Shaykh Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab –
Who he is and what he is upon…… in his own words.
If we want to know more about him, we cannot find anyone who can describe the man better than himself, because when there is a man concerning whom people’s opinions vary greatly, with some praising him and some condemning him, we should look at what he says in his writings and his books, and at what is correctly attributed to him, then weigh that against the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
What Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab said, describing himself, was:
“I tell you that – Alhamdhulillaah – my belief and my religion, according to which I worship Allaah, is the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, which was the way of the imaams of the Muslims, such as the four Imaams and their followers until the Day of Resurrection.
But I explain to people that they must devote their worship sincerely to Allaah (ikhlaas). I forbid them to call upon the Prophets and the dead among the righteous and others, and from associating them with Allaah in any act of worship that should be done for Allaah alone, such as offering sacrifices, making vows, putting one’s trust, prostrating and other actions which are due to Allaah and in which no one should be associated with Him, not any angel who is close to Him or any Prophet who was sent. This is the Message which was proclaimed by all the Messengers, from the first of them to the last of them, and this is the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah.
I hold a high position in my village and people listen to me. Some of the leaders denounced that because it goes against the customs they grew up with. I also obliged those who are under me to perform regular prayer, pay zakaah and fulfil other Islamic duties, and I forbade them to deal with ribaa, drink intoxicants and other kinds of forbidden things. The leaders could not criticize that or find fault with it, because it is something that is liked by the common folk, so they directed their criticism and enmity against that which I enjoin of Tawheed and that which I forbid of shirk, and they confused the common folk by saying that this goes against what everyone is doing, and they caused a great deal of fitnah…” (al-Durar al-Sunniyyah, 1/64-65, 79-80)
Any fair-minded person who studies the books of this great Scholar will know that he is one of those who call people to Allaah with sure knowledge, and that he bore many difficulties and hardships in order to restore Islam to its pure form, when it had been altered a great deal at his time, and that was because of his opposition to the whims and desires of the leaders, who stirred up the ignorant masses of the common people against him, so that they could continue to enjoy their positions of worldly leadership and wealth.
I urge you not to be easily influenced by others with regard to what you listen to and believe. Rather you should be a seeker of truth, defending it no matter who is promoting it, and I urge you to avoid falsehood and error no matter who is promoting it. So if you look at any of the books by this shaykh – and I recommend you to read Kitaab al-Tawheed alladhi huwa haqq Allaah ‘ala al-‘Abeed [Kitaab al-Tawheed is available in English translation] – you will find out how great the Shaykh’s knowledge was, and how important his call is, and the extent to which his words have been twisted and accusations have been made against him.