An Islamic Response to Imperialism

Sayyid Jaml and Al-Dn Al-Afghn

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
An Islamic Response to Imperialism

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Philosopher, writer, orator, journalist, and political activist, he traveled widely from India and Afghanistan to Istanbul, Cairo, Paris, and London, stirring in Muslims the consciousness of their potential strength in the face of colonialism. He is the father of modern Muslim nationalism, proponent of pan-Islam, and the main inspiration for the reform movement in Islam. He expresses almost all the attitudes and themes that are commonplace in Muslim apologetics from 1900 to the present.

This selection is taken from material that originally appeared in various outlets, including a public lecture in Calcutta on November 8, 1882, his famous essay, Answer to Renan, published in 1883, and the first issues of the Hyderabad paper Muallim-i Shafiq in 1884. Afghani alludes to progress achieved by Christian civilization and relates it to the foundations of science, while noting that Islamic civilization has lagged in this area as a result of the practices of the clergy over many centuries. He holds that science is the key to progress, though philosophy shows the sciences what is necessary. Islam contains the philosophical outlook needed for advancement of the human prospect, but the ulama (professional men of religion) have perverted the study and application of scientific principles.

Chapter.  1548 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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