By David Dean Commins
Spiritual neighborhood and country have lengthy been the executive poles of political and cultural id for peoples of the fashionable center East. This paintings explores how males in turn-of-the-century Damascus dealt, in note and deed, with the dilemmas of identification that arose from the Ottoman Empire's 19th-century reforms. Muslim non secular students (ulama) who encouraged a go back to scripture because the foundation of social and political order have been the pivotal workforce. The reformers clashed with their fellow ulama who defended the integrity of winning spiritual practices and ideology. as well as conflicting interpretations of Islam, Arabism comprised a brand new strand of suggestion represented via younger males with secular educations advancing Arab pursuits within the Ottoman Empire. non secular reformers and Arabists shared a political time table that shifted concentration from constitutionalism earlier than 1908 to administrative decentralization presently thereafter. utilizing unpublished manuscripts and correspondence, inheritance records, and Ottoman-era periodicals, this paintings weaves jointly social, political, and highbrow facets of a neighborhood historical past that represents an example of a basic factor in sleek heritage.
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Additional info for Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria (Studies in Middle Eastern History)
Pilgrims must not circumambulate the Prophet's tomb or rub it for spiritual blessing; at the nearby tombs of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, the first two caliphs, one may greet them but not seek their intercession. 10 Shatti recommended the latter view, thus agreeing with the Wahhabis. Shatti's anti-Wahhabi comments and his agreement with them on emulation and supplicatory prayers do not constitute a contradiction. On the latter two issues he merely took positions commonly held by Hanbali ulama. His essays indicate his 24 ISLAMIC REFORM legal school, not sympathy for the Wahhabis.
15 When Muhammad al-Khani the younger died in 1898, 'Abd al-Majid made a bid to succeed his father as head of the Naqshbandi order. But his uncle Shaykh Ahmad contested his bid and obtained the post. 16 Newcomers to the ulama corps of Damascus, the Khanis did not penetrate the ranks of official ulama until the new secular institutions were already beginning to outstrip religious posts as sources of prestige and wealth. 17 At midcentury Naqshbandi dignitaries in the capital patronized the Khanis.
In fact, the true Sufi is he who adheres more strictly to the commands and prohibitions of scripture as he draws closer to God. Anyone who claims to follow the Sufi way and fails to observe religious law is a liar. He noted that some ignorant shaykhs commanded their disciples to fast at times not stipulated by the shari'ah, presumably as a sign of devotion. 40 Another broad theme running through The Book of Stations concerns the limits of reason. In this respect 'Abd al-Qadir repeatedly criticized dialectical theologians for trying to understand the nature of God and His attributes by employing reason.
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