Fazlur Rahman Malik

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For other people with the same name, see Fazl ur Rahman (disambiguation). Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_0

Fazlur Rahman Malik_table_infobox_0

Fazlur Rahman Malik

فضل الرحمان ملکFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_0_0

BornFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_1_0 (1919-09-21)21 September 1919

Hazara District, North West Frontier Province, British IndiaFazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_1_1

DiedFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_2_0 26 July 1988(1988-07-26) (aged 68)

Chicago, Illinois, United StatesFazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_2_1

Alma materFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_3_0 Punjab University (M.A.)

Oxford University (Ph.D.)Fazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_3_1

Notable workFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_4_0 Avicenna's Psychology, Islamic Methodology in History, Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual TraditionFazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_4_1
EraFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_5_0 Contemporary Islamic philosophy, 20th-century philosophyFazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_5_1
RegionFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_6_0 IslamFazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_6_1
Main interestsFazlur Rahman Malik_header_cell_0_7_0 Islamic Modernism, ijtihadFazlur Rahman Malik_cell_0_7_1

Fazlur Rahman Malik (Urdu: فضل الرحمان ملک‎) (September 21, 1919 – July 26, 1988), generally known as Fazlur Rahman, was a modernist scholar and philosopher of Islam from today's Pakistan. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_1

He is renowned as a prominent liberal reformer of Islam, who devoted himself to educational reform and the revival of independent reasoning (ijtihad). Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_2

His works are subject of widespread interest in countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_3

After teaching in Britain and Canada, he was appointed head of the Central Institute of Islamic Research of Pakistan in 1963. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_4

Although his works were widely respected by other Islamic reformers, they were also heavily criticized by conservative scholars as being overtly liberal. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_5

This was quickly exploited by opponents of his political patron, General Ayub Khan, and led to his eventual exile in the United States. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_6

He left Pakistan in 1968 for the United States where he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Chicago. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_7

Biography Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_0

Rahman was born in the Hazara District of the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) of British India (now Pakistan). Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_8

His father, Maulana Shihab al-Din, was a well-known scholar of the time who had studied at Deoband and had achieved the rank of alim, through his studies of Islamic law, prophetic narrations, Quran'ic commentaries, logic, philosophy and other subjects. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_9

Although Fazlur Rahman may not have himself attended a Darul uloom (traditional seat of Islamic knowledge), his father acquainted him with the traditional Islamic sciences, and he eventually memorized the entire Qur'an at the age of ten. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_10

Rahman studied Arabic at Punjab University, and went on to Oxford University, where he wrote a dissertation on Ibn Sina. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_11

Afterwards, he began a teaching career, first at Durham University, where he taught Persian and Islamic philosophy, and then at McGill University, where he taught Islamic studies until 1961. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_12

In that year, he returned to Pakistan at the behest of President Ayub Khan to head up the Central Institute of Islamic Research in Karachi which was set up by the Pakistani government in order to implement Islam into the daily dealings of the nation. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_13

However, due to the political situation in Pakistan, Rahman was hindered from making any progress in this endeavour. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_14

Orthodox ulema opposed his modernist interpretations and after Ayub Khan's power weakened, they denounced Rahman as an apostate and called for his death as a wajib ul qatl. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_15

He resigned from the post in September 1968 and left for the United States. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_16

In the US he returned to teaching, and taught at UCLA as a visiting professor for a year. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_17

He moved to the University of Chicago in 1969 and established himself there becoming the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Islamic Thought. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_18

At Chicago he was instrumental for building a strong Near Eastern Studies program that continues to be among the best in the world. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_19

Rahman also became a proponent for a reform of the Islamic polity and was an advisor to the State Department. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_20

Rahman died in Chicago, Illinois July 26, 1988 at the University of Chicago Medical Center from complications of coronary bypass surgery. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_21

A resident of suburban Naperville, Illinois at his death, he is buried in Arlington Cemetery, Elmhurst, Illinois. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_22

Since Rahman's death his writings have continued to be popular among scholars of Islam and the Near East. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_23

His contributions to the University of Chicago are still evident in its excellent programs in these areas. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_24

In his memory, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago named its common area after him, due to his many years of service at the Center and at the University of Chicago at large. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_25

He was a polyglot who, apart from mastering Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English quite early in his life, eventually also learned classical Greek, Latin, German and French in order to be more efficient in his academic career. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_26

Views Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_1

He argued that the basis of Islamic revival was the return to the intellectual dynamism that was the hallmark of the Islamic scholarly tradition (these ideas are outlined in Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism and his magnum opus, Islam). Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_27

He sought to give philosophy free rein, and was keen on Muslims appreciating how the modern nation-state understood law, as opposed to ethics; his view being that the shari'ah was a mixture of both ethics and law. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_28

He was critical of historical Muslim theologies and philosophies for failing to create a moral and ethical worldview based on the values derived from the Qur'an: 'moral values', unlike socioeconomic values, 'are not exhausted at any point in history' but require constant interpretation. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_29

He also believed that the modern conservatism of Islamic world is a defensive and temporary posture against the perceived political and economic setbacks of the Muslim world. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_30

Adding to this was stagnation in Islamic education begun in the early Middle Ages, which led to the inadequate understanding of Qur'anic teachings. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_31

He saw it as a priority to re-introduce intellectual disciplines such as philosophy, rationalist theology, and social sciences in education. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_32

Social justice Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_2

Rahman criticizes Islamic tradition for failing to develop a systematic Quran-based ethical theory, rather than merely a judicial code. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_33

He argues that although the Quran legalized existing practices such as polygamy and slavery, it presents the elimination of such practices as ideals which a society should strive for. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_34

He considers the theocracy and monarchy (imamate and caliphate) to be understandable attempts at creating a just society in historical times, but stresses the Quranic concept of shura (mutual consultation) for modern governance. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_35

He believes in extending the principle of shura to all of society, not only the elite, and in collaboration between religious and secular experts. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_36

Riba Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_3

The issue of what riba is and whether it includes all interest on loans has been a major issue in Islam during the 20th century and early 21st. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_37

The Islamic revival movement that grew in strength and influence during Rahman's lifetime, considered all and any interest on loans riba and a "curse", and considered putting an end to it a top priority. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_38

As an Islamic Modernist, Rahman disagreed, believing that only high-interest loans were riba, and in particularly that riba referred only to a particular type of interest charged in the time of Muhammad. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_39

He cited the Muwatta of Imam Malik in arguing that riba should not be interpreted literally but must be understood in the context of pre-Islamic Arab moneylending customs. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_40

Feisal Khan describes his position as being that Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_41

Rahman himself wrote that Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_42

This contradicted the contention of famous Islamist author Maulana Maududi that there was no initial interest—that money lenders made initial loans "granted free of interest"—which was doubtful on the grounds that professional moneylenders would ever make loans for free. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_43

Rahman concluded that the Quran banned "extreme usury and so by extension injustice but not interest." Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_44

Reform movements Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_4

Rahman criticizes the pre-modern revivalist movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth century for discouraging intellectualism; Modernism for selectively using passages and not being grounded in methodology; and neo-fundamentalism for likewise not being based on proper analyses. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_45

Rather than Islamic secularism, he was most optimistic about a "neo-modernism" based on an Islamic methodology, in contrast to previous reform efforts. Fazlur Rahman Malik_sentence_46

Publications Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_5

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  • Islam, University of Chicago Press, 2nd edition, 1979. ISBN 0-226-70281-2Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_0
  • Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy, University of Chicago Press, 1979, 2011 ISBN 9780226702858Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_1
  • Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition, University of Chicago Press, 1982. ISBN 0-226-70284-7Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_2
  • Major Themes of the Qur'an, University of Chicago Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-226-70286-5Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_3
  • Revival and Reform in Islam (ed. Ebrahim Moosa), Oneworld Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-85168-204-XFazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_4
  • Islamic Methodology in History, Central Institute of Islamic Research, 1965.Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_5
  • (PDF). Islamic Studies. Karachi. 3 (1): 1–43. March 1964. Archived from (PDF) on 2016-03-03.Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_6
  • , Chapter from Islam [Anchor Book, 1968], pp. 117–137.Fazlur Rahman Malik_item_0_7

See also Fazlur Rahman Malik_section_6

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fazlur Rahman Malik.