Muhammad Abduh was a central figure of the Arab Nahda and Islamic Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Muhammad Abduh began teaching advanced students esoteric Islamic texts at Al-Azhar University while he was still studying there.
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Muhammad Abduh was made a professor of history at Dar al-?Ulum the following year, and of Arabic language and literature at Madrasat al-Alsun.
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Muhammad Abduh authored Risalat at-Tawhid and a commentary on the Quran.
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Muhammad Abduh briefly published the pan-Islamist anti-colonial newspaper al-?Urwa al-Wuthqa alongside his mentor Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani.
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Muhammad Abduh was made a judge in the Courts of First Instance of the Native Tribunals in 1888, a consultative member of the Court of Appeal in 1899, and he was appointed mufti l-diyar al-misriyya in 1899.
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Muhammad Abduh's family was part of the Ottoman Egyptian elite: his father was part of the Umad, or the local ruling elite, while his mother was part of the Ashraf.
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Muhammad Abduh was heavily dissatisfied with the traditional education and representatives of mainstream ulama of his time.
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In 1866, ?Muhammad Abduh enrolled at al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he studied logic, Islamic philosophy, theology, and Sufism.
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Muhammad Abduh was a student of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, a Muslim philosopher and religious reformer who advocated Pan-Islamism to resist European colonialism.
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Under al-Afghani's influence, ?Muhammad Abduh combined journalism, politics, and his own fascination with Islamic mystical spirituality.
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In 1877, ?Muhammad Abduh was granted the degree of ?alim and he started to teach logic, Islamic theology, and ethics at al-Azhar University.
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Muhammad Abduh was appointed to teach Arabic at the Khedivial School of Languages.
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Muhammad Abduh is regarded as one of the key founding figures of Islamic Modernism, sometimes called "Neo-Mu?tazilism" after the homonymous medieval school of Islamic theology based on rationalism.
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Muhammad Abduh was dedicated to reforming all aspects of Egyptian society and believed that education was the best way to achieve this goal.
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Muhammad Abduh was in favor of a good religious education, which would strengthen a child's morals, and a scientific education, which would nurture a child's ability to reason.
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Muhammad Abduh was exiled from Egypt by the British forces in 1882 for six years, for supporting the Egyptian nationalist ?Urabi revolt led by Ahmed ?Urabi in 1879.
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Muhammad Abduh had stated that every society should be allowed to choose a suitable form of government based on its history and its present circumstances.
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Muhammad Abduh was appointed judge in the Courts of First Instance of the Native Tribunals and in 1891, he became a consultative member of the Court of Appeal.
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Muhammad Abduh studied the French law and read many great European and Arabic literary works in the libraries of Vienna and Berlin.
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Muhammad Abduh said that in Islam, man was not created to be led by a bridle, but that man was given intelligence so that he could be guided by knowledge.
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Muhammad Abduh said that the two greatest possessions relating to religion that man was graced with were independence of will and independence of thought and opinion.
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Muhammad Abduh believed that the growth of western civilization in Europe was based on these two principles.
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Muhammad Abduh thought that Europeans were roused to act after a large number of them were able to exercise their choice and to seek out facts with their minds.
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Muhammad Abduh is conventionally graced with the honorary epithets al-Ustadh al-Imam and al-Shaykh al-Mufti.
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Muhammad Abduh made great efforts to preach harmony between Sunni and Shi?a Muslims.
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Muhammad Abduh believed that practices such as supplicating and seeking intercession by placing intermediaries between God and human beings were all acts of "manifest shirk" and bid?ah unknown to the Salaf.
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Muhammad Abduh would explain the philosophical and esoteric Sufi traditions of Islam in his treatise Risalat al-Waridat fi Sirr al-Tajalliyyat which articulated the philosophical and mystical teachings of his master, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, incorporating the spiritual ideas of medieval Sufi saints and philosophers such as Ibn Arabi and Ibn Sina.
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The language ?Muhammad Abduh employs to describe al-Afghani's instructions was based on a distinctly Sufi framework that symbolised Ishraqi philosophy.
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Muhammad Abduh had many Christian friends and many times he stood up to defend Copts, especially during the Egyptian nationalist ?Urabi revolt led by Ahmed ?Urabi in 1879, when some Muslim mobs had misguidedly attacked a number of Copts resulting from their anger towards European colonialism.
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At the age of 28, ?Muhammad Abduh became a Freemason and joined a Masonic lodge, the Kawkab Al-Sharq.
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In line with Masonic principles, ?Muhammad Abduh sought to encourage unity with all religious traditions.
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Muhammad Abduh replied that it was for a "political and social purpose".
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