Muhammad Abdo (1849-1905) and independence of opinion
In the mid-19th century, one of the largest Muslim scholars and intellectuals was born in Egypt, who had a huge impact on modern Islamic society and who is called the founder of Muslim modernism. His name is Muhammad Abdo.

Muhammad Abdo became known primarily as a man who devoted a significant part of his work to the subject of Sharia and reform of the Islamic education system. During his lifetime, he was known as a prominent public and religious figure, who from 1899 to 1905 had the status of the Chief Mufti of Egypt.

Abdo was born in 1849 in Egypt in a family that, according to some sources, was of Turkmen origin, and according to others, Abdo's father was a Turk, and the mother was an Egyptian. His uncle was a Sheikh of the Sufi order, this had a significant impact on the initial stage of Abdo's career.

His family belonged to the elite of Egyptian society. He received his first education at a private school in Tanta. At the age of 13, he was sent to the school of the Sufi sheikh Saeed al-Badawi at the Ahmadiya Mosque. After some time, he escaped from there and got married. At the age of 17 he entered the largest Muslim educational institution in Egypt - Al-Azhar University, where for several years he studied logic, philosophy and Muslim mysticism. At the university, his teacher was one of the largest Muslim scholar-reformer Jamal al-Din al-Afghanistan.

In 1877, Muhammad Abdo received alim status and began teaching theology and logic at Al-Azhar University. A year later, he became a professor at Cairo University, in addition, he became the editor of the official state newspaper "al-Waqāʾiʿ al-Miṣriyya". On the pages of this newspaper, he spoke out on the reform of many aspects of the life of Egyptian society. In the educational system of children, Abdo identified two main aspects - religious and scientific. If religious education is necessary for the child to receive a moral basis, then scientific, in his opinion, is necessary in order to teach him critical thinking.

In 1882, Muhammad Abdo was expelled from the country for 6 years by the British for his anti-colonial ideas and support for the Egyptian uprising of 1879, led by Ahmed Orabi. He first spent these years in the Ottoman Empire, namely in Lebanon, where he was involved in the formation of Islamic education. He spent 1884-1885 in France and England, after which he returned to Lebanon, where he returned to teaching. Living in Beirut and talking with teachers of various faiths, Muhammad Abdo began to advocate the idea of ​​a dialogue of religions - primarily between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

After returning to Egypt in 1888, Abdo received the status of a judge, and in 1899 received the post of Supreme Mufti of Egypt. After returning to Egypt, Abdo often visited Europe - met with scientists from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, worked in the libraries of Vienna and Berlin, studied French law. In his educational work, Abdo advocated reform of the education system and believed that the misfortune of Muslims is that they misunderstand their religion and suffer from the despotism of their rulers. According to Abdo, Muslims in their lives can not rely only on the texts of medieval clergy. He believed that in Islam a person has the ability to use his mind and knowledge as well. Abdo believed that in Islam a person gains independence of will and opinion, which allows him to develop. Abdo was convinced that Islam is the only religion whose dogmas can be proved by logical reasoning.