Chapter

Socialism and Islam

Shaykh Mahmd Shaltt

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Socialism and Islam

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Born in Minya, Mahmud Shaltut studied and then taught in Alexandria. In 1927 he joined the faculty of al-Azhar University and was among those who proposed the reform of al-Azhar. He was dismissed from his post in the 1930s because of his reformist views. However, he later returned and in 1958 became the Rector of al-Azhar (Shaykh al-Azhar).

Shaltut became known for his endorsement of a rapprochement between Shiism and Sunnism and supported the Dar al-Taqrib bayna al-Madhahib al-Islamiyyah (The Mission for Rapprochement Among the Islamic Schools), which had been established in the 1940s and was attached to al-Azhar. A year after Shaltut became Rector of al-Azhar in 1958, he issued a fatwa (an authoritative religious opinion) officially recognizing Shiism as a legitimate, fifth school of Islamic law. A chair in Shii jurisprudence was established at al-Azhar University. In this brief selection, which appeared as an article in the Cairo newspaper, al-Jumhuriyyah, on December 22, 1961, Shaltut vindicates the argument that Islam is the ideal embodiment of the principles of socialism, given the status it accords to brotherhood, social solidarity, and equality among believers.

Chapter.  1870 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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