This article aims to present the evolution of jihād in Ḥasan al-Bannā’s thought and writings throughout the 1930s, the first decade of the Society of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt. While in the early years of the Society al-Bannā gave jihād a moderate interpretation, the idea assumed a different, more militant one during the latter half of the 1930s. This change corresponded with and reflected a transformation that the Society itself experienced; from a developing socio-religious Society to one that was intertwined with Egyptian politics and won the support of the masses. This analysis revolves around two rasāʾil written by al-Bannā during this formative period of his Society – Daʿwatunā and Risālat al-Jihād.
Israel Gershoni, “The Muslim Brothers and the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936–9”, MES, vol. 22 (1986), p. 382. Elshoubaki also notes that from this point onwards, activities that were based on the concept of force began to accompany the more peaceful activities of the Society. See, Elshoubaki, Les Frères Musulmans, p. 35. Rafīq Ḥabīb also discusses the pattern of change in al-Bannā’s ideology from the late 1930s, which included his call for political change and his open opposition to the British colonization of Egypt and the Zionist colonization of Palestine. See, Rafīq Ḥabīb, “Ruʾya li-l-mustaqbal al-siyāsī li-l-ikhwān al-muslimīn: al-Ikhwān bayna l-daʿawī wa-l-siyāsī”, in: ʿAmrū al-Shūbakī, Azmat al-ikhwān al-muslimīn (al-Qāhira, 2009), pp. 31–37.