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The publication of this essay in Egypt in 1925 took the contemporaries of Ali Abdel Razek by storm.

At a time when there was widespread turmoil over the abolition of the caliphate by Ataturk in Turkey, Ali Abdel Razek, a religious cleric trained at Al-Azhar University, argued in favour of secularism.

The abolition of the caliphate had re-ignited the question of Islam and its relationship to political power. This essay unleashed the Arab world’s first great public debate published in the press with polemics supporting or refuting Ali Abdel Razek’s ideas.

Table of Contents

  • About the Author;
  • A Tribute to Ali Abdel Razeq Amr Hamed;
  • Preface, Abdou Filali-Ansary;
  • Introduction, Abdou Filali-Ansary;
  • Foreword, Ali Abdel Razeq;
  • Book One: The caliphate and Islam;
    1: The nature of the caliphate;
    2: The status of the caliphate;
    3: The caliphate from the social point of view;
  • Book Two: Islam and government;
    4: The system of power at the time of the Prophet;
    5: Prophecy and power;
    6: Islam: a message from God rather than a system of government; a religion rather than state;
  • Book Three: The caliphate and the government throughout history;
    7: Religious unity and the Arab people;
    8: The Arab State;
    9: The nature of the caliphate;
  • Bibliography;
  • Appendix

Publication Information

Aga Khan University-ISMC; Edinburgh University Press, 2013


In Translation: Modern Muslim Thinkers





Islam and the Foundations of Political Power