Mawlana Shaykhu-l-Islam Ahmad Zayni Dahlan
(Chief Mufti of Mecca al-Mukarramah).
May Allah be pleased with him
During the reign
of Sultan Salim III (1204-1222 AH) many tribulations took place.
One was the tribulation of the Wahhabiyyah which started in the
area of al-Hijaz(1) where they captured al-Haramayn(2),
and prevented Muslims coming from ash-Sham(3) and
Egypt from reaching their destination to perform Pilgrimage (Hajj).
Another tribulation is that of the French who controlled Egypt from
1213 A.H. until 1216 A.H. Let us here speak briefly about the two
adversities(4), because each was mentioned in detail
in the books of history and in separate treatises.
On The Tribulations Of The Wahhabis
started between the Wahhabis and the Prince of Mecca, Mawlana Sharif
Ghalib Ibn Bu Sa'id, who had been appointed by the honored Muslim
Sultan as his ruling representative over the areas of al-Hijaz.
This was in 1205 AH during the time of Sultan Salim III, the son
of Sultan Mustafa III, the son of Ahmad. Previous to the outbreak
of fighting, the Wahhabis began to build power and gain followers
in their areas. As their territories expanded, their evil and harm
increased They killed countless numbers of Muslims, legitimated
confiscating their money and possessions, and captured their women.
The founder of their wicked doctrine was Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab,
who originated from eastern Arabia, from the tribe of Banu Tamim.
He lived a long life, about one-hundred years. He was born in 1111
AH and died in 1200 AH. His history was narrated as follows:
'Abdul-Wahhab started as a student of knowledge in the city of the
Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam: Medina al-Munawwarah.
Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab's father was a good, pious man among the people
of knowledge as was his brother, Shaykh Sulayman. His father, his
brother, and his shaykhs (teachers of religion) had the foresight
Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab would innovate a great deal of deviation and misguidance,
because of their observance of his sayings, actions, and inclinations
concerning many issues. They used to reprimand him and warn people
Some Of The
Beliefs Of Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab
What Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab's
father, brother, and shaykhs speculated about him came true-by the
Will of Allah, Ta'ala. Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab innovated deviant and misleading
ways and beliefs and managed to allure some ignorant people to follow
him. His deviant and misleading ways and beliefs disagreed with
the sayings of the scholars of the Religion. His deviant beliefs
led him to label the believers as blasphemers! He falsely claimed
visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam,
and performing the tawassul(5) by him as
shirk(6). Additionally, he falsely claimed visiting the graves
of other prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya) and
performing tawassul by them was shirk as well. He
added to this by saying, "To call upon the Prophet, sallallahu
alayhi wa sallam, when performing tawassul by the Prophet
is shirk." He passed the same judgment of shirk on the ones
who call upon other prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya)
in performing tawassul by them.
In an effort
to give credibility to his innovations Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab embellished
his sayings by quotations which he selected from Islamic sources,
i.e., quotations which are used as proofs for many issues but not
the issues which Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab was attempting to support. He
brought false statements and tried to beautify them for the laymen
until they followed him. He wrote treatises for them until they
believed that most of the People of Tawhid(7)
With The Saudi Family
'Abdul-Wahhab called upon the princes of eastern Arabia and the
people of ad-Dar'iyyah(8) to support him. They
carried his doctrine and made this endeavor a means to strengthen
and expand their kingdom. They worked together to suppress the Bedouins
of the deserts until they overcame them and those Bedouins followed
them and became foot-soldiers for them without pay. After that,
these masses started to believe that whoever does not believe in
what Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab said is a blasphemer, and it is Islamically
lawful (halal) to shed his blood and plunder his money.
The matter of
Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab started to evidence itself in 1143 A.H. and began
spreading after 1150 A.H. Subsequently, the scholars--even his brother,
Shaykh Sulayman and the rest of his shaykhs-- authored many treatises
to refute him. But Muhammad Ibn Su'ud, the Prince of ad-Dar'iyyah
in eastern Arabia, supported him and worked to spread his ideology.
Ibn Su'ud was from Banu Hanifah, the people of Musaylimah al-Kadhdhab(9).
When Muhammad Ibn Su'ud died, his son 'Abdul-'Aziz Ibn Muhammad
Ibn Su'ud took over the responsibility of fulfilling the vile task
of spreading the Wahhabi beliefs.
Many of the
shaykhs of Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab in Medina used to say, "He will
be misguided, and he will misguide those for whom Allah willed the
misguidance." Things took place as per the speculation of the
scholars. Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab claimed his intention behind the madhhab
he invented was "to purify the Tawhid" and "repudiate
the shirk." He also claimed people had been following
the shirk for six-hundred years and he revived their Religion for
of Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab
took the verses revealed to speak about the blasphemers and applied
them to the Muslims. The following examples from the Qur'an illustrate
this point. Allah, ta'ala, said in Surat al-Ahqaf, Ayah 5:
Who is more
astray than the one who performs supplication (du'a') to [worship]
other than Allah; the one other than Allah he supplicates to will
not answer his du'a'.
said in Surat Yunus, Ayah 106 :
not perform supplication (du'a') to [worship] other than Allah;
the one other than Allah you supplicate to will not benefit you
and will not harm you"
in the Qur'an similar to these ones are numerous. Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab
gravely misinterpreted the previously cited verses and said: "The
Muslim who asks help from the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam, other prophets, or the righteous people (salihun),
or who calls or asks any of them for intercession is like those
blasphemers mentioned in the Qur'an." According to the false
claim of Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab, the Muslims who do these things are
He also considered
visiting the grave of Prophet Muhammad and the graves of other prophets
and righteous Muslims for blessings as blasphemy. Allah revealed
Ayah 3 of Surat az-Zumar in reference to the mushrikun:
Those who worship
the idols said: "We do not worship them except to achieve a
higher status from Allah Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab falsely stated: "Those
who perform tawassul (asking Allah by the prophets, for example)
are similar to those blasphemers mentioned in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah
3, who claim they do not worship the idols except to achieve a higher
status from Allah." He said: "The blasphemers did not
believe the idols create anything; they believed Allah is the Creator."
He gave his version of proof from the Qur'an by citing Surat Luqman,
Ayah 25 and Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 38, in which Allah said: If
you ask them, `Who created the heavens and earth?' They will say,
`Allah'. In Surat az-Zukhruf, Ayah 87, Allah said:
If you ask them,
`Who created them?' They will say,Allah. Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab
falsely concluded from these verses that the Muslims who perform
tawassul are similar to those blasphemers.
refute Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab
In their writings
to refute Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab's sayings, the scholars said his deduction
was false. The believers did not consider the prophets or the awliya
as gods and they did not deem them partners to Allah. Instead, they
correctly believe the prophets and awliya are good
slaves and creations of Allah, and they do not deserve to be worshipped.
intended in these verses believed their idols deserved Godhood.
They exalted them as one would exalt his Creator, even though they
believed the idols did not create the heavens and the earth. The
believers, on the other hand, do not believe the prophets or righteous
Muslims (awliya) deserve to be worshipped, nor do they
deserve to be attributed with Godhood, nor do they exalt them as
one would exalt God. They believe these people are good slaves of
Allah, His beloved ones whom He chose, and by their blessings (barakah)
Allah grants His mercy to His creation. Hence, when the slaves of
Allah seek the blessings (barakah) of the prophets and righteous
Muslims (awliya) they are seeking these blessings as
a mercy from Allah.
There are many
proofs and examples from the Qur'an and Sunnah about this basic
belief of the Muslims. Muslims believe Allah is the Creator, the
One Who grants benefit and inflicts harm, and the only One Who deserves
to be worshipped. Muslims believe that no one other than Allah has
the power to affect the creation. The prophets and righteous people
do not create anything. They do not possess the power to bestow
benefit or inflict harm on others, but Allah is the One Who bestows
the mercy upon the slaves by the righteous Muslims' blessings.
Hence, the belief
of the blasphemers, i.e., the belief their idols deserve to be worshipped
and have Godhood, is what makes them fall into blasphemy. This saying
of the blasphemers, as previously cited in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah
3, was said in an effort to justify their belief when they were
disproved and shown idols do not deserve to be worshipped.
How can Ibn
'Abdul-Wahhab and those who follow him find it permissible to equate
the believers, who believed in Tawhid, to those blasphemers,
who believed in the Godhood of the idols? All the previously cited
verses and the verses which are similar to them are specific to
the blasphemers who associate partners with Allah--none of the believers
by the route of Ibn 'Umar, may Allah raise their ranks, that the
Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, described the Khawarij
as those who took the verses revealed about the blasphemers and
attributed them to the believers! In the narration by the route
of Ibn 'Umar the Prophet said:
I fear most for my nation is a man who mis-explains the Qur'an
and takes it out of context."
Tawassul - The Permissibility of Asking Allah for things
by some of His Creation.
tawassul had been blasphemy, then the believers, i.e., the
Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, his Companions, and
the Salaf and Khalaf of this nation would not have
done it. Yet it is mentioned in the sahih hadith of the Prophet
that the Prophet used to ask Allah by saying:
I ask You by the status of those who ask You.(10)
this is tawassul. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam, used to teach this supplication (du'a') to his Companions
and order them to say it. This issue was expounded upon in different
books and treatises refuting Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab.
There is a hadith
related by al-Hakim that mentions after Adam ate from the tree,
he performed tawassul by our Prophet, sallallahu alayhi
wa sallam. He did that, because he saw the name of the Prophet written
on the 'Arsh, Adam said: "O Allah, by the dignity of
this son [Muhammad], forgive this father [Adam]."
It was also
related by Ibn Hibban, that upon the death of Fatimah Bint Asad,
may Allah raise her rank, the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam, with his own honorable hands, put her in her grave and said:
forgive my mother(11), Fatimah Binti Asad, and
widen her place by the status of Your Prophet and the prophets who
came before me. You are the most Merciful."
There is a hadith
classified as sahih(12), that a blind man
asked the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, to make a
supplication (du'a') to Allah to return his sight. The Prophet
ordered him to make ablution (wudu') and pray two rak'ahs
and then say:
I ask You and direct myself to You by Your Prophet, Muhammad, the
Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I ask Allah by you to fulfill my need.
O Allah, enable him to intercede for me."
The blind man
did what the Prophet taught him to do(13) and
Allah brought his sight back. Moreover, as related by at-Tabarani,
the tawassul made by the blind man was used by the Companions
and Salaf after the death of the Prophet.
'Umar Ibn al-Khattab
performed the tawassul by al-'Abbas (the uncle of the Prophet),
may Allah reward their deeds, when he prayed the Salah of
'Istisqa'(14) with the people. There are
other proofs mentioned in the books of the Islamic scholars but
we will not recount them at length here.
The one who
pursues the saying of the Companions and their followers will find
a great deal of proof about the validity of calling the prophet
by saying "O Muhammad" in his presence as well as in his
absence and in his life as well as after his death. In fact, many
texts include the phrase which means, "O Muhammad". Calling
the name of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, is permissible.
An example is the saying of the Companion, Bilal Ibn al-Harith,
may Allah reward his deeds, when he went to the grave of the Prophet.
He said: "O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah to send rain to your
Nation." His saying contains this format(15).
Ibn Sulayman al-Kurdi(16) was among the authors
who wrote refuting Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab. He was Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab's
own shaykh. Among what he said is as follows:
O Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab,
I advise you, for the sake of Allah, ta'ala, to hold your tongue
regarding the Muslims. If you hear from anyone who asks for help
from other than Allah that one has the power to effect things
without the Will of Allah, then teach him the right thing about
this issue, and show him the proofs which state no one other than
Allah brings things from non-existence into existence. The one
who rejects that is blasphemous. You have no right to label the
majority of the Muslims as blasphemers(17) while
you are deviant from the majority of the Muslims. In fact, it
is more reasonable to consider the one who deviates from the majority
of the Muslims as a blasphemer then to consider the Muslims as
a nation as blasphemers--because the deviant one has followed
a path other than the path of the believers. In Surat an-Nisa',
Ayah 15, Allah said:
contends with the Messenger after the right path was exposed to
him and follows other than the way of the believers, Allah will
leave him to whatever he followed and put him in Hell (Jahannam)].
Of Visiting The Grave Of The Prophet
grave of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, was performed
by the Companions and the Salaf and Khalaf who came
after them. Many hadiths cite the benefit of this deed and the scholars
of Islam have written books about this matter(18).
Someone Other Than Allah
Among of what
was mentioned concerning calling on someone other than Allah, whether
that one is present, absent, dead or alive, is the saying of the
animal of anyone of you went out of control in the wilderness, then
call: `O slaves of Allah, help me'", since there are slaves
of Allah [i.e. the angels] who will respond
There is another
hadith related by al-Bazzar in which the Prophet said:
" If one
of you lost something or needs help while in an open land, then
let him say:
"O slaves of Allah, help me."
says, "Rescue me, because Allah has created slaves whom you
do not see." When traveling at nightfall the Prophet, sallallahu
'alyhi wa sallam, used to say:" O earth, my Lord and your Lord
is Allah." When the Prophet visited the grave of Muslims, he
used to say:"O people of the graves, peace be upon you."
In the Tashahhud
in as-Salah the Muslim says: "O Prophet of Allah, may
Allah protect you from infirmities, and have mercy and blessings
There is no
harm in calling on and performing tawassul by someone unless
one believes that someone other than Allah actually creates things.
Hence, as long as one believes that only Allah creates them, there
is no harm in performing tawassul. Likewise, attributing
a certain doing to other than Allah does not harm unless one believes
this doer actually creates. So once it is established the person
does not believe the creating is for other than Allah then attributing
a doing to other than Allah is understood in its proper context.
When one says: "This medicine benefited me," or "This
particular righteous Muslim benefited me," he is merely exposing
the created reason of the benefit. These statements are also similar
to when one says: "This food satisfied my hunger," or
"This water quenched my thirst," or "This medicine
cured me." When Muslims say such statements, they understand
them in their proper context, i.e., food, water, and medicine are
only reasons, and Allah is the Creator of their benefit.
proofs mentioned in this summary are enough to refute Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab.
The scholars of Islam have expounded on this issue in several treatises.
Al-Hijaz refers to the western part of Arabia which includes Mecca
2 Al-Haramayn refers to Mecca and Medina.
3 Ash-Sham refers to the area that includes Syria,
Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine.
4 Only the first adversity will be presented in
5 Tawassul is asking Allah for goodness by
a prophet, righteous believer, etc.
6 Shirk refers to associating partners to
7 The People of Tawhid refers to the Muslims.
8 Ad-Dar'iyyah is a region north of the city of
Riyad, Saudi Arabia.
9 Musaylimah al-Kadhdhab was a blasphemous man who
claimed the status of prophethood for 10 himself after the death
of Prophet Muhammad. He was killed by the Muslims during the caliphate
of Abu Bakr, may Allah raise his rank.
10 Ibn Majah and others related this hadith and
the-Hafidh, Ibn Hajar, deemed it a strong hadith
11 The Prophet called her `my mother' out of likening
her to his real mother.
12 Sixteen hafidhs of hadith classified this hadith
as sahih, including at-Tirmidhi, at-Tabarani, al-Bayhaqi, as-Subki,
13 It is clear in the narrations of this hadith,
the blind man was not in the session of the Prophet when he did
as the Prophet ordered him.
14 Salah of 'Istisqa' refers to performing
a specific prayer which includes making supplication for rain.
15 Al-Bayhaqi related this hadith and classified
it as sahih.
16 Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Sulaym al-Kurdi was the
one who wrote al-Hashiyah on the explanation of Ibn Hajar to the
text of Bafadl.
17 It is mentioned in a hadith it is easier for
the devil to trick the lonely person who is away from other Muslims.
The Prophet, sallallahu al 'alayhi wa sallam, while encouraging
the Muslims to perform the prayers in congregation said: "Moreover,
the wolf will eat the lonely lamb."
18 Among these hadiths is the one related by ad-Daraqutni
that the Prophet said: "On the Day of Judgment, I will intercede
for the one who visits my grave with the good intention."