The Syrian civil war prompted a new wave of religious discourse in Saudi Arabia as the Saudi government and its clerics expressed support for the Sunni protesters in Syria. The issues of jihad and Sunni groups fighting in Syria received significant clerical attention; the Saudi Ê¿ulamÄÊ¾ of various political persuasions, including ï¿½activistsï¿½ and ï¿½quietistsï¿½, commented on the events in Syria. Following the rise of ISIS as the war progressed, the Ê¿ulamÄÊ¾ became themselves the subject of scrutiny for allegedly providing the foundations for extremism in Syria. Both the rhetoric of the clerics, as well as Saudi Salafi religious traditions more broadly, came under immense attack domestically and internationally. This article examines how the Saudi clerics dealt with these criticisms. It analyses the rhetoric and actions of the clerics in relation to ISISï¿½s brand of Salafism, both theologically and politically. It finds that the Saudi Ê¿ulamÄÊ¾ of various political persuasions are contesting claims to Salafism, resulting in heated debates and attempts to reconstruct Saudi religious traditions.