Ahl-i Hadith

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Offshoot of nineteenth-century Indian Tariqah-i Muhammadiyyah movement. Tied to the tradition of Shah Wali Allah and the eighteenth-century Wahhabi movement. Favors direct use of Islamic sources and exercise of ijtihad (independent reasoning), rather than following schools of law (taqlid). Heavy reliance on hadith and “concealed” revelation contained within led to polemical war with Ahl al-Quran, a countergroup that advocated total reliance on the Quran as the perfect source of guidance. Reportedly had two thousand local branches and two million adherents in Bangladesh in the mid-1980s. Particularly prominent in the north. Avoids exclusive, sectlike behavior and is open to relationships with Muslims of other persuasions.

See also Ahl al-Quran

Subjects: Islam.

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