Muhammad Muwaylihi

Muwaylihi, Muhammad


Born 1868, in Cairo; died there 1930. Egyptian writer.

Muwaylihi studied at a college for aristocrats and attended the Muslim university of al-Azhar in Cairo. He lived in Italy and France (Paris), where he helped Jamal al-Din al-Afghani to publish the newspaper Al-Urwat al-wuthqa (The Unbreakable Bond). In Istanbul he edited Abu al-Ala al-Maarri’s Epistle on Forgiveness. Upon returning to Cairo, Muwaylihi edited a number of newspapers and journals in which he published articles protesting the British occupation. In his most important work, the satirical novel The Story of Isa ibn Hisham (1907), Muwaylihi sought to combine the style of maqama with the European novella. The novel gives a broad picture of Egyptian society, exposing the vices of its various social strata.


Abd al-Aziz al-Bashri. Muhammad bay al-Muwaylihi. Cairo, 1927.
Zaki Mubaraq. Hadith Isa ibn Hisham li Muhammad al-Muwaylihi. Cairo, 1943.
Dayf, Shawqi. al-Adab al-’Arabi al-mu’asir fi Misr, part 1. Cairo, 1957.


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But Muhammad Muwaylihi took over the newspaper from his father in 1901 or 1902.
Thus, Muhammad Muwaylihi's publication of his Hadith Isa ibn Hisham in the late 1800s and the first decade of the twentieth century would seem to have been very much framed as a deliberate revival of a genre that had close affinities with both the medieval and the early modern period, and not part of a continuous, uninterrupted progression of closely linked texts.