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Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Before 9/11, few Westerners had heard of Wahhabism. Today, it is a household word. Frequently mentioned in association with Osama bin Laden, Wahhabism is portrayed by the media and public officials as an intolerant, puritanical, militant interpretation of Islam that calls for the wholesale destruction of the West in a jihad of global proportions. In the first study ever ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 15th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2004)
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Mohamad Ballan
May 25, 2014 Mohamad Ballan rated it did not like it
Natana J. DeLong-Bas’ “Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad” (Oxford University Press, 2004) is a self-described controversial book which has received rave reviews from critics, who have labeled the book “meticulously-researched,” “original,” and “path-breaking.” Utilizing the original writings of Muḥammad ibn Abd al-Wahhāb and his biographers, rendering them accessible to a broad audience through their translation into English for the first time, DeLong-Bas seeks to challenge ...more
Czarny Pies
Dec 24, 2015 Czarny Pies rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This book which was written by a Boston College Theology Professor and published by Oxford University Press is a deeply researched work by an academic at one of America's leading universities.

Delong-Bas presents an objective history of Wahhabism which is a a movement founded in the eighteenth century by the Mullah and expert on the Hanbali legal tradition (school of fiqh)., Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792).

Delong-Bas simply perceives Wahhabism to be a merely a faction within the Sunni Mu
...more
Lina
Jan 24, 2013 Lina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm too tired to write my own review, and felt this was pretty on point of what I have to say:

"Delong-Bas examines the historical aspects of this much misunderstood movement and uncover some fascinating facts with regards to the true teachings of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and show that he has really called for moderation, dialog with non-Muslims and the protection of women's rights as his hallmarks. The term "Wahhabi" itself is an idea invented by the Ottoman Turks to construct the indigenous Ar
...more
Wendell Belew
Aug 30, 2012 Wendell Belew rated it it was amazing
This is a rare book on the topic written by someone who actually knows what she is talking about. Delong-Bas present an original but sophisticated analysis of Abd al-Wahhab and places in the context of the times in which her book was written (2004).
Hugh Mcmark
Jul 26, 2016 Hugh Mcmark rated it did not like it
Love this book or hate it, one thing is clear: it’s advocacy, not “dispassionate scholarship.” Minutia? Footnotes? heavy going prose? Oh yes! Impartiality? Not a chance. As one critic put it, the "man who personally stoned a woman to death for adultery" is portrayed as "a proto-feminist". ([http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/S...)

But in Delong-Bas's struggle against Islamophobia, Empire, Racism, stereotypes, exploitation, and much more, some things can go missing. In this case, unfortunately,
...more
Muhammad
Most people would associate the term "Wahhabi" with a puritanical, intolerant version of Islam that emanates from the arid deserts of Saudi Arabia. In line with this association would be visions of oppressed women, fat sheiks and their wanton calls for violence against infidels. In this revisionist work, Delong-Bas examines the historical aspects of this much misunderstood movement and uncover some fascinating facts with regards to the true teachings of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and show that he ...more
Jeremy
Oct 19, 2010 Jeremy rated it did not like it
Sort of a peculiar book. The problem is it ends up feeling like a not very convincing apology rather than a real substantive reappraisal of Wahhabi Islam. Often crucial arguments and interpretations seem rather flimsy (I'm not expert enough to know whether they are accurate, but the logic of interpretation or deduction often seems flawed.) There was a lot of interesting information, but I wasn't left with much confidence that the author was giving me the whole picture or arranging the ...more
Aurangzeb Haneef
Nov 08, 2008 Aurangzeb Haneef rated it it was ok
not a convincing case. It is a novel work but one that needs expansion and a more convincing manner of presentation.
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Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad by Natana J. Delong-Bas (2004)
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Natana J. DeLong-Bas is the Deputy Editor of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and a Lecturer of Theology at Boston College.

A consultant to several international corporations, governments, and the media, she is currently working with the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives in Saudi Arabia and IDC Publishers in the Netherlands to publish portions of the Foundation's historical manuscr
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“The global jihad espoused by Osama bin Laden and other contemporary extremists is clearly rooted in contemporary issues and interpretations of Islam. It owes little to the Wahhabi tradition, outside of the nineteenth-century incorporation of the teachings of Ibn Taymiyya and the Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah into the Wahhabi worldview as Wahhabism moved beyond the confines of Najd and into the broader Muslim world.

The differences between the worldviews of bin Laden and Ibn Abd al-Wahhab are numerous.

Bin Laden preaches jihad; Ibn Abd al-Wahhab preached monotheism.

Bin Laden preaches a global jihad of cosmic importance that recognizes no compromise; Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s jihad was narrow in geographic focus, of localized importance, and had engagement in a treaty relationship between the fighting parties as a goal.

Bin Laden preaches war against Christians and Jews; Ibn Abd al-Wahhab called for treaty relationships with them.

Bin Laden’s jihad proclaims an ideology of the necessity of war in the face of unbelief; Ibn Abd al-Wahhab preached the benefits of peaceful coexistence, social order, and business relationships.

Bin Laden calls for the killing of all infidels and the destruction of their money and property; Ibn Abd al-Wahhab restricted killing and the destruction of property…

The militant Islam of Osama bin Laden does not have its origins in the teachings of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and is not representative of Wahhabi Islam as it is practiced in contemporary Saudi Arabia, yet for the media it has come to define Wahabbi Islam in the contemporary era. However, “unrepresentative” bin Laden’s global jihad of Islam in general and Wahhabi Islam in particular, its prominence in headline news has taken Wahhabi Islam across the spectrum from revival and reform to global jihad.”
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“Ibn al-Wahhab was not the godfather of contemporary terrorist movements. Rather, he was a voice of reform, reflecting mainstream eighteenth-century Islamic thought. His vision of Islamic society was based upon monotheism in which Muslims, Christians, and Jews were to enjoy peaceful co-existence and cooperative commercial treaty relations.” 0 likes
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