Mustafa Mahmoud

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Mustafa Mahmoud
Born (1921-12-25)25 December 1921
Shibin El-Kom, Monufia, Egypt
Died 31 October 2009(2009-10-31) (aged 87)[1]
Cairo, Egypt
Occupation Physician, author, Muslim scholar and reformer
Known for Egyptian intellectual
Religion Islam

Mustafa Kamal Mahmoud Husayn (Arabic: مصطفى كمال محمود حسين‎‎) (25 December 1921 – 31 October 2009) commonly known as Mustafa Mahmud (Arabic: مصطفى محمود‎‎) was an Egyptian doctor, philosopher, and a prolific author. Mustafa Mahmoud was born in Shibin el-Kom, Munufiyya province, Egypt. He was trained as a doctor, but later chose a career as a journalist and author, traveling widely and writing on many subjects.[2]

He wrote 89 books in science, philosophy, religion, politics, and society as well as plays, Tales, and travelogues. His writing style was notable for its simplicity and depth.


The material in this section is derived from self-published information by the subject.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mustafa Mahmoud says that he was raised in a middle-class family. His father was employed as a secretary in the province of El Gharbiyya. He was a pious man with a model character - exemplary behavior, patience, endurance, persistence and work. He steadfastly performed his Prayers at the mosque, even the Dawn Prayer which he used to perform in congregation. Furthermore, he was affectionate to his children and sacrificed himself for their sake as did his mother.

Mustafa Mahmud says he led his early life in a pleasant atmosphere wherein there was no oppression or violence. Rather, he enjoyed freedom and responsibility. In his early age in elementary school, he failed three years consecutively (He was a good student, but after an Arabic language teacher physically abused him, he got frustrated and left the school. But after the teacher reallocated to teach in another school, Mustafa came back to his school to continue studying there), yet he was left without any reproach or blame. In his childhood, he used to lay down ill. Thus, he was deprived of enjoying rough play, and running, which the children used to indulge in. He remained an introvert and spent his early days in imagination and dreams. He dreamed of being a great inventor or a discoverer or a traveler or a famous scientist. His role models were Christopher Columbus, Edison, Marconi and Pasteur.

Living in Tanta next to As Sayyid El Badawy Mosque, attending the celebrations in El Mawlid (a religious festival) and the Sufi and Dervishes' recitals all had a great influence on his psychological and innovative structure.

Mustafa Mahmud's father suffered from paralysis for seven years and died in 1939. His death occurred after he had finished his secondary school, when he was making the decision to join the Faculty of Medicine. Shortly thereafter, his family left Tanta for Cairo along with his mother.

Mustafa Mahmud had described his life during adolescence as similar to that of the taming an unruly horse, the bridle of which was free for one time, and controlled for many others. The struggle was so hard, as it went on for a long time, leaving behind a body covered by wounds and contusions.

Medical Studies

Mustafa Mahmud chose medicine as a field of study. In his autobiography, he says that felt content with it, and that he would be able to acquire science and knowledge of the mysteries. The study was intense, and it required strong desire, concentration, and devotion. Even though he needed to be more strict with himself, he was ambitious and his love for science and knowledge inspired him. However, he was often dissatisfied because of his feebleness; most of the time his ailing body forced him to stay in bed.

In his third year of studies he was admitted into hospital for two years of treatment. He describes this long isolation as a positive contribution to the development of his character, when he could indulge himself totally to reading and thinking of literary works. In these two years, the meditative character was fashioned within himself, and thus the writer was born.

After his recovery, he resumed his medical studies and says that he subsequently realized an immense change within himself. He discovered within himself the artist who reflects, reads, and peruses regularly the major sources of literature, plays, and novels. Owing to this new activity, (which in no time he became an expert at), he began to write regularly to the newspapers, (in his final year of Medicine). Accordingly, he had to intensify his effort to graduate and attain success. He started writing for El Tahrir and Rose El Yusef magazines. Due to his illness he graduated two or three years after his colleagues, in 1953.

He states that illness, suffering, and long isolation in the hospital caused his talents to gush forth … and pain was the very effective source and the real motive for all of those positive characteristics and benefits he developed as a human, a man of letters and a thinker. Pain also refined his character, made his innate nature so clear, revealed his religious sense, which led to his enlightenment, awareness and remembrance of God.

His frequent journeys[edit]

Mustafa Mahmud describes his frequent travels, starting with his journeys to the Tropics in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and the south of Sudan, where he stayed for two months with the tribe of Niam Niam. Thereafter, he traveled to the Sahara Desert, to the oasis of Ghadamis, where he stayed for a month with the tribe of El Tawariq. Furthermore, he traveled to many capitals of European and American countries, such as: Italy, Germany, Greece, France, Canada and the United States; and to the Arab countries, beginning with Morocco and Algeria in the west; and ending with Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia in the east.

There was another journey, one within himself; he boarded the ship of science, knowledge, and religion (starting from the Indian Fideism, Zoroaster, Buddha; and ending with Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Finally he found his comfort and himself in the Qur'an. Thus he concluded his traveling, and devoted himself totally to reflection and contemplation. He lived among the jurists, scholars, and Sufis, and found that the Qur'an is an ocean around which all the branches of knowledge gather together.

He wrote five books criticizing the Marxist thought: Islamic left Fib; Marxism and Islam; Leftism Collapse; Why Did I Refuse Marxism?; and The Antichrist. He was persuaded that Marxism was one of the pickaxes which destroyed the current civilization; at worst, it was an instrument that caused the creation of a spiteful, negative and rejecting character. He has seventy-five books published, six of them were adapted for stage: (Earthquake; Man and Shade; The Great Alexander; The Social Gang (Shilla-t 'Uns); Blood Odor; The Devil Lives in our House), one of them (The Impossible) was presented as a film; twenty-five books deal with Islamic subjects; and the rest consists of studies and short stories. TV presented for him more than four hundred parts of the program "Science and Faith", in which the movie, scientific substance and Sufi meditation guide us to the faith in God.[(that program came to and end, Mustafa's son "Adham Mustafa Mahmoud" said that the program stopped by orders issued from the Egyptian presidency to then-Information Minister Safwat al-Sharif,the reason of those orders was a pressure from Zionists. as Mentioned in a press report held with "Adham Mustafa Mahmoud" and published by Egyptian news paper "Egyptian today")] Source:(Arabian Only)

In the very beginning of his writing literature, he met El Aqqad, who used to give him a hand by reading his writings to the attendants in the meeting held by Aqqad on Fridays, and also by publishing them in the Al Rissala (The Message) Magazine in the year 1947. He also met Kamal El Shinnawy, because of his help he was able to publish Mustafa Mahmud's articles in the Akher Sa`ah (the Last Hour) Magazine in the year 1948.

In the year 1960,he left his medical career, devoting himself totally to writing for newspapers. As a physician, moving from one hospital to another (particularly, among the Hospitals of Chest Diseases in Abbasiyya, Chest diseases in 'Almazha, Chest diseases in Dumyat, and the dispensary of Umm el-Masriyyeen), between the years 1953 and 1960, all had a great influence on his writings, principally: Storehouse No. 7 (`Anbar 7), the Social Gang (Shilla-t 'Uns), and Eating Bread (Akl-`Aysh). In the meantime, it had an influence on his scientific and anatomical access to the public adversities, to the human soul and to the characters he dealt with in all his writings.

Another character who had a profound effect on him was his father, whose long-time illness, patience, faith, and pure innate nature remained in his mind throughout his life. As he grew older and encountered life's affairs in his thirties, a woman played a great role in and had an effectual control on his life, as a friend, a dialogist, and a lover. His faults were always due to losing control of himself when he looked at any beautiful things. Above all, he believed that no man is a perfect one unless he has found a woman to love, to marry, to have children with, and to feel parenthood and establish a family.


Mustafa Mahmud says that his first marriage in 1961 was not successful, though from it, he was endowed with a girl and a boy, Amal and Adham. The marriage ended in 1973. His second marriage in 1983 was also unsuccessful and ended in 1987. The reason behind these divorces was the passion of writing that controlled his life, his preoccupation with his work and finally his isolation. Yet both of them were to be blamed.

As soon as the second marriage had ended, he devoted himself totally to his mission and his goal, working as a Muslim scholar, a writer, and a thinker. At last, he was satisfied with this as his fate. Since then, he is residing in a small apartment attached to the mosque that he had built as a part of the Islamic Center in Al Dukki, carrying out his regular work. From his point of view, successful and prosperous work is to give treatment for all the physical and psychological diseases. The ability to convene between work and innovation is the most favored gift bestowed upon mankind from God(Allah).


He was discovered unconscious on 1 November 2009, despite medics trying to resuscitate him he was already dead. He died at the approximate age of 88.

His thoughts[edit]

On his website,[2] Mustafa Mahmud gives the following opinions about various things:

  • In the usual course of things, he does not care for malice, envy and enmity, or wasting time arguing against them. He prefers keeping away from these abhorrent qualities and their owners to avoid wasting his power superfluously. The greatest triumph he has achieved in his life according to him was himself. It was as a result of the help of God, the strength with which He aided him, the Insight, the Light guiding his life and the virtuous model he had in his father, and his mother beside the righteous family he was brought up within.
  • The defeat of 1967 and the economic and moral collapse were the actual afflictions, which are still the most important ones, to be afraid of in his country Egypt. The victory of 1973 eased that feeling. Even though, the destructive influence of the communist system was ready to exist in his Egyptian country up till now.
  • He believes that the Egyptians have to go out from this communist environment, and from the remnants of the common economy brought into being by Abdel Nasser i.e., public sector, aimless free of charge educational system, the equality of workers and farmers in the number of voters, the oppression of a land owner by the tenant of the land whereby the tenant does not have any use of, but sublets it to others, leaving the countryside for cities and towns, agricultural collapse, the spirit of idleness, mutual dependence, envy, malice, alienation, and passive behaviors of which communism rooted in every field in the society.
  • The Egyptians have to cleanse our society from the fruitless and destructive methods of Abdel Nasser, because new buildings cannot be structured on a decayed foundation, taking into consideration that the building is not to be raised on a ruin. Unfortunately, the Egyptian set of laws is still suffering from Marxian failure, nevertheless the total change in our economic system. The very first problem, the Egyptians have to deal with is education i.e., its system and methods. These are to be completely changed. The very first concern is the focus on the high moral standards of work.
  • Merging of knowledge and performance is the only way for the economy to prosper, and for the population to change to bless. This is so clear by comparing the population of Japan or India, finding out that the Egyptians are less developed. As a result, to working of most of them, India has covered its needs of corn. On the other hand, due to the high employment level, Japan overcame American products. South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong have been able to be in the fore-front.
  • Work is a Kind of worship, blessing and belief. As long as education is exercised at home, in the mosque, in the factories, in the schools, and in the media, the Egyptians would be able to advance all the way. In Singapore, for example, the total number of its population is only three million; the total production exported abroad is about seventy billion dollars. This is tremendous as there is no petroleum, natural gas, iron, copper nor ore deposits. They even used to buy water from their neighbors. Hong Kong is one of the cities that produces and exports a larger amount of products estimated by doubles more than what Egypt, whose population is more than sixty million, exports; this is because of the incredibly high employment rate.
  • He is wondering, when will the Egyptians emerge from the field of malice, laziness, and the psychological ruin of which our authoritarian governments imbued in them, and become a productive working nation.

At which time are we to return to the normal innate nature, and fresh minds of which the true Muslim is characterized.

  • He hopes to be "himself" no more, and to introduce to the whole world the best he has to offer, and to go on working until his last breath, close to God, asking Him to be pleased with him. Finally, he hopes God allows him to leave this world as good as he can.


In the July 7, 2008 issue of Culture Magazine, published by Al Jazirah, a number of prominent people commented on their respect for the works of Mustafa Mahmoud.[3]


  • 1-Understanding The Qur'an : A Contemporary Approach ISBN 1-59008-022-X
  • 2-Kalimat as-sirr. al-Qāhira: Dār Aḫbār al-Yaum. 1998. ISBN 977-08-0694-3. 
  • 3-Al-Islam Al-Siyasi Wa-Al-Marakah Al-Qadimah (Political Islam and the upcoming battle) ISBN 977-08-0403-7
  • 4-Qiraah Lil-Mustaqbal (Reading for the future) ISBN 977-08-0037-6
  • 5-Al-Sual Al-hair ISBN 977-02-2611-4 The Perplexed Question)
  • 6-Haqiqat Al-Bahaiyah (Bahai Facts) (1985) ISBN 977-02-1502-3
  • 7-Marxism and Islam (1984) ISBN 977-02-0969-4
  • 8-Ayyuha Al-Sadah - Ikhlau Al-Aqniah (Gentlemen, Unveil These Masks)(1984) ISBN 977-02-0901-5
  • 9-Al-Islam - Ma Huwa (What is Islam?) (1984) ISBN 977-02-1110-9
  • 10-Hal Huwa asr Al-Junun (Is It The Age of Insanity) (1983) ISBN 977-02-0499-4
  • 11-Min Amrika Ila Al-Shati Al-akhar (From America to the other shore) (1982) ISBN 977-02-0255-X
  • 12-Dialog Antara Muslim Dan Atheis (1981) ISBN 9971-77-021-0
  • 13-Ukdhubat Al-Yasar Al-Islami (1978) ISBN 977-247-404-2
  • 14-Al-Islam fi khandak
  • 15-Al Hob al kadeem (The old love)
  • 16-Al Roh wal Gsad (The Spirit & The Body)
  • 17-Al Sir Al A'zam (The Greatest Secret)
  • 18-Al Sirk (The Circus)
  • 19-Al Shaytan Yahkom (The Devil Rules )
  • 20-Al Ghad al Moshta'il (The Burning Tomorrow)
  • 21-Al Quran Ka'in Hai (Quran: A Living Creature)
  • 22-Al Wgoud wal 'dm (Existence and nothingness)
  • 23-Einstein and Relativity
  • 24-Gohnam el-so'ra
  • 25-Hekayat Mosafer
  • 26-Ra'it Allah (I Saw God)
  • 27-Rehlati men al shak ila al iman (My journey from Doubt to Belief)
  • 28-Al- Ankabout (The Spider)
  • 29-Asr el-orood (Age of Monkeys)
  • 30-In Love and Life
  • 31-Death mystery
  • 32-Mohammed
  • 33-Fire under the ashes
  • 34-Getting out of the Coffin
  • 35-Adventure in the Desert
  • 36-Al-Torah
  • 37-Quran: serious attempt to a modern understanding
  • 38-Allah (GOD)
  • 39-Smell of the Blood
  • 40-Opium
  • 41-What's Behind The Gate of Death

Memorials and honors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The death of the great scientist, Mostafa Mahmoud after a struggle with the disease (arabic)
  2. ^ a b c "The Founder...A Biography" (in Arabic). Mustafa Mahmud. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  3. ^ "Mustafa Mahmoud" Al Jazirah

External links[edit]