The historical roots of Wahabbism
By: Al-Tijani Al-Samawi
If we go back to our history and look up its painful events, some of those events shall attract our attention to reveal to us that Wahabism, which we have known in this century, had ancient roots since the very beginning of Islam. They were apparent at one time and hidden at another. One time they appeared daringly, and at another they time hid because of fear and dissimulation, until the time that Islam had regressed and its pillars and great personalities were afflicted. Then colonialism came to feed and strengthen this new thought.
The aim behind it was to destroy the sanctity of the Prophet Muhammad (S). Muslims, due to the colonialists’ thoughts, sanctified two things - the Qur'an and the Sunna. These are the two basic sources of the Islamic Sharia that was targeted by them.
They know that the speech of Allah can never be changed and distorted, because Allah, the Almighty has undertaken its preservation. But as for the Prophet’s Sunna, it is liable to distortion and fabrication. In fact, since the first day when the Prophet (S) left for the better world, disagreement took place among Muslims on the Prophet’s Sunna.
However, the colonialists perceived that the scholars of the nation had set right the Sunna and collected its true and reliable traditions and put laws and rules to keep it safe from increase or decrease. Therefore, they thought of a satanic trick that might help them do away with the spiritual matters that were the most active factor in the life of Muslims. It was that whenever Muslims gave up on these spiritualties they would approach them step by step with unfaithful materialism, and then they would become like the scum of a flood.
They looked for a Muslim man who had infinite ambition, and they discovered Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, to whom Wahabism is ascribed. They inspired in him from their spirit and convinced him that he was the savant of his age and that he had genius and intelligence that even the orthodox caliphs did not have. They showed him the violations of the caliphs against the clear texts of the Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunna, especially the objection of Umar ibn al-Khattab to the Prophet (S) during his life. They convinced him that Muhammad was a human being who was fallible; that he committed many mistakes and that some people had to correct him. This was a proof of his (the Prophet’s) weakness. They aroused his greed to the rule and to prevail over Arabia first and then all over the Arab and Muslim world.
Wahabism was established on these concepts - trying their best to degrade the Prophet (S) and slighting his importance, until their scholars openly said, “The man has died.” And their head said, “Muhammad is just a worn-out rope that neither does any benefit nor harm, and my stick is better than him because it benefits and harms.”
Sayings like that were said at the time of al-Hajjaj ibn Yousuf ath-Thaqafi who himself said, “Woe to them! They circumambulate a worn-out rope. If they circumambulated the palace of Ameerul Mo'minin Abdul Melik ibn Marwan, it would be of use to them.”
In fact, nothing made al-Hajjaj and the vicious Umayyad rulers so daring, except for the daring of Umar ibn al-Khattab who said in the presence of the Prophet (S), “The man (the Prophet) is raving. The Book of Allah suffices you.”
In this very impudent saying, there are all the meanings that the Wahabis try their best to confirm and fix in the minds of people. They say that Muhammad has died and is no longer but a part of history. Whoever supplicates through his means is as if he worships him and makes a partner in deity. This is not a new concept; it has a root in history. Abu Bakr said openly before people, “O people, whoever worshipped Muhammad – so Muhammad has died, and whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die.”
What was the reason for Abu Bakr to say so while he certainly knew that no one of Muslims worshipped Muhammad at all? Did Abu Bakr believe that some Muslims actually worshipped Muhammad? If it was so, then why did Muhammad keep silent before those people, or why he did not prevent or scold them or even kill them?
I have been convinced that they (Abu Bakr, Umar…etc.) had the same thoughts that the Wahabis have today. It means that they could not bear to see people sanctify and honor the Prophet (S). It made them angry to see people hurry and fight with each other to get the remainder of the Prophet’s water of wudhu’ to massage their faces and skins for blessing and to be closer to Allah by loving him and his progeny. All that created a reaction among the people of Quraysh who began hating Muhammad (S) with no guilt being committed by him.
The chief of Quraysh Mo’awiya ibn Abi Sufyan revealed what was hidden in their chests when al-Mughirah suggested to him, “O Ameerul Mo'minin, would that you be kind to your cousins of the Hashimites! By Allah, nothing has remained with them that you may fear. And this may cause you good mention.”
Mo’awiya said, “How far! The man of Taym (It was the name of Abu Bakr’s tribe) ruled, wronged and did what he did. By Allah, as soon as he died, his mention died with him. People may remember him and just say: Abu Bakr. Then the man of Adiy (The name of Umar’s tribe) ruled for ten years. As soon as he died, his mention died with him. People may remember him and say: Umar. Then our brother Uthman ruled. He did what he did and people did to him what they did. As soon as he died, his mention and what happened to him died with him. But the man of Hashem;( The tribe of the Prophet (s); Hashem was the great grandfather of the Prophet) everyday his name is announced five times (I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (S)). So which mention will last after this? May their mention be buried!”( . Mentioned by ibn Abil Hadeed in his book an-Nasa’ih al-Kafiyyah leman Yatawalla Mo’awiya, quoted from at-Tabari and ibnul Atheer).
It was Wahabism in its prettiest clothes and clearest tongues. It plotted yesterday and is trying now to execute the plot for today and tomorrow.
They desired to put out the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse.
Wahabism prohibits visiting of graves
One of the heresies widespread in the present time is the prohibition of visiting of graves by women. When a Muslim woman goes to perform the hajj, they (Wahabis) do not permit her to visit the Baqee’ Graveyard or any other graveyard there. The Wahabis prohibited this thing and still prohibit it with no any evidence except fanaticism.
Muslim has mentioned in his Sahih, Chapter of Funerals, that Aa’isha once asked the Prophet (S) what she should say if she visited graveyards, and the Prophet (S) said, “You say: Peace be on you, O peaceful people! You are from the foremost and we, if Allah wills are from the following and may Allah forgive the first and the last.”
Al-Bukhari has mentioned in his Sahih that Anas ibn Malik said, “One day, the Prophet (S) passed by a woman crying at a grave. He said to her, ‘Fear Allah and be patient!’ She said, ‘Be away from me! You have not been afflicted as I have.’ She did not know him. It was said to her that he was the Messenger of Allah (S). She came to his house and did not find doorkeepers. She apologized to him that she did not know him before. He said, ‘Patience is (required) but at the first shock’.”(Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 2 p. 79, Chapt. Visiting of Graves, Funerals).
There are too many traditions about this subject in the books of the Sunni and the Shia, but the Wahabis deny and pay no any attention to them.
When I argued with one of the Wahabis about these traditions, he said to me that they were abrogated. I said, “In fact, the prohibition is that which was abrogated, because the Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘I had prohibited you from visiting the graves, but now you visit them, because they remind you of death’.”
He said, “This tradition means men and not women.”
I said, “It has been proved in history and to the scholars from the Sunni that Fatima az-Zahra’ (S) visited her father’s tomb every day, and she cried there and said, ‘O father, calamities have been poured on me that if they were poured on days, they would turn nights.’ It is well known in history that Imam Ali (a.s.) built her a special house called ‘the house of sorrows’ where she spent most of her time weeping.”
He said, “If we suppose that this narration it true, it concerns Fatima alone.”
Unfortunately, this blind fanaticism! How can a Muslim imagine that Allah and His messenger prohibit woman from visiting the grave of her father, mother, brother, husband, or child where she may pray Allah to have mercy and forgive them and where she may grieve for them through tears of mercy and remember death and afterlife like a man does?
This is an injustice against a woman which Allah never pleases to do or does, neither does His messenger or any man of a sound reason.