Islamic Modernism is a movement that has been described as "the first Muslim ideological response"[Note 1] attempting to reconcile Islamic faith with modern values such as nationalism, democracy, civil rights, rationality, equality, and progress. It featured a "critical reexamination of the classical conceptions and methods of jurisprudence" and a new approach to Islamic theology and Quranic exegesis (Tafsir).
It was the first of several Islamic movements – including secularism, Islamism, and Salafism – that emerged in the middle of the 19th century in reaction to the rapid changes of the time, especially the perceived onslaught of Western Civilization and colonialism on the Muslim world. Founders include Muhammad Abduh, a Sheikh of Al-Azhar University for a brief period before his death in 1905, Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, and Muhammad Rashid Rida (d. 1935).
The early Islamic Modernists (al-Afghani and Muhammad Abdu) used the term "salafiyya" to refer to their attempt at renovation of Islamic thought, and this "salafiyya movement" is often known in the West as "Islamic modernism," although it is very different from what is currently called the Salafi movement, which generally signifies "ideologies such as wahhabism".[Note 2] Since its inception, Modernism has suffered from co-option of its original reformism by both secularist rulers and by "the official ulama" whose "task it is to legitimise" rulers' actions in religious terms.
Modernism differs from secularism in that it insists on the importance of religious faith in public life, and from Salafism or Islamism in that it embraces contemporary European institutions, social processes, and values. One expression of Islamic Modernism (expressed by Mahathir Mohammed) is that "only when Islam is interpreted so as to be relevant in a world which is different from what it was 1400 years ago, can Islam be regarded as a religion for all ages."
The origins of Salafism in the modernist "Salafi Movement" of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh are noted by many authors, although others say Islamic Modernism only influenced contemporary Salafism. According to Quintan Wiktorowicz:
There has been some confusion in recent years because both the Islamic modernists and the contemporary Salafis refer (referred) to themselves as al-salafiyya, leading some observers to erroneously conclude a common ideological lineage. The earlier salafiyya (modernists), however, were predominantly rationalist Asharis.
Some trends in modern Islamic thought include:
Commencing in the late nineteenth century and impacting the twentieth-century, Muhammed Abduh and Rashid Rida undertook a project to defend and modernize Islam to match Western institutions and social processes. Its most prominent intellectual founder, Muhammad Abduh (d. 1323 AH/1905 CE), was Sheikh of Al-Azhar University for a brief period before his death. This project superimposed the world of the nineteenth century on the extensive body of Islamic knowledge that had accumulated in a different milieu. These efforts had little impact at first, however were catalysed with the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924 and promotion of secular liberalism – particularly with a new breed of writers being pushed to the fore including Egyptian Ali Abd al-Raziq’s publication attacking Islamic politics for the first time in Muslim history. Subsequent secular writers including Farag Foda, al-Ashmawi, Muhamed Khalafallah, Taha Husayn, Husayn Amin, et. al., have argued in similar tones.
Abduh was skeptical towards Hadith (or "Traditions"), i.e. towards the body of reports of the teachings, doings, and sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Particularly towards those Traditions that are reported through few chains of transmission, even if they are deemed rigorously authenticated in any of the six canonical books of Hadith (known as the Kutub al-Sittah). Furthermore, he advocated a reassessment of traditional assumptions even in Hadith studies, though he did not devise a systematic methodology before his death.
The "early Salafiyya" (Modernists) influenced Islamist movements like Muslim Brotherhood and to some extent Jamaat-e-Islami. The MB is considered an intellectual descendant of Islamic modernism. Its founder Hassan Al-Banna was influenced by Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida who attacked the taqlid of the official `ulama and insisted only the Quran and the best-attested ahadith should be sources of the Sharia. He was a dedicated reader of the writings of Rashid Rida and the magazine that Rida published, Al-Manar. As Islamic Modernist beliefs were co-opted by secularist rulers and official `ulama, the Brotherhood moved in a traditionalist and conservative direction, "being the only available outlet for those whose religious and cultural sensibilities had been outraged by the impact of Westernisation".
The Indonesian Islamic organization Muhammadiyah was founded in 1912. Described as Islamic Modernist, it emphasized the authority of the Qur'an and the Hadiths, opposing syncretism and taqlid to the ulema. However, as of 2006, it is said to have "veered sharply toward a more conservative brand of Islam" under the leadership of Din Syamsuddin the head of the Indonesian Ulema Council. 
Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Rashid Rida and, to a lesser extent, Mohammed al-Ghazali took some ideals of Wahhabism, such as endeavor to “return” to the Islamic understanding of the first Muslim generations (Salaf) by reopening the doors of juristic deduction (ijtihad) that they saw as closed. Some historians believe modernists used the term "Salafiyya" for their movement (although this is strongly disputed by at least one scholar – Henri Lauzière). Toward the end of the twentieth century, however, the term "Salafi movement" became associated with the Wahhabism, and strongly antithetical to Islamic modernism which is saw as forbidden innovation (bidah).
Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi writes:
Rashid Rida popularized the term 'Salafī' to describe a particular movement (i.e., Islamic modernism) that he spearheaded. That movement sought to reject the ossification of the madhhabs, and rethink through the standard issues of fiqh and modernity, at times in very liberal ways. A young scholar by the name of Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani read an article by Rida, and then took this term and used it to describe another, completely different movement. Ironically, the movement that Rida spearheaded eventually became Modernist Islam and dropped the 'Salafī' label, and the legal methodology that al-Albānī championed – with a very minimal overlap with Rida's vision of Islam – retained the appellation 'Salafī'. Eventually, al-Albānī's label was adopted by the Najdī daʿwah as well, until it spread in all trends of the movement. Otherwise, before this century, the term 'Salafī' was not used as a common label and proper noun. Therefore, the term 'Salafī' has attached itself to an age-old school of theology, the Atharī school.
Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller writes:
The term Salafi was revived as a slogan and movement, among latter-day Muslims, by the followers of Muhammad Abduh.
Although, not all of the figures named below are from the above-mentioned movement, they all share a more or less modernist thought or/and approach.
According to at least one source, (Charles Kennedy) in Pakistan the range of views on the "appropriate role of Islam" in that country (as of 1992), contains "Islamic Modernists" at one end of the spectrum and "Islamic activists" at the other. "Islamic activists" support the expansion of "Islamic law and Islamic practices", "Islamic Modernists" are lukewarm to this expansion and "some may even advocate development along the secularist lines of the West."
Supporters of Salafi movement considered modernists Neo-Mu'tazila, after the medieval Islamic school of theology based on rationalism, Mu'tazila. Critics argue that the modernist thought is little more than the fusion of Western Secularism with spiritual aspects of Islam.. Other critics have described the modernist positions on politics in Islam as ideological stances.
One of the leading Islamist thinkers and Islamic revivalists, Abul A'la Maududi agreed with Islamic modernists that Islam contained nothing contrary to reason, and was superior in rational terms to all other religious systems. However he disagreed with them in their examination of the Quran and the Sunna using reason as the standard. Maududi, instead started from the proposition that `true reason is Islamic`, and accepted the Book and the Sunna, not reason, as the final authority. Modernists erred in examining rather than simply obeying the Quran and the Sunna.[Note 6]
Critics argue politics is inherently embedded in Islam, a rejection of the Christian and secular principle of "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's". They claim that there is a consensus in Muslim political jurisprudence, philosophy and practice with regard to the Caliphate form of government with a clear structure comprising a Caliph, assistants (mu’awinoon), governors (wulaat), judges (qudaat) and administrators (mudeeroon). It is argued that Muslim jurists have tended to work with the governments of their times. Notable examples are Abu Yusuf, Mohammed Ibn al-Hasan, Shafi’i, Yahya bin Said, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ismail bin Yasa, Ibn Tulun, Abu Zura, Abu Hasan al-Mawardi and Tabari. Prominent theologians would counsel the Caliph in discharging his Islamic duties, often on the request of the incumbent Caliph. Many rulers provided patronage to scholars across all disciplines, the most famous being the Abassids who funded extensive translation programmes and the building of libraries.
Bayrami, Bayramiye, Bayramiyya, Bayramiyye, and Bayramilik refer to a Turkish Sufi order (tariqah) founded by Hajji Bayram (Hacı Bayram-ı Veli) in Ankara around the year 1400 as a combination of Khalwatī, Naqshbandī, and Akbarī Sufi Orders. The order spread to the then Ottoman capital Istanbul where there were several tekkes and into the Balkans (especially Rumelia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Greece). The order also spread into Egypt where a tekke was found in the capital, Cairo.Dhawq
In Sufism, dhawq (tasting) is direct, first-hand experience. It refers, principally, to the Gnosis of God which is achieved experientially, as a result of rigorous empiric spiritual wayfaring. It plays an important role in the epistemology of Al-Ghazzali, and is often expressed, to some extent, in teleological statements scattered throughout his works.Hanafi
The Hanafi (Arabic: حنفي Ḥanafī) school is one of the four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence (fiqh). It is named after the scholar Abū Ḥanīfa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit (d. 767), a tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani. The other major schools of Sharia in Sunni Islam are Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali.The Hanafi school is the maddhab with the largest number of followers among Sunni Muslims. It is predominant in the countries that were once part of the historic Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire and Sultanates of Turkic rulers in the Indian subcontinent, northwest China and Central Asia. In the modern era, Hanafi is prevalent in the following regions: Turkey, the Balkans, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, parts of Iraq, parts of Iran, parts of Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of India and China, and Bangladesh.Ijtihad
Ijtihad (Arabic: اجتهاد ijtihād, [idʒ.tihaːd]; lit. physical or mental effort, expended in a particular activity)
is an Islamic legal term referring to independent reasoning
or the thorough exertion of a jurist's mental faculty in finding a solution to a legal question. It is contrasted with taqlid (imitation, conformity to legal precedent). According to classical Sunni theory, ijtihad requires expertise in the Arabic language, theology, revealed texts, and principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh),
and is not employed where authentic and authoritative texts (Qur'an and Hadith) are considered unambiguous with regard to the question, or where there is an existing scholarly consensus (ijma). Ijtihad is considered to be a religious duty for those qualified to perform it. An Islamic scholar who is qualified to perform ijtihad is called a mujtahid.By the beginning of the 10th century, development of Sunni jurisprudence prompted leading Sunni jurists to state that the main legal questions had been addressed and the scope of ijtihad was gradually restricted. In the modern era, this gave rise to a perception among Western scholars and lay Muslim public that the so-called "gate of ijtihad" was closed at the start of the classical era. While recent scholarship has disproved this notion, the extent and mechanisms of legal change in the post-formative period remain a subject of debate.Starting from the 18th century, some Muslim reformers began calling for abandonment of taqlid and emphasis on ijtihad, which they saw as a return to Islamic origins. Public debates in the Muslim world surrounding ijtihad continue to the present day. The advocacy of ijtihad has been particularly associated with Islamic modernists and purist Salafi thinkers. Among contemporary Muslims in the West there have emerged new visions of ijtihad which emphasize substantive moral values over traditional juridical methodology.Shia jurists did not use the term ijtihad until the 12th century, but they employed a rational mode of legal reasoning from the early period, and its scope was not narrowed as in the Sunni tradition, with the exception of Zaydi jurisprudence.Islam and modernity
Islam and modernity is a topic of discussion in contemporary sociology of religion. The history of Islam chronicles different interpretations and approaches. Modernity is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon rather than a unified and coherent one. It has historically had different schools of thought moving in many directions.Islamic schools and branches
This article summarizes the different branches and schools in Islam. The best known split, into Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, and Kharijites, was mainly political at first but eventually acquired theological and jurisprudential dimensions. There are three traditional types of schools in Islam: schools of jurisprudence, Sufi orders and schools of theology. The article also summarizes major denominations and movements that have arisen in the modern era.Karamat
In Sunni Islam, karamat (Arabic: کرامات karāmāt, pl. of کرامة karāmah, lit. generosity, high-mindedness) refers to supernatural wonders performed by Muslim saints. In the technical vocabulary of Islamic religious sciences, the singular form karama has a sense similar to charism, a favor or spiritual gift freely bestowed by God. The marvels ascribed to Muslim saints have included supernatural physical actions, predictions of the future, and "interpretation of the secrets of hearts".Historically, a "belief in the miracles of saints (karāmāt al-awliyāʾ, literally 'marvels of the friends [of God]')" has been "a requirement in Sunni Islam." This is evident from the fact that an acceptance of the miracles wrought by saints is taken for granted by many of the major authors of the Islamic Golden Age (ca. 700-1400), as well as by many prominent late-medieval scholars. According to orthodox Sunni doctrine, all miracles performed by saints are done by the leave of God, and usually involve a "breaking of the natural order of things" (k̲h̲āriḳ li’l-ʿāda)," or represent, in other words, "an extraordinary happening which breaks the 'divine custom' (sunnat Allāh) which is the normal course of events." Traditionally, Sunni Islam has also strictly emphasized that the miracle of a saint, however extraordinary it may be, is never in any way the "sign of a prophetic mission," and this has been stressed in order to safeguard the Islamic doctrine of Muhammad being the Seal of the Prophets.The doctrine of the karāmāt al-awliyāʾ, which became enshrined as an orthodox and required belief in many of the most prominent Sunni creeds of the classical era such as the Creed of Tahawi (ca. 900) and the Creed of Nasafi (ca. 1000), emerged from the two basic Islamic doctrinal sources of the Quran and the hadith. As the Quran referred to the miracles of non-prophetic saintly people like Khidr (18:65-82), the disciples of Jesus (5:111-115), and the People of the Cave (18:7-26), amongst many others, many prominent early scholars deduced that a group of venerable people must exist who occupy a rank below the prophets but who are nevertheless capable of performing miracles. The references in the corpus of hadith literature to bona fide miracle-working saints like the pre-Islamic Jurayj̲ (seemingly an Arabic form of the Greek Grēgorios), only lent further credence to this early understanding of the miracles of the saints. The fourteenth-century Hanbali scholar Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328), in spite of his well-known objections to the visiting of saints' graves, nevertheless stated: "The miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct, by the acceptance of all Muslim scholars. And the Qur'an has pointed to it in different places, and the sayings of the Prophet have mentioned it, and whoever denies the miraculous power of saints are only people who are innovators and their followers." As one contemporary scholar has expressed it, practically all of the major scholars of the classical and medieval eras believed that "the lives of saints and their miracles were incontestable."In the modern world, this doctrine of the miracles of saints has been challenged by certain movements within the branches of Salafism, Wahhabism, and Islamic modernism, as certain followers of some of these movements have come to view the very idea of Muslim saints "as being both un-Islamic and backwards ... rather than the integral part of Islam which they were for over a millennium." Islamic modernists, in particular, have had a tendency to dismiss the traditional idea of miracles of saints as "superstitious" rather than authentically Islamic. Despite the presence, however, of these opposing streams of thought, the classical doctrine continues to thrive in many parts of the Islamic world today, playing a vital role in the daily piety of vast portions of Muslim countries like Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Senegal, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Morocco, as well as in countries with substantive Islamic populations like India, China, Russia, and the Balkans.Laythi
The Laythi madhhab (Arabic: المذهب الليثي) was an 8th-century religious law school of Fiqh within Sunni Islam whose Imam was Al-Layth ibn Sa'd.Liberalism and progressivism within Islam
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" (Arabic: الإسلام التقدمي al-Islām at-taqaddumī); some regard progressive Islam and liberal Islam as two distinct movements.The methodologies of liberal or progressive Islam rest on the original interpretation of traditional Islamic scripture (the Quran) and other texts (such as the Hadith), a process called ijtihad (see below). This can vary from the slight to the most liberal, where only the meaning of the Quran is considered to be a revelation, with its expression in words seen as the work of the prophet Muhammad in his particular time and context.
Liberal Muslims are returning to the principles of the early Ummah ethical and pluralistic intent of the Quran. They distance themselves from some traditional and less liberal interpretations of Islamic law which they regard as culturally based and without universal applicability. The reform movement uses monotheism (tawhid) "as an organizing principle for human society and the basis of religious knowledge, history, metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics, as well as social, economic and world order".Maliki
The Mālikī (Arabic: مالكي) school is one of the four major madhhab of Islamic jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. It was founded by Malik ibn Anas in the 8th century. The Maliki school of jurisprudence relies on the Quran and hadiths as primary sources. Unlike other Islamic fiqhs, Maliki fiqh also considers the consensus of the people of Medina to be a valid source of Islamic law.The Maliki madhhab is one of the largest group of Sunni Muslims, comparable to the Shafi`i madhhab in adherents, but smaller than the Hanafi madhhab. Sharia based on Maliki doctrine is predominantly found in North Africa (excluding northern and eastern Egypt), West Africa, Chad, Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Emirate of Dubai (UAE), and in northeastern parts of Saudi Arabia.In the medieval era, the Maliki school was also found in parts of Europe under Islamic rule, particularly Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily. A major historical center of Maliki teaching, from the 9th to 11th centuries, was in the Mosque of Uqba of Tunisia.Modernism (Islam in Indonesia)
Modernism or modernist Islam, in the context of Muslim society in Indonesia, refers to a religious strand which puts emphasis on teachings purely derived from the Islamic religious scriptures, the Qur'an and Hadith. Modernism is often contrasted with traditionalism, which upholds ulama-based and syncretic vernacular traditions. Modernism is inspired by reformism in the late-19th to early 20th century based in the Middle East, such as Islamic modernism and Wahhabism. Throughout the history of contemporary Muslim Indonesia, modernism has spawned various religious organizations, from mass organization Muhammadiyah (1912), political party Masyumi Party (1943), to missionary organization Indonesian Islamic Dawah Council (1967).Mohammed Arkoun
Professor Mohammed Arkoun (Kabyle: Muḥemmed Arkun; Arabic: محمد أركون; 1 February 1928 – 14 September 2010) was an Algerian scholar and thinker. He was considered to have been one of the most influential secular scholars in Islamic studies contributing to contemporary intellectual Islamic reform. In a career of more than 30 years, he had been a critic of the tensions embedded in his field of study, advocating Islamic modernism, secularism, and humanism. During his academic career, he wrote his numerous books mostly in French, and occasionally in English and Arabic. He appeared on numerous occasions on French TV and magazines, on Berbère Télévision speaking in Kabyle, his mother tongue, and on Al Jazeera speaking in Arabic.Muhammad Abduh
Muḥammad 'Abduh (1849 – 11 July 1905) (also spelled Mohammed Abduh, Arabic: محمد عبده) was an Egyptian Islamic jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as one of the key founding figures of Islamic Modernism, sometimes called Neo-Mu’tazilism after the medieval Islamic school of theology based on rationalism, Muʿtazila. He also wrote, among other things, "Treatise on the Oneness of God", and a commentary on the Qur'an.Nahdlatul Ulama
Nahdlatul Ulama (literally translated to Revival of the Ulama, abbreviated as NU) is a traditionalist Sunni Islam movement in Indonesia following the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence. NU was established on January 31, 1926 in Surabaya as a response to the rise of Wahabism in Saudi Arabia and Islamic modernism in Indonesia. The NU is the largest independent Islamic organization in the world with membership estimates ranging from 40 million (2013) to over 90 million (2019). NU also is a charitable body funding schools and hospitals as well as organizing communities to help alleviate poverty.
Some leaders of Nahdlatul Ulama are ardent advocates of Islam Nusantara, a distinctive brand of Islam that has undergone interaction, contextualization, indigenization, interpretation and vernacularization according to socio-cultural conditions in Indonesia. Islam Nusantara promotes moderation, compassion, anti-radicalism, inclusiveness and tolerance. However, other NU members, leaders, and religious scholars have rejected Islam Nusantara in favor of a more conservative approach.Rashid Rida
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.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 commentary at which he worked until his death in 1935, gradually distancing himself from the teachings of Abduh and adopting a Salafism closer to Saudi Wahhabism.Sarekat Islam
Sarekat Islam (Islamic Union), formerly Islamists Trade Union (Indonesian: Sarekat Dagang Islam), was a cooperative of Javanese batik traders in the Dutch East Indies and a predecessor of independent Indonesia. The group was founded by Haji Samanhudi, a dealer of batik, in 1905 in Surakarta or 1912. Sarekat Dagang Islam, or Union of Islamic Traders, had as its goal the empowerment of local merchants, especially in the batik industry. The establishment of the organization was inspired by the Jamiat Kheir organization.
As Sarekat Dagang Islam grew, it was reorganized under the name Sarekat Islam. Sarekat Islam's general office was in Surabaya. Early prominent figures of Sarekat Islam included H.O.S. Cokroaminoto and Haji Agus Salim. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto had three famous students, who went on to play a dominant role in Indonesian politics: Sukarno the nationalist, Semaun the socialist and Islamist Kartosuwirjo. Haji Agus Salim joined Sarekat Islam in 1915 and promoted Islamic modernism. Some of Salim's students such as Kasman Singodimedjo, Mohammad Roem and Mohammad Natsir later became prominent Islamic and Nationalist leaders.Sumatera Thawalib
Sumatera Thawalib was one of the earliest Islamic mass organizations in Indonesia, based in West Sumatra. Sumatera Thawalib represented the modernist school of Islam in Indonesia, a strand of thought aimed at Islamic reform through heavy emphasis on the Qur'an and hadith, modern scientific education, and abolishing of non-orthodoxy, inspired by Islamic Modernism promoted by Muhammad Abduh. The term Sumatera Thawalib literally means "Students of Sumatra", and it was founded on January 15, 1919 as a result of meeting between the Muslim students of Padang Panjang and Parabek. The aim of the organization was deepening of Islamic knowledge among the Muslim students. The organization had contributed substantially to the development of Islam in West Sumatra in the early 20th century.Tafsir al-Manar
Tafsir al-Manar (Arabic: تفسير المنار, lit. 'Interpretation of beacon') 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.Tafsir al-Tahrir wa'l-Tanwir
Tafsir al-Tahrir wa'l-Tanwir (Arabic: تفسير التحرير والتنوير, lit. 'Interpretation of verification and enlightenment') is a work of Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) by Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur, the contemporary Islamic scholar graduated from the University of Ez-Zitouna and the major figure within the Islamic Modernism movement. The book is a culmination of his fifty years of work, and ibn Ashur poured in all of his innovative and reformist approaches toward hermeneutical engagement. His approach is most notably characterized by his emphasis on the rhetorical aspect of the Qur'an, instead of relying completely on traditional interpretational science (riwaya) employed by other mufassirs (author of tafsir) whom ibn Ashur criticized. Ibn Ashur criticized the methodology that relies on the opinions by their predecessors without adding little scientific values, by attacking how people are delusional in concerning about the contradictions between the divine message and traditions. The book was published in 1984 through Tunisian House of Publication, consisted of 30 volumes, and considered one of the most important contemporary Qur'anic exegesis to this day.
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