: شكيب أرسلان
, 25 December 1869 – 9 December 1946) was a Druze
) from modern-day Lebanon who was known as Amir al-Bayān
for "Prince of Eloquence") because in addition to being a politician, he was also an influential writer, poet and historian. A prolific author, he penned some 20 books and 2000 articles,
to which can be added two collections of poetry and a "prodigious correspondence."
Influenced by the ideas of al-Afghani
and Muhammad Abduh
, Arslan became a strong supporter of the Pan-Islamic
policies of Abdul Hamid II
. He also advocated the proposition that the survival of the Ottoman Empire
was the only guarantee against the division of the ummah
and its occupation by the European imperial powers. To Arslan, Ottomanism
were closely bound together and the reform of Islam would naturally lead to the revival of the Ottoman Empire.
Exiled from his homeland by the French Mandate
authorities, Arslan passed most of the interwar years in Geneva
serving as the unofficial representative of Syria
at the League of Nations
and writing a constant stream of articles for the periodical press of the Arab
Amir Shakib advocated a version of Islam
that was charged with political and moral assertiveness. He sought to reconstruct the bonds of Islamic solidarity by reminding Muslims from Morocco
that despite their diversity, they were united by virtue of their common adherence to Islam; if they would but recognize this bond and act on it, he believed they would achieve liberation from their current oppression and the restoration of what he saw as their splendid past. Arslan's work inspired anti-imperialistic
propaganda campaigns, much to the irritation of British and French authorities in the Arab world
He defended Islam as an essential component of social morality
. His message, with its call to action and its defense of traditional values
at a time of great uncertainty, was well received and attracted widespread attention during the 1920s and 1930s. It was during this time that he wrote his most famous work, Our Decline: Its Causes and Remedies
, which described what Arslan believed to be the reasons for the weakness of existing Muslim governments.
He married Suleima Alkhas Hatog, a Jordanian of Circassian descent, who bore him one son, Ghalib (1917) in Lebanon, and two daughters, May (1928) and Nazima (1930) in Switzerland. His daughter, May, married Lebanese Druze
politician Kamal Jumblatt
and he is the grandfather through her of Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt
Arslan died on 9 December 1946, three months after he came back to Lebanon.
- Islam Against the West: Shakib Arslan and the Campaign for Islamic Nationalism by William L. Cleveland (University of Texas Press, 2011; ISBN 0292737335)
- Muslime im Zwischenkriegseuropa und die Dekonstruktion der Faszination vom Westen. Eine kritische Auseinandersetzung mit Šakīb ʾArslāns Artikeln in der ägyptischen Zeitschrift al-Fatḥ (1926-1935) by Mehdi Sajid (EB-Verlag, 2015; ISBN 978-3-86893-185-3)
- ^ Thomas Molnar, Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival, Routledge (2017), p. 103
- ^ William L. Cleveland, Islam Against the West: Shakib Arslan and the Campaign for Islamic Nationalism, University of Texas Press (2011), p. viii
- ^ Cleveland, William L. "A History of the Modern Middle East" (Westview Press, 2013) pg 131.
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Last edited on 17 April 2021, at 22:25
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