Saturday, October 17, 2015

The intellectual synthesis of Shah Wall Allah

Shah Wall Allah's formidable attempt to reconcile the conflicts between the different facets of the Islamic intellectual legacy, and to forge a new synthesis of gnostic, inductive, and transmitted forms of knowledge, was conducted with an eye on the community, its power and well-being. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this intellectual synthesis was in its ability to argue, without being reductive or simplistic, for the community's right to wrench the use of the intellect from the exclusive monopoly of the professional zealots of Islam.
-Ahmad Dallal, "The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750-1850," Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 113, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1993), p. 349.