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The Wahhabis today represent an ultraconservative, orthodox interpretation of Islam that is characterized by belief in and adherence to absolute monotheism (tawhid), giving particular attention to ritual correctness and the centrality of Shari'a (Islamic law). Although the heartland of Wahhabism remains Saudi Arabia, the use of the kingdom's tremendous financial resources for missionary activity (da'wah) has resulted in global influence.

Wahhabism was originally founded in central contemporary Saudi Arabia by the 18th-century religious and legal scholar Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab as an Islamic revival (tajdid) and reform (islah) movement. The original movement called for a return to the Qur'an and Hadith (records of the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad) for the purpose of historical and thematically contextualized reinterpretation (ijtihād) and rediscovery of their either specific ...

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