Wahhabism: The History of a Militant Islamic Movement - Cole M. Bunzel; | Foyles Bookstore
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Wahhabism: The History of a Militant Islamic Movement
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Wahhabism: The History of a Militant Islamic Movement (Hardback)

Awaiting publication


An essential history of Wahhabism from its founding to the Islamic State

In the mid-eighteenth century, a controversial Islamic movement arose in the central Arabian region of Najd that forever changed the political landscape of the Arabian Peninsula and the history of Islamic thought. Its founder, Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, taught that most professed Muslims were polytheists due to their veneration of Islamic saints at tombs and gravesites. He preached that true Muslims, those who worship God alone, must show hatred and enmity toward these polytheists and fight them in jihad. Cole Bunzel tells the story of Wahhabism from its emergence in the 1740s to its taming and coopting by the modern Saudi state in the 1920s, and shows how its legacy endures in the ideologies of al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State.

Drawing on a wealth of primary source materials, Bunzel traces the origins of Wahhabi doctrine to the religious thought of medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyya and examines its development through several generations of Wahhabi scholars. While widely seen as heretical and schismatic, the movement nonetheless flourished in central Arabia, spreading across the peninsula under the political authority of the Al Su'ud dynasty until the invading Egyptian army crushed it in 1818. The militant Wahhabi ethos, however, persisted well into the early twentieth century, when the Saudi kingdom used Wahhabism to bolster its legitimacy.

This incisive history is the definitive account of a militant Islamic movement founded on enmity toward non-Wahhabi Muslims and that is still with us today in the violent doctrines of Sunni jihadis.

History & PoliticsRegional & national historyMiddle Eastern history Publisher: Princeton University Press Publication Date: 16/05/2023 ISBN-13: 9780691241593  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Awaiting publication Pre-Order

Cole M. Bunzel is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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