Fazlur Rahman Malik

Fazlur Rahman Malik (Urdu: فضل الرحمان ملک‎) (September 21, 1919 – July 26, 1988), generally known as Fazlur Rahman, was a modernist scholar and philosopher of Islam from today's Pakistan. He is renowned as a prominent liberal reformer of Islam, who devoted himself to educational reform and the revival of independent reasoning (ijtihad).[1] His works are subject of widespread interest in countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey.[2]

After teaching in Britain and Canada, he was appointed head of the Central Institute of Islamic Research of Pakistan in 1963. Although his works were widely respected by other Islamic reformers, they were also heavily criticized by conservative scholars as being overtly liberal.[1] This was quickly exploited by opponents of his political paymaster, General Ayub Khan, and led to his eventual exile in the United States. He left Pakistan in 1968 for the United States where he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Chicago.

Fazlur Rahman Malik
فضل الرحمان ملک
Born21 September 1919
Died26 July 1988 (aged 68)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Alma materPunjab University (M.A.)
Oxford University (Ph.D.)
Notable work
Avicenna's Psychology, Islamic Methodology in History, Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition
EraContemporary Islamic philosophy, 20th-century philosophy
RegionIslam
Main interests
Islamic Modernism, ijtihad

Biography

Rahman was born in the Hazara District of the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) of British India (now Pakistan). His father, Maulana Shihab al-Din, was a well-known scholar of the time who had studied at Deoband and had achieved the rank of alim, through his studies of Islamic law, prophetic narrations, Quran'ic commentaries, logic, philosophy and other subjects.

Rahman studied Arabic at Punjab University, and went on to Oxford University, where he wrote a dissertation on Ibn Sina. Afterwards, he began a teaching career, first at Durham University, where he taught Persian and Islamic philosophy, and then at McGill University, where he taught Islamic studies until 1961.

In that year, he returned to Pakistan at the behest of President Ayub Khan to head up the Central Institute of Islamic Research in Karachi which was set up by the Pakistani government in order to implement Islam into the daily dealings of the nation. However, due to the political situation in Pakistan, Rahman was hindered from making any progress in this endeavour. Orthodox ulema opposed his modernist interpretations and after Ayub Khan's power weakened, they denounced Rahman as an apostate and called for his death as a wajib ul qatl.[3] He resigned from the post in September 1968 and left for the United States.

In the US he returned to teaching, and taught at UCLA as a visiting professor for a year. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1969 and established himself there becoming the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Islamic Thought. At Chicago he was instrumental for building a strong Near Eastern Studies program that continues to be among the best in the world. Rahman also became a proponent for a reform of the Islamic polity and was an advisor to the State Department. Rahman died in Chicago, Illinois July 26, 1988 at the University of Chicago Medical Center from complications of coronary bypass surgery. A resident of suburban Naperville, Illinois at his death, he is buried in Arlington Cemetery, Elmhurst, Illinois.[4]

Since Rahman's death his writings have continued to be popular among scholars of Islam and the Near East. His contributions to the University of Chicago are still evident in its excellent programs in these areas. In his memory, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago named its common area after him, due to his many years of service at the Center and at the University of Chicago at large.

He was a polyglot who, apart from mastering Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English quite early in his life, eventually also learned classical Greek, Latin, German and French in order to be more efficient in his academic career.[5]

Views

He argued that the basis of Islamic revival was the return to the intellectual dynamism that was the hallmark of the Islamic scholarly tradition (these ideas are outlined in Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism and his magnum opus, Islam). He sought to give philosophy free rein, and was keen on Muslims appreciating how the modern nation-state understood law, as opposed to ethics; his view being that the shari'ah was a mixture of both ethics and law. He was critical of historical Muslim theologies and philosophies for failing to create a moral and ethical worldview based on the values derived from the Qur'an: 'moral values', unlike socioeconomic values, 'are not exhausted at any point in history' but require constant interpretation.

He also believed that the modern conservatism of Islamic world is a defensive and temporary posture against the perceived political and economic setbacks of the Muslim world. Adding to this was stagnation in Islamic education begun in the early Middle Ages, which led to the inadequate understanding of Qur'anic teachings.[1]

Riba

The issue of what is riba and whether it includes all interest on loans has been a major issue in Islam during the 20th century and early 21st. The Islamic revival movement that grew in strength and influence during Rahman's lifetime, considered all and any interest on loans riba and a "curse", and considered putting an end to it a top priority. As an Islamic Modernist, Rahman disagreed, believing that only high-interest loans were riba, and in particularly that riba referred only to a particular type of interest charged in the time of Muhammad. He cited the Muwatta of Imam Malik in arguing that riba should not be interpreted literally but must be understood in the context of pre-Islamic Arab moneylending customs. Feisal Khan describes his position as being that

The banned riba in the Quran referred to a particular custom, riba al-nasiah or riba al-jahaliyah, where when the debt came due it was traditional to ask the borrower `will you pay or will you riba?` If the borrower chose the latter, he would be granted an extension on the loan but the amount due would be doubled -- hense the riba. ... If the borrower then defaulted on the doubled amount, his debt was redoubled and he was given another time extension: if unable to pay, he and all his possessions could be auctioned off to satisfy his creditors.[6]

Rahman himself wrote that

the initial interest itself was not usurious and was, therefore, not considered riba. What made it riba was the increase ... that raised the principal several-fold by continued redoubling.[7]

This contradicted the contention of famous Islamist author Maulana Maududi that there was no initial interest—that money lenders made initial loans "granted free of interest"—which was doubtful on the grounds that professional moneylenders would ever make loans for free. Rahman concluded that the Quran banned "extreme usury and so by extension injustice but not interest."[6]

Publications

  • Islam, University of Chicago Press, 2nd edition, 1979. ISBN 0-226-70281-2
  • Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy, University of Chicago Press, 1979, 2011 ISBN 9780226702858
  • Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition, University of Chicago Press, 1982. ISBN 0-226-70284-7
  • Major Themes of the Qur'an, University of Chicago Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-226-70286-5
  • Revival and Reform in Islam (ed. Ebrahim Moosa), Oneworld Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-85168-204-X
  • Islamic Methodology in History, Central Institute of Islamic Research, 1965.
  • "Riba and Interest" (PDF). Islamic Studies. Karachi. 3 (1): 1–43. March 1964. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03.
  • Shariah, Chapter from Islam [Anchor Book, 1968], pp. 117–137.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Sonn, Tamara. (1995). "Rahman, Fazlur". In John L. Esposito. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bektovic, Safet. Towards a neo-modernist Islam. Journal Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology. p.160-178.
  3. ^ Khan, Islamic Banking in Pakistan, 2015: pp.42, 48
  4. ^ Death Certificate #614834: Rahman, Fazlur. Cook County Clerk's Office. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Muhammad Khalid Masud, In Memorium: Dr. Fazlur Rahman (1919-1988), Islamic Studies, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Winter 1988), p. 399
  6. ^ a b Khan, Islamic Banking in Pakistan, 2015: p.54
  7. ^ Rahman, Fazlur; Siddiqi, M. (translator) (1964). "Riba and Interest" [Tahaqiq-i-Riba]. Islamic Studies. 3 (1): 6.

Books, articles

External links

'Aql

‘Aql (Arabic: عقل‎, meaning "intellect"), is an Arabic language term used in Islamic philosophy or theology for the intellect or the rational faculty of the soul or mind. It is the normal translation of the Greek term nous. In jurisprudence, it is associated with using reason as a source for sharia "religious law" and has been translated as "dialectical reasoning".

Abdul Hosein Amini

Sheikh Abdul Hossein Amini (Persian: عبدالحسین امینی‎) was a Shia scholar, traditionist, theologian and jurist. His magnum opus is Al-Ḡadīr fi’l-Ketāb wa’l-Sonna wa’l-Adab .

Abdulhakim Arvasi

Abdulhakim Arvasi or Sayyeed Abd al Haqeem-i Arvasi (1865–1943) was a Sunni Islamic scholar.

Azariqa

Azariqa (Arabic الأزارقة, al-azāriqa), The strongest and the most extremist branch of Khawarij, who follow the leadership of Nafi ibn al-Azraq al-Hanafī al-Handhalī.

Batiniyya

Batiniyya (Arabic: باطنية‎, translit. Bāṭiniyyah) refers to groups that distinguish between an outer, exoteric (zāhir) and an inner, esoteric (bāṭin) meaning in Islamic scriptures. The term has been used in particular for an allegoristic type of scriptural interpretation developed among some Shia groups, stressing the bāṭin meaning of texts. It has been retained by all branches of Isma'ilism and its Druze offshoots, as well by the Bektashis and the Alevis, Alawites and Yarsanism. Sunni writers have subsequently used the term polemically in reference to rejection of the evident meaning of scripture in favor of its bāṭin meaning. Al-Ghazali, a medieval Sunni theologian, used the term batiniyya pejoratively for the adherents of Isma'ilism. Some Shia writers have also used the term polemically.

Batriyya

Batriyya (Arabic: بترية‎, adjective form Batri) is a Muslim sect from Zaidiyyah, some Shia clerics may use this term to refer to any shiite mixing the allegiance to the Imams and the allegiance to Abu Bakr and Umar.

Among those who used the term were Fadil Al-Darbandi, Muhammad Al-Sanad and Yasser Al-Habib.

Buyruks

The Buyruks are a collection of spiritual books providing the basis of the Alevi value system. The word buyruk in Turkish means "command". Topics addressed in the Buyruks include müsahiplik "spiritual brotherhood" and a wide range of Alevi stories and poems. The story of Haji Bektash Veli is found in them.

The Buyruks also contain Quranic verses, the sayings of Ali and the Twelve Imams, as well as sayings and songs written by Yunus Emre, Pir Abdal Musa, Pir Sultan Abdal, and Ismail I, known by his pen name, Khata'i.

Ibn Aqil

Abu al-Wafa Ali Ibn Aqil ibn Ahmad al-Baghdadi (1040–1119) was an Islamic theologian from Baghdad, Iraq. He was trained in the tenets of the Hanbali school (madhab) for eleven years under scholars such as the Qadi Abu Ya'la. Despite this, Ibn Aqil was forced into hiding by the Hanbalis for frequenting the circles of groups who were at odds with the Hanbali tradition. In one of his reminiscences, he remarks that his Hanbali companions wanted him to abandon the company of certain scholars, and complains that it hindered him from acquiring useful knowledge. Among his works of jurisprudence that have survived are Wadih fi usul al-fiqh and (in part) Kitab al-funun, a work comprising 800 volumes.

Jahmi

Jahmī (Arabic: جهمي‎) was a pejorative term used especially by early Hanbalites to refer to the followers of Jahm ibn Safwan (d. 128/746). In the modern era it is also used by followers of the heterodox Wahhabi sect against orthodox Sunni Muslims.

Karramiyya

Karramiyya (Arabic: كرّاميّه‎, translit. Karrāmiyyah) is a sect in Islam which flourished in the central and eastern parts of the Islamic worlds, and especially in the Iranian regions, from the 9th century until the Mongol invasions in the 13th century.

The sect was founded by a Sistani named Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Karrām (d. 896) who was a popular preacher in Khurasan in the 9th century in the vicinity of Nishapur. He later emigrated with many of his followers to Jerusalem. According to him, the Karrāmites were also called the "followers of Abū'Abdallāh" (aṣḥāb Abī'Abdallāh) . . Its main distribution areas were in Greater Khorasan, Transoxiana and eastern peripheral areas of Iran. Early Ghaznavids and the early Ghurid dynasty granted the Karrāmīyan rulership. The most important center of the community remained until the end of the 11th century Nishapur. After its decline, the Karrāmīya survived only in Ghazni and Ghor in the area of today's Afghanistan.

List of political philosophers

This is a list of notable political philosophers, including some who may be better known for their work in other areas of philosophy. Note, however, that the list is for people who are principally philosophers.

The philosophers are listed in order by year of birth to show rough direction of influences and of development of political thought. See also, Political philosophy.

Ancient, medieval and early modern

Modern (born pre-19th century)

Born in 19th century

Born in 20th century

Ma'bad al-Juhani

Ma'bad ibn Kalid al-Juhani معبد الجهني (died 80 AH/ 699CE), was from the tribe of Juhainah which lived and still live in around the city of Medinah in Saudi Arabia. He was Qadari, an idea he got from Sinbuya, and was declared as misguided by some of the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was crucified by the orders of the Caliph Abd al-Malik in Damascus. He was the first man, after Sinbuya, who discussed the Qadr (Divine Decree).

McGill University Institute of Islamic Studies

The McGill University Institute of Islamic Studies and the Islamic Studies Library were established in 1952 by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, and since 1983 both have been housed in Morrice Hall on McGill's campus in downtown Montreal, Quebec. McGill's institute is the first institute of Islamic studies in North America and hosts 14 full-time professors, 5 visiting positions and 5 professors emeritus.

Murji'ah

Murjiʾah (Arabic المرجئة) is an early Islamic school of divinity, whose followers are known in English language as Murjites or Murjiʾites (Arabic المرجئون). The school is now considered extinct.

Najdat

The Najdat were the sub-sect of the Kharijite movement that followed Najda ibn 'Amir al-Hanafi in the late 7th century and briefly ruled over the historical provinces of Yamamah and Bahrayn in central and eastern Arabia.

Nukkari

The Nukkari (also Nakkari or Nakkariyah; in Latin sources named Canarii) are one of the main branches of the North African Ibadi, founded in 784 by Abu Qudama Yazid ibn Fandin al-Ifrani. Led by Abu Yazid al-Nukkari, they revolted against the ruling Fatimids in Ifriqiya (today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria), conquering Kairouan in 944 and laying siege to Sousse, but were ultimately defeated in 947. Remnants of the Nukkari are thought to have survived on the island of Djerba.

Sufri

The Sufris (Arabic: الصفرية‎ aṣ-Ṣufriyya) were Khariji Muslims in the seventh and eighth centuries. They established the Midrarid state at Sijilmassa, now in Morocco.

In Tlemcen, Algeria, the Banu Ifran were Sufri Berbers who opposed rule by the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates, most notably under resistance movements led by Abu Qurra (8th century) and Abu Yazid.The Khawarij were divided into separate groups such as the Sufri, Azariqa, Bayhasiyya, Ajardi, Najdat, and Ibadi. Only the Ibadi continue to exist today.

Zahir (Islam)

Ẓāhir (Arabic: ظاهر‎) is an Arabic term in some tafsir (interpretations of the Quran) for what is external and manifest. Certain esoteric interpretations of Islam maintain that the Quran has an exoteric or apparent meaning, known as zahir, but also an underlying esoteric meaning, known as batin, which can be interpreted only by a figure of esoteric knowledge. For Shi'a Muslims, the Imam of Time alone can understand the esoteric meaning.

In Sufism, the actions of an individual are the zahir, and the intention in the heart is the batin. Zahir is the world of bodies whereas batin is the world of souls. Sufis believe in the purification of the batin by their spiritual guide to assure a zahir that follows Shariat.

Zahir is also the underlying principle of the Ẓāhiriyya, a school of thought in Islamic jurisprudence and theology known for its insistence on sticking to the manifest or apparent meaning of expressions in the Quran and the Sunnah.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.