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The Making of Salafism and the Evolution of Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Being Salafi in the Early Twentieth Century 2. Rashid Rida's Rehabilitation of the Wahhabis and Its Consequences 3. Purist Salafism in the Age of Islamic Nationalism 4. The Ironies of Modernity and the Advent of Modernist Salafism 5. Searching for a Raison d'Etre in the Postindependence Era 6. The Triumph and Ideologization of Purist Salafism Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

The Making of Salafism understands the movement as a recent conception of Islam projected back onto the past, and it sees its purist evolution as a direct result of decolonization. Today, Salafis claim a monopoly on religious truth and freely confront other Muslims on theological and legal issues. Lauziere's pathbreaking history recognizes the social forces behind this purist turn, uncovering the popular origins of what has become a global phenomenon.

About the Author

Henri Lauziere is assistant professor of history at Northwestern University.


This book brings much needed clarity to the history of Salafism and revises common accounts of a little known yet much talked about Islamic intellectual trend. Henri Lauziere has skillfully fleshed out the genealogy of Salafism, and his work will have an important impact on the field of the history of ideas in the modern Muslim world. -- Malika Zeghal, Harvard University An essential resource for those trying to understand Salafis and Salafism, confusing terms with very contested histories. Henri Lauziere brings sense and order to a debate that reaches back to medieval times yet still flashes across screens today. The Making of Salafism illuminates a crucial aspect of the intellectual history of the Middle East and North Africa in the twentieth century. -- Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University This book fills a crucial gap in modern Islamic intellectual history: it untangles the now ubiquitous term Salafism, showing how the concept was invented, used, and contested through the twentieth century as both an analytical tool and a self-identifier. This conceptual history is paired with rich biographical material, which locates the shifting meanings of Salafism in the context of the wider historical processes of colonialism and independence. -- Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago As a scholar of Islam, Lauziere remains unmatched. Washington Book Review [Lauziere] takes readers on a journey through the influences of political and social movements, their collaborators, and media pundits on a theological term-salafi... Highly recommended. Choice An excellent book that provides a brilliant historical analysis of the emergence and trajectory of the concept of Salafism... a major contribution to the field. Middle East Journal While Lauziere's impressive exposition of the term's slippery semantic history is primarily of interest to specialists, his analysis is of crucial importance in demonstrating Salafism's commitment to textual literalism. New York Review of Books A masterpiece of original scholarship and very highly recommended. Midwest Book Review Timely and important contribution... excellently crafted. [The Making of Salafism] serves as an invaluable tool for a continuous interrogation of the concept of Salafism. Islamic Africa 7 This engaging and brilliantly researched book offers the reader the first comprehensive study of the process by which the conceptualization of Salafism developed... It is an excellent book that should receive serious consideration from all historians interested in modern Islam. -- Etty Terem American Historical Review

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