Muhammad Rashid Rida
محمد رشید رضا
|Born|| or 17 October 1865 23 September 1865 |
|Died||22 August 1935 69) (aged|
|Notable work(s)||Tafsir al-Manar|
Muhammad Rashid Rida (Arabic : محمد رشيد رضا, romanized: Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā; Ottoman Syria, 23 September 1865 or 18 October 1865 – Egypt, 22 August 1935) was an early Islamic reformer, whose ideas would later influence 20th-century Islamist thinkers in developing a political philosophy of an "Islamic state". Rida is said to have been one of the most influential and controversial scholars of his generation and was deeply influenced by the early Salafi Movement and the movement for Islamic Modernism founded in Cairo by Muhammad Abduh.
The romanization of Arabic writes written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used in lieu of or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.
Ottoman Syria refers to divisions of the Ottoman Empire within the Levant, usually defined as the region east of the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Euphrates River, north of the Arabian Desert and south of the Taurus Mountains.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.
Rida was born near Tripoli in Al-Qalamoun, (now in Lebanon but then part of Ottoman Syria within the Ottoman Empire). His early education consisted of training in "traditional Islamic subjects". In 1884–5 he was first exposed to al-`Urwa al-wuthqa, the journal of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. In 1897 he left Syria for Cairo to collaborate with Abduh. The following year Rida launched al-Manar , a weekly and then monthly journal comprising Quranic commentaryat which he worked until his death in 1935, gradually distancing himself from the teachings of Abduh and adopting a Salafism closer to Saudi Wahhabism.
Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometers north of the capital Beirut, it is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Tripoli overlooks the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and it is the northernmost seaport in Lebanon. It holds a string of four small islands offshore, and they are also the only islands in Lebanon. The Palm Islands were declared a protected area because of their status of haven for endangered loggerhead turtles, rare monk seals and migratory birds.
Al-Qalamoun is a Mediterranean seaside town of the North Governorate of Lebanon in the Tripoli District. The town is 5 km south of Tripoli and is also the first town south of Tripoli.
Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.
Rashid Rida, was a leading exponent of Salafismand was especially critical of what he termed "blind following" of traditional Islam. He encouraged both laymen and scholars to interpret the primary sources of Islam themselves. Applying this principle enabled Rida to tackle a number of subjects in a modern way and sometimes led to him holding unorthodox ideas that were considered controversial by some and progressive by others.
One of his controversial views was his support of Darwin's theory of evolution.To justify Darwinism, Rida considered it permissible to "interpret certain stories of the Qur'an in an allegorical manner, as, for example, the story of Adam.". He also believed that the origin of the human race from Adam is a history derived from the Hebrews and that Muslims are not obliged to believe in this account.
Other controversial beliefs held by Rida included:
- His view that usury (riba) may be permitted in certain cases
- His idea that building statues is permissible in Islam as long as there is no danger of their being devoted to improper religious uses.
- His support of the British against the Ottomans
- His view that "the minute living bodies which today have been made known by the microscope and are called microbes, may possibly be a species of Jinn"
Jinn, also Romanized as djinn or Anglicized as genies, are supernatural creatures in early pre-Islamic Arabian and later Islamic mythology and theology. Jinn are not a strictly Islamic concept; rather, they may represent pagan beliefs integrated into Islam. Since jinn are neither innately evil nor innately good, Islam was able to adapt spirits from other religions during its expansion.
Rida focused on the relative weakness of Muslim societies vis-à-vis Western colonialism, blaming Sufi excesses, the blind imitation of the past (taqlid), the stagnation of the ulama, and the resulting failure to achieve progress in science and technology. He held that these flaws could be alleviated by a return to what he saw as the true principles of Islam albeit interpreted (ijtihad) to suit modern realities.This alone could, he believed, save Muslims from subordination to the colonial powers.
Rida had a close relationship with Freemasonry,though his feelings toward the Bahá'í Faith were quite negative.
Despite some controversial ideas held by Rida, his works and in particular his magazine al-Manar spread throughout the Muslim world influencing many individuals including the popular Salafi writer Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani.
Muhammad Rashid Rida was one of the earliest critics of Zionism and wrote an article on the Movement as early as 1898.
Rida died on his way back to Cairo from Suez, where he had gone to see off his patron, King of Saudi Arabia Abdulaziz Ibn Saud.
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The corruption and tyranny of Muslim rulers ("caliphs", sultans, etc.) throughout history was a central theme in Rida's criticisms. Rida, however, celebrated the rule of the Prophet Mohammad and the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and leveled his attacks at subsequent rulers who could not maintain Prophet Mohammad's example. He also criticized the clergy ("ulama") for compromising their integrity - and the integrity of the Islamic law ("sharia") they were meant to uphold - by associating with worldly corrupt powers.
Rida's ideas were foundational to the development of the modern "Islamic state". He "was an important link between classical theories of the caliphate, such as al-Mawardi's, and 20th-century notions of the Islamic state".
Rida promoted a restoration or rejuvenation of the Caliphate for Islamic unity, and "democratic consultation on the part of the government, which he called "shura"."In theology, his reformist ideas, like those of Abduh, were "based on the argument that:
shari'a consists of `ibadat (worship) and mu'amalat (social relations). Human reason has little scope in the former and Muslims should adhere to the dictates of the Qur'an and hadith. The laws governing mu'amalat should conform to Islamic ethics but on specific points may be continually reassessed according to changing conditions of different generations and societies.
Although he did not call for the revolutionary establishment of an Islamic state, rather advocating only gradual reform of the existing Ottoman government, Rida preceded Abul Ala Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, and later Islamists in declaring adherence to Sharia law as essential for Islam and Muslims, saying
Koran 5:44 applies to `...whomsoever thinks it distasteful to rule in accordance with the just rules which God sent down, and does not rule by them because he has different views, or because he has worldly interests. According to these verses, they are unbelievers; because true faith requires obedience. Obedience requires deeds, and is not consistent with omission'
In Sunni Islam, the ulama, are the guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge, of Islamic doctrine and law.
Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Ju‘fī al-Bukhārī, or Bukhārī, commonly referred to as Imam al-Bukhari or Imam Bukhari, was a Persian Islamic scholar who was born in Bukhara. He authored the hadith collection known as Sahih al-Bukhari, regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of the most authentic (sahih) hadith collections. He also wrote other books such as Al-Adab al-Mufrad.
Liberalism and progressivism within Islam involve professed Muslims who are a considerable body of liberal thought on the original interpretation of Islamic understanding and practice. Their work is sometimes characterized as "progressive Islam" ; some regard progressive Islam and liberal Islam as two distinct movements.
The Salafi movement, also called Salafist movement, Salafiya, and Salafism, is a reform branch or revivalist movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Egypt in the late 19th century as a response to Western European imperialism, with roots in the 18th-century Wahhabi movement that originated in the Najd region of modern-day Saudi Arabia. It advocated a return to the traditions of the salaf, the first three generations of Muslims, which include the generations of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his companions, their successors, and the successors of the successors.
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Muhammad Nasir-ud-Dīn al-Albani was an Albanian Islamic scholar who specialised in the fields of hadith and fiqh. He established his reputation in Syria, where his family had moved when he was a child and where he was educated.
al-Manār, was an Islamic magazine, written in Arabic, and was founded and published by Rashid Rida from 1898 until his death in 1935. His goal in establishing the magazine was to articulate and disseminate reformist ideas and preserve the unity of the Muslim nation. The magazine was based in Cairo, Egypt. It was started as a weekly, but later its frequency was switched to monthly.
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'Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi was a Syrian author and Pan-Arab solidarity supporter. He was one of the most prominent intellectuals of his time; however, his thoughts and writings continue to be relevant to the issues of Islamic identity and Pan-Arabism. His criticisms of the Ottoman Empire eventually led to Arabs calling for the sovereignty of the Arab Nations, setting the basis for Pan-Arab nationalism. Al-Kawakibi articulated his ideas in two influential books, Tabai al-Istibdad wa-Masari al-Isti’bad and Umm Al-Qura. He died in 1902 of “mysterious” causes. His family alleged that he was poisoned by Turkish agents.
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Tafsir al-Manar is a work of Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) by Rashid Rida, the contemporary Islamic scholar and the major figure within the early Islamic Modernism movement. The tafsir work can be fitted into the category of modern tafsir, which is distinguishable from the classical tafsir in the sense that it approaches to more contemporary issues through the broader scope of methodology it employs for the interpretation. The tafsir is also notable in the context of Islamic Movement, as it served as an avenue for Rida to profess and promulgate his ideology.
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