Historical Roots of Extremist and Radical Islamist Thinking

  • Thameem Ushama


This study analyses the historical evolution of contemporary Muslim
controversies over the historical roots of extremism by applying qualitative
content analysis to relevant Qur’ānic verses, prophetic traditions and offerings
from early schools of Islamic thought. The study begins by defi ning Arabic
term ghulūw with regard to religious extremism and then briefl y introduces
manifestations of the phenomenon from the days of Prophet Nūḥ (A.S.) to
Jewish and Christian enthusiasts. The paper discusses impacts of extremist
thinking on early Muslims with a focus on Kharijite and Muᶜtazilite schools
and other related sects. In addition, a discussion of the misuse of certain terms
and related legal rulings addresses fi ve matters of importance: [1] matters
signifi ed by specifi c appellations, errant legal rulings and consequences; [2]
extremist doctrines; [3] extremist religious discourses; [4] rebuttal of errant
doctrines; and [5] implications of extremist designations and rulings.

How to Cite
Ushama, T. (2017). Historical Roots of Extremist and Radical Islamist Thinking. Intellectual Discourse, 25(Special Is), 527-551. Retrieved from http://journals.iium.edu.my/intdiscourse/index.php/islam/article/view/1058