The announcement of the presentation of a theatrical work on Sheikh Muhammad Metwally Al-Shaarawi, one of the most famous Islamic preachers in Egypt for decades, sparked a crisis that led to a great controversy among intellectuals and clerics in Egypt and caused violent criticism of the Ministry of Culture, which announced through one of its sectors the presentation of the work due to the controversy over the opinions of The famous sheikh and his positions on some issues, especially with regard to the arts and women.
Art critic Tariq Al-Shennawy told Al-Hurra that the decision to present a theatrical work on Al-Shaarawi is fundamentally wrong, because Al-Shaarawi has strict positions regarding women, the arts and female circumcision, for example, and presenting an artwork about him in the National Theater of the Ministry of Culture and the State will not present the biography of Al-Shaarawi. With what he has and what he has, and he will present it in a positive way only because of his popularity and popularity, and therefore the decision to start with choosing the character of Al-Shaarawi to present it on the national stage is wrong.
“Al-Shennawi” received a major attack, whether from the Shaarawy family or his fans, or from the sheikhs of Al-Azhar who commented on the crisis because he announced his opinion on presenting the theatrical work, and the sheikh’s family announced that legal measures were taken against him and sued, and “Al-Shennawi” commented on that that he “will deal with developments in the situation.” Through his lawyer because he did not err in announcing his opinion on the crisis.
The apology of the nominated actor for introducing the character of El Shaarawy
The artistic work that was announced to be presented on Al-Shaarawi is an evening presented within a theatrical program in Ramadan called “The Biography”, in which every night during the month of Ramadan an evening is presented on stage on one of the famous personalities in Egyptian history such as Naguib Mahfouz, Ahmed Zewail, Muhammad Abdo and others, including Al-Shaarawi .
According to what was announced by the Ministry of Culture, represented by the head of the theater’s artistic house, the actor who was nominated to present the role is Kamal Abu Rayya, a famous artist in Egypt who has presented many works, whether in cinema or television drama over the past years.
Kamal Abu Raya told Al-Hurra: “I apologized for presenting the work a long time ago, before announcing it and the occurrence of the crisis because of my preoccupation with filming other works of art, because the theater requires a long time in preparation and reading the character, and not because of my refusal to present the character of Al-Shaarawi as mentioned during the crisis.” Which caused a huge attack on me.”
He explained, “If he has time to present the work and finds it well written, dramatic, that includes showing all aspects of the personality, then he has no problem presenting the work, because I deal with him as a dramatic personality.”
Abu Rayya justified the attack he was subjected to because of the crisis by saying, “Some understood that I apologized for presenting the work because of my refusal to present the character, and attributed to me words that I did not say about my preference for presenting other personalities over presenting Al-Shaarawi, which is incorrect because I apologized because of the lack of time and my preoccupation with other artistic works.”
Al-Azhar enters the confrontation
Al-Azhar entered into a confrontation with the attackers of Sheikh Al-Shaarawi and those who refused to present the evening about him because of his opinions and positions. Consciences and consciences of peoples Its danger does not stop at distorting the meaning of a good example and underestimating the status of science in people’s hearts, but rather extends to wasting decades of the nation’s life and identity; knowledge, thought, culture, and civilization, and clears the arena for issuing poor models from which the nation reaps nothing but more Weakness, dilution, and detachment are among the foundations of its glory and dignity, and this is a crime against thought, creativity, and an enlightened middle awareness, which is not satisfied by jealousy of his country and his nation.”
Al-Shaarawi, who died 25 years ago, is very popular in Egypt, and his weekly program, which he presented on state television, enjoyed great viewership and had views that many consider extremist, especially with regard to women, arts and science, and his biography was presented in a work of art years ago under the name “Imam of Preachers.” Opinions about him were divided between supporters and opponents because of showing the personality without any negative aspects that gave it some sanctity.
And the Egyptian Minister of Culture announced that the evening that was to be presented on Al-Shaarawi on the national stage was just a proposal among many other proposed names, and there was a specialized committee that was giving final approvals to the proposed names, and it was not approved to present Al-Shaarawi’s evening.
The Al-Shaarawy family also announced that it had taken legal action against those who attacked the sheikh, especially the art critic Tariq Al-Shennawi, who attacked the idea of presenting an artwork about Al-Shaarawy.
Sheikh Muhammad Metwally Al-Shaarawi was born on April 15, 1911, in the village of Daqadous, Mit Ghamr Center, Dakahlia Governorate, and he obtained the Azhar primary certificate in 1923. He specialized in the study of the Arabic language and for many years he presented weekly thoughts about the Holy Qur’an and interpretation on Egyptian television and radio.
He held several positions, including Director of the Office of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar in 1964, Head of the Al-Azhar Mission in Algeria in 1966, and Minister of Awqaf and Al-Azhar Affairs in Egypt in 1976. He also held membership in the Islamic Research Academy in 1980, the Arabic Language Academy, and the Shura Council, and he has many religious books. Including the miracle of the Qur’an, and you ask and Islam answers, Islam, critical questions and frank answers He died at the age of eighty-seven, on June 17, 1998.