The Making of Salafism
Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century
Aims and Scope
Introducing a third, empirically based genealogy, The Making of Salafism understands the concept as a recent phenomenon projected back onto the past, and it sees its purist evolution as a direct result of decolonization. Henri Lauzière builds his history on the transnational networks of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali (1894–1987), a Moroccan Salafi who, with his associates, participated in the development of Salafism as both a term and a movement. Traveling from Rabat to Mecca, from Calcutta to Berlin, al-Hilali interacted with high-profile Salafi scholars and activists who eventually abandoned Islamic modernism in favor of a more purist approach to Islam. Today, Salafis tend to claim a monopoly on religious truth and freely confront other Muslims on theological and legal issues. Lauzière's pathbreaking history recognizes the social forces behind this purist turn, uncovering the popular origins of what has become a global phenomenon.
- 328 pages
- COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Professional and scholarly;
MARC recordMARC record for eBook
A masterpiece of original scholarship and very highly recommended.
While Lauzière'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.
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.
[Lauzière] 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.
As a scholar of Islam, Lauzière remains unmatched.
Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago:
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.
Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University:
An essential resource for those trying to understand Salafis and Salafism, confusing terms with very contested histories. Henri Lauzière 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.
Malika Zeghal, Harvard 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 Lauzière 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.