Fatherland and Patriotism

Rif A Badaw and Rfi Al-Tahtw

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Fatherland and Patriotism

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He studied at al-Azhar University and was appointed imm of the first large student mission sent by Muhammad Al to Paris. His five years in France left a lasting impression, and his account of his impressions circulated widely. He learned French, read avidly, and translated some twenty books into Arabic. He headed the new school of languages and was editor of the first official gazette.

Though critical of some aspects of Western society, Tahtawi was deeply impressed by French culture in general and more specifically by the writings of social theorists like Rousseau, Voltaire, and Montesquieu. He committed himself to a number of their ideas, including the desirability of political participation, civic education, and the adaptation of society and its laws to changing historical circumstances. In this article, written in 1872, Tahtawi discusses the virtues of dedication to ones watan, or fatherland, and what happens when this is eroded. He also compares certain principles of Muslim jurisprudence with Western notions of natural law and maintains that they are similar in their premises and consequences for the spread of civilization.

Chapter.  2175 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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