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Wahhabism, the Saudi Arabia-based puritanical heresy at the base of Islamism

by Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi
June 02, 2002
Islamism - a late 20the century totalitarian ideology that violates Islamic principles

Like other totalitarian ideologies, contemporary Islamism is blindly utopian. It implies a wholesale denial of history; the Islamists’ model of an ideal society is inspired by the idealised image of seventh-century Arabia and an ahistorical view of religion and human development. It is based on anachronistic thinking that rejects modern concepts of pluralism and tolerance. And it ignores a history of Islam that is rich in models of heterogeneous social organisation and adaptation to the times.

Two Views of Politics in Islam

The traditional view understands the role of politics in terms of what the Qur’an teaches. It indicates that prophets were sent to humans to teach them truths about God, ethics, ways to achieve prosperity in this world, and beatitude in the hereafter, and to warn about the consequences of injustice and sinfulness. A prophet who is called to preach in a stateless milieu has to assume a role of political leadership; this mantle fell on Moses, as it did to Muhammad (peace be upon both of them). Islamic tradition teaches that when this happens, the two roles are combined by accident; political leadership is not a necessary element of the prophetic mission. By way of confirmation, note that the Qur’an uses different titles to describe the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but none of them refers to his political function. Verses 33:45-46 say that he was sent as a witness (shahid), a bearer of glad tidings (mubashshir), one who warns (nadhir), as some one who calls to God (da ‘i ila Allah), and as a shining light (siraj munir). Nowhere does it say he was sent as a political leader or a head of state.

Islamists, however, have a very different interpretation. For them, building an Islamic state is the central achievement of the prophetic mission. Conflating the role of the Muslim scholar with that of a political leader, they hold that the spread of Islam cannot be separated from the creation of what they call the Islamic state.

They argue that "Islam is both religion and government" (al-lslam din wa dawla); and this serves the basic description of their creed. They neglect to mention, however, that this expression is found in neither the Qur’an, the Hadith (sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad), or in any other of the authoritative Islamic sources.

Two Views of Jihad

In similar fashion, the Islamists deform the meaning of jihad. In traditional Islam, military jihad and all other forms of material jihad constitute only the external aspect of jihad, while the inner dimension of jihad is the struggle that a Muslim undertakes to purify his soul from mundane desires, defects, and egotism. Jihad is not limited to the military arena but denotes striving hard toward a worthy goal. According to some sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), "the best jihad for women is performing a valid pilgrimage,’’ while "the jihad for someone who has old parents is taking care of them.’’ According to a well-known tradition, after coming back from a military expedition, the Prophet Muhammad said, "We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad" (raja’na min jihad al-asghar ila jihad al-akbar). The Prophet was asked, "O, Messenger of Allah, what is the greater jihad?" He answered, "It is the jihad against one’s soul.’’

The traditional understanding also includes a military meaning but military jihad is strictly regulated by rules concerning its purpose, means, and resolution.

Purpose: Qur’anic verses permitting military jihad (22:39-40) indicate that it is not a vehicle to expand Islam but to defend the rights of those who are persecuted because of their religion.

"To those against whom war is made, permission is given [to defend themselves], because they are wronged. And verily God is most powerful for their aid. [They are] those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right [for no cause] except that they say, "Our Lord is God." Did not God check one people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure."

Note the inclusion here of not just mosques, but "monasteries, churches, synagogues" as places where God’s name is frequently mentioned and places that must be protected, if necessary by recourse to war. These lines indicate a militant defence of the right to religious freedom.

Self-defence: The term "self-defence" means just that and must not be stretched. The Qur’an (2:190) says, "And fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but do not exaggerate. Verily, God does not love those who exaggerate." The typical example of this is the story of Moses and the Egyptian, as narrated in the Qur’ an (28 :1 5- 1 6). To defend an Israelite being beaten by an Egyptian, Moses killed the Egyptian. No doubt, the Israelite was a member of the oppressed people, one of those who were persecuted because of their religion and enslaved, while the Egyptian was one of the oppressors. The event could even have been described as a legitimate form of jihad. The Qur’an, however, does not support this opinion, and condemns Moses’ reaction as exaggerated. Moses himself asks forgiveness for his excess.

Means: Military jihad must be waged by a regular Muslim army against another army. Terrorist acts against civilian populations are not included in the definition of jihad.

Peaceful solution: When a former enemy is ready to stop hostilities and is looking for an opportunity for peace, Muslims must stop fighting and also look for a peaceful solution. The Qur’an (8:60-61) says: "if they incline towards peace, incline thou also towards it, and put thy trust in God."

This traditional understanding of jihad as warfare to defend the weak, using armies, and open to reaching an accord has been replaced by an aggressive, guerrilla-style warfare that rejects anything less than total victory and a total defeat of the one who is perceived as the enemy (whether non-Muslim or non-Islamist Muslim). The Islamist version of jihad includes and legitimises terrorism against civilian targets such as churches, synagogues, and cemeteries and even against elderly people, women, and babies. Not withstanding the clear Islamic prohibition on suicide, it also includes suicide operations. A recent fatwa by Mufti Farit Salman, deputy president of the Council of Muftis of the European States of Russia, eloquently condemned such behaviour in the aftermath of the sacking of Joseph’s Tomb, a Jewish shrine in Nablus:

"There are many fanatics in the Holy Land who with their intelligence swayed by Satan wrecked the tomb of the Man of Allah, Joseph, peace be upon him; wrecked the tomb of the man whom the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (blessings and peace upon him), met and conversed with in his ascension to the throne of Allah; wrecked the tomb of one of the dear prophets whom the Holy Qur’an disclosed as a model of physical and spiritual splendour and of humility . . .How could Muslims do such a thing? No! Those who gave hand to destroy a sanctuary of ours are not of us!... Woe unto those who desecrate the name of names, who demolish tombs of the prophets, synagogues, churches, mosques!"


The origins of modern Islamism trace back to the beginnings of the Wahhabi movement in the early eighteenth century.

Wahhabism was a puritanical uprising based on reinterpreting written Qur’anic law without the enlightened support of expertise embodied in the Qur’an and the Hadiths, known as the Sunna. Wahhabis pay lip service to adherence to the Sunna, but in reality reshape it according to their ideology. Many prophetic sayings which constitute the immediate source of Sunna are rejected by means of captious arguments, as soon as they result in tenets incompatible with Wahhabism. When Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab (the eponym of Wahhabism) started preaching, the mufti of Medina declared Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s belief a heresy and formally excommunicated him by issuing a fatwa, the text of which said:

"This man is leading the ignoramuses of the present age to a heretical path. He is trying to extinguish Allah’s light, but Allah will not permit His light to be extinguished, in spite of the opposition of polytheists, and will enlighten every place with the light of the followers of Sunna."

Sheikh Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, describes the rise and the development of Wahhabism as follows:

"The premise of this new, narrow ideology was to reject traditional scholars, scholarship, and practices under the guise of "reviving the true tenets of Islam" and protecting the concept of monotheism."

Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab encouraged a new interpretation of Islamic law and permitted his acolytes to apply it in light of their own understanding, regardless of their level of expertise in juridical matters. Whoever did not agree with this revolutionary approach he considered outside of the fold of Islam – an apostate, disbeliever, or idolater – and thus someone whose blood could be shed, whose women could be raped, and whose wealth could be confiscated.

Saudi Arabia's founder Ibn Saud, whose victory spread Wahhabism to the wider world

The dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I gave the Wahhabis an opportunity to impose their beliefs and their rule on Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula, which they did not lose. The Wahhabis first conquered the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, transforming these two sanctuaries from centres for the transmission of the Sunni heritage into places for propagating a primitive and literalist cult to Muslims coming from every part of the world. Second, the Wahhabis set up the Saudi state.

Third, expansionist Wahhabism, like other forms of totalitarian ideology, seeks not just to take possession of the whole Muslim world by replacing Sunni Islam with the so-called Salafi school but even to expand its influence beyond it. Dogmatic uniformity has since then begun to suffocate the humane and enlightened Islamic tradition. Since the 1950s, the Muslim Brethren (al-lkhwan al-Muslimun), an organisation founded in Egypt in 1929, has been the main instrument for propagating Wahhabi influence internationally.

After Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power in the mid-1950s, the Saudis needed allies against his secular revolutionary policies. So the Saudi leaders supplied financial support to the Brethren. From then on, the vast majority of Muslim Brethren adopted Wahhabi doctrines.

The governments of some Muslim countries, knowing that human and civil rights, democracy, and equality between men and women could represent the end of their power, support Islamism. They work against peace between Israel and its neighbours, fearing that a pacified Middle East could create serious problems for autocratic and feudal systems. Not surprisingly, the Palestinian Hamas is one of the important Muslim Brethren-controlled organisations in the Middle East.

Radicalism in the West

These problems are not limited to the Muslim world but are now also found in the West. Local branches of the radical organisations that promote terrorism in the Middle East are taking root in Western countries. They represent not more that 10 percent of the total Muslim population in those countries but they control the main Muslim organisations and most of the mosques in western Europe and North America. They are a worldwide, organised network, using acronyms, but always ensuring that the Muslim Brethren is the inner circle behind the scenes. They claim to represent all Muslims and get a respectful reception from non-Muslims, who know no better.

This situation has many causes, but the principal one is that while traditional Islam is multifaceted and spontaneous, Islamism is forwarded by a worldwide network of activists funded by the Saudi and some other Gulf governments. Those looking for ways to prevent Muslim minorities in Europe and North America from turning to Islamism find that the Gulf countries represent the main obstacles. Ironically, then, the structure of the Muslim Brethren is supported, in other words, mainly by those countries that are regarded as friends of the West. Muslim Brethren are often appointed as imams of important mosques, especially in democratic countries where there is no ministry of religious affairs to check their orientation, and where imams with the expected permission to teach (ijaza shar’i) are the exception.

The West is both loved and feared by Islamists. They cannot hope to defeat it militarily so instead they aim to influence it from within. In part, this means that Islamists divide their work between militants and more moderate-sounding types. Militants execrate the US government and call for its destruction, while the more moderate Islamists are honoured guests at the White House.

The United States

The danger is that radical groups could become the official representatives of Muslim immigrants in the West. Let us review the situation in the United States.

Sheikh Kabbani, of the Islamic Supreme Council of America and a disciple of Nazim ‘Adil al-Qubrusi, declared at the US State Department:

"We would like to advise our government, our congressmen, that there is something big going on and people do not understand it. You have many mosques around the United States.... So the most dangerous things are going on in these mosques that have self appointed leaders throughout the United States. The extremist ideology makes them very active.

"We can say that they took over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States….This means that the ideology of extremism has been spread to 80 percent of the Muslim population, mostly the youth and the new generation."

Sheikh Kabbani is trying to show Westerners the reality behind the deceptive facade. The great majority of all mosques in democratic countries–not only in North America, but in most of western Europe as well–are controlled by extremists.

Looking at two organisations in specific, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Muslim Brethren front organisation in the United States that lobbies against journalists and scholars who dare to write anything about Islam at variance with the Brethren’s Islamist agenda, such as advocating diversity in Islam. Notwithstanding CAIR’s evident connection to Hamas, it is accepted by the US government as a legitimate representative of the Muslim American community. Likewise, the American Muslim Council (AMC) is another branch of the Muslim Brethren. According to Khalid Duran, "The AMC’s most remarkable feat was to obtain the monopoly on the training of Muslim chaplains for the US Army (which is like Teheran entrusting the training of its Revolutionary Guards to the US Institute of Peace)." Thus, while non-Islamist Islamic organisations like the Association for Islamic Charitable Projects are more or less ignored by the US government, Muslim American soldiers receive spiritual assistance from Islamist chaplains.

Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi is secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI) and director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community. He lectures in Muslim history at the Research Institute for Anthropological Sciences in Rome. Origionally published in the Middle East Quarterly, Summer, 2001. © Middle East Forum.

For the entire article see: The Review - Islam perverted


[This letter respond to: Daniel Pipes, "Are Muslim Americans Victimized?"  Commentary, November 2000. That article may be accessed at] 

I read Daniel Pipes's article with the utmost interest, and I completely agree with his refutation of the claim that "discrimination is now part of daily life for American Muslims."

Apart from those limited forms of bias to which religious or ethnic minorities are exposed in every part of the world, Muslims in the United States enjoy the full range of religious and political freedoms, which would be simply inconceivable in most of their countries of origin. In fact, many Muslims who are running from dictatorship and oppression naturally see the United States as the country where their aspirations can be satisfied. 

Even so, I must add that the Muslim community in the United States does experience victimization, in one respect, though not at the hands of government or the media. Rather they are victims of their "representatives," the leadership of extremist organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American Muslim Council, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the Islamic Society of North America, all of which completely distort the image of who Muslims are and of what they stand for. 

The vast majority of American Muslims belong to the Sunni confession, while the leaders of these organizations are all Wahhabis, acting only in the interest of the Saudi regime that funds them and determines their projects and programs. The real paradox is that Muslims who live in America have their leadership appointed by the rulers of Saudi Arabia. 

Moreover, these organizations that are ready to raise their voices to protest against "discrimination" suffered by American Muslims have never spoken a word to condemn groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that try to legitimize terrorism "in the name of Islam," or to condemn regimes like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hasan Turabi in Sudan for causing the death of thousands of innocent Muslims. This silence about crimes perpetrated against Muslims, and about crimes perpetrated "in the name of Islam," contributes to the impression that Muslims really do support terrorism. 

Finally, the tendency of these organizations to launch hate campaigns against those intellectuals and media operators who denounce and expose their radical agenda only serves to make matters worse. 

Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community
Rome, Italy 

A Warning to Muslims against the Bid'ahs
preached by Muhammad Ibn 'Abdi-l-Wahhab

by Shaykh Abdul Hadi Palazzi and Zubair Qamar

Praised by Allah, Lord of the worlds, and blessing and peace upon the best of His creatures, the Prophet Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-Llah, upon his noble family, his pure wives, his purified Sahabahs and upon all those who follow his path till the Day of resurrection. This paper has been compiled under the supervision of Shaykh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community as a mean to seek Allah’s favor and as a warning against the founder of the heretic Wahhabi-Salafi cult and against the bid’ahs he preached. May Allah save this Ummah from bid‘ahs and dalalah, and preserve us on the right path followed by Asyaduna al-akramin. Amin.

Rasul-Ullah (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Allahumma, bless Yemen, Allahumma, bless Sham." He was asked: "And what about Najd?" He answered: "From Najd Shaytan’s horn will rise."

He (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said: "Beware of Shaykhu-n-Najdi, since he is Shaytan."

He (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said: "There will be people who come from the eastern side of Arabia who will recite Qur’an, but their recitation will not pass beyond their collarbones. They will go out of Islam as swiftly as the arrow goes through the prey. Their sign is shaving their heads."

Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab was a descendent of the Bani Tamim tribe and was born in the Uyaynah village (Najd) in 1111 H. (1699 M.). His father was a learnt Hanbali scholar, and sent him to study tafsir, fiqh and tasawwuf in Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Basrah and Damascus, as well as in Iran and India. His attitude, from the beginning, was very much polemic, and he took active part in scholarly debates. During this period, he received the surname "Shaykhu-n-Najdi". He contacted many Shaykhs of tasawwuf, and tried his best to be appointed as a khalifah. This request of his, however, was not accepted, since the Shaykhs realized he was too must influenced by kibr and by the desire to become a leader.

At the age of thirty-two he came back to Najd and started working as a teacher for Bedouins; he also started exercising ijtihad, and accusing Sunni scholars and Ahlu-t-tasawwuf of bid‘ahs. In 1143 H. (1730 M.) he met a leader of a gang of marauders called Muhammad Ibn Sa’ud, whose main activity was plundering travelers in the desert of Najd. Since most of those Bedouins living in Dar’iyyah were completely unlearnt, Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab could easily convict them of his theories; Ibn Sa’ud and him made an agreement, according to which the former was appointed as the "Amir", and the latter as the "Shaykh". The "Shaykh declared he was ready to publish "fatawa" where non-Wahhabi Muslims were described as apostates and idol-worshippers; this point of view obviously represented a sort of "religious justification" for Ibn Sa‘ud’s gang. They were not, anymore, robbers and criminals, but "mujahids", authorized to kill "kuffars", to plunder their properties and to rape their women.

The "Shaykh" also appointed some "wakils" and send them to preach Wahhabism in Mecca, but scholars living in the Blessed City were ready in understanding how dangerous this doctrine was. Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan as-Shafi‘i (ramimah-Ullah) was the Chief Mufti of Mecca. In wrote in the book "Al-Futuhatu-l-Islamiyyah":

"To deceive the ‘ulemas in Mecca and Medina, those people sent emissaries in al-Haramayn, but these missionaries were not able to answer questions asked by Sunni scholars. It became evident that they were ignorant bid‘ah holders. Muftis of the four madhhabs wrote a fatwa that declared them kuffars, and this document was distributed in the whole Jazirah. The Amir of Mecca, Sharif Mas‘ud Ibn Sa‘id, ordered that the Wahhabis should be imprisoned. Some Wahhabis fled to Dar‘iyyah and informed their leader of what was happening."

Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab’s brother, Sulayman Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab (ramimah-Ullah), studied his works and tried his best to invite him to tawbah. At least, when he realized verbal admonitions had no effect, decided to write a book called "As-Sawa’iqu-l-Ilahiyyah fi-r-Raddi ‘ala-l-Wahhabiyyah". It contains a detailed refutation of his brother’s heresies, and states:

"One of the dalils showing that your path is heretic is the hadith sharif narrated by ‘Uqbah Ibn Amir and collected in the Sahihayn [Bukhari and Muslim]: ‘Rasul-Ullah (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) ascended the minbar, and it was the last time I saw him on the minbar. He said: ‘I do not fear that you will become mushrikuns after me, but I fear that, because of worldly interests, you will fight each others, and thus be destroyed like the peoples of old.’ The Messenger of Allah (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) foretold all that would happen to his Ummah until the end of the world. This hadith sharif shows that he was certain of the fact that this Ummah will never worship idols. By saying so, he destroys Wahhabism from its roots, since Wahhabi books say that Ummah al-Muhammadiyyah is involved in polytheism, that Muslim countries are full of idols, and that Muslim graves are houses of shirk. They also claim that someone who does not accept to consider mushrikuns those who ask for intercession by the graves is himself a kafir. On the contrary, Muslims have been visiting graves and asking for the intercession of awliyas for centuries. No Islamic scholar has even called such Muslims mushrikuns.

"My brother asks: ‘A hadith sharif says: "Of all that will befall you, shirk is what I fear more." Is not this a dalil of the fact that a part of this Ummah will be engaged in shirk?'

"I say: It is inferred by many other hadiths that this hadith refers to shirku-l-asghar. There are similar hadiths, narrated by Shaddad Ibn ‘Aws, Abu Hurayrah and Mahmud Ibn Labid (may Allah be pleased with all of them), according to which the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) feared that shirku-l-asghar would be committed by his Ummah. It has exactly happened as it was foretold in the hadith, and many Muslims are guilty of shirku-l-asghar. But you, in your ignorance, confuse shirku-l-asghar with shirku-l-akbar, and the tragic consequence of this mistake of yours is that you regard as ‘unbelievers’ those Muslims that do not accept to call other Muslims ‘unbelievers’."

Another contemporary scholar, Muhammad Ibn Sulayman Effendi (ramimah-Ullah) wrote:

"O Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab, do not slander Muslims! I admonish you for Allah’s sake! Does anyone of them says that there is a creator besides Allah? If you have anything to argue against Muslims, please, show them authoritative dalils. It is more correct to call you, a single person, ‘kafir’, than calling millions of Muslims ‘kuffars’. Ayah 114 of Surah an-Nisa’ says: ‘If anyone contends with the Messenger after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than the one followed by Believers, we shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Jahannam, quite an evil refuge!’ This ayah points to the situation of those who have departed from Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama‘ah."

When the order from the Amir of Mecca reached the Khalifah in Istanbul, he ordered Muhammad ‘Ali Pashah (ramimah-Ullah), governor of Egypt to move to Najd and to stop the Wahhabi fitnah. The marauders of Ibn Sa’ud tied to attach Mecca and fought against mujahids, but Allah gave the victory to the Islamic army. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab was captured and sent in chains to Istanbul. A Shari‘ah court found him guilty of homicide, marauding and rebellion, while Muftis of the four madhhabs declared him to be a kafir and murtaddid.

Among Sunni ‘uleams who refuted Wahhabism we must also mention Sayyed Dawud Ibn Sulayman, Mawlana Khalid al-Baghdadi, Sun‘ Allah al-Halabi al-Makki al-Hanafi, Muhammad Ma‘sum as-Sarhindi, Muhammad Ibn Sulayman al-Madani ash-Shaf‘i, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The latter was the Shaf‘i Mufti of Medina, and was asked to write a fatwa against Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab. This fatwa is quoted in the book "Ashaddu-l-Jihad" and says:

"This man is leading the ignoramuses of the present age to a heretical path. He is trying to extinguish Allah’s light, but Allah will not permit His light to be extinguished, in spite of the opposition of mushrikuns, and will enlighten every place with the light of Ahlu-s-Sunnah."

As-Sayyid ‘Abdur-Rahman al-Ahdal (ramimah-Ullah), the Mufti of Zabid, said, " refuting them [the Wahhabis], it is sufficient to mention the hadith of the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam): ‘Their sign is shaving their heads’, since no other innovators had ever done it."

The Wahhabis also call themselves the "Salafis," believing that they follow the footsteps of the pious Salaf, i.e. the Sahabahs, the Tabi’un, and Atba’u-t-Tabi’in. The Wahhabis, however, have a route of knowledge that traces back to Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab, the founder of the Wahhabi movement, who lived in the 1700’s M., and before him to Ibn Taymiyyah, another heretic who lived in the late 1200’s to early 1300’s M. Their route of knowledge does not trace back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) or his pious followers whom he praised. The Wahhabis, therefore, cannot be "al-Firqatu-l-Najiyyah", or the Saved Sect, but are one of the other 72 deviant sects within the Ummah, which the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) dispraised and warned us about.

In many of his "fatawa," Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab labeled Muslims as "kuffars" if they did not agree to his heretical teachings, which opposed the orthodox Islamic beliefs that Muslims had been adhering to for over a thousand years (known as Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama‘ah). When the true Sunni Muslims disagreed with the newly formulated Wahhabi cult, the blood of countless Muslims, including plenty of scholars of Ahlu-s-Sunnah, was made halal by the command of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab.

Although thousands of Muslims were massacred by the deviant Wahhabis, the scholars of Ahlu-s-Sunnah continued to refute them in their books. An example is what the Mufti of Mecca, Ahmad Zayni Dahlan al-Makki ash-Shafi‘i (rahimah-Ullah) wrote in a work titled "Fitnatu-l-Wahhabiyyah", stating:

"In 1217 H. they [the Wahhabis] marched with big armies to the area of at-Tayf. In Dhu-l-Qa‘dah of the same year, they lay siege to the area the Muslims were, subdued them, and killed the people: men, women, and children. They also looted the Muslims belongings and possessions. Only a few people escaped their barbarism."

"They [the Wahhabis] plundered what was in the room of the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam), took all the money that was there, and did some disgraceful acts."

"In 1220 H. they [the Wahhabis] lay siege to Mecca and then surrounded it from all directions to tighten this siege. They blocked the routes to the city and prevented supplies from reaching there. It was a great hardship on the people of Mecca. Food became exorbitantly expensive and then unavailable. They resorted to eating dogs."

What better person could the British have used to fulfill their motto, i.e. "divide and conquer?" The British were laughing at Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab and his followers for plundering, looting, and killing Muslims in the name of Islam, causing Muslims in Mecca to resort to eating dogs, in addition to fighting Muslim armies sent by the Ottomans, e.g. Muhammad ‘Ali Pashah (rahimah-Ullah) of Egypt and his army.

This was indeed a fulfillment of the interests of the British, as well as entertainment for them. Contemporary members of the Sa'ud house are descendants of Muhammad Ibn Sa’ud, the heretic who collaborated with Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdi-l-Wahhab, to cause a Muslim bloodbath in the name of "Jihad." Their monarchy has existed since the Wahhabi movement originated, and they continue to raise the Dajjal’s banner to this very day. They have destroyed the maqams of our four Imams around al-Ka’bah, and identifying the place where the imam of salatu-l-jama‘at must stand in Masjidu-l-Haram is today quite difficult. The sanctity of al-Haram is profaned five times each day, since the Wahhabi "imams" stand too close to al-Ka‘bah, in a place that is not justified in the light of fiqh.

The discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930’s has enabled the Saudi-Wahhabi kingdom to become rich, and their leaders have used their wealth to disseminate the Wahhabi doctrine all across the globe. They have built printing presses in Egypt, Syria, and even the United States to print beautiful books to attract the laypeople so that they may fall into their trap. The problem is that many new and naive Muslims are falling into the Wahhabi trap, and are propagating their false doctrine in Muslim Student Organizations, universities, and mosques – especially in the East Coast of the United States.

The Wahhabis are known for parroting the slogan of "Qur’an and Sunnah," without any profound understanding of the two sources of Islam, and are known for slandering scholars of Ahlu-s-Sunnah like Imams Suyuti, Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali, Imam Nawawi, (ramimahum-Ullah) among others. The great Hanafi scholar, Imam Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin (ramimah-Ullah), stated that the Wahhabis of today are reviving the creed of the Khawarij of the past. It is also known that the Khawarij wrongly understand the meanings of ayahs in the Qur’an and falsely attribute ayahs meant for non-Muslims to Muslims. The Wahhabis are notorious for reviving this Kharijite practice. Moreover, the Wahhabis have a passion for trying to find faults among the mujtahids such as the noble Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shaf‘i, Imam Malik, and Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. They try to find faults in their methodologies, while they do not possess a methodology of their own. Hence, Wahhabi "scholars" who have graduated from Wahhabi universities in Saudi Arabia are never taught a methodology to enable them to understand the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is why they are in a constant state of self-contradiction, confusion, and fitnah among the Muslim population.

It is the scholars of Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama‘ah who must awaken the Muslims and warn them by bidding the lawful and forbidding the unlawful Wahhabi doctrine by efficient means of da‘wah. An anti-Wahhabi campaign must be formulated and strengthened to defend the Ash‘ari and Maturidi creeds, the Hanafi, Shaf‘i, Maliki, and Hanbali madhhabs, and the numerous tariqahs of tasawwuf, of which the majority of Muslim scholars have been a part of.

And all praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds.


Wahhabis today call themselves "Salafis," in an attempt to confuse the Muslim masses that they adhere to the methodology of the pious Salaf, or predecessors, i.e. the Sahabahs, the Tabi’un, and Itba’u-t-Tabi’in. For example, some of the true Salaf applied ta’wil, or figurative interpretation, to Allah’s Attributes. Imam Bukhari gave a figurative interpretation of wajh to mean "Allah’s Dominion," in Suratu-l-Qasas, ayah 88. This can be found in the Sahih of Bukhari in the Chapter "Tafsir ul-Qur’an." Plenty of other examples exist of how the Wahhabi-Salafis oppose the practices of the true and pious Salaf.

The following writers are representatives of this cult. Their followers call them "Shaykhs", and Muslims must stay away from their books, papers and Web pages, and do not confuse them with real Sunni scholars:

  1. Yusuf al-Qaradawi al-Misri (the one who says that salah in al-Aqsa is "haram". He unites the errors of Wahhabis and the errors of Ikhwanis in a new form of heresy. He also claims that suicide terror attacks finalized to the assassination of civilians are "lawful" in Islam).

  2. ‘Abdu-l-‘Aziz Ibn Baz (the deceased official "Mufti" of the Saudi regime and their Rabitah, who oppressed Ahlu-s-Sunnah in al-Haramayn).

  3. Muhammad Nasiru-d-Din al-Albani (a recently disappeared pseudo-muhaddith from Albania who classified hadiths according to his unlimited fantasy and forbade women to wear golden ornament).

  4. Abu Aminah Bilal Philips (a ultra-Wahhabi from Jamaica who forges claims in the history of fiqh, full of slanders and absurd accusations against Ahlu-s-Sunnah).

  5. Muhammad Nubar Yahya Silmy (a propagandist of Wahhabism in Sri Lanka who is very much hostile to the Sunni ‘aqidah).

  6. Shiraz Mohammadali (a former Shi'ite from Sri Lanka who converted to Wahhabism and fanatically supports all of al-Albani's heresies)

  7. Abu Bilal Mustafah al-Kanadi.

  8. Muhammad Saleh ibn Al-Uthaymin (an anthropomorphist who believes that Allah is "located in the upper direction").

  9. Saleh Fawzan Al-Fawzan.

  10. 'Abdur-Rahman Rosario Pasquini (an Ikhwani propagandist in Milano who, because of senescence, supports linguistic bid'at like "Allah is monopersonal" - sic! - "Muslims are islamocratics", wa na'udhu bi-Llah, afala yatadhakkarun).


Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi is secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI) and director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community. He lectures in Muslim history at the Research Institute for Anthropological Sciences (IFOSCA) in Rome.

Copyright © AIJAC 2001
Last Updated 28 September, 2001
Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community
Source: Warning against Muhammad Ibn Abdi-l-Wabbah's bid'ahs

This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst 
Brooklyn, New York 
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