There are many different sects of Islam, but two of the most prominent are Wahabism and Salafism. While they share some similarities, there are also significant differences between the two doctrines. In this blog post, we will explore those differences and discuss why they matter.
What is Wahabism?
Wahabism is an Islamic religious movement that was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab in the 18th century. The Wahhabi movement follows the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Hanbal and upholds the strict interpretation of sharia law.
Wahhabism has been criticized by some for its purported extremism and intolerance, but it remains a significant force within Islam. Today, Wahhabi Muslims can be found throughout the world, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where the movement originated. While Wahhabism may be viewed as controversial by some, its followers remain committed to their beliefs and continue to play an important role in the Muslim community.
What is Salafism?
Salafism is a branch of Islam that follows the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers. Salafis believe that Muslims should return to the literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith, and they place a great emphasis on personal piety and morality.
- The Salafi movement began in the 18th century, but it gained popularity in the 20th century thanks to the efforts of scholars like Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Hassan al-Banna.
- Today, Salafism is one of the fastest-growing branches of Islam, with an estimated 1-2% of all Muslims worldwide adhering to its teachings. Despite its relatively small size, Salafism has exerted a significant impact on Muslim societies around the world.
- Salafi groups have been involved in everything from preaching and education to social work and political activism. In recent years, Salafism has also been linked to a number of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda and ISIS. While most Salafis reject violence, a small minority believes that it is justified in order to achieve their goal of establishing an Islamic state ruled by sharia law.
Differences between Wahabism and Salafism
- Wahabism and Salafism are two closely related Islamic movements. Both Wahabism and Salafism emphasize a return to the “true” values of Islam, as they believe that Muslims have strayed from the teachings of the Quran. Wahabism is named after its founder, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who was an Arabian theologian who lived in the 18th century.
- Wahabism is practiced mainly in Saudi Arabia, while Salafism has a more global following. Salafism is more political than Wahabism and seeks to create an Islamic state based on Sharia law.
- Wahabists, on the other hand, focus more on personal religious observance. Both Wahabism and Salafism have been criticized for their conservative views on women’s rights and their stance on violence.
The differences between Wahabism and Salafism may be subtle, but they are important. It is essential to understand these distinctions in order to create an accurate portrayal of Islam and avoid the offending either group. Both sects have valuable teachings that can benefit the global Muslim community, but it is crucial not to lump them all together as one entity. By recognizing the unique qualities of each sect we can work together to build a stronger foundation for the Islamic faith.