As Muslim rulers responded to the growing political and domination of the Western powers by initiating social, economic, and cultural reforms of their societies, some Muslim intellectuals began to critically examine the theological and intellectual aspects of the Muslim predicament. Their line of thinking can be summarized as follows: Islam, which its followers viewed as the most perfect monotheistic religion predestined by God to succeed in this world, 1 obviously could not be blamed for the plight of the Muslim umma in recent times. By failing to live up to the original demands of their “perfected religion,” 2 it is the recent generations of Muslims who are to blame for its humiliation at the hands of the “infidel” European powers (see Map 21.1). The plight of Islam, according to the concerned Muslim thinkers, necessitated a drastic revision of current Muslim teachings and practices with a view to either restoring them to their original purity or bringing them in line with the exigencies of the modern age.