Egyptians share pre-revolution “prophetic” video

Preacher advised Mubarak against tyranny


A video that features a meeting between Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak and late senior preacher Mohammed Metwali al-Shaarawi has been gaining unprecedented popularity with many Egyptians regarding it as a “prophetic” prelude to the Jan. 25 revolution.

The video, which is now circulated among users of the social networking website Facebook and is witnessing a remarkable rise in viewer rates on the video sharing website YouTube, dates back to 1995 when a delegation of Muslim and Christian scholars visited Mubarak to congratulate him for surviving an assassination attempt at the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

In the video, Shaarawi, one of the most prominent preachers in Egypt, is seen standing with Mubarak in the presence of late Islamic scholar Sheikh Mohammed al-Ghazali, late Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Gad al-Haq Ali Gad al-Haq, Coptic Pope Shenouda III, and Mubarak’s chief of staff Zakaria Azmy in addition to several Muslim and Christian clerics who kept cheering at Shaarawi meaningful words to the former president.

“Mr. President, I am about to leave this world,” said Shaarawi, leaning on a crutch. “I am planning neither to end my life in hypocrisy nor to show off my courage with arrogance, but I am going to deliver a brief message to the whole nation, government and people.”

Shaarawi went on to say that God gives power to whoever he chooses and that there is no way any human being can be in power without God’s will.

“No one will ever be able to rule on earth if God is not willing and there is no way anyone can conspire to usurp power if God does not want. People plan what they and it is only what God wants that happens.”

Warning of tyranny

After assuming power, Shaarawi added, it is up to this person in power to choose the way he is going to deal with the people he rules.

“If the ruler chooses to be fair, people will love him and will benefit from his fairness. If he chooses to be a tyrant, people will hate him. People hate all tyrants whether they are rulers or not.”

Shaarawi advised anyone who wants to be a ruler not to ask for it, but to wait till it is asked of him and cited a saying by Prophet Mohammed: “A man who is asked to do something is helped in doing it and a man who asks to do something assumes its full responsibility.”

Shaarawi said that this might be the last time he meets Mubarak and that is why he wants to end his talk with an advice to the president.

“If you are our destiny, then may God be with you. If we are your destiny, then may God help you with the burden you have.”

Egyptians who have been sharing the video extensively after the revolution that forced Mubarak to step down see in Shaarawi’s words a warning that power is transient since it is given and taken by God.

Shaarawi, they say, was warning Mubarak of the grave consequences of tyranny and the vanity of thinking that it is up to rulers to stay in power. That is why his words are seen as a prediction of the Jan. 25 revolution which was the direct result of the tyranny of the regime.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)