Preaching Islamic Renewal: Shaykh Muhammad Mitwalli Sha'rawi and the Syncretization of Revelation and Contemporary Life.
Brinton, Jacquelene Jayne Gottlieb, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Ochs, Peter, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Hoehler-Fatton, Cynthia, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
The ulamā' in Egypt are still actively provide believers with the means of utilizing Islamic foundational texts in their every day lives. Even though their role as intermediaries has been curtailed in recent times, they have still been able to invent new ways to ensure their continued relevancy, combining a past history of involvement with the sources with present reality. They have been able to do this because part of the responsibility of the ulamā' has always been to adapt contingencies to knowledge gained from the Qur'an and hadith, defending against them when necessary and syncretizing changed circumstances with revelatory understanding when possible. Some classes of ulamā', especially the preachers, have also had the responsibility to convey these defenses and reformulations to the public. In this dissertation by examining the life and discourses of one 'alim–preacher, Muhammad Mitwalli Sha'rawi (died 1998), I will show that 'ulama authority continues in Egypt and that, through preaching, their articulated adaptations are still effectively conveyed to the people. Sha'rawi provided the people with a way to integrate the current reality of their lives into their religious faith without completely rejecting modern life or compromising the principles of adherence to Islam. But religious truth always took precedence for Sha'rawi which meant that contingencies were always modified if they were to be accepted. In addition he always weighed any new information against knowledge as he understood it from the Qu'ran and hadith.
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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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