Chapter

Muhammad and Woman

Abd al-Qadir al-Maghribi

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Muhammad and Woman

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Abd al-Qadir al-Maghribi (Lebanon, 18671956) contributed to the development of modernist journalism in Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria during the late Ottoman and early French Mandate periods. The son of a religious law court official, he studied at a school established in Tripoli, Syria, by Shaykh Husayn al-Jisr (Lebanon, 18451909), a cautious advocate of reconciling natural sciences with Islamic theology. Inspired by the work of Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (chapter 11), Maghribi left Ottoman Syria for Egypt in 1905, where he began his journalistic career. He returned to Lebanon after the Ottoman Young Turk of 1908 and published a modernist periodical, al-Burhan (The Proof). In 1914, he went to Medina to participate in the establishment of an Islamic college, but the outbreak of World War I abruptly ended that effort. While many other Arab modernists supported Arab separation from the Ottoman Empire, Maghribi remained loyal to Istanbul. He spent the war years teaching at an Islamic college in Jerusalem and writing for a pro- Ottoman newspaper in Damascus. Later, Maghribi worked on behalf of Arabic language reform at academies in Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. He is best known for emphasizing moral reform as the key to resolving social and economic problems. In this selection, Maghribi cites evidence from the Prophet's relationship with his wet nurse and two of his wives to argue that Islam allows women to maintain active roles in society. In addition, he elaborates a common modernist position on the standing of women in Islamic law regarding divorce, polygamy, inheritance, and legal testimony.1

Chapter.  6145 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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