Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Islamic Knowledge and the Making of Modern Egypt

Islamic Knowledge and the Making of Modern Egypt


  • Date Published: October 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108423472

£ 75.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This historical study transforms our understanding of modern Egyptian national culture by applying social theory to the history of Egypt's first teacher-training school. It focuses on Dar al-Ulum, which trained students from religious schools to teach in Egypt's new civil schools from 1872. During the first four decades of British occupation (1882-1922), Egyptian nationalists strove to emulate Europe yet insisted that Arabic and Islamic knowledge be reformed and integrated into Egyptian national culture despite opposition from British officials. This reinforced the authority of the alumni of the Dar al-Ulum, the daramiyya, as arbiters of how to be modern and authentic, a position that graduates Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood would use to resist westernisation and create new modes of Islamic leadership in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Establishing a 130-year history for tensions over the place of Islamic ideas and practices within modernized public spaces, tensions which became central to the outcomes of the 2011 Arab Uprisings, Hilary Kalmbach demonstrates the importance of Arabic and Islamic knowledge to notions of authority, belonging, and authenticity within a modernising Muslim-majority community.

    • A ground-breaking study of a pivotal, yet understudied school, Dar al-'Ulum, an institution that has not been published on for thirty-five years
    • Demonstrates the importance of Arabic and Islamic knowledge to performances of authority, belonging, and authenticity within a modernising Muslim-majority community
    • Establishes a 130-year history for tensions over the place of Islamic ideas and practices within modernized public spheres, tensions that were central to the outcomes of the 2011 Arab Uprisings
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A meticulously researched study examining the often-conflicting positions regarding what role Islam can play in the construction of a modern society where educational politics and programmes have been key battlegrounds. Based on close-readings of a variety of material and the use of a scale that brings in individuals, social movements as well as institutions, this is a valuable resource for the study of Islam and education, the relation between state-run projects and grass-root movements and, not least, the force with which claims of authenticity can be used in political mobilization.' Catharina Raudvere, University of Copenhagen

    'Hilary Kalmbach illuminates a critical hybrid pathway to modernity between al-Azhar and the civil schools - the teacher's college of Dar al-Ulum. That future Muslim Brothers Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb studied there underlines its significance for understanding Islamic revival movements from the 1930s to the present, in Egypt and around the world.' Donald M. Reid, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108423472
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 160 x 235 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Hybridity, Islamic knowledge and 'being modern' in Egypt
    1. Reform, education, and sociocultural politics in nineteenth-century Egypt
    2. Dar al-ʿUlum: hybridity, education, and sociocultural change, 1871–1900
    3. Hybridity, Islamic knowledge, and the formation of Egyptian national culture, 1882–1922
    4. Fighting over the future of Egyptian national culture, 1923–1952
    Conclusion. Authority, authenticity, and revolution.

  • Author

    Hilary Kalmbach, University of Sussex
    Hilary Kalmbach is Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern History at the University of Sussex where she specialises in the culture, religion, and art of the MENA region. She has been awarded Fulbright and Clarendon Fellowships, the Cox Junior Fellowship (New College, Oxford), and the BRISMES Graduate Article Prize.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.