Islamic term for one who brings renewal to the religion

Mujaddid (Arabic: مجدد‎) in Islam is a reformer who is given the task of removing errors that have occurred among Muslims. Their job is to show people the great religious truths which the Muslim community will be asked to face.[1] According to the popular Muslim tradition, it refers to a person who appears at the turn of every century of the Islamic calendar to revive Islam, cleansing it of extraneous elements and restoring it to its pristine purity. In contemporary times, a mujaddid is looked upon as the greatest Muslim of a century.[2]

Ikhtilaf (disagreements) exist among vatious hadith specialists. Scholars and historians like Al-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani have interpreted that the term mujaddid can also be understood as plural, thus referring to a group of people.[3][4]

The Arabic word mujaddid means "reformer", "renovator", "reviver", "renewer" or "regenerator". It is someone who revives and renovates the religion. The concept of tajdid (renewal or revival) and the term mujaddid come rather from a hadith, a statement of the Prophet Muhammad. This hadith was written down by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, one of the six authoritative Sunni collections of the Prophet's statements. In this hadith, the Prophet says:

"Verily, Allah (God) sends to (or will raise for) this Ummah (the Islamic nation) at the head (the beginning or the end) of every hundred years someone (or people) who will renew (or revive) for it its religion."[5]

This means reform is in the essential nature of Islam and Muslims are called all the time to work hard to make new ideas cope with tradition. It also means that not everything in the Muslim tradition is useful and good for this modern age; there are certain things that were possible in the past but are no longer relevant today. Slavery would be a prime example.[6]

The concept of tajdid in Islamic thoughtEdit

Tajdid (renewal) in Islamic thought means renewing the ideology representing the intellectual product of Muslims in the fields of science, knowledge and ijtihad to interpret Islam and understand and explicate its rulings.

Al-Suyuti mentioned in his book Al-Jami' al-Sagheer, "Renewing religion means renewing its guidance, clarifying its truth and precedence, refuting the innovations and extremism presented to its followers or their reluctance in upholding it, and following its rules in managing the interests of the people and the law of society and civilization."[7]

Among the most manifest aspects of tajdid (renewal) in Islamic thought is the renewal of Islamic sciences as follows:[8]

  1. The science of Islamic doctrine.
  2. The Principles of Islamic jurisprudence.
  3. The science of Jurisprudence.
  4. The science of the sunnah.
  5. The science of Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir).
  6. The science of Purification and Code of Conduct (Sufism).
  7. The biography of the Prophet and Islamic history.

Mujaddids can include prominent scholars, pious rulers and military commanders.[9]

The reformers in IslamEdit

There is no formal mechanism for designating a mujaddid. The persons of this list are claimed to be Mujaddid.

Rulers and conquerors such as Saladin, Tamerlane, Shah Rukh, Mehmet II, Selim I, Suleiman, Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan were often popularly heralded as mujaddids for their roles in Political Islam (Saladin, Ottoman's Selim I and Suleiman I held the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques).[10][11][12][13][14]

While there is no formal mechanism for designating a mujaddid in Sunni Islam, there is often a popular consensus.

1th Century AHEdit

2th Century AHEdit

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Thirteenth Century (November 14, 1882)Edit

Fourteenth Century (November 21, 1979)Edit

Controversial figuresEdit



  • Tuhfat al-Muhtadin bi Akhbar al-Mujaddidin (Arabic: تحفة المهتدين بأخبار المجددين‎) by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti.
  • Mausu'at A'lam al-Mujaddidin fi al-Islam (Arabic: موسوعة أعلام المجددين في الإسلام‎) by Samih Kurayyim.
  • Mujaddid - Islamic Encyclopedia
  1. Ali, Maulana Muhammad (2011). The Religion of Islam by Muhammad Ali. Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore USA. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-934271-18-6.
  2. "Mujaddid - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". Retrieved 2018-09-03.
  3. Fath al-Baari (13/295)
  4. Taareekh al-Islam (23/180)
  5. "Hadith - Book of Battles (Kitab Al-Malahim) - Sunan Abi Dawud - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)".
  6. Islam and modernity: Islamist movements and the politics of position by Said Mentak.
  7. "Reform (Islah) and Renewal (Tajdid) in Islamic Thought". Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.
  8. "Renewal (Tajdid) in Islamic sciences". Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.
  9. Meri, Josef W. (ed.). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. p. 678.
  10. Jackson, Roy (2010). Mawlana Mawdudi and Political Islam: Authority and the Islamic State. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-95036-0.
  11. Pande, B.N. (1996). Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan: Evaluation of Their Religious Policies. University of Michigan. ISBN 9788185220383.
  12. Advocate of Dialogue. Fountain Publishing. 2000. ISBN 978-0-9704370-1-3.
  13. Akgunduz, Ahmed; Ozturk, Said (2011). Ottoman History - Misperceptions and Truths. IUR Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-90-902610-8-9. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  14. Abu-Rabi', Ibrahim (2008). The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought. John Wiley & Sons. p. 172. ISBN 1-4051-7848-5.
  15. Cite error: The named reference Paradise Lost was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  16. Rippin, Andrew. Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. p. 282.
  17. Shaykh Yaqoubi Advocates Imam Ahmed Raza as a Mujaddid from Indian Subcontinent !!!!, retrieved 2021-02-27
  18. Joas Wagemakers (2016). Salafism in Jordan: Political Islam in a Quietist Community. Cambridge University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9781107163669.

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