Wahhabis? Reply given by Ibn Baz to written questions posed by a Shaykh from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
From`Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to my esteemed brother, may Allah guide you to useful knowledge and applying it, Amen. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you). To proceed:
I have received your letter dated 2/3/1394 A.H. May Allah guide you and grant you success. It included three questions about Wahhabism. Following is my answer:
Q 1: You asked about Wahhabism and whether it is a fifth Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence) or follows one of the four Madh-habs.
A: The term Wahhabism is used by many people to refer to the call initiated by ImamMuhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab ibn Sulayman Al-Tamimy Al-Hanbaly (may Allah be merciful to him). He is called along with his followers ‘Wahhabis’. Every knowledgeable person must have heard about ShaykhMuhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab’s movement and approach (may Allah be merciful to him). He called for pure Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah) and warned people against all forms of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), such as supplicating to the dead, trees, rocks, or the like. He (may Allah be merciful to him) followed in creedal matters the Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence) of the Salaf (righteous predecessors), while in subsidiary matters he followed the Madh-hab of ImamAhmad ibn Hanbal Al-Shaybany (may Allah be merciful to him). This is clear in the books and Fatwas (expert legal opinions) of Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab and in the books of his followers and offspring which are published. ImamMuhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab appeared at a time when Islam was alienated, theArabian Peninsula and other areas were engulfed in ignorance, and worshiping idols was widespread. The Shaykh took it upon himself to strive and struggle, and devoted himself to destroying all means of misguidance.
(Part No. 1; Page No. 375)
He employed all possible ways to spreading Tawhid free from any kind of superstition. Allah, out of His Bounty, made ImamMuhammad ibn Su`ud, Prince ofAl-Dir`iyyah at that time, approve of the call. Thus, the Prince, his sons, those under his authority, and his followers supported the Imam, may Allah reward them, forgive them, and guide their offspring to do all that pleases Him and to what sets right the affairs of His servants. All regions of theArabian Peninsula have lived under this righteous call to the present day. Thus, Imam Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab’s call was in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). Wahhabism is not a fifth Madh-hab as some ignorant and prejudiced people claim; rather, it is a call to the `Aqidah (creed) of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) and a way of reviving the fundamental features of Islam and Tawhid which were forgotten in theArabian Peninsula.
(Part No. 1; Page No. 376)
Q 2:Do Wahhabis deny Shafa`ah (intercession) by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? A: Any wise person who has studied the biography of Imam ShaykhMuhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab and his followers know they are innocent of such a claim. The Imam (may Allah be merciful to him) wrote about Shafa`ah, especially Kitab Al-Tawhid (Book of Monotheism) and refuted the suspicions raised about the Messenger’s Shafa`ah for his Ummah (nation based on one creed) on the Day of Resurrection. Thus, it becomes clear that the Shaykh (may Allah be merciful to him) and his followers did not deny the Shafa`ah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and that of other prophets, angels, believers and children who die before puberty. Rather, they confirm it as Allah and His Messenger confirmed it, treading the way of the Salaf in applying evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Based on this, it is clear that claiming that the Shaykh and his followers denied the Shafa`ah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is completely groundless. It bars people from the Way to Allah and involves spreading lies against Du`ah (callers) to Allah. The Shaykh (may Allah be merciful to him) and his followers only denied seeking Shafa`ah from the dead and the like. Shafa`ah can only be granted to the intercessor with the Permission of Allah and His Acceptance of the person to be interceded for. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His PermissionAnd: And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allâh has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with.And: …and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him.Allah (Glorified be He) accepts nothing other than Tawhid; therefore, Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) will have no share in Shafa`ah. Allah (Exalted be He) says: So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them.Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: There will be no friend, nor an intercessor for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers), who could be given heed to.We ask Allah to guide us all to what pleases Him and grant us safety from anything that displeases Him. Allah is the Grantor of success.
(Part No. 1; Page No. 377)
Q 3: Is it true that whenthe followers of Imam ShaykhMuhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab (may Allah be merciful to him) seized theArabian Peninsula and reachedMadinah, they tied their horses toAl-Rawdah Al-Sharifah (the “Noble Garden” – a blessed area between the Prophet’s grave and pulpit in his Masjid) inAl-Masjid Al-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque)?
A: This claim is groundless. In fact, it is a lie and a way of hindering others from the truth. Rather, it is known that when the followers of Imam Muhammad enteredMadinah, they spread the call of Salafiyyah (those following the way of the righteous predecessors), clarified the real meaning of Tawhid (belief in Monotheism) with which Allah sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and all other prophets. They also condemned acts of major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship that takes the Muslim out of Islam) committed by many people such as supplicating to and seeking help of the Messenger (peace be upon him) as well as the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) buried in Al-Baqi`, the Prophet’s household and other righteous people, and supplicating to the Prophet’s uncle,Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with him), and to the martyrs of Battle of Uhud. Indeed, that is what is known about the followers of Imam Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab. They were known for teaching people the true essence of Islam and of disapproving of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and superstitions which had spread inAl-Hijaz and other places at the time. Any claim that they had shown disrespect of the Prophet’s grave or Al-Rawdah or disrespect of the Prophet (peace be upon him), any of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) or any righteous person is a mere fabrication and alteration of the truth.
Moreover, many history books attest to what we have said and belie such false claims. May Allah grant us all understanding of His Way and steadfastness in it until we meet Him (Glorified be He). May Allah protect us from the paths leading to error. Indeed, He is the Patron, Capable of all things.
We ask Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) to forgive the followers of Imam Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab, all Muslim scholars, and callers to guidance, and to make us all among their followers in righteousness. May Allah show us the truth, guide us to follow it, show us falsehood and guide us to avoid it. Indeed, He is the Patron, Capable of all things. Allah is the Grantor of success.