What is a Wahhabi?

The term Wahhabi is always found to be at the center of controversy. This cannot be helped due to the nature of the cult. Whereas this term is commonly used by insincere people to mock and demonize, this is not the intent of the author, nor the intent of the many scholars that have merely used this term to make a clear the distinction between the rightly guided way and a misguided cult bearing the name Wahhabi.

     This cult following are called Wahhabis [1] only due to their blind following of the theology and dangerous ideologies of a man named Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab who appeared in the 11th century of Islam, AH. [2]

    A number of letters were written between the Ulemaa of the Hijaaz concerning Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab and his methods, and they referred to him and his followers as al-Wahhabiyyah. It was from here that the name for this cult became popularised.

     This is certainly the case with the refutation penned by the very chief scholar of Makkah al-Mukarramah, Shaykh ul-Islam, Imaam Ahmad Zayni Dahlan who was a first-hand witness to the appearance of the Wahhabi Threat. He titled this refutation “Fitnat ul-Wahhabiyyah” which is translated accurately as the Tribulation of the Wahhabi cult. Thus the name was not a term made up by the kuffar as some apologetic Wahhabis would like you to believe.

    There is even some evidence to suggest that the early followers of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab did label their group as the Wahhabiyyah up until this epithet became the fixed term to describe them as a misguided cult. It was only thereafter that the chiefs of the Wahhabiyyah wrote some letters in which they demanded that they be known as the Muwahidoon.[3] However, now and again some modern Wahhabi lecturers have been known to call themselves Wahhabis as if they were proud of the fact. Surprisingly, the most outstanding case was from the former grand Mufti of “Sa’udi” ‘Arabia, ‘Abdullah Bin Baz, [4] who used the term Wahhabi to refer the way of him and his Wahhabi brethren:

“The Wahhabiyyah are not new in rejecting all such innovations. Their creed is to hold fast to the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wasallam, and to follow his footsteps, and those of his rightly guided successors…The Wahhabiyyah believe in them, the way they reported without any alteration. The creed of the Wahhabiyyah is based upon fulfillment of witnessing that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and completely abandoning all innovations. This is the foundation of the Sa’udi regime and this is the view held by the scholars of Sa’udi Arabia. The hard attitude shown by the Sa’udi government is directed only against the superstitions and innovations in contradiction with Islam”[5]

     Yet the generality of modern day Wahhabis insist that the term is haram and insulting and present a number of arguments in which will be dealt with sufficiently.

     We have had many Islamic scholars past and present and western academics refer to the following of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab as Wahhabis. The Islamic scholar Jamil Effendi al-Zahawi [6] informs us that:

“The Wahhabiyya is a sect whose origin can be traced back to Muhammad Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. Although he first came on the scene in 1143 (1730 CE), the subversive current his false doctrine initiated took some fifty years to spread. It first showed up in Najd.”[7]

The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam:

“Wahhabis, a sect dominant in Sa’udi ‘Arabia and Qatar…Adherents of this sect are named after its founder, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab…” [8]

Encyclopedia Britannica:

“Wahhabiyah, the Muslim ‘puritan’ movement founded by Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab in the 18th  century in Najd, central ‘Arabia…” [9]

     Furthermore, there seems to be no shortage in the books of classical ‘Aqeeedah where the cults have been labelled with similar epithets. Therefore, labeling the misguided groups is indeed a practice of the rightly guided scholars, and it cannot be put down to an act of demonization.

     We have had many false cults that have broken themselves from the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and have been thus labelled accordingly. [10] Even the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, gave names to some of the cults and this was without any intent of demonization. The demonization committed by argumentative insincere people cannot be attributed to everybody who uses cult names to refer to such and such a cult. This labeling has not been done with the intention to mock and insult, it is merely the way that scholars have categorized and labelled them when documenting the deviance of each group.

     For example, if we were to walk into a shop and there were no labels on the tin food, then how would you differentiate between what is halal and what is haram? How do you know that you are not picking up some dog food, or a tin of pork sausages in brine, whereas you intend to buy a simple tin of halal beans? What about if you were to walk into a shop that sells medicines and the medicines had no labels? Without saying this would be detrimental to one’s health. Therefore the labeling is only a preventative measure to safeguard the common laity from being poisoned and taking what is forbidden for them

     The scholars did this so that the laymen from amongst the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah would avoid the false creed of such cults. Thus the laymen would know to avoid the Kharijites, Jahmis, Shi’ites and so forth, and they would know not to seek religious verdicts from such deviants. They had every right to know about the snares of the false cults. Had these cults not have been labelled and discussed, our Islam, and Imaan would have been in deep peril from the innovations that these false cults have bought about. In order to know how to avoid the false cults we would then have to know their names and why they were called such and what they believed.

     Most of the times the cults would have been named after their founders,[11] or an action that took them out of the fold of the Ahl us-Sunnah,[12] but yet some cults was named after the deviance in the creed itself,[13] or in rare cases the country or city location they was from.[14] However, there was always a good reason why the scholars labelled a cult with a title and their intent in doing so was not derogatory in any sense. Without labelling the cults in such a fashion, many innovations would have gone unchecked, and the people would have lent their ears to the innovators unknowingly, and we would not have Islam in its pure form.

     The Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, spoke many times and emphasized about the dangers of the Khawaarij more than any other cult that was to appear.     The companion Abu Umaamah, radiy Allahu ‘anhu, reports that he heard the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wasallam, speak about the Khawaarij more than seven times. The most famous hadeeth about the rise of the Khawaarij is recorded in the Ahaadeeth when one of his companions Dhul Khuwaisira at-Tameemi spoke and rebelled by questioning the Prophet’s honesty and integrity. He accused the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, of wrong-doing.

     The  Prophet, sal Allahi ‘alayhi wasallam, warned the Sahaabah, radiy Allahu ‘anhum, that from Dhul Khuwaisira at-Tameemi’s offspring would appear a people that recited the Qur’an, but it did not go further than their throats, and that they would go out of the religion like an arrow goes through a deer’s body. The Prophet, sal Allahi ‘alayhi wasallam, also warned us that the Khawaarij would keep appearing up until the appearance of the Dajjal. They are a dangerous menace that are going to inflict humanity much harm throughout the centuries, even to the point of tarnishing the reputation of Islam.

     Since the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam,  spoke of them so much, and his prophecies regarding them came true, and still unfolding to this very day, the scholars, past and present have deemed them to be the most dangerous cult to have ever plagued this earth. The Khawaarij descended from the tribe of tameem and the tribe of tameem originated from the harsh deserts of central ‘Arabia known as Najd.

     Not only has the Prophet, sal Allahi ‘alayhi wasallam, warned us about the Khawaarij, but he also warned us much about the fitnah that would arise and come from Najd. In one hadeeth he refused to supplicate for Najd, whereas he would regularly pray for Sham, Yemen, Iraq and other locations of the Muslim world.

     This does not mean that everybody from Najd or from the Banu Tameem is evil and misguided. There are existing hadeeth in which the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wasallam, displayed praise for the Banu Tameem. It is certainly not a “cursed tribe”. Unfortunately, this false notion that the tribe of Tameem is cursed is an ignorance that is propagated by some of our less knowledgeable brothers. Indeed we have Shaykh ul-Islam,  Abdul Wahhab himself, rahimahullah, the father of the misguided Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab. We also have his son, Shaykh ul-Islam Sulaymaan Ibn Abdul Wahhab an-Najd, rahimahullah.[15]

     Both were great Hanbali scholars that are renown for their vast knowledge of the religion, but moreover, their condemnation of their kin, Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab, who eventually spearheaded the Wahhabi cult. So whenever you hear a cultist talking about the virtues of the Bani Tameem, then do not be fooled, for indeed the offspring of Banu Tameem can be either righteous or evil. After all the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wasallam, said “from among their offspring will arise a people”, he did not say “All of his offspring”.

     We have to be fair and keep this in mind when dealing with these issues. However, do not be tricked by those who call evil good and call the good evil, for this is exactly the stance that cultists take when you discuss their cult.

      It is a great fallacy to imagine that the virtues of Bani Tameem  refer to Dhul Khuwaisira, or the Khawaarij, or Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab. It does not matter if he is a descendant from Isma’eel, ‘alayhis Salaam, because it is well known that even the descendants of the Prophets can go astray. Such as the son of Nuh, ‘alayhis-salam, who Allah declared to be a disbeliever! The Bani Israel, the children of Yaqub alayhis Salaam. And most certainly we are all Bani Adam and many of us have indeed become misguided. So it is not about the purity of linage otherwise we would all be exonerated and praised.

     Another argument that we tend to hear repeated constantly through by Wahhabi apologetics is that al-Wahhab is Allah’s divine name, and labeling somebody with the title “Wahhabi” is directly distorting His name.  This argument is fallacious for more than one reason. The first reason being is that the term “Wahhabi” in its singular active participle form or its plural “al-Wahhabiyyah” is in fact not the name of Allah but grammatically a derivative word that simply shares the same trilateral root. When written down on paper, you will find the name al-Wahhab, Wahhabi and al-Wahhabiyyah to be very different in wording. The only resemblance is that the share the same trilateral letters W-H-B [waw hah baa]. For this reason alone the claim that it is the distortion of one of Allah’s divine names should be considered fallacious.

     Secondly, if using the term “Wahhabi” or “al-Wahhabiyyah” is considered as sinfully distorting the divine name of Allah, then why have Wahhabi scholars used such terms for the cult “Ahmadiyyah” or the “Ahmadis”. Is this not then disrespecting and distorting the name of Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wasallam? 

     If we look through all the classical books on creed we find again and again titles used for cults that share the same trilateral root letters as one of Allah’s divine names. For example, one of Allah’s divine names is al-Qadeer, yet this did not stop the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah from using the title al-Qadriyyah to refer to the misguided cult that denied the Qadr of Allah. One of Allah’s divine names is also al-Kareem, yet this did not stop the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah from using the title al-Karaamiyyah to refer to the cult initiated by Muhammad Ibn Karam [16] who was infamously known for his denial of the Attributes of Allah.

     If these examples are not enough that what about Allah’s divine name al-Jabbar, which is on the very same grammatical ‘Arabic template as Allah’s divine name “Al-Wahhab”. The only difference between these two names, except the meaning, is the trilateral root letters.

     There is no difference between al-Jabbar and al-Wahhab. Yet this did not stop the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah from using the title al-Jabbariyyah to refer to the opposite extreme cult of the Qadariyyah. If we was to use singular active participle to refer to a person from this cult they would be called a Jabbari, or in the Anglicized plural Jabbaris, which is not at all different as Wahhabi or Wahhabis.

     To level the accusation of distorting Allah’s name for using derivatives whenever referring to cults would not only be pointing the finger of blame towards the many centuries of rightly guided theologians, and classical mujtahideen [17] but the even the finger of blame would be pointed towards the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wasallam, himself and his blessed Sahaabah, radiy Allahu ‘anhum. On would have then committed the very same crime as Dhul Khuwaysara.

     We have proven beyond a doubt that using the term al-Wahhabiyyah and its singular “Wahhabi” is not an act that is intended to demonize or malign. These terms are not to be used for insult and name calling but only as descriptions for the preventive measure of somebody falling into that group and becoming misguided by their doctrine. However, it is unfortunate that we also have young and foolish people who use the doctrine and its terminologies for extreme causes. I can only say that the blame is solely with them, and they have no right to weaponize this religion according to their own vindictive whims.

     In the modern age we have heard some of these young and foolish people refer to the Wahhabiyyah as “Wobblers”. This innovated term is nothing but street slang and is not from the speech or writings of the qualified scholars. Not only is this term demonizing in nature but it has no real meaning or relevance except to that a person has “wobbled” from the faith. A problem with accepting this term is that it can equally applied to any other cultist that is misguided and has “wobbled” from the faith. The term “cannot be made specific to the Wahhabiyyah cult.

     The major scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah have never used or permitted the term “wobbler” and we are to use the language of the scholars and not the laymen. It is the scholars who pass the understanding of this religion to us, not the unqualified. Only the scholars have the right to label a group in order to warn against their misguidance, laymen have no authority in such a religious discourse.    

      Let it be known and reverberate throughout the world of social media, that the Wahhabi Threat project does not support immature efforts by nimwits who call themselves Wobbler busters, Wobbler Hunters, Najdi Assassinates or any other insincere, foolish and immature nom de guerre. Such hateful and vindictive people are doing more damage than good and I advise any sensible Muslim to turn away from their efforts. The Wahhabi Threat is a sincere effort to call our Muslim brothers to the truth, wishing guidance for them. Muslims should support this endeavour out of love for Allah, His truth and help make this da’wah successful by being humane towards our brothers trapped in the darkness of the Wahhabi cult.

Read the next Chapter: The Nom De Guerre Salafi: The Puritan Appeal

———————–

Footnotes

[1] Simply put, a Wahhabi is anybody who follows the movement and life mission of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab, by supporting his doctrine in any form or fashion. The majority of modern Wahhabis, however, object to being called Wahhabis for number of fallacious reasons in which shall be discussed and debunked within this chapter. Only a handfull of modern Wahhabis have admitted to being a Wahhabi. In general, there seems to be some shame in being a Wahhhabi, hence the generality of Wahhabis reject the term and demand that they be called Salafis

[2] the Hijrah marked the beginning of the Islamic Calendar when the Muslims moved from Makkah to live in Yahtrib, now known as Madinah, hence the AH [After Hijrah]

[3] The document referred to here is authored by a Muhammad Batalwi and it is documented in a book of history called Tareekhi Dustaaweez

[4] Abdul Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz. He was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in 1999. He initited the al-Ikhwaan, a Wahhabi militant militia that the formed into al-Qa’eedah, which has in this time has separated and formed into the cult known as the Isis. Please not we use the term Isis rarely. They are Wahhabis and Kharijites. Using the term Isis tends to give the impression that we are giving legitimacy to their claim to the Islamic state.We strip them bare of this term, and their flag.

[5] pg. 12-13, Indispensable Implication of the Sunnah and Caution Against Innovation by Abdul Azeez Abdullah Bin Baz, printed by Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Sa’udi publication no. 385

[6] Jamil Effendi al-Zahawi is a scholar from Iraq, known for his famous treatise on Wahhabis tranlated as The Doctrine of the Ahl us-Sunnah vs’ the Salafi Movement

[7] Jamil Effendi al-Zahawi’s al-Fajr al-sadiq fi al-radd `ala munkiri al-tawassul wa al-khawariq under the section The Origins of the Wahhabis

[8] The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 414

[9] Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia vol. X, p. 511

[10]  The Khawaarij, the Qadiriyyah, the Shi’a, the Raafidah, the Murji’ah, the Mutazilah, the Jahmiyyah, the Jabbariyyah, etc

[11] The Karamiyyah was named after their founder Muhammad Ibn Karam and they were known for their denial of the Attributes of Allah. Like wise the Wahhabis have been named after their founder, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab

[12] The Khawaarij were named by the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam himself, he even called them the worst of creation and the dogs of the hellfire. The Khawaarij derives from the root Kha-ra-ja which means to exit, and that is exactly what the Khawaarij did. They exited the religion for rebelling against the rulers, takfeering the leaders and the general laity of the Muslims and making their blood permissible to spill

[13] The Qadariyyah, they were named so because they denied the Qadr of Allah and argued that men had complete free will

[14] The Hururiyyah, were a offshoot of the Khawaarij, named after their founder and their locality al-Hurur

[15] And many other Najdis that fought with their very life against the Wahhabi cult

[16] Do take notice how the cult has been named after family annexation “Ibn Karam – the son of Karam” as one of the Wahhabi arguments that the name Wahhabi is the name of Muhammad Ibn ‘abdul Wahhab’s father. As we can see, this is a habit of the Saheeh classical forefathers of the creed. If this practice of labeling cultists in such a way, then indeed it is good enough for us to do the same without any fear of blame

[17] such as Imaam Abu Hanifah and Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal

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23 thoughts on “What is a Wahhabi?

  1. Salam

    have you come across this book?

    The Wahhabi Myth

    The ‘Wahhabi’ Myth by Haneef James Oliver clarifies many of the gross inaccuracies and outright lies that have been attributed to the belief of the Salafi Muslims (often referred to as “Wahhabis”). Although some reporters have been vigilant enough to rebut some of these widespread fables, most have fallen headfirst into what one discerning reporter called, “the neo-conservative line that the whole conspiracy against America can be traced back to Wahhabism and the government of Saudi Arabia.”

    Free download:
    http://salaficentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/thewahhabimyth.pdf

    1. Wa ‘alaykum as-salam, I do have the book brother. It is very Saalfi apologetic and tries to shift the blame on Yemeni Sufis, and Qutbists when in reality Qutbist and Wahhabis are from the same tree, Ibn Taymiyyah. It also tries to play Osama b. Laden of as a Qutbist when clearly, although he was hand in hand with them, he was deeply Saudi indoctrinated. There are other often repeated arguments within the book, like for example; the Salafi puritan appeal; the flimsy argument about the location of Najd, etc. I hope to release a rebuttal of this book before release. I have content ready should you wish for more. It just really depends on what you wish to speak about brother. Thank you for reading,
      Kind Regards and wasallam

    1. It is interesting to note that Dr Yasir Qadhi still agrees with the salafi aqeedah:

      ‘Salafīs have an enviably pure theology. Any objective researcher will find that
      the Atharī creed is the earliest documented Sunnī creed, pre-dating the kalāmbased
      creeds of the Ashāʿirah and Māṭūrīdiyah. This is manifested in numerous
      theological treatises that still exist from the late second and early third Islamic
      centuries (some of which predate ʿAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyyah). The Atharī creed was
      the dominant strand of Sunnī Islam in the fourth and fifth Islamic centuries,
      and although it came to be limited to the Ḥanbalī School of the sixth century as
      a result of political changes, it received a reviving boost from the everphenomenal
      Ibn Taymiyya, from whom it still continues to receive vigor.’

      See ‘Positive Aspects of Salafism’ in ‘On Salafī Islam’http://cdn.muslimmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/On-Salafi-Islam_Dr.-Yasir-Qadhi.pdf

      1. He is referring to the Athari creed because, in his opinion, this is what the Wahhabiyyah are upon. But, apparently not. I will give one example:

        Indeed.

        عن المروزي قلت لأحمد إنهم يقولون إن عائشة قالت من زعم أن محمدا رأى ربه فقد أعظم على الله الفرية فبأي شيء يدفع قولها قال بقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رأيت ربي قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أكبر من قولها

        Translation: al-Marwazi (rah) asked Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah): People say that Aisha (ra) used to exclaim that whosoever says the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord has attributed a lie to Allah, so how shall this be answered? (Imam Ahmed) replied: From the saying of Prophet (Peace be upon him) [himself] when he said: “رأيت ربي” i.e. I saw my Lord, this will be an answer to Aisha (ra)’s saying because the saying of Prophet (Peace be upon him) is far superior than saying of her (i.e. Aisha ra)

        Reference: Fath ul Bari, Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Page No. 494.

      2. I understand that is your view. But I am hoping you could explain for a novice like myself what the Athari creed teaches and how you believe this contradicts the hadith you cited.

    1. Salamun ‘alaykum dear brother, thank you for questioning further.

      The Salafi movement wears the cloak of the Athaariyyah but in reality they have departed from it.

      You will find that they have departed from the creed as laid down by Imaam Ahmad b. Hanbal on a number of issues. Namely; tawheed in regards to Allah’s attributes, issues of tawassul, the seeing of Allah on mi’raj, issues in the understanding of bid’ah, and even fiqh differences.

      On top of this, Salafiyyah contradicts the Hanbali school on issues relating to the madh-hab, and Salafiyyah reject the validity of the Ash’ari and Maturidi schools, whereas the Hanaabilah, although differing in issues, have long accepted their validity as schools from amongst the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

      If you need any further clarification on any point, then do feel free to ask further. JazakAllah khayr and barakullah feekum.

      Kind Regards, and ma’as-salaamah
      Your brother in Islam

      1. thank you. I would like to analyse specific issues.

        You say that the salafis oppose the Athari creed on ‘tawheed in regards to Allah’s attributes’

        – could you provide *evidence* for this claim? Namely document:

        What the early Athari creed supporters taught concerning ‘tawheed in regards to Allah’s attributes’

        And what salafis today teach about ‘tawheed in regards to Allah’s attributes’

        thanks.

      2. Salamun ‘alaykum

        The first violation of tawheed would be attributing literal meanings to Allah’s ambiguous attributes – claiming they know the literal meanings, when Imaam Ahmad did tafweed ul-Mana wal kayf – consigning the knowledge of meaning and modality back to the knowledge of Allah. If we look in al-Uthaymaan’s sharh to Lum’at ul-I’tiqaad, he makes a daring statement against Imaam Muwaffaq ud-deen Ibn Qudaamah by calling him a muwafid and holding evil views about tafweed. This is the general opinion shared by the Salafiyyah. All whilst they take this position, they do literal taweel of Allah’s ambiguous attributes. They fail to pass them by upon their zaahir [visible wording] but attribute literal meanings to them. Ibn Qudaamah stands as the authority representing the doorway to understanding the early Hanaabilah that are connected to Imaam Ahmad b. Hanbal as his Lum’at ul-I’tiqaad was simply a abbreviated reiteration of Imaam Ahmad’s classical work al-I’tiqaad. Due to this issue, many naive Salafis argue over whether Allah has literal limbs, body parts, etc. A situation that has spiralled out of control amongst the laity of today. Now, every johnny come-lately is a practicing theologian.

      1. It was me who encouraged my (anonymous) friend to get blogging in the first place. I used to agree with his anti-salafi polemics. My articles were posted on his website. But he became an extremist and I no longer support his writings.

      2. Ok. That is a pity, I hope nothing is to broken that is past fixing. A look at my post “Humble beginnings” will tell you I have been through some relationship scrapes with brothers of different opinions. It is unfortunate that we, sometimes, must learn the hard way. The way we treat people is very central to the da’wah. We often hurt people due to our own egos and not the differences themselves. I hope things can be repaired. Allah is the Lateef.

        As for blogs, I know of many great blogs. My favorite one being http://mahdinnm.blogspot.co.uk/ . another one being http://jurjis.wordpress.com/ another one not long made their own movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly0eK4CjGCo the deen over dunyah blog . The movie reflects real life situations in Philly, for Muslims even. I will not throw too many at you, but we have a wide Ummah. Do not let your local friendships break you bro – if they are as I am not trying to be presumptuous but offer from my own experience – We may have some things to discuss, but you will not get bashed here bro. Your welcome and I want you to feel welcome and remain that way. Wasallam

  2. Jamal ud-Din az-Zarabozo, in his book The Life, Teachings, and Influence of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab writes that Shaykh al-Uthaymeen permitted the term Wahhabi:
    ” A number of authors stressed the point that it is wrong to call them Wahhabis since that name would be derived from ibn Abdul-Wahhaab’s father’s name and not his name. Al-Uthaimeen downplays this controversy and states that it is actually no different from the term Hanbali, which is related to the grandfather of Ahmad.” The Life, Teachings, and Influence of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab p.157
    Jamal ud-Din az-Zarabozo says about this:
    “During the past century, there developed a difference of opinion among the followers of the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab as to whether it is acceptable to term themselves “Wahhabis.” For those who accept it, they feel that the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab have become so clear to all and sundry that the term “Wahhabi” is simply another term for following the way of the pious early generations of Islam. Hence, they see no problem in using that term. Thus, Abdul-Azeez ibn Muhammad ibn Ibraheem, a descendent of ibn Abdul-Wahhaab, writing in current times stated (perhaps too optimistically),
    “The term Wahhabism in our age does not create any problem for us. In this age of speed, new inventions have narrowed the distance… [People] now know for themselves what they used to know through such means that altered reality… Truth is now manifest and evident to persons of vision. People now know that Wahhabism only means the people of the Sunnah, the Sunnites, clinging to the doctrines of the pious predecessors and defending them against all kinds of inroads., The Life, Teachings, and Influence of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab p. 158-159 also quoted in in al-Huqail, p. 98.
    Furthermore, Jamal ud-Din az-Zarabozo concludes:
    Those who do not object to this term include ibn Sahmaan, Muhammad Haamid al-Faqi, Muhammad Rasheed Ridha and alNadwi. Those who continue to object to it include Saalih al-Fauzaan and ibn Jibreen” The Life, Teachings, and Influence of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhabp. 159

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