Ahmed studies the lives of a number of West African 'ulama
' from northern Nigeria, Mali, and Mauritania who, after seeing the defeat of the Muslim jihad against European colonizers during the 19th and 20th centuries, emigrated to Mecca and Medina.
Primary goals of this volume are "to present an updated historical and contemporary survey of the 'Ulama"' and "to re-evaluate the position of these 'guardians of faith' in an era of modernization, reform, nationalism and fundamentalism" (p.
Although he shows their importance in Islamic history, he suggests a decline in intellectual vigor over the more recent centuries, leading him to conclude that "at the dawn of the modern era, the 'ulama' were in a state of social and intellectual weakness" (p.
In Bein's view, "Mustafa Sabri stands out as the prime example of 'ulama' who were unwilling to obediently accept their marginalization" (pp.
Lebanese 'ulama' who moved to Persia and led the conversion process at the time included Shaikhs Jabal 'Ameli and Sadr.
The Iranian rulers did not interfere with the presence of Lebanese seminary students or 'ulama' in Qom since they never got involved in politics.
With generous financial help from the Shi'ite 'ulama' in Qom, Amal supported poor Lebanese Shi'ite youth.
(49) Some of these texts are ambiguous enough to allow for interpretations that support the superiority of the Shah's authority over that of the 'ulama in affairs of the state.
Other authorities which the 'ulama confirmed on the Shah in Jihadiyeh included the right to increase taxes and confiscate any property necessary for the war effort, and to execute those who oppose the war or help the enemy, even if they are Muslims.
The direct motivation for establishing al-Da'wa was, however, the serious decline of the roles of the 'ulama (religious intellectuals) and hawza (academic circle) in the process of secularization of the judicial, education and social welfare systems within the modern state system.
One was a general trend of Islamic political movements not only among the 'ulama but also among laymen against secularization in the Middle East, regardless of sectarian differences.
Increasingly, Algerian scholars who attempt to interpret the present crisis in the history of the nationalist movement, argue that from its inception, the Front of National Liberation included among its members a number of 'Ulama
sympathisers who were excluded from government after independence.
Ephrat notes further that "Several historians have concluded that madrasas served as centers for the recruitment of jurists and bureaucrats, thereby planting the seeds for the creation of a religious establishment incorporated into the state bureaucracy and dependent upon the military ruling elite." In this view the madrasas are "instruments of state power, intended to control institutions of learning, which would grant the political rulers influence over the 'ulama'." However, "contrary to this accepted view, this study asserts that the 'ulama' of Baghdad enjoyed an autonomous role in the city's public sphere throughout the Seljuq period.
For one thing, it becomes possible to understand that the fact that the Saljuq sultans and their households founded exclusively madrasas for scholars of only one madhhab, the Hanafis (see Ephrat's figure 1.1), was most likely a Saljuq strategy for securing support and creating patronage networks among Hanafi 'ulama' in a great city where the Saljuqs were new rulers.
Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister also called on strengthening the roles of the 'ulamas
' and 'umara', especially so when dealing with the threats on the mind of the Muslim, which came in various forms.