The Salafi movement, also known as the Salafi methodology and the Salafist movement, is a movement or sect within Islam that takes its name from the term salaf ("predecessors", "ancestors") used to identify the earliest Muslims, who, its adherents believe, provide the epitome of Islamic practice. The popular hadith that quotes Muhammad as saying 'The people of my own generation are the best, then those who come after them, and then those of the next generation,' is seen as a call to Muslims to follow the example of those first three generations, the salaf.
The majority of the world's Salafis are from Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. 46.87% of Qataris and 44.8% of Emiratis are Salafis. 5.7% of Bahrainis are Salafis and 2.17% of Kuwaitis are Salafis.
Salafis are the "dominant minority" in Saudi Arabia. There are 4 million Saudi Salafis since 22.9% of Saudis are Salafis (concentrated in Najd). The Salafi movement is often described as synonymous with Wahhabism, but Salafists consider the term "Wahhabi" derogatory. At other times, Salafism has been deemed a hybrid of Wahhabism and other post-1960s movements. Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam – and, particularly in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who espouse violent jihad against those they deem to be enemies of Islam as a legitimate expression of Islam.
Academics and historians have used the term "Salafism" to denote "a school of thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of European ideas" and "sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization." However contemporary Salafis follow "literal, traditional ... injunctions of the sacred texts", looking to Ibn Taymiyyah rather than the "somewhat freewheeling interpretation" of 19th century figures Muhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Rashid Rida.
Observers differ over whether Salafi are Sunni Muslims and whether they are Wahhabis. Self-described Salafis believe they are Sunni Muslims, while traditionalist Sunni critics claim that Salafis are the same as Wahhabis, a sect unto their own and different from orthodox (i.e. traditional) Sunni Muslims. The basis of this claim is that Salafis do not acknowledge or follow any of the four schools of thought (Madhhab) to which other Sunni Muslims adhere. They have their own beliefs and laws, their own leaders and systems, a religion with strict and so-called extremist ways.
In the Arab world – and possibly even more so now by Muslims in the West – the term Ahl-as-Sunnah ("People of the Sunnah") is frequently used instead, while the term Ahl al-Hadith ("People of the Tradition") is often used on the Indian subcontinent to identify adherents of Salafi ideology, though this term is used more often in the Middle-East to indicate scholars and students of Hadith). The Muslim Brotherhood is differentiated from Salafi, allegedly because of its religious innovations, but the group did include the term in the "About Us" section of its website.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Tenets
- 3 History
- 4 Views on extremism
- 5 Trends sometimes associated with Salafism
- 6 Criticism
- 7 Prominent Salafi scholars by country
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 References
The popular hadith that quotes Muhammad as saying 'The people of my own generation are the best, then those who come after them, and then those of the next generation,' is seen as a call to Muslims to follow the example of those first three generations, known collectively as the salaf or "pious Predecessors" (as-Salaf as-Saleh). They include the "Companions" (Sahabah), the "Followers" (Tabi‘un) and the "Followers of the Followers" (Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in). There a number of records of the hadith it is narrated in the Sahih al-Bukhari of `Abd Allah ibn `Umar (a companion of Muhammad)
These have been revered in Islamic orthodoxy and by Sunni theologians since the fifth Muslim generation or earlier used their example to understand the texts and tenets of Islam, sometimes to differentiate the creed of the first Muslims from subsequent variations in creed and methodology (see Madhab), to oppose religious innovation (bid‘ah) and, conversely, to defend particular views and practices.
The terms Salafi, Ahl-as-Sunnah ("People of the Sunnah") and Ahl al-Hadith ("People of the Tradition") are all considered[by whom?] to bear the same or similar connotation and Muslim scholars have used them interchangeably throughout the ages. Ahl al-Hadeeth is possibly the oldest recorded term for these earliest adherents, while Ahl as-Sunnah is overwhelmingly used by Muslim scholars, including Salafi scholars, such as the Ash'ari sect, leading to a narrower use of the term "Salafi".
Salafis view the Salaf as an eternal model for all succeeding Muslim generations in their beliefs, exegesis, method of worship, mannerisms, morality, piety and conduct: the Islam they practiced is seen as pure, unadulterated and, therefore, the ultimate authority for the interpretation of the Sunnah. This is not interpreted as an imitation of cultural norms or trends that are not part of the legislated worship of Islam but rather as an adherence to Islamic theology. Salafis reject speculative philosophy (kalam) that involves discourse and debate in the development of the Islamic creed. They consider this process a foreign import from Greek philosophy, alien to the original practice of Islam. The Imam Al-Dhahabi (died 748H / 1348) said:
It is authentically related from ad-Daaraqutnee that he said: There is nothing more despised by me than kalam. I say: He never entered into kalam nor argumentation. Rather, he was a Salafi.
Salafis believe that the Qur'an, the Hadith and the consensus (ijma) of approved scholarship (ulama) along with the understanding of the Salaf us-salih as being sufficient guidance for the Muslim. As the Salafi da'wa is a methodology and not a madh'hab in fiqh (jurisprudence) as commonly misunderstood, Salafis can come from the Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanbali or the Hanafi schools of Sunni fiqh and accept teaching of all four if supported by clear and authenticated evidence from the Sunnah. In the face of clear evidence, be it from Qur'an or Hadeeth, they support scholars' engagement in ijtihad – if they are qualified – as opposed to total blind imitation (taqlid). Their theological views are based on the Athari creed as opposed to kalam, dialectics or any form of philosophy deemed speculative.
Salafis condemn certain common practices as polytheism (shirk) and tawassul of religious figures, such as venerating the graves of Islamic prophets and saints or using amulets to seek protection. They maintain that such practices are bid‘ah (heretical innovations) that are not permissible and should not be taught or practiced. Salafis believe that Islam declined after the early generations because of religious innovations and an abandoning of what they consider to be pure Islamic teachings; and that an Islamic revival will only result through emulation of early generations of Muslims and purging of foreign influences.
Salafis place great emphasis on following acts in accordance with the known sunnah, not only in prayer but in every activity in daily life. For instance, many are careful always to use three fingers when eating, drink water in three pauses with the right hand while sitting, and make sure their jellabiya or other garment does not extend below the ankle, thereby following the example recorded by Muhammad and his companions.
In legal matters, Salafis are divided between those who, in the name of independent legal judgement (ijtihad), reject strict adherence (taqlid) to the four schools of law (madhahib) and others who remain faithful to these. Salafi scholars from Saudi Arabia are generally bound by Hanbali fiqh and advocate following an Imam rather than understanding scripture oneself. These include Bin Baz, Salih al-Uthaymeen, Salih al-Fawzaan, Saud bin Shuraim and al-Sudais . Other Salafi scholars however hold that taqlid is unlawful since from their perspective, following a madhab without searching for direct evidence leads Muslims astray. These scholars include Rashid Rida, al-Khajnadee, Muhammad Abduh, Saleem al-Hilali and Nasir al-Din al-Albani.
At the very end of the spectrum, some Salafis hold taqlid to be an act of polytheism.
Opposition to the use of kalam
Salafi scholars are in staunch opposition to the use of kalam, dialectics or speculative philosophy in theology. This is because it is seen as a heretical innovation in Islam which opposes the primordial aspiration to follow the original methodology of the Salaf us-salih with regards to Aqidah. Statements of the early Imams of the early Muslims are in corroboration with this such as Abu Hanifa who prohibited his students from engaging in kalam, stating that those who practice it are of the "regressing ones". Malik ibn Anas referred to kalam in the Islamic religion as being "detested", and that whoever "seeks the religion through kalam will deviate". In addition, Shafi'i said that no knowledge of Islam can be gained from books of kalam, as kalam "is not from knowledge" and that "It is better for a man to spend his whole life doing whatever Allah has prohibited – besides shirk with Allah – rather than spending his whole life involved in kalam." Ahmad ibn Hanbal also spoke strongly against kalam, stating his view that no-one looks into kalam unless there is "corruption in his heart" and even went so far as to prohibit sitting with people practicing kalam even if they were defending the Sunnah, and instructing his students to warn against any person they saw practicing kalam.
Landmarks claimed in the history of Salafi da'wah are Ahmad ibn Hanbal (died 240 AH / 855 AD), known among Salafis as Imam Ahl al-Sunnah and one of the three scholars commonly titled with the honorific Sheikh ul-Islam, namely, Taqi ad-Deen Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728 AH / 1328 AD) and Ibn al-Qayyim (died 751 AH / 1350).
Early examples of usage
- Ibn Taymiyyah wrote: "There is no criticism for the one who proclaims the madh'hab of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from him by unanimous agreement because the way of the Salaf is nothing but the truth."
- The term salafi has been used to refer to the theological positions of particular scholars. Abo al-Hasan Ali ibn Umar al-Daraqutuni (d. 995 C.E., 385 A.H.) was described by al-Dhahabi as: "Never having entered into rhetoric or polemics, instead he was salafi."
- Also, al-Dhahabi described Ibn al-Salah, a prominent 12th century hadith specialist, as: "Firm in his religiosity, salafi in his generality and correct in his denomination. [He] refrained from falling into common pitfalls, believed in Allah and in what Allah has informed us of from His names and description."
- In another of his works, Tadhkirat al-huffaz, al-Dhahabi said of Ibn al-Salah: "I say: He was salafi, of sound creed, abstaining from the interpretations of the scholars of rhetoric, believing in what has been textually established, without recourse to unjustified interpretation or elaboration.
- In his book, Tabsir al-Muntabih, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani mentioned the ascription al-Salafi and named Abd al-Rahman ibn Abdillah ibn Ahmad Al-Sarkhasi al-Salafi as an example of its usage. Ibn Hajar then said: "And, likewise, the one ascribing to the salaf."
- Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani also used the term, salafi in describing Muhammad ibn al-Qaasim ibn Sufyan al-Misri al-Maliki (d. 966 C.E., 355 A.H.) He said that al-Malaiki was: "Salafi al-madh'hab – salafi in his school of thought."
- In the book Al-Ansaab by Abu Sa'd Abd al-Kareem as-Sama'ni, who died in the year 1166 (562 of the Islamic calendar), under the entry for the ascription al-Salafi he mentions an example or more of people who were so described in his time. In commenting upon as-Sama'ni, Ibn al-Athir wrote: "And a group were known by this epithet."
Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab
Many Salafists today consider Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab as the first figure in the modern era to push for a return to the religious practices of the salaf as-salih. His evangelizing in the Arabian Peninsula during the 18th century was a call to return to the practices of the early Muslims. His works, especially Kitab at-Tawhid, are still widely read by Salafis around the world today and the majority of Salafi scholars still cite them frequently. After his death, his views flourished under his descendants (the Al ash-Sheikh) and the generous financing of the House of Saud, initiating the current worldwide Salafi movement.
The vast majority of Salafis reject the label "Wahhabi" because they consider it unfounded and an object of controversy, holding that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not establish a new school of thought but restored the Islam practiced by the earliest generations of Muslims. Followers of Salafiyyah consider it wrong to be called "Wahhabis" as the 17th Name of God is al-Wahhab ("the Bestower"), so to be called a "Wahhabi" denotes the following of a person other than what is meant to be followed in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Wahhabism has been called a "belittling" and derogatory term for Salafi, while another source defines it as "a particular orientation within Salafism," an orientation some consider strongly apolitical, and yet another describes it as a formerly separate current of Islamic thought that appropriated "language and symbolism of Salafism" until the two became "practically indistinguishable" in the 1970s. Critics of Wahhabiyya, Hamid Algar and Khaled Abou El Fadl, argue that while the two interpretations had distinct differences, they effectively merged in the 1970s and early 1980s when Saudi oil-export funding "co-opted" Salafism, and "melded" their ideologies.
Trevor Stanley states that while the origins of the terms Wahhabism and Salafism "were quite distinct" – "Wahhabism was a pared-down Islam that rejected modern influences, while Salafism sought to reconcile Islam with modernism" – they both shared a rejection of "traditional" teachings on Islam in favor of a direct, more puritan interpretation. Stéphane Lacroix, a fellow and lecturer at Sciences Po in Paris, also affirmed a distinction between the two: "As opposed to Wahhabism, Salafism refers here to all the hybridations that have taken place since the 1960s between the teachings of Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab and other Islamic schools of thought. Al-Albani’s discourse can therefore be a form of Salafism, while being critical of Wahhabism."
The migration of Muslim Brotherhood members from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Saudi King Faisal's "embrace of Salafi pan-Islamism resulted in cross-pollination between Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab's teachings on tawhid, shirk and bid‘ah and Salafi interpretations of the sayings of Muhammad.
Salafism is attractive to its adherents because it underscores Islam's universality. It insists on affirmation of the literal truth as understood by its apparent meaning of Qur'anic scripture and Hadeeth, yet may challenge secularism by appropriating secularism's traditional role of defending the socially and politically weak against the powerful.
There have been several Salafi movements attempting to challenge the stereotypes widely adopted by societies that often lead to profiling and discriminating against those who embrace the Salafi belief and lifestyle. Costa Salafis founded in 2011 by Mohammad Tolba is one of the groups that aim at bridging gaps with others from different backgrounds and beliefs and is increasingly becoming a media favorite in Egypt.
Views on extremism
In recent years, Salafi methodology has come to be associated with the jihad of extremist groups that advocate the killing of innocent civilians. The Saudi scholar, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen considered suicide bombing to be unlawful and the scholar Abdul Muhsin al-Abbad wrote a treatise entitled: According to which intellect and Religion is Suicide bombings and destruction considered Jihad?. Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani stated that "History repeats itself. Everybody claims that the Prophet is their role model. Our Prophet spent the first half of his message making dawah, and he did not start it with jihad".
Some Salafi scholars appear to support extremism and acts of violence. The Egyptian Salafi cleric Mahmoud Shaaban "appeared on a religious television channel calling for the deaths of main opposition figures Mohammed ElBaradei – a Nobel peace prize laureate – and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi." The popular salafi preacher Zakir Naik speaking of Osama bin Laden, said that he would not criticise bin Laden because he had not met him and did not know him personally. He added that, "If bin Laden is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for him," and that "If he is terrorizing America – the terrorist, biggest terrorist – I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that if he is terrorizing the terrorist, he is following Islam. Whether he is or not, I don’t know, but you as Muslims know that, without checking up, laying allegations is also wrong."
Some other Islamic groups, particularly some Sufis, have also complained about extremism among some Salafi. It has been noted that the Western association of Salafi ideology with violence stems from writings "through the prism of security studies" that were published in the late 20th century and that continue to persist.
Trends sometimes associated with Salafism
According to at least one observer, Salafism can be divided into three trends, one focusing on education and missionary work to solidify the tawhid prior to any political movement (sometimes called Madkhalism); another focusing on re-establishing a caliphate through the means of evolution, but not violence (sometimes called Salafist activism); and a third sharing similar political goals as the second group, but engaging in violent Jihad (sometimes called Salafi jihadism and/or Qutbism).
"Purists" are Salafists who focus on non-violent da'wah, education, and "purification of religious beliefs and practices". They dismiss politics as "a diversion or even innovation that leads people away from Islam".
Madkhalism is a term typically referring to the strain of Salafists viewed as supportive of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. Taking its name from the controversial Saudi Arabian cleric Rabee Al-Madkhali, the movement lost its support in Saudi Arabia proper when several members of the Permanent Committee (the country's clerical body) denounced Madkhali personally. Influence of both the movement and its figureheads have waned so much within the Muslim world that analysts have declared it to be a largely European phenomenon.
It has sometimes been described as a third strain of the global movement, being different from the Salafist Jihadists by eschewing violence and from the Salafist Madkhalists by engaging in modern political processes. Due to numerical superiority, the movement has been referred to the mainstream of the Salafist movement at times. This trend, sometimes called "politicos", see politics as "yet another field in which the Salafi creed has to be applied" in order to safeguard justice and "guarantee that the political rule is based upon the Shari'a".
"It’s very simple. We want sharia. Sharia in economy, in politics, in judiciary, in our borders and our foreign relations."
"Salafi Jihadism" was a term coined by Gilles Kepel to describe those self-claiming Salafi groups who began developing an interest in jihad during the mid-1990s. Practitioners are often referred to as "Salafi jihadis" or "Salafi jihadists". Journalist Bruce Livesey estimates Salafi jihadists constitute less than 0.5 percent of the world's 1.9 billion Muslims (i.e., less than 10 million). However, those who take their actions beyond the limits of the shari'ah (such as terrorist attacks against civilians) are seen as deviant and not true Salafis.
Another definition of Salafi jihadism, offered by Mohammed M. Hafez, is an "extreme form of Sunni Islamism that rejects democracy and Shia rule." Hafez distinguished them from apolitical and conservative Salafi scholars (such as Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz and Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh), but also from the sahwa[disambiguation needed] movement associated with Salman al-Ouda or Safar Al-Hawali.
An analysis of the Caucasus Emirate, a Salafi jihadist group was made in 2014 by Darion Rhodes. It analyzes the group's strict observance of tawhid and its rejection of shirk, taqlid, ijtihad, and bid'ah, while believing that jihad is the only way to advance the cause of Allah on the earth.
Qutbism is a movement which has, at times, been described both as a strain of Salafism and an opposing movement, providing the foil to Madkhalism in that the movement is typically found in radical opposition to the ruling regimes of the Middle East. Qutbism has, at times, been associated with the above-mentioned Salafist Jihadist trend.
Despite some similarities, the different contemporary self-proclaimed Salafist groups often strongly disapprove of one another and deny the other's Islamic character.
Comparison with other movements
Some Salafi Muslims often preach disengagement from Western activities, and advocate being apolitical and being against any form of extremism, "even by giving them an Islamic slant." Instead, it is thought that Muslims should stick to traditional activities, particularly Dawah. Nevertheless, Salafis do not preach willful ignorance of civil or state law. While preaching that the Sharia takes precedence, Salafi Muslims conform to civil or state law as far as they are required, for example in purchasing mandatory auto insurance.
Salafi have been notable following insurrections in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. In the 2011–12 Egypt parliamentary elections, the Islamist Bloc led by the Al-Nour Party managed to receive 27.8% of the vote despite only "a few months of party politicking experience", gaining 127 of the 498 parliamentary seats contested and forming the second-largest bloc in the parliament. According to Ammar Ali Hassan of al-Ahram, while Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood agree on many issues such as the need to "Islamize" society and restricting private property rights by legally requiring all Muslims to give alms, the former has nevertheless rejected the flexibility of the latter on the issue of whether women and Christians should be entitled to serve in high office, as well as its relatively tolerant attitude towards Shia Iran.
Salafism has been recently criticized by Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl of the UCLA School of Law. El Fadl argues that the Salafi methodology "drifted into stifling apologetics" by the mid-20th century, a reaction against "anxiety" to "render Islam compatible with modernity," by its leaders earlier in the century. He attacks those who state "any meritorious or worthwhile modern institutions were first invented and realized by Muslims". He argues the result was that "an artificial sense of confidence and an intellectual lethargy" developed, according to Abou El Fadl, "that took neither the Islamic tradition nor" the challenges of the modern world "very seriously."
According to the As-Sunnah Foundation of America, the Salafi and Wahhabi movements are strongly opposed by a long list of Sunni scholars. The Saudi government has been criticised for damaging Islamic heritage of thousands of years in Saudi Arabia. Though Salafis when told about this were as opposed to it as other Muslims. The Salafi movement has been linked by Marc Sageman to some terrorists group around the world.
Salafism in China
Salafism is opposed by a number of Hui Muslims Sects in China such as by the Gedimu, Sufi Khafiya and Jahriyya, to the extent that even the fundamentalist Yihewani (Ikhwan) Chinese sect, founded by Ma Wanfu after Salafi inspiration, condemned Ma Debao and Ma Zhengqing as heretics when they attempted to introduce Salafism as the main form of Islam. Ma Debao established a Salafi school, called the Sailaifengye (Salafi) menhuan in Lanzhou and Linxia. It is completely separate from other Muslim sects in China. Muslim Hui avoid Salafis, even if they are family members. The number of Salafis in China are not included on percentage lists of Muslim sects in China. The Kuomintang Sufi Muslim General Ma Bufang, who backed the Yihewani (Ikhwan) Muslims, persecuted the Salafis and forced them into hiding. They were not allowed to move or worship openly. The Yihewani had become secular and Chinese nationalists; they considered the Salafiyya to be "heterodox" (xie jiao) and people who followed foreigners' teachings (waidao). After the Communists took power, Salafis were allowed to worship openly again.
German government's statement on Salafism
German government officials have stated that Salafism has a strong link to terrorism but have clarified that not all Salafists are terrorists. The statements by German government officials criticizing Salafism were televised by Deutsche Welle during April 2012.
Prominent Salafi scholars by country
- Ahl al-Hadith
- Ibn Taymiyyah
- Sufi–Salafi relations
- Shirk (Islam)
- Islamic views on sin
- Have Salafis Taken Over the Muslim World and Muslim Communities, Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, ... and only recently (in the last 30 years) has the so called Salafi sect come into existence.
- Ghazali And The Poetics Of Imagination, by Ebrahim Moosa ISBN 0-8078-5612-6 – Page 21
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- For example, the Ahl-i Hadith which "have been active since the nineteenth century on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan ... though designated as Wahhabis by their adversaries, ... prefer to call themselves 'Salafis.'" (from The Failure of Political Islam, by Olivier Roy, translated by Carol Volk, Harvard University Press, 1994, pp. 118–9)
- Stephane Lacroix, Al-Albani's Revolutionary Approach to Hadith. Leiden University's ISIM Review, Spring 2008, #21.
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- For example: "Salafism originated in the mid to late 19th-century as an intellectual movement at al-Azhar University, led by Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905), Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1839–1897) and Rashid Rida (1865–1935)." from Understanding the Origins of Wahhabism and Salafism, by Trevor Stanley. Terrorism Monitor Volume 3, Issue 14. July 15, 2005
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- As-Sunnah Foundation of America, Wahhabism: Understanding the Roots and Role Models of Islamic Extremism, by Zubair Qamar
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- Yazid was Never Amirul Muminin, by Sheikh Abdillahi Nassir, published Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya, 2004; also published Al-Islamd.org Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. Section entitled Wahabis Contradict the Sunnah!
- Hasan al-Banna and the Ways and Means of Da'wah Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, "... is the imaam of this crooked path/way which makes permissible for itself every single way or means for the sake of actualizing what they call the 'benefit of the da'wah' but [in reality] it is nothing but the 'benefits of dejected hizbiyyah (party-spirit)'..."
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- "The way of the Sufis is the way of the Salaf, the Scholars among the Sahaba, Tabi’in, and Tabi’ at-Tabi’in. Its origin is to worship Allah and to leave the ornaments of this world and its pleasures.” (Ibn Khaldun (733–808 H/1332-1406 CE) Muqaddimat ibn Khaldan, p. 328, quoted in; PAHARY SHEIK MOHAMMAD YASSER, SUFISM: ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT AND EMERGENCE OF SUFI ORDERS, retrieved March 2012.
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- Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern Studies, states that "a strongly held view" among Sunnis
- Haykel, Bernard (2009). "Chapter 1: On the Nature of Salafi Thought and Action". In Meijer, Roel. Global Salafism: Islam's New Religious Movement. Columbia University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-231-15420-8.
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- Miriam Cooke, Bruce B. Lawrence, Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop, p 213
- Thus he [Rida] opposed Taqlid and called for and practiced absolute ijtihad. Clinton Bennett, The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies, p.174. See also, Richard Gauvain, Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God, Introduction, p9
- Abduh's statement of purpose was: To liberate thought from the shackles of Taqlid and understand religion as it was understood by the Salaf. Clinton Bennett, The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies, p.168.
- From there he [Albani] learned to oppose taqlid in a madhab. Clinton Bennett, The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies, p.174. Al-Albani had denounced Wahhabi attachment to the Hanbali school. Stephane Lacroix, George Holoch, Awakening Islam, p 85
- For many Salafis, both modernist and conservative, "worship" of created beings includes practicing taqlid within a madhab of fiqh. Clinton Bennett, The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies, p.165
- al-Makkee, Manaaqib Abee Haneefah, pg. 183–184
- Dhammul-Kalaam (B/194)
- Dhammul-Kalaam (Q/173/A)
- Dhammul-Kalaam (Q/213)
- Dhahabi, as-Siyar (10/30)
- Ibn Abi Hatim, Manaaqibush-Shaafi'ee, pg. 182
- Jaami' Bayaanul-'Ilm wa Fadlihi (2/95)
- Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad (or Manaaqibul-Imaam Ahmad), by Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi, p205.
- Ibn Battah, al-Ibaanah (2/540)
- التجديد بمفهومية ("Renewal and its Understanding"), Shaikh Muhammad Aman al-Jaamee, Part 1.
- صور من الجاهليات المعاصرة ("Glimpses From the Modern Jahiliyyah"), Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee.
- سلسلة مفهوم السلفية ("Understanding Salafiyyah"), Shaikh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaani, Parts 1–2, 6.
- Siyar 'Alam al-Nubula, by al-Dhahbi, vol. 16, pg. 457, no. 332, Mua'ssash al-Risalah, Beirut, 11th edition, 2001.
- Siyar 'Alam al-Nubala, vol. 23, pg. 142-3, by al-Dhahabi, Muassah al-Risalah, Beirut, 11th Edition, 2001.
- Tadhkirah al-huffaz, vol. 4, pg. 1431, Da'irah al-Ma'arif al-'Uthmaniyyah, India.
- Tabsir al-Muntabih Bitahrir al-Mushtabih, vol. 2, pg. 738, published by: Al-Mu'assasah al-Misriyyah al-'Ammah Lil-Talif wa Al-Anba' wa al-Nashr, edited by: Ali al-Bajawi, no additional information.
- Lisan al-Mizan, by Ibn Hajar, vol. 5, pg. 348, no. 1143, Dar al-Kitab al-Islami, no additional information; it is apparently a reprint of the original Indian print. The quoted segment of Ibn Hajar's biography for al-Misri originated from Ibn Hajar, as this was not included in al-Dhahabi's biography of the same individual (who is named 'ibn Sha'ban' instead of ibn Sufyan).
- Al-Ansab, by Abu Sa'd Abd al-Kareem Al-Sama'ni, vol. 7, pg. 168, photocopied from the Da'iah Al-Ma'arif Al-Uthmaniyah edition by the Al-Faruq publishing company of Egypt, no date provided. The names of those using this ascription were described by the verifier as being blank in all of the manuscript copies of the book, he obtained them by means of cross referencing.
- A Reply to the Doubts of the Qutubiyyah Concerning Ascription to Sunnah and Salafiyyah, page 29, SalafiPublications.com, Article ID: SLF010004.
- "The Principles of Salafiyyah". Salafipublications.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab: His Salafi Creed, Reformist Movement and Scholars' Praise of Him, 4th ed. by Judge Ahmad Ibn 'Hajar Ibn Muhammad al-Butami al-Bin Ali, Ad-Dar as-Salafiyyah, Kuwait, 1983, p.108-164
- The Wahhabi Myth, H.J.Oliver
- Laurent Bonnefoy, Salafism in Yemen. Transnationalism and Religious Identity, Columbia University Press/Hurst, 2011, ISBN 978-1-84904-131-7, page 245.
- What is a Salafi and What is Salafism?
- Murphy, Caryle (2007-01-15). "Washington Post, For Conservative Muslims, Goal of Isolation a Challenge". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- John L. Esposito, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, p.50
- Abou El Fadl, Khaled M., The Great Theft, HarperSanFrancisco, 2005, p.79
- Dillon, Michael R. "WAHHABISM: IS IT A FACTOR IN THE SPREAD OF GLOBAL TERRORISM?". September 2009. Naval Post-Graduate School. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 2 April 2014. "Hamid Algar ... emphasizes the strong influence of the Saudi petrodollar in the propagation of Wahhabism, but also attributes the political situation of the Arab world at the time as a contributing factor that led to the co-opting of Salafism. ...Khaled Abou El Fadl, ... expresses the opinion that Wahhabism would not have been able to spread in the modern Muslim world ... it would have to be spread under the banner of Salafism.8 This attachment of Wahhabism to Salafism was needed as Salafism was a much more “credible paradigm in Islam;” making it an ideal medium for Wahhabism. ... The co-opting of Salafism by Wahhabism was not completed until the 1970s when the Wahhabis stripped away some of their extreme intolerance and co-opted the symbolism and language of Salafism; making them practically indistinguishable."
- Stanley, Trevor. "Understanding the Origins of Wahhabism and Salafism by Trevor Stanley". Jamestown.org. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Next Attack, page 55. ISBN 0-8050-7941-6.
- Hassan Hanafi, Brief History of Islam, pp. 258–259. ISBN 1-4051-0900-9.
- Gabriel G. Tabarani, Jihad's New Heartlands: Why the West Has Failed to Contain Islamic Fundamentalism, p 26.
- Richard Gauvain, Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God, p 331
- Gabriel G. Tabarani, Jihad's New Heartlands: Why the West Has Failed to Contain Islamic Fundamentalism, p 26.
- Quintan Wiktorowicz, Anatomy of the Salafi Movement, p217.
- The Observer, Violent tide of Salafism threatens the Arab spring, by Peter Beaumont and Patrick Kingsley, 10 February 2013.
- Reuters, Egypt orders cleric held over ElBaradei death call, by Marwa Awad, edited by Paul Taylor and Jon Hemming, 11 February 2013.
- Von Drehle, David; Ghosh, Bobby: "An Enemy Within: The Making of Najibullah Zazi". Time. p. 2. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- Meijer, Roel (2009). "Introduction". In Meijer, Roel. Global Salafism: Islam's New Religious Movement. Columbia University Presss. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-231-15420-8.
- Natana J. DeLong-Bas, in Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad,
- ()Michael R. Dillon (September 2009). "Wahhabism: Is it a Factor in the Spread of Global Terrorism?". NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL. pp. 5–6.
- Whatever Happened to the Islamists? edited by Olivier Roy and Amel Boubekeur, Columbia University Press, 2012.
- Richard Gauvain, Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God, pg. 41. New York: Routledge, 2013.
- Roel Meijer, Global Salafism: Islam's New Religious Movement, pg. 49. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.
- George Joffé, Islamist Radicalisation in Europe and the Middle East: Reassessing the Causes of Terrorism, pg. 317. London: I.B. Tauris, 2013.
- The Transmission and Dynamics of the Textual Sources of Islam: Essays in Honour of Harald Motzki, eds. Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, Kees Versteegh and Joas Wagemakers, pg. 382. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2011.
- Meijer, pg. 48.
- Ghosh, Bobby (October 8, 2012). "The Rise Of The Salafis". Time 180 (15). Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- The Salafist movement by Bruce Livesey
- Coming to Terms: Fundamentalists or Islamists?, Martin Kramer, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2003, pp. 65–77.
- Suicide Bombers in Iraq By Mohammed M. Hafez
- Darion Rhodes, Salafist-Takfiri Jihadism: the Ideology of the Caucasus Emirate, International Institute for Counter-terrorism, March 2014
- Abou El Fadl, Khaled, The Great Theft Harper San Francisco, 2005, p.62-8
- Globalized Islam :the Search for a New Ummah, by Olivier Roy, Columbia University Press, 2004 (p.245)
- Salafis and Sufis in Egypt, Jonathan Brown, Carnegie Paper, December 2011.
- Hassan, Ammar Ali. "Muslim Brothers and Salafis". 06-12-2012. Al Ahram. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Abou El Fadl, Khaled, The Great Theft, Harper San Francisco, 2005, p. 77
- Abou El Fadl, pp. 52–56, 78–9
- As-Sunnah Foundation of America, Wahhabism: Understanding the Roots and Role Models of Islamic Extremism by Zubair Qamar. This article lists 65 Sunni scholars from different time periods, whom the article claims were opposed to either the Salafi or the Wahhabi movements. The article claims that the Wahhabi movement is the same thing as the Salafi movement.
- The Independent, The photos Saudi Arabia doesn't want seen – and proof Islam's most holy relics are being demolished in Mecca , by Jerome Taylor, 15 March 2013. The article says that the Saudis are dismantling some old parts the Grand Mosque at Mecca, as part of work to make the mosque larger, and that the sites of other very old buildings in Mecca and Medina have been redevloped over the past twenty years. The article claims that many senior Wahhabis believe that preserving historic relics for their own sake is undesirable because it encourages idolatry (shirq).
- Saudi's Destruction Of The Islamic Heritage, by AhleSunnaTV on YouTube
- The Independent, Why don't more Muslims speak out against the wanton destruction of Mecca's holy sites?, by Jerome Taylor, 28 October 2012.
- Third public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Statement of Marc Sageman to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9 July 2003
- Michael Dillon (1999). China's Muslim Hui community: migration, settlement and sects. Richmond: Curzon Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-7007-1026-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Maris Boyd Gillette (2000). Between Mecca and Beijing: modernization and consumption among urban Chinese Muslims. Stanford University Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-8047-3694-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- John L. Esposito (1999). The Oxford History of Islam. Oxford University Press US. p. 749. ISBN 0-19-510799-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- BARRY RUBIN (2000). Guide to Islamist Movements. M.E. Sharpe. p. 800. ISBN 0-7656-1747-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz) 7/18/2012: latest 2011 report on Islamic Salafist extremism in Germany (English)
- Deutsche Welle article of May 8, 2012 regarding Salafism and its adherents' activities in Germany (English)
- (German) Online "Pipeline" German news agency article from July 17, 2012 on the German government's view of Salafist extremism
- "SCHOLARS BIOGRAPHIES \ 15th Century \ Shaykh Muhammad ibn 'Abdullaah as-Sumaalee". Fatwa-online.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1610691776