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Victor Hugo and Islam

By Marwa Mahmoud

Who is Victor Hugo?

Victor Hugo , famous French writer and poet , who described as one of the greatest writers and poets in Europe. His novels have been translated into many other languages, among his masterpieces were The Hunchback of Notre Dame and ” Les Miserables” .Due to his high-profile literary position he was called “Prince of French Literature”.

  Victor Hugo was born February 26, 1802 and passed away on May 22, 1885.

Victor Hugo’s love for Islam

Hugo was influenced by the Islamic religion, and was interested in learning about it to find out its teachings, principles and values. He admired the noble message of Islam to the extent that he devoted several poems to praise, and acknowledged the thanks of his Messenger, may God bless him, as he praised some of the companions of the Prophet Like Omar bin Al-Khattab and Ali bin Abi Talib, may God bless them.

Hugo’s praising poems

Among the most famous poems written by Victor Hugo on Islam, is a poem he called “A verse from the Qur’an”, which is taken from Surat Al-Zalzalah, and he says:

When the earth is shaken with its [final] earthquake

And the earth discharges its burdens

And man says, “What is with it?”

-That Day, it will report its news

Because your Lord has commanded it.

That Day, the people will depart separated [into categories] to be shown [the result of] their deeds.

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it,

And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.

Victor Hugo also wrote another poem entitled “The ninth year of the Hijri year”, and it was within his immortal epic “Legend of the Centuries”, in which he praised Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

He listens silently and speaks the last one.

 He always remember God

He eats little food and tightens the belt on his stomach.

He watches over his sheep.

He sits on the floor and patches his clothes.

  He fasts a lot after Ramadan

This is why his strength has weakened as if he was not young.

He was attacked by a fever when he was sixty-three years old

He read and wrote the Qur’an

Victor Hugo also wrote a poem Le cèdre , which he dedicated to Al-Faruq Omar bin Al-Khattab, and he spoke of him as one of theProphet’  Companions PBUH , and praised his role in spreading the Islamic religion in many parts of the earth.

Omer, sheikh of Islam and it’s new law

whoes Muhammad adds to what Issa reveals,

Walking, then stopping, and on his long stick,

At times, like a shepherd, pressing his chin,

Wandered near Jeddah the saint, on the shore

of the Red Sea, where Allah shines like a dream,

In the once black desert of the shadow of the skies,

Where Moses walked its path.

Did Victor Hugo convert to Islam?

I accidentally browsed some forums for dialogue in French and found it reporting news that Victor Hugo – the sheikh of the French romantic poets – had converted to Islam three years before his death.

More importantly, they talking about the issue that the CNRS – French National Center for Scientific Research – concealed with premeditation the doctrine upon which the French poet died. Some of the followers of this issue also expressed their astonishment at the aforementioned center’s removal of all the poems of “Higo” – Islamic and others – from its website on the website www.atilf.fr.

Also, when I browsed the famous site Wikipedia, I found that they had deleted the religion field from the definition table of the poet, and this is what confirms that he did not die on Christianity.

His religious views:

Also among the readings on Wikipedia I have found the following

According to wkipidea , Hugo’s religious views changed radically over the course of his life.

As a result he became a non-practising Catholic and increasingly expressed anti-Catholic and anti-clerical views. He frequented spiritism during his exile and in later years settled into a rationalist deism similar to that espoused by Voltaire. A census-taker asked Hugo in 1872 if he was a Catholic, and he replied, “No , A Freet hinker.” Yet he believed in life after death and prayed every single morning and night, convinced as he wrote in “The Man Who Laughs that ”and “Your prayer knows its way better than you do.”

When Hugo’s sons Charles and François-Victor died, he insisted that they be buried without a crucifix or priest. In his will, he made the same stipulation about his own death and funeral

His political views :

Like most of his contemporaries, Victor Hugo held colonialist views towards Africans. In a speech delivered on 18 May 1879, he declared that the Mediterranean Sea formed a natural divide between ” ultimate civilisation and […] utter barbarism,” adding “God offers Africa to Europe. Take it,” to civilise its indigenous inhabitants.

This might partly explain why in spite of his deep interest and involvement in political matters he remained strangely silent on the Algerian issue. He knew about the atrocities committed by the French Army during the French conquest of Algeria as evidenced by his diary [15] but he never denounced them publicly.

A modern reader may also feel puzzled, to say the least, at the meaning of these lines from the conclusion to Le Rhin, chapter 17,[16] published in 1842, twelve years after French troops landed near Algiers.

What France lacks in Algiers is a little barbarity. The Turks […] knew how to cut heads better than we do. The first thing that strikes savages is not reason but strength. What France lacks, England has it; Russia too.

— Victor Hugo, Le Rhin

However, in Les Misérables, Hugo says the following about the conquering of Algeria:[17]

Algeria too harshly conquered, and, as in the case of India by the English, with more barbarism than civilization.

— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

According to those proofs we conclude that many researchers specializing in French literature had confirmed that Victor Hughes converted to Islam after he admired it.

 It’s said that he have known Islam in 1881 in the Algerian city of Tlemcen, and changed his name to Abu Bakr, and chose this name as he was impressed by his   personality as successor of the Messenger of God, may God bless him Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq , but he concealed his Islam , but he could not prevent his pen from   poems praising  Islam, his Messenger and some of the esteemed companions.