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The Temptation of Graves in Salafi Islam

Iconoclasm, Destruction and Idolatry

Ondřej Beránek, Pavel Ťupek

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Contextualises current Salafi iconoclasm and graves destruction, tracing its ideological sources

In various parts of the Islamic world over the past decades virulent attacks have targeted Islamic funeral and sacral architecture. Rather than being random acts of vandalism, these are associated with the idea of performing one’s religious duty as attested to in the Salafi/Wahhabi tradition and texts. Graves, shrines and tombs are regarded by some Muslims as having the potential to tempt a believer to polytheism. Hence the duty to level the graves to the ground (taswiyat al-qubūr).

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List of Illustrations
Chapter 1 – Graves and Shrines in Medieval Islam: From Pre-Islamic Times to Ibn Taymiyya’s Legacy
Chapter 2 – Early Wahhabism and the Beginnings of Modern Salafism
Chapter 3 – Saudi Arabia between Pan-Islamism, Iconoclasm and Political Legitimacy
Chapter 4 – Following Current Paths of Destruction: ISIS and Beyond

About the Author

Ondřej Beránek is Director of the Oriental Institute at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He is editor of Arab Revolutions: Democratic Challenges, Political Islam (Academia, 2013) and co-author (with Pavel Tupek) of The Two Faces of Islamic Charity (CDK, 2008). Both publications are in Czech.

Pavel Ťupek is a Researcher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern and African Studies at Charles University, Prague. He is author of Salafi Islam (Academia, 2015) (in Czech).

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