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The Ikhwān of Saudi Arabia : past and present

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Ikhwān Movement
  • Political Science


This thesis looks at the Ikhwan movement from an historical point of view and focuses on going back to the roots of the movement which is tied to the religious revivalism initiated by Muhammad al-Wahhab in the late 1700s. The religious doctrine which evolved from this religious revival movement condoned and legitimized both the formation of modern Saudi Arabia under the rule of the al-Saud family and the Ikhwan. Hence, Wahhabism is the underlying theme to three historical events: the first Wahhabi movement of the 1700s, the Ikhwan under Ibn Saud and the Neo-Ikhwan under al-Utaybi. All of these events should be regarded as one movement, where Wahhabism provides the link or key to understanding the Ikhwan not only as a political/military organization but as a religious movement as well.

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