Essay Example on J. al-Afghani: The Father of Islamic Modernism

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  954 Words
Date:  2023-09-10

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was a Muslim politician, journalist, and political agitator. He believed I the potency of an entirely revived Islamic civilization, especially during the face of European dominance in the region. His belief considerably influenced the development of Muslim thought during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The paper offers a reflection upon Jamal al-Din al-Afghani’s reforms.

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As the originator and founding father of Islamic modernism, Afghani contributed significantly to Islam's beliefs and lives. His attempts to reinterpret ideas of traditional Islam were crucial as they helped to meet the agonizing issues associated with the increasing incursions of Europeans into the Middle East. Due to his political activism, I believe that Afghani contributed to the identity of the self among Muslims. He helped his followers to perceive the aims of colonialists as evil. Muslims were encouraged to stick to tradition and avoid the Europeans' attempts to transform their beliefs and culture.

I believe the efforts of reinterpreting the traditional culture was important as he fundamentally aimed at revitalizing the Islamic world. Afghani aimed at imparting the identity of self when addressing the Indian Ulama. His efforts include asking them to raise their eyes from the defective books and cast their eyes on the entire world. This was an important request and urge as the Muslim would later understand what was happening across other regions. In this way, they could adjust their traditional Islam to fit the trends of the world. I understand that the Muslims would easily address any issues that faced the religion if they understand the patterns of the world. Further, Afghani requested Indian Ulama t reflect on certain events in life and understand what would be the possible causes of certain occurrences in their world. I believe Afghani helped the Muslims to understand what they needed to do, especially in the face of Europeans who invaded their region. Traditionally, Muslims were faced with problems, especially during the onset and dominance of the Western population. As a result, his reforms are considered advantageous as they helped the Muslims realize the cause of their problems and device ways to eliminate the troubles.

Afghani’s reforms are crucial as they addressed the issues that faced society. For instance, he urged the Muslim to focus on disturbing issues such as poverty. The concept of poverty has long lasted in the minds of third world countries, as depicted by Afghani. This is a situation that weakens a society since if the people find it challenging to feed and support their basic human wants, it is difficult for such a society to progress. I believe Afghani’s reforms aimed at eliminating poverty through educating his followers on ways to address the problem. He urged the Indian Ulama to understand the causes of poverty that prevailed among the population. Besides, he also urged Muslims to focus on the causes of distress, helplessness, and indigence of the Muslims. In his attempts to transform traditional Islam, he focused on ensuring that Muslims sought to address and find solutions for the disturbing issues in society.

The reforms made by Afghani were also important as they helped rebuild a robust Islamic state that would have the ability to withstand the encroachment of Western colonialists. His ideology of Islamic reform and pan Islam helped his people change their traditional approach to life. By urging the Muslims to arise from their sleep and avoid neglect, he challenged them to focus on the ways other communities used to develop themselves and shape their future. His effort helped in opening their eyes to realize that they were once a strong and valuable community, a thing they should fight to restore.

Additionally, I understand that his efforts of reforming the Muslims were helpful as it encouraged them to arise from their laziness and to assume their former abilities in the form of comprehension, intelligence, and prudence. This could be attained by taking an example from the civilized countries. If you look at what others have attained in their regions, it is likely that you will seek ways of achieving the same or even higher levels. The Muslims could later attain a degree of understanding and peak of elevation. His reforms enabled Muslims to realize that they were capable of everything, and nothing would stop them from progress. The Muslims would later learn that they needed to kick out stupidity, laziness, and ignorance if they wanted to advance.

The reforms made by Afghani also would later see the unity of the Muslim community. Unity is key in a society with common goals. Particularly, progress in society can only be achieved if the society in question displays strong unity. Afghani saw that the entire Muslim community in the region was in the sleep of ignorance, compelling him to use his abilities to emancipate them from the European influence.

His call for an end to all religious theories of traditions was significant as he made the Muslims avoid any interpretations that would likely obstruct their progress towards Muslim unity. This represented a positive reform as the Muslim community needed unity, which would see them fight the influence of European activities in the region. Besides, the Muslims would also realize self-strengthening towards a common goal of advancing themselves. He enhanced national cohesion of the Muslim community and the success of the efforts of ant imperialism.


The works of Afghani helped raise Muslim intellectuals and improved Muslims' anti-imperialist mood, contributing to the establishment of the Islamic modernist system, which included special interpretations of the Koran. Further, the political activities of Afghani in the region played a role in addressing the 20th century needs as his followers would later favor the constitutional or popular government.

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