Islamic Reform

Islamic reform refers to a broad and diverse movement, beginning in the 18th and continuing into the 19th and 20th centuries, that was interested in renewing devotion and adherence to the major principles of Islam (itijihad). Renewal (tajdid) and reform (islah) took many forms as individual Muslims and Islamic organizations within several countries interpreted doctrine and practice differently. Though the manifestations of reform varied, two principle concerns exist in all: religious authority and the role of faith in society.

The impulse for Islamic reform began in the 18th century as European colonialism emerged and intensified in the Middle East, northern Africa, and Southeast Asia. As European powers expanded their economic and military powers, Muslim movements initially focused on reforms within their own religious organizations. The motivation ...

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