Chapter

Reminding the Intelligent, Notifying the Unmindful

Abd al-Qadir al-Jazairi

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Reminding the Intelligent, Notifying the Unmindful

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Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhyi al-Din al-Jazairi (Algeria-Syria, circa 18071883) was an anticolonial military leader and, later, a mystic scholar who strove to adapt Islam to the modern era through a reinterpretation of the teaching of the medieval mystic, Ibn Arabi (11651240). Born into a prominent Sufi family in western Algeria, Abd al-Qadir was chosen to lead the resistance to French occupation of the country in 1832. Following his surrender in 1847, during five years of captivity in France, he went through an acute spiritual crisis. At the same time, he was impressed by the material progress achieved in the West. His espousal of the scientific-rationalist approach and his criticism of blind imitation (taqlid) were consolidated in the form of mystical visions after his release, when he settled in Damascus. There, in addition to his efforts to prevent the anti-Christian riots of 1860, Abd al-Qadir dedicated himself to the mission of creating and guiding an elect circle of disciples toward the spiritual regeneration of the Muslim world. This circle adopted the modernist ideology of the Salafiyya, in contrast to the Islamic populist policies of Ottoman Sultan Abdlhamid II (reigned 18761909). The selections translated here come from a bookcompleted just before Abd al-Qadir's arrival in Damascus, and first published in French translationstressing the compatibility of the scientific-rationalist approach with Muslim faith.1

Chapter.  3645 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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