Renewal, Renewing, and Renewers

Muhammad Rashid Rida

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Renewal, Renewing, and Renewers

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Muhammad Rashid Rida (Lebanon-Egypt, 18651935) was a prolific writer and one of the most important figures in Islamic modernism. Born in Tripoli, Rida attended a school established by Shaykh Husayn al-Jisr (Lebanon, 18451909), who believed in the need to combine religious and modern education. Rida therefore acquired a fair knowledge of modern sciences and European languages, while studying also the works of Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali (10581111) and Ibn Taymiyya (12631328), which reinforced his reformist and antimystical tendencies. Rida was greatly influenced by the reformist message of Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (chapter 11) and Muhammad Abduh (chapter 3), and he moved to Egypt in 1897 to join Abduh, becoming one of Abduh's closest disciples and his biographer. Rida's monthly periodical, al-Manar (The Beacon), which he published from 1898 to 1935, was widely read and highly influential, disseminating the ideas of Islamic reform throughout the Islamic world. Like Afghani and Abduh, Rida believed in the compatibility of Islam and reason, science, and modernity. He advocated return to the original sources of Islam and the reinterpretation of the Qur'an to meet modern demands. Yet Rida was critical of some of Abduh's disciples who took modernist ideas to secular and liberal conclusions. He rejected the growing attempts to subordinate Islam to modernity and Westernization and in his later years tilted toward religious conservatism. The speech translated here, from late in his life, reflects Rida's vision of Islamic renewal and his concerns about the increased secularization of Muslim society.1

Chapter.  6142 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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