Sheikh Ali Abdel Raziq was one of the significant Arab Muslim scholars, and jurist at Al-Azhar.
His name is Ali Hassan Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Raziq, was born in 1888 to a well-off family in Minya province in Upper Egypt. He was educated at Al-Azhar and traveled in 1912 to Oxford University to study politics and economy.
After he returned to Egypt at the outbreak of the First World War, he became a Shari’a Court Judge and was elected as Member of Parliament. He also served as Awqaf minister, as well as named to be a member in the Arabic Language Academy.
Abdel Raziq was and still controversial character with his three influence books and a lot of articles and researches.
Al-Islam wa usul al-hukm (Islam and the principles of Rule), is considered one of his controversial book, in which he argued that the caliphate as a political institution not essential to Islam. He argued in his book that Islam does not advocate a specific form of government.
Many fundamentalists opposed his book because Mustafa Kamal Ataturk had just abolished the caliphate. Al-Azhar scholars accused Ali of promoting atheism, took away his title of Sheikh and had him removed from the judgeship.
Although the following popular debate around his book, Ali did not retreat from his opinion and did not disavow the book.
He also has been criticized as having drawn on the works of Orientalist western writers.
Although Ali Abdel Raziq wrote three books: “Amal Ali Abdul Raziq in the Knowledge of Al-Bayan”, and “Consensus in Sharia”, was controversy over the scientific and jurisprudential views of the Caliphate, But the rest of his writings, which included lectures, research, articles, and biography, also received great respect among students and scholars.