The Wahabi Menace comes to the Cape
Professor Yusuf da Costa
Immediately after Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani left Cape Town, a number of religious leaders “came out of the woodwork” to attack him, and to attack the Naqshbandi Order, and tasawwuf in general. During his stay here, they were strangely quiet and subdued. Not a single one accepted his challenge to debate the issues they disagreed with, and not a single one came to my home to confront him on these issues. They were nowhere to be seen or heard. Now that he is gone, they have all jumped up screaming “shirk”, “cult”, “shaykh worship”, “kufr”, grave worship, etc. Well, the gloves are off!
Who are these “brave” people, and what are the teachings that they have been quietly spreading in the community? Almost all of them had been overseas at universities where the Wahhabi ideology dominates, and they had come back into our community thoroughly soaked in an ideology that undermines Mainstream Islam. Many of them receive cheques from the Saudi Government to spread in our community the beliefs they had been taught. I know this because I had seen the list of names a number of years ago. At the time they were receiving 1,000 dollars per month. Why are they on the payroll of the Saudi Government, and what have they to teach? Why do they not get up in their mosques and tell their congregations about this, and about the instructions under which they are working? And why they are working so secretly if they have nothing to hide? And why do some of them go to the Saudi Embassy in Pretoria so regularly? And why does this Embassy have a religious attaché? Do all embassies have religious attaches? What is the role of this attaché in our religious affairs? Come, tell us!
These religious leaders without shame are the Wahhabis in our community. Wahhabism is the official madh-hab of Saudi Arabia. It is sponsored by them, generated by them, and taught in their institutions and all those institutions in the rest of the world financed by them. Of course, there are those religious leaders for whom all of us have tremendous respect because of their integrity, and the work they are doing in the community. We salute them!
Before I tell you what Wahhabism is, let me give you a brief account of how the Wahhabis took control of Ta’if to give you an idea of the nature of their operations and the blood of Muslims on their hands:
Undoubtedly, one of the worst abominations perpetrated by the Wahhabis under the leadership of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was the massacre of the people of Taif. They killed everyone in sight, slaughtering child and adult, ruler and ruled, lowly and high-born. They began with a suckling child nursing at his mother’s breast and moved on to a group studying the Qur’an, slaying all of them, down to the last man. When they had wiped out the people in the houses, they went into the streets, the shops and the mosques, killing whoever happened to be there. They even killed people in prayer until they had annihilated every Muslim in Taif and until only some twenty or more people remained…
The Wahhabis cast books into the streets to be blown to and fro, including copies of the Qur’an, volumes of Bukhari, Muslim and other canonical collections of hadith, and books of fiqh, all amounting to thousands. Books remained in the streets for several days, trampled on by the Wahhabis. Not one among them made the slightest attempt to remove even one page of the Qur’an from under foot and preserve it from the ignominy and disrespect of this display. Then they destroyed the houses and made what was once a town into a barren wasteland. This happened in the Hijra Year, 1217 (Jamal Effendi
al-Sidqi al-Zahawi, Al-Fajr al-Sadiq).
Our own Shaykh Ahmad Behardien had to escape from Mecca in his pyjamas when the Wahhabis came into the city, and into Medinah, to slaughter the scholars. One of the teachers of Shaykh Muhammad Salih of the Azzawiyyah was
decapitated on Jabal-Qubais when the Wahhabis took over Mecca. Those in our community who stealthily preach the teachings of the Wahhabis have this kind of barbarism as their origins. And they have inherited on their hands the
blood of the Muslims slaughtered by these people. This is their heritage. Look at your hands, O heedless people (as my shaykh would say)! Look at the blood of the innocents on your hands next time you preach, and write to the local press. Come, look, and say you are not part of this barbarism! Come, you say we practice innovations! Come, show us that the slaughter of Muslims by Muslims is part of the Sunnah! If I were one of you, I would not want to show my face in public. I would be too ashamed. You have no shame! You come into our community under false pretences, and preach doctrines that
undermine our religious fabric. You have no integrity! The history of your madh-hab is written in blood. Come, say it is not so!
The slaughter of Muslims at the time of the Wahhabi takeover is the bloodiest chapter in the history of our religion. And what did the Wahhabis do in Mecca, the holiest place in the universe:
During the demonstration, arranged by the people of Makkah al-Mukarramah, to end the attacks directed towards their lives …two of the shells fired (by the Wahhabi forces) from the guns at Qalah al-Jiyad to the (Masjid al-Haram) landed (a few) metres from the sacred stone, the Hajr al-Aswad. The Sutrah al-Sharifah, the cover of the Ka’bah, caught fire from these shells, and the people, to extinguish (the fire), had to open the door and climb on the Ka’bah. Although the (Wahhabi) soldiers saw the fire, they kept Maqam Ibrahim and the Haram Sharif under cannon fire and martyred a number of Muslims. Thepeople could not enter the masjid, and salah could not be performed in the Holy Masjid for days (From a letter written to the Muslim world by the Amir of Mecca in 1916). This was other than the slaughter of the scholars.
There is an uninterrupted historical line from the butchers of Taif, Mecca and Medina to those who preach their teachings in this country. We should refuse to take Islam from those who are historical descendants of butchers, and who preach a madh-hab that sanctions the kind of slaughter of people that took place in the cities mentioned. The community should brush all of them aside and throw them in the dustbin of history, not support them and give them employment. Those of us whom they attack, we have inherited our Islam from those who call: Allah! Allah! The reader can choose.
to be continued...