Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd
Other names: Abu Zaid, Abu Zeid
Job / Known for: Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Left traces: Several books and articles on Quranic exegesis
Date: 1943-07-10
Location: EG Tanta, Egypt
Date: 2010-07-05 (aged 67)
Resting place: NL Cairo, Egypt
Death Cause: Brain infection
Spouse: Ibtihal Younis
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The Quran is a living text that can be interpreted in different ways
About me / Bio:
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd was an influential Egyptian scholar who challenged the mainstream views on the Quran and sparked controversy and debate. He was born in a small village near Tanta, Egypt, and received a traditional religious education. He later studied at Cairo University, where he obtained his BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Arabic and Islamic Studies. His research and writings focused on the historical and cultural context of the Quran and its interpretation, as well as the role of religion in politics and society. He advocated for a humanistic and pluralistic approach to the Quran, which he considered a cultural product that could be understood in different ways. He also criticized the use of religion to exert political power and oppress human rights. His views provoked the ire of some conservative Muslims, who accused him of apostasy and heresy. In 1995, an Egyptian court declared him an apostate and divorced him from his wife, a decision that was widely condemned by intellectuals and human rights groups. He fled Egypt and settled in the Netherlands, where he taught at several universities and continued his scholarly work. He died in 2010 from a brain infection. He left behind a legacy of intellectual courage and critical thinking that inspired many Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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