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Friday, July 22, 2011

Wahhabi Fitna

Who or What is a Wahhabi ?

In the last few years the term 'Wahhabi' has become infamous among the Muslims, however, there is very little understanding among the general Muslim populace as to the exact meaning of this term 'Wahhabi'.

Some say that there is no such thing as a 'Wahhabi' it is only a myth. Others say that a 'Wahhabi' is a person believes in Allah's attribute of Al-Wahhab. Yet others say that to call someone a 'Wahhabi' is an insult. So what is the mystery surrounding this term 'Wahhabi' ?

As to those who say that there is no such thing as a Wahhabi, they are either misinformed or lack knowledge on the subject. That leaves us with the other two possibilities as mentioned above.

A Mullah in a local mosque in South London gave a lengthy Jum'a Khutba on the term Wahhabi. The Mullah was called a Wahhabi by a worshipper and the Mullah decided to clear his name. The Mullah argued, that, yes he was a Wahhabi because he believed in the attribute of Allah, Al-Wahhab.

It was an excellent attempt by this Mullah to clear his name and hide the facts. Ask yourself, why did a worshipper at the mosque call this Mullah a 'Wahhabi', the worshippers could have used any of Allah's other famous 99 attributes, why call the Mullah a 'Wahhabi'? And if the Mullah believes that he is a Wahhabi on account of his belief in the attribute of Allah Al-Wahhab, then why make such a song and dance about clearing his name as a 'Wahhabi'? In short, the Mullah was offended when the worshipper called him a Wahhabi, this clearly indicates that there is more to this term 'Wahhabi' then meets the eye.

So, we are left with the third possibility which indicates that there is something sinister about the term 'Wahhabi'. And to accuse someone of being a 'Wahhabi' is an insulting remark, but why?

We shall now clearly define the term 'Wahhabi' and how it came about.

1. A 'Wahhabi' is a person who follows the teachings of a Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi. Just as we call people who follow the Madhab of Imam Abu Hanifa (Radi Allahu anhu), -'Hanafi.' Wahhabis are not called 'Wahhabis' because they believe in Allah's attribute Al-Wahhab, all Muslims believe in Allah's attribute Al-Wahhab.

2. Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi was born in 1699 and died in 1792. Before he appeared, there was no such term as 'Wahhabi'.

3. Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi rebelled against the Aqeeda of Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama'ah and established his own Wahhabi School of thought. He took as his mentor Ibn Taimiyya (b1263/d1328), who also had rebelled against the Aqeedah of Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama'ah and established his own school of thought.

4. Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi was spoon feed and supported by the British Government who were looking for rebellious people like Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi to destroy the Islamic Caliphate from within its self. (Read the 'Confessions of a British spy' for a detailed account of Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi's partnership with the British).

5. Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi was despised by his father and brother, who were both learned ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama'ah. Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi's brother, Shaykh Suleman, refuted Wahhabism in his book 'As-sawa'iq al-ilahiyya fi'r-raddi'ala 'i-Wahahabiya'.

6. Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi declared the Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama'ah as 'Kafirs'. He passed a ruling that it was lawful to kill men, women and children belonging to the Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama'ah. In fact, it is recorded in the books of history, that, the Wahhabis killed over 100,000 thousand Muslim men and enslaved the women and children.

7. Wahhabis came into power by torturing and killing Muslims. They finally took Makkah with the help of the British in 1924 and bombarded the Shrine of the Final & Most Beloved Prophet to Allah (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa sallam) in Madina. But it was in 1931 that they finally took Madina. And in 1932 the Wahhabis founded the state of Saudi Arabia.

These, then are the beliefs and atrocities that the Wahhabis committed not too far in history but they have managed to cover their tracks successfully with 'Petro-Dollars', by buying the weak Iman of some corrupt scholars who also became Wahhabis.

So, the Mullah in the Mosque gave a totally misconstrued definition of a 'Wahhabi'. He was in reality offended when the worshipper called him a Wahhabi, because the Mullah knew full well what the worshipper meant when he called him a Wahhabi. The worshipper clearly knew the account of the Wahhabi history of murder and disrespect towards Allah Almighty's Most Beloved Messenger (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa sallam).

Our Mullah belongs to the Deobandi school of thought and this is what one of the founding fathers of the Deobandi/Tableeghi movement had to say about the Wahhabis.

"Mohammed Ibne Abdul Wahhab is known as a Wahhabi. His beliefs were excellent."

(Fatawa-e-Rashidia, Book 1,pp/111 by Rashid Ahmed Gangohi).

Now when the founding father of the Deobandi/Tableeghi school of thought praises the Wahhabi beliefs, then surely he also condones the slaughter and rape of the Muslims by these very Wahhabis. He also condones the Bombing of the Sacred Shrine of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa sallam. Then, we the Sunni Muslims, would like to know, why the Deobandis/Tableeghis object on being called Wahhabis, when their own leader has praised the Wahhabis for their 'excellent beliefs'?

We seriously urge the unsuspecting Muslim populace to rethink their views and study the recent Islamic history in respect of the Wahhabi/Deobandi/Tableeghi movements which all stand for the same cause but under different names.

It will be seen that these three notorious movements are bent on defaming the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa sallam and destroying Islam from the inside. These three movements are the original products of British Conspiracies and nothing else.

For too long the Sunni Muslims have been sitting idle, while the Wahhabi/Deobandi/Tableeghi movements have brain washed our Sunni brothers & sisters. They have destroyed the very fabric of our pure beliefs and polluted our Mosques with their twisted beliefs. These people never debate with the learned scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, fearing the loss of face should their congregations hear of their defeat. They always run away making an excuse of not wanting to make fitna, when in reality they are the fitna makers who have divided the Muslim communities everywhere.

Now it is up to you fair minded Muslims to study the beliefs of these movements, their leaders and their aims. And it is up to you fair minded Muslims to ask Mosque committees to allow Sunni Muslims to preach and practice true Islam. Why should only the Wahhabis, Deobandis and Tableeghis have control of all our Mosques. Why don't the Mosque committees allow Ahl as- Sunnah scholars to lead prayer, is it because, like the Wahhabis, they think that Ahl as-Sunnah Muslims are Kafirs?

Yes, we need to ask these question to the Mosque committees, unless the committee members are themselves Wahhabis, they should allow the Sunni Muslims to use the Mosques for Milad an-Nabi, Salat-o-Salaam on Fridays and Urs Shareef. If the beliefs of the Ahl as-Sunnah Wal Jama'ah are wrong, then prove it, come and debate with as face to face!

Because the Wahhabis could not dominate the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent with their corrupt beliefs, they bought a few corrupt Mullahs to do their dirty work for them. These Mullahs pretended to be Sunni Muslims until such a time when they had brainwashed enough unsuspecting Sunni Muslims, then they declared their corrupt beliefs openly.

It is about time that the Mosque committees did justice to the Muslim populace. It is about time they accepted the truth instead of running away from it. It is about time that they realised they will have to carry the burden of all the congregation, whom they have allowed to be exposed to Wahhabi beliefs. We only pray that Allah opens the eyes and minds of the Mosque committee members and makes them distinguish truth from falsehood. Ameen.

May Allah protect us from these evil movements and their beliefs. May Allah give us the strength to speak the truth. Ameen. (Ahl as-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, South London)

Lets see how Ahmed Rashid analyse it and puts it on

Ahle Hadith is another branch of Sunni Islam. Ahle Hadith (Wahhabi) theology stresses literal belief in the Koran and the Hadith (traditional reports of the actions and beliefs of Muhammad). Like Deobandis, Wahhabis are highly conservative and deeply resentful of the "corrupting" influences of the Western world.

Lashkar-e-Taiba ("Army of the Pure") was founded in 1993 from a small Afghan group as the militant wing of an Ahle Hadith organization known as Markaz-Dawa-Wal-Irshad (MDI). Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a retired engineering professor, runs MDI.

The Indian government views Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) as the most important jihadi group because of its extraordinary growth in size, wealth, and popularity. Its annual convention, held every November at its headquarters in Muridke, attracts several hundred thousand visitors.

LET claims to train 40,000 youth per year, many of whom do not become full-time mujahideen, and it boasts of having 2,500 recruiting offices throughout Pakistan. It has 125 of its own madrisas, a senior member told me. More than 80 percent of the graduates are sent to mujahideen training camps, he said.

When I asked how LET manages to send such a high percentage of graduates to training camps, when JUI-Q, for example, sends only 10-15 percent, LET told me that funding is not a problem for them, unlike other militant groups. LET will train anyone who requests it.

(Although many of the militant groups are heavily funded by individuals in the Persian Gulf, LET appears to be particularly successful at fundraising. LET and its parent organization have reportedly raised so much money they are planning to open their own bank.)

Recently LET released this announcement: "In our jihad camp we impart training for three weeks in which newcomers are introduced to the Kalashnikov up to the missile. Then we train them for three weeks more for Da'wa, which is called 'Suffah Tour.' Following this there comes the 'Special Tour' comprising of three months in which they are trained for guerrilla war and mine blast, fighting, and firing the missiles and rockets. After the completion of guerrilla training, a man is enabled to be launched in Kashmir .... After this practice, some of the boys are selected for specialization in making remote control bombs and missiles. In the course of guerrilla war, weather as well as the Indian Army's move[ments] are also observed. There is no restriction to go for jihad training. We observe that a boy must possess strong muscles and body because the same are required [for] performing hard exercises. Presently boys of eight years of age are mostly taking part in jihad."

Lashkar-e-Taiba literature encourages youth to fulfill their religious duty by becoming mujahideen in Burma, Chechnya, Kashmir, Kosovo, Palestine, and the Philippines, where Muslims are "not free." Defensive jihad is "obligatory" in all these countries, according to the literature. Women are also encouraged to go door-to-door to convince other women "to send their brothers and sons for the cause of jihad."

The organisation is also active on the Internet. Computer literacy is emphasized at its madrisas, although no other secular subjects are taught. (LET members have e-mailed me their press releases and other literature regularly over the past couple of years.) The group's bank account numbers are listed on its web sites, which has greatly enhanced its fundraising, a senior LET member told me.

The organization advertises its high-tech prowess to attract youth to join the cause. "Mujahideen have got access to the Indian army web site where they worked against the Indian forces," says its literature. "Lashkar-e-Taiba also made a remote control airplane that was caught in Occupied Kashmir. We are developing the modern technology. We can make modern devices."

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Sub-Continental Role


What is Wahabism? How did it come to the sub-continent from Saudi Arabia? What was its pre-1947 role in the sub-continent? To answer these questions, one could do no better than quote extensively Mr.V.Abdulla, a well-known South Indian Islamic research scholar.

Reviewing a book titled "The Wahabi Movement In India", written by Mr.Qeyamuddin Ahmad and published by the Manohar Publishers & Distributors, 2/6,Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi--110002, he wrote as follows in the "Hindu" of Chennai (October 10,1995):

"The Wahhabi movement---a name they disliked intensely, as they preferred to call themselves Ahli Hadithi or followers of the Prophet's authenticated traditions--- was based on the teachings of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab (1703-92) born in Nejd, now part of Saudi Arabia. The bedrock of their belief was the strict monotheism of pristine Islam coupled with an abjuration of any intercession of any saint, however holy, for God's favours.

"They abhorred the very idea of Muslims visiting the tombs of such saints or investing them with miraculous powers. Although Abdul Wahhab initially enjoyed the local support of the regional Governor who ruled under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Caliph, his reforming zeal soon incurred the wrath of the establishment.

"He had to take refuge with a powerful local tribal chief Mohammad Ibn Saud with whom he struck up an alliance which has left an indelible mark on modern Arab history. The descendants of Mohammad Ibn Saud, who followed the teachings of Abdul Wahhab, eventually established their authority of what is now called Saudi Arabia. The austere and puritanic principles enjoined by Abdul Wahhab are still enforced in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"The Wahhabi link with India came mainly through Sayyid Ahmad (1786-1831), who belonged to a family of saintly renown who were settled down in UP. He was strongly influenced by the teachings of Abdul Wahhab, of the necessity of going back to the pristine purity of Islamic tenets. He went a step further and decided it was necessary to build up an organisation of dedicated followers who should be enjoined to bear arms, if so needed.

"As it came into being during the period of the decline of Mughal authority and the erosion of their Imperial power, the Wahhabi movement became imbued with strong political overtones, resistance to the rising tide of the British influence being the predominant motive.

"Although Bihar and Bengal had been its base of operations, it was not long before Sayyid Ahmad decided to migrate to the independent territories of North-West Frontier from where he could wage war against the British. This fateful journey, called "Hijrat" or migration, began in 1826 and helped to arouse great religious fervour and political enthusiasm.

"As the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh were expanding northwards from the Punjab, it was natural that they looked upon Sayyid and his followers with distrust, sometimes leading to skirmishes between the two.

"This gave the impression that the Wahhabis were anti-Sikh, a notion that was deliberately exaggerated and nurtured by the British to serve their own purpose. There were many pitched battles between the Wahhabis and the British forces, fought in the mountainous Himalayan terrain. Though the British forces suffered many defeats, they were able to take revenge in their clinching triumph in the Battle of Balakote where the Wahhabis fell fighting to the last, including their leader Sayyid Ahmad.

"The cardinal aim of the Wahhabis, apart from their puritanical objectives, was the destruction of British power. They not only attacked the British openly as in the Frontier, but they also tried infiltrating secretly among the rank and file of the army in order to sow the seeds of disloyalty. In the course of time, the British realised what was going on and they decided that Wahhabi influence would be rooted out altogether.

"The two major conspiracies the British had to face were the "Mutiny", so-called, of 1857 and the Wahhabi movement which tried to destroy the very army on which the British relied for support. The Wahhabis had a great deal to do with the unrest in the army, which resulted in the "Mutiny", though it failed because it lacked central directive or motive force and dissipated itself in stray uprisings which spent themselves out."

The Wahhabi Ruling on 'Naats/Nasheeds'

by Shaykh Muhammad Nâsir ad-Dîn al-Albânî
Translated by Abu 'Abdis-Salam


What is the ruling on 'nasheeds' commonly [found] amongst many of the youth, which they call 'Islaamic Nasheeds'?


If these nasheeds have 'Islaamic' meanings whilst not having in them any musical instruments such as duffs, other drums, or the like, then there is no problem in this.

However, it is necessary to explain an important prerequisite for their permissibility, and that is that they should be free of anything contradicting the sharee'ah such as excessiveness [1] and the like.

Then another condition is that it should not become a habit because that diverts listeners [of the nasheeds] from the recitation of the Qur`aan, which is encouraged in the prophetic, purified, sunnah. Likewise, it diverts them from seeking beneficial knowledge and calling to Allaah subhaanahu.

As for the use of duffs in nasheeds, then this is permissible for women when amongst themselves, and not for men, and on 'Eed and on weddings only.


[1] [Translator's Note]: Such as going to extremes in praising the Prophet SAW. comment :

The above text is unedited,we have displayed it as it is written in one of their polluted websites ...

Allah the Almighty says :

Undoubtedly, Allah and His Angels send Blessings on the Prophet the Communicator of unseen news, O' you who believe! Send upon him Blessings and Salute him fully well in Abundance.

Qur'an al Hakeem [Surah al Azhab : 56]






Al-Ahsa'i Al-Misri, Ahmad (1753-1826): Unpublished manuscript of a refutation of the Wahhabi sect. His son Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Latif al-Ahsa'i also wrote a book refuting them.

Al-Ahsa'i, Al-Sayyid `Abd al-Rahman: wrote a sixty-seven verse poem which begins with the verse:

    Badat fitnatun kal layli qad ghattatil aafaaqa
    wa sha``at fa kadat tublighul gharba wash sharaqa
    [A confusion came about like nightfall covering the skies
    and became widespread almost reaching the whole world]

Al-`Amrawi, `Abd al-Hayy, and `Abd al-Hakim Murad (Qarawiyyin University, Morocco): Al-tahdhir min al-ightirar bi ma ja'a fi kitab al-hiwar ["Warning Against Being Fooled By the Contents of the Book (by Ibn Mani`) A Debate With al-Maliki (an attack on Ibn `Alawi al-Maliki by a Wahhabi writer)"] (Fes: Qarawiyyin, 1984).

`Ata' Allah al-Makki: al-sarim al-hindi fil `unuq al-najdi ["The Indian Scimitar on the Najdi's Neck"].

Al-Azhari, `Abd Rabbih ibn Sulayman al-Shafi`i (The author of Sharh Jami' al-Usul li ahadith al-Rasul, a basic book of Usul al-Fiqh: Fayd al-Wahhab fi Bayan Ahl al-Haqq wa man dalla `an al-sawab, 4 vols. ["Allah's Outpouring in Differentiating the True Muslims From Those Who Deviated From the Truth"].

Al-`Azzami, `Allama al-shaykh Salama (d. 1379H): Al-Barahin al-sati`at ["The Radiant Proofs..."].

Al-Barakat al-Shafi`i al-Ahmadi al-Makki, `Abd al-Wahhab ibn Ahmad: unpublished manuscript of a refutation of the Wahhabi sect.

al-Bulaqi, Mustafa al-Masri wrote a refutation to San`a'i's poem in which the latter had praised Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. It is in Samnudi's "Sa`adat al-Darayn" and consists in 126 verses beginning thus:

  • Bi hamdi wali al-hamdi la al-dhammi astabdi
    Wa bil haqqi la bil khalqi lil haqqi astahdi
    [By the glory of the Owner of glory, not baseness, do I overcome;
    And by Allah, not by creatures, do I seek guidance to Allah]

Al-Buti, Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan (University of Damascus): Al-salafiyyatu marhalatun zamaniyyatun mubarakatun la madhhabun islami ["The Salafiyya is a blessed historical period not an Islamic school of law"] (Damascus: Dar al-fikr, 1988); Al-lamadhhabiyya akhtaru bid`atin tuhaddidu al-shari`a al-islamiyya ["Non-madhhabism is the most dangerous innovation presently menacing Islamic law"] (Damascus: Maktabat al-Farabi, n.d.).

Al-Dahesh ibn `Abd Allah, Dr. (Arab University of Morocco), ed. Munazara `ilmiyya bayna `Ali ibn Muhammad al-Sharif wa al-Imam Ahmad ibn Idris fi al-radd `ala Wahhabiyyat Najd, Tihama, wa `Asir ["Scholarly Debate Between the Sharif and Ahmad ibn Idris Against the Wahhabis of Najd, Tihama, and `Asir"].

Dahlan, al-Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni (d. 1304/1886). Mufti of Mecca and Shaykh al-Islam (highest religious authority in the Ottoman jurisdiction) for the Hijaz region: al-Durar al-saniyyah fi al-radd ala al-Wahhabiyyah ["The Pure Pearls in Answering the Wahhabis"] pub. Egypt 1319 & 1347 H; Fitnat al-Wahhabiyyah ["The Wahhabi Fitna"]; Khulasat al-Kalam fi bayan Umara' al-Balad al-Haram ["The Summation Concerning the Leaders of the Sacrosanct Country"], a history of the Wahhabi fitna in Najd and the Hijaz.

al-Dajwi, Hamd Allah: al-Basa'ir li Munkiri al-tawassul ka amthal Muhd. Ibn `Abdul Wahhab ["The Evident Proofs Against Those Who Deny the Seeking of Intercession Like Muhammad Ibn `Abdul Wahhab"].

Shaykh al-Islam Dawud ibn Sulayman al-Baghdadi al-Hanafi (1815-1881 CE): al-Minha al-Wahbiyya fi radd al-Wahhabiyya ["The Divine Dispensation Concerning the Wahhabi Deviation"]; Ashadd al-Jihad fi Ibtal Da`wa al-Ijtihad ["The Most Violent Jihad in Proving False Those Who Falsely Claim Ijtihad"].

Al-Falani al-Maghribi, al-Muhaddith Salih: authored a large volume collating the answers of scholars of the Four Schools to Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab.

al-Habibi, Muhammad `Ashiq al-Rahman: `Adhab Allah al-Mujdi li Junun al-Munkir al-Najdi ["Allah's Terrible Punishment for the Mad Rejector From Najd"].

Al-Haddad, al-Sayyid al-`Alawi ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan ibn al-Qutb

Sayyidi `Abd Allah ibn `Alawi al-Haddad al-Shafi`i: al-Sayf al-batir li `unq al-munkir `ala al-akabir ["The Sharp Sword for the Neck of the Assailant of Great Scholars"]. Unpublished manuscript of about 100 folios; Misbah al-anam wa jala' al-zalam fi radd shubah al-bid`i al-najdi al-lati adalla biha al-`awamm ["The Lamp of Mankind and the Illumination of Darkness Concerning the Refutation of the Errors of the Innovator From Najd by Which He Had Misled the Common People"]. Published 1325H.

Al-Hamami al-Misri, Shaykh Mustafa: Ghawth al-`ibad bi bayan al-rashad ["The Helper of God's Servants According to the Affirmation of Guidance"].

Al-Hilmi al-Qadiri al-Iskandari, Shaykh Ibrahim: Jalal al-haqq fi kashf ahwal ashrar al-khalq ["The Splendor of Truth in Exposing the Worst of People] (pub. 1355H).

Al-Husayni, `Amili, Muhsin (1865-1952). Kashf al-irtiyab fi atba` Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab ["The Dispelling of Doubt Concerning the Followers of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab"]. [Yemen?]: Maktabat al-Yaman al-Kubra, 198?.

Ibn `Abd al-Latif al-Shafi`i, `Abd Allah: Tajrid sayf al-jihad `ala mudda`i al-ijtihad ["The drawing of the sword of jihad against the false claimants to ijtihad"].

The family of Ibn `Abd al-Razzaq al-Hanbali in Zubara and Bahrayn possess both manuscript and printed refutations by scholars of the Four Schools from Mecca, Madina, al-Ahsa', al-Basra, Baghdad, Aleppo, Yemen and other Islamic regions.

Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi, `Allama al-Shaykh Sulayman, elder brother of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab: al-Sawa'iq al-Ilahiyya fi al-radd 'ala al-Wahhabiyya ["Divine Lightnings in Answering the Wahhabis"]. Ed. Ibrahim Muhammad al-Batawi. Cairo: Dar al-insan, 1987. Offset reprint by Waqf Ikhlas, Istanbul: Hakikat Kitabevi, 1994. Prefaces by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Kurdi al-Shafi`i and Shaykh Muhammad Hayyan al-Sindi (Muhammad Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab's shaykh) to the effect that Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab is "dall mudill" ("misguided and misguiding").

Ibn `Abidin al-Hanafi, al-Sayyid Muhammad Amin: Radd al-muhtar `ala al-durr al-mukhtar, Vol. 3, Kitab al-Iman, Bab al-bughat ["Answer to the Perplexed: A Commentary on "The Chosen Pearl,"" Book of Belief, Chapter on Rebels]. Cairo: Dar al-Tiba`a al-Misriyya, 1272 H.

Ibn `Afaliq al-Hanbali, Muhammad Ibn `Abdul Rahman: Tahakkum al-muqallidin bi man idda`a tajdid al-din [Sarcasm of the muqallids against the false claimants to the Renewal of Religion]. A very comprehensive book refuting the Wahhabi heresy and posting questions which Ibn `Abdul Wahhab and his followers were unable to answer for the most part.

Ibn Dawud al-Hanbali, `Afif al-Din `Abd Allah: as-sawa`iq wa al-ru`ud ["Lightnings and thunder"], a very important book in 20 chapters. According to the Mufti of Yemen Shaykh al-`Alawi ibn Ahmad al-Haddad, the mufti of Yemen, "This book has received the approval of the `ulama of Basra, Baghdad, Aleppo, and Ahsa' [Arabian peninsula]. It was summarized by Muhammad ibn Bashir the qadi of Ra's al-Khayma in Oman."

Ibn Ghalbun al-Libi also wrote a refutation in forty verses of al-San`ani's poem in which the latter had praised Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. It is in Samnudi's Sa`adat al-darayn and begins thus:

Salami `ala ahlil isabati wal-rushdi

Wa laysa `ala najdi wa man halla fi najdi

[My salutation is upon the people of truth and guidance

And not upon Najd nor the one who settled in Najd]

Ibn Khalifa `Ulyawi al-Azhari: Hadhihi `aqidatu al-salaf wa al-khalaf fi dhat Allahi ta`ala wa sifatihi wa af`alihi wa al-jawab al-sahih li ma waqa`a fihi al-khilaf min al-furu` bayna al-da`in li al-salafiyya wa atba` al-madhahib al-arba`a al-islamiyya ["This is the doctrine of the Predecessors and the Descendants concerning the divergences in the branches between those who call to al-salafiyya and the followers of the Four Islamic Schools of Law"] (Damascus: Matba`at Zayd ibn Thabit, 1398/1977.

Kawthari al-Hanafi, Muhammad Zahid. Maqalat al-Kawthari. (Cairo: al-Maktabah al-Azhariyah li al-Turath, 1994).

Al-Kawwash al-Tunisi, `Allama Al-Shaykh Salih: his refutation of the Wahhabi sect is contained in Samnudi's volume: "Sa`adat al-darayn fi al-radd `ala al-firqatayn."

Khazbek, Shaykh Hasan: Al-maqalat al-wafiyyat fi al-radd `ala al-wahhabiyyah["Complete Treatise in Refuting the Wahhabis"].

Makhluf, Muhammad Hasanayn: Risalat fi hukm al-tawassul bil-anbiya wal-awliya ["Treatise on the Ruling Concerning the Use of Prophets and Saints as Intermediaries"].

Al-Maliki al-Husayni, Al-muhaddith Muhammad al-Hasan ibn `Alawi: Mafahimu yajibu an tusahhah ["Notions that should be corrected"] 4th ed. (Dubai: Hashr ibn Muhammad Dalmuk, 1986); Muhammad al-insanu al-kamil ["Muhammad, the Perfect Human Being"] 3rd ed. (Jeddah: Dar al-Shuruq, 1404/1984).

Al-Mashrifi al-Maliki al-Jaza'iri: Izhar al-`uquq mimman mana`a al-tawassul bil nabi wa al-wali al-saduq ["The Exposure of the Disobedience of Those Who Forbid Using the Intermediary of the Prophets and the Truthful Saints].

Al-Mirghani al-Ta'ifi, `Allama `Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim (d. 1793): Tahrid al-aghbiya' `ala al-Istighatha bil-anbiya' wal-awliya ["The Provocations of the Ignorant Against Seeking the Help of Prophets and Saints"] (Cairo: al-Halabi, 1939).

Mu'in al-Haqq al-Dehlawi (d. 1289): Sayf al-Jabbar al-maslul `ala a`da' al-Abrar ["The Sword of the Almighty Drawn Against the Enemies of the Pure Ones"].

Al-Muwaysi al-Yamani, `Abd Allah ibn `Isa: Unpublished manuscript of a refutation of the Wahhabi sect.

Al-Nabahani al-Shafi`i, al-qadi al-muhaddith Yusuf ibn Isma`il (1850-1932): Shawahid al-Haqq fi al-istighatha bi sayyid al-Khalq (s) ["The Proofs of Truth in the Seeking of the Intercession of the Prophet"].

Al-Qabbani al-Basri al-Shafi`i, Allama Ahmad ibn `Ali: A manuscript treatise in approximately 10 chapters.

Al-Qadumi al-Nabulusi al-Hanbali: `AbdAllah: Rihlat ["Journey"].

Al-Qazwini, Muhammad Hasan, (d. 1825). Al-Barahin al-jaliyyah fi raf` tashkikat al-Wahhabiyah ["The Plain Demonstrations That Dispel the Aspersions of the Wahhabis"]. Ed. Muhammad Munir al-Husayni al-Milani. 1st ed. Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Wafa', 1987.

Al-Qudsi: al-Suyuf al-Siqal fi A`naq man ankara `ala al-awliya ba`d al-intiqal ["The Burnished Swords on the Necks of Those Who Deny the Role of Saints After Their Leaving This World"].

Al-Rifa`i, Yusuf al-Sayyid Hashim, President of the World Union of Islamic Propagation and Information: Adillat Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`at aw al-radd al-muhkam al-mani` `ala munkarat wa shubuhat Ibn Mani` fi tahajjumihi `ala al-sayyid Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki ["The Proofs of the People of the Way of the Prophet and the Muslim Community: or, the Strong and Decisive Refutation of Ibn Mani`'s Aberrations and Aspersions in his Assault on Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki"] (Kuwait: Dar al-siyasa, 1984).

Al-Samnudi al-Mansuri, al-`Allama al-Shaykh Ibrahim: Sa`adat al-darayn fi al-radd `ala al-firqatayn al-wahhabiyya wa muqallidat al-zahiriyyah ["Bliss in the Two Abodes: Refutation of the Two Sects, Wahhabis and Zahiri Followers"].

Al-Saqqaf al-Shafi`i, Hasan ibn `Ali, Islamic Research Intitute, Amman, Jordan: al-Ighatha bi adillat al-istighatha wa al-radd al-mubin `ala munkiri al-tawassul ["The Mercy of God in the Proofs of Seeking Intercession and the Clear Answer to Those who Reject it"]; Ilqam al hajar li al-mutatawil `ala al-Asha`ira min al-Bashar ["The Stoning of All Those Who Attack Ash'aris"]; Qamus shata'im al-Albani wa al-alfaz al-munkara al-lati yatluquha fi haqq ulama al-ummah wa fudalai'ha wa ghayrihim... ["Encyclopedia of al-Albani's Abhorrent Expressions Which He Uses Against the Scholars of the Community, its Eminent Men, and Others..."] Amman : Dar al-Imam al-Nawawi, 1993.

Al-Sawi al-Misri: Hashiyat `ala al-jalalayn ["Commentary on the Tafsir of the Two Jalal al-Din"].

Sayf al-Din Ahmed ibn Muhammad: Al-Albani Unveiled: An Exposition of His Errors and Other Important Issues, 2nd ed. (London: s.n., 1994).

Al-Shatti al-Athari al-Hanbali, al-Sayyid Mustafa ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan, Mufti of Syria: al-Nuqul al-shar'iyyah fi al-radd 'ala al-Wahhabiyya ["The Legal Proofs in Answering the Wahhabis"].

Al-Subki, al-hafiz Taqi al-Din (d. 756/1355): Al-durra al-mudiyya fi al-radd `ala Ibn Taymiyya, ed. Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari ["The Luminous Pearl: A Refutation of Ibn Taymiyya"]; Al-rasa'il al-subkiyya fi al-radd `ala Ibn Taymiyya wa tilmidhihi Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, ed. Kamal al-Hut ["Subki's treatises in Answer to Ibn Taymiyya and his pupil Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya"] (Beirut: `Alam al-Kutub, 1983); Al-sayf al-saqil fi al-radd `ala Ibn Zafil ["The Burnished Sword in Refuting Ibn Zafil (Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya)" Cairo: Matba`at al-Sa`ada, 1937; Shifa' al-siqam fi ziyarat khayr al-anam ["The healing of the sick in visiting the Best of Creation"].

Sunbul al-Hanafi al-Ta'ifi, Allama Tahir: Sima al-Intisar lil awliya' al-abrar ["The Mark of Victory Belongs to Allah's Pure Friends"].

Al-Tabataba'i al-Basri, al-Sayyid: also wrote a reply to San`a'i's poem which was excerpted in Samnudi's Sa`adat al-Darayn. After reading it, San`a'i reversed his position and said: "I have repented from what I said concerning the Najdi."

Al-Tamimi al-Maliki, `Allama Isma`il (d. 1248), Shaykh al-Islam in Tunis: wrote a refutation of a treatise of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab.

Al-Wazzani, al-Shaykh al-Mahdi, Mufti of Fes, Morocco: Wrote a refutation of Muhammad `Abduh's prohibition of tawassul.

al-Zahawi al-Baghdadi, Jamil Effendi Sidqi (d. 1355/1936): al-Fajr al-Sadiq fi al-radd 'ala munkiri al-tawassul wa al-khawariq ["The True Dawn in Refuting Those Who Deny the Seeking of Intercession and the Miracles of Saints"] Pub. 1323/1905 in Egypt.

Al-Zamzami al-Shafi`i, Muhammad Salih, Imam of the Maqam Ibrahim in Mecca, wrote a book in 20 chapters against them according to al-Sayyid al-Haddad.

See also:

Ahmad, Qeyamuddin. The Wahhabi movement in India. 2nd rev. ed. New Delhi : Manohar, 1994.

Source :


Wahhabi Khawarij




These ahadith are cited in the Six Books of authentic traditions for the most part. They have been collated for the most part from the following two books written in refutation of the Wahhabi heresy:

a) al-Sayyid al-`Alawi ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan ibn `Abd Allah ibn `Alawi al-Haddad: Misbah al-anam wa jala' al-zalam fi radd shubah al-bid`i al-Najdi al-lati adalla biha al- `awamm ["The Lamp of Creatures and the Illumination of Darkness Concerning the Refutation of the Errors of the Innovator From Najd by Which He Had Misled the Common People"] published 1325H.

b) al-Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni al-Dahlan (d. 1304/1886). Mufti of Mecca and Shaykh al-Islam in the Hijaz region of the Ottoman state: Khulasat al-kalam fi bayan umara' al-balad al-haram ["The Summation Concerning the Leaders of the Holy Sanctuary"] (A History of the Wahhabi Fitna in Najd and the Hijaz) p. 234-236.

The Prophet [Peace be upon him]: said,

1. "They [Khawarij = those outside] transferred the Qur'anic verses meant to refer to unbelievers and made them refer to believers."

2. "What I most fear in my community is a man who interprets verses of the Qur'an out of context."

3. "The confusion [fitna] comes from there (and he pointed to the East = Najd in present-day Eastern Saudi Arabia)."

4. "A people that recite Qur'an will come out of the East, but it will not go past their throats. They will pass through the religion (of Islam) like the arrow passes through its quarry. They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its course. Their sign is that they shave (their heads)."

5. "There will be in my Community a dissent and a faction, a people with excellent words and vile deeds. They will read Qur'an, but their faith does not go past their throats. They will pass through religion the way an arrow passes through its quarry. They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its original course. They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all creation. The one who kills them or is killed by them is blessed. They summon to the book of Allah but they have nothing to do with it. Whoever kills them is closer to Allah than they. Their sign is that they shave (their heads)."

6. "A people will come out at the end of times, immature, foolish and corrupt. They will hold the discourse of the best of creation and recite Qur'an, but it will not go past their throats. They will passes through religion the way an arrow passes through its quarry. If you find them, kill them, for verily whoever kills them will have his reward from Allah the Day of Judgment."

7. "There will be people in my Community whose mark is that they shave (their heads). They will recite Qur'an, but it will not go past their throats. They will pass through religion the way an arrow passes through its target. They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all creation."

8. "The apex of disbelief is towards the East [Najd]. Pride and arrogance is found among the people of the horse and the camel [Bedouin Arabs]."

9. "Harshness and dryness of heart are in the East [Najd], and true belief is among the people of Hijaz."

10. "O Allah, bless our Syria and our Yemen!" They said: "Ya Rasulallah, and our Najd!" He didn't reply. He blessed Syria and Yemen twice more. They asked him to bless Najd twice more but he didn't reply. The third time he said: "There [in Najd] are the earthquakes and the dissensions, and through it will dawn the epoch [or horn] of shaytan."

11. A version has, "The two epochs [or horns] of shaytan." Some scholars have said that the dual referred to Musaylima the Arch-liar and to Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab.

12. Some versions continue with the words: "And in it [Najd] is the consuming disease," i.e. death.

13. Some books of history mention the following version in the chapters devoted to the battles against the Banu Hanifa:

"At the end of times a man will come out of Musaylima's country and he will change the religion of Islam." Note: Most of the Khawarij were from the Najd area, from the tribes of Banu Hanifa, Banu Tamim, and Wa'il. Musaylima was from the Banu Hanifa, and Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab is from Tamim.

13a. Abu Bakr said concerning the Banu Hanifa (the tribe of Musaylima the Liar): "Their valley [Najd] will not cease to be a valley of dissensions until the end of time, and the religion will never recover from their liars until Judgment Day," and in another version: "Woe to al-Yamama without end."

13b. When `Ali killed the Khawarij, someone said: "Praise be to Allah Who has brought them down and relieved us from them." Ali replied: "Verily, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, some of them are still in the loins of men and they have not been born yet, and the last of them will fight on the side of the Antichrist."

14. "A people that recite the Qur'an will come out of the East, but it will not go past their throats. Every time a generation of them is cut down another one will come until the last one finds itself on the side of the Antichrist."

15. "There will be a huge confusion within my Community. There will not remain one house of the Arabs except that confusion will enter it. Those who die because of it are in the fire. The harm of the tongue in it will be greater than that of the sword."

16. "There will be a dissension (in which people will be) deaf, dumb and blind (this means they will be blind and not see the true issue nor listen to the voice of truth): whoever tries to control it, the dissension will control him."

17. "A shaytan will appear in Najd by whose dissension the Arabian island will quake."

18. On the authority of al-`Abbas: "A man will come out of the Wadi Abu Hanifah [in Najd] (whose appearance is) like a bull that lunges against its yoke. There will be much slaughter and killing in his time. They will make the possessions of Muslims lawful for themselves and for trade among themselves. They will make the lives of Muslims lawful for themselves and for boasting among themselves. In that confusion the despised and the lowly will attain positions of power. Their idle desires will keep company with them the way a dog keeps company with its master."

19. On the authority of Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: "Verily in the wake of this time of mine comes a people who will recite Qur'an but it will not go past their throats. They will pass through religion the way an arrow passes through its quarry. They will kill the Muslims and leave the idolaters alone. If I saw them, verily I would kill them the way the tribe of `Aad was killed [i.e. all of them]."

20. "There will be towards the end of time a people who will say to you what neither you nor your forebears ever heard before. Beware of them lest they misguide you and bring you confusion."

21. "They will pass through Islam like an arrow passes through its quarry. Wherever you meet them, kill them!"

22. "They are the dogs of the people of Hell."

23. "They recite Qur'an and consider it in their favor but it is against them."

24. "There will be thirty dajjals (antichrists) after me, all claiming prophethood."

25. "Some people will be standing and calling at the gates of hell; whoever responds to their call, their will throw him into the Fire. They will be from our own people [i.e. Arabs] and will speak our language [Arabic]. Should you live to see them, stick to the main body (jama`a) of the Muslims and their leader. (If there is no main body and no leader,) isolate yourself from all these sects, even if you have to eat from the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state."

26. "Just before the Hour there will be many liars." Jabir ibn Samurah said: "Be on your guard against them."

27. "The Hour will not come until thirty dajjals appear, all of them lying about Allah and His Messenger."

28. "There will be Dajjals and liars among my Community. They will tell you something new, which neither you nor your forefathers have heard. Be on your guard against them and do not let them lead you astray."

29. "The time of the Dajjal will be years of confusion. People will believe a liar, and disbelieve one who tells the truth. People will distrust one who is trustworthy, and trust one who is treacherous; and the ruwaybidha will have a say." Someone asked: "Who are they?" He said: "Those who rebel against Allah and will have a say in general affairs."

30. "If the leadership is entrusted to those unfit for it, expect the Hour."

31. "You will see the barefoot ones, the naked, the destitute, the shepherds and camelherds take pride in building tall structures in abundance."

32. "One of the signs of the change of religion is the affectation of eloquence by the rabble and their betaking to palaces in big cities."


Origins of the Wahhabi Sect

Jamil Effendi al-Zahawi's
al-Fajr al-sadiq

fi al-radd `ala munkiri al-tawassul wa al-khawariq

"The True Dawn: A Refutation of Those Who Deny The Validity of Using Means to God

and the Miracles of Saints"

1: The Origin of the Wahhabi Sect

The Wahhabiyya is a sect whose origin can be traced back to Muhammad Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. Although he first came on the scene in 1143 (1730 CE), the subversive current his false doctrine initiated took some fifty years to spread. It first showed up in Najd. This is the same district that produced the false prophet, Musaylima in the early days of Islam. Muhammad Ibn Sa`ud, governor of this district, aided Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab's effort, forcing people to follow him. One Arab tribe after another allowed itself to be deceived until sedition became commonplace in the region, his notoriety grew and his power soon passed beyond anyone's control. The nomadic Arabs of the surrounding desert feared him. He used to say to the people: "I call upon you but to confess tawhid (monotheism) and to avoid shirk (associating partners with God in worship)." The people of the countryside followed him and where he walked, they walked until his dominance increased.

Muhammad Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab was born in 1111 and died in 1207 (1699-1792 CE). At the outset of his career, he used to go back and forth to Mecca and Madina in quest of knowledge. In Madina, he studied with Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Sulayman al-Kurdi and Shaykh Muhammad Hayat al-Sindi (d. 1750). These two shaykhs as well as others with whom he studied early on detected the heresy of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab's creed. They used to say: "God will allow him be led astray; but even unhappier will be the lot of those misled by him." Circumstances had reached this state when his father `Abd al-Wahhab, a pious scholars of the religion, detected heresy in his belief and began to warn others about his son. His own brother Sulayman soon followed suit, going so far as to write a book entitled al-Sawa`iq (the thunderbolts) to refute the innovative and subversive creed manufactured by Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab.

Famous writers of the day made a point of noting the similarity between Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab's beginnings and those of the false prophets prominent in Islam's initial epoch like Musaylima the Prevaricator, Sajah al-Aswad al-Anasi, Tulaiha al-Asadi and others of their kind. What was different in `Abd al-Wahhab's case was his concealment in himself of any outright claim to prophecy. Undoubtedly, he was unable to gain support enough to openly proclaim it. Nevertheless, he would call those who came from abroad to join his movement Muhajirun and those who came from his own region Ansar in patent imitation of those who took flight from Mecca with the Prophet Muhammad in contrast to the inhabitants of Madina at the start of Islam. Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab habitually ordered anyone who had already made the obligatory Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca prior joining him to remake it since God had not accepted it the first time they performed because they had done so as unbelievers. He was also given to telling people wishing to enter his religion: "You must bear witness against yourself that you were a disbeliever and you must bear witness against your parents that they were disbelievers and died as such."

His practice was to declare a group of famous scholars of the past unbelievers. If a potential recruit to his movement agreed and testified to the truth of that declaration, he was accepted; if not, an order was given and he was summarily put to death. Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab made no secret of his view that the Muslim community had existed for the last six hundred years in a state of unbelief (kufr) and he said the same of whoever did not follow him. Even if a person was the most pious and God-fearing of Muslims, he would denounce them as idolaters (mushrikun), thus making the shedding of their blood and confiscation of their wealth licit (halal).

On the other hand, he affirmed the faith of anyone who followed him even though they be persons of most notoriously corrupt and profligate styles of life . He played always on a single theme: the dignity to which God had entitled him. This directly corresponded to the decreased reverence he claimed was due the Prophet whose status as Messenger he frequently depreciated using language fit to describe an errand boy rather than a divinely commissioned apostle of faith. He would say such things as "I looked up the account of Hudaybiyya and found it to contain this or that lie." He was in the habit of using contemptuous speech of this kind to the point that one follower felt free to say in his actual presence: "This stick in my hand is better than Muhammad because it benefits me by enabling me to walk. But Muhammad is dead and benefits me not at all". This, of course, expresses nothing less than disbelief and counts legally as such in the fours schools of Islamic law.

Returning always to the same theme, Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab used to say that prayer for the Prophet was reprehensible and disliked (makruh) in the Shari`a. He would prohibit blessings on the Prophet from being recited on the eve of Friday prayer and their public utterance from the minbar, and punish harshly anyone who pronounced such blessings. He even went so far as to kill a blind mu'adhdhin (caller to prayer) who did not cease and desist when he commanded him to abandon praying for the Prophet in the conclusion to his call to prayer. He deceived his followers by saying that all that was done to keep monotheism pure.

At the same time, he burned many books containing prayers for the Prophet, among them Dala'il al-Khayrat and others, similar in content and theme. In this fashion, he destroyed countless books on Islamic law, commentary on the Qur'an, and the science of hadith whose common fault lay in their contradiction of his own vacuous creed. While doing this, however, he never ceased encouraging any follower to interpret Qur'an and hadith for himself and to execute this informed only by the light of his own understanding, darkened though it be through errant belief and heretical indoctrination.

Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab clung fiercely to denouncing people as unbelievers. To do this he used Qur'anic verses originally revealed about idolaters and extended their application to monotheists. It has been narrated by `Abd Allah Ibn `Umar and recorded by Imam Bukhari in his book of sound hadiths that the Khawarij transferred the Qur'anic verses meant to refer to unbelievers and made them refer to believers.6 He also relates another narration transmitted on the authority of Ibn `Umar whereby the Prophet, on him be peace, said: "What I most fear in my community is a man who interprets verses of the Qur'an out of context." The latter hadith and the one preceding it apply to the case of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab and his followers.

It is obvious the intention to found a new religion lay behind his statements and actions. In consequence, the only thing he accepted from the religion of our Prophet, on him be peace was the Qur'an. Yet even this was a matter of surface show. It allowed people to be ignorant of what his aims really were. Indicating this is the way he and his followers used to interpret the Qur'an according to their own whim and ignore the commentary provided by the Prophet, on him be peace, his Companions, the pious predecessors of our Faith (al-salaf al-salihun), and the Imams of Qur'anic commentary. He did not argue on the strength of the narrations of the Prophet and sayings of the Companions, the Successors to the Companions and the Imams among those who derived rulings in the Shari`a by means of ijtihad nor did he adjudicate legal cases on the basis of the principle sources (usul) of the Shari`a; that is, he did not adhere to Consensus (ijma`) nor to sound analogy (qiyas). Although he claimed to belong to the legal school (madhhab) of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, this pretense was motivated by falsehood and dissimulation. The scholars and jurists of the Hanbali school rejected his multifarious errors. They wrote numerous articles refuting him including his brother whose book touching on Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab's errors was mentioned earlier.

The learned Sayyid al-Haddad al-Alawisaid: "In our opinion, the one element in the statements and actions of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab that makes his departure from the foundations of Islam unquestionable is the fact that he, without support of any generally accepted interpretation of Qur'an or Sunnah (bi la ta'wil), takes matters in our religion necessarily well-known to be objects of prohibition (haram) agreed upon by consensus (ijma`) and makes them permissible (halal). Furthermore, along with that he disparages the Prophets, the Messengers, Saints and the pious. Willful disparagement of anyone failing under these categories of person is unbelief (kufr) according to the consensus reached by the four Imams of the schools of Islamic law.

Then he wrote an essay called "The Clarification of Unclarity Concerning the Creator of Heaven and Earth" (kashf al-shubuhat `an khaliq al-ardi wa al-samawat) for Ibn Sa`ud. In this work he declared that all present-day Muslims are disbelievers and have been so for the last six hundred years. He applied the verses in the Qur'an, meant to refer to disbelievers among the tribe of the Quraysh to most God-fearing and pious individuals of the Muslim community. Ibn Sa`ud naturally took this work as a pretext and device for extending his political sovereignty by subjecting the Arabs to his dominance. Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab began to call people to his religion and instilled in their hearts the idea that every one under the sun was an idolater. What's more, anyone who slew an idolater, when he died, would go immediately to paradise.

As a consequence, Ibn Sa`ud carried out whatever Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab ordered. If he commanded him to kill someone and seize his property, he hastened to do just that. Indeed, Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab sat among his folk like a prophet in the midst of his community. His people did not forsake one jot or little of what he told them to do and acted only as he commanded, magnifying him to the highest degree and honoring him in every conceivable way. The clans and tribes of the Arabs continued to magnify him in this manner until, by that means, the dominion of Ibn Sa`ud increased far and wide as well as that of his sons after him.

The Sharif of Mecca, Ghalib, waged war against Ibn Sa`ud for fifteen years until he grew too old and weak to fight. No one remained if his supporters except they joined the side of his foe. It was then that Ibn Sa`ud entered Mecca in a negotiated peace settlement in the year 1220 (1805 CE). There he abided for some seven years until the Sublime Porte (i.e. the Ottoman government) raised a military force addressing command to its minister, the honorable Muhammad `Ali Pasha, ruler of Egypt. His intrepid army advanced against Ibn Sa`ud and cleared the land of him and his followers. Then, he summoned his son Ibrahim Pasha who arrived in the district in the year 1233 (1818 CE). He finished off what remained of them.

Among the hideous abominations of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab was his prohibiting people from visiting the tomb of the Prophet, on him be God's blessing and peace. After his prohibition, a group went out from Ahsa to visit the Prophet. When they returned, they passed by Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab in the district and he commanded that their beards be shaved and they be saddled on their mounts backwards to return in this fashion to Ahsa. The Prophet, on him be peace, related information about those Khawarij preserved in numerous hadiths. Indeed, these sayings constitute one of the signs of his prophethood; for they convey knowledge of the unseen. Among them are his statements in Bukhari and Muslim: "Discord there; discord there!" pointing to the East; and "A people will come out of the East who will read Qur'an with it not getting past their throats. They will pass through the religion like an arrow when it passes clean through the flesh of its quarry and comes back pristine and prepared to be shot once again from the bow. They will bear a sign in the shaving of their heads." Another narration of the hadith adds: "They are calamity for the whole of God's creation; Blessed is he who kills them" or "Slay them! For though they appeal to God's Book, they have no share therein." He said: O God! bless us in our Syria and bless us in our Yemen!" They said: O Messenger of God! And in our Najd? but he replied: In Najd will occur earthquakes and discords; in it will dawn the epoch [or horn] of Shaytan." Again he said: "A people will come out of the East, reading the Qur'an and yet it will not get past their throats. Whenever one generation is cut off, another arises until the last dawns with the coming of Antichrist. They will bear a sign in the shaving of their heads."

Now the Prophet's words explicitly specify in text his reference to those people coming out of the East, following Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab in the innovations he made in Islam. For they were in the habit of ordering those who followed them to shave their heads and once they began to follow them, they did not abandon this practice. In none of the sects of the past prior to that of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab did the likes of this practice occur. He even ordered the women who followed him to shave their heads. Once he ordered a woman who entered his new religion to shave her head. She replied: " If you ordered men to shave off their beards, then it would be permissible for you to order a woman to shave her head. But the hair on a woman's head has the same sacred status as a man's beard." Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab was unable to answer her.

Found among the narrations transmitted from the Prophet, on him be peace, is his statement: "At the end of time, a man will rise up in the same region from which once rose Musaylima. He would change the religion of Islam." Another saying has it: "From Najd a Shaytan will appear on the scene causing the Arab peninsula to erupt in earthquake from discord and strife."

One of the abominations of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab was his burning of books containing works of Islamic science and his slaughter of the scholars of our faith and people both of the top classes and common people. He made the shedding of their blood and confiscation of their property and wealth licit well as digging up graves of awliya (saints). In Ahsa, for example, he ordered that some of the graves of awliya be used by people to relieve the wants of nature. He forbade people to read Imam Jazuli's Dala'il al-Khayrat, to perform supererogatory acts of devotion, to utter the names of God in His remembrance, to read the mawlid celebrating the Prophet's birth, or to evoke blessings and prayers on the Prophet from the Minaret after the call to prayer. What's more, he killed whoever dared to do any of those things. He forbade any kind of act of worship after the canonical prayers. He would publicly declare a Muslim a disbeliever for requesting a prophet, angel or individual of saintly life to join his or her prayers to that person's own prayer expressing some intention whose fulfillment might be asked of God as, for example, when one supplicates the Creator for the sake of Muhammad, on him be peace, to accomplish such-and-such a need. He also said anyone who addressed a person as lord or master (sayyid) was a disbeliever.

Undoubtedly, one of the worst abominations perpetrated by the Wahhabis under the leadership of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab was the massacre of the people of Ta'if. upon entering that town. They killed everyone in sight, slaughtering both child and adult, the ruler and the ruled, the lowly and well-born. They began with a suckling child nursing at his mother's breast and moved on to a group studying Qur'an, slaying them, down to the last man. And when they wiped out the people they found in the houses, they went out into the streets, the shops and the mosques, killing whoever happened to be there. They killed even men bowed in prayer until they had annihilated every Muslim who dwelt in Ta'if and only a remnant, some twenty or more, remained.

These were holed up in Beit al-Fitni with ammunition, inaccessible to their approach. There was another group at Beit al-Far to the number of two-hundred and seventy who fought them that day, then the second and third until the Wahhabis sent them a guarantee of clemency; only they tendered this proposal as a trick. For when they entered, they seized their weapons and slew them to a man. Others, they also brought out with a guarantee of clemency and a pact to the valley of Waj where they abandoned them in the cold and snow, barefoot, naked exposed in shame with their women, accustomed to the privacy afforded them by common decency and religious morality. They, then, plundered their possessions: wealth of any kind, household furnishings and cash.

They cast books into the streets alleys and byways to be blown to and fro by the wind among which could be found copies of the Qur'an, volumes of Bukhari, Muslim, other canonical collections of hadith and books of fiqh, all mounting to the thousands. These books remained there for several days, trampled upon by the Wahhabis. What's more, no one among them made the slightest attempt to remove even one page of Qur'an from under foot to preserve it from the ignominy of this display of disrespect. Then, they raised the houses and made what was once a town a barren waste land. That was in the year 1217 (1802 CE).



2: The Wahhabis and their
Recent Rebellion (1905)

The leader of the Wahhabis at the time of the present account is `Abd al-Rahman Ibn Faysal, one of the sons of Muhammad Ibn Sa`ud, the Rebel who turned his face in disobedience to the greater Islamic Caliphate in the year 1205 (1790 CE). The incidents he occasioned with the Sharif of Mecca, Ghalib continued up to 1220 (1805 CE). Then, when the Sharif's power to do battle with him waned, the Sublime Porte raised a military force against him, charging its minister the late Muhammad `Ali Pasha, ruler of Egypt, and his son, the late lbrahim Pasha, with its command as we pointed out in the preceding chapter just as books of history have written it down.

Now this `Abd al-Rahman was for almost thirty years governor of Riyadh. Then, Muhammad Ibn al-Rashid, took over Najd as its governor and Ibn Sa`ud fled to the remote areas by the sea coast. He ultimately ended up in Kuwait where he remained in humiliating poverty. Nor did anyone feel sorry for him until the Sublime Porte looked on him with favor and afforded him a remittance. Thereupon, he began to live a more comfortable life, though in a state of exile, due to the largesse of the Ottoman government.

When Muhammad Ibn al Rashid died, May God have mercy on his soul, his nephew came to power, `Abd al-Aziz Ibn Mut'ab Ibn al-Rashid, who is governor of Najd at the time of writing this. It fell out that an incident took place between the `Abd al-Aziz just mentioned and the Shaykh of Kuwait, Mubarak Ibn Sabah. Behind it was Mubarak Ibn Sabah's murder of his brother, Muhammad Ibn Sabah who was, at that time, locum tenens or temporary substitute of the Sublime Porte in Kuwait. The same individual also murdered his other brother and robbed his children of an immense inheritance. The latter heirs, thereupon, fled the fratricide's further pursuit. Faced with this state affairs, the uncle of the murdered children, Yusuf Ibn Ibrahim, took refuge with `Abd al-Aziz Ibn al-Rashid, the Governor of Najd, taking sides in his presence against his own brother Mubarak Ibn Sabah, the aforementioned fratricide, in an attempt get back the wealth the latter had robbed from his nephews.

Negotiations of reconciliation broke down to the point that each of the two parties in the dispute fitted out an army, one against the other. The two armies clashed at a place called Tarafiya. Mubarak Ibn Sabah suffered defeat and some four thousands fighters from his army were killed, although he escaped unharmed. He fled back to Kuwait vanquished and humiliated. However, no time elapsed before Ibn Sabah sought foreign protection and rebelled again. The foreigners supplied both money and arms. Then, the power of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Faysal ibn Sa`ud began to wax strong against the Governor of Najd, al-Rashid. It chanced that the latter was at that moment preoccupied by military expeditions in the remote districts of Riyadh.

Mubarak Ibn Sabah seized his opportunity. Helped by foreigners with money and weapons, he fitted out an army and placed it under the command of that `Abd al-Rahman mentioned earlier. Ibn Sabah dispatched him to Riyadh to capture it, occupy it by force, fortify its barriers and entrench himself within. When the news of what had happened reached the governor, Ibn al-Rashid, he returned and encircled it for a time with the intent of taking it back. His encampment around Riyadh lasted for a year. Then, something occurred in one of remote areas of the district that distracted him from the encirclement and he abandoned it. This afforded Ibn Sa`ud an opportunity as well, for he came out with his army outfitted with foreign aid and seized `Unayza, Burayda, and the remainder of the regions of Qusaym.

The Sublime Porte witnessed the hostile action of `Abd al-Rahman, his rebellion and insolence against its friend the faithful Governor of Najd, Ibn al-Rashid, as well as his defection to the foreigner, it dispatched a squadron from its intrepid armies as a support for the Governor of Najd, Ibn al-Rashid to cut off the rear end of those renegades and crush their hostile activities. Ibn al-Rashid snuffed out the sparks of sedition. The Ottoman forces clashed with the rebels, the party of Ibn Sa`ud near the town of Bahkrama in the region of Qusaym. A fierce battle between the two forces ensued, issuing finally in the defeat of the rebellious party, the forces of Ibn Sa`ud. The victorious army took possession of eleven standards of their defeated foe. Ibn al-Rashid and his soldiers were extolled for their role in crushing the enemy in this battle and their bravery; the memory of it will last forever. This praise has an undeniable base in fact, word and deed. [At the time of writing this,] the vanquished are presently enclosed and surrounded with the intrepid forces of Ibrahim Pasha looking on and encompassing them round about, praised for their exemplary manner of containing the enemy and curbing his defiance.

When Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab saw that the inhabitants of the rural regions of Najd were different from the urbane world of its cities, he would extol the simplicity and innocence of human beings as they are found in the primordial state of the Arabs. Ignorance, then, gained the upper hand among the city-dwellers so that sciences of an intellectual character lost status in their eyes. Besides, there was no longer an appetite in their hearts for things sound and wholesome, once he had sewn in their hearts the seeds of corruption and vice. For it was to vice and corruption that his own soul had become attuned since time immemorial nourished by his grab at political leadership masked under the name of religion. After all, he believed -- May God revile him -- that prophethood was only a matter of political leadership which the cleverest people attain when circumstances help them in the form of an ignorant and uninformed crowd.


The Wahhabi Creed

3: The Wahhabi Creed

Moreover, since God the Exalted had shut tight the door of prophecy after the Seal of the Prophets, our master Muhammad, on him be God's blessing and peace, there was no way to realize the goal of his desires except to claim that he was a renewer of the faith (mujaddid) and an independent thinker in the formulation of legal rulings (mujtahid). Such an attitude -- or rather the worst and most profound state of moral misguidance and religious disbelief --brought him to the point of declaring every group of Muslims disbelievers and idolaters. For he set out to apply the verses of Qur'an specifically revealed to single out the idolaters of the Arabs to generally include all Muslims who visit the grave of their Prophet, and seek his intercession with their Lord.

In doing this, he cast aside what ran counter to his own invalid claims and the vain desires commanding his ego to work mischief regarding the explicit statements of the Master of all messengers and Imams, the mujtahids of our religion (that is, who have the capacity to exercise independent reasoning in the process of legal discovery). Hence, when he saw a consensus of legal opinion in matters of faith which clashed with his own unwarranted innovations, he rejected it as a matter of principle, asserting: "I do not entertain any opinion of people coming after the Qur'an which contains all that pertains to Islam, the fresh and the dry (cf. 6: 59)." Thus, he failed to heed what the Qur'an itself declared, when it says: "He who follows the path of those other than the Muslims" (4:115) inasmuch as he accepted from Qur'an only what it reveals concerning the idolaters of the Arabs. These verses he interpreted in his own obscure fashion, having the gall to stand before God and facilitate the accomplishment of his own personal political ambitions by means of an unwarranted and unjustified exegesis of His holy text. His method here mostly consisted in applying these verses concerning the idolaters to Muslims and on this basis declaring that they had been disbeliever for the last six hundred years, that one may shed their blood with impunity and confiscate their property and reduce their land, the Abode of Peace, (Dar al-Islam) to a field of war against disbelief (Dar al-Harb).

Yet the Prophet, on him be God's blessings and peace, from what we see in the two canonical collections of sound hadith, Bukhari and Muslim, declared in the narration where the angel Jibril assumes human form to question him about the creed of Islam: "Islam is to testify that there is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God." Again, in the narration of `Umar he says: "Islam is built upon five articles of faith (the first being): "Testimony that there is no god but God, Muhammad is His servant and Messenger." Then, there is his declaration to the delegation of `Abd al-Qays also cited in Bukhari and Muslim: "I am commanding you to believe in God alone. Do you know what belief in God alone is? It is to testify: "There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God."" Also cited is his exhortation: "I have been ordered to fight people until they say: "There is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." Finally, the Prophet says: "It is sufficient that folk say: "There is no god but God."

However, Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab and his followers go counter to all these statements of the Prophet, on him be peace. They make a disbeliever the one who says: "There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God" because that person is not like them in respect to their claim that the one who testifies in the aforementioned fashion and yet asks God for something for the sake of a prophet or evokes the name of someone absent or dead or makes a vow to that person it is as if his belief diverges from his testimony. His only aim here is to market goods unsaleable where sound hadiths and correct exegeses of the Qur'an are exchanged. We will explain -- God willing -- the groundlessness of this claim and show its spuriousness to the reader.

It is amazing how Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab misrepresents use of the prophet's name in petitions to God or tawassul under the pretense of monotheism (tawhid) and divine transcendence (tanzih) claiming that use of a prophet's name in this manner constitutes association of a partner with God; yet at the same time there is his outright assertion to the effect that God's mounting His throne is like sitting on it and his affirmation that God has a hand, face and possesses spatial dimension! He says it is possible to point to Him in the sky and claims that He literally descends to the lower heavens so that he gives a body to God who is too exalted in the height of His sublimity beyond what obscurantists proclaim. What happens to Divine transcendence after making God a body so that the lowliest of inanimate creatures share properties in common with their Creator? To what is He, the Exalted, transcendent when He is characterized in so deprecating a fashion and His divinity couched in terms so redolent of ridicule and contempt?

One of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab's more enormous stupidities is this: When he sees reason going against his claims, he casts aside all modesty and suspends reason giving it no role in his judgment. He endeavors thereby to make people like dumb beasts when it comes to matters of faith. He prohibits reason to enter into religious affairs despite the fact that there is no contradiction between reason and faith. On the contrary, whenever human minds reach their full measure of completeness and perfection, religion's merits and prerogatives with regard to reason become totally manifest. Is there in this age, an age of the mind's progress, anything more abominable than denying reason its proper scope, especially when the cardinal pivot of religion and the capacity to perform its duties is based on the ability to reason? For the obligation to carry out the duties of Islam falls away when mental capacity is absent. God has addressed his servants in many places in the Qur'an: "O you who possess understanding" (cf. 65:10) alerting them to the fact that knowledge of the realities of religion is only a function of those possessed of minds.

Now the time has come for me to give a summation of the vain and empty prattle of the renegade Wahhabi sect which it aspires to issue as a doctrine. Next, I shall discuss it in terms of the research that has been brought in its rebuttal and refute its argument. Their invalid creed consists of a number of articles:

(1) Affirming the face, hand, and spatial direction of the Creator and making Him a body that descends and ascends;

(2) Making principles derived from narration (naql) prior to those derived from reason (`aql);

(3) Denial and rejection of consensus as a principle (asl) of Shari`a legislation;

(4) Similar denial and rejection of analogy (qiyas);

(5) Not permitting copying and emulating the judgments of the Imams who have in Islam the status of those capable of exercising independent reasoning in matters of Shari`a;

(6) Declaring Muslims who contradict them disbelievers;

(7) Prohibition of using the name of the Messenger in petitions to God or the name of someone else among the friends of God and the pious;

(8) Making the visiting of the tombs of prophets and of pious people illicit;

(9) Declaring a Muslim a disbeliever who makes a vow to someone other than God or sacrifices at the grave or final resting place of awliya or the pious.


Making God into A Body

4: Their Making God into A Body (Tajsim)

Although the Wahhabis declare any Muslim a disbeliever who visits the Prophet's grave and asks God for help by means of him, and they consider that associating with Him a partner in his Divinity, declaring that His Divinity is too transcendent for that, they at the same time annul this transcendence when they insist on making his "firm establishment on His throne" at once:

- a literal affirmation of the throne,

- a taking up a spatial position with respect to it, and

- being physically situated at a higher level above it.

They further corrupt divine transcendence by making Him a holder of the heavens in one finger, the earth in another, the trees in another, and the angels in yet another. Then, they affirm of Him spatial direction placing Him above the heavens fixed upon the throne so a person can to point to Him in a sensible fashion. Also, they say that he literally descends to the lower heavens and ascends from thence. Accordingly, one of them recites:

"If affirming God's establishment on His throne means He is body, then I make Him a body!

If affirming His attributes is making Him like something, then I do not hesitate to make Him like something! If denying establishment on His throne, or His attributes, or His speech is to avoid anthropomorphism Then I deny that our Lord avoids anthropomorphism!

He alone grants success, and He knows best and is more sublime."

Now I shall relate to you the way at least one of the Wahhabiyya expresses his doctrine in a book entitled "The Pure and Undefiled Religion."The author says that by body one means either what is made up of matter and form according to the philosophers; or what is composed of the atom according to the theologians. All this, he says, is categorically denied of God, the Exalted. But the correct view -- he says -- denies it of contingent beings as well; for neither are the bodies of creatures composed of matter and form nor of atom. Note how far off the beaten track and eccentric his mode of expression is here. For, on the one hand, he claims that in its generally accepted meaning "body" is either a hylomorphic or an atomic compound. On the other hand, he rejects the existence of "body" in this sense whether the body in question be necessaryor contingent. Evidently, the purpose of this denial is to arrive at a denial of corporeality. This follows from his own opinion concerning God: since he does not want it said that he likens the Creator to the creature, he denies corporeality to the creature but only in the sense of a hylomorphic or atomic compound, taking it for granted that the reader will be cognizant of the fact no body is made up purely of matter and form -- as the philosophers have it.

But, then, he is left with it being composed of atoms. Yet his ignorance does not lie in the strange claim that "body" possesses no limit at which it ends. It is no wonder that he arrives at this abominable confusion. I wish he had explained, after his denial of body's being a hylomorphic compound, what order of bodily composition he has in mind. I do not think even his muddle- headedness allows him to hold to the claim that bodies are made up of infinitely divisible parts. The ulama of Kalam or dialectical theologians reject this position without exception. Today's science denies it as well. Besides, any demonstrative proof one can produce will vouchsafe its invalidity. To delve into an explanation of why this is so would take us beyond our proper business.

So to return to the present discussion, we note that the Wahhabi author, casting his first definition aside, goes on to say that if one means by body what is characterized by attributes and means by this that bodies see by means of vision, talk, speak, hear, are pleased, are angry, then these are ideas affirmed of the Lord, the Exalted, as well insofar as one ascribes such attributes to Him. Hence, to characterize bodies as seeing, hearing, etc. cannot constitute denial of the same attributes to Him.

So to return to the present discussion, we note that the Wahhabi author, casting his first definition aside, goes on to say that if one means by body what is characterized by attributes and means by this that bodies see by means of vision, talk, speak, hear, are pleased, are angry, then these are ideas affirmed of the Lord, the Exalted, as well insofar as one ascribes such attributes to Him. Hence, to characterize bodies as seeing, hearing, etc. cannot constitute denial of the same attributes to Him.

I reply: We know of no one who defines body as something which talks, speaks, hears, sees, which is pleased and is angry. These attributes exist only in a living being possessed of intelligence. To be sure, the body sees by means of vision just as he says. But his affirmation of body to God in this sense is to bring Him down to the level of His creatures because of what it simultaneously denies about His Divinity. When predicated of God, being a body in this sense is an imperfection and deficiency which is obligatorily rejected.

As from the standpoint of reason, according to the scientific explanation given in optics, sight is only brought about by the radiation of light on the surface of a visible object and the reflection of light-rays on the organ of vision. Given this, we must first suppose the existence of an object of vision which possesses, as we said, a surface on which light-rays fall. And that, in turn, requires an object made up of parts. But here we take a fall, if our purpose is to characterize Divinity. This is because the body in this sense is identical to the definition of "body" which the Wahhabi author of "The Pure and Undefiled Religion" denies is true of God at the outset. Indeed, he denies that body in this sense applies to any contingent (mumkin) being.

From the standpoint of transmitted proof-texts God says: "Sight does not perceive Him yet He perceives sight" (6: 103). There is no conflict of this verse with the verse: "Faces on that day will be bright looking at their Lord" (75: 22). For the mode of this vision of Him on the day of resurrection is unknown just as true doctrine teaches and proclaims. It is possible that vision on that day consists of a kind of uncovering without a need of sight which is, strictly speaking, without parallel. Indeed, the text's use of "faces" signifies precisely that inasmuch as He did not say eyes. And its saying "bright" expresses clearly the occurrence of the perfected attitude experienced by the faces as a result of that unveiling.

Then he says "If you mean by body what can be pointed to in a sensible fashion then the most knowing of God among His creatures pointed to Him by his finger raising it up to the sky," etc. then I reply that common sense judges that what is pointed to in a sensible way must be in a direction and a place and must be an object of vision--all of that is impossible concerning God. If God the Most Exalted were in a direction or a place, then place and direction would exist before He did whereas demonstrable proof exists that there is no priority without beginning other than God. Furthermore, if He were in a place then He would need that place and this would constitute a denial of His absolute self-sufficiency.

Still further, if He were in a place then He would be in it sometimes or at all times. The first alternative is false because moments in time are similar in themselves. Likewise God's relation to moments of time is all the same I reply: We know of no one who defines body as something which talks, speaks, hears, sees, which is pleased and is angry. These attributes exist only in a living being possessed of intelligence. To be sure, the body sees by means of vision just as he says. But his affirmation of body to God in this sense is to bring Him down to the level of His creatures because of what it simultaneously denies about His Divinity. When predicated of God, being a body in this sense is an imperfection and deficiency which is obligatorily rejected.

As from the standpoint of reason, according to the scientific explanation given in optics, sight is only brought about by the radiation of light on the surface of a visible object and the reflection of light-rays on the organ of vision. Given this, we must first suppose the existence of an object of vision which possesses, as we said, a surface on which light-rays fall. And that, in turn, requires an object made up of parts. But here we take a fall, if our purpose is to characterize Divinity. This is because the body in this sense is identical to the definition of "body" which the Wahhabi author of "The Pure and Undefiled Religion" denies is true of God at the outset. Indeed, he denies that body in this sense applies to any contingent (mumkin) being.

From the standpoint of transmitted proof-texts God says: "Sight does not perceive Him yet He perceives sight" (6: 103). There is no conflict of this verse with the verse: "Faces on that day will be bright looking at their Lord" (75: 22). For the mode of this vision of Him on the day of resurrection is unknown just as true doctrine teaches and proclaims. It is possible that vision on that day consists of a kind of uncovering without a need of sight which is, strictly speaking, without parallel. Indeed, the text's use of "faces" signifies precisely that inasmuch as He did not say eyes. And its saying "bright" expresses clearly the occurrence of the perfected attitude experienced by the faces as a result of that unveiling.

Then he says "If you mean by body what can be pointed to in a sensible fashion then the most knowing of God among His creatures pointed to Him by his finger raising it up to the sky," etc. then I reply that common sense judges that what is pointed to in a sensible way must be in a direction and a place and must be an object of vision -- and so His singling out of one of them would be a gratuitous preference of one time over another if there is no external agent who is responsible for tipping the scales; and if there is, then He would be depending on external factors to achieve spatial confinement. The second alternative is also false since from it follows the insertion of spatially confined things into places already occupied by bodies and that is absurd. Also, were it possible to point to him in a sensible fashion then he could be pointed to from every point on the surface of earth and since the earth is circular it follows that God is surrounded by earth from all directions. Otherwise, pointing to him would be impossible. And since He is firmly established on His throne and has taken a position on it just as the Wahhabis claim, then, his throne is surrounded by the seven heavens. Thus, it follows from His coming down to the lower level and His going up from thence, as the Wahhabis say, that His body becomes small when he goes down and gets big when he goes up. Therefore God would be constantly changing from one state to another!

Now the texts from the transmitted sources of Qur'an and Sunnah establishing that He can be pointed to and of which the Wahhabis lay hold -- these they understand superficially and they in no wise contradict certainties. They are interpreted (tu'awwal) either in a general sense -- and the detailed meanings are left to God himself, just as the majority of the pious ancestors are in agreement on; or they are interpreted in a detailed fashion as according to the opinion of many, in that what is mentioned about pointing him to the heavens is predicated upon the fact that God is the creator of the heavens or that the heavens are the manifestation of His power because of what they contain in the way of the great worlds in relation to which our humble world is only an atom. Likewise ascent to him is in the sense of ascent to the place to which one draws near by acts of obedience and so forth and so on with respect to Qur'anic exegesis.


Cast Aside Reason

5: How the Wahhabis
Cast Aside Reason

Since clear reason and sound theory clash in every way with what the Wahhabis believe, they are forced to cast reason aside. Thus by their taking the text of Qur'an and Sunna only in their apparent meaning (zahir) absurdity results. Indeed, this is the well spring of their error and misguidance. For by attending only to the apparent meaning of the Qur'anic text, they believe that God being fixed on His throne and being high above his throne is literally true and that he literally has a face, two hands and that his coming down and his going up is a literal going down and coming up and that he may be pointed to in the sky with the fingers in a sensible manner and so forth. According to this interpretation, God is made into nothing less than a body. These very Wahhabis, who call visiting graves idol-worship, then, become themselves idol-worshippers by fashioning the object they worship into a body, like an animal who sits on its seat and literally comes down and goes up and literally has a hand and a foot and fingers. But the true object of worship, God the Exalted, transcends what they worship.

Still, if one refutes them by rational proofs and establishes that their beliefs contradict the nature of divinity by criteria recognized by reason, they answer that there is no arena for the humble human minds in matters like this whose level is beyond the level of mere reason. In this respect they are exactly like Christians in their claim about the trinity. For ask a Christian: "How is three one and one three?" they will answer: "Knowledge of the Trinity is above reason; it is impermissible to apply reasoning in this area."

There is no doubt that when reason and the transmitted text contradict each other, the transmitted text is interpreted by reason. For often it is impossible for a single judgment to affirm what each of them requires because of what is entailed by the simultaneous holding together of two contradictory propositions. Taking one side or the other, in other words, does not relieve the conflict. On the contrary, one must choose either priority of the transmitted text over reason or reason over the transmitted text. Now the first of these two alternatives has to be invalid simply because it represents the invalidation of the root by the branch.

Clearly, one can affirm the transmitted text only by virtue of reason. That is because affirmation of the Creator, knowledge of prophecy and the rest of the conditions of a transmitted text's soundness are only fulfilled by aid of reason. Thus reason is the principle behind the transmitted text on which its soundness depends. So, if the transmitted text is given precedence over reason and its legal implication established by itself aside from the exercise of reason, then the root would be invalidated by the branch. And from that the invalidation of the branch would follow as well. For the soundness of the transmitted text is derived from the judgment of reason whose corruption is made possible when reason is invalidated.

So reason is not cut off by the soundness of the transmitted text. Hence, it follows that declaring the transmitted text sound by making it prior to reason constitutes nothing less than the voiding of its soundness. But if making something sound accomplishes its corruption we face a contradiction: the transmitted text, then, is invalid. Therefore, if the priority of the transmitted text over reason does not exist on the basis of the preceding argument, then we have determined that reason has priority over the transmitted source. And that is what we set out to prove.

Once one realizes this, one also realizes without question the necessity of interpreting the Qur'anic verses where the apparent sense contradicts reason when the said verses are obscure and do not refer to things that are known with certainty (yaqinat). On the one hand, there is general interpretation where the detailed clarification is left to God (tafwid tafsilih). This is the school of the majority of the Pious Ancestors of our Faith (al-Salaf). On the other hand, we have interpretation which sets out the text's meaning in a more perspicuous fashion. The majority of later scholars (al-khalaf) follow the latter. In their view:

The term "to firmly establish" as in the verse of Qur'an: "The All-Merciful is firmly established on His throne" (20:18) means "He took possession of it" (istawla). This is supported by the words of the poet who said: "`Amr took possession (qad istawla) of Iraq without bloodshed or sword."

God's saying: "And your Lord comes with angels rank on rank" (89:22) means his power comes.

His saying: "Unto Him good words ascend" (35:10) means: good words please Him. For the word is an accident for which, by itself, locomotion is impossible.

His saying: "Wait they for naught else than that Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds with the angels?" (2:210) means that His punishment should come unto them.

His saying: "Then He drew near and came down until he was two bows' length or nearer" (53:8-9) means that the Prophet came near Him by virtue of his obedience. The length of two bow-lengths is a pictorial representation in sensible fashion of what the mind understands.

In the Prophet's saying in Bukhari and Muslim: "God comes down to the nearest heaven and says: who is repenting, I shall turn to him, and who seeks forgiveness, I shall forgive him" the coming down signifies God's mercy. He specifies night because it is the time of seclusion and various kinds of acts of humility and worship and so forth among verses of Qur'an and narrations of the Prophet.


Rejection of Ijma

5: Wahhabi Rejection
Of Consensus (Ijma')

Since the very substance of the Wahhabi creed contradicts what the noble Companions, the great Mujtahids and the totality of the Ulama have reached a consensus on, they must reject Consensus as a principle (asl) of Islamic legislation and deny its probative value as a basis for practical application. In consequence, they have declared disbeliever any Muslim who says "There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God" other than themselves because Muslims visit the graves of prophets and awliya, and ask God for something for the sake of a prophet.

They pronounce this declaration of unbelief despite the fact that the Muslim Community has reached a consensus that whoever articulates the twofold testimony of faith or shahada, the ordinances of the religion become immediately binding. As we have seen from the hadith: "I have been ordered to fight people until they say: There is no god but God" and the hadith: "It is sufficient that folk say: There is no God but God is sufficient." Ibn Qayyim has said: "Muslims have reached a consensus that when the disbeliever says : There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God, he enters Islam." For that reason, there is a general agreement that when the apostate apostatizes by an act of idolatry, repentance is accomplished by utterance of the shahada.

Furthermore, Wahhabis consider seeking the intercession of the Prophet after his death an act of disbelief (kufr) even though a consensus allowing it is in place. At the same time, they say following and emulating the legal rulings of one of the four mujtahids, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi`i, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is prohibited. As a result, anyone, they say, may derive legal rulings (istinbat al-ahkam) directly from the Qur'an according to their capability; notwithstanding the existence of consensus to the effect that no one is capable of being an Imam in the religion or school of law unless he satisfies the criteria for a scholar capable of legal reasoning (mujtahid). It is not up to anyone to take from Qur'an and Sunna until he has satisfied those criteria by joining in himself the qualifications of the mujtahid which are, simultaneously, the conditions of ijithad.

Ijtihad is the agreement of the mujtahids of the Muslim community in a certain generation on a matter of religion or dogma. A corollary to this is that consensus on any matter is absent after the disappearance of a generation of mujtahids. While this is the case, one knows that if no consensus has been agreed upon, there exists a possibility in each generation of reaching a settlement on questions about which a clear ruling in Qur'an and Sunna is absent and which mujtahids of the past have not discussed.

Consider these examples. A man hears it said that the earth is moving around the sun. Without thinking, he says: "If the earth is moving around the sun, then my wife is divorced," since there is no clear evidence in Qur'an and Sunna for affirming the earth's movement around the sun. The ulama of the Muslim community therefore need to make a clear pronouncement regarding this question. Hence, their consensus regarding the earth's motion does not exist until a question like this is settled.

Or, suppose a man fasts, riding in a balloon in the air before the setting of the sun and he is lifted into the air until he arrived at the height of ten thousand miles. Then the sun sets on earth and the people on land break their fast but the sun is not absent from his eyes when he is in the air by reason of the earth's roundness. Is it permitted for him to break fast and it is obligatory for him to pray salat al-Maghrib? This is an example where there is no clear ruling upon in Qur'an and Sunna. It follows, then, that the ulama of a generation must clarify a judgment of things like this and agree upon it. And what we say agrees with Imam Ghazali's definition of ijma`. He defines it as agreement of the community of Muhammad (s) upon a certain matter and what is meant by agreement is the manifest and unhidden agreement of its ulama.

Those that deny ijma` claim: the occurrence of such a consensus is impossible. They deduce evidence for their denial by arguing that agreement of the ulama presupposes their being equally placed with regard to the legal situation in question. Their being scattered in remote countries over the face of the earth precludes this. We refute this objection by rejecting the reasoning that the ulama's being spread abroad is an impediment to their agreement in view of the (unconditional) strictness of their scrutiny of Shari`a evidences.

Those rejecting ijma` claim further that agreement is based either on an indication (dalil) in the sources which is decisive (qat'i) or on a speculative one (zanni). Both, they say, are invalid. The decisive indication is invalid because, they say, if it were existent there would be no need for recourse to agreement in the first place; and the speculative indication is invalid because agreement on a ruling is impossible since temperaments differ and points of view differ out of natural habit. Our answer is a rejection of both their objections. Regarding the decisive indication there is no need of transmitting it since consensus is stronger than it, and for the elimination of difference entailed through its transmission. With regard to the speculative indication, their objection does not stand up because of the possibility of consensus being too obvious for either differences of temperament and/or point of view to prevent it. Only in what is minute and obscure lie impediments to reaching consensus.

In further objection, they claim: Even if we grant establishment of consensus in itself, then knowledge of their agreement would still be impossible. They argue that in the habitual course of things there is no chance of affirmation of a legal ruling concerning this thing or the other declared by every individual member of the ulama in the world. Likewise, they argue that in the habitual course of things transmission of a consensus is impossible because its transmission from single individuals is not conveyed and the consensus does not issue in practical application. One simply cannot conceive of a thing being so widely known that lying about it is impossible (tawatur) -- they claim -- inasmuch as such a situation would involve the necessary equaling out of points of view on a given state of affairs with the result that pro and con positions and a middle position would be unfeasible. Moreover, it is unlikely that people informed of something so well-known that lying about it is impossible to have seen and heard all the ulama in every country and in that fashion to have transmitted it from them, generation to generation, until it reaches us.

To both their arguments there is one answer. Its procedure consists in causing one to doubt that there exists a conflict with what is necessary. For it is well known in a decisive manner that the Companions and the Successors reached a consensus on the priority of a decisive indication over a speculative one and that this is the case only by reason of its being established with them and its transmission to us. Furthermore, ijma` constitutes a proof in the view of all the ulama except the Mu'tazilite al-Nazzam and some of the Khawarij. The proof of its evidentiary nature (hujjiyya) is that they agree upon the decisive certainty of the error of contradicting ijma`. Ijma` therefore counts as proof in Shari`a legislation because custom transforms the agreement of a number of many recognized ulama from the status of non-decisive to the status of decisive certainty in a matter pertaining to the Shari`a. By virtue of custom the implication of a decisive text necessarily counts as decisive indication that to contradict ijma` is error.

On this point, no one says here that there is affirmation of ijma` by ijma` nor affirmation of ijma` by a decisive text whose establishment is itself dependent on ijma`: that would be to reason in a circle. We are saying: what is being claimed is that the fact of ijma` itself constitutes a proof for ijma`. What establishes this is the existence of a decisive text indicated by the existence of a formal consensus, which custom precludes were it not for that text. The establishment of this formal consensus and its customary indications pointing to the existence of a text are not dependent upon the fact that ijma` constitutes a proof. This is because the existence of such formal consensus is derived from tawatur -- what is known as true beyond doubt so that the possibility of people's collusion on a lie is precluded -- and because the formal evidence indicating a text is derived from the custom.

Among the evidences for the probative value of ijma` is the Prophet's statement, on him be peace:

"My community will never agree on error (al-khata')."

The content of this hadith is so well-known that it is impossible to lie about it (mutawatir) simply because it is produced in so many narrations, for example:

"My community will not come together on a misguidance";

"A group of my community will continue in truth until the dawning of the Hour";

"The hand of God is with the congregation (al-jama`a)";

"Whoever leaves the community or separates himself from it by the length of a span, dies the death of the Jahiliyya (period of ignorance prior to Islam)";

and so forth. As for the solitary hadiths (ahad) involved, even if they are not widely attested, they possess value equivalent to the widely attested hadith and, indeed, positive knowledge results from them just like stories we hear relating the courage of Imam `Ali and the generosity of Hatim.

The deniers of the evidentiary nature of ijma` use as proof the verse from the Qur'an: "And We reveal the Scripture unto thee as an exposition of all things" (16:89). Then they say that there is no reference for the exposition of legal rulings except the Qur'an. The answer to them is this does not preclude that there can be something other than the Book also exposing matters; nor does it preclude that the Book can expose certain things by means of the ijma`. If it did, we would wind up with external meanings which nevertheless do not oppose the decisive texts.

They also invoke against the probative nature of ijma` God's statement: "If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Messenger" (4:59). Therefore there is no source of reference, they claim, other than Qur'an and Sunna. The answer is: this text refers specifically to what people are "differing about." But what is agreed upon is not like that. Or it specifically concerns the Companions. If we were to accept that this is not the case, then, again, one ends up with external meanings not clashing with what is decisive just as we claimed earlier.

In addition, they adduced the hadith of Mu`adh as evidence that he left out ijma` when he mentioned his evidences in answer to the Prophet's query about them, and the Prophet approved what he said. They say this indicates that ijma` does not count as evidence. The answer is Mu`adh did not mention it only because at that time ijma` did not yet constitute a formal proof in case of failing to settle upon a source with respect to Qur'an and Sunna. It does not follow that ijma` did not become a proof in its own good time and after taking its place as a source.

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