'Almost for 4 Centuries'
The Wahabi-type belief was that of a fringe group in hiding throughout most of this nation's history
major wahabi admits this in his book:
"When the third century of the Hijrah ended, the last of the best (three) centuries, these book
(the books he likes )
were unfortunately left for dead, and were stored away without anyone recognizing, reading, or studying them except rarely, and only in hiding."
The Asħˆariyy school and Muˆtazilite schools  were firmly established and people pored over their study everywhere. "
^He admits here that his belief system was only taught in hiding!
In other words, it was a baaţiniyy  type of sect, and not the majority Sunni sect at all.
Then he says:
And by careful study of these centuries: the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and most of the seventh, you do not find anyone that is upon the school of the Sunnah! 
What is this
“School of the Sunnah”
that disappeared for 4 centuries?
We get an idea when he speaks about the books written in those centuries that are so terrible in his view. He takes the Creed of Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy as an example of the least worst of them (although Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy was actually among the Salaf, born in the 3rd century)
He says about it:
"Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy mentioned in it some terrible statements that were widespread in his time through the kalaam scholars, such as his statement: “Verily Aļļaah is clear of the having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments. The six directions (up, down, front, back, left and right) do not contain Him (un) like all created things." 
What we can understand then, is that anthropomorphist creed of believing that Aļļaah is a bodily being, something to be pointed at in a direction, and with parts, and dimensions is what was only taught in hiding during those centuries.
So what, you may ask, happened in the 7th century?
Well, who other than Ibn Tayimiyyah?
Ibn Jibriin says about him:
"He did not care about the people of his time, or about who opposed him. Rather, he spoke openly about what he believed, and renewed that belief of the Salaf, and wrote books that no one can oppose, and clarified in them what is more obvious than the sun…. No doubt, he spoke openly, because Aļļaah gave him knowledge, and ability to explain, so no one in his time could resist him. So he is the one that renewed the Sunni school." 
^In short, he is telling us above that what he calls the:
was almost extinct for 4 centuries, and was only taught in hiding, due to fear of persecution.
So the question then becomes, how can this be sect be called Sunnis in any reasonable persons vocabulary?
Moreover, how does that fit with the majority of scholars being Sunnis?
How could this belief of Ibn Taymiyyah possibly be collaboratively, mass-narrated from the salaf, without possibility of perversions by mistakes or otherwise, when it was hidden for four centuries???
That is, how can they claim to know for sure that a belief system that went into hiding has been absolutely reliably narrated from the Salaf?
It has only been narrated by a handful of Hanbali pretenders, and in hiding,
so it is like the gospel of the christians during their persecution by the jews and the Romans.
We all know what happened to their books.
Of course, after Ibn Taymiyyah’s demise in jail for heresy, the school once again became a hidden sect.
So much for the, “books that no one could oppose,” and “no one could resist him.”
In fact, even christians, who have one of the most irrational belief system on earth, cannot be fended off based on Ibn Taymiyyah’s belief principles.
Because his deity is a something with size, shaped by a border that can change, so why couldn’t this deity be Jesus or anything else proposed?
This is what some christians are asking. They are of course right. There is no fundamental difference between them and Ibn Taymiyyah.
Ibn Al-Qayyim realized this, and that is why he put on an Asħˆariyy coat when arguing with the christians in his book Hidaayatu-l-Ĥayaaraa Fii ‘Ajwibatu-l-Yahuudi wa-Naşaaraa,
“the guidance of the confused regarding answering the christians and jews”:
As well known, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim taught that Aļļaah brings things into existence in Himself, such as changing location and movement. This is one of their main contentions against the ‘Asħˆariyys, who are honest when they say they believe that Aļļaah does not change.
In fact, Ibn Taymiyyah hid his beliefs to a great extent, and that is why some scholars praise him – they did not know about his outrageous beliefs.
For example, you find him in one place saying it is kufr to say Aļļaah is a body, then in another that it is not allowed to forbid saying it, and in yet another that Aļļaah has six boundaries and a shrinkable size!
The belief of Ibn Taymiyyah went into hiding again after his death.
His books were burned and forbidden to teach, and anyone who spread his teaching faced punishment.
Ibn Al-Qayyim, as an example, was jailed and almost executed at one point. That is why even for that period it is hard find books by scholars that support the beliefs of Ibn Taymiyyah.
So we also have the 8, 9th, 10th, 11th centuries
free of what Ibn Jibriin calls Sunnism, until the rebellion of
-- M.ibn Abdul Wahhaab Najdi- at -Tamimi --
in the 12th century after the Hijrah.
Since then they have only grown stronger through support from the imperialist powers. It was the British that first supplied them with weapons, and thereby helped to renew the call to the so called “Salafi” version of religion.
After that the books of Ibn Taymiyyah were gradually brought out from their hiding places and published.
All Ibn Jibriin says fits perfectly with what TaajudDiin As-Subkiyy  said some 600 years ago:
We have already mentioned what Ibn ˆAbdisSalaam and others before and after him mentioned, which is that the Sħaafiˆiyys, Maalikiyys, Ĥanafiyys and the honorable among the Ĥanbaliyys are all ‘Asħˆariyys. This is what was stated by Ibn ˆAbdisSalaam, the leader of Sħaafiˆiyys of his time, and Ibn Al-Ĥaajib, the leader of the Maalikiyys of his time, and Al-Ĥaşiiriyy, the leader of the Ĥanafiyys at the time. Among what was stated by Ibn ˆAsaakir, the great ĥadiitħ master of this Muĥammadan nation, the solid and trustworthy man: “are there any among the jurists, among the Ĥanafiyys, Maalikiyys and Sħaafiˆiyys that do not agree with him and do not related themselves to him, and pleased with his efforts for the religion of Aļļaah, praising him for great knowledge? That is, except for a tiny group that hide anthropomorphism, and make an enemy of those who believe in tawĥiid and clear Aļļaah of likeness to creation. Another exception are those that imitate the saying of the Muˆtazilites in speaking ill of him.”
As-Subkiyy states regarding the anthropomorphists:
The state of the Kħaţţaabiyyah (as Shiite sect), and they are (i.e. their role is taken over by) the anthropomorphists in this time of ours, (in the sense that they) went to the extent of permitting lying against their religious opponents. Especially those that hurt them in person or property. I was told that their leader was asked about a Sħaafiˆiyy:
“Should I testify against him with a lie in court?”
Their leader said, “Do you not believe that it is allowed to spill his blood?”
The interrogator answered, “Yes I do.”
The leader said, “Then whatever is less than that is less than spilling his blood, so testify and defend the Muslims from his evil.“
So this is their belief, and they think themselves Muslims, and that they are Sunnis (i.e. the anthropomorphists, those that call themselves “salafis” today.”)
Yet if their scholars were counted in number, although they are not in reality scholars (because they are deviant), they would not reach a number of any significance. They consider most of the scholars of the Muhammadan nation as non-Muslims, and then they relate themselves to the Imaam ‘Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal, may Aļļaah please him, but he has nothing to do with them.
However, his situation is as some of the enlightened said, as I saw written in hand by Sħaykħ Taqiyyu-d-Diin ibn Aş-Şalaaĥ (the famous author of Muqaddimah ibn Aş-Şalaaĥ:
“Two imaams were afflicted in their companions that they were surrounded by, and are clear of them:
‘Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal was afflicted with anthropomorphists, and Jaˆfar Aş-Şaadiq was afflicted with shiites. ”
Note that the wahabi’s, like their predecessors among anthropomorphists, like to twist things to fit their purpose, and even tend to blatant lies and forgery.
The state of some anthropomorphists have reached the stage in our time where they wrote a copy of An-Nawawiyy’s commentary on Şaĥiiĥ Muslim, and took out the parts where An-Nawawiyy spoke about ĥadiitħs mentioning attributes. For verily An-Nawawiyy is an Asħˆariyy in belief, so this writer did not find it in himself to copy the book as it was composed by its author. This is an enormous sin, for it is perverting the religion, and opening the door for the loss of confidence in what is written in what people have of books, so may Aļļaah make the one who does that ugly and humiliated.
The anthropomorphists continue on this evil path to destroy the correct belief in the Creator. They lie when they claim to be Sunnis, as Ibn Jibriin has just unintentionally implied.
In short, if you are a follower of Ibn Jibriin, Ibn Baaz, Ibn ˆUtħaymiin, and other so-called “Salafis,” know that you are a follower of a sect that has been in hiding for most of history since the Hijrah.
They claim to know and follow what the Salaf believed, although they are in opposition to 95% of all scholars of all the major Islamic sciences.
Part of this belief includes:
1. Denying the use of rational proof to prove that the Creator exists,
2. Questioning the mind as a tool for knowing right from wrong,
3. Believing that despite the mind being unreliable, a belief that has been narrated in hiding over several centuries is known with absolute certainty to be correctly narrated.
If you think that is just fine, and doesn’t sound like a setup for making you accept blindly, then I can’t help you."
Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah. Hidaayatu-l-Ĥayaaraa Fii ‘Ajwibatu-l-Yahuudi wa-Naşaaraa. 1 vols.
: Daar Ar-Rayyaan li-t-Tutaatħ. Kairo, Egypt
Taajuddiin As-Subkiyy (771 AH). Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa. 10 vols. 2nd ed. Hajr li-l-tibaaˆ wa-nashr wa-t-tawziiˆ, 1413.
[1 ] Some of these books are by anthropmorphists, some are forgeries attribute to Imam Aĥmad, while others are just following the Asħˆariyy methodology of tafwiiđ, which is to narrate scriptures that could be misunderstood as ascribing created and bodily attributes to Aļļaah, and keep silent about their meaning, while believing that such unfitting meanings are not meant.
 Actually, the Muˆtazilite school was never very big, but Ibn Jibriin likes to put them side by side in order to make the impression that they are similar.) In reality there are only a handful of Muˆtazilites that have contributed to any of the Islamic sciences. Most notably Az-Zamakħsħariyy, the famous Quran commentator and linguist. They only had significant influence during a period of the ˆAbbaasiyy dynasty; the subsequent rulers Ma’muun, Al-Muˆtaşim, Al-Waaţħiq and then ended during the rule of Al-Mutawakkil. These were the heydays of this sect, and they achieved influence mainly through getting close to certain rulers. “From the appearance of Al-’Asħˆariyy on, it was a downhill slope for them, and they eventually became virtually extinct as a sect.
 Baaţiniyy sects are those that keep their true beliefs hidden from public through lies, deception and hypocrisy.
 Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Hidaayatu-l-Ĥayaaraa Fii ‘Ajwibatu-l-Yahuudi wa-Naşaaraa, 310.
Taajuddiin As-Subkiyy (771 AH), Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa, 3/373-374.
ِTaajudDiin As-Subkiyy (771 AH/ 1370 AD) the great judge, jurist and historian. Author or such famous books as Jamˆu-l-Jawaamiˆ in fiqh methodology and Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah on the biographies of the scholars of the Shafiˆiyy school of fiqh. He is the son of ˆAliyy ibn ˆAbdilKaafii As-Subkiyy, who was the head of the scholars of his time.
Ibnu-ş-Şalaaĥ (643 AH/ 1245 AD) is one of the most important scholars of tafsiir, ĥadiitħ and fiqh. He is famous for his Muqaddimatu Ibn Aş-Şalaaĥ, which became the standard for all later books in Ĥadiitħ science.
...for more ref- see : Here
Remained Hidden for 400 Years!
^Click to Enlarge