Journal Article - Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions

In Search of Philosopher-Jihadis: Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi's Jihadi Philosophy

| June 2009


This article examines Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi's imprint on the intellectual capital of jihadism. It explores al-Maqdisi's religious teachings, his emphasis on the 'Religion/Community of Abraham' as a model for believers and focuses on the meanings he ascribes to tawhid and the blurry unresolved boundaries between tawhid and takfir. In light of claims that al-Maqdisi has reneged on the jihadi principles he once espoused, this article examines earlier and more recent writings by al-Maqdisi and argues that such claims are not well-founded. It contends that underlying al-Maqdisi's teachings is a vision of establishing an idealistic community of learned believers, who are as proficient in Islamic law as they are adept on the battlefield. Accordingly, al-Maqdisi, like other idealist thinkers, has been entrapped by his idealism especially as jihadis seek to translate his vision into reality.

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For Academic Citation: Lahoud, Nelly. In Search of Philosopher-Jihadis: Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi's Jihadi Philosophy.” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, vol. 10. no. 2. (June 2009):

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