Is Daesh (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Islamic State) predominantly Salafi? This article says ISIS is Salafi, but I've come across someone disputing that.

  • 3
    It is a futile exercise trying to understand ISIS (or relate it to) through a strand of Islam. What they do is driven purely by political/military concerns, and not because of some desire to follow the texts. This much is abundantly clear. Given that this question is primarily about the beliefs of a contemporary group, I'm not sure the question is on-topic here. If it was about whether or not, or how, some contemporary group's beliefs relate to the Islamic texts that may be on topic (kind of like the hostage question yesterday).
    – Ansari
    Jan 31 '15 at 3:34
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    @andrew , you better ask individual questions on various belief of "ISIS" in relation with Islam. You dont even need to use the word "ISIS". And it would be better if the claims come from primary sources and not what the media reports about them.
    – Islam
    Jan 31 '15 at 5:29
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    @Ansari it might be abundantly clear to you, but it isn't abundantly clear to me. Jan 31 '15 at 23:15
  • @AndrewGrimm, you are right. Factually what you inquired made more more informed as well. Jazak Allah Khaira. May 11 '16 at 7:05

If you ask any ISIS fighter or their sympathizers what sect they follow, their answer would be:

Quran and Sunnah, by the teaching of Prophet and the Righteous predecessors (salaf)

Also for those that think that Salafi is different from Wahhabi:

The Salafi movement is often described as being synonymous with Wahhabism, but Salafists consider the term "Wahhabi" derogatory.

It is often reported from various sources, including the German domestic intelligence service, that Salafism is the fastest-growing Islamic movement in the world.

Many groups, including Al Nusra, Alqeda, Caucasus, ISIS (see source for full list of groups that associate with Salafism) are self described as Salafi (a term applied Salafi Jihadism):

However, let me make it clear that not All people who follow the Salaf (most of the Sunni do) believe in extreme interruption of the Quran and Sunnah (including myself). There are many Salafi scholars who forbade suicide in all of its forms (suicide bombing), for more info on the movement, go here:

Aljoulani (ISIS leader in Syria) also says in an interview with Aljazeera

The creed is from the Quran and Sunnah and the sayings of the Salafi Uluma

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN25VOTw98k @ 0:13 seconds

  • 1
    Do you have any evidence that Da'ish are "self described as Salafi" (as you put it)?
    – aasheq
    May 29 '15 at 21:25
  • If the fact that everyone arrested from Alqeda/ISIS consider themselves salafi's and salafi groups all over the world pledging allegiance to them are not enough, I doubt that any evidence I provide will satisfy you.
    – user12537
    May 29 '15 at 22:03
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    One explicit quotation would be so useful.
    – aasheq
    May 29 '15 at 22:31
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    @aasheq Since common isn't a reference for you, I added a reference for you from youtube.
    – user12537
    Jun 4 '15 at 16:42
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    If Salafi Movement refers to "Quran and Sunnah, by the teaching of Prophet and the Righteous predecessors (salaf)", then aren't all "Sunnis" Salafi? Your answer is incorrect, and Wikipedia is a very weak source, in fact it is banned to use Wikipedia as a source in academic environment, such as Universities etc.. May 5 '16 at 13:24

Da'ish (ISIS) are not Salafi and certainly not Khawarij. They are definitely Wahhabi, as the previous answer has very correctly pointed out.

  • Does not the category "Salafi" include "Wahhabi"? How then can they definitely be the one but not the other?
    – goldPseudo
    Apr 20 '15 at 18:45
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    No. The Wahhabiyya are an offshoot of the Hanbali madhhab. The Salafiyya are a reformist movement which originated in 19th-century Egypt who reject all four madhahib and claim to return to the "original" teachings of Islam.
    – aasheq
    Apr 20 '15 at 18:49
  • This is a well informed answer. Why has it been voted down?
    – fdb
    Jun 11 '17 at 23:04

"Salafi" is not a school of thought, rather a movement calling for the return of the four Sunni schools of thought.

The above being clarified, the answer to your question should become more clear. Islamic State comprises of all four schools of thought. Within its territory, it has judges from all four schools of thought, which are not that different concerning major issues.

The evidence can be found through analysis of its propaganda material, which can be found in "Jihodology".

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