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.
- 1. Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, Al-Ra'sal al-A'mlia al-Tisa', p. 79; Ibid., Fatih al-Majeed, pp. 40-41; Ibid., Arba' al-Quaid; Ibid., Kashful al-Shubuhat; al-San'ani, Tat'hear al-I'tiqad, pp. 7,12,25.
- 2. Ibn Hazim, Al-Fasil, vol. 2, p. 247; Al-Sharani, Al-Yawaqeet wa al- Jawahir, ch. 58.
- 3. Ibn Taimia, Majmut Fatawa, vol. 13, p. 20.