Said Ramadan

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Said Ramadan in 1961.

Said Ramadan (Arabic: سعيد رمضان‎; April 12, 1926 in Shibin Al Kawm, Al Minufiyah – August 4, 1995 in Geneva) was an Egyptian political activist and humanitarian, and one of the preeminent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Said Ramadan (second from the right) in the Oval Office with US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other Muslim leaders in 1953

He was the son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood's founder, and emerged as one of the brotherhood's main leaders in the 1950s. Ramadan was often accused by the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdul Nasser of being in the CIA's pay; after being expelled from Egypt for his activities, Ramadan moved to Saudi Arabia where he was one of the original members of the constituent council of the Muslim World League, a charity and missionary group funded by the Saudi government. From the 1950s, he was considered the Muslim Brotherhood's unofficial "foreign minister."[1]

He also had a pivotal role in Pakistan, where he met Mawdudi, was endorsed by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, who prefaced one of his books, and wore a Jinnah cap to better integrate, that "made people forget he was Egyptian" : moving there in 1948, after the creation of Israel, in order to attend the World Muslim Congress held in Karachi as the representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, he wasn't chosen as the WIC's secretary-general because of his "extremism", but still would have an influence on the country through the weekly radio programs and booklets discussing Islamic affairs he'll publish, which would attract young Pakistani intellectuals, and his work as an ideologue is said to have contributed in making Pakistan an Islamic Republic in 1956, as "he was omnipresent in the media - arguing, on every occasion, for legislation based on the sharia."[2]

From the 1950s, Ramadan enjoyed extensive support from the CIA, which saw him as an ally in the battle against communism; by the end of the 1950s, "the CIA was overtly backing Ramadan. While it's too simple to call him a US agent, in the 1950s and 1960s the United States supported him as he took over a mosque in Munich, kicking out local Muslims to build what would become one of the Brotherhood's most important centers – a refuge for the beleaguered group during its decades in the wilderness. In the end, the US didn't reap much for its efforts, as Ramadan was more interested in spreading his Islamist agenda than fighting communism."[3]

Said Ramadan was the father of Hani Ramadan and Tariq Ramadan. On 9 August 1995 Ramadan was interred next to his father-in-law Hassan al-Banna. The Said Ramadan Peace Prize is named in his honour.[4]

Books and booklets[edit]

  • Islamic law; its scope and equity
  • Islam and nationalism
  • Three major problems confronting the world of Islam
  • Islam, doctrine and way of life
  • What we stand for
  • What is an Islamic state?


  1. ^ Algar, Hamid (2002). Wahhabism: A Critical Essay. Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International. pp. 49–50. Its constituent council, which met for the first time in December 1962, was headed by the then chief mufti of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad b. Ibrahim Al al-Shaykh, a lineal descendant of Muhammad b. Abd al-Wahhab, and the presidency remains to this day vested in the Saudi chief mufti. Included among its eight other members were important representatives of the Salafi tendency: Sa'id Ramadan, son-in-law of Hasan al-Banna, ....Maulana Abu l-A'la Maududi .... Maulanda Abu 'l-Hasan Nadvi (d. 2000) of India.
  2. ^ Caroline Fourest, Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan, Encounter Books (2008), pp. 45-46
  3. ^ Johnson, Ian. "Washington's Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood".
  4. ^ "Tariq Ramadan verlieh Scholl-Latour den "Dr. Said Ramadan Friedenspreis für Dialog und Völkerverständigung,"" [Tariq Ramadan gave Scholl-Latour the "Dr. Said Ramadan Peace Prize for dialogue and understanding between peoples"]. (in German). 20 October 2008. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008.