Spotlighting a controversial brand of Islam

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Wahhabi Movement Views: 7052
7052

IT TAKES a courageous scholar - or a foolish one - to stand up against the collective tide of current thinking that regards Wahhabism as the strain of Islam that motivates many of today's Muslim terrorists.

But that is exactly what American Natana J. DeLong-Bas has done in her book, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival And Reform To Global Jihad (Oxford University Press, 2004).

A researcher at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding in Georgetown University, Washington, her study of the works of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, currently preserved in the King Abd al-Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives in Riyadh, leads her to the conclusion: Contrary to conventional belief - especially as portrayed in the Western media - the movement is not a radical departure from mainstream Islam.

Taken by themselves, Abd al-Wahhab's writings were devoid of the xenophobia, militancy, misogyny, extremism and literalism that are today typically associated with Wahhabism, she says.

THE LEADER

EARLIER scholars have described Abd al-Wahhab, a Muslim in 18th century Arabia, as the spiritual leader of a band of marauders who were given to book burning in the name of jihad - a holy war against those who did not share their absolute monotheism (tawhid). 

The charges against him: that he was obsessed with Islamic purity; and that he sought to restore Islam to its pristine state as practised in the 7th century by ridding it of centuries of juristic and theological development.

That band of brothers eventually founded what is today the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But says Ms DeLong-Bas: 'The real Abd al-Wahhab was a well-trained and widely travelled scholar and jurist, as well as a prolific writer.'

His corpus included a collection of hadith (the sayings of Prophet Muhammad); his biography; a collection of fatwas (juridicial opinions); a series of exegetical commentaries on the Quran; several volumes of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh); and other varied works, including detailed discussion of jihad and the status of women.

Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792) was born in a town in the remote north-central desert of Saudi Arabia, a descendant of a prestigious family of Hanbali (one of the four Sunni schools of law) jurists and theologians.

He acquired his early groundings in religion and jurisprudence from his father, Abd al-Wahhab ibn Sulayman, who was the local qadi (judge). He spent some months, after a pilgrimage in Mecca, studying in Medina. As was the practice among students then, he also travelled widely to the knowledge hubs in present-day Iraq and Iran.

A RADICAL VIEW

ACCORDING to Ms DeLong-Bas, jihad as holy war was not one of Wahhabism's defining characteristics. 'If anything, its downplaying of jihad as holy war distinguished it from the independence movements of the 19th and 20th centuries (that sought) to shake off colonial overlords or respond to other aggression.'

In fact, she says, Abd al-Wahhab's 'emphasis on the importance of the preservation of life - human, plant and animal - and property, both human and material', led him to put severe restrictions on jihad: Muslims should resort to jihad only in instances where the enemy had behaved aggressively towards them first and then rejected the call to Islam.

In short, she says, the founder of Wahhabism was totally different from the person the modern world has come to know - a conclusion also shared by her mentor, Professor John L. Esposito, founder of the centre where Ms DeLong-Bas did her doctoral dissertation.

He told The Straits Times recently: 'There's a tendency today not to distinguish between what I would call your radical Wahhabis and simply a 'Wahhabi Islam' which is a very conservative interpretation of Islam but which is not necessarily radical.'

Extrapolating from her research, Ms DeLong-Bas argues that radicalism is not necessarily an offshoot of Wahhabism, and thus extremists like Osama bin Laden are not truly 'representative' of Wahhabism and Wahhabi beliefs.

The Wahhabi world view is in itself not prone to violence. But because it is very exclusivist, not very pluralistic, and can be very intolerant, that enables the violent extremist to take it and spin it - as Osama bin Laden did. But if Wahhabism doesn't explain Osama's world view, what does?

In Ms DeLong-Bas' view, the roots of Osama's beliefs lie in the teachings of 13th century Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1268-1328), his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al- Jawziyyah (1292-1350), and Ibn Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966).

Interestingly, none of them was an Arab: Ibn Taymiyya was born in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and Ibn al-Qayyim in Damascus, while Ibn Qutb was an Egyptian.

SANITIZING RECORD?

MS DELONG-BAS also points out that the teachings of the 18th century theologian must be seen in the context of his time. The 18th century was a time when revivalist movements of various types arose in a variety of locations, she says.

'Unlike the movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, which arose in response to external aggressions like European imperialism, or the desire for political independence, the movements of the 18th century arose largely in response to internal conditions. The most important of these was the perceived deterioration in Muslim beliefs and practices.'

Abd al-Wahhab's writings, she asserts, provide 'a vision that offers hope for the future'.

A fellow academic, British-born Hamid Algar - who now teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of Wahhabism: A Critical Essay (Islamic Publication International, 2002) - disagrees.

He told The Straits Times: 'She asserts without proof or demonstration that (the Wahhabi) movement was broadly typical of 18th century Islamic movements. I affirm, as I did briefly in my book, that it was an isolated, even aberrant phenomenon.'

In his book, a caustic critique of Wahhabism, Professor Algar says that the Wahhabi movement, as espoused by Abd al-Wahhab, was 'intellectually marginal' and 'does not occupy a particularly important place' in the rich history of Islamic thought.

He adds that Ms DeLong-Bas' focus on Abd al-Wahhab's writings also results 'in an excessively abstract, ahistorical presentation' of the Wahhabi ideologue. As a result, 'he is exculpated from the coercive acts he and his followers undoubtedly committed'.

He describes it as 'ludicrous' for Ms DeLong-Bas to assert that Abd al-Wahhab's primary emphasis was on peaceful persuasion and preaching, given the historical record of the movement.

Censuring Ms DeLong-Bas for 'sanitizing' the record, as he put it, he notes that she mentions the 1801 destruction, by Wahhabists, of a shrine famous as the burial place of the Prophet's grandson, Imam Husayn ibn Ali, in Karbala in southern Iraq, but leaves unsaid the massacre that accompanied it.

In his book, Prof Algar quotes a Saudi chronicler of the time, Uthman Abdullah Bishr, who said the marauding Wahhabis slew 2,000 people 'in the market and their homes'. Other accounts set the number at 4,000.

They also desecrated the grave of the imam.

Prof Algar notes that, while Ms DeLong-Bas 'has read and summarized some of the writings of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, on matters of Islamic law, more than previous English-language writers on the subject, she fails to assess them critically.'

This he attributes to her lack of overall knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence. Her references on Islamic law were 'almost all in English', he notes.

SAUDI APOLOGETICS?

THERE are other reservations. Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl of the University of California at Los Angeles slams the book as part of 'Saudi apologetics'.

Indeed, Ms DeLong-Bas' detailed look at Wahhabism was financed by the Riyadh-based King Abd al-Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives, as she says in her preface. To the cynical, that would prove that the book's intellectual integrity was suspect.

But Prof Esposito explains that Ms DeLong-Bas was given only 'a limited amount of funding' that enabled her and her husband to travel to Saudi Arabia for a week or two. Researchers accept these grants all the time, he adds.

Perhaps, history will be the final judge of the worth of Ms DeLong-Bas' work. 


WHAT'S WAHHABISM

MUHAMMAD Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's central theological doctrine was tawhid, or absolute monotheism. Although monotheism's origin lies with Abraham, the common ancestor of Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, Abd al-Wahhab taught that absolute monotheism is the distinctive feature of Islam alone, writes Ms Natana DeLong-Bas.

He also believed that the doctrine of tawhid was diluted by such popular Muslim practices as requests for intercession by saints, and worship at holy tombs and shrines. To him, such practices amounted to idolatry, and made one an unbeliever and an apostate - a crime punishable by death.

This concern - some say obsession - with Islamic purity drove Abd al-Wahhab to seek to restore Islam in Arabia to its 'original' state, by ridding it of practices and beliefs added over the centuries.

For example, he sought to eliminate, by force if necessary, such developments as art, music, poetry and all humanistic fields of study, particularly philosophy.

Source: The Straits Times


  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Wahhabi Movement
Views: 7052

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Older Comments:
AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Islam is not about cutting your ties to the Prophet (saaw), or the Sahabas (ra'a). They laid down the foundation for our faith. You cannot simply forget them and say, "I am a Muslim", we must create a new movement, blah blah blah. No...if you do not recognize that the Prophet (saaw), and Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, and Ali (radi'Allahu anhum) all followed an order, or chain of command, that the sufi orders such as the Naqshbandiyya still respects and reveres, then where is the foudnation of Islam? Do you know what one of the signs of Qiyamat is? It is the loss of the Sunnah.

I for one, will NEVER forget the order set by the Prophet (saaw), the four rightly guided Khalifahs, (Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, Ali (ra'a)), and that people such as Abdul Qadir Jilaani, who was a Hassani, and Hussaini, meaning that he was a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet (saaw), holds a great deal of weight, because not only is Abdul Qadir, aka Ghaus al-Azam (The Hidden Pole) of Islam, but people in his lifetime followed his lead, and continued to spread Islam all the way to Maghrib, and even in India, where I am from.

You REALLY REALLY NEED TO READ SOME BOOKS BROTHER!

For example, Ali bin Uthman Al-Hujweiri, aka, Data Ganj Baksh, who is buried in Lahore, Pakistan, wrote a book called, Kashf Al-Mahjub. You really need to read these books to understand the benefits of maintaining a connection with a sufi order. This great man, Ali bin Uthman Al-Hujweiri, was a sufi himself who in his time followed a sufi order of Junaid Al-Baghdadi.

You know when you think about it br. Adam Ibrahim, are we, in our pride, trying to say that all these Muslims who saw these men as great leaders and figures in the community, were all committing shirk and bid'at? These people such as Abd' Al-Qadir Jilaani and Ali bin Uthman Al-Hujweiri, and Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, were all being worshipped by people? Why did these Saints write books about ascetecism and the metaphysical world?
2004-10-17

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
To follow the Holy Quran and the Hadith is the real aim of each one of them. Islam is one huge sea, and these four Silsilas are its rivers. .

To make Sajdah al-Tazeem (Prostration of Respect) to anyone other than Allah Ta'ala is totally Haraam. To make Sajdah al-Ibadah (Prostration of Worship) to anyone other than Allah Ta'ala is undoubtedly and certainly Shirk and open Kufr. Sajdah al-Tazeem for one's Peer-o-Murshid or Mazaar of a Wali is not permitted, but is a grievous sin and also Haraam. Every single one of these Tariqat's says that anyone who worships graves, makes ibadat towards these graves is committing despicable shirk.

So Adam, this is clear among Sufis. You do not know "most sufi's" in the world. You do not know the people who belong to thse silsila's...yet you openly declare that most sufi's are on the path towards disbelief. Once again I ask for you to PROVE what you say. NOT ONE OF THE SHAYKHS who lead these tariqat's encourage anyone to worship THEM! In fact they hate the thought! ANd neither do they encourage the worshipping of graves!

Please stop making ambigious statements ever again about this topic, without even providing any proofs.

Abdul Qadir Jilaani (ra) himself said, that "The miracle of a Wali is his complete compliance to the teachings of Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)".

Just to let you know, all four of shaykhs who lead these sufi orders, all state that adherance to Shari'ah is the best Karaamat. And that a true Saint (wali-Allah) is righteous and follows the path laid down by the Holy Prophet (saaw).

Even Bayazid al-Bistaami (ra), a great Sufi, cautioned us by saying, that even "If you see a person sitting cross-legged in the air, don't be fooled by his act! Observe his approach/attitude to the compulsory acts (Fardh, Waajib) and prohibited acts (Haraam, Makruh Tahreemi) and detestable acts (Makrooh) and other restrictions and etiquette's of Shariah. (Risalah Qushayriya)
Educate yoursel
2004-10-17

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Oh I am wide awake and aware of what the Qur'an and Sunnah teach me, br. Adam. Allah is Al-Wakil, for I will face him individually, and you are NOT Al-Wakil, any true Wali-Allah will never profess to be Al-Wakil, or claim to posess any of Allah's names or powers.

Since you seem to know soo much about Tassawwuf, because you describe Most Sufi's as going astray, then why don't you share with us your opinions about any of the Awliya from Naqshbandiyya, Qadiriyya, Suhurwardiyya, or Chishtiyya? You seem to have so much knowledge about hte practices of people all over the world, come on now brother, back yourself up wiht proof! Isn't that what you ask others to do about ibn Wahhab?

Even though I have provided you with a fountain of knowledge about what ibn Taymiyya believed, you STILL have not acknowledged that you were wrong for saying the ibn Wahhab was following ibn Taymiyya's teachings.

It's time for you brother to stop swinging around the facts, and produce some of your own. Stop beating around the BUSH.

I do not need to "renew" my Imaan, I have been a Muslim all my life, and repentance is only between myself and Allah. I know hundreds of Sufi's, and NOT ONE of them worship anyone or anything besides Allah (swt). Stop spreading lies, I have had about enough of your gobbledeegook, without you providing any evidence to support your claims.

Wali as their saviour!? Who told you this, why don't you prove it this time, since you seem to be commanding in telling people to produce evidence before they claim something!?

YOu previously said htat most Sufi's are innovators today. Where is your proof??? Bring it forward if you are so firm in your words, and so convinced. By the way, the Kalimah in Islam, is La Ilaha il Allah, Muhammad ar-rasool-illah!

You cannot have proper Aqeedah unless you believe in Muhammad ar-rasool-lillah as well.
Adam, even if you think of a Muslim as a mushrik without solide proof IT IS WRONG!
2004-10-17

ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
Brother Akbar, I didn't call anybody (by name ie) mushrikh. What I did was to give some of the actions that led to shirk. And accepting ANY AWLIYA' as a saviour is one of those.

The true meaning of awliya' is any MUMIN who does not do any of the major sins and try as much as possible to stay away from all the minor ones. You or any muslim can be an awliya'. From the definition Allah gave in the Quran. I don't dispute that awliya may possess special gift(kharamah) from Allah but this is given by Allah to those He chose. And kharamah is not by any chance a condition that a mumin be an awliya'. But does possession of kharamah qualifies anybody to be one of the intercessors? No! So why do we elevate such people to positions that if they were to be alive, they will deny. Simple answer, rejection of TAWHEED the true aqidah as the true foundation of faith. Cos, if you believe in the first place that Allah alone deserves worship, and HE alone you implore for help. And that He requires none to help Him. He encompath all, and none encompath Him. His are true source for every sustainance, that He warns against associating any partners to Him, etc. then why even think about sufism, wahabism or any ism that has no basis in Islam. No origin from the prophet(SAW), his companions or those that immediately follow them?

Wake up brother, reflect and change your ways before we all face Allah to explain how we follow His commands here on earth. On the day when a person will run away from his father, MOTHER, children, friends etc. No relationships wether with awliya' or any creature matters that day ONLY YOUR DEEDS! Yes only YOUR DEEDS! And you will agree with me certainly followin awliya's is not one of those deeds.

Lets renew our Iman so that we recieve true salvation from Allah, lets be MUSLIMS.
2004-10-15

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Please try very hard to disprove the authenticity of Tawassul. You cannot disagree with the Sunnah brother Adam...or can you?

You know when it comes to talking about issues such as this, it really is difficult to try and go against what I am saying here, because all the proofs I have provided for you in like 10 POSTS of mine, are all valid proofs through Qur'an and Sunnah br. Adam. Look at what Ibn Taymiyya wrote about those who try to challenge the saints! Why if we cannot pay respect to saints, then why did Ibn Taymiyya do so, and why would he conclude that Allah is at war with those who challenge his saints?

I can give you a starting point br. Adam. Read this book, it is full of Islamic Shariah Law knowledge, it is in fact the first Islamic Sacred Law book translated from Arabic into English. It is called Reliance of the Traveller, A Classical Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, by Ahmed ibn Naqib Al-Misri, with commentary, appendices edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller.

Nabi Kareem Muhammad (saaw) is the intercessor of intercessors, and

By the way brother Adam, taking a grave as a place of worship MEANS to pray on the grave towards it. That is what is prohibited, and it applies exclusively to the grave of someone venerated, whether a prophet or a friend of Allah (Wali-Allah). When people start to do this, that is when you join Ghayrul Maghdubi Alaiyhim Wa la dwaaaleen - Which according to Islamic scholars refers to the Jews and Christians because they have either incurred Allah's wrath or have gone astray.

Now remind yourself that when you send salaams upon the prophet, he replies with Wa Alaiykum As-Salaam. This is a realm of the unseen which for some reason you don't want to understand. But I understand why you are hesitant. Allah guides whom He Wills to the direction He Wills.

May Allah guide you brother, I will make Du'a for you.

Wassalaatu Wassalaamu' Alaiyk.
2004-10-14

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, "I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me." The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak'as of prayer, and then say:


"Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad,
the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: "for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me"]."

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, "And if there is some need, do the same."


Scholars of Sacred Law infer from this hadith the recommended character of the "prayer of need," in which someone in need of something from Allah Most High performs such a prayer and then turns to Allah with this supplication together with other suitable supplications, traditional or otherwise, according to the need and how the person feels. The express content of the hadith proves the legal validity of "tawassul" through a living person (as the Prophet - peace be upon him - was alive at that time). It implicitly proves the validity of tawassul through a deceased one as well, since tawassul through a living or dead person is not through a physical body or through or through a life or death, but rather through the positive meaning (ma'na tayyib) attached to the person in both life and death. The body is but the vehicle that carries that significance, which requires that the person be respected whether dead or alive; for the words "O Muhammad" are an address to someone physically absent - in which state the living and dead are alike - an address to the meaning, dear to Allah, that is connected with his spirit, a meaning that is the ground of "tawassul," be it through a living or dead person.
2004-10-14

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Clearly br. Adam Ibrahim, you have shown that you are reprehensive towards sufi orders of today which follow Ahl As-Sunnah Wa'l Jam'aah, by stating that people are worshipping graves. How do you know people are worshipping graves? Who said htat you have to travel far distances to visit their graves? The only person who has said that is you. It is an option, it is not forced upon you to do so but if you wish to you may, just like travelling anywhere else. In fact as you tell me to visit the graves of the sahabas and rasool-Allah (saaw), I agree with you Adam Ibrahim, this is a great part of our faith. Have you gone to Jannat Al-Baqi, and have you seen what the kingdom of Saud has done to it? I know one person who actually went to the tomb of Nabi Muhammad (saaw), and he hugged it and grasped on, and wouldn't let go, and wept because of his love for the Prophet. Does loving the prophet mean that you are worshipping him? AstagfirAllah what a devious thing for someone to think of.

Just as you stated Ibn Taymiyya as being the backbone behind ibn Wahhab's views, my posts have discredited your assertion, and anyone can clearly see that by reading into these books and reading an ENTIRE BOOK of 700 pages Ibn Taymiyya wrote about Tasawwuf. You talk about Zuhd, but you refuse to use the word Tasawwuf. Well then if you respect Ibn Taymiyya so much, you would know that he didn't have a problem with using the word Tasawwuf, Sufi, Awliya Allah, Tawassul, or any of these conpepts. Why does it bother you to recognize Awliya Allah? The prophet (saaw) gave intercession to a blind man, and the blind man asked the prophets (saaw), and his site was restored by the power of Allah (saaw). This hadith is related by Tirmidhi, through a chain of narrators from Uthman ibn Hunayf. This hadith has been rigorously authenticated according to Tirmidhi This is Tawassul br. Adam Ibrahim.
2004-10-14

ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
Akbar Khan, the Sufis that Ibn Taimiyyah talked about are those that practiced "zuhd".

And what is zuhd; this is the practice whereby the worldly enjoyments does not occupy a believer to the extent that he/she forgets the purpose for which he/she was created. Vis worship.

Most of the sufis of today have deviated from the original concept and have introduce innovations into the deen, which by struck of luck ou gave an example yourself ie the prayer to the tombs of awliya'. It is not the visit to the graves that was bad but what takes place thereat. And why should you spent money to travelled great distant just for the sole purpose of visiting a grave, while the thousand muslims in your neighbourhood deserve better, the prayers u ntended for that individual. The only places we are ask to visit which the sahabas, tabiun and tabiu-tabiun visited, as an act of worship are three! The masjid Alharam, the Prophet masjid and the masjid al'aqsa. If by chance you find yourself in Medina, you should visit the prophet grave and by extension that of Abubakr(RA) and Umar(RA). This has been the pracice brother and remember the prophet(SAW) left the Quran, his sunnah and the teachings of Companions and their followers if these teachings comform with the Quran to follow. To add to any of these is an innovation and remember the Hadith from Aisha(RA), these innovations should be rejected. So brother visit the graveyard in your locality and pray for the muslim brothers and sisters therein, it is better for you!

On the question of tawassul, a very short argument for you will surfice. Remember the Hadith where Aisha(RA) said (pharaprasing) that a child that died will be one of the pillars in paradise. The prophet(SAW) cautioned her not make that judgement. Also the remember another saying where the prophet infer that he does not know what will become of him, on the day of judgement? If these are true and indeed they are then who among the awliya' you do twassul with...
2004-10-14

AKBAR KHAN - 7TH POST FROM CANADA said:
Imam Bukhari (Radiallahu Anhu) quotes this Hadith from Abdullah ibn Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Holy Prophet (Sallalaahu Alayhi Wasallam) once prayed for Syria (Shaam) and Yemen. It is narrated that there were some people of Najd also present in the gathering and requested the Prophet (Sallalaahu Alayhi Wasallam) to make Dua for Najd also. The Holy Prophet (Sallalaahu Alayhi Wasallam) continued saying: "0! Allah, Shower Blessings on Shaam and Yemen." The people of Najd again requested the Prophet (Sallalaahu Alayhi Wasallam) to offer prayers for Najd. The Prophet (Sallalaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "It is a place of tremor and Fitna (Mischief) and the horn of Shaitaan will rise from there." (Bukhari Shareef)

It can be deduced from the above Hadith that Najd is neither blessed nor a good place but one of Fitna and Evil. Najd has been deprived of the prayers of the Holy Prophet (Sallalaahu Alayhi Wasallam, therefore it has the seal of misery and misfortune and hoping for any good from there is going against Allah's will.
The Arabic word used in the above Hadith is Qarnush Shaitaan, which normally means the horn of Shaitaan.

Thus we learn that a Najdi/Wahabi group will emerge, as pointed out by Rasoolullah (saaw) and this group will follow the advice of Shaitaan (Shaitaan refuses to respect Prophets and Saints, remember his refusal to bow to Hazrat Adam (as)as mentioned in the Qur'an?

It will create havoc in the Muslim world. We are now witnessing the emergence of the Wahabis who, with the assistance of petro-dollars, are sweeping the Muslim world and are bribing them into accepting Wahabism as the official version of Islam. I believe Wahhabism is a disease but so many are misled into believing that it is curing the Ummah of Shirk, Kufr and Bidah.
2004-10-13

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
I will bombard you (so to speak) br. Adam Ibrahim, and all the others who disagree with me, with plentiful knowledge about what Ibn Taymiyya said, until you truly understand what Islam encompasses. ibn Wahhab took NOTHING from the teachings of ibn Taymiyya, and I don't know how much clearer to make it for you brother, but anyways I will keep trying until you understand hte importance of two concepts in Islam, called Tawassul, and Tassawwuf (aka Zuhd), and how there are Awliya Allah in this world, such as Abd'Al Qadir Jilaani (ra) who had a great deal of spirituality inside of them, bestowed upon them by Allah (swa). We are not debating the oneness of Allah here, I worship only Allah! I pray to him five times a day, but Allah never said, not to send peace and blessings and prayers upon people! Then why are there numerous hadiths and ayats in the Qur'an which confirm that we are allowed to seek intercession from people based on their good qualities? The prophet (saaw) is going to be an intercessor on your behalf on the day of Qiyamaat. Why is it such a wrong thing to do now, because you seem to think that peopl are worshipping graves??? Astagfir'Allah, I have never heard of such an insane suggestion.

All that Imam Ibn Taymiyya says about the subject of Tasawwuf is found in a large book (volume 11) consisting of 704 pages only about Tasawwuf.

What he said on page 314, about the hadith Qudsi [i.e. related from Allah Himself]:

"whoever comes against one of My saints is challenging Me for fighting."


Imam Ibn Taymiyya says about this Hadith Qudsi:
"Which means that Allah is expressing: 'I will seek revenge against anyone who comes against My saints like an aggressive lion.'"
He continues on p. 314 quoting Prophet's saying about the saints:
"you are the martyrs of Allah on Earth."
2004-10-13

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Read this du'a that comes after the adhaan, and will you still deny the concept of intercession?

Oh Allah! Lord of this perfect call, and of the prayer to be offered presently. Grant to Muhammad the way of approach unto You, and also eminence and high rank, and raise him to the glorious position which You have promised him, and give us his INTERCESSION on the Day of Judgment. And You do not go back on Your promise.

Now I would like you to please read the following ayat of the Qur'an:

2:254 O YE WHO BELIEVE! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (Will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. Those who reject Faith they are the wrong-doers.

'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'Aas reported Allah's Messenger ( ) as saying: "When you hear the call of the Mu'adh-dhin, say what he says; then invoke a blessing upon me, for he who invokes a blessing upon me, Allah will invoke ten blessings upon him for that. Then beg waseelah (INTERCESSION) from the Lord for me. It is a rank in Paradise which none but a servant amongst the servants of Allah is worthy to have and I hope that I am one such servant. He who begs waseelah for me, intercession will be assured for him. (Mishkaat)

8:20 O YE WHO BELIEVE! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak).

49:1 O YE WHO BELIEVE! Put not yourselves forward before Allah and His Messenger. but fear Allah. for Allah is He Who hears and knows all things.

Those who reject pious Imaams of the past and present, should understand one thing based on my previous posts, and what Al-Qur'an states about Awliya Allah:

Ala inna awliyaa Allahi la khawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoona

10:62 Behold! verily on the FRIENDS OF ALLAH there is no fear, nor shall they grieve;

10:64 For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme feli
2004-10-13

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
The fact of the matter is, that Islam was spread by Sufis across the Maghrib, throughout Bukhara, Samarqand, to the Orient of China, to India, to the areas in and around present day Indonesia. Or was Islam spread by followers to Abd' Al-Wahhab?

There is a serious problem with anyone who denies these facts of Islamic history as I have posted in the previous posts - And if you, dear Brother Adam Ibrahim, or anyone else for that matter, respect Imam ibn Taymiyya, then you must respect what he stood for, and what hebelieved in. He never accused other Muslims of committing Shirk of Bidaat, it was not the only thing that sprang from his lips every single second. It is a SAD VERY SAD thing to see Muslims today who would rather like to condemn the largest body of Muslims in the world who adhere to the teachings of prophet Muhammad (saaw), and follow the teachings of the TRUE SALAF AS-SALIH who came after hte time of hte Sahabahs. What you have today are these little tiny groups alll over the place, from Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Salafiyya, Wahhabi's, Ansar Al-Islam, Hizb'Allah, who are these people? Why do they have to rename themselves why can't they just remain content and improve their living conditions, educate themselves like the very intelligent Chechen fighters, and fight like honourable men and women? The Chechen fighters have even created their own weaponry to fight hte onslaught of hte Russian army.

You want me to respect groups who are making things difficult for Muslims all over the world? These are the very same groups who are causing problems for us EVERYWHERE, and until Muslims start realizing that if you do not confront these very issues and speak out against the actions of these groups, then you are DOING NOTHING to improve the situation.

Islam is about moderation in life, not excess, or lack thereof! Try to understand that. I extend my hand towards all who wish to know the reality of our deen. Assalaatu wassalaamu'Alaiyk.
2004-10-13

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
He continues about the Sufis,
"some people criticised Sufiyya and Tasawwuf and they said they were innovators, out of the Sunnah, but the truth is they are striving in Allah's obedience[mujtahidin fi ta'at-illahi], as others of Allah's People strove in Allah's obedience. So from them you will find the Foremost in Nearness by virtue of his striving [as-saabiq ul-muqarrab bi hasab ijtihadihi]. And some of them are from the People of the Right hand [Ahl al-Yameen mentioned in Qur'an in Sura Waqi'ah], but slower in their progress. For both kinds, they might make ijtihad and in that case they might be correct and they might be wrong. And from both types, some of them might make a sin and repent. And this is the origin of Tasawwuf. And after that origin, it has been spread and (tasha'abat wa tanawa'at) has its main line and its branches. And it has become three kinds:
1. Sufiyyat il-Haqa'iq - the True Sufis
2. Sufiyyat il-Arzaaq - the Professional Sufis (those who use Sufism for personal gain)
3. Sufiyyat il-Rasm - the Caricature Sufis. (Sufi by appearance only)."

Imam Ibn Taymiyya About Saints and Sainthood
Imam Ibn Taymiyya mentions in volume 11, page 190 of Majmu'a Fatawi Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, edition published in Egypt by Dar ar-Rahma:

"a servant of Allah 'azza wa-Jal, cannot be considered a saint unless he is a true believer. Allah mentions in Qur'an:
"Now surely the friends of Allah-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and guarded (against evil):" (Yunus, 61,62)
2004-10-13

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
In response to those who think something is wrong with me because I question the true nature of the Wahhabi movement. What is the matter with you people posting messages, saying things to other muslims, accusing them of committing shirk, or being a bidaati? Is this what Islam teaches you, to claim that your fellow Muslim is a Mushrik? Those who posted that Muhammad bin Abd'Al Wahhab is following the teachings of Ibn Taymiyya, well have you even read what Shaykh Taymiyya even wrote? Let me share something with those who claim that Awliya Allah and the visitation of tombs is somehow an act of Kufr or something - What baseless claims you guys make up without understanding the signifance of such things in Islam. Have you ever read Ibn Taymiyya's book, do you know anything about this great man? Did you know that he received initiation as a Sufi Shaykh? Did you know that the great 'ulama and the major figures of the Four Madhabs of Islam were trained in Tasawwuf, as explained in biographical books of these men, the book is called "Tabaqat," go and read them and get back to me. Ibn Taymiyya, in his lifetime, praised the sufi component of Islamic sciences, endorsed it, and even took part in it! He even achieved it's highest level, which is to receive the khirqah, which is the same thing as receiving permission from a sufi shaykh. It represents the cloak of Rasool-Allah (saaw). As far as searching for ANY of Ibn Taymiyya's works to see if he condemns Sufism, well let me tell you your search will be in VAIN, b/c it just doesn't exist - he opposed pantheist descriptions of Sufis, who were known as ittihadiyya, BUT he showed GREAT admiration for the works of Sufi's like Junaid Al-Baghdadi, Sahl At-Tustari, Bayazid Al-Bistami, Abu Talib Al-Makki, Al-Qushayri, Abdul Qadir Jilaani, and Abu Hafs As-Suhrawardi.

In the next section, I will post some of Ibn Taymiyya's sayings and opinions about Tassawwuf. You want to challenge my opinions, well here we go.
2004-10-13

HUDD FROM CANADA said:
There is a silver thread between Communism, wahabism and Zionism and current US administrations: Refractory to change. Change is the main ingredient to progress. Without change there is no new experiences or experiments or transformation of the obsolete in to the practical! A sad state of affairs. US reached a stagnation in almost all fields of intelligent endeavour. Why does this happen? The US is unwilling to change because they rear they will lose their well establish values, the Zionists are afraid they will lose their Judaic aspect, wahabis are afraid their puritan Islam is going to get contaminated with unislamic ideals. The price we pay? Human intellect stagnation and wide practiced hypocracy! Are the people of Saudia 100% in thought with wahabism? Not from what I hear! Do they all act like wahabis? Sure they do. Do Americans agree with their government? Heck, No! Do they act like? Mostly do, it would be unpatriotic not to! We have to give change a chance. As Muslims we need to render that change to the basics of Islam and not to a tradition or an institution! What is right for Taliban might not be right for Hanafi, but in the end if it is not basicly unislamic then who are we to disqualify change? This is how I see it, and change is with us, Muslims of the new world!
Peace to all!
2004-10-13

ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
Salam Akbar Khan, what is the matter with you? just recently you were the pragmatist on the western idea of "women's rights" in Islam. But u cant use that sense of judgement on A MUSLIM who happened to lived his life fighting for the cause of the religion? Think again brother.

The author says;

" WHAT'S WAHHABISM

MUHAMMAD Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's central theological doctrine was tawhid, or absolute monotheism. Although monotheism's origin lies with Abraham, the common ancestor of Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, Abd al-Wahhab taught that absolute monotheism is the distinctive feature of Islam alone, writes Ms Natana DeLong-Bas.

He also believed that the doctrine of tawhid was diluted by such popular Muslim practices as requests for intercession by saints, and worship at holy tombs and shrines. To him, such practices amounted to idolatry, and made one an unbeliever and an apostate - a crime punishable by death.

This concern - some say obsession - with Islamic purity drove Abd al-Wahhab to seek to restore Islam in Arabia to its 'original' state, by ridding it of practices and beliefs added over the centuries.

For example, he sought to eliminate, by force if necessary, such developments as art, music, poetry and all humanistic fields of study, particularly philosophy. "

Why don't people say this definition is wrong or right. Or what are the basis for this doctrine in Islam, was Islam just about these things or what? But don't go critising the man for nothing. "Bring your proofs.." that is the yard stick for disagreeing with someone not just blind criticsms.

For the records I aint no wahabbi but u can bet I like must of them ideas. Also Sheikh Wahab got some of his teachings from Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim.

PLEASE LETS BE MUSLIMS ALWAYS, ACCEPT THE TRUTH AS LONG AS THEY DONT CONTRADICT THE QURAN AND THE SUNNAH.

Peace to all.

2004-10-12

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
The only consistency in CONFESSIONS OF A BRITISH SPY would seem to be which people the readers are supposed to hate. I can see no other motive.

For starters, it hardly appears to be a confession. There seems to be neither remorse nor duress on the part of the person "confessing". At most, it was as if the person was boasting (to the confessor) or requesting some sort of special dispensation - for heinous acts yet to be committed.

It hardly appears to be a roadmap for global conquest. It goes to great lengths to venerate the very people it additionally goes to great lengths to propose destroying in the most villainous of ways. (Do Zionists proclaim the Goyim praiseworthy?) It hardly seems likely to inspire warrior-geniuses to continue fighting for another century. It was as if the conspirators themselves were seeking to undo a century of national struggle - by relaying those particular instructions in that particular manner.

Then the whole thing really starts getting weird. Consider how the publisher of the work seems to be opposed to building churches and synagogues throughout Muslim lands - or at least seems to be making an appeal to those who are. The publisher also seems to be opposed to Wahabbis. So guess what? Yes, that is correct - throughout the entire world, those Muslims voted the most notorious for their religious intolerance are either wittingly or unwittingly involved in a plot to build churches and synagogues throughout the lands of the Muslim. I am sorry but personally I have trouble taking such accusations (and innuendoes) seriously.

I will say this. The person "confessing" claimed to be trying to divide the Ummah. That in my view is precisely what sort of effect publishing their little "confession" seems likely to have on the Ummah.

Finally, here are three thoughts I hope to leave you with:
1) I bid you peace.
2) I apologize for my carelessness!
3) May Ramadan be blessed for you and yours.
2004-10-11

HARSHA FROM INDIA said:
Wahhabism may no doubt have been a revolutionary & even a reformist movement(giving relief to people burdened by ritualistic practices etc.)in the 18th century.But what about now?It's time for another reform movement pertaining to the needs of the 21st century.
2004-10-11

ABDUR RAZZAQ FROM USA said:
As salaamu alaikum: Eventhough I don't call myself a Salafi because of the stigma attached to it-I identify myself with Salafiyyah. However, I also disagree with the behavior and some of the actions of the adherents to this methodology. While I believe their aqeedah is the most sound and reliable and gives you your best chance to get to Jannah, some of the callers and Salafis lack alot in the area of Suluuq and adab. One cannot diminish the position of Shaikhul Islam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and his drive to curb the Shirk and bid'aa that had infiltrated the sufuuf of Islam. I don't care what muslims were doing, if it wasn't in accordance with the Qur'an wa Sunnah and the undestanding of the Salaf it is wrong. And the main reason for my position is the fact that Scholars of this ummah bring evidence for everything they say and do. This does not mean that I agree with them 100% in every affair, but I trust their judgements and their positions more than anyone elses. Please stop looking at the legacy left my followers of Abdul Wahhab and Ibn Taymiyyah and look at the works and writings of these shuyuukh. May Allah guide us all the be from the Saved sect and those victorious on the Day of Judgement. May He also spread love and respect between the Muslims.
2004-10-10

UMMHAFSAH FROM CANADA said:
Mohammad Abdulwahab teachings are true Islam whether you like it or not. IT is a sad fact that masses of ignorant Muslims do not know the real meaning of ibadah(worship); they address there worship to other than Allah swt, thereby committing a kind of shirk which drives a person right out of Islam.This grave and shrines worshippers are they ones who have problems with the teachings of Mohammad Abdulwahab which is pure Tawheed,Aqeedah and sunnah of our prophet S.A.W.
2004-10-10

RONNY FROM CANADA said:
I have read and even attempted to memorize some of his books. Mohammed abdulWahhab (rahimullah)was what Islam is all about pure tawhid with proofs and evidences from prophet Mohammad (pbuh)sunnah and the Quran. Salafi only deals with authentic hadith and Quran. Not weak or made up hadith. The word Salafi just means the way of the prophet and the righteous predicessors or Caliphs. All Muslims should practise the deen the way it was done by Mohammad abdulwahab and all sheikhs like bin baz, uthamin, albanee etc may Allah have mercy on them all.
2004-10-10

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Yes you love Muhammad ibn Abd' Al-Wahhab...go read CONFESSIONS OF A BRITISH SPY, then you'll really love him.
2004-10-10

AHMAD FROM PAKISTAN said:
First of all, this brand of Islam or so called Wahabbism or Salafism has no room is Islam and never has. This ideology from what I have experienced, is based on hate, intolerance, and arrogance, and thats from my experience and knowledge. Our beautiful Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated that near the day of judgement Religious knowledge will be lost by the death of religious scholars, also Fitnah will prevail and Religious Ignorance will be widepread, therefore we have Quran and our Prophets example, and thats all we need.
2004-10-10

KHALID AHMED FROM NEW JERSEY, USA said:
Wahabbism was a revolution which emphasized more on Tawhid and not giving importance on Prophet Muhammed(PBUH), his family and the Sahaba's life.
Islam starts and ends with the love of Prophet Muhammed(PBUH). You will find more Islam on the Sunna's of Sahaba which followed true, balanced and moderate Islam. Wahabbism brought in extreme concepts(Jihad, Women, Moderization ect) in Islam which was based on the belief of Tawhid only.

Islam is said to be a peaceful and flexible religion and you can see this approach in the life of the Sahaba's whose belief in Tawhid was only on the basis on love with Prophet Muhammed and his family.

To conclude this, the Wahabbism has mis-directed the actual Islamic values and represented the world with a very Extreme Tradition of belief.

I agree with the views of the author of this article.
2004-10-10

HAYTHAM FROM UAE said:
I wonder why everybody her is against Saudi Arabia. I'm not a Saudi. I know that there are lot of mistakes being done. But I know also that hundreds of millions of Saudi Money are spent to build mosques, chartity porpuses, caring for orphans, and bringing people to Islam. Only God knows what's going to happen to all the poor orphans (and they are in thousands), after the shut down of Al-Haramain foundation because of US pressures.

Read M. Abdulwahab's writings by yourself and will discover easily than the man has invited people to the very pure principles of Islam preached by the messange of Allah peace be upon him.

Hamed Al-Gar is simply from the shiite sect. So no wonder that he is demonising every sunni figure. 2000! I assure you that today's modern weapons can no kill that number in a one or two days battle! The number exist only in Shiite resourses that are well known of inflation of everything. (until they made of the imams some sort of gods!)

"..Eleminating art, poetry and all humanistic fields of study.." very silly accusation! even the most radical muslims don't do that!!

Anyway, good articles that shows both sides of views. No go to man's writings and find by yourself.

2004-10-09

ABDU'LLAH S said:
True, he was very mild in his ideas of jihad -- against the occupying Westerners. But he was all to ready to issue fewas for the slaughter of Muslims who followed Sunni Islam as it had been taught for 1400 years -- simply because he had different ideas of fiqh. Wahhabism is the worst bida'a of our times and the only cure for it is for Muslims to study their religion so they realze what a shallow excuse for Islamic knowledge Wahhabism really is.
2004-10-09

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Just out of curiosity, how can someone who died in 1792 (CE) be responsible for a massacre in 1801? Let's hope the rest of us aren't held to such high standards.

Are America's founding fathers responsible for the U.S. Government permitting criminals to victimize the people of Iraq? I think not.

By the way, here are two more things:
1) I love Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
2) I don't care who knows it.
2004-10-09

ANTHONY ASHMEAD MOHAMED FROM CANADA said:
Very enlightening indeed. Remember we have free will to choose our parts we take in life unless we are oppressed or under control, etc. Personal beliefs may be influenced or moulded by things such as environment, events, etc. and can be flaud also. However remember ALLAH{SWT} knows us better than we our selves and ALLAH{SWT} Decrees as HE pleases. Stop casting blame I say and trust in our ALMIGHTY HE KNOWER OF ALL THINGS. AS-SALAAM
2004-10-09

ROMESH CHANDER FROM US said:
I don't know what to believe. But there is one fact which one must bear in mind, i.e., Islamic Studies at Georgetown University have been heavily supported financially by Saudi Government. Looks like, the author is simply trying to put the best face on the mask of her benefactors. Money speaks.
2004-10-08

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
My mistake, I am against this article. Muhammad bin Abd' Al-Wahhab was a devious character who began a change in Islamic tradition of 1100 years before he was even BORN! Follow the teachings of the scholars, the true mujtahids, faqih's, and essentially all this should be based on the teachings and life of prophet muhammmad (saaw), not of some guy who came from the Najd, a place where the Holy Prophet (saaw) warned us about where the horns of Shaytaan would rise from the desert. He never blessed the Najd, yet blessed Syria and Yemen 3 times, no once in his three blessings, even though the people asked him about blessing the Najd (Arabia East of Makkah and Madinah), he stayed silent and did not. It is a dangerous doctrine when a group of people galavant around accusing other Muslims of constantly committing SHIRK and BID'AAH. Astagfir'Allah...only if those who adhere to the Najdi doctrine could truly come back to reality and stop claiming superiority over other Muslims.
2004-10-08