ノ Research Notes Muhammad Abduh 1 John William Draper

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Japan Association for Middle East Studies NII-Electronic Library Service Japan Assooiation for Middle East Studies ト/ Research Notes Muhammad Abduh an 1 John William Draper 1 KATSUHATA Fuyumi 1 lntroduction LOn A s’ m va a ta6 ranTya ma a a 1 m al MaCtanrya 皿[イ’ s or γ of the Conf ct be 1 een R θ9 η a ρdSC e ηce N The ldeO10gical BaCkground Of Draper s Work V De F 〃ノ us and Abduh VI Conclusion とジ 世界を代表す 思想家 アブ 1849 1905 文明 るイ とキ 』( 1902 ては アブ 啓 示 と理 性 サラ フの 時代 帰) 表れ 要性 165 Mu ammad Abduh and John William Draper Katsuhata N 工工 Eleotronio Library
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Transcript of ノ Research Notes Muhammad Abduh 1 John William Draper

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Research Notes
Muhammad ‘Abduh an ⊂1
John William Draper 1
1 lntroduction
LOn A’’s’∂m va∂ a ’ta6 ranTya ma ‘ a
a’ ’ 1’m al−MaCtanrya
’s ’orγ of the Conf ct be’1een
Rθ9η a ρdSC ’e ηce
N The ldeO10gical BaCkground Of
Draper’s Work
VI Conclusion

1849− 1905


165 Muammad ’ Abduh and John William Draper Katsuhata
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1811 1882 1874

Filius 9
Dei Filius

9 Dei Filius

Muhammad ‘
Abduh 184 1905 the leader of the lslamic reformist movement in
Egypt dung the 19th and early 20th century was one of the most prominent thinkers of
the modern Islamic world His reformist ideas were supported by a strong desire to re dve
tlle Islamic worl which faced a serious crisis and in his eyes was on the verge of rUin
under the pressure of modern Western civilizaon M ψamma Abduh has been regarded
as a theoretical founder of Islamic reformism His arguments may be summarized under
the owing two points “ reconciliation between revelation and reasol and
“ following in
the fDotsteps of Salafforefathers or the first three generations of Muslims∴In his opinion
although Isla was essentially the religion of reason it had become distorted by varlous
external factors in the course of time Therefore he asserted that Mushms had to return to
the lslam of the forefathers to the time when reason was exercised in the right ways
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Many studies have been conducted on the process by which `Abduh
had generated
his ideas, which in a majority of the cases focused on the relation to Islamic theology in the
medieval period Regarding the exercise of reason, certain scholars have pointed out the
influences of the Mu`tazilite, the Maturidl and the Ashafiya [Adams 1933; Hourani 1962;
Kerr 1966; Matsumoto 1988]; they have also indicated that `Abduh
had adopted the theory
of Ibn Taymiya [Hourani 1962] with respect to the distinction between `ibadat
(worship of
God) and mu'2malat aslamic rules of tr.ansactions), and the theory of al-GhazalT [Adams 1933; Scharbrodt 2ooZ, taking into account
international activities, it had been
mentioned in the preceding studies that `Abduh
had published a journal, al-`Uirwa al-
Wecthqa- (The Firmest Bond; 1884), with Jamal al-Drn al-A[ghani (1838/39-189n in Paris, in
addition to visiting England and Switzerland, and learning French in his forties to read
some European works such as Rousseau, Renan, and so on. It is also widely known that
was on good terms with Wilfrid Blunt and had written a Ietter to Tolstoy [Safran 1961; Hourani 1962]. However, in the past analyses of such Western influences on
only the aspect of his modernity has been stressed, and very few attempts have been made
at studying him further, Thus, the question of how the European thought reacted to
sti11 remains unanswered.(3)
This point brings us to the argument of Y. Choueiri, who published .tslamie
E"ndomentatdsm in 1990. In this work, he examined the thoughts of Sayyid Qutb <1906-1966), an important ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, and argued that Qutb was inspired by
Alexis Carrel (1873-1944), a French surgeon, biologist and eugenicist who had published
L77bmme, cet inconnu (Man, The Unknown, 1935). Choueiri presented a fresh point of view
in holding that Qutb, regarded as a radical Islamist was infiuenced by European thought ff
so, it is possible and necessary to reanalyze and understand `Abduh's
ideas within the
context of the time he lived, especially focusing on his relationship with Western influences.
For this purpose, a good place to start would be to examine `Abduh's
work Al-
lslam wa al-Nczsntn-4Uya make al-7Zm wa al-t44ddunne aslam and Christianity in relation to
Science and Civilization, 1902, hereinafter referred to as Al-fsldm wa al-IVZzsra-n[ya}. It is
regarded as the second important theological work of `Abduh
after Risa-la al-Tawipid (The Theology of Unity, 1897). While studying Al-lsldpmt wa al-NasrtZntya, I discovered another
.book whose contents bore a strong resemblance to it, and some documents recorded in
that book are quite important to understanding `Abduh's
ideas The book is History of the Conjlict between Religt'on and Scienee (1874), written by an American scientist John William Draper (I811-1882). In Al-ISldm wa aZ-IVkesra'nlya
presented Draper's name twice
['Abduh I980: 253, 305], and yec there has been no study so far that has tried to examine
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the relationship between `Abduh
and Draper.{4) Therefore, in this article, I would like to
compare and examine the teXts of these two books in detail in order to understand the
varieus elements that might have permeated into `Abduh's
thought process.
11. 0n A-lslam wa aFIVast tinlya mala aFWm wa aknaadanlya
Al-.tsinm wa al-IVasntnpa was produced through a debate with a Lebanese Christian
intellectual, Faral? Antan (18741922). From 1902 to 1903, in the magazine Al:127mi`a, Antan
published some articles about the great Muslim philosopher of Spain, Ibn Rushd (11261198). To counter that,
contributed six articles to the magazine Al-Mana-L in 1902.(5)
ARtan's articles were gathered into a book, lbn Rushd wa thlsoptzth abn Rushd and his
philosophy, 1903); as for Abduh's articles, excluding the first one, the other five were
compiled into this book Al-lsldm wa al-Alasntntya.
arguments in this book may be summarized in the fbllowing three points.
First aecording to `Abduh's
interpretation, AntU] had asserted that Christianity
had been more tolerant toward scholars and philosophers and that it had persecuted them
less than Islam had{6} Therefore, `Abduh
had tried to refute AntUn's opinion unequivocally, .
insisting on the tolerance of Islam and the intolerance of Chnstianity.
Second, `Abduh
put forward his theory that described Islam as. essentially, a
religion that reconciled with reason; he supported the theory with examples of tolerance of
Islam toward learning that could be found in the history of Islam.
Finally, `Abduh
admired the period of Salaf (the forefathers) when, in his opinion,
reason was exercised in the right ways. In additiOn, `Abduh
criticized severely the rigidity
of the modern Islamic world because most Muslims, adhering excessively to their tradition,
had lost their minds and were incapable of exereising their own reason. `Abduh
this trait of Muslims as a cause for the decline of the Islamic world.
vindicatien of Islam,va and the most important aspects of his ideas: `'reconciliation
in the footsteps of Salaf." Thus, many scholars
introduced this book, together with Risa-la al-Ttzwhid, into their studies.{8} Moreover, .
compared to Risa-la al-Tlawhid, which was based on his highly academic lectures, the
description of these articles was more plain and simple, because they were published in a
magazine that was intended for ordmary people. We can easily understand `Abduh's
of modern Egypt Islamic history, and Western civilization through Al-lslam wa al-IVczsM- .
nz-pa [Matsumoto 1991].
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However, despite its importance, there have been few studies that have tried to
analyze it and, in particular, its theoretical background in detaiL In order te examine this
issue more closely, it is necessary to remember that in recent years, `Abdnh`s
dispute with
Antan has received rnuch more attention, in the current of reevaluation of Ibn Rushd by
the Egyptian enlightenment movement [KUgelgen 1996; Wild 1996; Najjar 2004].
lll. History of the Conflict between Retigion and Scienoe
It was pointed out in the previous section that `Abduh
had countered Antan's `
arguments <mainly in the first half of Al-fsldm wa al-Nagntntva) by illustrating the tolerance
of Islam and the intolerance bf Christianity toward learning. `Abduh
had also referred to
the advanced status of Islam and backwardness of the Christian world in the Middle Ages.
Close analysis of these examples makes it possible to recognize that this book is built on a
series of many quotations from the work of an American scientist John-William Draper
(1811-1882). As a matter of fact `Abduh's
work is based on Draper's ffisto2 y of the Co2diict betzveen Religt'on and Sblence (1874).e) John William Draper was born in England, and later settled in the United States and
became a founder of the New York University Medical SchooL He was not only an eminent
molecular physician, but also a physiologist chemisL and photographer. He did important
research on light rays, photographs, a certain capil1ary phenomenon of plants, and so on.
Employing the method of physiology and applying the rule of biological growth to the
nation's history, Draper wrote some historical works; The History of the intellectual Development ofEumpe (1862), Histo2y of the American Civil VI71ar (3 vols, 1867-1870), and
llisto73, of the Conj7ict between Reldgion utd Science (1874). These books were translated
inte several languages and became bestsellers a]1 over the world.(iO)
As I have mentioned earlier, in his work 'Abduh
had cited Praper's name twice.
However, the instances of `Abduh
quoting from Draper's book far outnumber the two
cited occasions. In a majority of the cases, `Abdnh
is found to have introduced episodes
from Draper's book using expressions such as "a
historian <or, a philosopher) said like that
..." These episodes can be categorized into two groups.
First, we may say that most of the examples that `Abduh
cited in order to
substanttate the intolerance of Christianity toward learning were excerpts taken from
Draper's work For more on this point see Table 1 as follows.
169 Muhammad `Abduh
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Episodes `Abduh(11)Draper(i2)
TheCatholicChurch'soppositiontopainlesslabor p.272 p.318
ThebookbumingbyCardinalXimenes p.273 p.104
TheburningofServetussentencedbyCalvin p.274 p,216
ThepavingoftheroadinFrance p.336 p.290
For instance, in introducing the episode of the oppression by the Inqtiisition, `Abduh
mentions the follewing
L:A-,Ae e Ll=÷."A ua S-Xll o-,Sj ol JL=-4Sl c:,A L-A ": iexSl t21SM o"Lill eea" 4is5j ots LA o-eielt " J6 J
`a-a"L3 LLil dex."Jl J liLaSss ,.ig 1 808 ai" .i) 1481 a3-N L&;L- li eys,l ,>A a.aS="ll b5A L:i.aSs " .diJi ,,is
..L"LbW" i.S)=l diSi ,SbU -}=L3 ee-3A
Pagliarici said what all the people of the time would say, "It
is nearly impossible to
be a Christian, and die in one's bed." From the day of its establishment in 1481 to
unti1 1808, this Inquisition judged three hundred and forty thousand peoples, and of
these, nearly twenty thousand were burnt alive. [ Abduh 198Q 270] (i4)
It is llkely that tAbduh
referred to the fbllowing paragraph by Draper:
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With such savage alacrity did it <Inquisition} carry out its object of protecting the
interests of religion, that between I481 and 1808 it had punished three hundred and
forty thousand persons and of these nearly thirty-two thousand'had been burnt! ''-
So dreadful were the proceedings of the Inquisition, that the exclamation of
Pagliarici was the exclamation of thousands: "It
is hardly possibie for a man to be a
Christian, and die in his bed." [Draper 1875: 20n
Regarding the oppression on heresy by Torquemada in the 15th century, `Abduh
explained the subject as foliows:
olaGLq s diYi 1O ,.i; as - 1499 ,,il 1481 a-i-v c,4 - q-S- 18 5"A .. N `eLegSi LS=L L&SLapU a.aSMII `bats
IeJe-ts `.tkaisSSI ix- cS3di9 L:)-3-" J aSLA]tsJ aYI 6 ,.lgJ `1ij)=Lts tgte=1 abYYJ=l oV Ua S"ts ee.MXps
.NplY 3bJ3 es diJsl " `ahi `atsA th9egx ÷ tu cMJte ng)6 J 'L"'1
entx-ss s ax÷mu L,ipJ `i-Ssl s
The Inquisition did its job properly. For 18 years, from 1481 to 1499, it sentenced ten
thousand two hundred and twenty peoples to burning at the stake and executed
them, sentenced six thousand eight hundred and sixty to death by hanging after
pillory, then exposed and hung them, and punished ninety-seven thousand and
twenty-three people in various other ways, After that, al1 the Hebrew Bibles was
burnt [`Abduh 1980: 269]
It is difEicult to deny that `Abduh
had read the fo11owing piece by Drape=
Llorente, the historian of the Inquisition, computes that Torquemada and his
collaborators, in the course of eighteen years, burnt at the stake ten thousand two
hundred and twenty persons, six thousand eight hundred and sixty in efigy, and
otherwise punished ninety-seven thousand three hundred and twenty-one. This
frantic priest destroyed Hebrew Bibles wherever he could find them, and burnt six
thousand volumes of Oriental literature at Salarnanca under an imputation that they
inculcated Judajsm [Draper 1875: 146]
Further, `Abduh
described the way the Catholic Church had resisted the
importation of the hypodemnic injection and the prospect of painless labor, as shown below:
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i3a a-÷.l.]I a31.>i.II o5A L:ii,tsSI ?o ..},tll satA" il?.li L:,si ,:)Ni JLs.i'>r a.e)LL il oA to ISL" c,sJai Jk
,.S ieLhJle, oA.s"Ail aAl,S "alN `1721 a-1-a e ÷L LZIen ,,Jadi S"IJJal bJJI ,.Sl L&ts " `a.3LS"Yl ,,A L:,-L-.a]i
USp UJLsLAil ,,A Siall bM "leo `'1-)ts1 L2SSA c}." SagLuLa]1 oNL4al1 ,,]i la"÷LhzS {,.
A as,SS=Se `L&1ua-"l
.tiJi?51 e-idi afpJL ausl
:s)YYS Jie-ati ;L4JLaA
dhl.Fh= diiJ .,3LSeJal diUasSl !eLSUal1 -U oA=iY LS= SiYYI )ic 3'IJj"li .n.iSS L.iUMSI LeANe g ;LAsLgn O ,? "LS. 5S) ,;eJSI]I JLd ,.A Le,ilc a!i"d ,y.
"l a.,.;xll LEISi .1 a.3xl]i LalSi d,. si.,.ll .Ats,i `6i 4eA ..-,.llll
o V t
(.bYsi dess eYU cgESLas vual JSSI IJeSS3 : 3SJAll Jva J :4La cuLSII cL.mYV
The Church's opposition to the hypodermic iniection:
Do you know what constituted the opposition to the hypodermic injection? This
medical method was discovered by the Muslims in Constantinople, and Mrs.
Montagu brought it into Europe in 1721. Clergies got angry and resisted its
adoption. Eventually, it needed the support by the royal farnily of England When a
vaccination against smallpox was invented, such hardship of resistance was
The opposition to painless 1al)or:
Did not the discovery of anesthetics for women in labor encounter any kind of
opposition? This American discovery was discouraged by clergies on the pretext
that it liberates women from the curse and punishment pronounced in the Genesis.
[`Abduh 1980: 272]
When the Mohammedan discovery of inoculation was brought from Constantinople
in 1721, by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, it was so strenuously resisted by the
clergy, that nothing short of its adoption by the reyal farnily of England brought it
into use. A similar resistance was exhibited when Jenner introduced his great
improvement, vaccinationi yet a century ago it was the exception to see a face
unpitted by small pox-now it is the exeeption to see one so disfigured. In like
manner, when the great American discovery of anesthetics was appl'ied in
obstetrical cases, it was discouraged, not so much for phy$ioiogical reasons, as under
the pretense that it was an impious attempt to escape from the curse denounced
against al1 women in Genesis iit 16. [Draper 1875: 318] '
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There is no doubt that `Abduh
had read the Draper's book carefully, and
incorporated many of its episodes into his own articles.
The second set of episodes that were assimilated by `Abduh
from Draper evinces
the tolerance of Islam toward learning. As mentioned later, Draper, in his book, had
reeognized the Islamic contributions to science. `Abduh
illustrated the same point with
abundant examples that can be fbund in Draper's work. See Table 2 given below.
[Elable 2
Episodes(i5) `Abduh Draper
PromotionsofNestoriansandJewsinAbbasids p.253 p.105,p.115
EncouragementofthestudybyAl-HakamIlofC6rdoba p,161 p.141
Now, we shall continue the comparison between the writing of `Abduh
and Draper.
had mentioned about libraries founded by Muslim peopie, as fo11ows:
Y tEISill s "-i=Sl .i "Yi ;ts"
L&sA cil-n dili ;"U ,.lp g-sSS ;ISS"a
e"Vt oJal J3U .A E.)`tsUilV ats ,.Ss
"Yi ng>Ei Letg ,Si]i `ui. `ui] v"..atll=÷ L&x3LLd abl J- a.Lh"1 oA (LaAli=1)abtliJLSL- otsJS Leeb bK .,
.JiJ"l cz}A ( Ujtw -s)JL]eJ
In Cairo, early in the 4th century, library contained one hundred thousands binders
(of books), and among these, there were six thousands (books) on medicine and
astronomy alone. ...And in that library, there were two globes. The silver one was
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said to have been constructed by Ptolemy himseE and to have cost three thousand
dinars. The other was made of brass. [`Abduh 1980: 302]
Now, let us look at the fo11owing sentences by Draper.
The Fatimite Library at Cairo contained one hundred thousand volumes, elegantly
transcribed and bound. Among these, there were six thousand five hundred
manuscripts on astronomy and medicine alone. ...It also contained two globes, one of
massive silver and one of brass; the latter was said to have been constructed by
Ptolemy, the former cost three thousand golden crowns. [Draper 1875: 112-3]
The fact that content of those two articles is quite similar shows that this recurring
phenomenon is not a coincidence.
Moreover, `Abduh
anicle to show the tolerance of Islam 'toward
learning. `Abduh,
for instance, pointed out the
Arab's favorable treatment to the Nestorian people in the fo11owing words:
pUSSJS oAj ,,,S ollJYS d)-L-al1 d)1" : otsJpYl oA ai"j)USi JL÷ SJ L:),FsJ.3yEll isl `."ba
.)tuii JS
ee,i]S Syy-=-sA J" elJtsYl J)ih-a L,L a-,eSl c"s c:h\Jnsi=-a3Sl GJL-aiSl dy4 elJJI Jki a-IALxjn ,,,S iJ-}mSii S L:h:l v"JliASi c,A?L e-b, ),pdiJll c,sJLas aS ,. i= ca.Ssal1 ,,," L,.:-aLLdi1 ,.S) eA-,gJJ teLasiJl LSL4pYl c,m rJ;S
(Jie-LNI K,}us`flLA t:>, tsee jts) ".pm
ts ljSJA
Mr. Draper, one of the historians and the grate American philosophers saict `'Muslim
peoples of the early Caliphate period were content not only to treat Nestorians and
Jews with respect but also to entrust them with many important jobs, and promote
them to the status of the state. And Caliph Harun alrRashid placed al1 his public
schools under the supervision of John Masue." (He is famous Yuhna Bun Maswiya)
[`Abduh' 198Ch 253]
Furthermore, we can see the citation of an entire paragraph from Draper's book, as
Sometmes, not without surprise, we meet with ideas which we flatter ourselves
have originated in our own times. Thus our modern doctrines of evolution and
development were taught in their schools. In fact they carried them much fatvther
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than we are disposed to do, extending them even to inorganic or mineral things.
The fundamental principle of alchemy was the natural process of development of
metalline bodies. "When
century, "hear
from natural philosophers that gold is a body which has attained to
per:fection of maturity, to the goal of completeness, they firmly believe that it is
something which has gradually come to that perfection by passing through the
forms of all other metallic bodies, so that its gold nature was originally lead,
afterward it became tin, then brass, then silver, and finally reached the development
of gold; not knowing that the natural philosophers mean, in saying this, only
something 1ike what they mean when they speak of man, and attribute to him a
completeness and equilibrium in nature and constitution-not than man was once a
bull, and was changed into an ass, and afterward into a horse, and after that into an
ape, and finally became a man." [Draper 1875: 118]
This whole paragraph was translated into Arabic, and used by `Abduh
without any
change whatsoever [`Abduh 1980: 306]. In addition to these, there are many episodes which
are cited in both books. Judging from the above, it is reasonable to conclude that `Abduh's
views on Islamic and Christian history as represented in Al-lsldm wa al-Ntzsntndya were
remarkably influenced by John Wjlliam Draper's historical views.
IV The ldeological Background of Draper's Work
The examples in the previous section make it clear that understanding Draper's
views offers the key to an understanding of `Abduh's
ideas, Now, a new question arises.
What then is the ideological background of Draper? Why did he argue to establish the
intolerance of Christianity and the tolerance of Islam toward learning?
in the chronicles of scientific theught Histery of the Contt'ct betzveen Religiz'on urzd
Stience is regarded as the origin of "confiict
thesis," which is the theoretical premise of the
intrinsic conflict between science and religion. Draper, together with Andrew Dickson
White <1832-1918), who published Illisto7:y of the Wahare of Science with TheolcrgN in
Christendom (I896), are presumed to be the most influential exponents of this thesis
IMcGrath 19991
The reason why Drapey established such a confrontational thesis is mentioned in
the 12th and last chapter of his book. Throughout this chapter, Draper criticized the pope
of that time, Pope Pius IX tpapacy, 1846-1878).
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IX, noted as the longest-reigning pope in the histery of the Church, was also
the one who tried to sustain the supreme authority of the Catholic Church during the
difficult situations of the 19th century. At that time. in Italy, the movement of unification
lead by the Kingdom of Sardinia had acquired increased momentum, and Pius IX, as a
result had lost the Papal States.
Pius IX in 1854, was responsible for defining the dogma which held that Mary had
conceived without original sin; in 1864, he issued his encyclical Qzaanta Cura and its
appendix Syllabus of Errors, which condemned as heresy 80 political and ideological
propositions such as a separation between the church and the state. From 1869 to 1870,
Pius IX organized the first Vatican Council and issued Dei Filius (the Dogmatic Constitution on The Catholic Faith) and Ptzstor Aetemus (the First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ). The latter was related to the concepts of papal primacy and
infallibility. After the Franco-Prussian war, Pius IX attacked the Chancellor of the German
Empire, Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), who had embarked on the Kulturkampf (culture struggle - a series of sanctions against Catholicism(i6b.
As a scientist Draper considered papal edicts such as the dogma of infallibility to be
arrogant, reactionary, and "the
semi-barbarian ignorance and superstition of the middle
ages [Draper 1875: 365};' and he felt th6 urge to write about the history of the Catholic
Church's oppression of science.
In chapter 12 of llisto7y of the Contict between Reldgt'on and Stience, we come face to face with Draper'scriticism of the papal edicts.
I now come to the consideration of the manner in which the papacy proposes to
establish its inte"ectual control; how it defines its relation to its antagonist Science,
and, seeking a restoration of the medieval condition, opposes modern civilization, and
denounces modern societ]y.
The Encyclical and Syllabus present the principles which it was the object of the
Vatican Council to carry into practical effect The Syllabus stigmatizes pantheism,
naturalism, and absolute rationalism, denouncing such epinions as that God is the
world; that there is no God other than Nature; ...that every man is free to embrace
and profess the religion he may believe to'be true, guided by the light of his reason;
that it appertains to the civil power to define what are the rights and lmits in which
the Church may exercise authority; ...that the Church ought to be separated from
the state and the state from the Church; ...that the Roman pondi can and ought te reconcile himself to, and agree with, the progTess of modern civilization. The
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Syllabus claims the right of the state in that respect; it claims the control over
marriage and divorce, [Draper 1875: 343]
In the last part of this chapter, Draper stated the fo11owing.
Will it (modern civilization) subrnit to the dictation of a power, which, claiming divine
authority, can present no adequate credentials of its oence; a power which kept
EuTope in a stagnant condition for many centuries ferociously suppressing by the
stake and the sword every attempt at progress; ...Claims such as these mean a
revolt against modern civdization, an intentien of destroying it no matter at what
social cost. To submit to them without resistance, men must be slaves indeed!
[Draper l875: 365-Z
It is quite Iikely that Draper's aggressive posture toward the Catholic Church <and favorable assessment of Islam) had appealed to
when the time had come for him
to refute AntunJiO That is a plausible reason why many parts of `Abduh's
work are based
on Draper's book(i8)
the fact that `Abduh
quoted many episodes from Draper's work is of rather secondary importance. What is
more significant is the fact that `Abduh
undertakes an examination of the decree issued in
the first Vatican Council, whieh was recorded in the last chapter of Hdsto7y of the Coutict
betzveen Religiz'on and- Science. In the next section, we will study this edict, which is of
crucial importance for a proper understanding of `Abduh's
NL Dei FMus and `Abduh
The analysis in the previous section may give us the impressien that `Abduh
admired Draper deeply and was entirely awestruck by his work, yet this is incorrect.
Actually, `Abduh
did not agree with all of Draper's arguments. A good example to
illustrate this is `Abduh's
posture toward an edict issued in the first Vatican Council that
was recorded in the 12th chapter of Draper's book.
As I mentioned before, Pope Pius IX summoned the first Vatican council from 1869
to 1870, wherein h.e issued Dei Nlius, the Dogmatic Constitution on The Catholic Faith.
This constitution was composed of 4 chapters: 1. God the creator of al1 things, 2.
Revelation. 3, Faith, and 4. Faith and Reason. According to Tanner [2oo1], it was the first
177 Muhammad `Abduh
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attempt to estabtish a dialogue with intellectuals outside the Catholic Church.
In his book, Draper presented this constitution as a proof of the reactionarism of
Catzholicism, denouncing it bitterly. On the contrary, however. there is a possibility that `Abduh
was inspired by this assertion of Catholicism fbund in this constitution. The
reasons are given below.
The final chapter of Dei .Flilibls, Faith and Reason, was the answer of the Catholic
Church to the challenge thrown by the intellectual world of that time. In the 19th century,
many European intellectuals were claiming that faith and reason were separate and in
confiict with one another. The Catholic Church, in reply, placed faith above reason, and
after that pronounced the compatibility of the two. This declaration of the superiority of
faith over reason, it mustbe remembered, was an outcome of the struggles of the Catholic
Church, which was trying to re-emerge from a spate of difflcult situations in the 18th and
19th centuries '
the criticism of the papacy by the Enlightenment and the Rationalists, the
French Revolution and the tide of separation between the church and the state, the loss of
Papal States during the Italian unification movement the Industrial Revolution, Darwinism,
scientific progress, and so on.
On Faith and Reason
The perpetual agreement ef the Catholic Church has maintained and maintains this
too: that there is a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not only as regards its
source, but also as regards its object
With regard to its source, we know at the one level by natural reason, at the other
level by divine faith
With regard to the object besides those things to whieh natural reason can attain,
there are proposed for our belief mysteries hidden in God which unless they are
divinely revealed, are incapable of being known...
Even though faith is above reason, there can never be any real disagreement
between faith and reason, since it is the same God who reveals the mysteries and
infuses faith. and who has endowed the human mind with the light of reason...
Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually
support each other, for en the one hand right reason established the foundations of
the faith and, illuminated by its light develops the science of divine things; on the
other hand, faith delivers reason from errors and protects it and furnishes it with
knowledge of many kinds.(i9) [Tanner 2001: 89]
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What should be understood from this edict is the fo11owing: it was not only "the
East" that was attacked by the Western Impact because the Catholic Church, which was..
in a sense, "the
West" was also attacked by the Western lmpact.
Moreover, it is well known that the most important theme for al1 religious leaders of
the 19th century, whether in the East or in the West was to deliberate on how to defend
their religions under the onslaught of serious social changes. This view of the agreement
between faith and reason on the condition of the supremacy of fajth, as stated in the
Catholic edict, corresponds to `Abduh's
idea of "reconciliation
between revelation and
idea was also conditionhl on the supremacy of revelation. Substituting
the vvord "faith"
obligation that is needed to be perfbrmed is the study and consideration in order to gain
the faith to Altah [`Abduh 1980: 2801"; "A
consideration with reason is a means of right faith
[`Abduh 1980:282]"; `'How
do they (Muslims) appreciate Allah, if they hesitate in that
(consideration)? [`.Abduh 1980: 297]." Muhammad `Abduh
thought that faith and reason
could harmonize with each other. However, he also believed that faith predominated over
reason. On the subject of `Abduh
applying this idea to his way of treating Islam and
modern civiiization, Hourani [1962] observed the followingt
He (`Abduh) never maintained that there was an unconditional harmony between
the two (Islam and modem civilization): that Islam permitted al1 that the modern
world approved. When there was a real conflict he was always clear which of the
two claims had precedence. There remained for him something fixed and iryeducible
in Islam, certain moral and doctrinal imperatives about which there could be no
compromise; Islam could never be just a rubber-stamp authorizing whatever the
world did, it must always be in some measure a controlling and limiting factor.
[Hourani 2oo3: 161]
For `Abduh,
it would have to be Islam that had the supremacy. He thought that
Isiam should make resolute choices from among the various products of modern Western
civilization "izuka 2008: 64J.
The analysis in section 2 of this article clarifies that `Abduh
had read Draper's work
was familiar with Dei IVIizss, which was recorded
in the Draper book.(20) Admittedly, we cannot affirm beyond doubt that `Abduh
had indeect
wholly and comprehensively, borrowed his ideas from Dei fiVliars. Nonetheless, there is a
high 1ikelihood that by the time he had established his "reconciliation
between revelation
and reason" idea he had read Dei Iilius, and had used it as a reference.
179 Muhammad `Abduh
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regarded the ideological history of Isiam as
tzhe story of struggle of between the fo11owing three groups: "the
abuse of reason;' "the
intermediate position." `Abduh
favorable assessment considering him to be the intermediate position.(2i) However, from
another point of view, we must recall that Dei 1 VZizts was also regarded as "the
position" between the Enlightenment that praised the excessive use of reason, and the
religious fundamentalists and romanticists who denied the use crf reason [Tanner 2oo1: 88].
This intermediate position was the very strategy that the Catholic Church had adopted in
order to survive the diracult times of the 19th century-the very method that `Abduh
incorporated into his thought in desiring earnestly a reconstruction of the Islamic world
around the same time.
The understanding of `Abduh
has been changing in the modern trend of Islamic - L t
resurgence in the latter half ef the 20th century. In previous studies, Abduh has been
regarded as a religious thinker. Through the 19th century, two important trends had been
generated by the reformist movement that had been founded by first generation scholars
such as al-Tahtawi (1801-1873), one of the first Egyptian scholars sent to France for study.
The first trend was a religious reform movement the second was a liberal secularist
movement. From this viewpoint `Abduh
had been included in the religious movement
[Najjar 2oo4]. The previous studies, as mentioned in the introduction, had focused on the
relationship between `Abduh
and Islamic theology in the medieval period.
On the other hand, in the light of the recent Islamic resurgence, Islamists have been
criticizing not only the iiberal secularist group, but also the religious group of the reforrnist
movement [Euben 199Z. lri their viewpoints, both gr'oups were secular and the opposite of
what Islamists ought to be. Therefore, `Abdnh
is included in the secularist group by these
Islamists. In summary, compared to others in the liberal secularist group, `Abduh
has been
regarded as a religious thinker, and exceptionally, also as a secularist by the Islamists.
The reason for such reiative positioning is that there have been very few studies te
analyze the situation of the world in the 19th century, the time in which `Abduh
may be regarded as a religious thinker who had
tried to protect Islam against the trends of the secularist movement. On the other hanct
from the viewpoint of the secular Western invasion of the Islamic world, `Abduh
may be
regarded as a secularist, because he did not deny Western civilization itseM it is clear' that
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both viewpoints are based on the implicit assumption that the modern Western civilization
introduced modernization and secularization into the Islamic world.
However, as has been demonstrated in this article, `Abduh's
theoretical stance was
similar to the Catholic Church's stance to protect its religion against modernization and
secularization. From the wide range of concepts offered by modern Western civilization,
which included not only modemization and secularization but also anti-modernization and
anti-secu]arization, `Abduh
. in other words, his
religion Islam. It is possible to understand his delicate mechanism properly only within the
framework of the world of the 19th century; unfortunately, this framework has seldom
been used to understand him. Furthermore, we cannot analyze him from simple and
dichotomic perspectives such as the West versus Islam; it is immaterial to position him as
religious or secular in such West versus Islam frameworks(22}
In his work, Mbdern T)fends in lslam, H.A.R.Gibb mentioned that "Out
of the wide
range of Western thought only certain tendencies have found a response in Muslim minds
[Gibb 1947: 109]." Further, he also mentioned that when Western civilization invaded the
Muslim East it was a web woven of many strands and it is difficult to disentangle and
identify them all [Gibb 1947: 110]. We have to examine carefully which elements of the West
resonated with the minds of modern Islamic thinkers, because the issue 'that
they raised-
how to reconstruct the lrelationship between faith and reason in the modern day-s still
seriously controversial in the contemporary Islamic world. We have to introduce a new
model of the modern Islamic world that can not only confront the modern Western world
with its own independent and strong will, but also relate and be tied with it very elosely.
This is the only way to formulate a new and authentic image of `Abduh,
and an accurate
(1) This article was originally published in Proeeedings of G-COE/KIAS/TUFS Joint Internatienal
Workshop, "tslam
and the Middle East: Dynamics of Social and Political Transformation" 2oo8.
(2) Moreovec Safran said "He
('Abduh) was in agreement with Ibn Khaldan in regarding religion
as. indispensable for the achievement of individual and social happiness [1961: 65]. "
(3) For instance, Khitn' did not mention
`Abduh in his book under the titie Mbciem Arab tho"ghtr
Channel of the Ii>,ench Revolution [1943], while he introduced his teacher Afgani 4nd his disciple
181 Muhammad `Abduh
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thought was influenced by the ideas of Comte,
and the criticism of the Catholic Church by Blunt To]stoy, and so on, However, it is not to be
denied that this analysis is still insudicient. In his Arab rediscove?rv of EurqPe [1963], Abu-
Lughod only explained that `Abduh
had claimed to have introduced modern subjects into the
curriculum of Al-Azhar University. Sharabi indicated in Amb intellecimats and the VVlast [1970] that the movement of
resembled certain aspects of the Ne}Thomist trend, but such
comparison must not be generalized
Hildebrandt [2oo2] mentiDned Draper's name as an intellectual who had an infiuence on
As to the circumstances in which 'Abduh
wrote his articles, see Rida [2003i 805-816].
According to him, `Abduh
wrote his articles in August and September ef 1902, at Dakahlia
However, accerding to Hourani [1962] and Reid [1975]. this point was only a minor one for Antun,
because Ant[ln thought it outoidate to continue polemics about. the superiority of one religion
over another.
Adams [l933] introduced this book together with the disputes with Hanotoaux of 1900
regarding his apologist position.
See Adams [1933: 128S, 1345, 150, 167-8. 173, 175-6], Hourani [1%2: 147-9, 151. 158], and Kerr
{1966: 117, 119-121, 129, 149]. Kosugi [2006: 202] introduced this work to show `Abduh's
intermediate position between Europeanism and anti-Europeanisrn.
`Abduh also quoted the episodes of Edward Gibbon's T;ije Histof3r of the Decline and tha of the
Roman Empire (chapter 52), and Gustave Le Bon's La.civilizain`on dbs Arabes (vol.3, chapterl,
section 2). As we have seen, there are many elements that are shared in the books of Draper
and Gibbon; there is a high possibility, therefore, that Draper used Gibbon's book as a reference.
As far as I have confirmed, with reference to Histo7o, of the Ceiz17ict between Religizion and
Science, the 23rd edition of the original English version was printed in 1901; the 10th edition of
French version, under the title Les Conj7la'ts de la science et de la religt'on, in 1900. Moreover, in
1896 or 1897 {1313 of the Hegira calendar), Turkish version was published in Istanbul under the
title M2a-yi ilim ve din, This book consists of a partial translation of History of the Co7diict between Relig'on and Sbience, combined with the comments of Ahmet Midhat (1844-1912) noted
on the title page as "Islam
ve ulam aslam and science)," `Abduh
[19801. Draper [1875], Although
wrote the sarne story as Draper. the years of appearance of the cQmet are
different Translations from the original Arabic are my own,
Many episodes are shared with Gibben's accounts.
A struggle by Otto von Bismarck to subject the Catholic Church to state controLs took place
from 1871 to 1878. When Bismarck tried te limit the power of the Church by the May Law of
1873, Pius IX declared its invalidity, and the conflict reached its peak
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aO In A":11ildm wa aUVasra}tipzz `Abduh
alse introduced the edicts of Pius IX, Ouanta Cura and its
appendix Slyllabus ofEmors of1864 [`Abduh 1980: 272]. Moreover, he evinced a viewpoint that
stated the followingt in Europe, a conflict between religion and science had occurred, and it had
ended in a victory for science [`Abduh 198(> 335]. We can say that `Abduh
basically aceepted
Draper's confiict thesis regarding the European intellectual history.
<IS Moreover, the way Draper views Protestantism is similar to `Abduh's
reformist thought
Although Draper mentioned that Protestant people oppressed science in the 16th century, he
also assessed the original spirit of Protestantism (also Islam) as having a friendly relationship
toward science. This was because Draper consjdered that the right to private interpretatioll of
the Seriptures, which was permissible in Protestantism, was the very foundation of intellectual
liberty. He regarded "a
personal interpretation of the book of Revelation [Draper 1875: 363]" as
a very important element of Protestantism that reconciled with the scientMc temper. "Abduh's
standpoint of emphasizing the right of litihad (interpretation of Islamic law-trying to make a
legal decision by independent interpretation of the ]egal sources) has sornething in common
with Draper's views of Protestantism, though `Abdnh
emphasized the persecutien in the 16th
century in AklSlam wa a":IVasntnne However, further studies will be needed to clarifY this
read Draper's book. One possibility is that `Abduh
came across
that boek while he lived in Paris. Since Draper's book was a best-seller in Europe, the 7th
edition of the French translation was already published before 1884, when `Abduh
and his
master A £giinr published aF U}'wa ae Wizthqdi in Paris,
20 Matsumoto [1988] maintained that this was the reason `Abduh
added al-Ash`ar:-i in the SalaC
which is generally used to refer to the time from the 7th to the middle of the 9th century.
el For instance, Reid mentioned that "Both
(Antun and `Abduh)
European Enlightenment i1977: 88]." And Salvatore said that "The
three key authors in the
autochthonous making of a generic Islam of refbrm, ai-AiganL `Abduh
afld Rida, were all
acrive in restating motifS of the Enlightenment Remanticism and Positivism [1997: 851," As a
matter of course, these viewpeints are much to the point IIowever, overstressing the infiuence
of the Enlightenment would not lead to a preper understanding of `Abduh's
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Mullammad ‘Abduh amd John Wllliam Draper
This paper ana yzes the inHuence of Western thought upon Muhammad ‘Abduh 18491905
one σf the greatest founders of modern Islamic thought In lslam and ChristianitV in re dtion to
1ience and Civilization1902 an important theological work of ‘ Abduh he was influen6ed by
Htstery of the α ict between 161 4 8 6 1874 the work of an AmericaD scientist John Wiam Draper 1811−1882 Not only did he quote many elements from Draper’s work
‘ Abduh also
employed ∠θ 3 the Dogmatic Constitution of the Cathoc Faih issued in the st Vatican
council 1870 which Draper recorded in his book During the rise of the secularist movement Qf the
lgth century the Catholic Church dehberated on how to defend its fth Dei Fitius pronouncing
the compatibility of faith and reason corresponds
‘ Abduh
‘‘ harmony
between revelation and reason ”‘ Abduh took what he needed from the wide range of ideas being
advanced by the modem Western civihzation of the time which contained not on y modernization
and secularization but also anti −modernization and anti −secularization His delicate intellectual
eperations need to be understood properly in the comprehensive context of the world of the 19th
century in order to introduce a new model of the moderh Islamic world which tied and related to
the modem Western world very dosely
PhD Student Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

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