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The Temptation of Graves in Salafi Islam: Iconoclasm, Destruction and Idolatry

This book explains the current destruction of graves in the Islamic world and traces the ideological sources of iconoclasm in their historical perspective, from medieval theological and legal debates to contemporary Islamist movements including ISIS.

In various parts of the Islamic world over the past decades virulent attacks have targeted Islamic funeral and sacral architecture. Rather than being random acts of vandalism, these are associated with the idea of performing one’s religious duty as attested to in the Salafi/Wahhabi tradition and texts. Graves, shrines and tombs are regarded by some Muslims as having the potential to tempt a believer to polytheism. Hence the duty to level the graves to the ground (taswiyat al-qubūr).

In illuminating the ideology behind these acts, this book explains the current destruction of graves in the Islamic world and traces the ideological sources of iconoclasm in their historical perspective, from medieval theological and legal debates to contemporary Islamist movements including ISIS.

Key Features

  • Provides a detailed and in-depth study of Salafi iconoclasm
  • Looks at the destruction of graves in various parts of the Islamic world including the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia
  • Traces the ideological roots of Salafi iconoclasm and its shifts and mutations in an historical perspective
  • Contributes to the growing study of Salafi Islam
  • Case Studies include Ibn Taymiyya, Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, the formation of Saudi ulama, Nasir al-Din al-Albani, and ISIS and the destruction of monuments

About the Authors

Ondřej Beránek is Director of the Oriental Institute at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He is editor of Arab Revolutions: Democratic Challenges, Political Islam (Academia, 2013) and co-author (with Pavel Tupek) of The Two Faces of Islamic Charity (CDK, 2008). Both publications are in Czech.

Pavel Ťupek is a Researcher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern and African Studies at Charles University, Prague. He is author of Salafi Islam (Academia, 2015) (in Czech).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter 1 – Graves and Shrines in Medieval Islam: From Pre-Islamic Times to Ibn Taymiyya’s Legacy
Chapter 2 – Early Wahhabism and the Beginnings of Modern Salafism
Chapter 3 – Saudi Arabia between Pan-Islamism, Iconoclasm and Political Legitimacy
Chapter 4 – Following Current Paths of Destruction: ISIS and Beyond
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Bibliographic Information

Title: The Temptation of Graves in Salafi Islam: Iconoclasm, Destruction and Idolatry

Authors: Ondřej Beránek & Pavel Ťupek

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

 Language: English

Length: 272 pages

ISBN: 978-1474417570

Pub. Date: February 1, 2018

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