Wahhabism and salafism


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Wahhabism emergence at the beginning of the 20th century: alliance of al-Sa’ud family, Wahhabis and British; King ‘Abd al-’Aziz bin al-Sa’ud (r. 1902-53)

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Wahhabism and salafism

  1. 1. Wahhabism and Salafism Islamic Revivalism, Petro-Islam, and Wahhabism’s global reach
  2. 2. <ul><li>Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1791) born in Najd, in eastern Arabia; father was a Hanbali judge </li></ul><ul><li>By his early 20s, Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab was proclaiming a radical interpretation of tawhid, which entailed a rejection of Islamic law in favor of a literalist reading of Qur’an and hadith along with condemnation of all types of intercession </li></ul><ul><li>He condemned Shi’a, Sufis, and all who disagreed with him as polytheists, and advocated jihad against those who did not join him </li></ul>The Rise of Wahhabism
  3. 3. <ul><li>In 1746 Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab made a political alliance with the Sa‘udi family and the declared jihad against all those who didn’t agree with them; consolidation of central Arabia </li></ul><ul><li>How to understand such a movement? Kharijites? Qarmatians? </li></ul><ul><li>The Saudi/Wahhabi alliance continued after Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s death; 1802 sacking of Karbala, slaughter of Shi’a, destruction of Hussayn’s tomb </li></ul>The First Wahhabi State
  4. 4. First wahabi State… <ul><li>Took control of Mecca and Medina (from the Ottomans) between 1806-11 (houses marking the birthplaces of Prophet and many Companions destroyed; failed attempt to destroy the Prophet’s tomb </li></ul><ul><li>The Ottoman vassal, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, retakes Mecca and Medina in 1811; sacks Saudi capital in 1819 </li></ul>
  5. 5. The First Saudi State
  6. 6. The second Wahhabi state <ul><li>Emergence at the beginning of the 20th century: alliance of al-Sa’ud family, Wahhabis and British; King ‘Abd al-’Aziz bin al-Sa’ud (r. 1902-53) </li></ul><ul><li>Common interests: First World War, Economic and strategic importance of the Arabian peninsula </li></ul><ul><li>the short-lived career of the Ikhwan, disbanded in 1929 </li></ul><ul><li>Religious police, music forbidden, destruction of the tombs of the Companions, role-call for prayer, stoning for adultery </li></ul>
  7. 7. The curious alliance between Salafis and Wahhabis <ul><li>At end of 19 th century, both Salafis and Wahhabis opposed to Ottoman caliphate </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Salafi/Wahhabi interest in the work of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), prominent Hanbali scholar who stressed ijtihad; Rida defends them </li></ul><ul><li>Despite theological and political differences between Brotherhood and Wahhabis, sympathies between the two build from 1960s onwards and shared antipathy of “Western” culture; Brothers seek refuge in Saudi Arabia </li></ul>
  8. 8. Spreading in world <ul><li>Free Officers Coup in 1952 and Nasser’s popularity poses threat to Saudis, who increasingly invoke Wahhabism in foreign policy: 1962 foundation of World Muslim League </li></ul><ul><li>From the early 1970s onwards, Saudi/Wahhabi influence spreads throughout Muslim World </li></ul>