Rectifying False Notions on an Important Issue – Shaykh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez As-Sindee
AUTHOR: Saalih bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez As-Sindee
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com
In this treatise, the author dispels many of the false claims and accusations that are spread and circulated about Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab died 1206H] by using the Imaam’s own testimony from statements he made in his writings. The author brings seven of the most popular misconceptions that surround Imaam Ibn Abdil-Wahhaab and his da’wah and refutes them through the words of the Imaam, as has been recorded in his writings and collected by reliable sources into compilations.
By doing this we clearly see the Imaam’s position with regard to these fundamental issues based on his own testimony and not having to rely on someone else’s explanation in his defense. We hope that through this treatise, those who have doubt about Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab and his call, can gain clarity about the true state of affairs and not listen to the lies and slander of his opponents who seek and strive to discredit the tremendous efforts of this great reformer.
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For many years and long decades now, there has been much talk and debate going on about Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) and his da’wah between those who agree and those who disagree, and those who accuse him and those who defend him.
But anyone who looks at the words of those who oppose the Shaikh, those who attach all kinds of accusations to him, will find that their words are void of any proof. This is since there can’t be found any basis for what they claim either in his statements or in his books. Rather, they are just allegations mentioned by those in the past and repeated by those in later times, nothing more.
I think a fair and just person would only agree that the best and most correct way to find out the truth about him would be by returning to and taking from the main source (i.e. the Shaikh himself).
So the books of the Shaikh are present and his words are preserved. And by looking into them, one can find out the truth or falsehood of what is being spread about him. And as for the claims that are void of evidences then they are just a mirage and not real.
In these following pages, I will present brief excerpts from the speech of Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab, using quotes from him, which I relied on from the trustworthy books that have collected all of his statements. And I have not added anything to them except for arranging them in order.
These quotes consist of responses from the Shaikh himself against the most popular accusations that his opponents launch against him, in which he asserts the opposite of what they claim. I am certain that, by Allaah’s Guidance, these responses will suffice in clarifying the truth to those who seek it.
As for those who reject the Shaikh and oppose his Da’wah, those who spend their time spreading falsehood and circulating lies, then I say to them: Lie against your own selves for indeed the truth is clear and indeed the Religion of Allaah is victorious, and the sun shines bright, one cannot cover it with his hands.
So here is the speech of the Shaikh, which disproves these claims and refutes all of your accusations. So if you have some speech from him that contradicts it then bring it out in the open and do not conceal it. And if you can’t do this, and you will not be able to do it, then I counsel you with one piece of advice: That you stand up for Allaah, free from every vain desire or bigotry, and ask Him sincerely to show you the truth and to guide you to it. Then reflect on what this man said – did he bring forth something better than the Speech of Allaah and the speech of His Messenger?
Then reflect a second time: Is there any other way to salvation than speaking the truth and believing in the truth? So if the truth becomes clear to you, then return to your guidance and go back to the truth, for that is better than lingering upon falsehood. And to Allaah return all the affairs.
THE REALITY OF THE DA’WAH OF SHAIKH MUHAMMAD BIN ‘ABDIL-WAHHAAB
It is proper to begin this discussion by relaying some brief words from Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab, may Allaah have mercy on him, in which he explains the reality of what he was calling to, far removed from the dark clouds of propaganda that his opponents have placed as an obstacle between many people and that Da’wah. He said:
“I say, and to Allaah belongs the Praise and the Blessing, and all might is by Him, that my Lord has guided me to a Straight Path, an upright religion, the pure monotheistic way of Ibraaheem, and he wasn’t from the polytheists. And I, all praise be to Allaah, do not call to a madh-hab (way) of Sufism or (a madh-hab) of a Fiqh scholar or a speaker or one of the Imaams that they magnify.
On the contrary, I call to Allaah alone and with no partner. And I call to the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger, which he advised the first part of his ummah and the last part of it to abide by. And I hope that I will not reject the truth if it comes to me. In fact, I call on Allaah, His angels and all of His creation to bear witness that if one of you brings one word of truth to me that I should accept it immediately and throw against the wall everything that opposes it, from the statements of my Imaams, with the exception of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for indeed he doesn’t speak anything but the truth.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/37-38]
“And I, all praise be to Allaah, am a follower (muttabi’) and not an innovator (mubtadi’).” [Mu’allafaat ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab: 5/36]
“The correct representation of the affair is that I say: No one should be supplicated to except Allaah, alone and with no partner, as Allaah says in His Book: ‘So do not call unto anyone along with Allaah.’ [Surah Al-Jinn: 18] And He said about the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
‘Say: It is not in my power to cause you harm or to bring you to the Right Path.’ [Surah Al-Jinn: 21] So this is the Speech of Allaah, which the Messenger of Allaah mentioned to us and counseled us with. And this is what stands between me and you, for if he mentioned something besides this, then it is a lie and a slander.” [Ad-Durar as- Saniyyah: 1/90-91]
THE FIRST ISSUE: THE SHAIKH’S BELIEF WITH REGARD TO THE PROPHET
The Shaikh is charged by his enemies with terrible accusations related to his belief concerning the Prophet. These accusations are as follows:
First: That he didn’t believe he was the last of the Prophets. This is what is claimed (!), but yet all the books of the Shaikh are filled with a refutation of this misconception and they testify that this claim is a lie. Some examples are:
“I believe that our Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the seal (last) of the prophets and messengers. And the Eemaan (Faith) of a servant (person) is not valid unless he believes in his messengership and bears witness to his prophethood.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/32]
“So the most prosperous of creatures and those who will have the greatest blessing and highest level are those who are foremost in following him (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and in conforming with him in knowledge and action.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 2/21]
Second: That he violates the right of the Prophet and doesn’t give him the position he deserves. In order to find out the reality of this claim, I will quote some of his statements in which he clearly asserts what his belief is with regard to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
“Because Allaah wanted His Tawheed to be supreme and His Religion to be completed and because He wanted His Word to be the highest and the Word of the disbelievers to be the lowest, He sent Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the last of the prophets and the loved one of the Lord of creation. So he did not cease to be known throughout every generation, being mentioned in the Torah of Moosaa and the Gospel of ‘Eesaa, until Allaah brought forth that pearl from between the tribes of Kinaanah and Zahra.
So he brought him out during a period of time that was void of messengers, and guided him to the most upright of paths. So he had signs and indicators that proved his prophethood before he was even sent forth (with the message), which amazed the people of his time. And Allaah brought him up in a good manner. That’s why he was the noblest, the best mannered, the nicest neighbor, the most lenient and the most truthful in speech amongst his people. This was such that his people would call him ‘Al-Ameen’ (The Trustworthy One), because of what Allaah gave him from righteous conditions and praiseworthy characteristics.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 2/19, 90]
“He is the chief of the intercessors, possessor of the most praiseworthy station, and Aadam as well as those besides him will be under his banner.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/86]
“The first of the messengers was Nooh, and the last and most virtuous of them was Muhammad.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/143]
“He clarified with the most profound of clarifications (i.e. the Religion) and he completed and finalized it. He was the most sincere of creatures towards the servants of Allaah, and he was compassionate and merciful to the believers. He conveyed the message and fulfilled the trust, and he made true Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah. And he worshipped Allaah until certainty (i.e. death) reached him.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 2/21]
Likewise, he (rahimahullaah) mentioned that one of the benefits derived from the Prophet’s statement: “None of you truly believes until I become more beloved to him than his father, his son, and all of mankind” is the obligation of loving him above loving one’s self, family and wealth. [Kitaab at-Tawheed: 108]
Third: They claim that he rejected the Prophet’s intercession. The Shaikh responds to this misconception by saying:
“They claim that we reject the Prophet’s intercession. Far removed is Allaah from imperfections, this is a great slander. Rather, we bear witness before Allaah that the Messenger of Allaah is the intercessor and possessor of the praiseworthy station. We ask Allaah, the Most Generous, Lord of the Mighty Throne, that He allow him to intercede for us and that he resurrect us under his banner.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/63-64]
“No one rejects the Prophet’s intercession except for the people of innovation and misguidance. However, the intercession will not occur unless permission is granted first (by Allaah) and He is pleased with it, as Allaah says:
‘And no one will intercede except for he whom He is pleased with.’ [Surah Al- Anbiyaa: 28]
And He says:
‘Who is it that will intercede in His presence except by His permission.’ [Surah Al-Baqarah: 255]” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/13]
The Shaikh explains the reason why this false claim was spread about him:
“These people, when I mentioned to them what Allaah and His Messenger, as well as the scholars from all the groups, stated about the obligation of making the worship solely for Allaah and the prohibition of resembling the People of the Scripture who came before us in the aspect of taking their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allaah, they said to us: ‘You have degraded the status of the prophets, righteous people and the awliyaa (friends of Allaah)!’” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 2/50]
THE SECOND ISSUE: THE PROPHET’S HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
From the many accusations directed at the Shaikh is that he didn’t love the members of the Prophet’s Household and that he violated their rights. The response to this is that what is claimed is in contradiction to the true state of affairs. In fact, he, may Allaah have mercy on him, fully acknowledged the right that they had of being loved and honored, and he abided by it. In fact, he would even rebuke those who didn’t abide by this, as he said:
“Allaah has obligated certain rights for the members of the household of Allaah’s Messenger, which they have over the people. So it is not permissible for a Muslim to abandon their rights thinking that to be part of Tawheed. Rather this is from extremism. The only thing we reject is honoring them for the sake of the (false) claim that they have the right to be worshipped, as well as honoring those who claim this.” [Mu’allafaat ash-Shaikh: 5/284]
Whoever reflects on the life and history of the Shaikh will realize the truthfulness of what he stated here. It is enough to know that the Shaikh named six of his seven children with names from the Prophet’s Household, may Allaah be pleased with them: ‘Alee, ‘Abdullaah, Husayn, Hasan, Ibraaheem and Faatimah. This is a clear proof of the great love and respect he had for them.
THE THIRD ISSUE: THE WONDROUS OCCURRENCES OF THE AWLIYAA
Some people spread around that Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab denied the extraordinary occurrences (karaamaat) of the awliyaa (close friends of Allaah). What disproves this false claim is that the Shaikh has clearly affirmed in several places of his Creed the opposite of what is spread around about him concerning this issue. An example of this is the statements he makes in some of his speech in which he explains his belief and creed:
“And I affirm the karaamaat (wondrous occurrences) of the awliyaa.” [Ad-Durar As- Saniyyah: 1/32]
I wonder how the Shaikh can be accused of such a claim when he is the one who described those who deny the wondrous occurrences of the awliyaa as people of innovation and misguidance, when he said:
“And no one rejects the wondrous occurrences of the awliyaa except for the people of innovation and misguidance.” [Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah: 1/32]
THE FOURTH ISSUE: TAKFEER
From the greatest of misconceptions that are spread about the Shaikh and his followers is that they declare the general masses of Muslims to be disbelievers (i.e. takfeer), and that they claim that marrying them is not valid except for those who are part of them or those who join their group.
The Shaikh has refuted this misconception in numerous places, amongst them are: “The statement that we declare the Muslims to be disbelievers generally is from the lies of the enemies who wish to prevent people from this Religion. So we say: ‘Glorified and far removed are You (O Allaah), this is a tremendous slander!’ [Surah An-Noor: 16]” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/100]
“They have ascribed to us various lies, and so the fitnah has increased. Amongst these lies are: Spreading slander, which any sane person would be shy to transmit, not to mention be fooled by. An example of this is what you have mentioned that I deem all people to be disbelievers except for those who follow me, and that I claim that marrying them is not valid! How strange that such a notion could enter into the mind of a sane person! Would a Muslim say such a thing?! I absolve myself before Allaah from this claim, which only emanates from one with deficient intellect and no understanding. So may Allaah curse the people of evil and false objectives.” [Ad- Durar As-Saniyyah: 1/80]
“The person I deem to be a disbeliever is the one who knows the Religion of the Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), but then after coming to know it, turns to reviling it and forbidding the people from it and making enmity with those who adhere to it. This is the person that I declare to be a disbeliever. And the majority of the ummah (i.e. Muslims), all praise be to Allaah, are not like this.” [Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah: 1/73]
THE FIFTH ISSUE: THE WAY OF THE KHAWAARIJ
There are some people who accuse the Shaikh of being upon the beliefs of the Khawaarij, those who declare Muslims disbelievers because of sins. The response to this from the words of the Shaikh is as follows: He, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “I do not testify for any of the Muslims that he is in Paradise or the Hellfire except for those who Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) testified it for. However, I wish well for the good-doer and I fear for the evildoer. And I do not deem anyone amongst the Muslims to be a disbeliever due to a sin, nor do I extract him from the fold of Islaam.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/32]
THE SIXTH ISSUE: TAJSEEM
What is also spread about the Shaikh is that he was a mujassim, i.e. that he likened Allaah’s attributes to the creation’s attributes.
The Shaikh has mentioned his belief concerning this aspect, and he is far removed from the lies his opponents accuse him of. He says:
“From the Belief (Eemaan) in Allaah, is that one believes in what Allaah has described Himself with in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), without committing tahreef (distortion) or ta’teel (denial). Rather, he must believe that there is nothing equal to Allaah and that he is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. So he must not negate what Allaah described Himself with, nor should he distort the words from their true state, nor should he deny His Names and Attributes, nor should he say how Allaah’s Attributes are or resemble them to the creation’s attributes. This is because Allaah has no equals or rivals or similars, nor can He be compared to His creation.
Indeed Allaah is the most knowledgeable about Himself and about others, and He is the most truthful in words and the best in speech. So He has removed Himself from what His opponents from the people who commit takyeef and tamtheel have described Him with, and from what those who commit tahreef and ta’teel have negated from Him, as He says:
‘Far removed is your Lord, the Lord of Glory and Might, from what they ascribe to Him, and peace be on the Messengers. And all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all that is created.’ [Surah As-Saafaat: 180-182]” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/29] “It is well known that ta’teel is the opposite of tajseem, and those who commit this (ta’teel) are enemies of those who commit that (tajseem). The truth lies in between these two (extremes).” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 3/11]
THE SEVENTH ISSUE: OPPOSING THE SCHOLARS
Some people say that Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab opposed the rest of the scholars in what he called to, not turning to their statements or relying on their books. Rather, he introduced something new and brought forth a fifth madh-hab. The best person to clarify the reality of this issue is the Shaikh himself. He (rahimahullaah) said:
“We are blind followers of the Book and the Sunnah and the righteous predecessors of this ummah, as well as what is relied on from the opinions of the four Imaams: Abu Haneefah An-Nu’maan bin Thaabit, Maalik bin Anas, Muhammad bin Idrees and Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy on all of them.” [Mu’allafaat ash-Shaikh: 5/96]
“So if you hear that I have issued a ruling on something that does not conform with the unanimous agreement of the scholars, then reject my opinion.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/53]
“If you claim that the scholars are upon something different than what I am upon, then here are their books present.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 2/58]
“I challenge the follower of Abu Haneefah with the opinions of the old Hanafee scholars and also the followers of Maalik, Shaafi’ee and Hanbal with the opinions of the previous scholars of each madh-hab, who are relied upon.” [Ad-Durar as- Saniyyah: 1/82]
“In summary, the thing that I forbid is when one believes that someone other than Allaah can do things that it is not possible for anyone to do except Allaah. So if I said something to this effect from myself, then accuse me of that, or in a book you find, which doesn’t adhere to this, then accuse me with that also. Or if I quoted it from the people of my madh-hab, then accuse me of that. But if I stated it based on the Command of Allaah and His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and based on what the scholars in every madh-hab have unanimously agreed on, then it is not appropriate for a person who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to reject it due to the people of his time or the people of his country or because most of the people in his time reject it.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/76]
To conclude this discussion, we present two pieces of advice from the Shaikh:
First: For those who strive against this da’wah and its followers, conspiring against it and attaching all kinds of accusations and falsehoods to it, the Shaikh says to these people:
“I remind those who oppose me that the obligation upon the people is to follow what the Prophet counseled his ummah with (i.e. the Sunnah). And I say to them: The books are with you. Look in them and do not take any of my speech. However, when you come to know the words of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that are in your books then follow it even though most of the people oppose it…Do not (unconditionally) obey me or anyone else except for the command of Allaah’s Messenger, which is found in your books. And know that nothing can save you except for following Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This worldly life is temporary and it is not proper for someone with common sense to be forgetful about Paradise and Hell.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/89-90]
“I call those who oppose me to four things: Either the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger or to the Ijmaa’ (consensus) of the scholars. And if he refuses this then I call him to a mubaahalah.”  [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah: 1/55]
Second: To those who are confused about this matter, the Shaikh says: “You must constantly supplicate to Allaah and humble yourself before Him, especially during the times in which the invocations are answered, such as: the last part of the night, the last portion of the prayer and after the Adhaan.
And you must also use the supplications reported in the texts, especially the one that has been reported in the Saheeh, that he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say: ‘O Allaah, Lord of Jibraa’eel, Mikaa’eel and Israa’eel, Originator of the heavens and the earth, All-Knower of the Hidden and the Apparent, You will judge between Your servants in those matters which they differed on. Guide me in that which is differed on from the truth, by Your Will. Verily, You guide whom You will to a Straight Path.’
You must be persistent in saying this supplication before the One who answers the call of the distressed when he calls, and the One who guided Ibraaheem to oppose all of the people. And say: ‘O teacher of Ibraaheem, teach me.’
And if you find difficulty in opposing the people, then reflect on Allaah’s statement: ‘Then we placed you upon a Legislation from Our Command, so follow it, and do not follow the vain desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing before Allaah.’ [Surah Al-Jaathiyah: 18-19]
‘And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allaah’s Path.’ [Surah Al-An’aam: 116]
And reflect on the Prophet’s words found in the Saheeh: ‘Islaam began strange and it will return to being strange as it began’ and his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: ‘Verily Allaah will not snatch away knowledge…’ and his statement: ‘Stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khaleefahs who come after me’ and his statement: ‘And beware of newly invented matters, for indeed every innovation is a misguidance.’” [Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah: 1/42-43]
“And if it becomes clear to you that this is the truth in which there is no doubt, and that it is an obligation to spread it amongst the people and to teach it to the women and men, then may Allaah have mercy on the one fulfills his duty, repents to Allaah and acknowledges this to himself, for indeed a person who repents from a sin is like one who has no sin at all. May Allaah guide us and you and our brothers to that which He loves and is pleased with, and peace be on you.” [Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah: 2/43]
May Allaah send His peace and blessings on His slave and messenger, our prophet and loved one, Muhammad, as well as His family and all of his Companions.
 Translator’s Note: Tajseem comes from the word jism (body), and it literally means to make something into a body. This is the term applied when someone gives anthropomorphic (i.e. human-like) qualities to Allaah, by saying His hand is like my hand, and His seeing is like my seeing, etc.
 Translator’s Note: A Mubaahalah is when two people who are in opposition to one another come together to invoke Allaah’s curses on the one who is lying and upon falsehood between the two disputants.