Muslim scholars’ criticism towards radical Salafism
AbstractIn the twenty-first century Radical Salafism is a serious danger for Muslim countries and Western countries too due to some features of its religious ideas, which lead to extremist actions. Among the critics of radical Salafism there are both Western and Muslim scholars, but the arguments of the latter are not well-known in the West. The benefits of this study are systematization and analysis of prominent Muslim scholars’ criticism towards radical Salafism. The study analyzed ideas of such modern Muslim thinkers and researchers as Mohamed Said Ramadan Al-Bouti and Rawil Gaynetdin on radical Salafism. The research argued that the Muslim scholars criticize, first of all, the following four features of radical Salafism. The first of them is Salafi movement’s claim for existence of historical basis of their words about the special status of Salafism in Islam as the only defender of initial purity of Islam. The second one is radical Salafism’s criticism towards innovations in the religion and life of Muslims. The third feature is radical Salafism’s practice of takfir (accusation of unbelief). The fourth one is radical Salafists’ intolerance of people with other opinions on religion and life. The study showed that the Muslim scholars have thought that Salafism occurred much later than the Salaf era. Rawil Gainutdin believes this occurred in the tenth century, and Mohamed Said Ramadan Al-Bouti argues that it happened only in the nineteenth century. Moreover, Al-Bouti emphasizes that, firstly, the salafs assumed the possibility of certain innovations and, secondly, Salafism is one of the nineteenth century innovations. Also Rawil Gainutdin indicated that the Judge of the Judgment Day is the one person who can declare a takfir. Consequently, radical salafists’ practice of takfir is a violation of Islam law. The Muslim scholars point out that radical Salafism’s position is harmful to Muslim Ummah, because it leads to numerous conflicts. For example, Mohamed Said Ramadan Al-Bouti explains that radical salafists split Muslim community and cause tension among Muslims. He analyzed numerous facts of such a destructive action of radical Salafism towards religious, social and personal life of Muslims. Moreover, the article shows the destructive nature of Jihadist Salafism.
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