Sheikh Emad Effat
Ahmed Fathalbab, An Egyptian Engineer and writer documented the story of his teacher, Sheikh Emad Effat, writing the following in memory of his martyrdom: “My master Emad, may he rest in peace, was a lover of beauty, someone who calls for it. His office was always clean. He never enters nor allows anyone to enter it without taking off their shoes at the door. He was a follower of the arts. He attended numerous concerts and events. He was a skilled poet, he wrote and memorized poetry. He loved Arabic calligraphy—his calligraphy was very good.”
Sheikh Emad was the owner of a very harmonious house. The furnishings were predominantly in the Islamic style. He would only accept the finest things. He used to make covers for his books and he would tend and maintain them. He would review articles and wouldn’t leave any grammatical mistakes. He would comment on every pie of poetry try or beautiful expression he witnessed with literary commentary. He would sing with young men the songs of Sayed Darwish and Eskenderella at Tahrir Square with the utmost happiness and excitement… He was a beautiful soul.”
Speaking of his first meeting with Sheikh Emad Effat, Ahmed Fath El-Bab says: “Sheikh was very busy between Dar Al-Ifta, the lessons at El-Azhar Mosque, his lessons in Nasr City, and his social responsibilities towards his children and his household as well as many students and friends that he used to take care of—helping them in their religious and worldly matters. Despite all of that, I had sent him a poem that I had written titled, “Hymns in the place of contraction,” in which I express some of my complaints about things that have drained me emotionally at the time. I was surprised to find him replying back immediately with a great deal of interest telling me that he wanted to see me saying: “I would be honored to have you at Dar Al-Ifta at a time that suits you. Just call ahead of time to coordinate, or if you would like, we could meet after the Friday Prayer.”
Indeed, I went to see him, he had abandoned everything he was doing and sat with me for hours listening with all of his might, tentatively, and with a fascinating interest, giving me advice with all of his heart. And so he has been, may he rest in peace, a human being of the top grade. Showing no more interest to someone as much as he shows to a sad being, a broken heart or a worried soul.
One time, there was a conversation about the murdered hero Mina Daniel and Sheikh Emad said: “As for my opinion, I personally am in debt to the revolutionists, among whom is Mina Daniel, with freedom and salvation from Mubarak and his people and everything that Allah had blessed us with in this blessed Revolution. I can’t thank Allah Almighty until I thank all of them. I used to wake and go to sleep many a times waiting for the time that we would wake up to the news of Mubarak’s death, regardless of whoever is going to take charge after him, and I swear to Allah I used to watch the news on the television daily wishing to hear this news. So Allah has blessed us with what I never dared to imagine or dream of. I wouldn’t even claim to have participated in the Revolution, those who did are the free revolutionary heroes who were loyal in their faithfulness, among whom I do not know and who have past to their Lord. Those who are Muslim and those who are not Muslim, they have passed while crowning my neck and the neck of my children that will come to this life not seeing Mubarak’s photo, not hearing his voice, nor will they be troubled by the corruption squad.”
As Sheikh Emad Effat desired to gain knowledge by studying under the late Al Azhar Sheikhs Abdul Jalil Al-Qarnshawi. Sheikh Al-Qarnshawi was very busy, but Sheikh Emad was an eager student keen on science. Effat asked if he could read to Sheikh Al-Qarnshawi a bit of science, the Sheikh had said: “I don’t have time except for the time I spend in the transportation.” Effat then said: “Then I will read for you on the bus.” So he used to ride the bus along with his Sheikh and read for him, two or three stations, and then he would step off and head back to his house afterward.
Emad Effat was revolutionary with all of his senses and emotions, he never left the Square, never remained silent about the truth, and never feared blamed by anyone. He wrote about the Muslim Brotherhood that announced that they were not participating in the incidents of Mohamed Mahmoud, where Egyptian blood was spilled. In a letter titled ‘Muslim Brotherhood attitudes,’ he wrote: “Do these honorable people expect -meaning the Muslim Brotherhood- that those -meaning the Supreme Council of the Military Forces- will simply hand over the power of the position to those who will put them on trial and drag them to jail; as they were distinctly the ones who supervised the forces of the Internal Affairs, which have violated people’s rights and considered it valid to violate their bodies, alive and dead? Especially the military police themselves, as they are the ones who have executed the worst and lowest of crimes the even the regime of the deposed president didn’t commit, and this has taken place early on, it’s not the result of recent events. Because they simply did not recognize the Revolution, they only considered the sole purpose of it is to put an end to the inheritance plan. And once this was done, they have shown that they are very keen on the previous regime and its people; as they are a part of it, they have participated in its deception, injustice and in its efforts in selling the country.
The Revolution wants to carry on its path, to correct the wrong handling of power to this traitor agent, and that will not happen except with pressure from the people and a similar national consensus that Allah has shown us. His magical work has reached us and the wisdom of such efforts, with what has made our eyes full and our ears chanted through, on the 11th of February (the day Mubarak has stepped down). So, after this, do we waste our former weapon by putting our national unity to waste, with which, along with being in Tahrir Square, nothing of the Revolution’s gains would’ve ever happened. So, do we abandon what we’ve already tested, that Allah Almighty has paved for us for the sake of a House of Representatives that we do not know much even if we had a majority in it, and after the national unity would’ve been shattered?
The last words the Martyr Sheikh wrote on his FB profile page: “Trust The Generous and have good intent, take shelter in The All-Loving and make your wishes full of hope. Get up in the darkness of the night and mark your forehead with your prayer. He would hear your prayer and have mercy on you, stay by the side of the Lord and serve Him, and savor your faith and have joy”.
Sheikh Emad was born on the 15th of August 1959, he used to work as the Secretary of Fatwa at the Egyptian Dar Al-Ifta. He received a bachelor’s degree in the Arabic Language from the Faculty of Literature in Ain Shams University in 1991, and a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Law from the Faculty of Sharia and Law at Al-Azhar University in Cairo with a grade of: Very Good with Honours, in 1997. He also received a diploma in General Islamic Jurisprudence from the Faculty of Sharia and Law at Al-Azhar University in 1999, and a diploma in Islamic Law from the Faculty of Dar Al-Ulum in Cairo.
Effat became a martyr in the incidents of the Council of Ministers after he was shot. His funeral was held on the Saturday of the 17th of December 2011, at the Azhar Mosque in Cairo. It was attended by numerous celebrities along with his peers and students.