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CIK Talk - Salafism and Traditionalism: Scholarly Authority in Modern Islam
CIK Talks is a platform for noted Muslim intellectuals and thought leaders to address critical issues facing the Ummah and ideas shaping the modern world.

CIK Talk - Salafism and Traditionalism: Scholarly Authority in Modern Islam

Presented by Professor Emad Hamdeh (Embry-Riddle University)
​Friday, September 17th, 2021 ​at 8 PM EST (10 Safar)

One of the most contentious topics in modern Islam is whether one should adhere to an Islamic legal school or follow scripture directly. For centuries, Sunni Muslims have practiced Islam through the framework of the four legal schools. The 20th century, however, witnessed the rise of individuals who denounced the legal schools, highlighting cases where they contradict texts from the Qur'ān or Sunna. These differences are exemplified in the heated debates between the Salafi ḥadīth scholar Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī and his Traditionalist critics.

In this CIK Talk, Prof. Hamdeh will examine the tensions between Salafis and Traditionalists concerning scholarly authority in Islam. He will offer an insider's view of the debates between Salafis and Traditionalists and their differences regarding the correct method of interpreting Islam. Dr. Hamdeh will also provide a detailed analysis of the rise of Salafism, the impact of the printing press, the role of scholars in textual interpretation, and the divergent approaches to Islamic law.

Sep 17, 2021 08:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Professor Emad Hamdeh
Associate Professor @Embry-Riddle University
Dr. Emad Hamdeh is an Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Embry Riddle University. He has published several articles on contemporary Muslim reform movements and Islamic law. He is also the author of The Necessity of Hadith in Islam (International Islamic Publishing House, 2011) and Salafism and Traditionalism: Scholarly Authority in Modern Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2020). He holds a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Exeter (UK) and an M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary (United States).
Amir Abu-Ghuddah
Amir Abu-Ghuddah has a BA in Political Science and Certificate in Economics from the University of Regina and has a JD from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. He has also pursued traditional study in Turkey under scholars of hadith and fiqh. He has completed articles (legal training) at Blakes, Cassels, & Graydon and has clerked at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. He is beginning his career as a litigation lawyer in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. His interests include Usul Al-Fiqh, Islamic judicial systems, and political thought. Amir is also a research fellow at the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and an integral member of the CIK Strategic Planning Committee.