Natana’s comprehensive and original analysis of the writings of the influential Arabian religious reformer Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab rejects the conventional idea that the movement is a radical departure from the mainstream of Islam.
She debunks the common journalistic portrayal of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab as an illiterate, rural bumpkin with no scholarly formation.
She provides a convincing reinterpretation of this controversial thinker’s beliefs, especially, in regard to the status of women. He emerges as an original thinker whose views on Jihad and women in particular are not extreme or fanatical but scholarly and moderate.
By amassing so much evidence for her original interpretation of a rich intellectual vision at the core of Wahhabism, DeLong opens the way for historians to reconsider and revise the standard, perhaps mistaken, notions about it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natana j. Delong-Bas is a senior research assistant at the Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. She is the author of Notable Muslims: A Biographical Dictionary (2004) and co-author of Women in Muslim Family Law revised edition, with John L. Esposito (2001). She has served as editor for and contributor to The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003), and contributor to The Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (2004), and the Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (2004) She is a frequent public speaker on Islam, Whahhabism, and Saudi Arabia.