Sayyid Muhammad ibn Safdar Husayni, known as Sayyid Jamal-al-din Afghani or Sayyid Jamal –al-din Asadabadi was born in in Iran. Other primary documentation is found in N. R. Keddie, Sayyid Jamal ad-Din “al- Afghani”: A Political Biography, Berkeley, ) Life. Jamāl-al-dīn was born in. Sayyid Jamal al-Din Asadabadi () became renowned as “al-Afghani.” Born into a Turkic-speaking Shi`ite family in a small Azeri town near Hamadan.
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To his followers he was a great scholar of Islam, the leader against imperialism, the one who awakened the East, while to his opposers he was a charlatan who deceived Muslims by concealing his real identity, a thrill-seeker, a British spy, a heretic, Not much is known about Jamal ad-Din al-Afghaniwho was highly influential on the Muslim world in the last century with the slogan that a powerful Wl civilization can be restored against the dominance of Europe.
And what little information available is filled with contradictions. He comes from a Shiite Azerbaijani family from the Asadabad village of Iran. Jamaluxdin is a another village with the same name in Afghanistan. He used the name al-Afghani to hide his Iranian and Shiite origin as he was generally active within predominantly Sunni areas.
He usually traveled with his Aal passport. The Sayyidi lineage as well as the name Muhammad were appended later to prove he is Mahdi. From time to time his nationality too would change — like his headgear — depending on the time and place.
In Islam, it is affghani that close to the Day of Judgment, a religious leader named “Mahdi” will come from the lineage of Prophet Muhammad. Al-Afghani has taken his first lessons from the Shiite scholars in Iraq.
He then went to Kabul, where at the time a fight for the throne was ongoing. When Prince Azam Khan, whose cause al-Afghani supported, won, he became the prince’s sfghani trusted vizier. A foreigner reaching this position in such a short matter of time is striking.
It is claimed that he was a Russian spy who could obtain money and political support from the Russians against the British who weren’t on good terms with Azam Khan — or at least he presented himself that way. However, as soon as the prince’s brother Sher Ali ousted Azam, al-Afghani was deported After deportation he came to Istanbul. The Education Minister of the time, a positivist, assigned him to a respected position. In a lecture he gave at Istanbul University, he called prophecy an art i.
This led to reaction. The university was shut down and al-Afghani, accused of being a heretic, was deported Afghani in his later years leftin Paris middlewearing a turban right Expelled from Istanbul, al-Afghani then went to Egypt, which was then an autonomous state under the Ottoman Empire.
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani
During his stay in Egypt between and he became involved in reformist activities. He named himself the “Philosopher of the East. Jamalufdin that it mamaluddin make it easier to achieve his sfghani, he first joined the Scottish Freemasons Lodge. He was dismissed when they realized he did not believe in a creator. So he established his own masonic lodge under The Grand Orient de France — which did not pay much attention to theism — jamaluddun encouraged his students to join.
Al-Afghani describes freemasonry as, “Eagerness to work, putting one’s own life at stake in the name of honor and standing against oppressors,” and he would say, “Masonry is paramount to establishing a leadership authority and serving its personal aims.
He took the lead in the foundation of secret political societies. His meetings would be attended by people from all religious backgrounds. During his stay in Egypt, al-Afghani lived in a Jewish neighborhood.
His private doctor was a Jew. Meanwhile, he provoked the people in Egypt against the British, causing the Urabi revolt. The British were expecting this revolt. Thus Egypt was invaded. The Khedive Egyptian governor who saw al-Afghani’s true colors deported him. Al-Afghani went to Paris He, along with his Egyptian student Muhammad Abduh and friend Ya’cob Sanu who comes from a rich Jewish family from Cairo joined forces and founded the al-Urwah al-Wuthqa association to gather all Muslims around reformist ideas.
He also published a namesake magazine. The magazine promoted anti-British views, the jamxluddin of Muslims and cleansing the religion of traditions. However, the freely-distributed magazine stopped publication after eight months.
Abduh returned to Beirut and al-Afghani remained in Paris. He secretly gave conferences. He jamaluddiin many guests come and go. The Catholic nationalists sent by his Russian friend, Madame Helena Blavatsky, the Irish jamalddin, priests, et cetera would always visit him. The extremely mysterious Madame Blavatsky was the founder of the Theosophy Society, which was a supra-religion organization.
Two portraits of Afghani Life in Paris led al-Afghani to lose faith even further. He assumed a rebellious attitude. He was convinced that religion is the enemy of science, intellect and civilization. But his field of activity was within the Islamic society, so he had to seem religious. Afhgani would advise his students to appear to fulfil religious obligations. This is a requirement of the taqiyyah dissimulation or religious deception toward those who hold different beliefs principle of Shiism.
In a letter from his student Abduh it said: We appear to be performing the acts of worship, but in reality we are on your path. We are going jamzluddin behead religion with the sword of religion. Blunt is the person who wfghani Britain’s invasion of Egypt. They went to London together, where he stayed for three months In afghanj for supporting them against the Ottomans, they offered the sultanate of Sudan, which they would pluck from Egypt.
However, al-Afghani, who knew the British did not have full command of this tangled geography, became suspicious. Al-Afghani was not the type to place himself in danger. The legend that he was an Islamic thinker and warrior of Islam against Europeans, and his influence which spread after his death is largely based on his life in Paris.
Sayed Jamaluddin Afghani – Wikipedia
Here he got into the famous debate on Islam’s position in the face of science with the French historian and philosopher Ernest Renan. Even Renan admired his modernist ideas. He traveled a great deal. His real hamaluddin was to carry out the underground operation to dethrone Shah. To achieve this, he approached the Babis who worked against Shah.
On the other hand he maintained his contact with the Russians. When Shah noticed this, al-Afghani was deported from Iran in He then went on to Basra from where he organized a revolt.
File: – Wikimedia Commons
His next destination was London, where he met agent Edward Browne, who was working in the Iran unit, and publicly continued operations against Iran. Agent Blunt, whose jmaaluddin he stayed at in London, sent him to Istanbul to discuss the Egypt matter. However, al-Afghani was never able to leave. But he relinquished after discovering that al-Afghani had made a deal with the British and was trying to establish an Iraq-based Arab caliphate.
He also prevented al-Afghani from going to Arabia. He provided him a mansion and servants, and even wanted to wed him. But the idea was rejected on the grounds that he is “married to his cause. He advised the sultan with respect to turning the Ottoman country into a federation, pursuant to the British policy of that century, but he couldn’t convince him.
He took offence to the sultan. Sultan Hamid later described him as “a foolish British spy. The following year, al-Afghani died of cancer and was buried in Istanbul.
American businessman Charles Crane took care of the expenses for his grave.
Years later, Crane, who is Rockefeller’s partner, would support Mustafa Kemal in exchange for having Hagia Sophia turned into a museum. It is clear that al-Afghani did not spend much time on scholarship. Yet he is certainly intelligent. Besides, it was his active political life that distinguished him rather than his knowledge. Al-Afghani grew under the influence of an extreme Shiite fraction called the Batiniyyah, which believed that beyond exoteric meanings, the religion had esoteric meanings that could not be understood by all.
This fraction believes that every era has its own perfect, infallible leader. They deny prophetic miracles. Their leader, the messiah, emerges as a prophet with a holy book. Babism, which is known for its terrorist activities, also branched out from this path.
Similar to his idol, Shiite philosopher al-Farabi, also known in the West as Alpharabius, al-Afghani spent his life seeking for a wise ruler who would cooperate with him in his mission to awaken the East. After acghani hope, he tried his hand at being mahdi. To succeed, he claimed that he was a Sayyid from the lineage of Prophet Muhammad and that his real name is Muhammad. His disciples also regarded him as the mahdi. Thus, not many believe he was a Shiite.
He was of the opinion that the Sunni-Shiite discrimination harmed the Muslim afguani and he would harshly criticize Caliph Muawiyah for establishing the Sunni sovereignty. He was an advocate of “Islamic unity. Strangely enough, just as he ignited Arab nationalism, he was also responsible for fueling the Turkism wave.
Al-Afghani appeared to be extremely idealist. He was confident that the Muslim world would be freed through modernism.