Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Muhammad Abd-al-Wahhab was an influential Islamic scholar working within the framework of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence who stressed the importance of following the example set by early Muslims and focused on eliminating practices that were not grounded in the Qur'an and the sunnah. In 1740, he formed an alliance with Muhammad ibn Saud, whereby the latter committed to implementing and spreading Abd-al-Wahhab's vision of Islam. The political success of the Saud family paved the way for the increasing influence of Abd-al-Wahhab's teachings. Critics consider many of the beliefs and practices associated with the teachings of Abd-al-Wahhab to be excessively severe, intolerant, and oppressive. Followers of Abd-al-Wahhab are frequently referred to as Wahhabis and are particularly influential in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf region, although they can be found across the Muslim world. Due to their emphasis on restoring practices associated with early Islam, Wahhabis are associated with the Salafi movement. 
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