What Do We Mean By “Salafī”? Connecting Muḥammad ʿAbduh with Egypt’s Nūr Party in Islam’s Contemporary Intellectual History


in Die Welt des Islams
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

In contemporary academic literature, the word “Salafī” has a variety of meanings. Most importantly, Western academic literature of the 20th and 21st centuries applies the word to (1) an Islamic reform movement founded by Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī (d. 1897) and Muḥammad ʿAbduh (1849–1905) in the last decades of the 19th century and (2) to contemporary Sunni reform movements that criticize manifestations of Sunni Islam which are based on Sufism, Ashʿarism, and traditional madhhab-affiliations to the Shāfiʿī, Ḥanafī, and Mālikī schools. In a 2010-article Henri Lauzière argued that the use of the word “Salafī” to describe these two movements is an equivocation based on a mistake. While the movement of contemporary Salafīs may be rightfully called by that name, al-Afghānī and ʿAbduh never used the term. Only Western scholars of the 1920s and 30s, most importantly Louis Massignon (1883–1962), called this latter movement “salafī”. This paper reevaluates the evidence presented by Lauzière and argues that Massignon did not make a mistake. The paper describes analytically both reform movements and draws the conclusion that there is a historic continuity that justifies calling them both “salafī”. The paper draws an analogy from the use of the word “socialist” in European political history, which first applied to a wider movement of the late 19th century before its use was contested and narrowed down in the course of the 20th.


What Do We Mean By “Salafī”? Connecting Muḥammad ʿAbduh with Egypt’s Nūr Party in Islam’s Contemporary Intellectual History


in Die Welt des Islams

Sections

References

7

Lacroix“Sheikhs and Politicians”and Høigilt and Nome “Egyptian Salafism in Revolution” 39. The satellite TV channel al-Nās founded in 2006 and active until the military coup in July 2013 was considered a mouthpiece of Salafī thinking. The Salafī sheikhsMuḥammad ʿAbd al-Maqṣūd (1947–) and Muḥammad Ḥusayn Yaʿqūb (1956–) were some of its prominent TV personalities. Other prominent Salafī TV-sheikhs in Egypt are Yāsir Burhāmī (1958–) leading member of al-Daʿwa al-Salafiyya and co-founder of the Nūr Party or Muḥammad Ḥassān (1962–) of al-Raḥma-Channel.

12

Salomon“The Salafi Critique of Islamism”148. See also Noah Salomon In the Shadow of Salvation: Sufis Salafis and the Project of Late Islamism in Contemporary Sudan (Ph.D. dissertation The University of Chicago Divinity School 2010). Salomon did his fieldwork in Sudan 2005–07 among followers of the Sudanese branch of Anṣār al-Sunna al-Muḥam­madiyya.

13

Salomon“The Salafi Critique of Islamism”150.

16

Bernard Haykel“On the Nature of Salafi Thought and Action” in Global Salafism: Islam’s New Religious Movemented. R. Meijer (New York: Columbia Univ. Press2009) 33–5740.

20

Olivier RoyGlobalized Islam: The Search for a New Umma (London: Hurst & Co.2004) 257–72; quote from p. 265. Roy’s Neofundamentalism however is not the same as Salafī Islam as he regards the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of Islamic Neofundamentalism. As an offshoot of the Deobandi reform movement in 19th and early 20th centuries North-India the Taliban do not conform to the Salafī pattern of reform but promote the revival of a distinctly non-Salafīnotion of sharīʿa that combines a conservative understanding of Ḥanafite fiqh with tribal laws. Others too make the mistake of counting the Deobandi reform movement in North-India – as well as the Taliban – among Salafī Islam see e. g. Roel Meijer in his introduction to Global Salafism: Islam’s New Religious Movement ed. R. Meijer (New York: Columbia Univ. Press 2009) 1–32; 2 5f.

24

Haykel“On the Nature of Salafi Thought and Action”40.

25

Haykel“On the Nature of Salafi Thought and Action”43. Haykel points to the historian al-Dhahabī (d. 748/1348) a contemporary of Ibn Taymiyya who thus describes his attitude in a brief biography of him. See Caterina Bori “A New Source for the Biography of Ibn Taymiyya” BSOAS 67 (2004): 321–48; 333. A maybe even earlier use of “al-ṭarīqa al-salafiyyain connection with Ibn Taymiyya’s method is in a letter of Ibn Murrī one of his disciples. See Caterina Bori “The Collection and Edition of Ibn Taymīyah’s Works: Concerns of a Disciple” Mamluk Studies Review 13 (2009): 47–67; 62.

28

Reinhard SchulzeA Modern History of the Muslim World (New York: New York University Press2000) 18.

29

Reinhard SchulzeA Modern History of the Muslim World (New York: New York University Press2000) 18.

30

Reinhard SchulzeA Modern History of the Muslim World (New York: New York University Press2000) 90.

32

SchulzeA Modern History of the Muslim World95.

35

Albert HouraniArabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798–1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press1987) 149f.

36

Albert HouraniArabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798–1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press1987) 230.

37

Albert HouraniArabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798–1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press1987) 230.

45

Louis Massignon“Questions actuelles: Les vraies origines dogmatiques du Wahhābisme”RMM 36 (1918–19): 320–26; 325.

60

Francis Robinson“Ottomans-Safavids-Mughals: Shared Knowledge and Connective Systems”Journal of Islamic Studies 8 (1997): 151–84.

62

Martin RiexingerSanāʾullāh Amritsarī (1868–1948) und die Ahl-i Ḥadīs im Punjab unter britischer Herrschaft (Würzburg: Ergon2004) 103–34.

65

RiexingerSanāʾullāh Amritsarī538. On the ahl-i ḥadīs in India see Barbara D. Metcalf Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband 1860–1900 (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press 1982) 269–96 on Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān see Saeedullah The Life and Works of Muhammad Siddiq Hasan Khan Nawwab of Bhopal 1248–1307 (1832–1890) (Lahore: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf 1973).

70

El Rouayheb“From Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī (d. 1566) to Khayr al-Dīn al-Ālūsī” 311. Even after al-Ālūsī’s book the original works of Ibn Taymiyya remained hard to come by. They were – and are – abundant as manuscripts at the Ẓāhiriyya Library (now collection) in Damascus. Outside of that city however they were hardly any. Rashīd Riḍā admits that his early knowledge of Ibn Taymiyya – before he himself edited some of Ibn Taymiyya’s texts from manuscripts at the Ẓāhiriyya – came from Ibn Taymiyya’s opponents. See Nafi “Salafism Revived”50.

72

Al-ĀlūsīJalāʾ al-ʿaynayn29; Nafi “Salafism Revived” 73.

73

Al-ĀlūsīJalāʾ al-ʿaynayn110–3; Nafi “Salafism Revived” 76. Al-Ālūsī does not use as far as I can see the word “salafiyya”. In the theological debate on the divine attributes however he associates the true position with the salaf (Jalāʾ al-ʿaynayn 225) and in the one of whether God’s actions are caused (muʿallal) al-Ālūsī describes Ibn Taymiyya’s position in his Sharḥ al-ʿAqīda al-Iṣfahāniyya as “the teachings of the salaf of the umma” (madhhab salaf al-umma) (ibid. 157).

76

Wild“Muslim und Madhab”680.

83

KerrIslamic Reform106.

86

Massignon“Questions actuelles: Les vraies origines dogmatiques du Wahhābisme”325.

92

Ahmad Dallal“The Origins of Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750–1850”Journal of the American Oriental Society 113 (1993): 341–59.

93

MetcalfIslamic Revival in British India87–335.

95

Nafi“Salafism Revived”88.

100

Nabil MoulineLes Clercs de l’Islam: Autorité religieuse et pouvoir politique en Arabie Saoudite (XVIIe–XXIe siècles) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France2011) 19f.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 22 22 14
Full Text Views 13 13 13
PDF Downloads 1 1 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0