Error, Innovation and True Belief

TAFSIRAhlus-Sunnah does not remove someone from Islam because he committed a sin, but the Khawarij say the person becomes a kafir. The Mu’tazila say the person will be out of Islam, but still be Muslim. If a person commits such an act which is a sign of kafir (wearing crosses,prostration to idols, etc…) then he will be out of Islam, but if someone says something that has one hundred meanings, 99 are kufr and one from Islam, then we must take the one meaning unless he’s referring to any of the 99.

The Khawarij are vocal in calling Muslims who follow interpretations and practices different than themselves ‘unbelievers’. A perfect example of this is when they labeled Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib (Karam Allah Wajhu) and Mu’awiyah (r) as being Mushrikeen for appointing an arbitrator. Ever since then, they have had a deep-rooted hatred for both, especially when it comes to Sayyidina Ali and his descendants (Ahl al-Bayt). For this reason alone, one will NEVER see any regard for the Ahl al-Bayt from the Wahhabi sect or any of its offshoots (who title themselves “Salafiyya“).

This sect was founded by Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab, (1699-1792 A.D.). He was from eastern part of what is now Saudi Arabia in the area of Najd. His father was a very righteous and pious person, as was his brother Sulaiman, both of whom were Hanbali’s.

Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab studied religion in Madinah. He was strongly influenced by the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah (8th century H.) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah and possessed extreme hatred for the Uthmani (Ottoman) Caliphate. Both of these scholars (Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah) had deviated from the teachings of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’at in that they declared that there is no need to listen to or follow scholars nor the four schools of Law (madhahib). They proclaimed that those who did not follow their school were kuffar and mushrikeen. Theirs is known as the “Salafi” school.

As a result of the teachings he developed along the lines of the Salafi “school,” both his father and his brother warned the Ummah about Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab’s innovations, his new and dangerous beliefs, and his misdirected teachings, which became perversions. Through the years, many sincere yet naive people have been deceived by his teachings on the subject of Tawhid, Shirk, and Kufr.

Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab’s teachings contradict the Imams and righteous scholars from the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) up until today and he considered anyone not following him to be a kafir, and his blood and property licit. He began his mission in 1143 A.H. (1731 A.D.) and his beliefs spread through the tribes of Najd after 1150 A.H. (1738 A.D.). Muhammad b. Sau’d, Prince of Dar’iya, and his son Abdul Aziz, supported him and tried to propagate his teachings.

Many of the teachers of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, said, “His teachings are going to deviate many people from the Sunnah and the true practices of Islam.” These include his father and his brother Shaykh Sulaiman, who wrote the book Divine Lightning in Refuting the Najdi Teachings, printed in Iraq in 1888 A. D., Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab declared his intention of establishing a limited and narrow interpretation of Tawhid and to eliminate shirk. He considered all people from 1000 years ago up to his time, to have been associationists (mushrikeen) and that his teachings corrected the wrong beliefs of the majority of Muslims. He applied verses of Holy Qur’an, revealed concerning those who did not accept Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, in the time of the Holy Prophet (s), to any Muslims who rejected his beliefs.  In short, according to his school, anyone who disbelieved in his interpretations was an unbeliever.

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