The Economic Thought of Azharite Scholars: Rifāʿah al-Tahtawi and Muhammad Abduh

  • Abdul Azim Islahi
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought Series book series (PHET)


Jami ʿ al-Azhar has been the oldest and most renowned seat of Islamic learning and education in Egypt. During the period of our study, it was very faithful to its past pattern and courses of studies, and was hardly affected by developments taking place elsewhere in the world in the social and natural sciences (al-Jabarti, 1998, vol. I, p. 276). In general, its teachers ceased to produce original work, and the overall environment was one of imitation and repetition. Writing a commentary or a commentary on a commentary of an earlier work was considered a great achievement. There was, thus, a dearth of creative and innovative writings. However, some of its graduates were ignited with a new spirit of change and reform when, directly or indirectly, they came across the modern world of learning. In this chapter, we shall study the economic ideas of two such graduates of al-Azhar — Rifāʿah Rāfiʿal-Tahtawi and Muhammad Abduh.


Economic Thinking French Language Muslim Scholar Fellow Countryman Islamic Economic 
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Copyright information

© Abdul Azim Islahi 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdul Azim Islahi
    • 1
  1. 1.Islamic Economics InstituteKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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