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10 February 2010updated 24 Sep 2015 10:46am

Ten most influential modern Islamic intellectuals

Modern Muslim intellectualism in ten simple steps.

By Ian K Smith

To accompany this week’s special issue on Islam, we have selected the ten most influential Muslim intellectuals of the modern age. Reformers and radicals, each of them has sought to reinterpret Islam in his own time and place.

From the first wanderings of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani to the present work of Tariq Ramadan, these men — and it is a tradition dominated by men — have sought to address the challenges of colonialism and neocolonialism in Islamic societies, and of Islamic identity in western societies.

As this is a selection of just ten people from a period spanning over 150 years, there are omissions, but we believe that these intellectuals chart a course through modern Islamic thought.

Please leave your suggestions for who else should be on the list, and your comments on those we’ve included.

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1. Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (d.1897)

2. Muhammad Abduh (d.1905)

3. Muhammad Rashid Rida (d.1935)

4. Muhammad Iqbal (d.1938)

5. Hassan al-Banna (d.1949)

6. Sayyid Qutb (d.1966)

7. Ali Shari’ati (d.1977)

8. Sayyid Abul-A’la Maududi (d.1979)

9. Ayatollah Khomeini (d.1989)

10. Tariq Ramadan (b.1962)

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