Islamic Reform 5/15/2012 2:54:00 PM
Jamal Alden AL Afghani
European domination of Islamic land was profoundly humiliating.
This domination (in a form of colonial role) required on the part of Muslims a
return to the roots of faith.
It would only be with such a return to the roots, and the elimination
of superstitious practices that it entailed according to these people
(Jamal, Rasheed, and Mohammed Abdu).
o Only this return to the roots would permit to the Muslims
people to restore their dignity
The dignity that it really been tarnished by
The colonial role.
The presence (domination) of the Europeans in
o This return would ultimately permit Muslims to expel the
Europeans (the Europeans occupiers) from their lands.
o After the Urabi revolt, Mohammed Abdu was forced into exile
He spent this exile in Beirut and in Paris
o By The Year 1888 (at which point the British were in control
He had received permission from the Khalief, the
nominal roller of Egypt descendent from Mehmed Ali, to
return to Egypt. Although he was pointed as a judge, he rose in 1899 to
become The Mofti of Egypt.
That is to say the chief interpreter of Islamic Law
in the country.
And further, he was actually a part of the Egyptian
government during the occupation.
Specifically, a member of the legit leader console
The principle work that Abdu did
The theology of unity
o One could say that the principle intent behind the theology of
unity is to demonstrate the compatibility of Islam with
o As abdu himself explain The book [the Quran] gives us all
that god permits us, or is essential for us, to know about his
attributes, but it does not require our acceptance of its
contents simply on the ground of its own statement of them.
On the contrary it offers arguments and evidence (Key
points). It addressed itself to opposing schools and carried its
attacks with spirited substantiation. It spoke to the rational
mind and alerted the intelligence. It sets out the order in the
Universe, the principles and certitudes within it, and required
a lively scrutiny of them that the mind might thus be sure of
the validity of its claim and message.
What did abdu try to accomplish here?
Essentially, the idea is that the Quran must take the central place
in every Muslims existence because the book (The holy book) is the
only text whose divine provenance is beyond question.
A background about Islam itself and the nature of the Quran as a
sacred text The Quran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed by god and
thus for Muslims the words of Quran are the words of god.
o Thats why the term revealed is used by Muslims.
Muslims never speak about the holy text (The Quran).
There is never any reference to the Quran as a text that was
its a text that was revealed because the creator of the text was
Abdu issues an important warning in this regard that given this believe that
the Quran is the unmediated word of god, Muslims have long attributed a
great deal of important to how that work is spoken. How that word is
As a result, the recitation of the Quran as text takes on an
enormous importance within Islam.
o In a way that simply not comparable, for instance, say the
importance of the bible within Christianity.
This leads to the idea that the words (the words of the text) and
how they were recited.
That active recitation has a significant of its own above and beyond
the actual meaning of the words.
For us this is sort of a strange concept, as good moderns we are attached to
meaning, we want to know what words mean.
For people in Abdus age, the vast majority of Muslims in that time were of
They did not have the tools themselves to preform any sort of
exegesis (exegesis is a fancy was of saying interpretation) but in