Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Muhammad Abduh

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Mohammad Abduh was an Egyptian Muslim theologian, journalist, jurist, and reformer. He was born in the Nile Delta in 1849 and studied in Cairo under Jamal al-Din Afghani. His opposition to colonialism and desire to modernize Islamic society on its own terms led to his involvement in an uprising against Egypt’s European-backed ruler, for which he was exiled in 1882. He joined Afghani in Paris to publish an anti-British Islamic revolutionary journal, then returned to Egypt in 1888 and became a judge while publishing treatises about Islam, Islamic legal reform, reconciling religion and science, citizens’ rights, and other issues of modernization. He served on the governing board of Al-Azhar University and was officially appointed the state mufti of Egypt in 1899, a post that he retained until his death in 1905.


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