The Common Doctrines And Methods Of Salafism Theology Religion Essay

essay B
  • Words: 7578
  • Category: Database

  • Pages: 28

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

Unlike the bulk of modern-day Islamic motions, Salafism is non organized within a peculiar Muslim organisation as it does non run under the leading of a peculiar figure in a extremely structured organisation. The protagonists of Salafism are non united by an organisational construction or directed by a peculiar leader or ideologist. Rather, they are united and consolidated by the shared Salafi political orientation or manhaj al-salaf.

As a modern-day evangelist motion, Salafism based its political orientation on worlds of the Muslim universe in the modern epoch. The Salafi political orientation, so, should be placed in the context of the Salafi advocates ‘ responses to socio-religious jobs confronting the modern-day Muslim Ummah. Diagnosing these jobs, the Salafis found that Muslims had non understood and implemented the true Islam, diverting from the way of original instructions of the Qur’an and the Prophet Sunnah as seen in their pattern of tie ining the one God with others ( shirk ) and fear of the saints and their grave. In their position, Muslims had lost the true cognition of Islam and so that they were considered to hold been guilty of disregarding and fouling the pure Islam.

In this diagnostic frame, the Salafis discovered that the socio-religious jobs experienced by the Muslim universe resulted from a scope of factors, which could be classified into internal factors and external 1s. The internal factors had to make with what they believed as un-Islamic ways of life long adopted by the Muslim Ummah. These include the acute job of condemnable spiritual invention ( bid’ah ) , unsighted imitation of the long constituted schools of idea ( taqlid ) , and the engagement of human desire and mind in apprehension and practising spiritual texts. In add-on, the Salafis believe that the external factors had contributed to the Muslims ‘ socio-religious jobs. These include the influence of the modern Western civilisation and its by-products such as rationalism, secularism, feminism, and democracy.

In response, the Salafis called for return to the reliable Islam as the lone solution to the jobs of modern-day Muslims. In this predictive frame, they believed that work outing these jobs needfully requires the undertaking of re-Islamizing Muslims, conveying back Muslims to the existent Islam as understood by the Prophet and the early coevalss of Muslims ( the Salaf ) .

Purification and Education ( Tashfiyyah wal-tarbiyyah )

To accomplish this, the Salafis developed a program of actions that involves two schemes: tashfiyyah and tarbiyyah ( Noorhaidi, 2005 ) . First, tashfiyyah is purification of Islam and Muslims from any foreign elements, either thoughts or patterns, which have polluted the pureness of Islam and the Muslims ‘ behaviour. In making so, the Salafis reject spiritual inventions ( bid’ah ) , human mind, and foreign thoughts, and, at the same clip, name for a direct audience, with a literalist reading, to the Quran and the Sunnah and rigorous application of their written instructions in the present clip. This scheme needfully requires the Salafis to disregard the rational heritage of Islamic schools of idea ( madhhab ; plural: madhahib ) , at least the schools of those whom they believe have deviated from the method of justly guided ascendants ( manhaj al-salaf al-shalih ) . In the position of the Salafis, it is merely through tashfiyyah that the reliable and original Islam is revealed to the Muslims in the modern period.

The call for return to spiritual texts as an reply to jobs confronting the Muslims is in fact non alone to Salafism. This solution was besides shared by other Islamic evangelist motions including the Islamic modernism of al-Afghani and ‘Abduh. All these motions turn to religious texts for happening replies to the jobs confronting the Muslim universe. But, what well distinguishes the Salafi solution from the others lies in its schemes of coming back to the spiritual texts. In their effort to happen replies to the worlds of modernness confronting the Muslim universe, the Salafis employ literalist attack to the Bible in that they do non rethink the texts by seting them in the context where worlds might determine the procedure of text formation. In other words, the advocates of Salafism tend to be scripturalist-cum-literalists in their effort to happen replies to worlds of modernness from spiritual texts.

Second, the following measure to re-Islamize the Muslim societies is tarbiyyah, educating Muslims the true instructions of Islam based on the method of the righteous ascendants ( al-salaf al-shalih ) . For the Salafis, the salaf is as a perfect theoretical account for understanding and practising Islam in modern period based on their apprehension of a Hadith which reported that Prophet Muhammad said that the best Moslem coevalss were a coevals of his clip ( shahabah [ his Companions ] ) , so a coevals after them ( tabi’in [ followings of his Companions ) , and so a coevals after ( atba’u al-tabi’in [ followings of the followings ] ) .[ 1 ]The centrality of the salaf construct is obvious within the Salafi political orientation so that one ‘s committedness to the reliable Islam is determined by to what degree he or she follows and deviates from the Salaf method.

The Importance of Da’wah

To carry through this Godhead undertaking of educating Muslims the pure Islam, the Salafis are committed to make da’wah, a call or invitation to Islam harmonizing to the Salafi methods. In general, the Salafi dawah involves activities aimed at propagating the Salafi thoughts among Muslims. These include dawrah, an intensive preparation programme on a peculiar subject with a Salafi spiritual instructor or bookman ; halaqah, a spiritual assemblage where a little group of attenders sit in circle and learn spiritual texts ; and mass spiritual assemblage, which is sometimes unfastened to public other than the Salafis to pull new followings. The Salafi dawah is besides manifested in the constitution of the Salafi publication houses by which the Salafis publish books and diaries for wider audiences. To back up their dawah, the Salafis besides set up foundations and spiritual acquisition Centres, which by and large receive fiscal support from the Middle Eastern givers. In add-on to traditional media of extension, the Salafis employ as media of their dawah the modern information and communicating engineerings such as wireless and the cyberspace, whose usage by the Salafis is the topic of this survey.

As a scheme for re-Islamizing Muslims, the Salafi dawah is focused on distributing the Salafi common credo, which known as ‘aqidat al-salaf ( the Salafi credo ) . This credo addresses basic philosophies and cardinal beliefs shared by the Salafis. It besides provides guiding rules and principles for modulating codification of behavior and building spiritual opinions of modern-day issues. The Salafi credo is formulated in the undermentioned philosophies.

The Centrality of Tawhid

The philosophy of tawhid ( the unity of God ) lies at the really nucleus of the Salafi political orientation ( Noorhaidi, 2005 ; Wiktorowicz, 2006 ; Iqbal, 2010 ) . This is a cardinal belief which Muslims are required to accept in order to be true Muslims. Harmonizing to the Salafis, the Islamic construct of tawhid consists of three constituents. First, tawhid al-uluhiyyah ( the unity of Lordship ) ; it is a belief that Allah is the lone Godhead of all things and He is the 1 who has sovereignty over universe. In Islam, this cardinal belief is reflected in the shahadah ( testimony of religion ) , which says “ Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah Washington ashahadu anna Muhammad rasulullah ” , intending “ I testify that there is no God except Allah and Muhammad is His courier ” .

Second, tawhid al-‘ubudiyyah ( the unity of worship ) ; It is a belief that Allah entirely has the right to be worshipped. This involves a entire entry to Allah in all facets of human life. For the Salafis, to be a true retainer of Allah, a Muslim must individual Him out in all Acts of the Apostless of worship and function Him with complete trueness.

Third, tawhid al-asma` wa al-shifat ( the unity of Godhead names and properties ) ; this is a belief that God has peculiar features and powers, which are alone and non shared with worlds and His other creative activities. In the positions of the Salafis, a true Muslim must accept that Allah has alone names and attributes every bit mentioned in the Qur’an and the reliable Sunnah in their actual significances without turning to the human logic to construe them as metaphors or comparing them to the properties of His creative activities.

The philosophy of tawhid philosophy occupies a cardinal place within the Salafi political orientation. It is non merely as a cardinal belief, the tawhid is besides the ultimate aim which single Muslims and societies are obliged to recognize in evey facets of their lives. Failure to purely adhere to this philosophy necessitates a Muslim to fall into shirk, tie ining creative activities with the one God, and bid’ah ( out spiritual inventions ) , both of which are considered great wickednesss that pollute the pureness of tawhid.

However, the philosophy of tawhidi is non alone to the Salafi motion. In fact, other Islamic motions, such as Wahhabism, Ihkwan al-Muslimin and Jamaat-i-Islam, even mainstream Muslims portion the tawhid as their cardinal belief. Yet, the Salafis differ from these motions and mainstream Muslims in that they use a actual attack the spiritual texts in their reading and preparation of the tawhid. It is at this point reject the construct of tawhid hakimiyyah ( the unity of sovereignty ) , which was formulated by Abul A’la al-Maududi ( 1903-1979 ) and Sayyid Quthb ( 1906-1966 ) , the ideologists of Jamaati Islami and Ikhwan al-Muslimin severally, as the 4th constituent of the tawhid. As will be explained in subsequently, the Salafi rejection of tawhid al-hakimiyyah was non merely based on its deficiency of actual footing in the Quran and the Sunnah, but besides was incited by their strong belief that the construct has political deductions that can damage the pureness of the tawhid and consequence in political rebellions against the swayers.

The Salafis have made every attempt to protect tawhid and what they believe the original instructions of Islam from any foreign elements that contaminate their pureness and originality. In making so, they develop philosophies aimed at sublimating and protecting Islam and Muslims from un-Islamic elements, ideas and patterns. This is reflected in the undermentioned subsequent constructs they formulated for this intent.

The Sunnah

Like mainstream Muslim groups, the Salafis believe in the centrality of the Sunnah second after the Qur’an. Pulling on classical ulum al-hadith ( scientific discipline of the Hadith ) , the Salafis specify the Sunnah as the Prophet Muhammad ‘s statements ( qawl ) , actions ( fi’l ) and silent blessing ( taqrir ) , which have been collected in the reliable Hadith aggregations. As ‘Abd Allah ibn Baz asserts, the Sunnah is “ whatever is genuinely narrated from Allah ‘s courier ” ( Cited in Duderija, 2011:58 ) .

Yet, the Sunnah acquires a really particular place within the Salafi political orientation. The advocates of Salafism believe that the historical bequest of the Prophet Muhammad and righty guided early Muslim coevalss ( al-salaf al-shalih ) in footings of their ways of apprehension and implementing the Quran is normative, inactive and universalistic in nature ( Duderija, 2011 ) . It is jussive moods, for the Salafis, to accept a Hadith ( a study of the Prophet ‘s expressions and behaviors ) considered sound and valid ( shahih ) , even a individual Hadith, if it is reported by one of the Prophet ‘s comrades whose credibleness believed unquestionable. Hence, the thought of knocking the credibleness of these “ righteous sires ” and critical or contextual analysis of the content of their studies is anathema to the Salafi construct of Sunnah.

The Danger of bid’ah

The Salafis ‘ construct of the Sunnah is instantly followed by their perceptual experience of bid’ah. Harmonizing to Salafis, whatever is non written, prescribed or has no case in point found in legitimate spiritual texts is considered a out dissident invention. Hence, they conceive bid’ah as opposite word to Sunnah. They base this construct on a Hadith which reported that the Prophet Muhammad warned Muslims of the freshly invented affairs because they are bid’ah and every bid’ah is misguidance, and every misguidance leads to the Hell. So, with regard to methodological analysis, the Salafis respect Muslims who do non follow the way of Ahl al-Hadith as guilty of bid’ah. Due to this strong belief, the Salafis accuse Muslim groups such as Sufis, Syi’ah ( Shiites ) , Ahl al-Kalam, and jurisprudence and theological schools of idea of being the sacredly prohibited pioneers. Ibn Amir al-Ruhaylee, a Salafi professor at Islamic University of Madinah and lector at the Prophet ‘s Grand Mosque in Madinah believes that Muslims who do non follow the way of the ulema of Ahl al-Sunnah belong to the people of bid’ah ( ahl al-bid’ah ) as they have violated the true way of Sunnah ( Duderija, 2011:60 ) .

Actually, the thought of bid’ah is non alone to Salafism. It has been the topic of treatment every bit good as the beginning of division among Muslim bookmans from different schools of ideas ( madhhab ) . But, contrary to the Salafi construct, these bookmans have more nuanced definition of bid’ah. As Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani provinces:

The root significance of invention [ bid’ah ] is what is produced without case in point. It is applied in the jurisprudence in resistance to the Sunna and is hence blamable. Strictly talking, if it is portion of what is classified as applaudable by the jurisprudence so it is a good invention ( hasanah ) , while if it is portion of what is classified as blameworthy by the jurisprudence so it is blamable ( mustaqbaha ) , otherwise it falls in the class of what is permitted indifferently ( mubah ) . It can be divided into the known five classs ( cited in Duderija 2011:60 ) .

Al-Wala` wal Bara`

Another chief Salafi philosophy is al-wala` wal-bara` ( confederation and disassociation ) .The advocates of Salafism believe that a Muslim is obliged to construct confederation, support and love for Islam and fellow Muslims ( al-wala ) as an look and manifestation of his or her committedness to Islam. At the same clip, a Muslim must denounce and dissociate him or herself from nonbelievers and those regarded as the enemies of Islam and Muslims ( al-bara` ) .

The construct of al-wala wal bara constitutes a boundary scene aimed at making a distinct differentiation between Muslims and non-Muslims or enemies of Muslims with regard to every facet of their lives. By dissociating themselves from non-believers and maintaining rigorous confederation with fellow Muslims, the Salafis effort to protect Islam and Muslims from un-Islamic elements that are possible to pollute their pureness. Furthermore, the Salafis cut down al-wala` wal-bara` to the confederations among the Salafi advocates and Salafi disassociation from those regarded as non-Salafis or non existent Salafis ( Iqbal, 2010 ) .

In pattern, the philosophy of al-wala` wal-bara` is manifested in the Salafis ‘ pick to populate in a tightly knit community, where they are secluded from other members of society. Through this privacy, the Salafis believe they are protecting themselves from un-Islamic behaviors and ideas and beef uping their communal coherence. Yet, their comparatively closed system of community differs from the one practiced by Islamic political motions such as Ikhwan al-Muslimin and Hizb al-Tahrir. On one manus, the Salafis ‘ secluded community is built as an effort to protect the pureness Islam and themselves from un-Islamic elements and condemnable inventions that wildly spread outside their community. In the latter system, on the other manus, the committed advocates and followings are required to populate in a highly-structured cells built as a footing community for the Islamic province they aspire for ( Noorhaidi, 2005 in Iqbal, 2010 ) .


To protect the pureness of Islam, the Salafis chorus from any political inclination and activities. For them, educating Muslims the true Islamic instructions through dawah is privileged over political activities including those aimed at set uping an Islamic province. This apoliticism is seen in the Salafis ‘ rejection of what they call hizbiyyah ( partiality ) , which they believe promoted by Islamic motions such as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Hizb al-Tahrir. In the Salafi apprehension, hizbiyyah leads Muslims to prioritise political relations and political involvements over the call for the pure Islam and the duty of purification of Islam and Muslims from bastard spiritual inventions. Alternatively of naming for the true Islam, political docket as pursued by the above-named motions besides have call Muslims for fanatism to their political groups and leaders. By making this, the Salafis emphasize that they are the lone Islamic group that is genuinely committed to the chief mission of Islam as practiced by the Prophet and the salaf ( Noorhaidi, 2005 in Iqbal 2008 ) .

Furthermore, the Salafis ‘ apoliticism is expressed in their refusal to admit the alleged tawhid al-hakimiyyah ( the unity of sovereignty ) as the 4th component of the philosophy of tawhid. It is a philosophy, which was formulated by ideologists of Islam political relations such as Abul ‘Ala al-Mawdudi of Jamaat Islami and Sayyid Qutb of Ikhwan al-Muslimin, that administration and sovereignty merely belong to the 1 Allah as the lone Godhead, upholder and swayer of the existence ( Noorhaidi, 2005 in Iqbal, 2008 ) . This philosophy has deductions that since Allah is the lone 1 who has authorization to modulate the existence and human, those Muslims and Muslims swayers who do non implement the Torahs of God are considered in resistance against His authorization and sovereignty and can be declared as disbelievers ( takfir ) ( Iqbal, 2008 ) .

The Salafi rejection of the tawhid al-hakimiyyah is non merely based on their history that it has no written precedency in the Quran and the Sunnah so that it is a out invention, but besides on their statement that political activities can do pandemonium, struggles and atomizations within the Muslim universe. More significantly, they assert that the philosophy of tawhid al-hakimiyyah can motivate a radical spirit that encourages Muslims to arise against their swayer. Any effort to prehend power form the opinion authoritiess, for the Salafis, will stop up merely in bloodshed and socio-political upset as seen in the instance of the blackwash of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the early 1980s by a jihadi group and the FIS ( Islamic Salvation Front ) triumph in Algeria in the early 1990s ( Noorhaidi,2005 in Iqbal, 2008 ) .

The Salafis perceive that alternatively of conveying Muslims closer to the reliable Islam as practiced by the righteous Salaf, the battle in political activities has caused them acquire closer to un-Islamic elements by following Western political systems of democracy, elections and political party as vehicle to prehend power and set up an Muslim province. Therefore, the Salafis believe that the political-oriented Islamic motions really politicise Islam for their personal or group ‘s involvements. They are besides non enthusiastic with the thought of the constitution of Islamic province or Caliphate advocated by these motions. An Muslim province, in their position, is non ultimate end of Islam ; instead, it is a promise and wages which Allah will give to Muslims who protect the pureness of Islam and implement the original instructions of the Quran and the Sunnah ( Noorhaidi, 2005 in Iqbal, 2008 ) .

The Quran and Sunnah are Self-explanatory

Salafi movement is a text-based spiritual motion as it finds confident security in spiritual texts. Methodologically, the advocates of Salafism project their spiritual and non-religious issues including their social-political defeats and insecurities into spiritual texts ( Qur’an and the Sunnah ) .

In their effort to protect the pureness of the original beginnings of Islam, the Salafis reject the application of human mind and logic to the denudation of the significances of the Quran and the Sunnah. In the Salafi positions, human mind or ‘rationalism ‘ is considered as the most unsafe challenge to the pureness of Islam. The human mind, for the Salafis, is debatable when used to uncover the significances of the spiritual texts. In one manus, it is a limited human capableness so that it lacks power to bring out the significances of the limitless God ‘s words. On the other manus, God ‘s original texts, the Quran and the Hadith, are self-explanatory ; they are revealed through clear Arabic to mankind so that the huge bulk of the spiritual opinions can be easy derived. As a consequence, there is no demand to affect the human mind and logic in the procedure of understanding the spiritual texts.

From the position of this Salafi hermeneutics, if a Muslim or a Muslim bookman has necessary cognition and preparation in Islamic scientific discipline, he or she will hold ability to understand the significances of the Quran and Sunnah without concluding and turning to his or her ain mind for aid. The bookmans, so, virtually have limited function ; they are “ reduced to the archeology of godly texts: their map is merely to unearth the truth that lies someplace in the Qur’an and Sunna ” ( Wiktorowicz, 2006:210 ) .

As a consequence, there is no what alleged reading because there is merely individual significance and truth as revealed by the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad and the Salaf. The issue of interpretative differences are anathema to the Salafi method of spiritual text reading. At this point, for the Salafis, using human mind means opening the manner to human desire to falsify the significances and pureness of the Quran and the Sunnah. The rational attacks to the reading of these Islamic beginnings will take to human desire, which in bend will impede the disclosure of spiritual truth to human ( Wiktorowicz, 2006 ) .

Alternatively of esteeming the unity of sanctum spiritual text, in fact, Salafism abuses the spiritual texts as a peculiar group of readers exploit the spiritual texts in line with reactionist power kineticss in society ( Fadl, 2003 ) . The Salafi method of reading is despotic and autocratic in nature. Harmonizing to this attack, world is polarized into two waies: the way of God on one manus, and the way of Satan on the other manus. Worlds are either in the way of God or the way of Satan. Those who follow the way of God are the justly guided and those who deny it are the ill-conceived.

The True Knowledge ( ‘ilm )

Consequently, the centrality of spiritual texts and the philistine orientation have a great impact on the Salafi epistemology. Harmonizing to the Salafis, true cognition ( ‘ilm ) is merely acquired through apprehension of the revealed texts, the Quran and Sunnah. The lone legitimate beginning of cognition is written texts. Knowledge is what is supported with grounds ( dalil ) derived from the Quran and Sunnah. Supporting grounds comes from other than spiritual texts including personal logical thinking and bad thoughts such as doctrine and societal scientific disciplines can non convey truth and certainty. With this epistemology, the Salafis have restricted the Islamic construct of ‘ilm to merely whatever is written in the Quran and the Hadith aggregations and, later, have marginalized, if non rejected, any beginnings come from the procedure of human rational logical thinking.

Muhammad ibn Shalih al-Uthaymin, for illustration, argues that legitimate spiritual cognition should be sourced from the Qur’an, the pre-modern scientific disciplines of the Quranic reading, the reliable Hadith, and ijma ‘ ( consensus ) of the ulema who have remained faithful to the manner of pre-modern ahl al-hadith. Even some Salafi governments such as Nashir al-Din al-Albani restricts the legitimate cognition to the Quran and Hadith and argues for the replacing of ground in the legal procedure with the Hadith. As a effect, the Salafis reject the legitimacy of the rational bequest of schools of idea ( madhhab ; plural: madhahib ) with regard to Islamic law and divinity. Mentioning to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Albani argues that the “ the sentiments of the major madhhab bookmans were merely sentiments and that the grounds was merely found in the narrative ( athar/hadith ) ” ( Duderija, 2011:56 ) .

Duderija ( 2011 ) examines this Salafi methodological analysis of cognition in item. First, the Salafi Hagiographas are a aggregation of the Quranic poetries and pieces of Hadith, which are atomistically and eclectically cited under a peculiar subject. The authors largely provide no analysis or history of historical contexts in respect to texts being dealt with. This has resulted in the demand of no theory or attacks of reading, the 2nd nature of the Salafi Hagiographas. Third, when they need to back up their stance or explicate a peculiar poetry or Hadith, the Salafi authors merely refer to selected plants of spiritual bookmans considered as to hold remained faithful to the manner of the righteous ascendants ( al-manhaj al-salaf ) . These include spiritual bookmans of pre-modern period such as Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, and Muhammad ‘Abd al-Wahhab.

The Appeal and Transnationalization of Salafism

Despite its existent followings can non be accurately estimated, the Salafi motion is one of the fastest-growing modern-day Islamic motions, distributing virtually to the Muslim and non-Muslim parts. Its modern-day presence can be seen in assorted parts of the universe including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, and the North America. What makes Salafi movement appealing and multinational? The replies to this inquiry can be found in the features of the Salafi political orientation itself and socio-political conditions of modern-day Muslims. The nature of the Salafi reductionist position of Islamic heritage and their simplistic method of reading is felt appealing to Muslim multitudes. As Abou El Fadl argues, Salafism for ordinary Muslims “ connotes genuineness and legitimacy [ and ] as a term, it is exploitable by any motion that wants to claim that it is grounded in Islamic genuineness ” ( cited in Duderija, 2007 ) . This is echoed by recent surveies on the development of Salafism in the Western contexts ( e.g. Hamid, 2009 ; Adraoui, 2009 ) , which I believe can be used to explicate the Salafi spread in other states and part, including Indonesia.

The Attraction of Authentic, Simple and Absolute Islam

The entreaty of Salafism to Muslim multitudes lies in the claim that its instructions and rules are derived from the pure Islam and its call to return to the Quran and Sunnah in conformity with apprehension and pattern of salaf ( Hamid, 2009:389 ) . Salafism is peculiarly attractive to immature Muslims such as those in France as it embodies true Islam and represents the pristine signifier and undiluted pure Islam ( Adraoui, 2009:366,368 ) . For these immature Moslems, Salafism is the exclusive keeper of the true Islam, which promised to animate the idealized yesteryear of Islam in the modern period.

Furthermore, the attractive force of Salafism for modern-day Muslims lies in its promise of supplying spiritual certainty by trusting entirely on spiritual texts ( Haykel, 2009:36 ) . The simplistic and literalist method of reading farther makes Salafi movement appealing to Muslim multitudes.

Furthermore, the Muslim multitudes are attracted to the ideal beginnings of Islam that Salafism refers to. The Salafis virtually rely on spiritual texts, the Quran and the Sunnah, in constructing their instructions and statements, rejecting other beginnings derived from human rational exercisings. Salafi movement is, so, seen as a representation of true Islam or even it itself is Islam because it is based on pure beginnings of God ‘s disclosure. The literalist attack to these texts makes Salafism more appealing to Muslim multitudes because this represents simpleness, without acquiring into complicated arguments and treatments on spiritual texts in apprehension and practising Islamic instructions.

The fact that Salafism comes from Saudi Arabia besides contributes to the credence of Salafism among Muslim multitudes. The fact that it is the state of the birth of Islam, Saudi Arabia to the Muslim masses represents the beginning of Islam. Hence, Salafism, which is straight imported from Saudi Arabia, represents the original Islam and Saudi Arabia is the ideal province of Islam ( Adraoui 2009:369 ) .

In add-on, the failure of the governments of mainstream Islam to pass on and turn to the demand and development of younger coevalss has opened a manner of the exportation of Salafism beyond its state of birth, Saudi Arabia. The crisis of spiritual leading within modern-day Muslims helped speed up the popularity of Salafism among the Muslim young person. In British, for illustration, Muslim young person were tired of cultural Islam brought and lived by their parents as it was seen as unable to reply their modern-day socio-political jobs. Since the governments of cultural Islam were unable to pass on decently with them, these new coevalss of Muslims found a decultured Islam in Salafism and considered it a promising solution to their social-economic jobs as the consequence of life in the secularise and modern society ( Hamid, 2009:390 ) .

The rise of modern-day Salafism, as Hashem ( 2006 ) argues, constitutes a reaction to the considerable value depreciation experienced by schools of idea ( madhhab ) and ulama. It was believed that Islamic schools of idea and the ulema have been excessively legalistic or fiqh-oriented and they were seen incapable of supplying equal replies to modern jobs. In response to these jobs confronting the Muslim Ummah, the Salafis offered a reformatory solution in the signifier of call for return to the original instructions of Islam with strong literalist orientation to spiritual texts. They believe that spiritual texts provide distinct replies to the socio-political jobs and the challenges of modernness confronting the Muslim societies. With this strong belief, the modern-day Salafis effort “ to fit every way of world to a remarkable text, or to a aggregation of remarkable texts ” ( Hashem, 2006:27 ) .

New Identity and Pride

Furthermore, the nature of the Salafi lucidity and simpleness has power to alter individuality. The Salafi promises are peculiarly attractive because they provide members with new individuality with which they pride themselves and set boundary from the other. Salafism promotes new Muslim individuality, the “ holy individuality ” of the chosen group promised to the followings of Salafism. This is related to the promise of ageless redemption and label ascribed to the followings of the Salaf as the saves sect ( al-firqah al-najiyyah ) and the winning group ( al-thaifah al-manshurah ) ( Adraoui, 2009:369 ) .

For its followings, Salafism represents a spiritual domination with regard to claim as the keeper of the true Islam. By fall ining Salafism, the followings and recruits felt to get “ supra individuality ” , a divinely-endorsed individuality, of the keepers of the reliable Islam. This sense of new individuality, to some extent, has created sacredly justifiable grounds for the Salafi followings to be chesty, exclusivist and intolerant ( Hamid 2009:393 ) . Socially, Salafism provides new immature recruits societal security as it offers cohesive societal individuality ( Hamid, 2009:392 ) . Financially, as exemplified by the Salafis in France ( Adraoui, 2009 ) , Salafism opens chances for its followings to derive material wealth through concern webs among the Salafi members.

The thought of reliable Islam has led to a perceptual experience that Salafi followings have superior cognition of Islam over others ( Hamid, 2009:92 ) . Salafi movement has capacity to mobilise followings and sympathisers by out-moralizes the Other. Its basic power lies in its averment that: “ We are better than you ” ( Meijer, 2009:13 ) . By fall ining Salafism, the new recruits felt to be reborn with new individuality, altering from minority and marginalized to the chosen 1s, the super Muslims, who are superior over the remainder of society ( Adraoui, 2009:372-3 ) . As Olivier Roy says that “ neofundamentalits are obsessed with boundaries ” ( cited in Meijer, 2009:14-15 ) , the Salafi followings so use this acquired new individuality to put boundaries between the pure “ us ” and impure “ other ” ( Haykel, 2009:37 ) .

In short, the certainty, lucidity, and simpleness of the Salafi political orientation combined with the force per unit area of social-economic jobs confronting the modern-day Moslems have helped made Salafism appealing and obliging to Muslim laypersons, peculiarly urban young person. The attractive force of Salafism lies in its ability to assure a spiritual genuineness which is needed for those who are in hunt for significance and individuality building ( Hamid, 2009: 390 ) . Its entreaty to Muslim multitudes is based on its claims of moral high quality, rational high quality and strong individuality, through which the followings set boundary between the pure “ us ” and the impure “ other ” ( Haykel, 2009:37 ) .

Transnationalization of Salafi movement

It can be said that the transnationalization of Salafism, its spread to the Muslim and non-Muslim parts beyond its state of birth, has to make with the absence of strong counter-forces against Salafism within mainstream Muslim society. The crisis of spiritual authorization within modern-day Muslims has contributed to the development of Salafism in many Muslim states. The governments of the established Muslim establishments and Muslim civil society have lost their leadings in the face of turning demand of modern-day society, peculiarly the young person Muslims. They have failed to turn to the growing of Salafism in an appropriate manner. In the words of Adraoui ( 2009:375 ) , the spread of Salafism owes to the “ loss of authorization of counter-forces in the spiritual market ” within the Muslim Ummah.

More significantly, in fact the exportation of Salafism has been made possible by the long tradition of students-scholars relationship. Individually, after their return to their states alumnuss of the Middle East universities or informal acquisition establishments, peculiarly in Saudi Arabia, maintain their web with the spiritual bookmans whom they studied with. In making so, these alumnuss were committed to distribute Salafism by talking, interpreting, and printing the plants of their instructors when they return to their state of beginning. The Middle East acquisition establishments besides play an of import function in this procedure of Salafi exportation. Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, for illustration, has actively involved in the airing of Salafism in the universe including Western states ( Lacroix, 2009:70-79 ) . In Indonesia, the function of Saudi universities and Saudi authorities in general can be seen in the constitution of Lembaga Pengetahuan Islam and Arab ( LIPIA ; The Institute of Islamic Science and Arabic ) , a spiritual higher acquisition establishment which is linked to Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ud Islamic University of Riyadh and actively involved in distributing Salafi thoughts among Indonesian Muslims through its alumnuss and charity plants ( Noorhaidi, 2005, 2007 ) .

In add-on, the fiscal support provided by some Middle East states has made the exportation of Salafism more accelerated. Saudi Arabia has made the airing of Salafism in the Muslim universe as one of its chief foreign policies in order to keep its cardinal place in the Muslim universe every bit good as to forestall the consequence of Persian revolution on the political domination of Saudi household. To accomplish this, Saudi Arabia together with Kuwait has provided the Salafi followings in the universe with considerable fiscal supports through their charity and da’wah organisations such as Al-Haramayn Foundation and Jamiyyah Ihya al Turath ( Noorhaidi, 2005, 2007, 2009 ; Haykel, 2009 ; and Bonnefoy, 2009 ) .

Finally, undoubtedly communicating and information engineerings have opened up chances, every bit good as challenges, for the advocates of Salafism to propagate their thoughts. Within the last decennary, the cyberspace has played a important function in easing the spread of Salafism to the universe. While maintaining the old media as agencies of airing, the modern-day Salafis employ the cyberspace for farther propagate the Salafi ideas and maintain linkage among the Salafi protagonists. Though this, as Paz ( 2009:26 ) argues, they have established unfastened universities of Salafism and created practical communities of Salafi ikhwan ( brothers ) . The farther treatment on the cyberspace and the Salafism, which is the research topic of this survey, will be presented in the undermentioned chapters.

The Salafi Movement in a Local Context: Dutch east indies

The Coming of Salafism to the Archipelago

The coming of Salafism to Indonesia is closely connected with Saudi Arabia attempts to beef up its political and spiritual influences over the Muslim universe. Harmonizing to Hasan ( 2007 ) , this began when Saudi authorities supported Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia ( DDII ; Indonesian Council for Islamic Propagation ) , an Islamic missional organisation established the 1970s by former leaders of Masyumi party.[ 2 ]The DDII anti-Shiite run, which was in line with Saudi household policy of containing of the impact of Persian revolution to procure its political involvements, drove the Saudi authorities to supply generous fiscal support through Saudi-supported Islamic charity organisations such as Hai’at al-Ighathat al-Islamiyyat al-‘Alamiyyah ( International Islamic Relief Organization ) , al-Majlis al-‘Alami Li al-Masajid ( World Council of Mosques ) , Lajnat al-Birr al-Islami ( Committee of Islamic Charity ) and al-Nadwat al-‘Alamiyyat li-al-Shabab ( World Assembly of Muslim Youth ) . With this considerable fiscal support, DDII was well-equipped to recognize its undertakings such as building of mosques, orphanhoods, infirmaries, madrasah ( Islamic schools ) , distribution of free transcripts of Quran and Islamic books, and preparation of sermonizers who were so sent to remote transmigration countries ( Hakiem and Linrung, 1997 in Hassn, 2007:88 ) .

The DDII activities had important impact on the intensification of Islamic extension among Indonesian Muslims. In peculiar, the DDII created rapid Islamic activism on university campuses ( Hasan, 2007 ) . These stipulations provided Saudi Arabia with oopportunities to beef up its politico-religious influences among Indonesian Muslims. In making so, the Saudi authorities established Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Islam dan Bahasa Arab ( Institute of Islamic Science and Arabic ) in Jakarta in 1980. As it is straight linked with Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ud Islamic University of Riyadh, the LIPIA manager, whose nationality is usually a Saudi, is appointed by the university. The lectors are recruited from Saudi Arabia and other Middle East states every bit good as from Indonesia. Intelligibly, LIPIA is engaged in presenting Wahhabism, the official school of Islamic idea of Saudi Arabia, to its pupils through the choice of topics every bit good to wider communities through distribution of free books in line with politico-religious involvements of the Saudi authorities, such as the plants of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab the laminitis of Wahhabism, to 100s of Islamic educational establishments and spiritual organisation ( Hasan, 2007:89-90 ) .

The influence of Saudi Wahhabism was intensified through scholarships provided to the talented LIPIA pupils and those from wider Islamic educational establishments and organisations to prosecute farther surveies at Saudi universities. These scholarships have appealed to many Indonesian Muslims for holding chance to analyze in the state of the birth of Islam constitutes a privilege and a beginning of great pride. For many centuries, Cairo in Egypt, Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia have been the major finishs for Indonesians who want to analyze traditional cognition of Islam making the ulama-student webs between the Malay-Indonesia archipelago and the Middle East ( Azra, 2004 ) . Thought the exact figure can non be assessed, since the gap of LIPIA, the figure of Indonesians pupils at Saudi universities has increased significantly from twelvemonth to twelvemonth. Consequently, all this helped escalate the influence of Salafi political orientation and hike the Saudi ‘s cardinal place among Indonesian Muslims ( Hasan, 2007 ) .

More significantly, the spread of Salafism in Indonesia owes to the return of these pupils, like the first cohorts of LIPIA alumnuss, to their state after finishing their surveies at Saudi universities in the 1980s. Having studied the Salafi-Wahhabi thoughts, these alumnuss were committed to the Islamic resurgence by naming for return to the pure Islam as understood and practiced by al-Salaf al-Salih ( the pious ascendants ) . This implies that, for them, the diminution of the Muslim Ummah was attributable to the fact that Indonesian Muslims and Muslim societies in general had non understood and enforced Islam in right ways as prescribed and exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad and the early Muslim coevalss. After they returned, these Saudi alumnuss were obsessed with the purification of Indonesian Islam from what they considered as un-Islamic that had contaminated the pureness of Islam. Not merely did they use the Salafi thoughts in their lives, they besides attempted consistently to mobilise people to fall in their Salafi dawah activities ( Hasan, 2007 ) .

The Spread

The early 1990s witnessed the fruitful attempts of the Saudi graduates to distribute Salafism in Indonesia. These Salafi sermonizers succeeded to pull followings who were chiefly pupils of universities in Central Java and Yogyakarta. Their activities were seen ab initio at mosques located at universities in Yogyakarta, Solo and Semarang. Then, after another cohort of Saudi alumnuss returned home such as Jafar Umar Thalib, Yazid Abdul Qadir Jawwas, Yusuf Baisa, Muhammad Yusuf Harun, Abdul Hakim Abdat, and Muhammad Zaitun Rusmin, Salafism rapidly spread to other metropoliss in Java including Cirebon, Bandung and Jakarta every bit good in outer Java metropoliss such in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and Balikpapan, East Kalimantan ( Hasan, 2007:91 ) .

In add-on to leaders and followings ‘ committedness to the Salafi extension, the constitution of Salafi foundations played a cardinal function in escalating the spread of Salafi political orientation among Indonesian Muslims, peculiarly urban young person and university pupils. These include al-Majlis al-Turath al-Islami, al-Sunnah, al-Sofwah, al-Huda, Nida al-Sunnah, Lajnat al-Khayriyyah aal-Musharakah, and Wahdah Islamiyyah. To back up their undertakings, these foundations received considerable fiscal supports chiefly from Saudi and Kuwait charity organisations including al-Muassassat al-Haramayn al-Khayriyyah ( Haramayn Charity Foundation ) and al-Jam’iyyat Ihya al-Turath al-Islami ( Society for Resuscitating Islamic Heritage ) ( Hasan, 2007:91 ) .

The Split

The connexion between the Middle East Salafi kineticss and local Salafi development in Indonesia is reflected in many ways including the cyberspace tenseness within the Salafi motion. In the Gulf War in 1990, Saudi Arabia decided to ask for the US military personnels to protect its district from Saddam Hussein ‘s invasion and provided its land as military base where the US led alliance forces launched countermove to emancipate Kuwait from Hussein ‘s invasion. This policy doubtless incited protests and unfavorable judgments from other Muslim states. In peculiar, unfavorable judgment of the Saudi policy was launched by new coevals of Saudi Salafis who were urban, university educated, and knowing of Islam and current political personal businesss. This, doubtless, resulted in division among Salafi advocates: a group of senior Salafi governments who supported the Saudi policy and another is a group of Salafi governments who were critical of the Saudi authorities ( Hasan, 2007 ) .

This tenseness, in bend, had impacted on the development of the Salafi motion in Indonesia. Reflecting the internal struggle within Middle East Salafism, the advocates of Salafism in Indonesia were divided into two currents: one sought to keep traditional stance of unpolitical Salafism and the other attempted to convey Salafism antiphonal to current socio-political personal businesss. The first was represented, at least at the clip of the beginning of this tenseness, by Jafar Umar Thalib and the other was by Abu Nida, both were the taking figures in the early development of Salafism in Indonesia. This division started with and centred on the sururiyya issue launched ab initio by Thalib against Abu Nida. Thalib and his followings accused Abu Nida and his associates including Ahmad Faiz Asifuddin, Yusuf Baisa, Yusuf Harun, and Ahmad Zawawi, of being the followings of Muhammad ibn Surur, one of the chief critics of Saudi Arabia authorities, and being influenced by Ikhwan al-Muslimin. This accusal was besides connected with al-Jam’iyyat al-Ihya` al-Turath, the Kuwaiti-based giver of Abu Nida and associates ‘s Salafi foundations, that had close linkage with Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Khaliq, another review of Saudi and senior Salafi governments including Ibn Baz ( Hasan, 2007:92 ; 2009:174-5 ) . For Thalib, by following Ibn Surur and similar others Abu Nida and others had violated the Salafi method ( manhaj al-salaf ) of apoliticism, non-open unfavorable judgment of the regnant authorities and had brought political relations into the bow, instead than da’wah ( spiritual mission ) of the Salaf. Furthermore, the tenseness within the Salafi motion in Indonesia had more to make with the battle over sacred authorization and who are the existent and echt Salafis. As will be explained in the chapter seven, this division is reflected and extended into internet where the Salafis use the cyberspace for intra-movement framing competitions.


This chapter has provided background information on Salafi movement within planetary and local contexts. Salafi movement is Islam ‘s multinational modern-day spiritual motion, which is concerned with the resurgence of the Muslim societies in the face of the challenges of modernness through the purification of Islam and Muslims from un-Islamic elements and the call for the return to the pure signifier of Islam in the prophetic clip. Bing inspired by the ninth century Ahl al-Hadith, the advocates of Salafism bend to the Salaf ( the early Muslim coevalss ) as a perfect theoretical account of understanding and practising Islam for modern Muslim societies by purely adhering to spiritual texts, while rejecting intellectual-based and bad reading and any un-Islamic beginnings believed as to pervert the pureness of Islam.

Due to its strong desire and insisting to return to what believed the original signifier of Islam as understood and practiced by the early Muslim coevalss, Salafism is built on a romanticized and Utopian position of the past disregarding the dialectic procedure of Islamic history. In this sense, Salafism is infested with a sort of supremacist thought that the aureate age of the Salaf period is, and should be, consistent and retrievable in modern-day Islam.

The Salafi world-view is binary in nature in understanding the spiritual texts and world. The advocates of Salafism position that world is either in conformity with or in resistance to the original texts. Puting boundaries between “ us ” and “ the other ” , they consider the other either belongs to Ahl al-Sunnah ( peole of the prophetic tradition ) or belong to Ahl al-Bid’ah ( people of out inventions ) . The Salafis position that the modern/Western civilisation is mostly, if non wholly, antithesis to the Islamic civilisation, and reject the thought of how civilization works, which involves duologues, cross-pollination every bit good as tensenesss among civilisations.

Despite its anti-intellectualism and rigorous literalism, Salafism is non inherently anti-modernism because it is really a Muslims ‘ response to modernness. It is a peculiar manner of Muslims ‘ battle with the challenges of modernness. What makes it different from other Muslim groups is that it seeks to set the worlds and challenges of modernness under what its advocates believe as the original beginnings of Islam without rethinking and contextualizing them within the contexts of modern-day Muslim universe.

There is no uncertainty that Salafism looks appealing to Muslim multitudes owing to the spiritual certainty and simpleness that its advocates promote. The Salafi promises have been attractive to modern-day urban Muslim societies because they provide new recruits with new individuality of born-again Muslims and transform them from marginalised to the saved and winning group. The comparative success of the Salafi transnationalization has been possible through the scholar-student webs and the fiscal and political support of the Saudi authorities. More significantly, the spread of Salafism across national boundary lines has been accelerated by the usage of the modern information and communicating engineerings, peculiarly the cyberspace.

Salafi movement is non a spiritual motion with a formal and extremely structured organisational hierarchy. Rather, the Salafi followings are united by the shared planetary Salafi credo and rules that govern their spiritual orientation and patterns. The nature of the Salafi political orientation and the internal kineticss within planetary Salafi motion are reflected and extended in the local contexts where Salafism is disseminated.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member