The Kharijites, in the past raised the doubt of “the judgment is Allah’s alone” and the Wahabis in the present raise the doubt of “servitude is to Allah alone”. There is no place for criticizing their mere calls when there is no context. But if the mission is coupled with a political doubt or a certain benefit in contradicting the beliefs of others, then it is a false mission dressed in the garment of truth.
As for the mission of the Kharijites, it was buried on the first day, because Imam Ali (a.s.) disclosed it and revealed its false reality when he said, “It is a word of truth by which untruth is intended.” Rather, Imam Ali (a.s.) fought the Kharijites with no leniency according to the will of his brother and cousin the Messenger of Allah (S) and he did away with them and with their mission forever.
As for Wahabism, it became strong and widespread with the assistance of the British firstly and the support of the United State of America and the West secondly. This was for a certain purpose that analyzers and learned people of the Muslim nations knew well. The United States of America especially and the West in general, fights Islam and considers it the only danger that threatens their beliefs and welfares.1
We saw how they allied with each other in fighting the Islamic Republic of Iran and tried and are still trying, to do away with it as much as they possibly can by all means. Some of their presidents openly announced that they had supplied their agent Saddam with all fatal weapons and all experiences to do away with the Islamic Republic. When they failed here and the Iraqi opposition became strong inside and outside Iraq, they feared that their experience with Imam Khomeini might be repeated in Iraq, where the Shia are more than two thirds of population. They feared that the revolution in Iraq might unite with the revolution of Iran.
Then, they played their filthy trick by occupying Kuwait and declaring war not against Saddam, as they claimed, but against the Iraqi people, where the Shia are more than seventy percent of population. And this is actually what happened - Kuwait was rebuilt better than before and the regime of Saddam became stronger than before, but the oppressed Iraqi people who were terribly destroyed, began selling their furniture and clothes to get a piece of bread.
By doing so, the Wahabis obtained victory over all the Shia in the world. In fact, the plot was to degrade the Shia and drive them to the camps in Saudi Arabia to meet there all kinds of insults, torture and killing.
The Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Qur'an, 2:120
Today, we see the Jews and the Christians (the United States of America and western countries) show cordiality to the Wahabis. Or, are they pleased with them, because they themselves flatter and show them cordiality? At the same time, they are also full of grudge against the Shia in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran and even in France.
They used all kinds of the media to defame and accuse the Shia of terrorism, fanaticism, and puritanism.2 The media, financed by the Wahabis, was successful in dividing the Shia, making some of them disagree with others, doubting their beliefs, and concentrating on some negative practices that some of ignorant Shia follow in Ashura. They openly criticized the great religious authorities, suspected their justice and honesty and accused them of leaving the wealth of Muslim for their children to spend it recklessly. The media was successful in buying the consciences of some prominent Shia personalities to raise the banner of deviation for misleading.
In fact, there was no time more dangerous to the Shia than this time. The true Shia must think of the affairs deeply, because they are threatened by many enemies. Anyhow, their patience and faith bring good news of optimism. Allah the Almighty says:
Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. Qur'an, 8:46
As we have said that the doubt of the Kharijites was based on the saying that “the judgment is Allah’s alone”, the doubt of the Wahabis was based on the saying that “servitude is to Allah alone”. Despite the fact that two sayings are alike, the saying of the Wahabis is more effective than the saying of the Kharijites who focused on the rule (judgment).
Before Imam Ali (a.s.), the rule was assumed by Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman who all ruled as they liked and gave judgments that contradicted the clear texts of the Qur'an and the Sunna of the Prophet (S), but no one objected to them. At least, history did not mention to us any objection that was worth mentioning.
People were used to the rules of the caliphs and they accepted them as continuity to the rules of Allah, misinterpreting the actual rulings as they liked. Therefore, this saying (of the Kharijites) did not find any influence in the selves of the majority of Muslims who adopted the doctrine of the Saqifah which showed that people were free to choose their ruler and they did not believe in the choice of Allah.
They relied on the Qur’anic verses in deriving their evidences that the obedience to the ruler, who is a human being, was obligatory; these verses confirmed the doctrine of the Saqifa and were called “the verses of consultation” like this verse:
O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you,” Qur'an, 4:59
The prophet’s traditions which they relied upon in concluding that the obedience to the ruler was obligatory, were too many as well.
Therefore, the doctrine of the Kharijites was sentenced to death by the majority of Muslims even if Imam Ali (a.s.) did not refute, because it was strange to them and to their concept of the rule. Thus it would not receive any acceptance especially from those who were greedy to rule and take authority from the Umayyads and the Abbasids, and how many they were!
But as for the doubt of the Wahabis, it depends on the saying that “servitude is to Allah only”, and surely there is no Muslim who does not believe in this obligation, when Muslims always recite this verse:
They were not enjoined anything except that they should serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience, upright, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and that is the right religion. Qur'an, 98:5
The Wahabis made use of the behaviors of some ignorant Muslims during the age of decline when there were many juggleries, jugglers and quacks being fed by colonialists. The Wahabis took such kind of people as a clear argument to accuse Muslims of disbelief and polytheism. And then went on to permit their killing in bloody wars and continual assault of peaceful places that were overcome by force and oppression.
If we ponder on their argument they rely on, which is this saying of Allah,
“And that the mosques are Allah’s, therefore call not upon any one with Allah,” Qur'an, 72:18,
we shall find that it is like the saying of the Kharijites that “rulership (judgment) is Allah’s alone” where Allah says:
There is none to be a guardian for them besides Him, and He does not make any one His associate in His Judgment. Qur'an, 18:26
Even though this verse shows that Allah does not let anyone participate in His judgment, many other verses give the right of judgment to man. We have mentioned some of them and said that there was no contradiction or difference between them, but the meaning is that the legislative judgment is to Allah alone and not anyone else, even if it is a prophet or messenger. Allah has declared this in His saying:
If he had fabricated against Us some of the sayings, We would certainly have seized him by the right hand. Then We would certainly have cut off his aorta. And not one of you could have withheld Us from him. Qur'an, 69:44-47
As for the executive judgment, Allah has made it for His prophets, messengers, the caliphs from His saints and the imams whom He chooses. By this interpretation, the meanings of the verses become right.
It is the same about the verse that prohibits man from calling upon anyone with Allah as there are many verses that give man a right to supplicate to Allah by means of His prophets, messengers, and saints. There is no contradiction between the verses; the first verse talks about deity and servitude and that deity is Allah’s alone. The other verses declare that Allah has given the right of intercession and being a means to His prophets and saints.
To explain this matter, which is ambiguous to the Wahabis and to some Muslims who have been influenced by the Wahabis, it is useful to mention a debate between one of the Wahabi ulema and me. Because of its uses, I shall mention it as it was.
In the year 1983, I was preparing a thesis on the rights of woman in Islam. During my reading in some magazines, I was surprised by the fact that the Muslim woman in Comoros is the custodian of man. She builds and furnishes her house. Then, when getting married, she brings her husband to her own house, and if she divorces him, she drives him out of her house. She works in the market, and the role of her husband is fishing in the sea, working in the field, and fetching goods to her in the market. She herself sells and buys. Thus, women in Comoros are custodians of men. How wonderful it is!
I traveled to this place after a difficult journey. I knew that France had given independence to three of the islands of the country and kept one until now. Comoros, as a new country, had joined the League of Arab States, which offered their help. Among those help was the educational delegation from Tunisia and other countries that was sent to Comoros to teach the Arabic language to the students of religious studies, most of whom were Arab from Yemeni origins called Hadharimah (related to Hadhramaut). Among them, there were sayyids from the pure progeny of the Prophet (S) who spoke Arabic besides French and the local language.
At the airport, I met with one of the Tunisian teachers whom I had known twenty years ago from a meeting in my youth. He recognized me and I recognized him. He invited me to his house where his wife and children had traveled to Tunisia and he was alone at home. I accepted his invitation and remained with him in his house.
During my residence there, I became acquainted with the Mufti of the Republic and the Judge of judges. I talked with them on many subjects. They trusted and loved me when they knew that I was from the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). They complained to me about the bad treatment and hatred they were facing from the Wahabi ulema who had begun coming into the country successively in greater numbers with monies and books.
The Wahabi ulema were successful in attracting many youths to their line of thought through money because these youths were living below the poverty level. Thereafter, those youths began blaming and disrespecting their fathers while before they had highly regarded and kissed their hands and heads and stood up when they passed by. They had inherited these morals generation after generation. The Prophet (S) has said:
He is not from us (not a Muslim) who is not kind to our little children, does not regard our old people and does not observe the right of our scholars.
He3 said to me, “However, when the Wahabi ulema - the ulema of evil - came to us, their intention was not but to do away with these good morals and habits that we had been brought up with. A man from us, even though he is married and has some children, kisses the head and hands of his father and seeks his satisfaction and supplicates for him. But now, our children resist, criticize, and accuse us of polytheism, claiming that kissing of hands and the bowing before someone is a prostration for other than Allah and it is mere polytheism. There is a distance and resentment between fathers and children since the first day when these people came to our country. There is no power save in Allah!”
One day, the Mufti of the Republic invited me to accompany him to inaugurate a new mosque built in Moroni Island. I went with him in addition to the Judge of Judges, whose name was Abdul Qadir al-Gilani. When we arrived in the mosque, it was full of guests and ordinary people. The Mufti introduced me to the attendants and asked me to make a speech on that occasion. I responded and thanked him for that honor.
I made a speech, in which I emphasized on the love to the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and their great position to Allah and to the Messenger of Allah (S), who had ordered Muslims to love and observe them and declared that loving them would be from faith and hating them would be from hypocrisy. I talked in details about their virtues and the great favors they offered to Islam and Muslims. At the end of my speech, I talked about their vast knowledge and sciences that filled the world and benefited the Muslim scholars everywhere on the earth and I said that if the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) were not available, people would not know these features of their religion.
The Mufti asked one of the ulema there and made him stand beside me to translate what I said. At the end of my speech, people came kissing and greeting me and praying Allah to have mercy on my parents.
This scene made one of the Wahabi ulema angry, whom I recognized by his long beard and Saudi uniform. He came, shook hands with me, and said, “Fear Allah O Sheikh! All of us love the Ahlul Bayt, but you were too excessive in loving and honoring them.”
I said, “I pray Allah to make me die on that.”
He said, “You are my guest inshallah.”
I said evadingly, “I am guest of the Mufti of the Republic.”
He said, “Tomorrow then!”
I said, “Tomorrow, I am guest of the Tunisian teachers.”
He said, “All of them are my friends, and we shall meet there.”