This text, prepared and published by Al-Ghadeer Center for Islamic Studies and translated by Hamid S. Atiyyah, reveals the facts about the Wahhabia doctrine and sheds lights on its origins, school of thought, and relation with other sects of Islam.
The Wahhabi sect was founded by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab ibn Suleiman al-Najdi (1111 - 1206 AH.). After obtaining fundamental religious training he developed a special interest in books on false Prophets such as Musailama al-Kathab, Sajah al-Aswad al-An'si and Tulaiha al- Assadi. In the early period of his scholarship his father and tutors became aware of his deviant thinking and this led them to warn people of him by saying: “This man will go astray and will mislead those whom Allah wish to keep distant [from Him] and torment.”
In 1143 AH. Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab called upon the people of Najd to follow his new doctrine. However, his father and religious teachers rehmently opposed him and publicly refuted his ideas. Consequently, his mission remained unpopular until his father's death ten years later. At that time he resumed his preaching and a small group of villagers followed him. Most of the villagers were, however, incensed by this and tried to kill him.
He was thus, forced to flee to another town, Uyayna, where he won the favour of its ruler by marrying his sister. He remained there preaching his new doctrines until the indignant population drove him out. In al-Daria in eastern Najid he finally found permanent refuge.
As a historical footnote it should be remembered that this was the land of the false prophet Musailama and the birthplace of the rada or apostatsy movement after the Prophet's death. Ibn Abdul Wahab's ideas fell on fertile ground in the town of al-Daria and its ruler, Muhammad ibn Saud, and most of its inhabitants converted to the new doctrine.
At that time Ibn Abdul Wahab behaved as if he had absolute monopoly over ijtihad, i.e. the ability to arrive at logical deductions on religious questions. In reality however, Ibn Abdul Wahab lacked the basic prerequisites that could qualify him to the rank of ijtihad. This was the opinion of his brother; Sulaiman, who knew him closely and authored a book refuting his brother's invocation and demonstrating its falsehood. His book includes the following passage which concisely sums up the Wahhabia and its founder:1
At present people are plagued by someone who claims to follow the Holy Quran and al-Sunna (the Prophet Tradition) and dares to deduce from their teachings paying no heed to any opposition. Because anyone who opposes him [he calls] a heretic although he possesses none of the qualifications of the mujtahedeen - and, I swear by Allah, not even one tenth of one of these qualifications. In spite of this, his teachings have attracted many simpletons. To Allah we belong and shall return.
The Wahhabi sect has two basic tenets, a declared tenet and a hidden one. The declared tenet is commitment to divine unity and opposition to idolatry and paganism. But as we shall see later, this commitment is not confirmed by the actual history of the Wahhabi.
The hidden tenet is sowing the seeds of schism, discord, conflict and war among Muslims to serve the goals of foreign domination. This is the real purpose which the Wahhabia has sought to achieve since its inception and until the present day. This means that the declared objective or tenet served only to impress followers and enlist their efforts in achieving the real objective.
Undoubtedly the slogan of reviving the concept of divine unity and opposing idolatry has its attraction, and followers can be expected to rally around it with enthusiasm but without being aware that it is only a camouflage for the real hidden purpose.
Experts on the history of the Wahhabia confirm that the movement was originally established upon an order by the British colonial administration. The list of authoritative sources supporting this conclusion is long and includes Saint John Philpy in The History of Najd, Khairi Hamad in The Pillars of Colonialism, Hamaion Himáyati in Al-Wahhabi Criticism and Analysis, and finally, Haiem Wiseman, the first prime minister of the Jewish entity in Palestine in his memoirs.
The Wahhabi sect classified doctrines into two categories. The first category includes all those doctrines based on a text in the Quran or the Prophet Tradition. They claimed that such doctrines can be derived from these two sources directly and without resorting to the logical deductions of religious scholars regarding their meaning - even if these sources happen to be the Prophet's Companions, early Muslims or other scholars.
The second category includes all doctrines which are not based on a Quranic or Prophetic text, and in such cases the Wahhabis claim that they defer to the teachings and jurisprudence of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taimia.
Regretably, they failed in both categories by falling into contradictions and making gross errors of judgment as the following points show:
1. They relied entirely on interpretations based on the literal meaning of the texts, and thus they contradicted basic tenets and ijam, the consensus of religious scholars. This is why the Egyptian religious scholar of the last century, Muhammad Abdo, described them as worse than those who follow others blindly because they “believe that the literal meanings must be endorsed and adhered to without paying heed to the basic tenets on which religion is based.”1
2. They contradicted Ahmed ibn Hanbal clearly and openly in pronouncing as blasphemers and heretics Muslims who disagreed with them though none of Ibn Hanbal's religious decrees support this. According to Ibn Hanbal, only a Muslim who intentionally refuses to perform obligatory prayers can be called a blasphemer or heretic.
Similarly, no support for this Wahhabi belief can be found in the works of Ibn Taimia. Indeed, Ibn Taimia opposed such thinking. He maintained that “whoever approved of those in agreement with him and condemned those who opposed him, created schisms in the ranks of Muslims, labeled those who disagreed with him regarding points of opinion and logical deduction as heretics, and approved waging was on them is a person who seeks to divide and create discord.” This description by Ibn Taimia fits the Wahhabis completely.2
3. If the Wahhabi doctrine on visiting shrines is endorsed then Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal and all his followers are idolators who must be denounced and their lives and possessions legally forfeited. This is in view of a report by none other than Ibn Taimia that Imam Ibn Hanbal wrote a treatise on visiting the shrine of Imam al-Hussain ibn Ali (the grandson of the Prophet) at Kerbala with specific instructions for visitors. Ibn Taimia commented on this that «people at the time of Imam Ahmed [ibn Hanbal] frequented [the shrine].»3
But the Wahhabi creed considers making a journey to a shrine for the purpose of visiting it a form of idolatry which deserve the extreme punishment of loss of life and possessions. In effect, they condemned Imam Ahmed, his contemporaries and early Muslims who practiced this ritual and condoned it as idolators who must be put to death and their possessions confiscated. Furthermore, this Wahhabi decree must also extend to the Prophet Companions who approved or performed this ritual. Their claim to be followers of Imam Ahmed is thus unfounded.
The same argument applies also to their belief regarding asking for the Prophet's intercession. According to this, whoever asks for the Prophet intercession after the Prophet's death is committing a cardinal idolatry. They argue that by performing such an act, a person treats the Prophet as an idol and worships him instead of Allah. According, they considered killing such a person and confiscating his possessions a religious duty.4
This Wahhabi doctrine runs contrary to the practice of asking for the Prophet's intercession performed by a large number of his prominent Companions and early Muslims - whose requests, the subjects of these intercessions, were usually granted. Ibn Taimia has confirmed this in his book Al-Ziara on the bases of evidence by several authorities including al- Baihaqi, al-Tabarani, Ahmed ibn Hanbal and Ibn Abi al-Dunia.5 Nevertheless, Ibn Taimia chose to go against these authorities by banning the call for intercession. Unlike the Wahhabi, however, he refrained from calling it a cardinal act of idolatry.
To repeat, if the Wahhabi doctrine regarding intercession is endorsed then all the Companions and early Muslims who practiced it must be considered idolaters who deserve to be put to death. Not only those are idolaters, according to the Wahhabi, but also anyone who knew about this practice and refrained from opposing it and condemning those who performed it as heretics. These also must be executed and their possessions forfeited. In the final analysis, all early Muslims deserve such a sentence leaving none whom the Wahhabi could regard as the model to emulate.
1. As indicated earlier, the Wahhabi effectively charged most of the Prophet Companions with idolatry and heresy because they continued, after the Prophet's death, to allow asking for his intercession and visiting his tomb. They also included in this category all those who condoned this practice or knew about it and did not brand it as an idolatry and heresy which is punishable by death and loss of possessions.
This is their true doctrine which contradicts their claim of holding the Prophet's Companions in the highest position.
2. The Wahhabi went further than this by directly attacking the Companions who followed the Prophet. Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the founder of the Wahhabi sect, asserted that:
.. a group of Companions who fought with the Prophet, prayed, paid alms, fasted and made pilgrimage with him were, in fact, heretics and distant from Islam.1
3. It is unsurprising, therefore, for the Wahhabi writers and scholars to go to an extreme in defending Yazid ibn Muawiya2 whose deeds altest to his animosity to the Companions. It was Yazid's army who sacked al-Medina at al-Hara battle in which countless Companions were murdered and their women raped. It is reported that in the aftermath of this one thousand unwed girls became pregnant.
Before that, Yazid's soldiers had committed the atrocious crime of murdering eighteen members of the Prophet Household at Kerbala including his grandson, al-Hussain, a number of his brothers, and their sons including children and newborn infants.
During the reign of Yazid also, Mecca was sacked and Al-Kaba set on fire. In spite of these, the Wahhabi applaud Yazid in their writings which can only mean that they condone his deeds. They also blatantly ignore the documented accounts confirming that Yazid did not perform obligatory prayers and drank alcohol. For these transgressions alone, they should have declared him a heretic in accordance with Imam Ahmed's teachings which they claim to follow. Instead of this they praise Yazid and condemn all those who ask for the Prophet's intercession including the Companions as heretics.
The Wahhabi doctrine on Allah's attributes is the same as that of al- Mujasima:1 They claim that Allah possesses actual organs such as a hand, a leg, an eye and a face. They also describe him as literally siting, moving, changing position, descending and ascending.2
This doctrine which they borrowed from Ibn Taimia originated with the Hoshawia who lacked profound knowledge of Islamic tenets and teachings. The Hashawia endorsed the literal meanings of religious texts and their tajseem is similar to that of some Jewish denominations.
The Wahhabis failed to support this belief with a single testimony by any of the Companions or early Muslims. But this did not deter them from claiming that this belief represents the consensus of early Muslims. In any case, their argument in defense of their belief regarding divine attributes lacks logical substance and hence it is unconvincing.
To justify their belief, however, the Wahhabis relied entirely on a statement by Ibn Taimia who claimed that after reviewing all available commentaries by the Companions and the traditions reported by them and collected from several sources which amounted to more than 100 commentaries he could not find a single evidence from one Companion interpreting the attributes' verses in variance with their literal meanings.3
This allegation repeated by Ibn Taimia is false and was clearly refuted by the same sources whose authenticity and reliability were confirmed by Ibn Taimia himself. These sources include the commentaries of al-Tabari, Ibn Atia and al-Bagawi.4
All of these sources reported that the Companions interpreted the Quranic verses on Allah's attributes and did not endorse their literal meanings. To illustrate, Ayat al-Kursi or Chair verse was interpreted by Al-Tabari, Ibn Atia and al-Bagawi by referring to Ibn Abbas' comment that the chair means Allah's knowledge. Ibn Atia upheld this and regarded any other interpretation to be of Jewish or Hashawi origin which must be ignored.5
In the same fashion, Allah's 'face' is interpreted in all verses in which mention of it is found as purpose, recompense or other meanings depending on its context. Anyone can check al-Bagawi's commentary which Ibn Taimia praised as utterly reliable to find out for himself that Ibn Taimia's claim is unfounded. In specific, al-Bagawi's commentaries on the following verses may be consulted: The Cow: 115, 255 and 272; Thunder: 22; The Narratives: 88; The Romans: 38, 39; The Man: 9; and the Night: 2. From this evidence it can be concluded that the companions did not support the Wahhabi's doctrine on divine attributes.
The Wahhabis believe that they are the only true Muslims because they uphold divine unity while other Muslims are idolaters who deserve to lose their lives and possessions. According to them, a person must not be considered a Muslim even if he pronounces al-Shahadatain, the two testimonies, that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his apostle if he also believes that he could be blessed by visiting the Prophet's mosque and ask for his intercession.
They maintain that any Muslim who professes such beliefs is an idolater whose idolatry is a worse kind than that of Pre-Islamic people who worshipped idols and planets.
In his book Kashful al-Shubuhat, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab called all Muslims, with the exception of his followers, idolaters about 24 times. Other labels he used to describe them were: heretics, idols' worshippers apostates, anti-divine unity, enemies of divine unity, Allah's enemies and perfidious Muslims in 20 different parts of the same book. His followers copied him in this practice.1
It is essential to ask here if this doctrine was truly based on a consensus of learned scholars or is it a Wahhabi bida' or corruption? Ibn Hazim, the well- known Sunni scholar, asserted that «a Muslim can not be called a heretic or a sinner on the bases of his opinions whether made in the form of a doctrine or a religious decree. After mentioning numerous religious scholars who endorsed this viewpoint he concluded that it was the consensus of all Companions who commented on it.»2
According to Ibn Taimia only the Khawarij judged other Muslims to be heretics on the bases of their sins and learned opinions or deductions.3 As such, the Wahhabis have no precedent supporting this bida' except the infamous Khawarij.
Surprising, there are many similarities between the Wahhabi and the Khawarij which distinguish them from the rest of the Muslim. Some of these common points follow.
1. The Khawarij disagreed with all Muslims by maintaining that whoever commits a cardinal sin is a heretic. The Wahhabis copied them by equating heresy with committing what they considered to be sins.1
2. The Khawarij decreed that if committing cardinal sins become common in a Muslim land then it deserved to be considered dar harb, literally a land of war and those who live in it forfeit their lives and possessions.
This is also the Wahhabi's verdict on the nation of Islam if they believe that it is permissible to travel to the Prophet's tomb and the shrines of pious men and ask for their intercession with Allah, though they worship only Allah and perform good deeds.
It is clear from the previous two points that the Wahhabis are more disruptive and evil than the Khawarij While the khawarij based their verdict of heresy on deeds that all Muslims agreed on being cardinal sins, the Wahhabis chose acts which are not actually sins but favourable deeds performed by devout early Muslims including the Prophet's Companions.
3. The Wahhabis and the Khawarij are similar in their strict application of religion and their ossified interpretations of its doctrines. Thus when the Khawarij read the Quranic verse: «Judgment belongs to Allah» they said that whoever allowed resort to settlement is an idolator. 'There is no judgment but Allah's' became their slogan. And though it is indisputable it was misapplied to justify their deviant ways. This attitude illustrates their ignorance of Islam and rigid thinking since the principle of settlement of dispute through adjudicator or third-party intervention was established by the Holy Quran, the Prophet's Tradition and the deeds of the Companions and early Muslims. It is also supported by common logic.
Similarly, the Wahhabis interpreted the following verses:
«You alone we worship and You alone we pray for help».2
«Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own permission».3
No intercession shall avail with Him but that which He Himself allow».4
To mean that anyone who justifies visiting the Prophet's Mosque or the shrines of pious Muslim and ask for their intercession is an idolator. They considered such acts as tantamount to worshipping the Prophet or those pious Muslims instead of Allah. Accordingly, they declared that there is no deity but Allah and there is no intercession except His.
While these heated declarations are indisputable, the intentions behind them are open to suspicions. The Wahhabis chose to ignore the tradition established by the Companions and early Muslims regarding the legality of visiting the Prophet's Mosque and other shrines and asking for intercession.
4. Ibn Taimia observed that the deviant group the Khawarij was the first bida' or corruption in Islam because its followers judged other Muslims as heretics and legalized killing them.5
It can be added that the Wahhabia, and for the same reason, is the last bida' in Islam.
5. Some of the Prophet's comments on the rise of the Khawarij and their deviation from Islam also apply to the Wahhabis. Consider, for example, the Prophet's saying that: «a group of people shall emerge from the east who reads the Quran without understanding it. They shall deviate from it like an arrow missing its target. Shaving the head shall be their distinguishing characteristic.»6 In commenting on this saying, al-Qastalani said that «'due east' means east of al-Medina such as Najid and further.»7
Najid is the birthplace of Wahhabia from which it spread to other places. Also, shaving their heads was one of the Wahhabis' established tradition which was mandatory for all their followers including women. None of the deviant groups who predated them was known to impose it. Some of the religious scholars who witnessed the rise of this movement maintained that there is no need to write books to refute the Wahhabia because it is sufficient to repeat the Prophet's saying that 'Shaving the head is their distinguishing characteristic,' since none has done it before them.8
6. The Prophet described the Khawarij as «those who will slaughter Muslims and leave the pagans unharmed.» This also applies to the Wahhabis who fought only Muslims. Their scholars and books also call for waging war on other Muslims only.9
7. Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Omar described the Khawarij as «having applied verses revealed regarding pagans to the believers.»10 Ibn Abbas is reported to have said on the same subject:
Don't be like the Khawarij who interpreted some [verses] of the Quran to apply to the faithful. Those verses were revealed regarding followers of other divine messages and pagans. The Khawarij were ignorant of their meanings and as a result they killed [Muslims] and looted their possessions.
The Wahhabis followed suit by applying verses revealed in the case of idolaters to the believers.
8. We can now imagine the following dialogue between a Sunni and a Wahhabi:
-The Wahhabi: The Hanabila [i.e. followers of Imam Ibn Hanbal] books are also ours. Which of these books do you disapprove of? If you indeed have something against them then you must cite their books and not their critics!
-The Sunni: What do you think of the Karamita? [a dissident group formed during the Abbasid rule].
-The Wahhabi: They are pagans and idolaters.
-The Sunni: But they claim adherence to the Prophet Household's doctrines and that their books are also theirs. But the books of the Prophet Household contain nothing but words of enlightenment and truth.
-The Wahhabi: The Qaramita were liars and historians have demonstrated their heresy and falsification.
-The Sunni: Then you accept evidence presented by historians?
-The Wahhabi: Yes! Imam al-Shafi said that the historian's methodology in relying on multiple sources is better, in his opinion, than the acceptance of a single source by the narrators of the Prophet's Tradition.
-The Sunni: Then you must accept what the historians considered as evidence of the Wahhabi heresy. A person's deed may be held as evidence against him or her even if he denies doing it. And when the Qaramita legalized murdering Muslims and stealing their possessions no doubt regarding their heresy remained. This also applies to your Wahhabi masters.
-The Wahhabi: (was angry and speechless).
- The Sunni then added: What is your opinion of the description of the Khawarij as heretics who shall be punished with Hell's fire?
-The Wahhabi replied: The consensus is that the Khawarij deviated from the true path and thus incurred Allah's wrath. But the Khawarij were put to rout at the Nahrawan battle and the Wahhabis do not belong to them!
-The Sunni said: Why do you think the Khawarij deserved Allah's wrath? was it because of the inadequacy of their prayers and fasting?
-The Wahhabi: No!
-The Sunni: Was it then because of their devotion, or recital of the Quran or paying lipservice to the truth?
-The Wahhabi: No!
-The Sunni persisted: Why then? Tell me!
-The Wahhabi stammered and could not manage a reply.
-The Sunni: There is one and only one reason for incurring Allah's wrath and that is legalizing the slaughter of innocent Muslims and the theft of their possessions after calling them heretics and also whoever makes the claim that he is the only true Muslim. Anyone who commits such deeds and makes such claims deserves the same fate.
The Ghulat or extremist are those who went to extremes in exalting a person or persons to the extent of raising him or them above the ranks of ordinary human beings.
At the same time of the rise of Wahhabia in Najid, another person was preaching a new doctrine which renewed much of what has disappeared of the beliefs of the first Ghulats who deified Imam Ali and other members of the Prophet Household. His teachings were similar to those of Ibn Abdul Wahab in labeling his opponents as heretics. He actually went further than the Wahhabia founder by attacking most of the Prophet's Companions and calling them heretics.1
The name of that man was Shaikh Ahmed al-Ihsaie (died 1241 AH.) His followers were thus known as al-Shaikhia. He was succeeded by Khathim al-Rashti who established his headquarters at Kerbala in southern Iraq.
The Wahhabi's attitudes toward this movement is interesting. As history report, the Wahhabis attacked Karbala where al-Rashti and his followers resided. As their custom in all their military campaigns, the Wahhabis sacked the city, slaughtering thousands of innocent men, women and children and looting and destroying houses and shops.
But they guaranteed al-Rashti's personal safety and declared that anyone entering his house shall be safe. This special treatment of this group and their leader unveils the true nature of the Wahhabi and exposes the falsehood of their claim of opposing idolatry and defending divine unity.
At this point, it may be useful to compare this position with a similar one by Ibn Taimia, whom the Wahhabis claim to follow, toward another extremist group, namely the Yazidis. The Yazidis exalted Yazid ibn Muawiya whose un-Islamic deeds were enumerated earlier. A branch of this sect was named al-Adawia after Udai ibn Musafir whom they exalted along with Yazid.
Ibn Taimia who was a contemporary of this sect maintained an inexplicably untypical attitude toward this group. Famed for his extreme opinions and fierce attacks on Islamic sects swiftly judging them to be deviant and heretic, he wrote a letter to this group addressing them as faithful Muslims. In this civil and well-wishing letter we find none of his offending style and usual labels which he used in communicating with or writing on other Islamic groups such as the Asharia, the Imamiya Shia, the Zaidis, Mutazila, Murajia and others.
His letter to this group begins as follows:2
From Ahmed ibn Tairnia to whoever receives this letter of the Muslims who belong to the Sunna and follow the exemplary, blessed, and learned shaikh Udai ibn Musafir al-Umawi. Allah has mercy on him and all those who follow his path.. May Allah lead them to His path and obey Him and His Prophet.
This shows that Ibn Taimia considered this deviant group as Sunni Muslim in variance with the consensus identifying them as extremists, heretics and idolaters who did not worship only Allah.
Muslims are obliged to give first priority to upholding Muslims' interest. But do the Wahhabis actually adhere to this principle? Did they ever oppose colonial and imperialist plots against Muslim countries? What contributions did they make to counter the imperialist and Zionist interests in Muslim countries? And finally is it true that they are loyal to Western powers and have helped them to gain access to Muslims' resources, and thus compromising their sovereignty and dignity?
It is clear to every Muslim that the Wahhabis have faithfully served Western interests in Islamic countries. Furthermore, history of this group since the early days of its founder reveal not the slightest concern for developing Muslim communities through fighting poverty and illiteracy and upholding the rule of sharia and justice. Instead the Wahhabis concentrated on labeling Muslims as heretics and idolaters who deserve to be put to death and their possessions looted. Nothing catches their interest and fires their enthusiasm except finding a grave which they believe must be destroyed or attacking anyone who asks the Prophet for intercession with Allah.
Under this banner they launched a vicious campaign against Muslims, murdering, looting and spreading discord and schism. But the safety of Muslim countries and communities against foreign attack was never one of their concerns. Thus, the Wahhabi princes and religious leaders turned a blind eye to the occupation of Jerusalem, the fate of Bosnian and Lebanese Muslim and the American hegemony over Islamic countries and exploitation of their oil resources.
At the same time they are outraged by the tomb of Hamza ibn Abd al- Mutalib which the Companions visited and prayed at and by the shrine of the Prophet's grandson, al-Hussain ibn Ali which the Companions and early Muslims travelled long distances to visit it - and even during the lifetime of Ahmed ibn Hanbal as mentioned earlier. It is also pertinent to wonder why those Wahhabis are not moved by the embargo imposed on the Libyan people as they were by the gifts they found at the Prophet's tomb.
It is regrettable that so much of their time, effort and financial resources have been squandered on trivial issues which attract and deceive only the simple-minded. Why the Wahhabis choose to focus on such issues can be answered in the following points:
First, their minds are closed and their thinking is rigid and superficial. As their writings and arguments indicate, they appear to be incapable of any profound thoughts.
Second, they fail to take into consideration basic facts about human nature and current developments in human societies. This is clearly seen in their disregard of religious, social sciences and scientific research and their total devotion to secondary and trivial issues which have no significance for the present times.
Third, their blunt language, strong criticism and obtuse viewpoints indicate that they hold no good intentions for the Islamic nation and its welfare.
Fourth, their open loyalty to Islam's enemies is a fact requiring no further proof. It is now clear to all that the Wahhabis are subservient to the West more than any other faction. As a result of this blind loyalty, the invading Zionist and imperialist forces have found it easy to penetrate Islamic countries and to destroy or plunder their resources and subjugate their populations.
The Wahhabis have given these foreign powers all the support they needed to realize their selfish objectives. This support has also made possible the establishment of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Muslim nation, and they continue to give it direct and indirect support.
The Wahhabis have also consistently helped pro-West regimes to put down liberation movements and to suppress the Islamic reawakening movement which has given them and other unpopular regimes a strong cause for worry.
First, on visiting the Prophet's tomb, the following evidence is presented:
1. Prophet Muhammad said: «Whoever visits me after my death is as if he had visited me in my lifetime.»1
2. Prophet Muhammad said: «Whoever visits me at al-Medina I shall be his witness and intercede on his behalf on Judgment Day.»2
3. Prophet Muhammad said: «Whoever visits me at al-Medina shall be at my side on Judgment Day.»3
4. The Prophet also said: «Whoever visits my tomb will entitled to my intercession.»4
5. Imam Malik said: If a man wants to visit the Prophet's tomb let him turn his back to the Qibla (i.e. the Kaba in Mecca), face the Prophet and call a blessing on him and supplicate.5
6. Followers of Imam al-Shafi advised visitors of the Prophet's tomb to stand facing the tomb with their backs to the Qibla. This was also Ahmed ibn Hanbal's instruction.6
7. In his book entitled Al-Ilal wa al-Su'alat, Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Hanbal (son of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal) wrote: «I asked my father if it is permissible for a person to touch the Prophet's minber, i.e. pulpit, and to seek blessings by touching and kissing it and do the same at the Prophet's tomb, and he answered me: It is allowed.»7
8. Al-Tabari said: «It is permissible to kiss and touch the [Prophet's] tomb and that was the tradition of religious and pious persons.»8
9. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq reported that Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, used to visit her uncle's, Hamza, tomb every Friday.9
Second, on asking for the Prophet's intercession, we present the following testimonies:
1. The Prophet said in his supplication: «O Allah, by the right of supplicants...»10
2. Al-Sawi al-Hanbali wrote in his book Al-Mustawib on the subject of visiting the Prophet's tomb: 'The visitor should approach the tomb's wall, facing it with his back to the Qibla and the pulpit to his left.' He also described the procedure for supplication at the tomb as follows: «O Allah, you have addressed the Prophet in Your Book: 'And if when they do themselves injustice by committing sins they can come to you to beg Allah's forgiveness and the Prophet beseeches Allah to forgive them.' So I have come to your Prophet to ask for forgiveness and I beseech You to grant me forgiveness as You have granted it to those who visited him in his lifetime. O Allah I ask You in the name of Your Prophet..'
3. In the supplication of Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain he said: «O Lord, deliver me from sadness by the right of Muhammad and his Household.»11
4. The Hanbali shaikh Abu Ali al-Khala said: «Whenever something worries me I would visit the tomb of [Imam] Musa ibn Jafar and ask for his intercession, and Allah always granted me what I asked for.»12
5. Imam al-Shafi said: «I seek blessings through Abi Hanifa by visiting his tomb daily. If I need anything I would perform a short prayer, visit his tomb and implore Allah to grant me my wish. My supplications were always answered.»13
6. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Mo'amal said: «We accompanied Imam Abi Bakr ibn Khuzaima, Abi Ali al-Thaqafi and a group of religious scholars on a visit to the tomb of [Imam] Ali ibn Musa al- Rida in Toos (Persia). I was astonished by the high respect shown by Ibn Khuzaima towards the tomb and his supplications at it.»14
7. Ibn Taimai said: Ahmed ibn Hanbal, as reported in Minsak al-Mirwithi, allowed asking for the Prophet's intercession and supplicating at his tomb. Other sources such as Ibn Abi al-Dunia, al-Baihaqi, al-Tabarani have also confirmed this, according to Ibn Taimia.15
A significant number of Muslim scholars have countered the Wahhabi movement with books and dissertations refuting their beliefs and exposing the falsehood of their arguments and their deviation from the Holy Book, The Traditions and the faith of early Muslims. A list of some of these books follows:
1. Al-Khawaja al-Sirhindi, Al-Usool al-Arba fi Tardeed al-Wahhabia.
2. Al-Shaikh al-Mushrifi al-Maliki, Idhar al-Ukook mimin Mana' al- Tawasil bi al-Nabi wa al-Wali al-Sadooq.
3. Muhammad ata-Allah, Al-Aqwa'l al-Mardia fi al-Rad ala al-Wahhabia.
4. Al-Shaikh Tahir Sunbil al-Hanafi, Al-Intisar lil Awlia' al-Abrar.
5. Al-Shaikh Ibraheem al-Rawi, Al-Awraq al-Baghdadia fi al-Hawadith al-Najdia.
6. Al-Shaikh Salman al-Azami, Al-Baraheen al-Satia'.
7. Al-Shaikh Hamadallah al-Dajawi, Al-Basair li Munkiri al-Tawasil.
8. Nassir al-Saeed, Tarikh al-Saud.
9. Al-Shaikh Abdullah ibn Abdu Latif al-Shafi, Tajreed Saif al-Jihad li Muda'i al-Ijtihad.
10. Al-Shaikh Abdullah ibn Ibraheem Merghani, Tahreth al-Aqbia ala al- Istiqatha bi al-Anbia wa al-Awlia.
11. Al-Shaikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Rahman al-Hanbali, Tahakum al- Muqalideen bi min Ida' Tajdeed al-Deen.
12. Abu Hamid ibn Marzook, Al-Tawasil bi al-Nabi wa bi al-Saliheen.
13. Al-Shaikh Ibraheem Hilmi, Jalal al-Haq fi Kashf Ahwal Shirar al- Khalq.
14. Malik Dawood, Al-Haqaiq al-Islamia fi al-Rad ala al-Mazaim al- Wahhabia bi Adi'lat al-Kitab wa al-Sunna al-Nabawia.
15. Ahmed ibn Zaini Dahlan, Khulasat al-Kalamfi Umara al-Balad al- Haram.
16. ----------, Al-Durur al-Sania fi al-Ra'd ala al-Wahhabia.
17. ----------, Fitnat al-Wahhabia.
18. Al-Shaikh Ismail Al-Tamimi al-Maliki al-Tunisi, Ra'd ala Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab.
19. Al-Fakih al-Hanbali Abdul Muhsin al-Ushaikiri, Al-Ra'd ala al- Wahhabia.
20. Al-Shaikh Ibraheem ibn Abdul Kadir al-Riahi al-Tunisi al-Maliki, Ra'd ala al-Wahhabia.
21. Al-Shaikh Ibraheem ibn Uthman al-Samnoodi al-Masri, Sa'dat al- Darain fi al-Ra'd ala al-Furkatain al-Wahhabia wa Muqalidat al-Dahria.
22. Abu Hamid Marzook, Al-Saif al-Batir li Unq al-Munkir ala al- Akabir.
23. Shah Fadhil Rasool Al-Qadiri, Saif al-Jabar al-Maslool ala A'dai al- Abrar.
24. Al-Shaikh Dawood ibn Sulaiman al-Baghdadi, Sulh al-Ikhwan fi al- Ra'd ala min Qal bi al-Shurk wa al-Kufran.
25. Al-Shaikh Sulaiman ibn Abdul Wahab, Al-Sawaiq al-Ilahia fi al-Ra'd ala al-Wahhabia.
26. ----------, Fasil al-Khitab fi al-Ra'd ala Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab.
27. Al-Shaikh Jameel Sidqi al-Zahawi, Al-Fajr al-Sadiq.
28. Muhsin al-Ameen, Kashf al-Irtiab fi Atba' Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab.
29. Muhammad Jawad Mugania, Hathi Hia al-Wahhabia.