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Suheil Ismail Laher

Abstract

This article studies the life and thought of  Abdullah al-Ghumari (d. 1413/1993), an accomplished, yet uncelebrated, Muslim scholar from Morocco. After a brief biographical sketch, I present an overview of his thought (including numerous nonconformist views he held) in the fields of theology, law and Sufism. I proceed to analyze his methodology and what it tells us about his interaction with modernity and the Islamic scholarly tradition. Finally, I draw some more general conclusions about Islam in modernity, in light of the views of contemporary French sociologist Hervieu-Leger. I infer that Ghumari was a nonconformist thinker who leveraged a broad understanding of tradition to remold or revive the tradition from within. The early-modern milieu may have contributed to and facilitated his attempts to
restore dynamism to a religious scholarly tradition that had in some ways at least become static or stagnant.

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Keywords

Ghumārī
Late-Sunnī
Traditionalism
Modernity
Ijtihād
Tradition
Reform

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Section
Articles in English