The Qur'an and interpretation in the classical modernism: Tafsircentric approach of Muhammad 'Abduh

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Abstract

This article focuses on Muslim modernist exegesis. In the mid-19th century, Muslim modernist exegesis emerged under the influence of Western science in various parts of Muslim lands such as India and Egypt. Some main characteristics of this approach in early Muslim modernism are: a central focus on the Qur’ān as the primary text; a sceptical approach to hadīth; emphasis on ijtihad (independent reasoning); emphasis on a new systematic theology (new kalām); a critical approach to classical Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh); and interpreting the Qur’ān in the light of reason and modern sciences. The current literature describes Muhammad ʿAbduh (d. 1905) as a modernist Salafī or intellectual modernism (by Fazlur Rahman).Because more emphasis is given to the Qur’ān rather hadīth in ʿAbduh’s thought, ‘intellectual modernism’ seems to be the best description forʿAbduh’s way. This article also argues ʿAbduh attempts thetafsīrisation of other Islamic disciplines through his text-based approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Journal of Islamic Studies
Volume4
Issue number2
Early online date18 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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