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Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi
Full name Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi
Born 1855
Aleppo, Syria
Died 1902
Cairo, Egypt
Era 19th-century philosophy
Region Islamic Philosophy
School Arab nationalism
Main interests Islam

Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi (Arabic: عبد الرحمن الكواكبي‎, 1855–1902) was an Arab Nationalist writer who helped popularize the movement in the 1890 in a campaign to attempt to revive the Arab caliphate. He was one of the first Muslims to support the Arab Nationalist movement, a campaign generally accredited to Christian Arabs at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He argued that the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire had no right to claim to be the caliph for all Muslims, and that the caliphate should be awarded to an Arab prince. The Arabic-speaking subjects of the Ottoman Empire owed no allegiance to the sultan and should revolt against its tyranny. His ideas did not win support during his lifetime, but later on he would be recognized as a forerunner of the Arab nationalist movement. Essentially his campaign to gain "freedom from Turkish rule mattered more as a power ploy for diplomats, khedives, and Amirs than for its popular following." (Goldschmidt et al. 2005) He also wrote several books (like "طبائع الاستبداد" "the nature of despotism" and "umm al-Qura" the "mother of villages," meaning Mecca)


  • Goldschmidt, Arthur and Lawrence Davidson. A Concise History of the Middle East, Eighth edition. page 207-208. Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado 2005. ISBN 0-8133-4275-9
  • Haim, Sylvia, ed. "Arab Nationalism: An Anthology" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962.
  • Khayr al-Din al-Zirikli, "al-A'lam"

Main interests : Despotism



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