The Principles of Consultation and Liberty in Islam <i>and</i> Reform and Review of Religious Writings

Musa Kazm

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 The Principles of Consultation and Liberty in Islam and Reform and Review of Religious Writings

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Musa Kazm (Turkey, 18581920) was a leading member of the ulama (religious scholar) branch of the Committee of Union and Progress, an Ottoman senator, and Shaykh al- Islam (chief religious official) of the Ottoman Empire. Educated in a traditional manner, Musa Kazm taught religious studies at seminaries and modern schools in Istanbul until the Constitutional Revolution of 1908, defending Islam against its Christian critics and defending constitutionalism against its Muslim critics. On the day of the revolution's triumph, he authored a thirteen-page manifesto on Islam and constitutionalism, translated in the first part of this chapter. Under the new regime, he became a member of the Ottoman Senate and an organizer of clerical support for the regime. In 1910, he was appointed Shaykh al-Islam; after a series of resignations and removals, he was reappointed in 1911, 1916, and 1917. His opponents frequently accused him of being a freemason; he denied the charges in a pamphlet in 1911, maintaining that he was a devotee of the Naqshibandiyya Sufi order. During World War I, Musa Kazm published a pamphlet defending the Ottoman government's declaration of jihad (holy struggle), extending the duty of jihad to all Muslims, not just Ottomans. Following the Ottoman defeat, he was tried in a military court along with other leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress. Due to illness, the British exempted him from imprisonment on Malta and banished him instead, first to Bursa and then to Edirne, where he died in 1920.1

Chapter.  3979 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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