Islamic Neo-Traditionalism

Islamic Neo-traditionalism is a current form of Sunni Islam that focuses on adherence to the four main Sunni legal schools as well as faith in one of three theological schools as well as the practice of the Tasawuff (Sufism),[1who its adherents believe to be representative of the traditional Sunni tradition.

Islamic Neo-traditionalists believe Islam is fundamentally composed of three terms that are defined within the Hadith of Gabriel which are Islam, Iman, and Ihsan. They believe that these three concepts correspond to the areas of Fiqh, Aqidah , and Sufism as part of Islam’s Islamic intellectual tradition, respectively.

SEE ALSO: Evangelism in Religion

Islamic Neo-Traditionalism emerged in the West in the 1990s, following the return of a number of Muslim experts who have been studying in traditional centers of Islamic knowledge throughout the Arab world, such as Hamza Yusuf, Timothy Winter, and Umar Faruq Abdullah. These scholars were determined to share the traditional knowledge they acquired throughout their communities.

Atharism is Founded on Four Fundamental Principles:

  • Adhering to the sacred Scriptures in Islam (the Quran and the Hadith) as well as the sunnah along with ijma(consensus);
  • Islamic theology, derived from the mentioned sources is homogeneous, with consistency in the ideas being considered as a mark of a certain faith and truth.
  • The acceptance of Muslim scholars, who are accountable to derive their ideas from these sources;
  • Strong resistance to Bi’ah (religious developments).

The traditionalists’ attitude towards religion caused them to distinguish two terms that are similar: Taqlid and Ittiba.

Taqlid which is the practice of blind obedience to scholars and their views (ra’y) without a scriptural basis was slammed. On the other hand, Atharis believed Ittiba as being prophetic teaching using biblical evidence offered by scholars.

“Neo-traditionalist” or “neo-traditionalist” means being inclined to and part of the movement to return traditional beliefs in the traditional schools in the Islamic legal system (4 Sunni Schools), the study and contextualization of the mainstream Sunni doctrine, and studies and practices of the traditional texts-based Islamic spirituality (historically known as Sufism).

SEE ALSO: Eschatology in Theology

Tradition is essential for the development of the knowledge of religion and the virtues that come with it since the understanding of values that are religious is achieved through the process of acculturation (Tarbiya) that allows novices to be able to demonstrate these values. Acculturation is distinct from and transcends the intellectual understanding of the truth of religion. While the truth of religion may be an appropriate subject of instruction (Ta’lim) but simple instruction, without trustworthy instructors who are able to embody Islamic doctrines, will not provide correctly acculturated religious subjects.

Islam continues to put great importance on Sufism often referred to as Islamic mysticism because of the conviction that the structures and practices that Sufism fosters, such as the hierarchical relationship between teachers (al-shaykh) as well as the pupil (al-murid) are essential to the development of a well-embodied the practice of Islam.

The rich intellectual legacy of Islam The pedagogical techniques that have been passed down the generations are much stronger and more durable than the flaws of the individual scholars.

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