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The chapter discusses certain exponents of “traditional Islam” who are organized in an informal network spanning both the Arab world and the West and who are referred to as “Neo-traditionalists,” since the chapter argues that their traditionalism is, in fact, modern. The key figures are Muhammad Saʿid Ramadan al-Buti in Syria, ʿAli Gomaa in Egypt, ʿUmar bin Hafiz in Yemen, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Nuh Keller in Jordan, Abdal Hakim Murad in England, and Hamza Yusuf Hanson in the usa. It is argued that Neo-Traditionalism is a product of what Peter Wagner would call a “crisis of modernity,” the reaction against one stage of modernity that gives rise to a new stage of modernity.

In: Muslim Subjectivities in Global Modernity
Author:

Abstract

The chapter discusses certain exponents of “traditional Islam” who are organized in an informal network spanning both the Arab world and the West and who are referred to as “Neo-traditionalists,” since the chapter argues that their traditionalism is, in fact, modern. The key figures are Muhammad Saʿid Ramadan al-Buti in Syria, ʿAli Gomaa in Egypt, ʿUmar bin Hafiz in Yemen, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Nuh Keller in Jordan, Abdal Hakim Murad in England, and Hamza Yusuf Hanson in the usa. It is argued that Neo-Traditionalism is a product of what Peter Wagner would call a “crisis of modernity,” the reaction against one stage of modernity that gives rise to a new stage of modernity.

In: Muslim Subjectivities in Global Modernity
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This article examines the authority of the Sufi shaykh, which it divides between the esoteric and the exoteric (which includes the social implications of esoteric authority) and analyses with help from Weber. In principle Sufi shaykhs are among the most important leaders of the Sunni faithful. In practice, however, the Sufi shaykh now has much less power and authority than might be expected. This is partly because modern states have, in general, reduced the power of Sufi shaykhs, and because decline in the power of the ʿulamaʾ has included the decline of the power of Sufi shaykhs who are also ʿulamaʾ. It is also because there is an inverse relationship between the power of the shaykh and the size of his ṭarīqa (order). The most powerful shaykh is the one with primarily charismatic authority, but his ṭarīqa will be small. The largest ṭarīqa is led by a shaykh whose authority depends on tradition and heredity; his power is not so great. This paradox is not changed by the availability, for political reasons, of new sources of state support for the leadership role of Sufi shaykhs as an alternative to Salafi and ikhwāni Islam.

In: Sociology of Islam
In: Constructing Tradition
In: Aries