By Charles D. Smith
Booklet by means of Smith, Charles D.
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Extra info for Islam and the search for social order in modern Egypt: a biography of Muhammad Husayn Haykal
Social change and his response to it are crucial elements in Haykal's interpretation of Islam and form the basis for an understanding of his contribution to those conditions which led to the 1952 Revolution. What I am attempting is both an interior analysis of an individual and a commentary on a group's search for self and national definition, often intertwined, while establishing a revisionist interpretation of Islamic modernism, its methodology, and its legacy. I seek to illuminate the reactions of an elite to social turmoil and religious opposition and the manner in which those reactions contributed to greater unrest and enhancement of the fortunes of the popular movements it opposed.
N. Eisenstadt that former assumptions of a predictive evolution from traditional communities to modern, complex societies have proved invalid. The unique factors pertaining to individual societies and their cultural-historical experiences must be taken into account. Joyce Appleby has recently criticized Page 6 modernization theorists for ignoring the varying nature of "intellectual responses to modernizing forces" in different societies. 12 Using these criticisms, I indicate how an intellectual such as Haykal could advocate the influx of Western ideas and institutions but seek to restrict their scope and to preserve traditional social relationships.
Abduh's juxtaposition of his father's aversion to becoming involved with the masses with his own longing for the patriarchal customs of his village are identical to feelings Haykal held throughout his life. Both saw popular emotionalism as easily exploitable for political purposes which would prevent implementation of the reforms by the intellectual elite. Where 'Abduh's heirs such as Lutfi al-Sayyid and Haykal differed from the Mufti was in the type of preparatory reform Egypt should undergo.