The closest associate of Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani. As the leading theorist of the anti-British uprising of Arabi-pasha, in 1882 he was expelled from Egypt. In 1884, in Paris, he founded, together with al-Afan-eun, the secret society “The Most Strong Liaison” (“al-‘Urva al-wusk”) and published the same Pan-Islamic newspaper. Upon his return to Egypt (1888) – Chairman of the Administrative Council of al-Azhar. He achieved the introduction of secular disciplines in the curriculum (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, history, geography).
In 1898-1904 he held the post of Mufti of Egypt. The main compositions: Comments to the Koran and “Treatise on the Divine Unity” (“Risalat at-tauhod”). “Abduh claimed the superiority of Islam in comparison with other creeds, based on the recognition of the independence of the human will and mind. The decline of the Muslim society was explained by following traditions, not the Koran and the Sunnah. He advocated the independent interpretation of the Koran under the spirit of the times.
The possibilities of the mind in the knowledge of God for those possessing perfect intelligence (for example, prophets) considered potentially unlimited. Defended the formula “religion – morality – social well-being”, where the latter is achieved by the activity of highly moral people, consistent with the principles, ultimately emanating from God.
Mohamed Abduh publications:
- (1897) Risālat al-tawḥīd (“Treatise on the oneness of God;” first edition).
- (1903) Tafsir Surat al-`Asr, Cairo.
- (1904) Tafsir juz’ `Amma, al-Matb. al-Amiriyya, Cairo.
- (1927) Tafsir Manar, 12 volumes
- (1944) Muhammad Abduh. “Essai sur ses idées philosophiques et religieuses”, Cairo
- (1954–1961), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim al-Mustahir bi Tafsir al-Manar, 12 vols. with indices, Cairo.
- (1962 or 1963) (Islamic year 1382), Fatihat al-Kitab, Tafsir al-Ustadh al-Imam…, Kitab al-Tahrir, Cairo.
- (no date), Durus min al-Qur’an al-Karim, ed. by Tahir al-Tanakhi, Dar al-Hilal, Cairo.
- (1966) The Theology of Unity, trans. by Ishaq Musa’ad and Kenneth Cragg. London.