Between Isolation and Global Reception:
The Figure of Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā in the Context of the Islamic Reform Scene
As one of the most prominent representatives of the Arab Sunni-Islamic reform movement in the beginning of the 20th century, Rashīd Riḍā’s ideas and works have been the subject of many studies. Although the multifaceted functions he fulfilled as an author and editor of the widespread Islamic journal al-Manār and as advocate of the Islamic reform movement have been researched frequently, investigation on Rashīd Riḍā is still far from being exhausted. For the first time this project examines Rashīd Riḍā in the context of his religious-intellectual milieu as it is formed by his regular contacts to other agents of Islamic reform. The aim is to revisit Rashīd Riḍā as a significant figure within the Muslim reformist scene and to reconcile the paradox between his assumed isolated position between conservative and progressive circles on the one hand and the notion of him being the representative of an Islamic journal with world-wide impact on the other.
The project is indebted to the methods of Intellectual History, as they are practiced by the Cambridge School. I intend to embed Rashīd Riḍā in the context of his religious-intellectual milieu which will be examined in relation to his ideas and activities that characterize him as a new type of intellectual emerging in the Muslim world at that time.
The numerous volumes of al-Manār offer a wide range of textual source material which will be examined as to which circles he frequented directly. There are several personalities within and beyond al-Azhar, who can be assumed to have had regular contacts with Rashīd Riḍā, as for example Muṣṭafā al-Marāghī, ʿAlī ʿAbd al-Rāziq, and Muḥibb al-Dīn al-Khaṭīb. Relevant articles of al-Manār will be analyzed in order to investigate potential qualities of relations between Rashīd Riḍā and these personalities. A part of his private documents and letters will be included as an additional source. A systematic examination of Rashīd Riḍā’s travel itineraries will allow a survey of his contacts and interactions with reformers outside of Egypt, such as Syria, the Ḥijāz or India.
Erstgutachterin: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gudrun Krämer
Zweitgutachter: Dr. Umar Ryad
Drittgutachterin: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Freitag