Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

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al-Afghānī, Jamāl al-Dīn (1838–97 (AH 1254–1314)). A Muslim modernist and reformer, and strong anti-colonialist. He was born in Iran, but his formative years were spent in Afghanistan. From 1871, he taught in Cairo, but subsequently travelled widely, following political opportunity. Freedom and liberation from foreign rule were to be followed by the establishment of a pan-Islamic state, the union of the Muslim people under one khalīfa.

Al-Afghānī argued that Islam was not incompatible with Western reason or science (he contested, in particular, E. Renan's lecture ‘Islam and Science’), but as a Muslim rationalist, he repudiated blind faith and conjecture, and instead believed that true happiness sprang from wisdom and clear-sightedness.

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Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī (Muslim modernist reformer): see AL-AFGHĀNĪ.