Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why Muhammad Abduh came to be called "Salafi"

In a new article (“The Construction of Salafiyya: Reconsidering Salafism from the Perspective of Conceptual History,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42, August 2010, pp. 369-389), Henri Lauzière reviews the history of the use of the term "salafi," and shows how it became attached to Muhammad Abduh, after his death, as the result of its adoption as a business name by a successful Cairo bookstore and publisher. The use of "Salafiyya" by this publisher in the title of a short-lived modernist journal discussed by Massignon as an example of modernism caused confusion among Western scholars, and the adoption--years after Abduh's death--to describe modernism.

An excellent article that clears up almost 90 years of confusion!

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