By David Dean Commins

Non secular group and state have lengthy been the executive poles of political and cultural identification for peoples of the trendy center East. This paintings explores how males in turn-of-the-century Damascus dealt, in observe and deed, with the dilemmas of identification that arose from the Ottoman Empire's 19th-century reforms. Muslim non secular students (ulama) who endorsed a go back to scripture because the foundation of social and political order have been the pivotal staff. The reformers clashed with their fellow ulama who defended the integrity of winning non secular practices and ideology. as well as conflicting interpretations of Islam, Arabism comprised a brand new strand of proposal represented via younger males with secular educations advancing Arab pursuits within the Ottoman Empire. spiritual reformers and Arabists shared a political schedule that shifted concentration from constitutionalism ahead of 1908 to administrative decentralization almost immediately thereafter. utilizing unpublished manuscripts and correspondence, inheritance records, and Ottoman-era periodicals, this paintings weaves jointly social, political, and highbrow elements of an area historical past that represents an example of a basic factor in sleek historical past.

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Extra resources for Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria (Studies in Middle Eastern History)

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That appears to be more likely because he supported the autonomy of Baghdad's Mamluk rulers in the 1820s and the 1831 rebellion of the Mamluk Da'ud Pasha against the Ottomans. If Alusi's Wahhabism consisted of an independent attitude toward the Ottomans, he abandoned it hastily when the Ottomans reasserted control over Baghdad in 1831. 12 Shihab al-Din's stature in Muslim intellectual history stands on his nine-volume exegesis of the Quran. In it he cited many passages from the exegesis of Fakhr al-Dinal-Razi, a twelfth-century thinker who related Quranic verses to the natural sciences.

Because the Damascene religious reform movement emerged from Jaza'iri's circle, a close examination of its members would disclose whether or not salafism represented the outlook and interests of a particular social group. The Khani Family and the Khalidiyyah-Naqshbandiyyah Order The Khani family of Naqshbandi shaykhs typified the relationship between 'Abd alQadir al-Jaza'iri's ulama circle and the religious reform movement. Jaza'iri's ac34 The Social Roots of Salafism 35 quaintance with the Khanis spanned three generations, beginning in 1826 with Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Khani, and continuing after 1855 when Jaza'iri befriended Khani's son and grandson.

When the Masons asked Jaza'iri if he could help spread freemasonry in the Arab lands, he replied that it would be impossible to establish a Masonic lodge because the government would forbid it and the people were not ready for it. He told them that while he sympathized with the Masons, they erred in believing that he could propagate freemasonry. Jaza'iri's association with the Masons, which apparently ended after his 1865 visit to Paris, exemplified his liberal ideas and European connections. In later years he remained such a prominent figure that the Syrian notables who organized the 1877-78 political movement nominated him ruler of a projected Syrian kingdom.

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