Shakib Arslan

Shakib Arslan

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Shakib Arslan was a Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 prince (amir) from Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 who was known as (Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 for "Prince of Eloquence") because in addition to being a politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, he was also an influential writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, poet
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 and historian
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, among other things. Influenced by the ideas of al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh was an Egyptian jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism...

, Arslan became a strong supporter of the Pan-Islamic
Pan-Islamism is a political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic state — often a Caliphate. As a form of religious nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from other pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by excluding culture and ethnicity as primary...

 policies of Abdul Hamid
Abdul Hamid
Abdul Hamid is a Muslim male given name, and in modern usage, surname. It is built from the Arabic words Abd, al- and Ḥamid. The name means "servant of the All-laudable", al-Ḥamīd being one of the names of God in the Qur'an, which give rise to the Muslim theophoric names.The letter a of the al- is...

. He also advocated the proposition that the survival of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was the only guarantee against the division of the ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

 and its occupation by the Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an imperial powers. To Arslan, Ottomanism
Ottomanism was a concept which developed prior to the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. Its proponents believed that it could solve the social issues that the empire was facing. Ottomanism was highly affected by thinkers such as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution. It...

 and Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 were closely bound together and the reform of Islam would naturally lead to the revival of the Ottoman Empire.

Exiled from his homeland by the French Mandate
French Mandate of Lebanon
The state of Greater Lebanon, the predecessor of modern Lebanon, was created in 1920 as part of the French scheme of dividing the French Mandate of Syria into six states....

 authorities, Arslan passed most of the interwar years in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 serving as the unofficial representative of Syria and Palestine at the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

writing a constant stream of articles for the periodical press of the Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

 Shakib advocated a version of Islam that was charged with political and moral assertiveness. He sought to reconstruct the bonds of Islamic solidarity by reminding Muslims from Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 to Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 that despite their diversity, they were united by virtue of their common adherence to Islam; if they would but recognize this bond and act on it, he believed they would achieve liberation from their current oppression and the restoration of what he saw as their splendid past. Arslan's work inspired anti-imperialistic propaganda campaigns, much to the irritation of British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and French authorities in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...


He defended Islam as an essential component of social morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

. His message, with its call to action and its defense of traditional values at a time of great uncertainty, was well received and attracted widespread attention during the 1920s and 1930s. It was during this time that he wrote his most famous work, Our Decline: Its Causes and Remedies, which described what Aslan believed to be the reasons for the weakness of existing Muslim governments. Although over seventy years old, Our Decline is still relevant today.

His daughter, May, married Lebanese politician Kamal Jumblatt
Kamal Jumblatt
Kamal Jumblatt ; was an important Lebanese politician. He was the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War until his assassination in 1977. He is the father of the present Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.-Family background and education:Kamal Jumblatt was born in...

 and he is the grandfather through her of Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt is a Lebanese politician and the current leader of the Progressive Socialist Party . He is the most prominent leader of Lebanon's Druze community.-Family:...


External links

See also

  • Emir Majid Arslan II
  • Prince Talal Arslan
  • Princess Zeina Talal Arslan
    Princess Zeina Talal Arslan
    -Personal life:Princess Zeina Arslan is the wife of Prince Talal Arslan, son of Lebanese independence hero Emir Majid Arslan II and Head of the House of Arslan which includes the Lakhmid throne of Al-Hira....

  • Prince Majid Talal Arslan
  • Lakhmids
    The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...