Philosophers of the Arabs
Kassem Amin (1863-1908), one of the leaders of modern Arab renaissance, known as the liberator of the Arabic Woman and one of the founders of the first modern Arabic University in the whole region, Cairo University.
Kassem Amin was born in
After his graduation he worked for a short period as a Lawyer before
His intellectual life and Thought
Kassem Amin returned
Apart from his
central theme, he was a judge and an eloquent writer, and a reformist.
He participated actively in the early call for the foundation of the
first Arabic university,
His Call for Liberation of Women
Kassem's vision was that raising the status of women, through education as well as participation in undertaking her responsibility toward society is the correct starting point toward reform and advancement. For, women represent half of the society, from one side, and they bear the burden of raising the children, and shaping their values from the other. Then if we seek enlightened positive members of the society, we should first guarantee positive participation of women in the society.
Hence, as a
culmination of his social analysis of the Egyptian society, he published
his extremely controversial book, at that early time, 1899, "liberation
of the woman". In this book, courageously and knowing the hardships he
is going to face, he addressed several issues concerning the status of
women in Islam in an Islamic scientific manner. Amongst such issues, the
right of divorce, complete and head veil, social relations between man
and woman, and the woman right of work and participation in the society.
He based his call on the natural freedom and equality of both sexes
(genders), for which he was inspired by his study in
As expected the book caused a huge controversy and a series of intellectual as well as common people's rejection. Many articles and several books written by several major thinkers were written against his call. Surprisingly he did not retreat and replied by publishing another book, on 1901, recording his scientific and religious replies to his critics, and requesting full political wrights for women titled "the new woman".
· "The Egyptians".
· "The Liberation of the Woman".
· "The New Woman".