A Salafi come from Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

  is a follower of an Islamic
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic
Patristics or Patrology is the study of Early Christian writers, known as the Church Fathers. The names derive from the Latin pater . The period is generally considered to run from the end of New Testament times or end of the Apostolic Age Patristics or Patrology is the study of Early Christian...

 period of early Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 as model examples. The word Salafi should not be confused with the Arabic word Salaf
A Salaf is an early Muslim of the first three generations of proponents of the religion.-First generation:* See: List of SahabaThe Salaf are the first generation of Muslims, which included Muhammad's companions and followers at the time....

("predecessor" or "forefather"), and the first three Muslim generations are collectively referred to as "as-Salaf as-Saleh", or The Pious Predecessors. The generations are specifically called the Sahabah
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

("Companions"), the Tabi‘un ("Followers") and the Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in ("Followers of the Followers"). These three generations and their understanding of the texts and tenets of Islam are considered by the Salafis as the Islamic orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

. Salafism has usually been used by Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 theologians since the fifth Muslim generation or earlier to differentiate the creed of the first three generations from subsequent variations in creed and methodology. Landmarks in the history of Salafi da'wah are Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Abu `Abd Allah al-Shaybani was an important Muslim scholar and theologian. He is considered the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh...

 (d.240 AH / 855 AD) who is known among Salafis as Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

 Ahl al-Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

, and the three scholars commonly titled with the honorific Sheikh ul-Islam
Sheikh ul-Islam
Shaykh al-Islām is a title of superior authority in the issues of Islam....

, namely, Taqi ad-Deen Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728 AH / 1328 AD), Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751 AH / 1350), and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d.1206 AH / 1792 AD).

In contemporary times, Salafism has become associated with literalist and puritanical approaches to Islamic theology. In the West the term Salafi has become particularly associated with Muslims who espouse violent jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

 against civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam, the so-called Salafi Jihadis.


Salafis view the first three generations of Muslims—the Sahabah, or Companions of the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, and the two succeeding generations after them, the Tabi‘un and the Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in—as an eternal model for all succeeding Muslim generations, especially in their beliefs and methodology of understanding the texts, but also in their method of worship, mannerisms, morality, piety and conduct. This belief is based on a number of sources in the Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 and Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

, such as the narration in Saheeh al-Bukhari of `Abd Allah ibn `Umar
`Abd Allah ibn `Umar
Abdullah ibn Umar was the son of the second Caliph Umar ibn Khattab. He was a prominent authority in hadith and law, and was known for his neutrality toward factions engaged in the first civil war within the Muslim community ....

 (a companion of Muhammad) who narrated that Muhammad said:
In other narrations, it is indicated that there will then follow a group of people who will falsely bear witness of Islam, as occurred with the beginning of factionalism and the spread of innovations with the murder
Siege of Uthman
The Third Rightly Guided Caliph, Uthman, was assasinated at the end of a Siege. When the rebels besieged the house of Uthman, the siege was not severe at the early stage. The rebels merely hovered around the house of Uthman, and did not place any restrictions on the movements of Uthman. Uthman went...

 of Uthman ibn Affan, the third Sunni caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...


The principal tenet of Salafism is that the Islam that was preached by Muhammad and practiced by his Companions, as well as the second and third generations succeeding them, was pure, unadulterated, and, therefore, the ultimate authority for the interpretation of the two sources of revelation given to Muhammad, namely the Qur'an and the Sunnah. This is not interpreted to mean an imitation of cultural norms or trends that are not part of the legislated worship of Islam, but rather the fundamental beliefs of Islam, or 'Aqeedah
Islamic theology
Islamic theology is a branch of Islamic studies regarding the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Islamic history and theology, denoting those...


The term Salafi is sometimes replaced with "Wahhabi", especially in American Orientalist
Oriental studies
Oriental studies is the academic field of study that embraces Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, history and archaeology; in recent years the subject has often been turned into the newer terms of Asian studies and Middle Eastern studies...

 and popular literature in a derogatory sense. However, the term is used overwhelmingly so in Shi'ite and many Sufi
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 references, where it is replaced with the word "Wahhabi" almost as a rule. The term "Wahhabism" is, in turn, connected to various accusations of heresies and practices quite unknown to Salafi adherents, and is often spoken of in the American media in relation to terrorism, or "extremist" Islam.

Salafis categorically reject the Wahhabi label, because they consider it to be largely unfounded, an object of some controversy. Salafis will argue that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not establish a new school of thought but rather revived the pure, unadulterated Islam that was practiced by the earliest generations of Muslims. Abd-al-Wahhab's writings, such as his magnum opus, Kitab at-Tawheed (The Book of Tawheed), plus others such as Masaa'il al-Jaahiliyyah (Aspects of the Days of Ignorance), and Kashf ash-Shubuhaat (A Removal of the Doubts) are agreed upon almost without exception, and are rarely considered by those that use the term "Wahhabi" for an understanding of "Wahhabism", or those who denigrate his methodology and beliefs openly, further consolidating the perceived intent of malice, or misconception.

While the ascription of "Salafi" has most commonly been used in the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, and possibly even more so now by Muslims in the West, it is usually contextual, and secondary to the more common term Ahl-as-Sunnah (i.e., "People of the Sunnah"). Ahl al-Hadeeth (The People of Hadeeth
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

) is more often used in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 within the same context, identifying the adherents of Salafi orthodoxy, while used more in Arabic academia to specifically indicate the scholars and students of Hadeeth. All are considered to bear the same or similar connotation and have been used interchangeably by Muslim scholars throughout the ages, Ahl al-Hadeeth possibly being the oldest recorded term used to describe the adherents to the beliefs of the first three generations. Ahl as-Sunnah is overwhelmingly used by Muslim scholars, including Salafi scholars, but often by other than the Salafis, such as the Ash'ari
The Ashʿari theology is a school of early Muslim speculative theology founded by the theologian Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari...

 sect, leading to a greater use of the term "Salafi" in the context of differentiation.

History of the Salafi Da'wa

From the perspective of Salafis, the history of the Salafi dawah
Da‘wah or Dawah usually denotes the preaching of Islam. Da‘wah literally means "issuing a summons" or "making an invitation", being the active participle of a verb meaning variously "to summon" or "to invite"...

 starts with Muhammad himself. They consider themselves direct followers of his teachings as outlined in the Qur'an and Sunnah (prophetic traditions), and wish to emulate the piety of the first three generations of Islam (the Salaf). All later scholars are merely reviver's (not 'founders') of the original practices. Modern scholars may only come to teach (or remind) Muslims of the instructions of the original followers of Islam, who based their beliefs and actions on the Qur'an and Sunnah.


An example of early usage of the word salaf is in the hadith of Muhammad who noted, "I am the best Salaf for you."

Early usage of the term as an ascription appears in the book Al-Ansaab by Abu Sa'd Abd al-Kareem al-Sama'ni, who died in the year 1166 (562 of the Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

). Under the entry for the ascription al-Salafi he stated, "This is an ascription to the salaf, or the predecessors, and the adoptation of their school of thought based upon what I have heard." He then mentions an example or more of people who were utilizing this ascription in his time. In commenting upon as-Sam'aanee's saying, Ibn al-Athir
Ali ibn al-Athir
Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad, better known as Ali 'Izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari was a Kurdish Muslim historian from the Ibn Athir family...

 noted: "And a group were known by this ascription." Thus the term Salafi, and its ascription to the group, was a matter known in the time of early Islamic scholars.

Early examples of usage

  • Some scholars, such as Ibn Taymiyyah, have noted: "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 describe to theological position of particular scholars. Abo al-Hasan Ali ibn Umar al-Daraqutuni (d. 995 C.E., 385 A.H.) was described by al-Dhahabi
    Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Uthman ibn Qaymaz ibn `Abd Allah, Shams al-Din Abu `Abd Allah al-Turkmani al-Diyarbakri al-Fariqi al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi al-Shafi`i , known as Al-Dhahabi , a Shafi'i Muhaddith and historian of Islam.-Biography:...

     as: "Never having entered into rhetoric or polemics, instead he was salafi."

  • Also, al-Dhahabi described Ibn al-Salah
    Ibn al-Salah
    Abū `Amr `Uthmān ibn `Abd al-Raḥmān Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Kurdī al-Shahrazūrī , commonly known as Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, was a Shafi'i hadith specialist and the author of the seminal Introduction to the Science of Hadith...

    , 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
    Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

     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
    ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

    , believing in what has been textually established, without recourse to unjustified interpretation or elaboration.

  • In his book, Tabsir al-Muntabih, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
    Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
    Al-Haafidh Shihabuddin Abu'l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad, better known as Ibn Hajar due to the fame of his forefathers, al-Asqalani due to his family origin , was a medieval Shafiite Sunni scholar of Islam who represents the entire realm of the Sunni world in the field of Hadith...

     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 to describe 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'habsalafi in his school of thought."

Muhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din Afghani, Rashid Rida

In the opinion of contemporary historians, the use of the word Salafi to describe a revival movement within Islam started in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in the mid 19th century among intellectuals at al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University is an educational institute in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970~972 as a madrasa, it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. It is the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt. In 1961 non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.It is...

, the preeminent center of Islamic learning, located in Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. Prominent among them were Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh was an Egyptian jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism...

 (1849–1905), Jamal-al-Din Afghani (1839–1897) and Rashid Rida
Rashid Rida
Muhammad Rashid Rida is said to have been "one of the most influential scholars and jurists of his generation" and the "most prominent disciple of Muhammad Abduh"...


These early reformers recognized the need for an Islamic revival
Al-Nahda was a cultural renaissance that began in the late 19th century and early 20th century in Egypt, then later moving to Ottoman-ruled Arabic-speaking regions including Lebanon, Syria and others...

, noticing the changing fortunes in the Islamic world following the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 in Europe. Al-Afghani was a political activist, whereas Abduh, an educator, and head of Egypt's religious law courts, sought gradual social reform and legal reform "to make sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 relevant to modern problems."

Abduh argued that the early generations of Muslims (the salaf al-salihin, hence the name Salafiyya, which was self-ascribed to Abduh and his disciples) had produced a vibrant civilization because they had creatively interpreted the Qur'an and hadith to answer the needs of their times.

Many Salafis themselves disavow these figures. One prominent Salafi website, for example, describing itself as promoting "the creed and manhaj of the salaf us-saalih – pure and clear," includes claims that al-Afghani and Muhammad ‘Abduh were "known freemasons
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

 and ... [show] great misguidance in their ideologies," and alleges they were interested in an "anti-colonial
Anti-imperialism, strictly speaking, is a term that may be applied to a movement opposed to any form of colonialism or imperialism. Anti-imperialism includes opposition to wars of conquest, particularly of non-contiguous territory or people with a different language or culture; it also includes...

 political movement" rather than "orthodox Islam" or "the way of the Salaf," but their call was deceptively surrounded with slogans of `returning back to the way of the forefathers.`

Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab

Many Salafis today point also to 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 or "righteous predecessors". His evangelizing in 18th century Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 was a call to return to what were the practices of the early generations of Muslims.

His works, especially Kitab at-Tawhid, are still widely read by Salafis around the world today, and the majority of Salafi scholars still reference his works frequently. After his death, his views flourished under his descendants, the Al ash-Sheikh
Al ash-Sheikh
The Al ash-SheikhIt is incorrect to use the term the Al ash-Sheikh family as the word Al already means family. See Etymology. It would, in theory, be correct to use the term House of the Sheikh, but, unlike House of Saud, in practice this is rarely done...

, and the generous financing of the House of Saud
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

 and initiated the current worldwide Salafi movement.

Beliefs and practices

Just who, or what groups and movements, qualify as Salafi is disputed. Some define the term broadly, including the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 (who include the term Salafi in the 'about us' section of their website). Others exclude the Muslim Brotherhood since they believe or claim the group commits religious innovations (bid‘ah).

Staunch monotheism

Particular emphasis is given to monotheism – (tawhid); many Muslim practices which have now become common are condemned as polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

 (shirk). Salafis believe, based on scriptural evidence, that widespread Muslim practices such as venerating the graves of Islamic prophets and saints are shirk. Salafis in general are opposed to both Sufi and Shia doctrines, which Salafis regard as having many aspects of shirk, bid‘ah and impermissible intercession
Tawassul is the Islamic understanding of intercession. It is a religious practice in which a Muslim seeks nearness to Allah. A rough translation would be: "To draw near to what one seeks after and to approach that which one desires." The exact definition and method of tawassul is a matter of...

 of religious figures.The Salafis state:

Prohibition of rhetoric and speculative theology

Salafis reject Islamic speculative theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 also known as kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

, which is the usage of discourse and debate in the development of the Islamic creed. They consider this process as a foreign import from Greek philosophy (such as Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

) and alien to the original practice of Islam. They note that the Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

, Al-Dhahabi (d. 748H / 1348) said:

Abstaining from "innovative" beliefs and practices

Salafis maintain that bid‘ah or innovation in the Islamic creed or actions of worship are totally without sanction, and, based on scriptural evidence, that they are unacceptable to God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

. Muslims in one part of the world who engage in bid‘ahs, such as circumambulating around shrines of saints, celebrating Muhammad's birthday
Mawlid or sometimes ميلاد , mīlād is a term used to refer to the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal,...

, or commemorating the day of the death of a saint ("urs
Urs is the death anniversary of a Sufi saint in South Asia, usually held at the saint's dargah . South Asian Sufis being mainly Chishtiyya, refer to their saints as lovers and God as beloved...

"), may not receive their newly invented practice with much welcome in other areas of the Islamic world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 where the practice is totally foreign.

Salafis assert further that actions stemming from a practice rooted in bid‘ah will not result in any reward in spite of a worshipper's good intentions and are dangerous to the Islamic creed since they replace or corrupt the religious practices ("Sunnah") of Muhammad. Salafis assert that if such practices increase a devotee's faith, Muhammad would have known about it and assuredly directed Muslims to do such acts since he was the best worshipper amongst mankind and most dutiful. In showing textual support for the impermissibility of bid‘ah or innovation in the Islamic creed, Salafis frequently cite a Sunni tradition attributed to Muhammad which states: "Every innovation is misguidance and going astray."

They also point out that Muhammad himself warned against the people of innovation, from befriending, supporting, or taking from them, as he stated:
Salafis often quote many companions of Muhammad, including a hadith in which `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas
`Abd Allah ibn `Abbas
Abd Allah ibn Abbas was a paternal cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is revered by Muslims for his knowledge and was an expert in Tafsir , as well as an authority on the Islamic Sunnah.-Family:...


and, a tradition in which `Abd Allah ibn `Umar states:
They also note that earlier generations of Muslims like Malik ibn Anas
Malik ibn Anas
Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik ibn Abī 'Āmir al-Asbahī is known as "Imam Malik," the "Sheikh of Islam", the "Proof of the Community," and "Imam of the Abode of Emigration." He was one of the most highly respected scholars of fiqh in Sunni Islam...

 conveyed similar sentiments:

Imam Malik then stressed:
Malik then concluded:
Likewise, Shaikh Saalih Aal ash-Shaikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs of Saudi Arabia, stated:


Whichever definition is used, Salafis idealize an uncorrupted, pure Islamic religious community. They believe that Islam's decline after the early generations is the result of religious innovations (bid‘ah) and an abandoning of pure Islamic teachings; that an Islamic revival will only result through the emulation of the three early generations of Muslims and the purging of foreign influences from the religion.

Salafis, similar to adherents of most other Islamic denominations, place great emphasis on ritual not only in prayer but in every activity in daily life — many are careful to always use three fingers when eating, drink water in three pauses with the right hand while sitting, make sure their galabea
The Jellabiya or Jelabiya in Egypt, "Jelebeeya" in Ethiopia and "Jehllubeeya" in Eritrea) is a traditional Egyptian garment native to the Egypt and the Sudan Nile valley....

 or other garment worn by them does not extend below the ankle — so as to follow the example of Muhammad and his companions as they endeavor to make religion part of every activity in life.

On following a madh'hab

They believe that following only the Qur'an and the Hadith and the Ijma
Ijmāʿ is an Arabic term referring to the consensus of the Muslim community. Various schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence may define this consensus as that of the first generation of Muslims only; the consensus of the first three generations of Muslims; the consensus of the jurists...

 (consensus) of the Ulama
-In Islam:* Ulema, also transliterated "ulama", a community of legal scholars of Islam and its laws . See:**Nahdlatul Ulama **Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama **Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal**Jamiat ul-Ulama -Other:...

, are sufficient guidance for the believing Muslim.

As the Salafi da'wa is a methodology and not a madh'hab, Salafis can come from the Maliki
The ' madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia...

, the Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

, the Hanbali, or the Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 schools of law. Salafis accept teaching of all four school of law only if their rulings are supported by clear and authenticated evidences from the Qur'an and Sunnah, they are not divided on the question of adherence to the four recognized schools of legal interpretation (madh'habs). For example, Ibn Taymiyyah followed the Hanbali madhhab. Some of his students (such as Ibn Kathir and al-Dhahabi) followed the Shafi`i madhhab. Other students (such as Ibn Abi al-Izz) follow the Hanafi madhhab.

Salafis themselves base their jurisprudence directly on the Qur'an and Sunnah as applied and practiced by the first three generations of Muslims. Their interpretation is based on a strict form of Athari
Athari , or "textualism" is derived from the Arabic word athar, literally meaning "remnant", and also referring to "narrations". Their disciples are called the Atharis...


Modern use

In modern times the word has come to have two sometimes dissimilar definitions. The first, used by academics and historians, refers 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." The second, quite different use of the word favored by self-described contemporary salafis, defines a salafis as a Muslim who follows "literal, traditional ... injunctions of the sacred texts" rather than the "somewhat freewheeling interpretation" of earlier "salafis." These salafis look to Ibn Taymiyyah, not the 19th century figures of Muhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din, and Rashid Rida.

Current disagreements and division

A majority of Salafi scholars stand firmly against the present-day manifestations of jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

, particularly as it relates to terrorism and the killing of civilians and innocents. They hold their opinion as:
In recent years, Salafis have come to be associated with the jihad of Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 and related groups that advocate the killing of civilians, which are opposed by most other Muslim groups and governments, including the Saudi government. Debate continues today over the appropriate methods of reform, ranging from violent "Qutubi jihadism
Offensive jihad
Offensive Jihad is armed Jihad meant to expand the realm of Islam at the expense of the House of War . Although these world divisions was derived by jurists, they are not mentioned in the Qur'an and hadith....

" to lesser politicized proselytizing.

Despite some similarities, the different contemporary self-proclaimed Qutubi
Qutbism is a strain of Sunni Islamist ideology and activism, based on the thought and writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist and former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966. It has been described as advancing the ideology of jihadism, i.e...

 groups often strongly disapprove of each other and deny the others Islamic character.

Spread and effect

From intelligent academics and professionals to rootless immigrants in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Salafism is attractive because of its claim to authenticity and textual associations. For those living in the metropolises of the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, it offers an emotionally and theologically rich alternative to the slogans of Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 and a puritan alternative to the mystical Sufi tradition.

Salafism often appeals to younger Muslims as a way to differentiate themselves from the beliefs of parents and grandparents because it is seen as "pure", stripped of "the local, superstitious, and customary Muslim practices of their families' countries of origin". It often confers a sense of moral superiority
Moral superiority
Moral superiority is the belief or attitude that one's position and actions are justified by having higher moral values than one's political, religious or moral opponent; see "just war" concept....

. Salafism can be said to have a potent appeal because it underscores Islam's universality.

Salafism insists on the literal truth of Muslim scripture and what might be called a strict constructionist brand of sharia or religious law. Salafism may have more appeal than secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 by appropriating secularisms' traditional role of defending the socially and politically weak against the powerful.

The spread of Salafism has prompted political leaders in the Middle East to accommodate a greater role for religion in public policy.

Association with 'Wahhabism'

As the second definition has predominated, the terms "Wahhabism" – which also pays great respect to Ibn Taymiyyah – and "Salafism" are now often used interchangeably. Followers of Salafiyyah consider it wrong to be called "Wahhabis" due to the 16th Name of Allah, al-Wahhab (the Bestower) and to be called a "Wahhabi," they see it as being associated equal to Allah, which the Salafis strictly prohibit anything being associated with Allah. 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 ultra-conservative, 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.

Scholar 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 direct, more puritan reinterpretation.

Stéphane Lacroix, a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Sciences Po
Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris
The Institut d'études politiques de Paris , simply referred to as Sciences Po , is a public research and higher education institution in Paris, France, specialised in the social sciences. It has the status of grand établissement, which allows its admissions process to be highly selective...

 in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, 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."

But despite their beginnings "as two distinct movements", the migration of Muslim Brotherhood members from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Saudi King Faisal
Faisal of Saudi Arabia
Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud was King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. As king, he is credited with rescuing the country's finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform, while his main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamic Nationalism, anti-Communism, and pro-Palestinian...

's "embrace of Salafi pan-Islamism
Pan-Islamism is a political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic state — often a Caliphate. As a form of religious nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from other pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by excluding culture and ethnicity as primary...

 resulted in cross-pollination between Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab's teachings on tawhid, shirk and bid‘ah and Salafi interpretations of ahadith (the sayings of Muhammad).

Comparison with Islamism

Salafism differs from the earlier contemporary Islamic revival movements of the 1970s and 1980s commonly referred to as Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

, in that (at least many) Salafis reject not only Western
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 ideologies such as Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, but also common Western concepts like economics, constitutions, political parties and revolution.

Salafi Muslims often promote not engaging in Western activities like politics, "even by giving them an Islamic slant." Instead, it is thought that Muslims should stick to traditional activities, particularly Dawah. Salafis promote that the Sharia (Islamic law) takes precedence over civil or state law. Nevertheless, Salafis do not preach wilful 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 motor insurance. Here, a Salafi Muslim would purchase "third party, fire and theft" insurance in order to avoid going to jail, but he/she would purchase "fully comprehensive" insurance because commercial insurance is seen as gambling.


Salafism, or at least the so called "puritanical" forms of it, has been recently criticized by Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA School of Law
UCLA School of Law
The UCLA School of Law is the law school of the University of California, Los Angeles. It has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1950. It joined the Association of American Law Schools in 1952.- History :...

. El Fadl claims 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.

Some Salafi writers would allegedly claim, for example, that "any meritorious or worthwhile modern institutions were first invented and realized by Muslims." 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."

Egyptian scholar Tawfik Hamid
Tawfik Hamid
Tawfik Hamid is an author from Egypt who opposes Islamic fundamentalism.A self-described former member of the militant al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya Tawfik Hamid advocates a peaceful understanding of Islam that is compatible with universal human rights and intellectual freedom...

 says that Salafist Muslim fundamentalists
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

 believe that Saudi Arabia's petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift, and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by God. Thus this extreme brand of Sunni Islam that spread from the Saudi Arabia to the rest of the Islamic world is regarded not merely as one interpretation of the religion but the only genuine interpretation. The expansion of violent and regressive Islam, he continues, began in the late 1970s, and can be traced precisely to the growing financial clout of Saudi Arabia. He says "is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

 killed and Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 called pigs and monkeys.". Although he says this, the Holy Quran and authentic narrations of the Islamic Prophet forbid such things that Tawfik Hamid mentioned, such as violence and name-calling.

Salafism is intensely opposed by the Hui
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 Muslims in China
Islam in China
Throughout the history of Islam in China, Chinese Muslims have influenced the course of Chinese history. Chinese Muslims have been in China for the last 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society...

, by the Hanafi Sunni Gedimu and Sufi Khafiya
Ma Laichi
Ma Laichi , also known as Abu 'l-Futūh Ma Laichi, was a Sufi master, who brought the Khufiyya movement to China and created the Huasi menhuan - the earliest and most important Naqshbandi order in the history of Islam in China.-Afaq Khoja's blessing:Ma Laichi is a hybrid of Hui and Han Chinese...

 and Jahriyya
Jahriyya is a Sufi order in China that once existed in Persia and the Turkish World. Founded by Hadrat Abu Yaqub Yusuf Hamdani, it was brought to China in the 1760s by Ma Mingxin...

. So much so that even the Yihewani (Ikhwan) Chinese sect, which is fundamentalist and was founded by Ma Wanfu
Ma Wanfu
Ma Wanfu was a Dongxiang-Imam of the village Guoyuan in Hezhou...

 who was originally inspired by the Salafis, 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
Lanzhou is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. A prefecture-level city, it is a key regional transportation hub, allowing areas further west to maintain railroad connections to the eastern half of the country....

 and Linxia
Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture
Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture is in Western China's Gansu Province, south of the capital, Lanzhou. It is an autonomous prefecture for the Muslim Hui people, a large Chinese ethnic group. It also includes two autonomous counties for other Muslim groups, namely Dongxiang, Salar, and...

, and it is a completely separate group than other Muslim sects in China
Muslim groups in China
The vast majority of China's Muslims are Sunni Muslims, though members of other Muslim groups exist, particularly those of Sufi orders.-Hanafi Sunni Gedimu:...


Salafis have a reputation for radicalism among the Chinese Gedimu and Yihewani groups. The Sunni Muslim Hui avoid Salafis, even if they are family members, and they constantly disagree.

The amount of Salafis in China is so insignificant that they are not included on percentage lists of Muslim sects in China.

Persecution of Salafis

The Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 Sufi Muslim General Ma Bufang
Ma Bufang
Ma Bufang was a prominent Muslim Ma clique warlord in China during the Republic of China era, ruling the northwestern province of Qinghai. His rank was Lieutenant-general...

, who backed the Yihewani (Ikhwan) Muslims, persecuted the Salafis, forcing them into hiding. They were not allowed to move or worship openly. The Yihewani had become secular and Chinese nationalists, and they considered the Salafiyya to be "heterodox" (xie jiao), and people who followed foreigners' teachings (waidao). Only after the Communists
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 took over were the Salafis allowed to come out and worship openly again.

In contrast to his treatment of Salafis, General Ma allowed polytheists to openly worship, and Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 missionaries to station themselves in Qinghai
Qinghai ; Oirat Mongolian: ; ; Salar:) is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake...

. General Ma and other high ranking Generals even attended the Kokonuur Lake
Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake , is a saline lake situated in the province of Qinghai, and is the largest lake in China. The names Qinghai and Kokonor both mean "Blue/Teal Sea/Lake" in Chinese and Mongolian. It is located about west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m above sea level in a depression...

 Ceremony where the Chinese "God of the Lake' was worshipped, and during the ritual, the Chinese national anthem
Historical Chinese anthems
Historical Chinese anthems comprise a number of Chinese official and unofficial national anthems composed during the early 20th century. Today, there are only two remaining:- "Tune of Li Zhongtang" :Quasi-official...

 was sung, all participants bowed to a portrait of Kuomintang party founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

, and the God of the Lake was also bowed to, and offerings were given to him by the participants. Ma Bufang invited some Kazakh
The Kazakhs are a Turkic people of the northern parts of Central Asia ....

 Muslims to attend the ceremony honoring her god. Ma Bufang received audiences of Christian missionaries, who sometimes gave him the Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

. His son Ma Jiyuan received a silver cup from Christian missionaries.

Salafist jihadism

See main article Salafist jihadism

Salafist jihadism (also Salafi jihadism) is a school of thought of Salafi Muslims who support jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

. The term was coined by scholar Gilles Kepel
Gilles Kepel
Gilles Kepel is a French political scientist, specialist of the Islam and contemporary Arab world. He is Professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and member of the Institut Universitaire de France....

 to describe Salafi 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 1 percent of the world's 1.9 billion Muslims (c. 10 million).

Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

  • Malik ibn Anas
    Malik ibn Anas
    Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik ibn Abī 'Āmir al-Asbahī is known as "Imam Malik," the "Sheikh of Islam", the "Proof of the Community," and "Imam of the Abode of Emigration." He was one of the most highly respected scholars of fiqh in Sunni Islam...

  • Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

  • Abū Ḥanīfa
  • Sufyan al-Thawri
  • Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i
    Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i
    Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shafiʿī was a Muslim jurist, who lived from 767 CE to 820 CE. He was active in juridical matters and his teaching eventually led to the Shafi'i school of fiqh named after him. Hence he is often called Imam al-Shafi'i...

  • Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri
  • Ibn Majah
  • Abu Dawood

  • Tirmidhi
  • al-Nasa'i
    Al-Nasā'ī , full name Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī, was a noted collector of hadith , and wrote one of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims, Sunan al-Sughra, or "Al-Mujtaba", which he selected from his "As-Sunan al-Kubra"...

  • Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Barbahari
  • Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari
    Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari
    Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari was a prominent and influential Sunni scholar and exegete of the Qur'an from Persia...

  • Ibn Battah
    Ibn battah
    The Imaam Abu Abdullah `Ubaidullah bin Muhammad bin Battah al-`Ukbari al-Hanbali [known as Ibn Battah] was the Hadeeth Master , the Hanbali Legal Jurist , and an ascetic...

  • Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi
    Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi
    Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Thabit ibn Ahmad ibn Mahdi al-Shafi`i, commonly known as al-Khatib al-Baghdadi or the lecturer from Baghdad , was a Sunni Muslim scholar and historian.-Early life:...

  • Abul-Hasan Ali ibn Umar ad-Daraqutni
  • Ibn Rajab
    Ibn Rajab
    Zain ad-Din, Abu al-Faraj, 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Abi al-Barakat Mas'ud as-Sulami, al-Baghdadi, al-Hanbali, also known as Ibn Rajab, which was a nickname he inherited from his grandfather who was born the month of Rajab, was a Muslim...

Greater Syria
Greater Syria
Greater Syria , also known simply as Syria, is a term that denotes a region in the Near East bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea or the Levant....

  • Abd al-Rahman al-Awza'i
  • Ibn Qudamah
    Ibn Qudamah
    Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi was a noted Islamic scholar of the Hanbali madhhab, author of many treatises of Hanbali jurisprudence and doctrine, including al-Mughni as well as Tahrim an-Nazar Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (Arabic...

  • Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi
  • Ibn Taymiyyah
  • Al-Dhahabi
    Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Uthman ibn Qaymaz ibn `Abd Allah, Shams al-Din Abu `Abd Allah al-Turkmani al-Diyarbakri al-Fariqi al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi al-Shafi`i , known as Al-Dhahabi , a Shafi'i Muhaddith and historian of Islam.-Biography:...

  • Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya
  • Ibn Kathir
    Ibn Kathir
    Ismail ibn Kathir was a Muslim muhaddith, Faqih, historian, and commentator.-Biography:His full name was Abu Al-Fida, 'Imad Ad-Din, Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir, Al-Qurashi, Al-Busrawi...

  • Ibn Abi al-Izz
  • Ibn al-Salah
    Ibn al-Salah
    Abū `Amr `Uthmān ibn `Abd al-Raḥmān Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Kurdī al-Shahrazūrī , commonly known as Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, was a Shafi'i hadith specialist and the author of the seminal Introduction to the Science of Hadith...

Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

  • Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr
    Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr
    Yusuf ibn Abdallah ibn Mohammed ibn Abd al-Barr, Abu Umar al-Namari al-Andalusi al-Qurtubi al-Maliki, commonly known as Ibn Abd-al-Barr was a famous Sunni Maliki Islamic Scholar...

  • Al-Qurtubi
    Imam Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi or Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abu Bakr al-Ansari al-Qurtubi was a famous mufassir, muhaddith and faqih scholar from Cordoba of maliki origin. He is most famous for his commentary of the Quran, Tafsir al-Qurtubi....

  • Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi
  • Ibn Hazm
    Ibn Hazm
    Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm ) was an Andalusian philosopher, litterateur, psychologist, historian, jurist and theologian born in Córdoba, present-day Spain...

Saudi Arabia

  • Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa'di
    Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa'di
    Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa'di at-Tamimi was a prominent Islamic scholar, jurist, exegete, and Arabic grammarian with a great interest in poetry who contributed many works on a variety of subjects.-Early life:...

  • ‘Abdullaah bin Muhammad Al-Qar’aawee
    ‘Abdullaah bin Muhammad Al-Qar’aawee
    Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Muhammad ibn Hamad ibn Muhammad al-Qar’aawee an-Najdee from the district of Qaseem in Najd. He played a great role in Calling to Allaah and spreading the authentic creed, particularly in the southern regions of Saudi Arabia, where this Da’wah thrived and prospered.-Early...

  • Haafidh ibn Ahmed 'Alee al-Hakamee
    Haafidh ibn Ahmed 'Alee al-Hakamee
    Shaykh Haafidh ibn Ahmad ibn 'Alee al-Hakamee was one of the notable scholars from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and one of the most famous of those who lived in the 14th century to come from the southern region of the country Shaykh Haafidh ibn Ahmad ibn 'Alee al-Hakamee (1342-1377 AH /...

  • Ali Jaber
    Ali Jaber
    Sheikh Ali Jaber, ', born Ali ibn Abdullah ibn Ali Jabber ', was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1951 or 1952...

  • Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz
  • Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen
    Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen
    Sheikh Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen at-Tamimi an-Najdi was one of the most prominent Sunni Islamic scholars of the latter half of the twentieth century...

  • Saleh Al-Fawzan
    Saleh Al-Fawzan
    Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, born 1933, is a well known scholar in Saudi Arabia and prolific author.His surname is also rendered Fozan or Fawzaan.He is also known as Sheikh/Shaykh Dr...

  • Rabee Al-Madkhali
    Rabee Al-Madkhali
    Rabee' Ibn Haadee 'Umayr al-Madkhalee is a university professor, a well-known Muslim scholar, and a proponent of Salafi.-Early life:...

  • Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh
    Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh
    Abd al-'Aziz ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Lateef Aal ash-Shaikh is a Muslim scholar and the current Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia.-Biography:...

  • Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais
    Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais
    Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz as-Sudais is the imam of the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the "Islamic Personality Of the Year" 2005. In some of his sermons, al-Sudais has vilified non-Muslims and has called for the annihilation of Jews.-Life:Al-Sudais comes from the Anza clan...

  • Saud Al-Shuraim
    Saud Al-Shuraim
    Abu Ibrahim Sa'ud ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ash-Shuraim An-Najdi Ph.d is one of the Imams of the Grand Mosque in Makkah. His family is from the Haraqees of the Banu Zayd tribe of Saudi Arabia....

  • Salih Al-Talib
    Salih Al-Talib
    Saleh bin Muhammed bin Ibrahim Al-Talib is a judge of the high court in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He became an Imam in the year 1423 AH . Saleh is a sheikh from the Tayy tribe.- Early life and ancestry:...

  • Usaama bin Abdullah al Khayyat
    Usaama bin Abdullah al Khayyat
    Usaama bin Abdullah al Khayyat, whose full name is Usaamah Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulghani bin muhammad bin Abdel Ghani bin Ibrahim Khayyaat, was born in Mecca in 1951 and memorized the Qur’an at the hands of his father. He took knowledge from many of the scholars of hadith and received from...

  • Salih bin Abdullah al Humaid
    Salih bin Abdullah al Humaid
    Dr. Salih Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Humaid is the President of Saudi Majlis al Shura .- References :...


  • Abdur-Rahman al-Mu'allimee al-Yamani
    Abdur-Rahman al-Mu'allimee al-Yamani
    Abu `Abdillah `Abd al-Rahman ibn Yahya ibn `Ali al-Mu`allimee was a recent Sunni Islamic scholar who specialized in hadith and biographical evaluation...

  • Mohammed Al-Imam
  • Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab Al-Wasabi

  • Muqbil bin Haadi al-Waadi'ee
    Muqbil bin Haadi al-Waadi'ee
    -Full name:His full name is Muqbil bin Haadee bin Muqbil bin Qaa’idah al-Hamdaanee al-Waadi’ee al-Khallaalee-Biography:Muqbil was born in Waadi'ah, to the east of Sa'adah near the valley of Dammaj, Yemen, from the tribe of Aali Raashid.-Education:...

  • Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajooree
  • Abuamr Al-Hajooree
  • Abdullah bin Uthmaan Al-Thamari


  • Abdul Hakim bin Amir Abdat
  • Yazid bin Abdul Qodir Jawas
  • Muhammad Umar Assewed
  • Fariq Gazim Anus
  • Zainal Abidin bin Syamsuddin
  • Aunurrafiq Ghufron


  • Shaykh Aneeshur Rahman Umeri Madani
  • Shaykh Waseeullah Abbas al hindi al makki
  • RK Noor Madani
  • Shaykh SafiyuRahman Mubarakpoori
  • Zakir Naik
    Zakir Naik
    Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is an Indian public speaker on the subject of Islam and comparative religion. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation , a non-profit organization that owns the Peace TV channel based in Dubai, UAE. He is sometimes referred to as a televangelist...

  • MM Akbar
  • Mujahid Balussery
  • Adv Mayinkutty Methar

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