Scholar: Muhammed Abduh (Egypt)

Egyptian scholar, journalist, theologian, jurist, grand mufti and reformer, regarded as an architect of Islamic modernism he was ducated at al-Azhar University, an adherent of the Shadhili Sufi order, although he later renounced his Sufi background. A disciple of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (d. 1897) he supported pan-Islamism and political activism and edited the journal Al-urwah al-wuthqa (The strongest bond) in the 1880s. Exiled from Egypt 1882-88, during which time he traveled to Syria, North Africa and France striving to emancipate Muslims from the mentality of taqlid (adherence to tradition) while retaining Islamic authenticity. He taught that reason and revelation are inherently compatible and harmonious. His most popular work was Risalat al-tawhid (The theology of unity), which asserts belief in God as a rational act and the need for rational analysis of revelation. His ideas found continuing expression through the journals Al-manar, published by his disciple Muhammed Rashid Rida (d. 1935) and Al-manar al-jadid (est. 1998).

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