In this thesis, I describe and analyze the manifestations of modern thought in the life and works of Ḥasan al-ʿAṭṭār (d. 1835), an Egyptian Islamic scholar who served as Shaykh al-Azhar in the 1830s, in concert with Muḥammad ʿAlī Pasha. These manifestations were significantly influenced by the writings and ideas of Ottoman ʿulamāʿ and political elites which al-ʿAṭṭār would have encountered during his 10-year journey across the Empire. The thesis will also explore the content of al-ʿAṭṭār’s political, legal and social thought, which was guided by a unique form of ‘Islamic utilitarianism’ which reaches across his writings and the reforms he undertook as Shaykh al-Azhar. The thesis will also discuss al-ʿAṭṭār’s relationship with the post-classical tradition of Islamic scholarship and whether or not he can be classified as a reformist – a question which has dominated the literature on him thus far. For its sources, this thesis relies primarily on al-ʿAṭṭār's various autobiographical notes, his magnum opus of legal theory, Ḥāshiyat al-ʿAṭṭār ʿalā jamʿ al-jawāmiʿ, and his treatise on political theory, Risāla fī taḥqīq al-khilāfat al-islāmiyya, the last of which is here translated in full.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department
MA in Arabic Studies
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
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(2024).The Utilitarian Islamic Modernity of Ḥasan al-ʿAṭṭār (1766–1835) [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Greer, Ian. The Utilitarian Islamic Modernity of Ḥasan al-ʿAṭṭār (1766–1835). 2024. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
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