Mohammed Hussein Heikal

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Mohammed Hussein Heikal
محمد حسين هيكل
صورة شخصية محمد حسين هيكل.jpg
Photograph of Heikal
Born(1888-08-20)August 20, 1888
DiedDecember 8, 1956(1956-12-08) (aged 68)
Cairo, Egypt

Mohammed Hussein Heikal[a] (Arabic: محمد حسين هيكل‎, ALA-LC: Muḥammad Ḥusayn Haykal, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mæˈħæmmæd ħeˈseːn ˈheːkæl]; August 20, 1888 – December 8, 1956) was an Egyptian writer, journalist, politician and Minister of Education in Egypt.


Haekal was born in Kafr Ghannam, Mansoura, Ad Daqahliyah in 1888. He obtained a B.A. in Law in 1909 and a PhD from the Sorbonne University in Paris in 1912. While a student in Paris, he composed what is considered the first authentic Egyptian novel, Zaynab. After returning to Egypt, he worked as a lawyer for 10 years, then as a journalist. He was elected as editor-in-chief of Al Siyasa newspaper, the organ of "The Liberal Constitutionalist party" for which he was also an adviser. In 1937, he was appointed as Minister of State for the Interior Ministry in the Muhammad Mahmoud Pasha's second government. Then he was appointed as a Minister of Education where he introduced several reforms, including decentralization, by establishing educational zones and making programs and curricula nationally oriented. He was greatly influenced and inspired by the comprehensive reforms of Mohammad Abduh, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed and Qasim Amin. One of his protegés was the historian Husayn Fawzi al-Najjar.

Haykal is the father of seven children: Dr Ateya, Taheya, Dr Hussein, Hedeya, Bahiga, Dr Fayza Haikal, and Ahmad. Dr Fayza teaches Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.[citation needed]


His works include:

  • Zeinab, 1913; the first modern Egyptian novel.(زينب)
  • Biographies of Egyptian and Western Personalities, 1929.
  • The Life of The Noble Prophet Muhammad, 1933(حياة محمد)
  • In the House of Revelation, 1939.(فى منزل الوحى)
  • "Ten days in the Sudan"(عشرة أيام فى السودان)
  • Sayyidina Al Farouq Omar,1944/45.
  • Memories on Egyptian politics, 1951-53.(مذكرات فى السياسة المصرية)
  • Thus Was I Created,1955.
  • Faith, Knowledge and Philosophy, published in 1964.
  • The Islamic Empire and sacred places, published in 1964 .
  • Egyptian short stories, published in 1967.
  • Sayyidina Uthman Ibn Affan, published in 1968.
  • Mehraj-ud-din beigh, Arabic master

Further reading[edit]

  • (in German) Baber Johansen: Muhammad Husain Haikal. Europa und der Orient im Weltbild eines ägytischen Liberalen. (Series: Beiruter Texte und Studien, BTS, 5) Ergon, Würzburg and al-Furat, Beirut 1967


  1. ^ Also spelt Haikal, Haekal, or Haykal.


  • Heykal from Egypt state information service.

External links[edit]