Sunday, 15 July 2012

Letters from Najd





Letters from Najd

A few years back the Saud University in Riyad made available a number of letters written by ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi that appear to contradict the excessive nature of his declarations of kufr and shirk on those who do not espouse his cause or views.

The culprit - according to the letters of Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi  - who spread these nefarious views, was one called Sulaiman b. Suhaim.

 I will recount one of the letters in full as it is quoted by Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki in his book Mafahim Yajib an Tusahhah.

Abdul Wahhab Najdi states:
"Let it not be unknown to you (the people of Qasim) that the letter of Sulaiman b. Suhaim has reached your hands and that some people who profess to be Ulama have indeed accepted and believed the contents of the letter. Allah knows that that person has fabricated and invented a number of lies against me. I have never said those things and most of those opinions have not even occurred to me.

Amongst the views appearing in that letter are the following:

- That I have invalidated the four Madhabs
- That for 600 years all Muslims have been unbelievers
- That I have appropriated the right of absolute ijtihad to myself
- That I am against taqlid (adopting the opinions of other schools of thought)
- That I have stated that "differences of opinion amongst the Ulama is a curse"
- That I have made Kafir those who practice intercession with the Salihin (people known for their piety)
- That I have pronounced a verdict of kufr on al-Busiri (of Qasida Burdah fame) because he has referred to the Prophet in his Qasida as "O most venerated of creation"
- That I have said: "Had I had the opportunity then I would have destroyed the shrine over the Prophet (s)
- That had I had the opportunity then I would have removed the Mizab (spout) of the Kaba and replaced it with a wooden one
- That I have declared haram visitations to the grave of the Prophet (s)
- That I find reprehensible visitations to the graves of the parents of Muhammad (s)
- That I have made Kafir those who swear in the name of other than Allah
- That I charged with kufr both Ibn al-Farid and Ibn Arabi
- That I have burnt the Dalail al-Khayrat and the Rawd al-Riyahin and that I have referred to the Rawd al-Riyahin as the Rawd al-Shayatin.
My response to all of these allegations is the Quranic verse: 'Glory to Allah. This is indeed a serious 
slander! (24:16)."



These statements of  Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi appear to fly in the face of the contents of his book mentioned in a previous segment of this series Kashf al-Shubahat. In the interests of scholarly fairness one would like to accept this. But there are a number of things that demand explanation. 

First - even if we remove Ibn Abdul Wahhab from the equation - is Wahhabism's historical unfolding. Their approach, which is largely determined by their takfir of others, has resulted in massive dislocations of Muslims and the shedding of Muslim blood. This approach, coupled with the severity and extremism with which they deal with others, confirms the thesis that they are fundamentally a neo-Kharajite movement.

Second is the reality of Wahhabism as represented by their institutions today. At Madinah University, for example - and I do not imply by this that all their graduates are people who lack critical discernment - it is virtually impossible to express the views as they are apparently articulated by ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi  in the above-quoted letter.

Third is the non-availability of these letters in published form in Saudi Arabia. Even the Mafahim of Sayyid Muhammad is not available for public consumption.
The natural question is why?

For whose sake and towards what end is such intellectual suppression being perpetrated?
There are, however, many who believe that it is not the present-day Saudi government that is the dominant influence in the suppression of these types of literature. Given the representative nature of lecturers at Umm al-Qura University (where I graduated) there might be some credibility in this view.


In fact Dr Safar al-Hawali was vehemently opposed to the appointment of many of these lecturers. They even tried to organise a protest against the textbooks prescribed at the College of Shariah. It is apparent, therefore, that there is a growing schism between those who want to espouse a moderated and modified version of Wahhabism - which is difficult since the roots of this movement are extremist - and those amongst the Wahhabite 'ulema and their followers who espouse the original and more paranoid versions. The socio-political forces in that country are somewhat more complex, as I mentioned previously, than they apparently appear.

Nonetheless, and despite the nature of the debates surrounding Ibn Abdul Wahhab's views, his position seemed to have been sufficiently extremist, or deviant, to ignite the worst concerns of his father, brother, and teachers. 

One of his teachers, mentioned earlier, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Kurdi had the following to say:
O Ibn Abdul Wahhab, I advise you, for the sake of Allahu Ta'aala, to hold your tongue against the Muslims…You have no right to label the majority of Muslims as blasphemers while you yourself have deviated from the majority of Muslims. In fact it is more reasonable to regard the one who deviates from the majority as a blasphemer than to regard the Muslims as a nation as blasphemers...

The catastrophe that has been Wahhabism, and the extensive manner in which it came to dominate Islamic discourse throughout the 20th century, stand in stark vindication of those who expressed their concerns during his time.

It is against this reality as a backdrop that we will examine the impact of Wahhabism on 20th century Islam. 


In this regard Faruqi was quite correct when he observed that the movement of  Mu-hammed Abdul Wahhab "spread like wildfire throughout the Muslim world. Practically every corner was affected, but the movement assumed different names and forms in different parts of the world.”


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The Divine Lightning


Q:

Thank you for the books and the blog. I had some questions about divine lightning because I am speaking with some salafis and they have made some statements.

 They claim that Mu-hammed bin abdel wahhab never used to make takfir on everyone and he even denied that he did.

 They quote:
“And Allah knows that the man has fabricated statements from me that I never said nor that ever occurred to my mind. This includes his statement that I said that the people have not been on anything [of the truth] for six hundred years or that I declare as disbeliever the one who seeks closeness to Allah via the pious or that I declared al-Boosairi a disbeliever or that I declare the one who swears by other than Allah a disbeliever… My response to those issues is that I say, ‘Exalted be You [O Allah] this is great slander.’” Muallifaat, vol. 7, pp. 11-12.

They also say that he did not denounce the madhhabs and agreed with them and followed one.

The salafi gave me a quote where he said

“We, and all praise be to Allah, are followers and not innovators, upon the school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.” Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab, Muallifaat, vol. 7, p. 40.
“We are followers of the Book, the Sunnah, and the pious predecessors of the Nation and what is supported in the opinions of the four Imams, Abu Hanifah al-Numaan ibn Thaabit, Malik ibn Anas, Muhammad ibn Idrees [al-Shafi’ee] and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on them.”

 [...]

A:

Now let us look at the quotes.

 All of these are coming from al-Mu’allafat, which means, The authored works.”
These are supposed to be collected writings that were put together after his death by his followers.
The problem is that these quotes were 100 years after the author. There are even other issues if we want to be specific.

 Let us look at each quote:
“And Allah knows that the man has fabricated statements from me that I never said nor that ever occurred to my mind. This includes his statement that I said that the people have not been on anything [of the truth] for six hundred years or that I declare as disbeliever the one who seeks closeness to Allah via the pious or that I declared al-Boosairi a disbeliever or that I declare the one who swears by other than Allah a disbeliever… My response to those issues is that I say, ‘Exalted be You [O Allah] this is great slander.’” Mu’allifaat, vol. 7, pp. 11-12.

Let’s put this next to statements that he has made that buttress this point.
 He said at one point,
“The best spoken word that could be said was the case of a Bedouin coming to us one day saying he had heard something about Islam. He said, ‘I bear witness that we were kuffar (he meant all the desert Arabs) and I bear witness that the guard who came to tell us about things is of the People of Islam’.So the man bore witness that he was an unbeliever.”
Majmu`at ut-Tawhid: Sharh Sittah Mawadi` min as-Sirah, pp.25-26.

This indeed shows that this creed was taught to the people. Further could be said by his son and first successor, `Abdullah Ala Shaikh, who stated:
“Indeed, major shirk has become the norm for most of these people due to ignorance spreading and knowledge disappearing.”
Al-Kalimat un-Nafi`atu fil Mukaffirat il-Waqi`ah, pp.15-16.

There is further evidence for Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab’s theology and beliefs when we mention a few more points.

 It was mentioned by Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab:
“It has been explicitly stated that idolatry would happen in this Ummah to the vast throngs of the people. The good news is that the truth will always be present, even as it has been in the past. There will always be a small group upon it. The great sign is that even though people may oppose, abandon or kill them, it will not harm them, and this state will remain until the Hour is established. It was prophesied that there would be a Victorious and Aided Group upon the truth, which has already happened, just as was foretold.” Kitab at-Tawhid (Ar.), pp.48-49, mas’alahs 7-12.

`Abdur-Rahman ibn Hasan, one of the successors of The Brotherhood movement, made this clear when he gathered the opinions of his grandfather and uncles together then commented:

“So this tribulation of worship of idols was brought about, to the point that no one in these later ages knew that they were supposed to reject it. This was the case until shaykh ul-Islam Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab, may Allah have mercy on him, established that worship of idols was to be repudiated and forbidden. He forbade idol worship. He then called the people to leave it, to worship Allah alone in His Lordship, Divinity, Names and Attributes.” Qurrat `Uyun il-Muwahhidin, pp.125-126.

We thus know for a fact that Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab taught the theology regarding the Ummah, their being in idolatry, how long they have been in idolatry, that one must bear witness against himself and his ancestors have committed idolatry and so forth.
We know this from the works quoted above which encompass his works, those of his sons and grandsons, those who took from him directly or took from those who took from him. This counts as primary and secondary evidence. There are also those who were enemies of his that state virtually the same thing.

This therefore counts as proof and establishes a historical reality for the time period. There is the second quote:

“We, and all praise be to Allah, are followers and not innovators, upon the school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.”  Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab, Muallifaat, vol. 7, p. 40.
“We are followers of the Book, the Sunnah, and the pious predecessors of the Nation and what is supported in the opinions of the four Imams, Abu Hanifah al-Numaan ibn Thaabit, Malik ibn Anas, Muhammad ibn Idrees [al-Shafi’ee] and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on them.”

But what does he mean by this following?
How is he respecting the Imams and revering them?
How does he go about doing this?
 We can go to the one who said the aforementioned words himself. Please read the following:
Also remember this statement of his,

“Most of what is in The Satisfaction and The Uttermost Boundary contradicts and opposes the madhhab of Imam Ahmad and his explicit statements and more so the explicit statements of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, so whoever knows that indeed knows it and whoever does not, does not know.”

He said at another point,

 “The same holds true for the books of the latter day scholars of the other madhhabs.”
Hashiyat ur-Rawd il-Murbi`, vol.1, pp. 17-18.

This man has nothing to do with the madhhabs, Hanbali or otherwise. If he does not accept the books, then he also will not accept their authorities, living or dead.

This was made absolutely clear when Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab told two of his harshest critics,
Imams `Abdullah ibn Dawud al-Basri and `Alawi al-Haddad:
“The Shari`ah is one. What is wrong with these people who have made it into four madhhabs? Here we have the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. We do not act except by these two things. We do not take our orders or obey the judgements of the people of Sham, Egypt, India or anyone else for that matter.”

Imam `Abdullah ibn Dawud al-Basri said:
 “He was referring to the scholars of the Hanbali School and the other schools as well.”
As-Sawa`iq war-Ra`ud fir-Raddi `al ash-Shaqi `Abdul `Aziz ibn Sa`ud, chapter 2; Misbah ul-Anam, pp.129-130, respectively. This same claim was repeated to Imam Zayni Dahlan (1232-1308 AH (AD 1816-1890) only some years later by the successors of the movement’s founder. Please see Imam ad-Dahlan’s ad-Durar as-Sanniyah fir-Radd `al al-Wahhabiyyah, pp.44-45.

And further to this, if we take the apocryphal statements attributed to Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab as proof and disregard what is historically established, how do the advocates of Salafiyyah reconcile the mu’allafat that they quote as proof with another text where Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab remarks,

“I, praises be to Allah—neither calling to a Sufi way, fiqh or theological school. Nor am I calling to any of the Imams that I hold in high regard, be it Ibn al-Qayyim, adh-Dhahabi, ibn Kathir or others for that matter. Rather, I call to Allah alone, who has no partners, and I am calling to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, which he advised his Ummah from the beginning to end to follow and hold onto strictly.
I hope that I never reject any truth that should come to me. In fact, I call to witness Allah, His angels and all of His creation that if any word of truth should come to me from him I should then accept it with a complete submission.I should completely discard any statement from my Imams that contradicts it—this is the same for everyone except the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who only spoke the truth.”  Al-Mu’allafat, vol7, pp. 250-252

That he sees himself as an absolute mujtahid to independently interpret the texts is discernible both from his writing style and how he saw himself. And what is more, merely claim to something does not mean someone’s membership to it.

Early Ahmadiyyah and Ahl ul-Hadith (the jama`ah in Patna) both claimed to be real Hanafis as did the Salafi Bengalis Hajj Shariatullah and Titu Mir. However we know that their theology and actions had nothing to do with the Hanafi school.
Sources cited: The Wahhabi Movement in India, pp. 21-32; 42-45; Muslim Societies in Transition, pp. 44-45; History of the Fara’idi Movement in Bengal, pp. 1-5; 6-12; 13-15; also see pp. xxxvii-liii of History of the Fara’idi Movement in Bengal

Abu Bakr Bashir and the Jameah Islameah in Indonesia (a splinter from the first Salafis who came in the beginning of the 20th century) claim to be the real Shafi`iis yet we know that they have more in common with Betty Crocker than the fiqh of Imam Ash-Shafi`ii or his school.
Sources cited: Buhuth Nadwah Da`wat ish-shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, vol. 2, pp. 391-422, Riyadh: Muhammad ibn Sa`ud University, 1991,

As-Sa`iqah (the Lightning Bolt) and SGPC (Salafi Group for Propagation and Combat), Salafi groups from Morocco and Algeria respectively, both claim to be the proper Malikis.
Source cited: Ramadan 1423 comminique on Our `Aqeedah (Ar. `Aqidatuna) and also As-Saif ul-Battar (written by the GIA-Armed Islamic Group, which SGPC splintered off from)

Yet they know nothing of the school of Imam Malik except what their imaginations tell them. They don’t study accurately, memorise or implement yet they are entitled, nay obliged to give opinions.

The Mu`tazilah, including those that tortured  scholars like Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, from Ibn Du’ad all the way to the executioners and inquisitors in the Inquisition, claimed to be Hanafis, so much so that the Imams denounced them as having disgraced their madhhab.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, said of the Hanafis in his time,
“The People of Ra’ii are a group of astray innovators and enemies to the Sunnah and Authentic Narrations. They negate the Hadith and refute the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.They have taken claim of Abu Hanifah and whoever speaks with his words as an Imam for them and judge by their religion. Every astrayness is clear from the one who spoke in this way.
So the one who has done this, has he then truly left the words of the Messenger and his Companions and gone to the words of Abu Hanifah and his companions. Sufficient is the state of such a person to show their wrong doing, evil and transgression.”
Source cited: Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 36-37
Jarullah Az-Zamakhshari claimed to be Hanafi and said that parts of the Qur’an were from the Angel Jibril, peace be upon him; but he is denounced today.
Mansur al-Hallaj, executed by the command of Imam Junaid al-Baghdadi, may Allah be pleased with him, for idolatry, claimed the Hanafi madhhab; but they recognised no part of him at all in connection to themselves.

Imam `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him, denounced the Hanafis in his area in his time, as they were all Mu`tazilah. He said of them,
“As far as the Hanafiyyah are concerned, they were a group among the followers of Abu Hanifah An-Nu`man ibn Thabit. They professed the doctrine that faith is the recognition and acknowledgement of Allah and His Messenger, and of everything, as a totality, that has come to us from His Presence.”
Source cited: Al-Ghunya Li-Talibi Tariq il-Haqq, vol.1, under the chapter, Al-Murji’ah (Ar.); Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth, vol.1, pp. 425-426

The reason for this is that up until the early Ottoman period, in the Muslim west, Hanafis were almost always Mu`tazilah; but in the Muslim east, they were upon the Orthodox creed due to the valour and bravery of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and other scholars of repute.
Those cultists who claimed the madhhab were not from it for the most upright advocates did not accept their pledges and claims. The same holds true for any cult.

Yusuf al-Qardawi claims to be Hanafi but he is denounced continually as he has nothing to do with the fiqh. The same counts for Mahmud Shaltut who said that the Prophet `Isa is dead and will not return, mortgages are compulsory and that democracy is from Islam.
Source cited: Al-Fatawa, pp. 58-60 under the chapter, Was `Isa Raised or Is he Dead?

So in ending, it is not always important what you claim, but what you truly are in reality. If you claim to belong to something and the people who are the heads and leaders of that outfit state that you are not, then you simply are not.

Mu-hammed ibn `Abdul Wahhab’s name only appears in Salafi literature. Any of the literature in Arabic that is an independent eye witness account, his name does not appear under any scholar lists. The few times it does appear in literature, it is negative.

So to state again, Mu-hammed ibn `Abdul Wahhab, as mentioned by 60 scholars in their response literature, is a false teacher, false prophet and the scholars rightly fought him.

Salafiyyah, to buttress its claims, needs to bring independently verifiable proof of his credentials.
Salafiyyah is unable to do this; but why should they. It should be every Salafi’s goal to stop following and being devoted to the wrong Mu-hammed and follow the right one.

And with Allah is every success,
Brother in Islam,

Jurjis's Blog- jurjis.wordpress.com
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(Edited by ADHM)

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HIDDEN

Kitab At-Tawhid "The Devil's Trumpet"

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The Dark History of al-Wahhabiyyah

SPECIFIES THAT THE PRESEN WAHHABIS ARE KHAWAARIJ
TAMPERING OF TAFSIR AS-SAWI BY THE WAHHABI/SALAFIS
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