Muhammad Abduh 1849–1905, Egyptian Muslim religious reformer. His encounter in 1872 with Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, in the Cairo mosque-university of al-Azhar, led to his transition from asceticism to an activism seeking the renaissance of Islam and the liberation of the Muslims from colonialism. Abduh advocated the reform of Islam by bringing it back to its pristine state, and casting off what he viewed as its contemporary decadence and division. His views were faced by opposition from the established political and religious order, but were later embraced by Arab nationalism after World War I.
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