Hasan al-Turabi (1932-2016) was born into a Sudanese family with a clerical and Sufi history. Whilst studying law at the University of Khartoum, he became a leader of the Islamic student movement. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of London, he achieved a PhD at the University of Sorbonne in 1964. Upon returning to Sudan to pursue an academic career at the University of Khartoum, he soon became one of the leaders of the Islamic National Front. After being imprisoned for nearly seven years, he went on to hold numerous government posts, culminating in his most influential period during the rule of ‘Umar al-Bashir. He ultimately fell out of favour with the government, and faced trials and imprisonment.
The Political Thought of Hasan al-Turabi identifies Turabi as arguably the leading Sudanese Islamic political thinker and activist of recent times, and sets out the main influences upon Turabi’s thought. Yet it is demonstrated that Turabi was an original thinker, who digested but then adapted the thought of his predecessors. Whilst his political goal was to politically unite the Islamic world, he also strove to improve relations with the non-Muslim world. Furthermore, his political thought sought to unite the Muslims and non-Muslims of Sudan in a peaceful unity, whilst working to raise the status of the poor and women.