Sunday, 1 March 2009
Why We Call Them Wahhabi
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from “What is a Wahhabi?” In simple terms, a Wahhabi is defined as one who follows the creed of methodology of its founder, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab. This definition is not only accepted by most Muslims worldwide, but is also a documented fact in the many books of Western Academia. For example, the Encyclopaedia Britannica does well to inform us that, “Wahhabiyyah, the Muslim puritan movement founded by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab in the 18th century in Najd, central ‘Arabia…”
Simply put, a Wahhabi is anybody who follows the movement and life mission of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, by supporting his doctrine in any form or fashion. Wahhabis, however, object to being called Wahhabis under the pretext that al-Wahhab is one of many of Allah’s most beautiful Attributes and that such a beautiful term should not be used as a label. This argument proves to be fallacious due to the fact that there have been numerous sects named after their leaders who also possessed one of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Attributes as a name. For example al-Karam is one of Allah’s (s.w.t.) beautiful Attributes, but then we have the Karamiyyah who were named after their leader Muhammad ibn Karam. Deviant groups were also named after something they may have denied from the creed. For example the Qadriyyah were named so because they denied al-Qadr, destiny and Divine Will. Yet its derivative al-Qadir is also one of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Attributes. Another example, the Jabbariyyah are a sect that denies that man has any free will and alleges that Allah (s.w.t.) forced His Creation to do actions. The Jabbariyyah have been mentioned by numerous scholars, even Wahhabi shuyukh such as ibn Jibrin, ibn al-‘Utsaymin and others in the ‘aqidah texts, yet, al-Jabbar is one of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Names.
Even the Wahhabi shaykh, ibn Baz used the term ‘Wahhabi’ to refer to his own group: “The Wahhabiyyah are not new in rejecting all such innovations. Their creed is to hold fast to the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger (s.a.w.), and to follow his footsteps, and those of his rightly guided successors.” He continued, “The Wahhabiyyah believe in them, the way they reported without any alteration. The creed of the Wahhabiyyah is based upon fulfillment of witnessing that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and completely abandoning all innovations. This is the foundation of the Sa’udi regime and this is the view held by the scholars of Sa’udi Arabia. The hard attitude shown by the Sa’udi government is directed only against the superstitions and innovations in contradiction with Islam.”
In Islam, any group whether praiseworthy or blameworthy are named after their founders, or their unique quality, or an action they do or have done, or even something from the creed they have denied. Therefore, it cannot be deemed a personal insult, derogatory statement, an ad-hominem to use the term Wahhabi for the followers of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab. Furthermore, to hammer this point home, the very first people to use the term ‘Wahhabi’ were in fact that scholars that lived in his time and in the time of his son. They witnessed the Wahhabi invasions and atrocities. Thus, it is correct that we call the blind followers of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, Wahhabis, after their true founder, and reviver of the end of times Khwarij.