The Origins of Fundamentalism

Sayed Khatab

in Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789774164996
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617971075 | DOI:
The Origins of Fundamentalism

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This chapter examines four medieval movements to which al-Qa'ida networks are the legatees. The four sections of this chapter focus on Kharijism, 'Ibadism, Hanbalism, and Wahhabism. Kharijism is the ideology of the Kharijis (al-Khawarij), the first rebel group to take the law into its own hands and change the government by force in the early decades of Islam. 'Ibadism (al-'Ibadiya) is the ideology of a Khariji offshoot, which survives to this day. Hanbalism refers to the Islamic school of law that was named after its founder, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and represents another trend within Sunni Islam. The last section concentrates on the ideology of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, from whose name the term ‘Wahhabism’ derives. It investigates this ideology within the Ottoman-Turkish and Arab-Islamic contexts. The link between Wahhabism and both earlier and later movements, including al-Qa'ida, is also outlined. Overall, these sections link medieval to modern movements, including al-Qa'ida, and highlight the similarities and differences between them.

Keywords: Islamic fundamentalism; Qa'ida; Kharijism; 'Ibadism; Hanbalism; Wahhabism

Chapter.  20607 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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