Travels of a Muslim on utopias. "Journey of Ibn Fattuma" by Nagib Mahfuz

Viktoria Zarytovskaya


Full Text:



As a practicing Muslim  the prominent Egyptian writer Nagib Mahfuz devoted some of his works to understanding of Islam. Among them first of all should be mentioned his novel "Awlad haratina" (1959; banned in Egypt) a kind of allegorywhich includes prototypes of Muhammad and Jesus. Another novel on this theme is "Journey of Ibn Fattuma" (1983). The novel is written in the form of a diary of a medieval traveler's from a realm of Islam, who had not found an excellence in the country where there is "an injustice, poverty and indifference" and started to travel the world in search of perfection. Critical thinking about the non-Islamic countries - their religion, customs, social structure, relationships between men and womenoutlines in this narrative. The novel helps to understand the place and role of Islam in world history, to take another look at the society in which we live, makes  wonder how far from perfect are the public systems.


Arabic literature; Nagib Mahfuz; novel; reflection on the Islam


Корнейчук, 2010 — Корнейчук Ю. Путешествие длиною в жизнь. Арабская постмодернистская Одиссея от первого лица // Независимая газета. 22.07.2010.

Махфуз, 2009 — Нагиб Махфуз. Путешествие Ибн Фаттумы / Пер. с арабского В. Зарытовской. М., 2009.

Milson, 1998 — Milson M. Najib Mahfuz: The Novelist-Philosopher of Cairo. N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

el-Enany, 1993 — Rasheed el-Enany. Book Review. Modern Cures in an Antique Mould: The Journey of Ibn Fattouma — Naguib Mahfouz // The Independent. 30.01.1993.