A Shi'ite Encyclopedia (chapter 9)

Subject: the Aqeedah of Ahl Al-sunnah Wa'l Jamma'ah

THE AQEEDAH OF AHL AL-SUNNAH WA'L JAMA'AH - in contrast with the Aqueedah of the "Salafi" sect.

What follows are some examples of the anthropomorphic nature of the neo- 'Salafite' Aqeedah, and how it varies from the actual Aqeedah transmitted to us by the earliest generations of the Muslim Ummah. Today's 'Salafiyya' claim to have the original and pristine Aqeedah of the first three pious generations of Islam;

but in reality it is the Aqeedah of the likes of Ibn Taymiyya and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah when it comes to describing Allah and His attributes and so on. The following four points points have derived directly from the works of the "Salafi" scholars (al- Harras and al-Uthaimin) themselves.

In comparison to these points I have also quoted from the Aqeedah of Imam Abu Ja'far al-Tahawi's [d. 321 AH; Rahimullah] and others for you to compare and contrast. Imam Tahawi's Aqeedah represents the Aqeedah as transmitted by the scholars of his Madhab (which represents in the main the Aqeedah of the Salaf-us-Salihin) - Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam al-Shaybani (Allah mercy be upon them) - three of the greatest Ahl al-Sunnah scholars.

1 The Vision of Allah in the Hereafter

Imam al-Tahawi (Rahimullah) said with regard to this issue in "al-Aqeedah at-Tahaweeah" [English trans. by I.A. A'zami, under the title 'Islamic Belief'], "Belief of a man in the 'seeing of Allah by the people of the Garden' is not correct if he imagines what it is like, or interprets it according to his own understanding, since the interpretation of his 'seeing' or indeed, the meaning of any subtle phenomena which are in the realm of Lordship, is by avoiding its interpretation and strictly adhering to the submission. This is the din of Muslims.

Anyone who does not guard himself against negating the attributes of Allah, or likening Allah to something else (anthropomorphism), has gone astray and has failed to understand Allah's glory, because our Lord, the Glorified and the Exhalted, can only possibly be described in terms of Oneness and Absolute Singularity and no creation is in anyway like Him."

In contrast, Muhammad Khalil Harras (a 'Salafi' scholar) said in his "Sharh- ul-Aqeedat-il-Wasitiyyah (of Ibn Taymiyya, pg. 73): "The Mutazila deny the vision. This denial is based on refusing to accept Allah in any direction for it is necessary for a thing being seen to be in the direction of the seer.." Thus, al- Harras claims that for Allah to be seen in the Hereafter, He (Allah) must have a direction!! In comparison, Imam al-Shahrastani [d. 1153 CE; Rahimullah] said in his "Kitab al-Milal wa'l Nihal (Muslim Sects and Division,

trans. by A,K, Kazi and J.G. Flynn, pg. 85): "Imam Ash'ari (Rahimullah) says, however, that the vision of God does not entail direction, place, form, or face to face encounter either by impingement of rays or by impression, all of which are impossible."

2 The Speech of Allah

Imam al-Tahawi (Ramimullah) said: "The Qur'an is the word of Allah. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how...(next paragraph): It is not created, as is the speech of human beings, and anyone who hears it and claims that it is human speech has become an unbeliever.

Allah warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He says, Exalted is He: 'I will burn him in the Fire.' [al-Muddaththir 74:26] When Allah threatens with the Fire those who say 'This is just human speech' [al- Muddaththir 74:25] we know for certain that it is speech of the Creator of mankind and it is totally unlike the speech of mankind."

In contrast al-Harras stated in "Sharh-ul-aqeedat-il-wasitiyyah of Ibn Taymiyya" [pg. 87]: "His statement, voice and speech take place with Letters and sounds. One to whom He (ie Allah) speaks he hears. This includes the refutation of the stand taken by the Ash'aria (e.g. Imam al-Ghazali, Rahimullah, in his 'Ihya 'ulum al-din') that speech of Allah is primeval and is without letter or sound."

NB- Imam ibn Tahir al-Baghdadi (d. 429/1037; Rahimullah) said with regards to this issue: "Another group (of anthropomorphists) is represented by those who draw a resemblance between God's Word and the word of His creatures. They hold thatGod's speech consists of sounds and letters belonging to the same species as the sounds and letters which are ascribed to mankind." (vide: 'al-Farq bayn al-firaq', English trans. by A.Halkin: as 'Moslem Schisms and Sects', v2, p35)

3 Allah's Hands

al -Harras stated without any definite proof (pg. 44, above reference): "How can 'hand' be interpreted to mean power when the text proves mentioning of palm, fingers, right and left, closing, opening, etc. which can happen only in the case of a real hand."

Imam al-Tahawi said [no.34 in his above mentioned book]: "Anyone who describes Allah as being in anyway the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings."

4 Allah's establishment on the Throne

Imam Malik (Rahimullah) was asked about Allah's establishment on the Throne; he said: "Establishment (Istiwa) is known, the how of it is unknown, belief in it is obligatory, and questions about it are reprehensible innovation (bid'ah)." (see Reliance of the Traveller, pg. 854). In contrast, Muhammad as- Saleh al-'Uthaimin (a leading 'Saudi' scholar) said in 'The Muslim's Belief' (pg.11, this work was heard and approved by the foremost 'Saudi' Mufti - Abd al-Aziz ibn B'az, trans. M.H.

al-Johani): "'His (Allah's) settling on the Throne' means that He is sitting in person on his Throne in a way that is becoming His majesty and Greatness. Nobody except He knows exactly how He is sitting." Imam al- Shahrastani (Rahimullah) stated that the leader of the heretical sect called the 'Karramites - Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Karram declared: "God is firmly seated on the Throne and that he is sitting in person on the upper side of it..." (Muslim Sects and Divisions, pg. 92 trans. A.Kazi and J.Flynn).

The above are CLEAR proofs that the 'Salafi/Wahabi' interpretation of Allah (swt) is in essence athropomorphic, the claim that indivduals like Ibn Taymiyya, Bin Ba'z and al-Albani have the same Aqeedah as Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah is blatantly untrue and misleading to Muslims in genral.

Subject:Re: Wahhabis

Assalamu Alaikum:

In article hassan@cs.ubc.ca (Moustafa Hassan) writes:

There are many scholars, most notably Ibn Teymiyyeh and Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, that are very misunderstood, but I'll limit the discussion to M. 'Abd al-Wahhab.

To begin with, Arabia was, at a time in history, as mixed up and full of bid'ah as many of the other Muslim countries today.

Comparing Ibn Taymiyeh to Mohammad Ibn abdul Wahhab is like comparing apples and oranges. Yes they are both contraversial but one (ibn Taymyieh) was an early scholar who had some unique ideas even though I and a lot of Muslims do not agree with them, Ibn Abdul wahhab however was a pseudo-scholar that appeared under the British influence and was used by non-muslims (British) in their quest to bring the Arabian peninsula under a unified rule of an ally Ibn-Saud family in their bid to weaken the Ottaman empire through the control of the holy sites of Islam. These are historical facts.

Ibn Abdul Wahhab issued declarations (fatwa) that branded evry muslim in Arabia who was in dispute with the Ibn Saud family a Kafir Through Bida'a. Yet for him to declare Islamic the hereditary rule of KINGS (malik) from Ibn Saud family was the biggest Bidaa around in Arabia. He announced in his infamous fatwa that the ruling of Arabia should be a hereditary right of the sons of Saud (who by the way was related to him through marriage of his daughter).

Many wars followed the fatwas that Ibn abdul Wahhab issued and in those wars with the help of the british and through declaring other tribes Mushrik, the Saud family from Najd managed to become the undisputed tribe in Arabia. All of us have seen the recent events in Arabia and it is easy for us to see how these similar events happened in the past.

The ldea of Wahhabism is strictly a political affair of the early colonial era rather than an Islamic movement with Fiqh bases. That is why it is never thought of as a madhab even though they have tried to make it into one.

(I'm originally from Egypt, and I include Egypt in this list of countries filled with bid'ah. I'm not protecting 'Abd al-Wahhab because I'm from Arabia.) I don't think of Egypt as a country full of bidaa.

To say that all Islamic countries are filled with bidaa takes a lot of nerves. Are you trying to tell us that Arabaian Hijaz is not!! because they stick to Wahhabism, That somehow is an inconsistency that all of us can see through.

The rule of Kings is and has been the biggest Bidaa in Islam and that started with Muawiayah the son of Hind (The woman who ate the heart of Hamza, prophet's (sawaws) uncle) and the first of Umawi (ummayad) Khulafa. The bidaa that affects the leadership of muslims is the gravest of all bidaas. Isn't it?

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab is disliked for three reasons: 1. He did follow a single madh-hab, or school of thought. (some stuff deleted)

No my brother, he is disliked for the reasons I cited above.

  1. Ignorance. He fought many of the psuedo-scholars of his time. The pseudo-scholars gained power and prestige by people following their traditional practices, so they slandered him and opposed him. Many true Muslims today still oppose him because they were taught that his teachings are heretical; this is not true.

It IS true my brother. Do you want me to cite you the infamous fatwa I mentioned above, by him. No other real scholar of Sunni madhab has EVER declared a family to be rightful hereditary ruler of Muslim land, that is against Islam.

Let me bring you an example:

It is said that the son of Imam Ahmad was a judge for the stablishment of Khalifa at the time, something he did with displeasure and just because he felt the need for the people to be judged according to Islam. He later left his post since he was in dispute with the hereditary khalifah kingdom.

He calculated all the money he earned from his post and bought bread with the money to give to the poor because he even disliked the money he was paid. He told his household to let the poor receipient of the bread know that the bread was bought with the money from the khalifah and that he did not consume any of the bread himself. He did that to have a clear conscious. The poor did not accept the breads even though they were hungry.

The breads rotted, and he ordered them be thrown in Euphrates river, and he NEVER ate fish from Euphrates till he died.

That is how strongly the real Ulemma disliked the Kingdom and kinghood. The terms "Malik" (king) and "malik of all maliks" were the terms most disliked by our prophet (sawaws).

  1. He was Arabian, and there seems to still be quite a bit of racism in the Muslim world. Racism is futile, and more importantly is against Islam. We should not feel contempt towards a scholar (or any person) simply because he's from a certain part of the world.

The leaders of all four Madhabs of Sunni sect and alot of other respectable ulema are arabic, Your statement is not logical my brother.


The following article is written by a Sunni brother

From: bdogan@eecs.wsu.edu (Bilge Dogan)

The founder of Wahhabism was Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab of Banu Tamim tribe. He was born in Uyaina village near Huraimila town in the Najd Desert in 1111 and died 1206(1792). Formerly, with the idea of travelling and trading, he went to Basra , Baghdad, Iran, India and Damascus, where he won the name "Shaikh an-Najdi" because of his clever and defeatist attitude.

He saw and learnt a great deal at these places and set his heart on the idea of becoming a chief. He had thought it proper a to found a new religious reformation and movement to reach his goal , and, in preparation for this goal, attended the lectures of the Hanbali 'ulama' in the blessed city of Medina and later in Damascus for some time.

When he went back to the Najid, he wrote pamphlets on religious subjects for villagers. His harmful, heretical ideas which he took from Mu'tazila and other bid'a-groups and introduced in these small books deceived many ignorant villagers, particularly the inhabitants of Dar'iyya and their ignorant chief, Muhammed ibn Sa'ud (grand grand father of saudi royal family) as a tool to disseminate his reformation which he named Wahhabism. He introduced himself as the qadi and Muhammed ibn Saud as the Hakim.

He had it declared that both would be succeeded only by their children In 1306 when the book Mirat al-Haramain was written, the amir of the Najd, 'Abdullah ibn Faisal, was a descendant of Muhammed ibn Sa'ud, and the qadi, that is, the head of religious affairs, was a descendant of Muhammed ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab.

Mumammed ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's father , ''Abd al-Wahhab, who was a pious pure alim in Medina, his brother Sulaiman ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab and his masters had apprehended from his statements, behaviour and heretical ideas, which he frequently had put forward as questions to them when he was a student in Medina, that he would harm Islam from inside in future.

They advised him to correct his ideas and the Muslims to avoid him. But they encountered the very thing they were afraid of very untimely, and he started disseminating his heretical ideas openly under the name of Wahhabism. To deceive the ignorant, stupid people, he came forward with reformism and innovations much impetuous to deem as kafirs the true Muslims who followed the Ahl as-Sunnat wa'l-Jamaa.

He regarded it polytheism to ask Allahu taala for something through the mediation of the Prophet or other Prophets or awliya and to visit their graves.

According to Muhammed ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, the person who talks to the dead, when praying near a grave becomes a mushrik ( Fat'h al-majid , p208) He asserted that attributing an action or effect to someone or something beside Allah, for example , saying "[such and such] medicine cured" or " I obtained whatI asked through our master Rasulullah" was polytheism, and the Muslim who said so would become polytheist.

Although the false documents Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab made up to support his statements were nothing but all lies and slanders, the ignorant people who couldn't distinguish right from wrong, the unemployed , opportunists and the hard-hearted soon accepted his ideas and took part of his side and regarded the pious Muslims of the right path as kafirs.

When Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab applied to the rulers of Dar'iyya with the view of disseminating his heresies easily through them, they willingly cooperated with him with the hope of extending their territories and increasing their power. THey strove with all their might to disseminate his ideas everywhere. They declared war against those who refused and opposed another in joining the army of Muhammed ibn Sa'ud when it was said that it is halal to plunder and kill non-Wahhabis.

In 1143, Muhammed ibn Sa'ud and Muhammed ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab hand in arrived at the conclusion, that those who wouldn't accept Wahhabism were kafirs and mushriks and it was halal to kill them and confiscate their possessions, and publicly announced their declaration seven years later. Then Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab started fabricating ijtihad when he was thirty-two years old and announced his false ijtihads at his forty.

As-Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zaini Dahlan, Mufti of the blessed city of Mecca, described under the topic "Al-fitnat al-Wahhabiyya" the heretical tenest of Wahhabism and the tortures of the Wahhabis inflicted upon Muslims (Al-futuhat al-Islamiyya, v2, p228-233, Cairo 1968) Hw wrote: " To deceive the Ahl as-Sunna 'ulama' in Mecca and Medina , the Wahhabis sent their men to cities, but these men could not answer the questions of ulama. It became evident that they were ignorant heretics.

A verdict about their being disbleivers was written and issued everywhere. Sharif Mas'ud ibn Sa'id , Amir of Mecca, ordered that the Wahhabis shall be imprisoned. Some Wahhabis fled to Dari'yya and told what had happened to them.

The ulama of Hijaz belonging to all the four madhhabs, including Muhammed ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's brother Shaikh Sulaiman and also his masters who trained him studied Muhammad's books, prepared answers to his disunioninst writings, which were distructive to Islam, and wrote, to call the attention of Muslims, well-documented books in refutation to his heretical writings and proclaimed Wahhabite tenets to be heretical and harmful.