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ibn Baz was the (Salafi) Saudi religious leader until his death in 1999.
The Mu’tazili school of Islamic theology taught the use of reason and rational thought. Mu’tazili is an Islamic school of theology that flourished in the cities of Basra and Baghdad during the 8th to 10th centuries. It asserted that Allah is perfect and the Quran was created by Allah.
Therefore, Allah’s commands of what behavior is obligatory or forbidden are to be found by inquiry into the Quran and rational thought, not in “sacred precedent” of sharia law.
Al-Ash’ari of Basra was a Mu’tazilite until the year 914 at age 40 when he had a series of dreams in which the prophet Mohammed told him to support the hadiths and reject the rationalism of the Mu’tazila. Al-Ash’ari then founded the Ash’ariyya theological school in Sunni Islam, teaching that reason must be subordinate to revelation.
Shia Ismailis (often called the “Seveners”, but Ismailis disapprove of the use of the word “Seveners”) considered Isma‘il ibn Ja‘far to be the legitimate 7th imam, and sought to use reason to find the meaning of the Quran.
[Scholarly sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica do not accept “Sevener” as a synonym for “Ismaili”, and instead insist that the word “Seveners” should only be used to describe a no-longer-existing sect related to the Ismailis.]
Ismailis ruled Egypt during much of the Muslim Golden Age, and briefly ruled Persia during the first half of the 10th century. Some of the scientists and scholars of Damascus were Ismailis.
Later, many Mongols became Shia Nizari Ismailis.
Ash’ariyya Muslims and Shia Seveners, including those in Shia Sevener (Ismaili) Egypt, in Persia, in Islamic Spain, and what is now Turkey played a major role in the Islamic Golden Age.
Sects that stressed revelation sometimes destroyed observatories built by those who believed in reason, accusing them of practising astrology.
Most of the Ismailis of today are the 15 million Nizaris, who recognize Aga Khan as the 49th imam.
Bohras are also Ismailis.
The Ismailis are not the majority in any country today. The Alawites (who are a minority in Syria but control the government of Syria that the Saudis and President Obama are attempting to overthrow) and the Druze are related to the Ismailis http://i-cias.com/e.o/seveners.htm
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703 – 1792) sought to purify Islam, and in “Kitab al-Tawhid”, described Christians and Jews as sorcerers who believe in devil worship, and that the punishment for such sorcerers is beheading by a sword.
Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), who opposed Ismailis, is another scholar read by Salafis.
The writings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and ibn Taymiyyah are distributed to mosques in the United States and other countries by the Saudi-funded Muslim World League (MWL).
The difference between Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood is explained at http://www.meforum.org/3541/salafis-muslim-brotherhood
Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin has relatives with ties to Salafis and to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Salafis gave money to the Clinton Trust.
Relatives of President Obama collect money to send children to Salafi schools. A former Manhattan Borough president (who had been Malcolm X’s attorney) stated that [Salafi] Saudis helped Obama to get admitted to Harvard Law School.
Image by Lakhdar, via Wikimedia Commons.