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Wahhabis

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Wahhabis

    Eighteenth-century reformist/revivalist movement for sociomoral reconstruction of society. Founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab , a Hanbali scholar, in Arabia. Proclaimed tawhid (uniqueness and unity of God) as its primary doctrine. Began in response to the perceived moral decline and political weakness of the Muslim community in Arabia. Proposed a return to an idealized Islamic past through reassertion of monotheism and reliance on Quran and hadith, rejecting medieval interpretations of Islam and jurisprudence. Emphasized education and knowledge as weapons in dealing with nonbelievers. Known for its sometimes violent opposition to the popular cult of saints, idolatry, and shrine and tomb visitation, as well as the sacking of Shii shrines in Najaf and Karbala in 1802 . Formed an alliance with Muhammad ibn Saud in 1747 , which served as the basis for the consolidation of the present-day kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Referred to as Wahhabis by opponents, but referred to themselves as Muwahhidun, or those upholding the doctrine of tawhid.

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