International Journal of Middle East Studies

Islamic Discourse on the Arabian Peninsula

THE ENDURING LEGACY OF THE SECOND SAUDI STATE: QUIETIST AND RADICAL WAHHABI CONTESTATIONS OF AL-WALĀʾ WA-L-BARĀʾ

Joas Wagemakers c1

Abstract

The concept of al-walāʾ wa-l-barāʾ (loyalty to Islam, Muslims, and God and disavowal of everything else) has developed in various ways in Wahhabi discourse since the 19th century. This can partly be ascribed to the civil war that caused the collapse of the second Saudi state (1824–91) and the lessons that both quietist and radical Wahhabi scholars have drawn from that episode. In this article, I contend that Wahhabi contestations of al-walāʾ wa-l-barāʾ can be divided into two distinct trends—one social and the other political—and that both show the enduring legacy of the second Saudi state, which can still be discerned in Wahhabi scholarly writings on the subject of al-walāʾ wa-l-barāʾ today.

(Online publication January 27 2012)

Correspondence

c1 Joas Wagemakers is a Lecturer in the Department of Islam and Arabic at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; e-mail: j.wagemakers@rs.ru.nl

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