Feb 11, 2016 09:24 UTC

If you remember, it was said that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, as an advocate and spreader of Ibn Taymiyyah’s ideas, was not a learned man and was very weak in scholarly debates.

He strongly spread the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah and added his own perverse perception of the Islamic teachings. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab believed that he and his followers are the only monotheists and Muslims and the adherents of other Islamic sects are disbelievers and polytheists.  

The ideas and tenets of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab hardly amounted to 200 pages and they looked more to be a statute rather than a scientific and logical work. Today the advocates of the Wahhabi cult have exerted their utmost to portray ibn Abd al-Wahhab as a scientific figure via holding conferences and writing books. Familiarity with Wahhabism is impossible without knowing its bond with the political power. The popular enthusiasm and grassroots love has had nothing to do with the growth of Wahhabism but it has spread only through bloodshed and money. If the Salafism of Ahmad ibn Hanbal was based on hadith and the Salafism of ibn Taymiyyah was based on ideology, the Salafism of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was a political Salafism. Now the question is: Why has the Wahhabi cult survived despite being loathed by all Islamic sects?

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab had little opportunity to express his views during the life of his father. His main opponents and critics were the family members and the scholars of his birthplace. His father and brother, too, always tried to keep aloof from him and his innovated thoughts. After the death of his father, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab found the ground fit to express his ideas as Britain supported him in 1153 AH. At first the people of Harimala in Najd were about to kill him. Hence, he was forced to leave the village and return to his hometown Al-Uyayna. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab exposed his ideas to the Emir of the town Uthman ibn Ahmad ibn Mu’ammar. The emir accepted his words and they concluded a pact to help one another. Thus, ibn Abd al-Wahhab preached his ideas freely and then married with the daughter of the emir and the bond between the two became firmer.

At that time the vicinities of Uyayna were full of mosques and mausoleums of the companions and saints including the tomb of Zaid ibn Khattab, brother of Umar ibn Khattab, who was venerated by people. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab attacked the mausoleums with a number of Uthman ibn Mu’ammar’s soldiers and demolished them. The author of the “History of Najd” writes, “Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab personally razed the tomb of Zaid ibn Khattab to the ground. This act sparked reactions in the region and caused the people to rise up against ibn Abd al-Wahhab and reject his ideas.”

These people wrote letters of complaint to the scholars of Al-Ahsa, Basra and the two sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. These scholars wrote letters to Uthman ibn Mu’ammar ordering him to kill Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The emir of the city was forced to expel the sheikh from the city. The Wahhabi sheikh chose Dar’iya, the birthplace of Musailamah the liar, who had claimed to be the next prophet after the Prophet of Islam. Upon arriving in Dar’iya Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab met with the emir of the region, Muhammad ibn Saud the ancestor of the al-Saud family, and sealed with him the pact he had already sealed with the emir of Uyayna. Ibn Saud was happy with the pact but he expressed his two concerns to ibn Abd al-Wahhab. He said, “First, if we help you to capture cities we fear that you will leave us and be settled in another place! And secondly, in Dar’iya we levy taxes on people when the fruits are ripe. We fear that you will ban the taxes!” Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab said, “I will never replace you with somebody else and God will bestow us booties in the conquests making you needless of this petty tax.”

The emir of Dar’iya wedded the daughter of Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab to his son Abdul Aziz in a bid to consolidate bonds between the two families. After this pact and marriage, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab wrote letters to the chieftains of the tribes of Najd and called on them to accept his self- fabricated sect. Some of the tribal leaders accepted the bid but others didn’t pay attention to his call. The Wahhabi sheikh, then, declaring jihad against disbelief and polytheism, built a troop and rose up against Muslims. The troop attacked Muslim-inhabited cities and villages, razed them to the ground and looted their properties as war booties. Therefore, the Wahhabi cult was established. Ironically their wars were all waged against the people who believed in the oneness of God and the prophethood of the Messenger of God Mohammad (SAWA). Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, in his book Kashf al-Shobahat, has several times called Muslims as polytheists, unbelievers, idolaters, heretics, hypocrites, rejecters of monotheism, enemies of monotheism, enemies of God, the people of falsehood, ignorant, and devils. He explicitly says that the polytheists of our time (Muslims) are worse than the polytheists of the past since the latter were polytheists at the time of welfare and were sincere monotheists at the time of hardship; but the polytheists of our time practice polytheism in both states. The catchword of the Wahhabis consists of four words: kufr (disbelief), sherk (polytheism), kezb (falsehood) and bid’ah (innovation). If the words kufr and sherk are collected in their statements they would make a voluminous book.

Whenever a Muslim argues with the Wahhabis on the basis of logic and valid narrations, before any rational argument they repeatedly say it is false and untrue. They deem as false and forged any idea that doesn’t conform to their dogmas. In short, Wahhabis consider themselves and their followers as monotheist and Muslim and dub others as polytheist and unbeliever; hence plundering their properties and killing them is allowed. What is interesting in the sinister bond is that from the very beginning religious affairs were put at the hand of the Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his family members (al Sheikh) while the political affairs and government were put at the disposal of Muhammad ibn Saud and his household (al Saud). The Wahhabi school is indeed an apparatus to legitimize the royal system of al-Saud while the latter maintains the security and power required for promotion of this ideology.