Saturday, November 21, 2009

An anti-Traditionalist???

Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905), Mufti of the Egyptian Realm, was hardly a Traditionalist. In fact, he was perhaps an anti-Traditionalist. A jurist, religious scholar, political activist, and freemason, he wanted to span the divide between Islam and the West, and advocated a more modern conception of Islam, grounded in rationalism.

I have just published a biography of Muhammad Abduh: Muhammad Abduh (Oxford: Oneworld, 2009). A Middle East edition (as Muhammad Abduh: A Biography) is soon to be published by the American University in Cairo Press.

"Asserting that he was as much a patriotic Egyptian as Islamic reformer, Mark Sedgwick examines the life and thought of the great Mufti and explores his lasting influence on Islamic culture. Drawing on a wealth of new sources and the latest research, this is the only modern biography of this controversial and enigmatic figure."

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