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Extra info for Hasan al-Banna
In spite of their grave-visiting habits and the miracle stories told by the brethren, both normally seen as indicators of “popular Sufism,” the Hasafiyya was considered one of the sober orders. The Hasafis believed in dreams and the power of prayer and Qur’anic recitation, but they tolerated no displays of ecstasy and no mingling of the sexes. His brother Jamal later took pains to affirm that there was never any extremism in Hasan al-Banna (reflecting the well-known principle that there must be no exaggeration in Islam, la ghuluww fi l-din), and that with his father and Shaykh Zahran as role models, Hasan developed harmoniously, always maintaining a healthy balance (Letters, p.
Interestingly, Rashid Rida does not figure prominently in the pages of al-Banna’s Memoirs – either he was too busy and important for a young student, or al-Banna was aware of Rida’s hostility to “popular” Sufism, which, for him, included the Shadhiliyya order in general and the “grave-worshippers” (alquburiyyun) in particular, of whom al-Banna was one. In June 1926, in the wake of heated debate over the abolition of the caliphate, al-Khatib and his associates created the journal al-Fath (Opening, Conquest), an initiative that, in characteristic fashion, al-Banna later traced to himself.
At school in Damanhur as well as in al-Mahmudiyya, they called their fellow Muslims to prayer, a task that filled al-Banna with immense satisfaction and a hidden sense of power. In al-Mahmudiyya, they set up a Hasafi Benevolent Society (al-Jam‘iyya al-Khayriyya al-Hasafiyya), with al-Sukkari as president and al-Banna as secretary, which represented a cross between a “regular” Sufi lodge and a voluntary association of a more modern type. Hasan al-Banna later declared the Hasafi Benevolent Society to be the nucleus or forerunner of the Society of the Muslim Brothers (Memoirs, p.