Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mostafa Lotfi al Manfalouti

Mostafa Lotfi El Manfalouti was born on December 30, 1877, in the city of Manfalout in Upper Egypt. Brought up in a family of Ulamas, he was motivated to finish his education at Al Azhar in Cairo. When first there, he met Imam Muhammad Abdou and became his student. He accompanied him throughout so that Imam Muhammad Abdou himself used to say that this student would be among the best to disseminate his principles which conformed entirely with El Manfalouti's reformatory thought. During that period, his literary talent cropped up. He began to write poetry at the age of 16, which made him the centre of attention. He was imprisoned, while still a student at Al Azhar, because he wrote a poem slandering Khedive Abbas II the then ruler of Egypt.
In disseminating his ideas, El Manfalouti relied heavily on essay-writing which he developed into a full art. El Manfalouti gained more renown from his essays than that from his novels. Orientalist Brookleman said that El Manfalouti is the most famous essay-writer in the 20th century. Moreover, he was a pioneer of the short story and the novel in general. His smooth style made his novels readable in successive editions all over the Arab world. El Manfalouti distinguished himself with:
First: Tenderness of feeling, which enabled him to visualize the miseries of society. He was known to be always seeking comfort for the miserable, the deprived and the bereaved.
Second: his ideal, moral inclination that was manifested in his call for righteousness, goodness and virtue.
El Manfalouti's most important reformatory principles were:
1. Education. 2. Social justice 3. Authenticity and modernity. 4. A special view of art. 5. Women's rights. 6. Religious reform

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