Islamic Studies Hasan al-Banna
Abdullah Al-Arian
  • LAST REVIEWED: 11 June 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0006


One of the most significant Islamic figures of the 20th century, Hasan al-Banna was born in 1906 in the town of Mahmudiyah in Egypt. The son of a local religious leader, al-Banna attended Dar al-ʿUlum, Egypt's first modern institute of higher learning, where he was trained as a teacher. In 1928, he founded the Society of the Muslim Brothers (al-ikhwan al-muslimun), considered the oldest organization of Political Islam. Until his death in 1949 at the hands of Egyptian security agents, al-Banna served as the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. Under his strong, charismatic leadership, it became the most significant social movement in Egypt, amassing a following of over one million people and establishing itself as a major force in national politics. Al-Banna's influence extended beyond Egypt, as the Muslim Brotherhood expanded to other countries in the Middle East and served as a model for the rise of religious movements across the Muslim world.

Biographical Works

Scholarship on this important figure in the history of the modern Islamic movement has been generally linked to broader studies of the organization he founded. Nonetheless, there are some works that focus particularly on Hasan al-Banna. Most of these are memoirs of early members and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who spent many years alongside al-Banna as he traveled the country to found local chapters and engaged the political establishment in Cairo. ʿAssaf 1993 and Sisi 1978 are examples of this literature.

  • ʿAssaf, Mahmud. Maʿa al-Imām al-Shahīd Ḥasan al-Bannā. Cairo: Maktabat ʿAyn Shams, 1993.

    A memoir by a Muslim Brotherhood member who accompanied al-Banna in the early years of the movement. In Arabic.

  • El-Awaisi, Abd al-Fattah Muhammad. “Emergence of a Militant Leader: A Study of the Life of Hasan al-Banna, 1906–1928.” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 22, no. 1 (1998): 46–63.

    Focuses exclusively on al-Banna's childhood education and religious instruction.

  • al-Banna, S.M. Hasan. Imam Shahid Hasan al-Banna: From Birth to Martyrdom. Milpitas, CA: Awakening Publications, 2002.

    A tribute to al-Banna published in commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of his death.

  • Qumayhah, Jabir. Al-Imām al-Shahīd Ḥasan al-Bannā Bayna al-Sihām al-Sawdāʾ wa-ʿAtāʾ al-Rasāʾil. Cairo: Dar al-Tawziʿ al-Nashr al-Islamiyah, 1998.

    A biography of al-Banna with a specific focus on the development of his Letters, his most important work. In Arabic.

  • Rizq, Jabir. Al-Asrār al-Haqīqīyah li-Ightiyāl al-Imām Ḥasan al-Bannā. Alexandria, Egypt: Dar al-Daʿwah, 1984.

    An investigation of the circumstances surrounding al-Banna's death. In Arabic.

  • Rizq, Jabir, ed. Al-Imām al-Shahīd Ḥasan al-Bannā bi-Aqlām Talamidhihi wa-Muʿāṣirih. Mansurah, Egypt: Dar al-Wafaʾ, 1986.

    A collection of writings by students and contemporaries of al-Banna. In Arabic.

  • Sisi, ʿAbbas Hasan. Ḥasan al-Bannā: Mawāqif fī al-Daʿwah wa al-Tarbīyah. Alexandria, Egypt: Dar al Daʿwah, 1978.

    A memoir by a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and contemporary of al-Banna. In Arabic.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.