Society & Culture

Book Review.. Hassan Al-Turabi Poetic language 

By: Mohammed El- Sheikh Hussein
Only seven years or less have passed since the blessed soul of Dr. Hassan Abdullah Al-Turabi responded to the call of its Lord and departed from the abode of annihilation to the abode of eternity, and the fragranced scent of his fresh biography still fills the space and his brilliant impact covers time.  Between that freshness and that splendor, it is fair when reading Dr. Al-Turabi’s works, that we have dive into the depths of Al-Turabi’s poetic language, so that we later refer to the language quoted from Al-Turabi.
Poetic language
The poetic language according to Abbas Mahmoud Al-Aqqad is the Arabic language in that it is “a language built on the pattern of poetry in its entirety, an art that is organized and coordinated with meters, and the sounds are inseparable from the poetry in the words of which it is composed, even if it is not from the words of poets”. Here the question arises: is the poetic language according to Al-Turabi, transparent linguistic bridges that drown the reader?  Perhaps the first person to answer this question and draw attention to Al-Turabi’s language was the late veteran politician Khader Hamad, the one who came up with the idea of turning the Graduates Club into the Graduates Conference – cum -Vice President for Ismail Al-Azhari, when he spoke in his memoirs about the October 1964 Revolution about the language spoken by the Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Khartoum.  Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi said when he said: “The dilemma is not the dilemma of the South alone, but rather the dilemma of the North and the South in terms of the loss of freedom and democratic life.”
Barrier Break through
The late Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi writes in a style that almost penetrates the barrier represented by poetic language when it lies like a cunning fox between the writer and the reader.  The Turabi language penetrates the reader to convey to him what is going on in the writer’s soul in all its dimensions. On the other hand, it seems difficult for the reader. Rather, it requires his presence of mind, for which the minimum amount of attention while reading is not sufficient.
The poeticism in Al-Turabi’s language gives the reader the impression of presenting a new, vivid and powerful idea, but this impression evades the reader if he does not make a strong effort to maintain the distance between him and the writer.
The absence of this effort on the part of the reader results in the absence of any real communicative relationship with the writer, and the reader may join in the “zafa” (crowd) of those who see that Al-Turabi’s writings are “merely misleading interpretations suggested by the cunning fox of language, according to the distances of evasion that he jumps from time to time to prove to the reader his superior ability to grasp language.
Common Secret
The secret of Al-Turabi’s language lies in his narrative method.  It moves the reader between completely different worlds, and connects them using poetic language, which becomes the only thing in common between these worlds.  But the reader’s mind, stimulated by the writer’s language, does not stop there. Rather, he tries to connect these worlds and searches for new common relationships between them. The result of this mental effort is that the reader finds himself, during the moments of reading, entering and exiting, diving and floating between multiple terms that he did not think would exist, he could move between them so quickly.
There may not be enough space here to dive into Al-Turabi’s poetic language, but we must clarify that the knowledge of his early upbringing appears clear in his lines. It is known that when Al-Turabi reached the age of eleven, he had completed, with the help of his father, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Turabi, he was the first to enter the Sharia judiciary register.  In Sudan, he memorized many parts of the Holy Qur’an, comprehended Alfiyyat ibn Malik, and the Al-Ajrumiyya text, and the book of “The clearest paths to the jurisprudence of Imam Malik.
His superiority in matters of language and jurisprudence is attributed to the fact that the father, Abdullah, brought his son Hassan out of the isolated village environment into of the scientific institute and traditional science, and singled him out over his brothers and sisters for the abundance of his knowledge due to his clear-headedness and quick acceptance of science.  The evidence is that reading important books at an early age gives a strong, lively and renewed linguistic repertoire, especially since the formal education system did not care or encourage such knowledge.
Al-Turabi Method
When Al-Turabi published his first book (Faith and Its Impact on Human Life) in the year 1974, you see him at length in the poetic language that deals with (the doctrine of faith that is based on monotheism from a comprehensive position, not for its free expressions, but rather for its setting in human life as a whole).  This is what Dr. Bashir Nafi, head of the Center for Islamic and World Studies, expressed, saying, “I read the early writings of Dr. Al-Turabi as a student at Cairo University in the seventies. I was anxious and frustrated at the time, and his ideas gave me, and I believe they gave many of my peers, a sense of confidence and the ability to form an independent opinion.”
There may be a similarity between the method of sudden transitions between different terms so that they become intertwined in an Al-Turabi manner, and the goal that the French school seeks in writing by trying to achieve an overlap between the worlds of ideals and reality.  The advantage of the French school is that it does not immerse itself in practicing the ideal as an alternative to reality, nor is it completely absorbed within the dream until it forgets reality and the ideal turns into a lie whose entire goal is to escape from reality.
Thinker and politician
 It seems to me that Al-Turabi’s intellectual production did not receive its share of discussion, as the predominance of controversy over political positions overshadowed the author’s personality, to the point that the personality of Al-Turabi the thinker disappeared, became lost, or gave way to the political personality of Al-Turabi. Examples are many, so the general criticism directed at the first part of the book, Al-Tafsir Al-Tawhidi, was entirely focused on Al-Turabi’s political personality and his positions on the issues raised. Some of them were even flat in their assessment, considering that Al-Turabi, the Magician of the Nights, rarely presents us with intellectual production with balanced realism.
However, Al-Turabi’s poetic language caught the attention of Dr. Rifaat Al-Saeed, when at the beginning of 2004, the late Al-Turabi presented a copy of his book (Politics and Governance – Sultanic Regimes between Origins and the Laws of Reality) to the veteran Egyptian politician who was then the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Tagammu Party, and he stopped being a Marxist.  The heart of the matter stops at Al-Turabi’s phrase: “Building an Islamic ruling system can only be achieved through complete freedom, broader consultation, and a social contract based on consent and choice.”
Political terminology
When Al-Turabi issued, at the beginning of the third millennium, a small booklet of 84 pages of small pieces entitled (Political Terms in Islam), the political atmosphere that shaded the skies of Sudan in the wake of the repercussions of the Memorandum of “the Ten” contributed to this booklet, despite the scientific effort, not receive its share of discussion.
Returning to the issue of language, Al-Turabi points out in the introduction to the book that (the language that expresses political life in a given environment develops in breadth in its morphology and deepening in its meanings as that life and culture develops in growth and stability or in misery and turmoil).
In the book Political Terms in Islam, we meet Al-Turabi, and he works to convey reality and draw it from within the language. The reader hardly realizes while reading whether he is in the field of speech or in the field of reality, and he no longer distinguishes when he leaves reality and swims in the language. In the introduction, Dr. Al-Turabi warns to the point that Muslims may have to invent new words that accommodate political concepts that are contrary to cultural traditions.  He provides an example of this warning. In the past, the word “Dar Al-Islam” was widespread, and recently the word “Federal Government” fills our lives.  The matter goes like this with Al-Turabi’s terminology. His language destroys the barrier of elusive language, and he does not try to sound educated in order to distance us from the origin of the topic by reiterating names and definitions.  In order to know and understand this text, we must realize the state of the language of writing about terms and compare it with its state with Al-Turabi, which divides the history of writing into it before and after, especially since Western civilization, when it invaded the Muslims, presented expressions other than what they had known of Western values, systems, relationships, means, and terminology.  Perhaps the language of writing about terminology in Sudan before Al-Turabi’s book is closer to an official making statements and their opposite from his ivory tower without thinking of or monitoring the reactions to his statements.
Term Adjustment
Perhaps Al-Turabi’s advantage is that he did not associate with this official since his political star shone in October 1964, until he was retired from official political work in December 1999. Therefore, he is one of the few politicians who know how to summon this official to their homes and remove his official uniform to go to the bathroom and wash off the grease of ceremony and etiquette from his hands. He would lie down exhausted and fall asleep, then wake up to find himself wearing an “Aragi” (short garment) and the trousers of wide life, whatsoever so that, the political Turabi was imprisoned, and the thinking Turabi began writing.
It is very important to point out that the book (Political Terms) contained an attempt to control the meanings of about 23 terms that fill our public life. The book also destroys the wrong perception of public life, in terms of its most intense stimulant (politics), the most effective impact of politics in it (government), and the supreme power of government.  (sovereignty) and the supreme framework of sovereignty (the state) and beyond.  The issue here is that the term public life was not widespread among Muslims in the past, because as their religiosity deteriorated, their lives became mostly private, and the public life in the ties of society and politics faded away from their declining religion and was limited to the people of the Sultan’s circles alone.
Thus, the transparent bridges of Al-Turabi’s language flow, proving to the reader that the glorious writer is not just a researcher who adheres to the rigor of the method, but rather a thinker who is so fond of innovation that he does not voluntarily abandon the abstraction of the method in order to reside in the method of reality and fill it with thought and innovation.
Linguistic bridges
Does the reader immerse himself in his imagination due to Al-Turabi’s language?  It seems to me that Al-Turabi has been able to transcend theories of unequal worlds, and even transcend parallel worlds and reject closed worlds, to create momentary linguistic bridges, due to their sheer transparency, that the reader almost does not feel that he is moving through them from one term to another, so he feels the meanings in the form of overlapping worlds, so he no longer distinguishes between reality.  and the ideal.
It is likely to say this is Al-Turabi skill based on excessive realism, as the writer deliberately intensifies and compresses reality, and confronts it like a wrestler who squeezes his opponent, holds him down, and reshapes his ribs instead of escaping from him.
In this unique way, Al-Turabi succeeded in transforming his written attempts to uncover a realistic meaning of language by searching for meanings and relationships, into a new, eternal inscription that will not disappear from the reality of contemporary Arab politics.
Although Al-Turabi’s writing styles are European and traditional, they give high value to the Arabic language, which they use, elevate, and manifests with in attempts to find the features of the network of ideas and connections.  Because of all this, people may meet Wad Al-Turabi’s grandson a third time.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button