Zainab Al-Ghazali was born in 1917 in a middle class family of farmers in a village named Maitin in Egypt. She was brought up in a deep routed religious atmosphere. At the age of twenty she laid down the foundation of Jamiat Al-Sayyidat-ul-Muslimeen, an organisation for the welfare of the women especially the poor, orphans and the underprivileged.
She was greatly inspired by the performance of Ikhwaan Al-Muslimoon (Muslim Brotherhood) in the Jihad in Palestine during the regime of Farooque. She came close to Imam Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Ikhwaan and was greatly inspired by their other leaders like Imam Sayyed Qutb, Hasan Al Huzaibi and Abdul Fattah Ismail.
In February 1964 an attempt on her life was made by a car accident during the evil and wicked regime of Egyptian President Jamal Abdul Nasser who was bent on breaking the back of the Ikhwaan using all possible methods.
She was arrested on Friday 20th August 1965 by the same regime and imprisoned for a term of six years on a false charge of conspiring to assassinate Nasser with the leaders of the Ikhwaan. Day after day, for six years, Nasser’s secret police tried to break her. They would hang her by her arms and flog her constantly.
They used to cast her in a room full of starving mad dogs. There would be urine and faeces in what little disgusting food they gave her. She was forced to sit, as if in prayer, in water up to her neck for many days at a stretch on numerous occasions without any movement and then they flogged her soft swollen body again.
Every time she was taken to the prison hospital, in an attempt to keep her alive so that they could prolong her torture, the doctors would say that she would not survive another beating. However, the police would beat her again. Alhamdulillah, she survived and was released in August 1971. Zainab Al-Ghazali is still alive today and ironically, she outlived Nasser and his animalistic torturers. The evil forces of satan could not hinder her from the path of truth i.e. Islam.
Nasser and his men indeed succeeded in breaking the bones of the true, strong Muslims, but they never broke the Muslims’ will or their trust in Allah. Zainab Al-Ghazali was only strengthened by the tests Allah put upon her. Verily, Allah tests those whom He loves so that they may be elevated.
Return of the Pharaoh by Zainab Al Ghazali
Days from my Life (Ayyam min Hayati) by Zainab Al Ghazali