Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda
|Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda Ansari|
|عبد الفتاح أبو غدة انصارى|
|Supreme Guide of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood|
|Preceded by||Issam al-Attar|
|Succeeded by||Adnan Saad al-Din|
May 9, 1917|
Aleppo, Aleppo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
|Died||16 February 1997
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda Ansari (Arabic: عبد الفتاح أبو غدة انصارى, 9 May 1917 – 16 February 1997) was a Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader. He was born in 1917 in Aleppo. He was the third Supreme Guide of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, taking over from Issam al-Attar in 1973.
Early life and education
Abu Ghudda was born and raised in Aleppo, studying at the Academy of Islamic Studies in Aleppo and later received advanced training in psychology and education at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. His father, Muhammad Ansari, was known to be a pious man, and was a businessman in the textile industry. Muhammad's father, Bashir Ansari, was one of the biggest textile traders in Aleppo, and the family line could be traced back to Khalid ibn al-Walid, one of the companions of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. 
Abu Ghudda lived in Cairo between 1944 and 1950, during which time he met Hassan al-Banna, the Founder and First General Guide of the Muslim Brotherood. Abu Ghudda joined the Muslim Brotherood under the auspices of al-Banna, and became a member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood upon his return to Syria in 1950. He rose to prominence in Islamic circles in Aleppo, and became an instructur at his former school, Academy of Islamic Studies. In 1960 he became an instructor of theology at Damascus University. Abu Ghudda stood for election in the 1961 parliamentary election, and was later appointed as the Mufti of Aleppo by President Nazim al-Kudsi.
Abu Ghudda was critical of the often authoritarian policies of Issam al-Attar, the Supreme Guide of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, whom he claimed was unrestrained in his power and never consulted others on political affairs. al-Attar stepped down from the party leadership in 1962 and Abu Ghudda replaced him as Supreme Guide of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Abu Ghudda was critical of the 1966 Syrian coup d'état which brought Salah Jadid to the Presidency. Abu Ghudda used his position to rally scholars, whom he encouraged to boycott the state and voice opposititon to Jadid's violent policies. Ghudda also appeared at Friday sermons in Aleppo, and encouraged Syrians to oppose Jadid's rule. Ghudda opposed Jadid's rule extensively, and claimed Jadid did not represent the Syrian people. As a result of Ghudda's activities in the opposition he was arrested and imprisoned in the remote Tadmor Prison, where he was kept for 11 months, before being released along with all other political prisoners in 1967 as part of an amnesty following the Six-Day War with Israel.
Exile and death
Abu Ghudda left Syria and went into exile in Saudi Arabia, where he taught at Riyadh University, and guest lectured at the Omdurman Institute in Sudan. During the early years of his exile he continued to actively opposed the Syrian government during his exile, and served as the Inspector General of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood from 1976 to 1983, leading the Islamic uprising in Syria. Following the failure of the uprising Abu Ghudda abandoned his political career and turned to academia. He taught at Jiddah University and published numerous works on theology.
Abu Ghudda later returned to Syria in December 1995 under an arrangement with the Syrian government whereby he could return to Aleppo as long as he refrained from politics, and focus on academia and religion. In mid 1996 he returned to Saudi Arabia, and died in Riyadh on 16 February 1997. Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian President, promptly sent condolences to the family. An official delegation, including the Minister of the Awqaf, the Governor of Aleppo, and the Chief of the Aleppo Police Department visited the family, and delivered condolences from Hafez al-Assad. Assad also offered the use of his personal plane for transporting Abu Ghudda's body back to Syria, although he was ultimately buried in Medina near the grave of Muhammad.
References and notes
- Moubayed, Sami M. (2006). Steel and Silk: Men and Women who Shaped Syria 1900-2000. Cune Press. p. 129.
- Shaykh Abdulfattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah ta`ala) (1917 - 1997)
- Moubayed, Sami M. (2006). Steel and Silk: Men and Women who Shaped Syria 1900-2000. Cune Press. p. 130.
- Zîser, Eyāl (2001). Asad's Legacy: Syria in Transition. C. Hurst & Co. p. 196.