Muhammad Husayn Haykal

(d. 1956)

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(d. 1956)

Egyptian novelist. Used religious symbols appealing to traditional Muslims to introduce a framework of modern rational, scientific analysis designed to promote long-range ideological reform and demonstrate the compatibility between Islam, progress, and reason. Wrote a biography of Muhammad that attempted to synthesize Islamic piety and “scientific” historical method by presenting Muhammad as an ideal personality manifesting modern rational and ethical values. Argued that Islam supports modern ideals of freedom of opinion and democracy. Stressed that the “rightly guided” caliphs left a set of organizational principles whose specific political applications could change over time. Argued against restoration of the traditional Islamic legal system. Attacked the materialism of Western culture.

Subjects: Islam.

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