The Society of the Muslim Brothers (“the Muslim Brotherhood”, transliterated: al-?i?wan al-muslimun) is the Arab world’s most influential and one of the largest Islamic movements,[and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states Founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, by the end of World War II the MB had an estimated two million members. Its ideas had gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its “model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work”. Its most famous slogan, used worldwide, is “Islam is the solution.”
The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for …ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state”. The movement officially opposes violent means to achieve its goals, although it at one time encompassed a paramilitary wing and its member were involved in massacres, bombings and assassinations of political opponents; notably Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha and the movement’s own founder Hassan al-Banna. The movement has been criticized by al-Qaeda for its support for democratic elections rather than armed jihad
The Muslim Brotherhood started off as a religious social organization, preaching Islam, teaching the illiterate, setting up hospitals and even launching commercial enterprises. As it continued to rise in influence, starting in 1936, it began to oppose British rule in Egypt. Many Egyptian nationalists accuse the MB of violent killings during this period. After the Arab defeat in the First Arab-Israeli war, the Egyptian government dissolved the organisation and arrested its members. It supported the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but after an attempted assassination of Egypt’s president it was once again banned and repressed. The MB has been suppressed in other countries as well, most notably in Syria in 1982 during the Hama massacre.
The MB is financed by contributions from its members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement. Some of these contributions are from members who work in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries