Takfiri Currents; A Scenario for Obliteration (24)
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was born in 115 in Aynia town of the Najd region 70 kilometers from Riyadh. According to Alusi, a staunch advocate of Abd al-Wahhab, he angered the people and the scholars in the same years of disclosing his ideas.
Then he left for Hajj pilgrimage. After that he went to Medina to study. There he used to prevent people from gaining intercession of the Prophet at his sacred tomb. Then he went to Najd and Basra. Upon getting informed of his ideas, the people of Basra expelled him of the city. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab lived a life of turmoil and scores of people were killed due to his perverse beliefs.
The 12th century AH (corresponding to the 18th -19th centuries AD) can be called the era of colonialism. Britain, which had already spread its shade over the subcontinent, tried to change the Indian system of education to alienate the Islamic community and new generation toward itself. France, under Napoleon, had occupied Egypt, Syria and Palestine and the Tsarist Russia, through repeated assaults, was trying to expand its geographical and political power and realm via treaties and conventions.
The Ottoman Empire was in its waning years. Under such circumstances, the Islamic world weakened very much. However, Wahhabism neither helped convergence in the Islamic world but it sowed the seeds of discord and enmity among Muslim countries. In these conditions, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, with the assistance of the al-Saud and the British support, promoted his deviated ideas in Hejaz.
What shows the scientific status of a person are either his works and research or the students he has trained.
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, unlike his predecessor Ibn Taymiyyah, was very poor in both of the mentioned criteria. Ibn Taymiyyah was a hardworking writer and trained people like Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Kathir. But ibn Abd al-Wahhab wrote nothing mentioning and his scale of study is an ambiguous matter let alone his students. What helped him spread his influence were just the force of sword and the political power of the al-Saud and Britain.
When the Prophet of Islam began his mission, the attractions of his personality and the robustness of the Islamic teachings caused this religion to find its way into the hearts of individuals and continue growing toward sublimity. But there is another way of growth and spread for those beliefs which are by no means attractive. Such beliefs are able to survive only in the light of sword and the support of political powers and rulers. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was fully aware of this and knew well that his words would never be accepted by the public due to its complete contradiction with the religious principles. Furthermore, he lacked any scientific or ethical quality of a charismatic personality to rule over the hearts of people. Thus, he chose the method of political power and force.
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab enjoyed no popularity in his birthplace and the surrounding cities and towns in Hejaz and was loathed and banned by all of the Sunni scholars due to his perverse ideas. This, coupled with his avarice for power, brought him near to Muhammad ibn Saud the ruler of Dar’iya, a town in the vicinity of Riyadh. These two people committed countless heinous crimes in different regions of Hejaz. Now let us have a short look at the deviated thoughts of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab who was not accepted even among his family members and his brother was his main critic.
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab believed that it is only he and his followers who are monotheist and worshippers of God. He maintained that God truly sits on the Throne with hands and legs and He has eyes, face, tongue and soul and speaks with His tongue and mouth. In short, he believed that God has a physical shape quite the opposite of what all Muslims believe as disbelief. He maintained that construction of any tomb and building on the graves is a Bid’a (innovation) and it is obligatory to destroy them even the tomb of the Prophet. His followers believed that the tombs and shrines are like idols and should be demolished. Another issue that was blasphemously rejected by the Wahhabis is any sort of seeking intercession from the Prophet and the saints of Islam. In his book “Kashf al-Shobahat”, he writes, “Seeking intercession from the dead is intercession from null and the dead are not able to answer.”
Another belief of the Wahhabis is that the Prophet and the infallible Imams have no knowledge of the Unseen, neither in their life nor after death. One of the obvious features of ibn Abd al-Wahhab is that he excommunicates all Muslims and brands them as unfaithful.