Wa `Alaikum us-Salaamu wa Rahmatullah,
Dear Shaykh Abū Jaʿfar,
I hope this mail receives you in your best health.
Perhaps you remember our Mail Exchange. I have some Questions regarding Muḥammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab and his relation to his Father.
1. Did Shaykh ʿAbd al-Wahhab really warn people from his son?
Some Najdis with whom I’ve discussed say, that this is a lie which (the najdis call him Shaykh „al-Kadhibin“ )(astaghfirullah) Aḥmad Zayni Dahlan has introduced first.
The sources I have quoted for opposition to Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab have nothing to do with his father warning against him. In the literature, it is stated that he was angry about him and his beliefs. This can be gleaned from the sources in Misbah ul-Anam by Imam `Alawi al-Haddad (who knew Sulaiman ibn `Abdul Wahhab and had taught him and visited them from Yemen) and as-Suhub ul-Wabilah by Imam Muhammad ibn Humaid an-Najdi (who quotes from his uncles and great uncles, who actually witnessed the movement and its’ rise.
It makes little sense that a chain of transmission from the author to his uncles and great uncles and father can be weak. As-Suhub is not a book of hadith, it is a book of history. Eye witness accounts cannot be weak because they are eye witness accounts.)
Further to this, Imam Zayni Dahlan cites where he derived his sources from and how. His history book, Khulasat ul-Kalam is second only to the Ottoman records. The same goes for his other records. As for his being a Shaikh of the liars, it will be problematic for Salafiyyah as all the chains of transmissions of hadith scholars post him, including salafis who claim they studied hadith have him in the transmission.
they therefore have a liar in their transmission. So then where are the true chains of transmission in this era? Remember that the Indians who claim to have studied hadith have them in their transmission and so do those in the western Arab lands. Finally, why was he chosen by the Ottoman judiciary and those in the Hijaz to be head over his madhhab if he was unreliable?
I found something like that also in as-Suhub al-Wabilah, but the Najdi said, that this is a very weak Isnād (the Shaykh says he has heard from a group of people who’ve heard…) etc.
Also they narrate, that Abdulwahhab has praised his son Muḥammad (we can find this in Al Bajjānu wal Ish-hār).
The quote supplied is from literature 100 years after the movement (the same thing goes for books that are 100 years later that claim he never made takfir but he just warned or that he said he had no problem with madhhabs or sufis and such) and they are not even linked to the scene of the events. Almost all the literature that I have quoted is from eye witnesses who were either natives or quoted second hand from native inhabitants/eye witnesses.
Then he claims, that the saying in Suhub al-Wabilah can’t be true, because the author narrates that Abdulwahhab was angry at his son, because he didn’t wanted to learn fiqh. But we know that Muḥammad ibn Abdulwahhab has an Isnād in Fiqh going back to Ghulam al-Khallāl, and he was a student of Shaykh Muḥammad Hayat as-Sindi and Abdullah b. Ibrāhīm b. Sayf b. Abdillah an-Najdi.
No, Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab does not have a teaching license, which would require memorisation and details and such. He is in no chain of transmission of any hadith from the Hijaz region, while the aforementioned authors most certainly are in fact.
The claims to his lineage in different subjects is well known. If you check in the bibliography, the agreed upon sources of Salafiyyah list no such thing, but rather that he narrated some hadith. There is no chain of transmission for the collections and salafis only have Imam Muhammad Hayat as-Sindi narrating the hadith. Salafis often do this action.
At the beginning of the dars on hadith, most hadith memorisers will start off quoting their chain of transmission. This is exactly what is in the well known biographical literature of Salafiyyah itself. The author of the chain of transmission mentioned nothing of Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab having permission or being at any level. This chain would be known by any student in his class as it would have been introduced in the beginning.
I have heard durus of Shaikhs Muhammad Abu Shahbah (recorded), Muhammad Hasan ash-Shanqiti (live) and others and they do the same. I am not a scholar because I sat in the class, heard the hadith and then quoted it. Produce the scholars that held him in the rank of a scholar. The same applies to the claims about chains back to al-Khallal, as-Sindi, an-Najdi and others. Please refer to the quotes of all the scholars at the beginning of the book for further details.
The statement in As-Suhub had nothing to do with fiqh. Ask for him to read you the manuscript or 1995 printed edition before corruption by Bakr Abu Zayd or from the direct text.
How would you answer to these?
2. You wrote in „The Divine Lightning“, that Muḥammad b. Abdulwahhab changed after his trip to Bilad ash-Sham through Iraq, cause he found the books of Shaykh Muḥammad Amir as-Sanani and Ibn Taymiyyah.
No, I did not. Read pp. 25-26. The change came after these books had been found but his theology was fully codified when he had made the detour because he read the extracts by himself rather than having them read to him. There was no mention that he found the books while he was in Iraq or Sham.
Remember that Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah’s books were not in mass circulation as they are today as there is much complexity. Teachers often read/taught them privately as can be seen from the chains of transmission from Imam `Abdul `Aziz Al al-Hanbali (d. 1295 AH), may Allah have mercy on him, who narrated it only to students who had memorised a certain amount. People did not merely have them in their libraries as has happened today.
But Najdis claim, that Muḥammad b. Abdulwahhab never changed and that he always had this opinion. Al-Bassam writes in his work: „ʿUlama al-Najd“:
„One day Shaykh Muḥammad Hayat as-Sindi saw Shaykh Muḥammad b. Abdulwahhab staying at the Room oft he Prophet, while the normal people were doing things of bida and shirk tawassul. His Shaykh Muḥammad Hayat asked him, what he thinks about these people, and he answered: „They are doing wrong things in their zeal, while thinking that they are behaving right.“ (P. 131)
The quote you gave needs to be checked as it actually occurred in Madinah when he was watching the people at the Rawdah. This is according to eye witness literature as quoted by Imam as-Sindi himself to `Alawi al-Haddad in Misbah ul-Anam. I have mentioned this on pp. 30-31 of the Divine Lightning. This is also discussed in authoritative Salafi literature that can be found in the bibliography section of the book.
So this is a proof that Muhammad never changed his mind, cause this happened in Makkah. Also it is said, that Shaykh Muḥammad gave him Ijāzah. But you have wrote in The Diving Lightining, that it is not known that any of his teachers considered him as an ʿalim, whos able to give rulings.
Again, this has already been addressed before, so evidence will still need to be brought by those claiming his scholarship. Please read the section on all the scholars again as none of those quoted held him in the post of a scholar. This is on pp. 25-57
Also al-Bassam says: „The Shaykh discussed with the ʿUlamāʾ about their Shirk and the Shirk oft he normal folk. His teacher Muḥammad al-Majmuʿi supported him in this and the true ʿAqidah entered his heart.“ (P. 133)
No, the issue discussed by the Shaikh had to do with the people who would sometimes do acts of tasawwuf naked and also impermissible acts at the graves. This issue is affirmed by all literature but the issue has to do with the principle of condemnation; the condemnation of the action was permitted. However it would not be until 1153 AH that his theology would be revealed in full in which he said the people doing the actions were not only wrong but pagans. Again by going through the bibliography this literature can be found.
And it is also said, that he wrote his Kitāb at-Tawḥīd in Basrah.
No, this is not stated in the book under the introductory chapter of the Khawarij. I have not written that at all. However this is discussed in the text `Aqidat ush-Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab is-Salafiyyatu wa Atharuha fil Islami, which is the most authoritative text of Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab and the most exhaustive. However the claim that it was written in al-Basrah is upheld by other documents but there is some dispute about it. And what is more, there is dispute if Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab even wrote the whole book without help from an underwriter.
Al-Bassam says, that he has found the books of Ibn Taymiyyah etc. in al-Ahsa and not in ash-Sham, and that Muḥammad b. Abdulwahhab started with his dawa while his father was alive, but in The Divine Lightning you’ve wrote, that Muḥammad b. Abdulwahhab waited till his death of his father. Al-Bassam also says, that Abdulwahhab criticized his son because he was to hard on them, not because his dawah itself.
3. What do you say to Ibn Abdilhadis refutation of Shifa as-Siqam?
It’s irrelevent and has nothing to do with the cult of Salafiyyah and was not cited under any of the foundational disputes between the scholars and Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab. And what is more, the author’s name is Ibn al-Mabrid, as there are some six or more Ibn `Abdul Hadi personalities.
Like always: I’m writing to you because I believe you have a good portion of knowledge about this topics, and my Questions are for learning, not critic.
Thank you for your time. Please answer me even if you are working on the main answer – just so that I know that you have received it. Please help me in understanding these points and support me in our work against this cult.
Please read the entire book from cover to cover before asking any further questions as much of what you have asked I have already answered. It may be the questions that you have are answered in the book. this was written over a long duration of time so please take the time to read through the entire thing before sending through any more questions.
brother in Islam,