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The Salafiyyah, Successors to the Traditionalists

In the later part of the 7th century AH, Ibn Taymiyyah, the most renowned representative of Salafite thought, embarked on a reformulation and codification of early Traditionalist beliefs. He was a man of independent thinking who attempted to use his understanding of the Quran and sunnah to arrive at a true picture of the life and practices of early Muslims. His strict adherence to the immediate sense of religious texts (nass) together with his insistence to prove the reality of the divine attributes led to accusations of anthropomorphism, a charge that he denied vehemently. In the eyes of the Salafites, the notions of determinism and free will are in no way in conflict with the truth of religion: God is the creator of all things as well as all actions, man is, none the less, given volition and thus is the real agent of his actions, i.e. is accountable for his deeds. According to Ibn Taymiyyah, at the time of the performance of an action a power is created in man which enables him to carry out the act. By considering the power as created he reconciles the notion of divine power with that of free will. Ibn Taymiyyah’s thought enjoyed a growing popularity for some time but it eventually lost its appeal until it was revived by Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab in 12th/18th century.


Jalali moghadam , Masood " Islam Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.8 , pp.438

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