Saudi Clerics and Shi'a Islam by Raihan IsmailSaudi Clerics and Shi'a Islam by Raihan Ismail

Saudi Clerics and Shi'a Islam

byRaihan Ismail

Hardcover | March 22, 2016

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The Saudi "ulama" are known for their strong opposition to Shi'a theology, Shi'a communities in Saudi Arabia, and external Shi'a influences such as Iran and Hezbollah. Their potent hostility, combined with the influence of the 'ulama' within the Saudi state and the Muslim world, has led somecommentators to blame the Saudi 'ulama' for what they see as growing sectarian conflict in the Middle East. However, there is very little understanding of what reasoning lies behind the positions of the 'ulama' and there is a significant gap in the literature dealing with the polemics directed atthe Shi'a by the Saudi religious establishment. In Saudi Clerics and Shi'a Islam, Raihan Ismail looks at the discourse of the Saudi "ulama" regarding Shiism and Shi'a communities, analysing their sermons, lectures, publications and religious rulings. The book finds that the attitudes of the "ulama" are not only governed by their theologicalconvictions regarding Shiism, but are motivated by political events involving the Shi'a within the Saudi state and abroad. It also discovers that political events affect the intensity and frequency of the rhetoric of the ulama at any given time.
Raihan Ismail is based at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies. She works on sectarian politics in the Middle East and the dynamics within and between Islamic institutions. She regularly appears in the Australian news media commenting on Middle Eastern politics and Islam.
Title:Saudi Clerics and Shi'a IslamFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pagesPublished:March 22, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190233311

ISBN - 13:9780190233310


Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsA Note on ConventionsIntroduction1. The significance of the 'ulama': a historical overview2. Origins: the Shi'a faith3. The theological convictions of the Saudi 'ulama' towards the Shi'a4. The Saudi 'ulama' and the internal Shi'a threat5. The Saudi 'ulama' and the external Shi'a threat: the case of Iran6. The Saudi 'ulama' and the external Shi'a threat: the case of Bahrain, Iraq and YemenConclusionGlossaryNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is an authoritative, richly textured inquiry into Saudi Salafi clerical discourse toward Shiism. It challenges many of our previously-held assumptions about Saudi clerical views on the Muslim 'other.' A great strength of Raihan Ismail's work is her deft handling of clerical primarysources and her illumination of the ways in which religious doctrine is constantly being shaped by political context, personalities, and regional events. A must read for anyone interested in Saudi Arabia, clerical authority, and sectarianism." --Frederic Wehrey, author of Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings