|Biographical detail : ||Journalist who founded the Salafiyyah movement in Cairo and was the first to advocate a fully modernised Islamic state.
Rida was alarmed by the growing secularism of Arab intellectuals who sometimes poured scorn upon Islam in the belief that it was holding their people back. This, Rida believed, could only weaken the ummah and make it even more prey to Western imperialism. Rida was one of the first Muslims to advocate the establishment of a fully modernised but fully Islamic state, based on the reformed Shariah.
In his al-Manar (The Lighthouse) periodical, which had an important influence on both Islamic revivalism and pan-Arab nationalism, “true Islam involves two things, acceptance of the unity of God and consultation (Shura) in matter of state, and despotic rulers have tried to make Muslims forget the second by encouraging them to abandon the first.”
Rida wanted to establish a college where students could be introduced to the study of international law, sociology, world history, the scientific study of religion, and modern science, at the same time as they studied fiqh. This would ensure that Islamic jurisprudence would develop in a truly modern context that would wed the traditions of East and West, and make the Shariah, an agrarian law code, compatible with the new type of society that the West had evolved.