Letter and Response

Demaluddin auevi

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Letter and Response

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Demaluddin auevi (Bosnia, 18701938) was a controversial religious reformer and educationalist. Son of a local religious leader in northwestern Bosnia, auevi received his early education from his father and thereafter at a Bosnian seminary school in Biha. At the age of seventeen, he continued his studies in Istanbul, receiving both a traditional education and enrolling at the School of Law. Around 1900, auevi visited Cairo, where he met Muhammad Abduh (chapter 3) and attended his lectures for several months. Abduh left a lasting impression on auevi, who always referred to the Egyptian scholar as Respected Teacher. Upon his return to Bosnia in 1903, auevi began his career as an Arabic language teacher and a member of the supreme council of the Bosnian Islamic community. Between 1914 and 1930, he served as Reis al-Ulema, the highest-ranking Islamic dignitary in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. For auevi, the key reason for the malaise of Muslim society was poor education, rooted in the pitiful state of its educational institutions. He dedicated himself to the cause of educational reform with a missionary zeal typical of modernist Islam. He sought to promote literacy by introducing a simpler type of Arabic script for the Bosnian language. In 1937, he co-authored a Bosnian translation of the Qur'an, along with a commentary. auevi ran into opposition from conservative Muslims. As the following piece shows, the conflict spilled into a newspaper polemic with a respected community leader from Sarajevo, who accused him of contravening Islamic ordinances regarding veiling.1

Chapter.  6664 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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