Islam Is a Religion That Respects Reason

Muhammad Abdul Khader Maulavi

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Islam Is a Religion That Respects Reason

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Muhammad Abdul Khader Maulavi (Malabar, 18731932), commonly known as Wakkom Maulavi, was the seminal modernist reformer of the Mappila Muslims of south India. Educated at home in a strong intellectual environment maintained by his merchant father, he inherited the latter's wealth in 1902 but not his business acumen, and was poor at his death. During his lifetime he launched four journals. The first, Swadeshabhimani (The Patriot, 19051910), was closed down because of its daring attacks on the ruling political structures of the region. His other journalsMuslim (19061917); the short-lived al-Islam (1918, in Arabic-Malayalam); and Deepika (The Torch, 19311932)cen-tered on educational and theological reform. In addition, he was indefatigable in organizing local Muslim associations dedicated to secular education, including women's education. Influenced by Muhammad Abduh (see chapter 3), Muhammad Rashid Rida's journal al-Manar (The Beacon) (see chapter 6), and reformers of earlier centuries, Wakkom Maulavi launched his own call for return to what he considered genuine Islam, which included the centrality of the Qur'an and tawhid (unity), reinterpreted in the light of modern needs. This return involved the overcoming of ignorance, taqlid (imitation of past scholars), the veneration of saints, and other popular religious practices. He passed on his reformist vision to Mappila political and educational leaders of the following generation, and to progressive movements such as the Aikhya Sankam Society and the Mujahids. Criticized by some as a modernist strayer, Wakkom Maulavi is praised by many as the father of the Mappila renaissance.1

Chapter.  811 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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