The Ahl-e-Hadith: From British India to Britain

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Abstract

Studies on Salafism tend to put the spotlight on the Middle East, rendering all other movements as secondary offshoots. In the British context, research typically focuses on British Salafi groups and their close relationship with Arab Salafis; it usually locates the origins of the British Salafi movement in the 1980s with the rise of cohorts among second-generation Muslims and converts to Islam, with fleeting remarks on the South Asian Ahl-e-Hadith who migrated to Britain from the 1960s onwards. This article recentres the South Asian Ahl-e-Hadith movement within the narrative of British Salafism. Tracing its trajectory from its origins in British India to Britain, this article argues that in the 1970s the Ahl-e-Hadith played a significant role in laying the foundations for British Salafism. Furthermore, far from being eclipsed by newer cohorts, it highlights the hitherto continuous presence of the Ahl-e-Hadith in the British Muslim landscape and emphasizes its overlapping, yet distinct, position in relation to the spectrum of Arab-inspired British Salafism.

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APA

Amin, H., & Majothi, A. (2022). The Ahl-e-Hadith: From British India to Britain. Modern Asian Studies, 56(1), 176–206. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0026749X21000093

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