Chapter

Reforming Islam and Islamic Law

Muhammad Said Al-Ashmawi

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Reforming Islam and Islamic Law

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Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Cairo, Egypt, he is widely recognized for the forcefulness of his writings in the struggle to redefine Islam in the modern world. His refutation and condemnation of Islamic fundamentalists and extremists earned him praise from many liberals as well as criticism from conservative Muslims, and death threats from extremists in Egypt.

Al-Ashmawi summarizes the orientations of the original rationalist school in Islamic history, the Mutazilah, and its rival movement, the Ashairah, which ultimately prevailed. He believes that the victory of the latter led to the demise of the principles of causality and free will in Islamic thought, and he calls for a return to the rationalist tradition. Without this, he has little hope for the flowering of human rights in Islamic societies. He thus calls for an Islamic reformation, reminiscent of Fyzees call for a newer, Protestant Islam. Al-Ashmawi states boldly his wish for an Islam that places man in history.

Chapter.  2895 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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