Muhammad Husayn Haykal

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For the recently deceased Egyptian journalist and news analyst, see Mohamed Hassanein Heikal

Muhammad Husayn Haykal (also spelled Haikal or Heikal or Heykal Arabic: محمد حسين هيكل‎‎ Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [muˈħæmmæd ħuˈseːn ˈheːkæl]; August 20, 1888 – December 8, 1956) was an Egyptian writer, journalist, politician and Minister of Education in Egypt.


Haykal 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, Ahmad Lutfy El Sayed and Qasim Amin. 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.


His works include:

  • Zeinab, 1914; the first modern Egyptian novel.
  • Biographies of Egyptian and Western Personalities, 1929.
  • The Life of The Noble Prophet Muhammad, 1933
  • In the House of Revelation, 1939.
  • Sayyidina Al Farouq Omar,1944/45.
  • Memories on Egyptian politics, 1951-53.
  • 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


  • Heykal from Egypt state information service.

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