By Meir Hatina
The prestige of the Sunni Ulama (religious students) nowa days has attracted renewed educational curiosity, in mild in their assertiveness relating to ethical and sociopolitical concerns at the Arab-Muslim schedule. This has ended in a reassessment of the narrative of historians and social scientists, who frequently depicted the Ulama as marginal avid gamers compared to the recent lay Islamists, and positively with the Shia Ulama. The Sunni 'Ulama'’s energy is surely on the topic of the continued Islamic resurgence, which because the Nineteen Seventies has compelled the political elites to depend more and more at the spiritual institution which will neutralize the Islamist problem, hence permitting the Ulama larger freedom of task. Hatina’s learn returns to an precedent days and exhibits that such energy has its roots within the moment half the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Hatina strains the various Ulama reactions to this era of speeded up nation development and nationwide harmony.
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Additional info for 'Ulama', Politics, and the Public Sphere: An Egyptian Perspective
Sufism, al-Shadhili held, is not only ethics and ritual; it is also a social perception aimed at molding Â�human behavior. Its actualization is made possible only through integration in the existing social order. He viewed worldly deeds as a form of ritual. Accordingly, he sanctioned a comfortable lifestyle and involvement in the fields of commerce, economics, and politics, so long as enslavement to the material world was avoided. Al-Shadhili also reinforced his activist agenda by aiding the needy and fighting against social exploitation.
The French response to this act was not long in coming. 39 Al-Azhar’s struggle against the French conquest was not motivated by political aspirations. With the withdrawal of the French in 1801, the ʿulamaʾ refrained from challenging the renewal of Ottoman control over Egypt and ultimately expressed support for an external candidate, Muhammad ʿAli, as the new ruler. All they sought was the restoration of the former religio-political order, which in the past had allowed them to retain power and influence.
Another confrontation between the two occurred when ʿAbbas wanted to confiscate lands and assets belonging to Muhammad ʿAli’s descendants, on the grounds that when Muhammad ʿAli came to Egypt he did not possess any property. Thus what he left for his family was in fact public property that must be returned through the offices of the viceroy’s representative. Vigorously opposing this claim despite warnings and threats against him, al-Mahdi argued that it constituted a debasement of religious law.
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