One of Khedive Ismail's sins was to flood Egypt with debts, which opened the door wide for foreign intervention and then the English occupation (social networking sites)

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti (1753 - 1825 AD) recorded his written testimony in condemnation of the political violence that Muhammad Ali Pasha (1769 - 1849 AD) adopted as a method in establishing the modern state in Egypt. This violence has become a latent nature and an inherent instinct in the formation of the modern state, which does not hesitate to call upon whatever it has in its arsenal. All forms of internal and external violence, whenever necessary, to reformulate the social contract between them and the Egyptian people.

Throughout the last two centuries, the forms of the social contract have changed from one era to another, but its content remains the same: dictation by the authority and compliance by the people. This was the state of the Pasha and his descendants, and this is the state of the officers, and this is the state of June 30, 2013 AD.

This social contract based on violence was described by Professor Imam Muhammad Abduh 1849 - 1905 AD, saying that “the people are slaves of the ruler.” From his point of view, this slavery, through dictation on the part of the ruler and acquiescence on the part of the people, was established with the state of Muhammad Ali Pasha and continued until Egypt went bankrupt and its finances were in turmoil. It fell at the mercy of creditors.

Khedive Ismail, 1830 - 1895 AD, began allowing people spaces of vent and expression to strengthen them in the face of the European powers that interfered in the affairs of his rule under the pretext of protecting the rights of creditors. Khedive Ismail - for his purely personal interest - was the one who incited the Shura Council of Representatives against the government imposed on him by Europe.

Bankruptcy and isolation

The Shura Council of Representatives lived ten years before that, from 1866 to 1877 AD, just like the parliaments of the New Republic from 2013 to 2023 AD. In it, no speaker spoke and no whisperer whispered except what the Khedive dictated to them. The system in effect in Khedive Ismail’s parliament was the same system in effect in parliaments. New Republic. Where a representative from the rulers goes and suggests to the representatives the will of the ruler, and they end - after formal deliberations - to approve what the ruler wants.

However, after the year of bankruptcy in 1876 AD, Khedive Ismail began inciting the representatives to opposition, which reached its peak with the formation of Nubar’s European-oriented government in 1878 AD, and the Shura Council of Representatives turned into a strongly opposition parliament in the year of isolation in 1879 AD.

The Khedive was not satisfied with inciting the deputies, but rather took advantage of the delay in the salaries of the army officers. He incited them to demonstrate against the government, then he went to the rural notables and encouraged them in the same way. From all of this, a strong and influential press was found, and a motivated and interested public opinion. None of this had been permitted since the founding of the government. The New Kingdom 1805 AD.

But with the bankruptcy of the country's finances, which the Egyptians understood - by political instinct - that it was the bankruptcy of the entire state of the Pasha and his descendants, and that it was the end of the unjust social contract based on the people being slaves of the ruler.

The Khedive needed the people, for the first time in the history of the modern state. Before that, the ruler was the holder of blessings and the people were slaves to his benevolence. Suddenly the ruler became bankrupt, in debt, and threatened on his throne, and had no power or authority, except the power and authority of the people. The Khedive was forced to sow the seeds of revolution among the Egyptians for his own benefit. .

But these seeds germinated and then became independent of their source. It became a real revolution, but for the benefit of the people and not for the benefit of the Khedive. A revolution not against Europe in favor of Khedive tyranny, slavery, and corruption, but a revolution against both of them together, against the bankrupt and indebted Khedive, and against the European creditor invaders. The Urabi revolution was the usher in the recovery of Public awareness among Egyptians.

Many Egyptian intellectuals do not pay attention to the historian’s instinct that Professor Imam Muhammad Abduh possesses, and it was clearly evident in his unfinished book on the events of the Urabi Revolution, which he wrote based on a commission from “the Grand King of Egypt, Abbas Hilmi Pasha Al-Afkham.”

 Tragic endings

Professor Imam stopped completing it out of embarrassment at being exposed to the cheap role played by the weak Khedive Muhammad Tawfiq Pasha 1852 - 1892 AD, who was the son of Ismail and the father of Abbas Hilmi II 1874 - 1944 AD.

At the beginning of the section written by Professor Al-Imam, A Genius Idea in Studying, Monitoring, and Analyzing the Meaning of History, he says on page 523 of the first volume of the Complete Works that: “The people of Egypt before 1293 AH - 1876 AD - saw their public, and even private, affairs as the property of their supreme ruler. He disposes of it according to his will, and they believe that their happiness and misery are entrusted to his honesty and justice or his betrayal and injustice.”

Then he says: “None of them - that is, the Egyptians - considers himself the right to express an opinion in the administration of the country, or a will to advance any action that he sees as good for his nation.” Then he says: “And they - meaning the Egyptians - do not know of the relationship between them and the government other than that they are governed and subject to what the government assigns to them and imposes on them, and they are very far from knowing what other nations are like, whether they are Islamic or European.” He says: The people did not feel any of the results of the missions to Europe.

Professor Imam Muhammad Abdo describes the fate of those who deviate from this compliance with one of three tragic endings: exile from the homeland, loss of life, meaning murder, and deprivation of money, meaning confiscation. On page 527 of the aforementioned reference, he says: “The people remained with him - that is, with the establishment of the Shura Council of Representatives in 1866 AD - on their belief that they were slaves to the ruler and had no opinion or command with him.

Then the historical instinct - that is, the essence of critical history - became clearest in Professor Al-Imam when the debate raged in 1902 AD on the occasion of the passage of a full Hijri century since the accession of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the spread of narratives that attribute all modernization and modernity to him.

Latent vital forces

Here we see Professor Al-Imam calling for a genius idea, which is for researchers - p. 833 of the aforementioned reference - to investigate the case of Egypt, how it was when Muhammad Ali Pasha took over it, and what the country’s situation might have been like if it had followed the path that preceded the Pasha’s takeover, and how The Pasha completely wiped out Egypt and replaced it with others.

On page 834, he says: The multiplicity of the Mamluk forces, who had actual authority in the country, and quarreling among themselves was their habit, and war among themselves their work, forced them to appease the Egyptians and win them over to side with each faction against the other.

The Mamluk forces were like political parties competing for power, and their conflict between them could not be resolved unless this or that party won from them the largest part of the influential popular forces to its side. That is why “you used to see in the Egyptian countries many houses that had presidents whose influence was great and whose prestige was high.” .

In this sense, which Professor Imam refers to, Egypt - before Muhammad Ali Pasha - was moving and developing in the right direction, and the evidence for this, as on p. 835, is that when the French army came, the vital forces latent in the country began to appear, until Napoleon was forced to march In the country with the advice of its people.

This term: “the vital forces latent in the country,” is a genius expression from Professor Al-Imam. The Mamluk forces weakened and fell when they met the French in a quick fight - like the fight in 1967 AD - that took only hours, and the battles were decided between a defeated and a victor.

But the Egyptians were the latent vital forces that were created over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the authority of central oppression weakened, until they resorted to the Egyptians, co-opting them and strengthening them against each other. These latent vital forces that fled and then revolted against the invaders and forced Napoleon to create a form of democracy. colonialism.

These latent vital forces that - after the departure of the French - revolted against the two traditional authorities: the supreme sovereign authority of the Ottomans, as well as the actual real authority of the Maliks, then expressed themselves - forcefully - when they chose Muhammad Ali Pasha according to specific political conditions, imposed his choice on the Sultan, and ended - Practically, in one fell swoop - the sovereignty of the two authorities and the rule of the Mamluks.

These latent vital forces are what Muhammad Ali Pasha, while establishing the modern state, strove to completely erase, and he succeeded in doing so. For three quarters of a century, the world did not hear the whisper of the Egyptians, until his grandson Ismail went bankrupt in 1876 AD, and circumstances forced him to lift his iron fist on the vital forces latent in The country, then these forces began to regain their breath, and practiced clashing with reality, then they demonstrated the virtues of political courage sufficient for the Urabi Revolution of 1881 - 1882 AD to crystallize.


Summary of Professor Imam’s point of view: Egypt - before Muhammad Ali Pasha - was at a level of development, waiting for someone to come “to join these living elements together, and form from them a nation, governed by a government from them, and begin to strengthen the lamp of knowledge among them, until they rise by natural progression, and achieve what they have prepared for them.” That first life."

Question: How did Muhammad Ali Pasha completely erase Egypt, how did he replace it with others, and how did he deviate from its path? The answer, according to Professor Imam, is physical, moral, apparent, hidden, political, and punitive violence sufficient to kill in Egyptians the virtues of political courage. If political courage dies in them - under systematic oppression - they submit to every person in power, whether he has the genius of a pasha, or is devoid of intelligence devoid of intelligence. Every political value is real.

Professor Imam asks: What did Muhammad Ali Pasha do? Then he answers: He was not able to give life, but he was able to cause death.

Then Professor Al-Imam explains what deserves us to dwell on it a lot, as we study the history of the modern state and its authority over the Egyptians in all its eras, and then as we study the dictatorship of the New Republic in particular, he says: “Most of the army’s strength was with him, and he was resourceful by instinct, so he began to seek help from With the army, he seeks the help of those from among the parties whom he woos to execute every leader of his opponents.

Crush opponents

Then he returns with the force of the army and another party - that is, a new political ally - against his allies who were with him before and who helped him against the fleeting opponent whose head he executed. Then he annihilates the new opponent, and so on. Even when he finished crushing the powerful parties, he directed his attention to the heads of the high-ranking houses, and did not leave a head in which the pronoun “I” resided until he finished it off. Then he used the claims of maintaining security as a way to collect weapons from the people.”

Then Professor Imam says: “This was repeated by him repeatedly, until the strength of the people became corrupted, then their courage disappeared, and what remained in the country of life in the souls of some of its individuals was destroyed.”

Then he says about the oppression of the Pasha - which is the basis of the oppression inherent in the Egyptian state until today and tomorrow -: He did not leave a head in the country who knew himself until he removed him from his body, or exiled him with the rest of his country to Sudan and perished there.

Then, on page 863, Professor Al-Imam concludes by saying: “He began to elevate the lowly and exalt them in the countries and villages, as if he yearned for a similarity in him that he had inherited from his noble origin, until the honorable degenerated, and meanness prevailed, and no people remained in the country except tools under his hands, which he used to collect money.” And in gathering soldiers in any way and in any way.”

Then he says: “He thus fulfilled all the elements of a good life, from opinion, determination, and independence of soul, to make all of the Egyptian country a single fiefdom for himself and his children.”

The quote ends, and it shows the extent of the similarity between the beginnings of the modern state and what it has become at the present moment. The present did not come out of nowhere, nor was it invented out of nowhere. Rather, it is the reproduction of many of the disadvantages of the modern state without its advantages.

What were the virtues of political courage before Muhammad Ali Pasha and the founding of the modern state?

The answer is given by Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, 1753-1825 AD, in an article next Thursday, God willing.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.