Skip to main content
Neo-Traditional Salafi Qur’an-Sunna Hermeneutics and Its Interpretational Implications
Religion Compass (2011)

The purpose of this article is to outline the delineating features of a Qur’an-Sunnah hermeneuticof one of the contemporary Muslim schools of thought, here named Neo-traditional Salafism(NTS).The first section of the article provides a brief discussion of the main representatives of NTS. In the second part NTS is positioned in relation to the broader Islamic tradition. This isdone so with respect to the relative status and authenticity of various sources of legal authority inthe Islamic tradition and with a special attention given to the concept of Sunna. In the third partof the article NTS’ Sunna hermeneutic is examined more closely and its interpretational implica-tions are noted. The fourth section describes the NTS approach to Qur’anic hermeneutics and itsinterpretational implications. The author argues that in terms of their methodology of interpreta-tion of the Qur’an-Sunnah NTS is closely related to that of the pre-modern ahl-hadith school of thought as both NTS and ahl-hadith hermeneutic are characterized by a philologically centredinterpretational orientation; textual ‘intentionalism’, i.e. the subscription to a voluntaristic view of law, ethics, morality and ontology; the belief in the fixed, stable nature of the meaning of theQur’anic text residing in totality in the mind of its Originator, the interpretational marginalizationof Qur’anic revelationary background; a ‘voluntarist–traditionalist’ view of the relationshipbetween reason and revelation; textual segmentalist approach to the Qur’anic content and the ille-gitimacy of a hermeneutically priviledged aims (maqasid) and social benefit (maslaha) basedapproach to Qur’anic interpretation.

  • neo-traditional salafism,
  • salafism,
  • Qur'an-Sunna hermeneutics,
  • Islamic hermeneutics,
  • women and gender in islam
Publication Date
Citation Information
"Neo-Traditional Salafi Qur’an-Sunna Hermeneutics and Its Interpretational Implications" Religion Compass (2011)
Available at: