Citation for Rashid Rida, Muhammad

Citation styles are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed., and the MLA Style Manual, 2nd Ed..


"Rashid Rida, Muhammad." In The Islamic World: Past and Present. Ed. John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. May 19, 2022. <>.


"Rashid Rida, Muhammad." In The Islamic World: Past and Present. , edited by John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, (accessed May 19, 2022).

Rashid Rida, Muhammad

1865 – 1935 Syrian

reformer and


Muhammad Rashid Rida was an Islamic reformer who sought the establishment of a fully modernized Islamic state based on a reinterpretation of Islamic law. After his early education in a traditional school, Rida studied under Shaykh Husayn al-Jisr , a scholar who believed that the Muslim community would progress by blending religious education with the modern sciences. Al-Jisr's teachings later became the foundation for Rida's ideas about the reform of Islamic society.

As a young man, Rida was greatly influenced by the writings of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (died 1897 ) and Muhammad Abduh (died 1905 ). They emphasized the need to reform Islam by adopting Western scientific learning and using ijtihad (independent reasoning) to interpret Islamic law. In 1897 Rida went to Egypt and soon became one of Abduh's leading disciples. In Cairo, he published his own magazine, Al-manar (The Lighthouse), which he used to spread his views.

Rida believed that European dominance and the decline of Muslim society was a result of weakness—an inability to master the sciences, to form organized political institutions, and to restrict the power of the government. He urged Muslims to acquire education and to adopt the best aspects of Western civilization, such as science and technical skill. Concerned with the unity of the Muslim community and the preservation of its identity and culture, Rida regarded the original Islamic sources as the basis of reform. He also called for the establishment of a supreme caliph to interpret Islam for all Muslims and to offer guidance to Muslim rulers. His ideas, which had both moderate and activist features, influenced later Muslim thinkers. See also Abduh, Muhammad; Afghani, Jamal al-Din al-; Modernism.

© Oxford University Press 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved