We must, however, guard against the misuse of religion to hamper the innovative spirit of man or to allow its advocates to brandish it as a weapon stifle any new idea or to cripple scientific enquiry. It is enough for the society to be deeply religious and for the scientist to be so inspired to ensure that he would not step out of line or to misuse science as to impinge on the province of religion.
Modern Muslim thought emerged as a reaction to the impact of the west upon Muslim society. The west forced its way into the Dar AI-Islam, interfering in its affairs and reshaping its destiny. The initial reaction of the Muslims consisted of fortifying themselves with western weaponry. It soon, however, became clear that a modern army presupposed a modern society. The age of the savage fighter descending upon the civilized world to ravage and plunder was over. Military power became one of the dimensions of the degree of modernity. In the following pages we will deal with the views of three major leaders of the Reform School in Egypt: Jamal AI-Din AI-Afghani, Muhammad 'Abduh and Rashid Ridha.
A Monthly Newsmagazine from Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT)
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