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Fatwas Part Ninety-Nine
The Enormity of Hunger Revolts

 

The Enormity of Hunger Revolts

 

Was published in Arabic in February 08, 2016

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly:

 

1- The American writer Pearl Buck (1892-1973) spent her childhood and part of her life in China. Most of her novels tackle Chinese life, and she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. Her great novel The Good Earth revolves around the life story of a Chinese peasant and his wife. His wife used to be a girl-slave living in a feudal palace. Hunger revolt erupts; thousands of the hungry attacked the palace to rob it. Among them was the slave-girl who becomes the peasant's wife. Because she has been living in this place and knows its secret passages and location, she does not carry any food or furniture like the rest of rebels. She waits until they are done and gone, and eventually makes stealth to the locations of hidden treasures kept by the palace dwellers and she took them.

 

2- We believe that the same happened with Quaroon in the lifetime of Moses in Egypt. Quaroon was an Israelite man who dealt unjustly with the rest of the Israelites; he became an underling to the Pharaoh helping him in the persecution against his weak people the Israelites. Dwellers of Egypt at the time were divided into three categories: 1) Moses' Pharaoh and his retinue, people, soldiers, family, governors, government, and regime, 2) the Israelites who were formerly owners of old glory and wealth and who descended into a state of weakness and poverty, and 3) the rest of the Egyptians who were weak and oppressed peasants, the salt of the earth who work hard – past and present – for the sake of the affluent ones! Moses' Pharaoh drowned along with his group, and his regime and reign ended. Those who remained at the time in Egypt were the poor Egyptian peasants and the Israelites, and the latter ruled Egypt for some years later on, as we deduct from these Quranic verses: "So We took vengeance on them, and drowned them in the sea-because they rejected Our signs, and paid no heed to them. And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:136-137). We read here that Moses' Pharaoh died along with his retinue, that the Israelites ruled Egypt after him, and that storehouses, farms, and palaces of the last regime were destroyed. Let us imagine the scene: simple Egyptian peasants toiling in fields and threatened by the whip – suddenly they were free with no fear, with Moses' Pharaoh and his retinue gone off forever! For sure, the palaces and storehouses were filled with goods with no owners, and we expect that simple Egyptian hungry peasants swarmed such palaces to loot them, as we read in the novel titled The Good Earth. We imagine as well that Quaroon made like the slave-girl in the novel; namely, as an underling of Moses' Pharaoh, he knew where the hidden locations of treasures are, and he confiscated them all to himself. He became then the riches man at the time; see 28:76-82.

 

3- Pharaonic history tells us that the Ramses Dynasty regime made drastic and radical changes in Egypt's rule. The feudal system of the previous eras was ended by the Ramses Dynasty members who participated in all power, authority, and wealth of Egypt. the ruler/ pharaoh became then the only and sole real owner of the land and everything and everyone on it, who centrally controlled alone all politics, security, army, along with his retinue of leaders, governors, military men, and soldiers who control all of Egypt and who were in their turn under the control of pharaoh. More details are in our book titled "Egypt in the Quran'', published here on our website. We conclude that Moses' Pharaoh held a conference to mock Moses and declare himself the only owner of Egypt and its rivers: "Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying, "O my people, do I not own the Kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see? Am I not better than this miserable wretch, who can barely express himself? Why are bracelets of gold not dropped on him, or they angels came with him in procession?" Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. They were wicked people." (43:51-54). Here, we read that his retinue, that included military men, clergymen, and security men, applauded him even he fooled them. This is repeated until now.

 

4- God tells us in the Quran about the law of divine destroying of any given society or country: "When We decide to destroy a town, We command its affluent ones, they transgress in it, so the word becomes justified against it, and We destroy it completely." (17:16). We analyze the elements of this law as follows. 1) The existence of the affluent ones means the class that monopolizes wealth and authority and power; i.e., less than 1% of the citizens control and own 99% of the wealth of the nation, whereas 99% of the citizens own 1% of the wealth of the nation. This last 1% is owned by the weak middle class living off the leftover of the affluent persons. In such a nation, the vast majority is among the impoverished hungry ones who struggle to make ends meet and are threatened daily with hardships to get the daily bread, whereas the affluent ones do their best in extravaganza. 2) The affluent ones refuse the divine order of applying justice, and they go beyond all limits of injustice. This is the meaning of commanding the affluent ones in 17:16; they are ordered to apply justice and charity, but instead they went on with their grave injustices, like all evil towns/societies. This is the meaning of transgression in 17:16; the affluent ones grew more unjust in monopoly of power and wealth, and they transgressed all limits by punishing warners, advisors, and those calling for reform. 3) destroying it completely in 17:16 means that the affluent ones face no opposition whatsoever and enjoy impunity and lack or reprimand and rebuke within their societies, and hence, they conflict and struggle against one another for more authority and power. The hungry ones, before such a scene, must choose either of the two solutions: to die hard and slowly of hunger, or to die fast by the arms of the affluent ones. Mostly, they choose the latter. In other cases, internal unrest or revolt erupts from within such a society, because the military power men in the service of the affluent ones come from the poorer classes of course. There are limits to their obeying the orders of the affluent ones if they order them to kill poor hungry rebels among the weak citizens. Hence, hell is unleashed from within, or an outer enemy would attack the weak nation, and the rebellion is caused by outer forces. In both cases, mass destruction ensues.

 

5- The problem here is that the affluent ones in their monopoly, and in their refusal of any type of reform by threatening those who call for reform, have no one left in society except the weak hungry ones and the upstart opportunist hypocrites. When the affluent ones die out, the new leaders of organized militias emerge as well as groups of the upstart opportunist hypocrites. Clashes ensue, and societies like this enter into an eddy of civil wars, upheavals, and unrest. This is what we see in the Middle East after the failure of the so called Arab Spring revolts. Any given tyrant who ruled and reigned for a long time with his affluent ones and retinue had wiped out all real reformers and spread all forms of deep-seated corruption and burned and swept all seeds of reform that will never germinate. Such tyrants were ousted and abdicated, leaving nations on the verge of collapse and its citizens corrupt to the marrow. Hence, it is usually the most corrupt who rule and become prominent in the scene or the arena, and those never know anything except the culture of corruption, tyranny, enslavement of others, and exclusions of the reformers in all fields. Real reform on all levels entails decades of toil and endeavor to reestablish the culture of justice and liberty based on sound direct democracy that will provide justice and equality for all.

 

6- In 17:16, we see that the stages discussed above (affluent unjust ones – commands of justice - destruction) occurred in history. In the French Revolution (1789-1799), the Bourbons dynasty reached the level of limitless corruption and affluence in the era of Louis XVI, and the hungry masses in Paris revolted to ask for bread and took to the streets, to be mocked by Marie Antoinette who told them to eat cake instead. She was unaware of the pulse of the street at all, in a complete state of detachment from the hungry sufferers after years of affluence in palaces, monopolizing power and wealth. The factor that led to such revolt was in our opinion the ignoring of views and writings of reformers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu. Paris at the time lacked reformers who would have voiced the reasoning mind and solutions; the only left people are the affluent ones 1% of the nation, and the vast majority of the hungry poor ones, 99% of the nation, separated by the Bastille, which was used to terrorize and threaten the impoverished weak ones. The latter chose bravely to face the tyrants; the Bastille once swarmed and assaulted turned to be weaker than they imagined. The Bastille fell into the hands of Revolutionaries on 14th of July 1789, with its head beheaded and whose corpse was to be paraded in streets of Paris, a sign of the fallen regime. France fell miserably prey to the criminals and the gangsters because reformers' voice vanished. The guillotine had the upper hand as we know; reasoning minds were not to be found. French civil unrest went on until Napoleon Bonaparte established his military empire, which collapsed later on. Eventually, the French people learned that democracy means that authority and power move smoothly between people.

 

7- In China, the affluent ones ruled and reached unprecedented levels of corruption and injustice within the Qing Dynasty. Reformers emerged calling for justice, but the affluent ones as usual transgressed all limits. Pearl Puck tells us in her novel that the cultured youth distributed pamphlets to urge people to face injustice, but the illiterate heroine used to get that paper to use in housework! The intended meaning here is to show the detachment between the cultured rebels and the hungry masses. The same gap is to be found between the affluent ones in their velvety quiet world of material comfort and the roar of the hungry masses. Such an abyss or gap was behind the fact that when the Qing Dynasty collapsed and fell, more turmoil, upheavals, massacres, and unrest ensued. Mao Zedong came to power and established the Chinese Marxism in 1949.  He killed tens of millions of Chinese citizens! Once he died, in 1976, relative gradual change occurred in the ruling regime began, while keeping the monopoly of the ruling party of wealth and power. China has to go through more stages of suffering until it would reach real stability and prosperity.

 

8- In Egypt, there was a monarchy with liberal trends while there was no social justice at all. The feudal system and the king monopolized all wealth, power, and authority. Liberalism allowed some Egyptian thinkers at the time to be vociferous and outspoken in their call for reform. Their endeavors led to the fruition by the emergence of the constitution and the end of the British occupation (except from the Suez Canal). The constitution called for preserving and protecting the rights of Egyptian citizens in liberty and justice and equality. Liberalism of the time led to the emergence of the generations of rebels who fought for a place under the sun, such as the Left (gauche) trends and communists (especially The Democratic Movement for National Liberation) and the movement named Youthful Egypt led by Ahmed Hussein. Yet, the most influential trend in the royal era in Egypt in the 20th century was the terrorist Wahabi Salafist MB group members, whose evils were not shown to everybody yet. but political experts of the time knew the MB terrorist group used assassinations and religiosity slogans to reach authority and rule Egypt. A good change took place when the military faculty began to accept students from among ordinary Egyptian secondary students; formerly, it used to recruit and enroll sons of the well-off classes only. Hence, generations of rebels became army men. among them were those who came to be called the Free Officers in the 1952 coup that abdicated King Farouk. Many of such officers were affiliated or made alliance with the terrorist MB. Two officers were Marxists: Youssef Seddiq and Zachariah Moheiddine. The 1952 coup was welcomed by most Egyptians who were hungry and the signal of outbursts of anger began when some Cairo districts were burned down on 26th January 1952. The perpetrators remain to be mysterious, but theories tend to form that it is either the terrorist MB or some rebellious Marxists who did such arsons. Yet, it is a fact that Egyptians supported the 1952 events wholeheartedly due to their fury against the affluent ones within the unjust royal regime. The 1952 coup succeeded, and some terrorist MB members claim participation in its success. Monarchy collapsed easily, and the Free Officers called this coup a revolution, due to the support of the masses. This revolution had its slogans and principles. Internal struggles ensued: (M. Naguib vs. Nasser) and then (the Mb vs. Nasser). Nasser crushed and defeated his adversaries. He was a tyrant ruler who promised to fulfill and realize some levels of justice. He did just that. Yet, later on, he failed, because justice must prevail on all levels, not partially. Social justice had to be supported by political justice, which means democracy and political participation of all citizens in authority shared and moved smoothly from one ruler to another.  We believe that the Egyptian Military rule Egypt and left its original mission to protect the borders against the Israeli enemies. Hence, the 1967 defeat, aka the Six Day War. Nasser failed militarily. The Egyptian Military rule Egypt until this very moment, and its performance in ruling is worse than ever in our opinion. The tyrant Mubarak ruled for 30 years and managed to wipe out, stifle, and silence all voices of reform on all levels. He made corruption a way of life until now. That is why the 2011 revolt to oust Mubarak failed later on after his ouster. The terrorist MB ruled Egypt for one miserable year. The Military men left them to rule so that they may be exposed by showing their true colors as a mere punch of assassins and thieves. Once this was done, 2013 revolt broke out to oust the terrorist corrupt MB rule. We see that Mubarak's cronies have made a comeback to rule and take revenge; they harm the Egyptians with worst crimes in comparison to Mubarak.

 

9- Let us not forget the January 1977 revolt against Sadat, when hungry Egyptians called for bread; Sadat was about to flee Egypt, but eventually, he restored the state monopoly of bread making in cheap prices and revoked his decision to make room for privatization in that area. Sadat wrongly called this 1977 revolt as the "uprising of the thieves". Mubarak faced the uprising of the soldiers of the Central security guards that swept Egypt on 25th February 1986. Such guards were like the whip in hands of the affluent ones and rulers to terrorize people. Such guards were essentially descendants from lowest classes and peasants whose ignorance and crude roughness were required to punish and threat their fellow hungry impecunious citizens. Mubarak crushed this revolt with planes and killed thousands of rebels. This was another unforgettable example of hunger revolts of Egyptians. We believe hunger revolts are imminent in Egypt!

 

10- Cronies of Mubarak rule Egypt now and have led it to be on the verge of collapse – again. The citizens elected the current President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, who used to be formerly the Minister of Defense. Egyptians now suffer oppression and hunger. It seems that the Egyptian Military is used to quell any revolt of ire by the people against the ruling regime. It is as if the citizens are the enemy of the military, if the former dared to express anger against the latter: who are affluent military men who live in the lap of luxury. That is why military arms were used to quell demonstrators in 2011 and until now, in our opinion. Voices of those who call peacefully for reform are stifled, and reformers chased out of the scene and media. Some revolutionary youth are still missing, some incarcerated, and some tortured. Most cultural elite men and women are silenced or bribed to praise the regime. No real political participation of all people took place. Tahrir square has been turned into a military barrack to prevent any possible gatherings in it in the future. The number of the hungry Egyptians is on the rise. They might revolt if the degeneration and decadence levels go on exponentially, and no solutions emerge on the horizon. If they revolt, no leaders would appear except opportunists, hypocrites, and gangsters, whose culture knows nothing but destruction, looting, robbery, and mass killings. We fear lest Egypt enter into a stage of decades of upheavals and unrest, whose first victims would be the ruling affluent unjust ones.

 

Lastly:

 

1- This is a piece of advice to the ruling affluent class in Egypt: enjoy your offspring now; later on, you will no longer be able to see them, and they will not be able to see you. Try to remember the fate allotted to your ancestors the unjust affluent ones in whose footsteps you are marching. Tyranny of the current Egyptian President, as well as his affluent men and cronies, will not help anyone to escape the fate of Moses' Pharaoh and his retinue.

 

2- We now understand why the story of Moses' Pharaoh is repeated a lot in the Quranic text. Do you, readers, understand the reason of this repetition?          


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