Mohammed Mahdi Akef

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Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef
محمد مهدي عاكف
Mohammad Akif.jpg
7th General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
In office
January 2004 – January 2010
Preceded byMa'mun al-Hudaybi
Succeeded byMohammed Badie
Personal details
Born(1928-07-12)July 12, 1928
Kafr Awad Al-Seneita, Dakahliya, Egypt
DiedSeptember 22, 2017(2017-09-22) (aged 89)[1]
Cairo, Egypt
Alma materAin Shams University

Mohammed Mahdi Akef (Arabic: محمد مهدى عاكف) (July 12, 1928 – September 22, 2017) was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egypt-based Islamic political movement, from 2004 until 2010. He assumed the post, that of "general guide" (Arabic: المرشد العام) (frequently translated as "chairman") upon the death of his predecessor, Ma'mun al-Hudaybi. Akef was arrested on 4 July 2013.[2] On 14 July 2013 Egypt's new prosecutor general Hisham Barakat ordered his assets to be frozen.[3]

Early life[edit]

Akef was born in 1928 in Kafr Awad Al Seneita –Aga - Dakahliya Province, in the north of Egypt. The year of his birth was the year the Muslim Brotherhood Movement was founded.[citation needed]

Akef obtained his Primary Certificate of Education at Al Mansoura Primary School, and obtained his Secondary Certificate of Education at Cairo- Fuad 1st Secondary School. He then joined the Higher Institute of Physical Education and graduated in May 1950, after which he worked as a teacher at Fuad 1st Secondary School.[citation needed]


He first became involved with the Muslim Brotherhood in 1940, which was then led by Hassan al Banna.[citation needed]

Akef joined the Faculty of Law and assumed responsibility for the Brotherhood's training camps at Ibrahim University (present-day Ain Shams University).[4] This was during the struggle against the British occupation in the Canal preceding the 1952 Revolution, after which he left responsibility to Kamaleddin Hussein, then National Guard Chief.[citation needed]

The last Sections he headed in the Muslim Brotherhood before 1954 were both the Students Section and the PE Section at the Groups HQ.[citation needed]

He was arrested on 1 August 1954 and stood trial on charges including smuggling Major General Abdul Munem Abderraoof (one of the Army chiefs who spearheaded the ouster and expulsion of King Farouq), and was sentenced to death in absentia before the ruling was commuted to life imprisonment.[citation needed]

Akef was released in 1974 and was reappointed General Manager of Youth – a department affiliated to the Ministry of Reconstruction.[citation needed]

He then moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to work as an advisor for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and was in charge of its camps and conferences. He took part in organizing the biggest camps for the Muslim youth on the world arena; in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Australia, Mali, Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, Britain and America.

He assumed the position of Director of Islamic Centre in Munich.[citation needed]

He has been a member of the Steering Bureau (Guidance Bureau) of the Muslim Brotherhood, since 1987.[citation needed]

He was elected Member of Parliament in 1987 for the East Cairo electoral constituency.[citation needed]

In 1996, he was court-martialed, charged with being head of the Muslim Brotherhood International Organization, and was sentenced to three years. He was released in 1999.[citation needed]

In 2005, he denounced what he called "the myth of the Holocaust" in defending Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, and accused the United States of attacking anyone who raised questions about the Holocaust.[5]

On October 19, 2009 Egyptian newspapers reported that Akef had resigned as the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood after a dispute among various leaders in the group.[6] However the following day reports on the Muslim Brotherhood website stated that Akef had not resigned and would continue to serve as the group's general guide until elections in January 2010.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Akef's health deteriorated while he was imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities after the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, his daughter affirmed that he was isolated in the prison hospital and was only allowed a visit once a week, despite his old age and poor health.[8]


He died on 22 September 2017 at the age of 89.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Former Egypt Brotherhood leader Akef dies aged 89". Muslim Global. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Former Brotherhood supreme guide Akef arrested". Ahram Online. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Asset freeze for Islamist leaders goes into action". Egypt Independent. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  4. ^ Saddiq, 'Ali, Al Ikhwan al Muslimun Bayna Irhab Faruq wa 'Abd al-Nasir (The Muslim Brothers Between the Terrorism of Faruq and Nasser), Cairo, Dar-al-'Atisam, 1987, p. 59
  5. ^ "Egyptian Islamists deny Holocaust". BBC News. December 23, 2005.
  6. ^ Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Resigns Archived 2009-11-05 at the Wayback Machine, Arab-West Report October 20, 2009.
  7. ^ Yeranian, Edward Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood denies reports of dissension
  8. ^ "Former Muslim Brotherhood Leader's Health Deteriorates in Prison Hospital". Archived from the original on 2013-11-13.
  9. ^ "Former Egypt Brotherhood leader Akef dies aged 89". Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  10. ^ Press, The Associated (2017-09-22). "Former Leader of Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef Dies at 89". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-22.

See also[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
Ma'mun al-Hudaybi
General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood
Succeeded by
Mohammed Badie