In their pamphlet, to which we have responded hereby, the Wahabis have criticized Sunni Imams of Mombasa for conducting lectures in the Konzi Mosque on the first ten days of the month of Muharram. This is because, in accordance with Wahabi philosophy, by so doing the Sunni Imams will have “misled the Sunnis by imitating Shias”!
Before responding to this aversion, we need to let our readers note two important things. First, at their gatherings, the Sunni Imams, customarily, do not discuss the same subjects that Shias do at their Muharram gatherings. As a matter of fact, the Sunni Imams say exactly the opposite of what the Shias do! How then do they mislead their congregation, and in what way do they imitate the Shias?
Second, let the Sunnis not be fooled by such statements into believing that the Wahabis are one with them. For those Sunnis who do not, according to what Wahabis say and believe, concur with them, are no different from the Shias. All are not believers, but polytheists, and “therefore spilling their blood and confiscating their wealth is legitimate, despite the fact that they declare LA ILAHA ILLALLAH, say their prayers, fast and proclaim themselves to be Muslims” In other words, to Wahabis, all of us -- Shias and Sunnis alike -- are unbelievers! This is not a mere accusation, but has been categorically stated on page 179 of the book on the life of their Imam, called Muhammad Bin Abdilwahhab: Muswlihun Madhluum wa Muftaraa Alayh, written by Ustadh Mas’ud An-Nadawii.
Has this Wahabi outcry regarding “imitating Shias” a recent practice, or has it been there before? The truth of the matter is that such propaganda was there before, though our Wahabis in Mombasa have come out with yet another inventive strategy that criticizes the Sunni Imams for not only imitating Shias, but also indulging in an activity that was not performed by the Prophet (S), and as such it is an innovation (bid’a).
At first sight, one would think that the Wahabis are genuinely out to do what the Prophet (S) practiced, and condemn what the Prophet abstained from. However, those who have a deep insight of Wahabism know that this is far from being the truth. Under the guise of love for the Prophet (S) the Wahabis promote their hatred toward the believers even if the latter truly abide by what the Prophet (S) used to do.
As a way of illustration, let us see what Ibn Taymiyya has said on this matter. Ibn Taymiyya is from their school of thought.; he lived for 67 years and died in the year 728 A.H. His thoughts had a deep influence on Muhammad bin Abdilwahhab who, with the help of King Saud’s wealth, succeeded in spreading this sect, more than Ibn Taymiyya himself. Ironically, during his life time, Ibn Taymiyya had failed to promote his sect because of the heavy opposition that he faced from his fellow sheikhs, who went to the extent of declaring him apostate!
In his book, Minhaajus Sunnah (Volume Two, page143), he says, “It is appropriate to discard those recommended acts (mustahabaat) when they are their (Shias’) trademark!” One such act that non-Shias have been urged to discard is the wearing of a ring in the right hand finger, despite the fact that the Prophet (S) himself used to do so. Why so? Simply because this tradition is customarily observed by Shias!
O my brothers! If Wahabis brand those who do things that the Prophet (S) did not do as the innovators (ahlul bid’a), what title do we give to them for preventing people from doing what the Prophet (S) used to do merely because such deeds are observed faithfully by those whom the Wahabis do not like (i.e. the Shias)? You be the judges to decide between the Shias and the Wahabis as to who are the strict followers of the ways of the Prophet (S) (ahlul sunna), and who are the innovators (ahlul bid’a).
All said and done, the motive behind Wahhabis’ demand to the Sunni Imams not to emulate Shias should be evaluated in light of what has been said so far. Perhaps, in conclusion, we may pause this question: Since Shias use their left hand to clean themselves after relieving their bowels, should Sunnis therefore stop using their left hands and, instead, use their right hands to clean themselves in the bathroom, just not to emulate Shias? One wonders how the Wahabis make their judgments!