As the founding leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hassan al-Banna’s words and decisions were carried from his lips to the masses throughout the Middle East. He leveraged jihad (struggle through holy war) as a tool to combat the modern ills of Muslim society.
Similar to other Sufi leaders who were faced with existential threats, Hassan al-Banna forged his own doctrine for survival and prosperity. He created integral explanations on jihad, which would be believed whole-heartedly by his followers, and executed when necessary. Hassan al-Banna – Leader of The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt developed a sensational Islamic revival.
His position as the supreme leader for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, followed the classic Sufi model known as murid (committed one) – murshid (teacher). Under this Sufi principle, a teacher would commit to only one or two students along his life; it is an eternal relationship.Within this dynamic, Hassan al-Banna encouraged his followers to take heed to his declarations. His main message was, that the opponents to Islam were khawarij(heretics), and wasani (pagans who lived just like the days of Jahiliyya, the pre-Islamic pagan society.
These were not light charges to sling against fellow Muslims. And within the confines of his Islamic Sufi order, the Muslim masses would come to deliver these accusations against leadership throughout the Muslim world. The Muslim Brotherhood was developing itself into a movement, bent on reviving the spirit of Islam through forms of jihad and aggressive public debate.
The Muslim Brotherhood spread like a modern day viral video throughout the Middle East. They were successful in reforming the mindset of thousands of Muslims by maintaining their mystical traditions throughout their Islamic quest. Hassan al-Banna won the hearts and minds of hundres of thousands of Muslims across the world.
The Muslim Brotherhoods that came to blanket the region were not merely political groupings promoting Islam, but rather, as P.L. Berger says in his book, The Desecularization of the World…they were “an impressive revival of emphatically religious commitments.”
It remained difficult to categorize the Muslim Brotherhood as an organization or group, until the recent January 25 Revolution in Egypt. Today it is clear that the Islamic group is a powerful political organization that currently rules Egypt.