What is Salafism in Islam ??

Salafism is a world view that looks at the religious questions of Islam. When Prophet Muhammad was alive, he used to preach and hold sermons regularly. 

There were people who used to listen to Mohammad who would then spread the knowledge they heard from Muhammad by word of mouth. 

The words of Mohammad to those people who had the privilege of listening to him became a part of the Sunnah. This knowledge of Mohammad or Sunnah was handed over to the successive generations. 

Who are Salafis??

Salafis are those people who believe that the best way to follow Islam is to follow what these generations learned. 

For Salafis, those generations of people who listened to Mohammad followed the purest form of Islam and they believe that it is that form of Islam that needs to be followed today. Thus, Salafism is a reform movement aimed at the direct emulation of Muhammad, the initial generation, the first few who followed Mohammad. 

Salafism is a movement that wants to go back for the purity of Islam. There have been scholars of Salafism in modern times who advocate the use of Jihad (a holy war) if needed to follow Salafism.

Book on Salafism

Salafism: The History and Legacy of the Conservative Salafi Branch within Sunni Islam 

Book Review:

Salafism: The History and Legacy of the Conservative Salafi Branch within Sunni Islam start out by explaining why there are two different main sects of Muslims. Essentially, the difference is that Shia believes that their leaders should come from the prophet’s family, while Sunni believes that all Moslems are in theory capable of being Muslim leaders. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal word of God and that one can only understand the Qur’an, through the use of Arabic. The Hadith is a collection of the prophet’s deeds, words, and practices that was compiled by his companions or others. Salafis believes that Muslims should return to the original Islam has practiced by the prophet and his companions. Therein, lies the problem because each group that indicates they practice Salafism is looking at the practices of the prophet and his companions through the lenses of their own experiences and interpretations. Therefore, Salafis from Egypt or Indonesia do not necessarily have the same interpretations. In either case, Salafis believe that Western influences have corrupted Islam. To me, the book does an excellent job of explaining that all Salafis are not the same, and discusses various Islamic religious leaders who helped develop these religious theories. Also, nonstate actors are discussed in this book. I think most Westerners should read this book so that they can understand what Salafism is and is not.
byModupe Hendricks

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