Saturday, June 03, 2006

Remembering Imam Muhammad `Abduh


1266 AH/1849 CE -- 1323 AH/1905 CE

Remembering Imam Muhammad `Abduh: A leader of the aborted Islamic reform movement of the past century.
His approach to following the example of the early Muslims (al salaf) was turned upside-down by "Salafis" of the second half of the past century.

Political-establishment and reactionary-religious interests combined to assassinate him politically, forcing him to resign from Al-Azhar in 1905. He died shortly thereafter.

It has been over a century since his death, and we are still speaking of a long-awaited reform, disagreeing over what needs to be reformed and how.

رحم الله الشيخ الإمام

7 Comments:

Blogger Mas'ud said...

Any thoughts on him be and al-Afghani being Freemasons (http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/public/index-31.php) and how this affects their status amongst Muslims? Elie Kedourie also wrote about Afghani and Abduh in Afghani and 'Abduh: An essay on religious unbelief and political activism in modern Islam which exposes their alleged Freemasonry.

3:04 AM  
Blogger Mahmoud El-Gamal said...

I guess character assassinations can continue for more than a century. (1) I have no way of verifying the claims of Afghani's freemasonry (had never read any allegations of Abduh's before I saw that website -- I obviously don't trust most of what I read on the internet as historical scholarship). (2) I have no way of knowing had he been a freemason, what that would imply for his piety and knowledge of Islam. Therefore, I go by what he wrote.

As for Abduh's and Al-Afghani's status among Muslims, they have been quite low for over 30 years. Most non-Arabs have never heard of them, and even most Egyptians' views have been tarnished by the Wahhabization of Egyptians' Islamic views since they started chasing petrodollars en masse in the 1970s.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Arfan Shah said...

Islam is the Deen of Allah not the Deen of man, if he thinks that he can change or go against revelation then more fool him.

Islam does not need reforming, Muslims are the ones who need reforming. It does not take a lot of knowledge to be steadfast in your Deen. If you are lazy just admit it, don’t change the Deen to suit yourself.

Beware the Christians have gone down this path and this has lead to the spread of atheism in the west.

As for the mentioned, they made a lot of mistakes and should not be followed at all. And they where freemasons.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Mahmoud El-Gamal said...

Do you have proof that they made mistakes? Do you have the serious charge that they were freemasons? Slandering a Muslim is a very serious offense.

As for "reform", we Muslims think of it in terms of "re" and "form", or "revitalize" -- in Arabic 'ihya' as in the title of Imam Ghazali's famous hya' `ulum al-din. An authentic Hadith that most scholars use for calls to reform states that Allah sends every 100 years a scholar to revive Islamic scholarship.

And many authentic Hadiths actually state that it is not easy to be steadfast in the deen. One Hadith says that it is (for our time) as difficult as holding on to burning coals. So, those who find it easy to hold steadfast to the Deen with very little knowledge are the ones who should worry.

I am curious, however, if there is any scholarship that proves the charge against Al-Afghani and Abduh... as opposed to slander by those who hate returning to the true religion instead of suiting their dogma and political agendas.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Arfan Shah said...

Read the sources that Masud sent you. What are you afraid of?

http://sectarianrefutations.blogspot.com/

5:41 PM  
Blogger Mohammad said...

It is ridiculous for masud to quetion the iman of great muslims like M.Abduh and J.Afghani.
When will this khwariji mentality leave the muslims?
Being a member offreemasond doesnot mean you are a kafir, for God's sake. I know many 'good' muslims who are members of freemason groups. There many, many different groups of freemasons, with different aims.
Late 19th century muslims were struggling to cometo terms with colonisation. West had taked over as a power in the world and ottomans were weakening. Abduh and Afghani wewre great thinkers who wanted the glory of islam to return. They were giants. If you disagee with themon any theological points then, br.masud and arfan shah, put your money where your mouth is and bring out your accusations to the table.
There are many books/documents on Ahmad Raza Brelvi of India of having links with the British. Shall I believe them?
My advice to masud is if you have not read Afghani or Abduh. If you don't anything about Rashid Rida or Hasan al-Banna, then go a read them and then come to with more intelligent comments.
Every scholar makes mistakes and they may have made many but does that mean they will not be rewarded for spending their whole lives in the way of islam? Grow up!
Masud, you should go and take heed from Sh.Nuh articles on your site.

Wasslam

6:04 PM  
Blogger Arfan Shah said...

Click and see

http://www.aucegypt.edu/faculty/sedgwick/abduh/index.html

His ties to freemasonry have made him the causal founder of Mohammad Abduh's Salafi movement in Islam today.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Afghani

http://www.geocities.com/~abdulwahid/muslimarticles/ref_blindfollow.html

Is that enough?

Its permissible to warn others about someone who is causing mischief and this is not backbiting.

4:37 PM  

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