the subjects under consideration; but caught also enough glimpses of other relevant and attendant disciplines such as; rhetoric, grammar, exegesis and hermeneutics of Koran, tradition and sayings of the Prophet of Islam, sayings of his companions and/or of the leading faqihs of different Jurist’s schools, history, geography of places, biography of people cited…etc.!
This encyclopedic holistic approach to teaching was all the more extraordinary and appealing in its own way, considering that Dr. Hilali was blind at the time and at an advanced age!
I marveled at the endurance, energy, stamina and resolve of this extraordinary octogenarian, who instead of retiring to his peace of mind, choose to trade off his old Professorship’s garb to passive and reluctant University students, whose sole motives were to get good grades and pass exams, with this individual free tutoring, where the teaching/learning process has become for all concerned a conscious, serious and laborious undertaking.
I realized also very soon, that any newcomer to the field of Da’wah (campaigner for Islam) like myself, who would be fortunate enough to benefit from such an in depth and thorough diversified free tutoring, will outclass easily, irrespective of his background, his university peers, who would study the same syllabuses, since he can achieve in one single year, what would require many years at university level.
It was only many years later that I came across the other facing of the coin, which presented itself under the guise of two patent antinomies:
Why, apart from Dr. Al-Hilali’s student; Abu Al-Hassan An-Nadawi of India (photo6), no other disciple has ever reached the status of his Great Mentor or came closer to him, either in status, knowledge or fame?
Why his teaching and thoughts did not outlive him?
Dr. Al-Hilali’s contemporary and friend; As-Sheikh Abd-Al-Mohsin Ibn Hamad Al-‘Abbad (الشيخ عبد المحسن بن حمد العباد) of Saudi Arabia, who came to know Dr. Al-Hilali, while they were teaching together at the Islamic University of Al-Madinah, used to say to his students:
Taqi-Ad-Dine Al Hilali was an ‘Alim whose fall into oblivion is to be imputed to his own disciplesتقي الدين الهلالي عالم ضيعه تلامذته
But, he satisfied himself with this flat observation, leaving the burden of digging for plausible answers to the posterity.
These were not the only thorny questions in the life of Dr. Al-Hilali, which were begging for satisfactory answers, either directly through his many published and unpublished books, magazine’s articles, radio talks, letters…etc., which are still scattered worldwide, or through some feed-back from his still living disciples.
Dr. Hilal’s was known for his encyclopedic and versatile knowledge, but he himself recognized that his predilection was for three essential fields, namely:
The Koran, which he had committed early in his life to memory, while he was only twelve years old, and for which he would write as he matures in life many short exegetical essays, culminating in his global tafsir: “Sabil ar-Rashad fi Hadyi khaĭr Al ‘Ibad” (سبيل الرشاد في هدي خير العباد).
This book, he shared with Dr. Muhammad Muhsin khan in its translation into the English language during the period of his stay at the Islamic University (in Al-Madinah) (photo7).
The Tradition of the Prophet (Sunnah), with which any salafi is supposed to be conversant and familiar with.
But, contrary to what some of his credulous disciples assert, Dr. Al-Hilali was not a traditionalist (Muhadith) in the true classical sense of the term, as the field itself was not renewed since the time of Al-Hãfidh; Ahmad Ibn “Ali: Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani (death 852 a.h/1448).
His only known publication in this field is his unachieved gloss (one volume only) on the Saħiħ of Al -Bukhari entitled: “Az-Zand Al-Wari wa-Al-Badr As-Sari fi sharħ Saħiħ Al-Bukhari” ) (الزند الواري والبدر الساري في شرح صحيح البخاري).
He shared also in the translation of Sahih Al-Bukhari and the book “Al-Lu’lu’-wal Marjan” (اللؤلؤ والمرجان) into the English language during his stay at the Islamic University in Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Arabic rhetoric and grammar. This is his real domain of predilection, since he mastered these subjects very early in his life through his Algerian Sheikh and mentor: Muhammad ibn Sidi Al-Habib As-Shanqiţi (الشيخ محمد بن سيدي الحبيب الشنقيطي) (death: 1338 a.h/1919)5. Disciplines, he would ultimately end up teaching at academic level in many international universities as he did in;
India at the faculty of “Nadwat Al U’lama” (كلية ندوة العلماء) in the city of Luknow, during his second sojourn there (1930- 1933),
Germany at The two Universities of Bonn and Berlin (1936 – 1941), where he got his PhD in Philosophy in 1941,
Iraq at “The Faculty of Queen ‘Ālyah” (كلية الملكة عالية) in Baghdad (1947 – 1958),
Morocco at “The University Mohamed V” in Rabat and Fez (1959 – 1968) and,
Saudi Arabia at “The Islamic University” (الجامعة الإسلامية) in Al-Madinah (1968 – 1974).
In parallel with this assorted, more or less regular kind of free academic teaching intended for his disciples, who were always few in number, he used also to be very active in two complementary undertakings, which his closer disciples rarely miss.
Delivering daily religious lectures and sermons, entwined with questions/answers after Maghreb and Fajr prayers, in the nearby Mosques, as well as,
Issuing “Fatwas” (Responses) and answering requests to deliver lectures on specific subjects, to interested associations or groups, which would come to him from all parts of Morocco.
This manner of preaching and expounding the fundamentals of Islam and its dogmas was emulated by some of his older disciples in other Mosques of the city and even outside, in other cities.
On my return from the states in summer 1977, after receiving my Master Degree, and being myself from Rabat (photo8), the capital city of Morocco, I realized that I could not benefit much of this kind of free liberalized teaching, save through two avenues: Photo8
Either manage to travel to the sheikh’s home during weekends, which has the draw back of attending someone else syllabus or agenda, or
Arrange to invite the sheikh to deliver talks in my home town.
But, in the intervening years, while I was still in the States, Dr. Hilali moved from Meknes and took residence in the city of Casablanca (photo 9) in1982. Here, he delivered his usual home’s curriculum, and his popular sermons and talks in the following mosques;
“the Great Mosque of Al-Hay-Al-Muhammadi” (المسجد الكبير بالحي المحمدي),
“the Kudia’s Mosque” (مسجد الكدية),
“the Yusfi’ Mosque” (المسجد اليوسفي),
“the ‘Aĭn al-Shoq’s Mosque” (مسجد عين الشق)…among others.
ِI came to the conclusion, with some friends who shared these same interests of mine, that the best approach to benefit fully from this genuine tutoring, would be to have an institution.
Thus we agreed to form a local branch in Rabat of the “Adda’wa ila Allah association” of Casablanca, which existed already, and managed to rent a house which we transformed into a convenient lecture hall with attending classrooms and a specialized library, and started inviting Dr. Hilali as well as other specialized scholars in other fields to give us evening and holyday’s lectures on specific subjects of our choice on a regular basis.
We benefited from his tutoring mostly on dogmatic matters in Islam (Tawhid), which we made accessible to the general public. These lectures/sermons/chats were intensified during the months of Ramadan, and lasted from early 1978 till late in Winter 1981, date of my resignation as secretary of the Association, due to my departure anew to the states to prepare for a PhD in Dynamical Meteorology.
The other disciplines such as; Al-fiqh (الفقه), the “Science of Al-Qirã’ãt and Tajwid” (recitation of the Qur’an) (علم القراءات والتجويد) and especially the “Sciences of Ħadith” (علوم الحديث) were delivered by other scholars.
On my return from the States December 1984 after completing my PhD, I was much retained by my work’s duties as a Deputy Director of a Morocco-American joint Project for investigating the possibility of artificial rain making over the Atlas Mountains of Morocco to increase its Ice pack during
Winters, to benefit from it melting during Springs, to follow up on such personal pursuits Dr. Hilali himself died (May Allah showers His Mercy on him) on June 22, 1987, while I had already left Morocco in 1986, to teach Meteorology at the “King Abdul-’Aziz University” in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Regrettably, I was never living in the same city with Dr. Hilali, to benefit from the closeness that ensues, to hear from him detailed accounts or recounts of some obscure chapters of his life, or a description of the so many personalities he met, as he usually did spontaneously many times, during my first visit to his home in Meknes.
I missed this sort of worm conviviality, in his many subsequent visits to our Association in Rabat, since he had just enough time for delivering his lectures/sermons and then return home the same day.
Unfortunately, Dr. Al-Hilali did not write any thorough autobiography of himself. His book “Ad- Da’wah Ila Allah” (photo10), which was intended as such, gives only a sketchy glimpse of his activities as a propagator of Tawhid, but says nothing about his political involvements!
And to my knowledge, no one has tried to collect all his Worldwide scattered published and unpublished treatises, books, letters, articles,…etc., in order to make his work accessible to researchers in general, and to apologists of Islam in particular.
The Political involvements of Dr. Al-Hilali
Of Dr. Al-Hilali connection with politics, and especially during his stay in Iraq, and onwards, we know extremely little. We know only that he was taken early in his life, under the aegis of such renowned Muslim’s personalities such as; The Sheikh Rashid Reda, the Mufti Amin Al-Husseini and Shakib Arsalane, and that he spent much of his active life fighting with his prose and his pen the colonial drives of the two great colonial powers of the 20th century; the French and the British, who were bent on colonizing the Islamic world, extending from Morocco to the confines of China.
Is it a mere coincidence, that this area (photo11), which the United States strategists in the Pentagon (photo 12) are referring to today as; the Grand Middle East, coincides exactly with that part of the Islamic World, where the French and the British colonial powers used to rage their immoral colonial wars, while espousing the ethos of; modernity! Liberty! Fraternity! Equality! Democracy! Human rights…etc.
The reader will realize at once from this map, that the area encompassing this part of the Islamic world (depicted in Blanc), constitutes with Africa the weakest spot in terms of; military power, industrial development and technological advances, compared with the emerging; Europe (with its half billion well educated inhabitants), India (with its 1 billion inhabitants) and china (with its 1.3 billion inhabitants).
Understandably enough, most citizens of this targeted area, as well as many conscious and politically correct citizens of Europe, the United States and the World, consider with good reasons, as did Dr. Al-Hilali and his contemporaries in their time, vis-à-vis of the French and British colonial ambitions, that the foreign policies of the present-day US governments, are unintelligent, inimical, biased, unjust and detrimental to the genuine aspirations and interests of the peoples concerned.
The open letter addressed to President Bush, which was signed by some 50 leading American diplomats, who served in this area, after the precedent of the 50 British diplomats, who have done exactly the same with Prime Minister Blair, attest to this uneasiness!
Immorality, bribery, kickbacks, extortion, plain lies, blackmail,… are a small sample of western politics in action, whenever they realize that they are becoming trapped by their own logic, and can no more compete in fairness with outsiders!.
In his time, Dr. Al-Hilali immortalized his feelings toward the French colonial agenda by the following stanza;
أعادي فرنسا ما حييتُ وإن أمت فأوصي أحبائي يعادونها بعدي
I will hate France as long as I live and if I die I will recommend to my beloved to hate her after me
One has only to substitute nowadays, the word “United States” for “France” in this canto, to discover that there is really a sort of continuity in term of colonial conduct, independent of time and geographical setting, which only social science and psychiatry can explain!
Certainly, one may not find much argument with Dr. Al-Hilali’s use of “France” instead of France’s governments, since not all French’s citizens, nor all Americans for that matter, espouse in general their government’s policies!
Dr. Al-Hilali, for sure, did mean to go that extreme.But for someone who was chased from his proper country and was prevented to return to it, save to face an ultimate death, prison or deportation, from the pseudo emancipators of humanity! As Dr. Al-Hilali experienced in his lifetime, and Palestinians, as scapegoats, continue to suffer to this day, these are mere semantics!
Aren’t these governments supposed to be brought to office by a majority vote by the free citizens concerned in the first place?Don’t all these free citizens, who profess to be staunch democrats, realize that their governments are merely repeating the lethal faults of the colonial Greeks in the city of Athena under their attention-grabber periclean6 democracy?
Needless to say, that It time to rethink Shuracracy and Democracy once more, in order to base their foundations on new premises, given the aforementioned structural antinomies.
This why Dr. Al-Hilali’s biography, is not only timely and of relevance for understanding past scheming patterns of European imperialisms, but very opportune, as well, for decoding the actual and future intentions of Uncle Sam, in his drive to control this part of the World, under the false pretence of spreading his brand of pseudo-Democracy, which serve no other useful or practical purpose than that of a Trojan’s horse, since such policy is driven by an existing “paradigm » and an all-encompassing imperialist policy.
I will follow up below in Dr Al-Hilali’s footsteps, outlining some of the obscure or confusing episodes in his life, which deserve some closer scrutiny.
I will put these episodes within the social, political and religious contexts of their times, commenting on them all along, and hoping that some of the still living disciples of the Sheikh, or others, who have been associated with him, would contribute, through their feedback, in order to make this attempt meaningful and worthwhile.
He is the grandson of Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) the well known advocate of Darwinism. From 1946 to 1948 he served as the first director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
First Edition Published by: Harper and Brothers, New York, 1941.
I got my first glimpse of American Islam, during my first visit to the United States earlier in 1972, but it was only later, when I enrolled for a second Bachelor degree in Science, at Florida State University (Spring 1974-Spring 1975) and got acquainted with the marvelous and meritorious efforts of the American Muslim students Association on our University’s campus, that I realized the importance of benevolent proselytism for the spread the Islamic faith in this land..
He happened to be at the time of my visit ( if my recollection is correct), the grandson of Abu-Al -Hasan An-Nadawi of India who stayed with Dr. Al-Hilali in the ways of old.
Dr. Hilali has mentioned in his book “Al-Hadyia Al-Hãdyiah ila At-Ta’ ifah At-Tijaniah” (الهدية الهادية إلى الكائفة التجانية), first edition of 1973, p. 12-13, being hired, as early as 1920, to serve as tutor of Arabic for the to two pupils: Abd- Alkarim and Abd-Assalam of the Skirej’family, the first being the son of the Cadi Al-Cudat of the city of Wajda; Ahmad Skirej who was also a Poet, and the second, being the son of latter’s brother.
Pericles (c. 495-439 b.c.) was a colonial aristocrat as most Athenian leaders.