Egyptian religious scholar trained in Islamic disciplines at al-Azhar by a shaykh sympathetic to the reform program of Muhammad Ali. Went to Paris as a religious teacher for the diplomatic mission there, gaining familiarity with European ideas. Helped develop a new educational system in Egypt and encouraged language instruction and translations. Worked to develop an intellectual framework for the integration of European and Islamic ideas, laying the foundation for Islamic modernist thought. Also laid the foundation for Egyptian nationalism.