Siba?I, Mustafa Al- (1915–1964)

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SIBA˓I, MUSTAFA AL- (1915–1964)

Mustafa al-Siba˓i was the socialist founder of the Society of the Muslim Brothers of Syria, a branch of the Egyptian, anticolonialist organization Ikhwan. Unlike the original Brotherhood in Egypt, the lesser-known Syrian branch did not openly engage in terrorist activities under Siba˓i and was generally regarded as following peaceful means to achieve its goals. Born in Homs, Damascus, in 1915, Siba˓i went to Egypt in 1933 to study at the University of Al-Azhar, where he was influenced by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In 1949, he completed his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled "The Position of Sunna in Legislation." Charged with subversion by the British government in 1934 and 1940, he was eventually deported to Palestine. Siba˓i questioned the economic and cultural reliance of Muslim states on either the United States or the Soviet Union, feeling that Muslims should assert their independence from Western influences. He advocated social reform based both on Marxist theories and traditional Islamic thought and strongly believed in the idea of universal Muslim solidarity. Siba˓i discussed the rights of women under Islamic law in an article published in 1962. A noted author and scholar of fiqh and sunna, he also edited the journals Al-Manar, Al-Muslimin, and Hadarat al-Islam.

See alsoIkhwan al-Muslimin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Salt, J. "An Islamic Scholar-Activist: Mustafa al-Siba˓i in Syria, 1945–54." Journal of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies 3 (1996): 103–115.

Paula Stiles