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Ahl al-Hadith

Ahl al-Hadith (People of the Tradition). A relatively small but vigorous Islamic reform movement. It first appeared in India at the end of the 19th cent., and its characteristics are similar to the Wahhābī movement of Arabia. Their creed is ‘whatever the Prophet Muḥammad taught in the Qurʾān and the authentic traditions, that alone is the basis of our religionʾ. On matters of Islamic law, the ahl-al-Hadith far exceed Wahhābī puritanism. They cast aside the four orthodox schools of law, and instead contend that every believer is free to follow his own interpretation of the Qurʾān and the traditions, provided that he has sufficient learning to enable him to give a valid interpretation.

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