Understanding the Link Between the Wahhabi Doctrine and Terrorism (Part 1 of 2)

From: “The Way Forward: An Islamic Mentoring Guide to Building Identity and Resisting Radicalisation

What is the theological framework that drives the global network of affiliates associated with Al-Qaeda? Which particular authors are characteristic of this movement and its ideologies?

As noted in Part 1, ignorance in traditional Islamic teachings is a critical vulnerability factor leading to extremism amongst at-risk youth. This vulnerability factor is a primary cause for their inability to differentiate between literature that cites Islamic scholars and that which cites unauthentic writers tarred with profanation and historical controversies. It is a huge risk for youth to view Al-Qaeda’s doctrines and theological precepts as authentic Islamic principles. As a protective measure, it is important to caution young people against authors identified by the theology of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

As a result, and in order to measure the frequency of citations made by known extremist ideologues, we examined a report written by the US Military Academy (USMA) which the titled “Militant Ideology Atlas”. The report uses a technique called “citation analysis”, which is frequently employed in the social sciences as an objective way to determine influence among authors (Google uses a similar technique to rank pages for its search engine). Consequently, the report identifies the most frequently cited authors among Al-Qaeda’s ideologues…These authors were divided into two groups: medieval and modern.

According to the report, Ibn Taymiyah (d. 729 AH, 1328 Roman calendar) is the medieval author most influential on the Al-Qaeda movement. The edicts issued by this 13/14th century RC author are the ones cited by far the most frequently in the numerous Al-Qaeda texts analysed.

Ibn Taymiyah has single-handedly drafted the modus operandi and the religious operational framework that Al-Qaeda has adopted since their inception late in the 20th century.

From a historical perspective, back in his time, Ibn Taymiyah clashed with members of the jurisprudence from the Islamic union of the various Islamic schools of thought, who collectively issued an edict against him. They declared his theology and interpretative procedures as contradicting established Islamic standards. Ibn Taymiyah was incarcerated by the courts for his theological heresies, which posed a further military threat in justifying unsanctioned violent clashes. He ultimately died in prison.

The Ibn Taymiyah chapter of history gives evidence to the unholiness of the theological foundations of Al-Qaeda and a strong assurance to the non-Muslim community that the extremism that drives the Al-Qaeda network of affiliates is unsanctioned by Islamic scholarly standards.

Furthermore, the report found that the modern authors most influential on the extremists are generally the followers of the eighteenth-century author Muhammad Ibn `Abd Al-Wahhab (d. 1206 AH, 1791 RC). In fact, Ibn `Abd Al-Wahhab institutionalised the edicts of Ibn Taymiyah four centuries later. This creed came to be known as Wahhabism. From its inception, Wahhabism outrageously attacked many standard Islamic beliefs and values. Prof Khaled Abu El Fadel wrote that “the Wahhabi rebellions of the 19th and 20th centuries were very bloody because they indiscriminately slaughtered and terrorised neighboring Muslims.” It is no coincidence that Wahhabism has theologically given birth to a generation of Al-Qaeda ideologues. The point here, demonstrated by this citation analysis, is that Al-Qaeda has not been inspired by traditional Islamic teachings, rather by the creed that Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn `Abd Al-Wahhab drafted. It was only by primarily quoting this creed that Al-

Qaeda ideologues and mentors have claimed legitimacy to their propaganda and narratives.


This link here explains the difference between the genuine Sunni doctrine and the absurdities of the Wahhabi creed:


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8 Responses to Understanding the Link Between the Wahhabi Doctrine and Terrorism (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Yusuf Sneed says:

    With all due respect Ali, the prophet Muhammad SWS prophecied about these groups in a famous Hadith about a man named Kuwais. He SWS said “that from this man would come a group of people that would recite Quran , but it would not penetrate their throats.” He SWS said ” and they would shed the blood of Muslims…” These people have come to be known as Al-Khawaraj, the same people Ibn Tamyyah and others warned against. Don’t you think that you should have included that in your opinion? A detailed analysis of the Scholars of what you call “Wahabism” and I call Orthodoxi Islam would show that all these scholars call for these groups to cease and repent. Shaik Uthaymeen and many others have called them Khawaraj and accused them of being Mujahideen for Shaytan and not for Allah.

    Again, you have been nothing but respectful with me and I am doing the same, but I truly believe that you are not being just and fair in your critique of the scholars and the topic of Extremism. For proofs on my end, I site the book ” Religious Extremism In The Lives of Contemporary Muslims” by Abdul Rahman of Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University. He quoted the view of many scholars, modern and contemporary, and the evidenced to refute all these groups that say they act according to Quran and Sunnah. I really hate that people’s theological differences in the understanding of Tawheed cause them to attack righteous scholars and distort the reality of the views, perspectives, rulings, positions, etc of those scholars…. My opinion ( Sincerely, Joseph Sneed)

    • facetofloor says:


      Ibn `Abideen, one of the famous latter day Hanafi scholars, said: “The Wahhabis are the Khawaarij of our era.” And, you are probably familiar with the Haidth about Najd (Muhammad Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab’s homeland) and that the Devil’s horn would arise from there. Simply look at the life of Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab—his mass takfeer upon the Ummah. His followers besieging Mecca, the ransacking of the Prophet’s Mosque, the MASS SLAUGHTER of the Muslims at Taa’if. These events occurred more than 200 years ago. From the start, the Wahhabis were extremists and the Sunnis have written extensively about them and refuted them. Again, the only reason this blight has been able to spread is that most of the Muslims nowadays in America simply don’t know history.

      As far as the Saudi regime is concerned, it’s a puppet state that has been in bed with the British/Americans for the past 100 years (think: Lawerence of Arabia). The Saudi regime doesn’t OPENLY advocate terrorism, for the Wahhabis have different levels of deviance. Some are openly violent radicals, who advocate the overthrow of all governments—these groups often consider the Saudis themselves people of Ahlul-Bid`ah and kuffaar. Others, like the Saudi royalty, don’t typically advocate THEIR overthrowing governments (b/c they know they would be included). Instead, what they do is support policies that lead to supporting Western intervention and overthrow (thereafter, when the society is destabilized, the Saudis bring in their Wahhabi ideology). This is what has happened in Libya, Iraq, Somalia, etc. The Saudi regime’s “renunciation” of terrorism is only to protect itself from fellow Wahhabis.

      Simply look around the world. Prior to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the discovery of Arabian petrol, WHERE ON EARTH was Wahhabism practiced? What was the standard creed of the Muslims in Malaysia, Western China, Indonesia, Indian subcontinent, Ash-Shaam, North, West, and East Africa? What did the people of Hijaaz teach in matters of `Aqidah before the rise of Wahhabism.

      In-shaa’ Allah, if you investigate, Yusuf, you cannot come to any other conclusion except that Wahhabism is an alien bid“ah to the Ummah that has no scholarly connection to the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam).

  2. Who is calling it and us Wahabi, except you and the group you represent? We / I never claimed Wahabism and never claimed to fallow only one teaching from one Scholar, did I? And you still have not given me a quote from any of the books, modern or Mid-evil, that proves that scholars were advocating killing of Muslims who committed Major sin, as did the Khawarij. Taking all these geographical regions, groups and scholars, that teach the belief that Allah 7 times in the Quran said that “He is above the Heavens” (and clearly explaining that He is unlike His creation and how it is is unknown)and calling them Wahabi is not the truth. To say that Al-Qaeda is of the same ideology as the SCHOLARS, not the rulers, of Saudi Arabia, when they have refuted them openly, loudly, and clearly is to LIE Ali. Each of these people, groups, Scholars, etc. have to be looked at separately, critiqued separately, and fairly analyzed separately, to give some sort of a judgement about their beliefs or Aqeedah, since Aqeedah is so vast and has so many branches. If one branch is different from another, then their Aqeedah is different, and therefore can NOT be put into the same grouping. Agree?

    Furthermore, I believe that you are simply putting all the people, whether or not they commit illegal acts of terrorism, into the same group because of their believing that Allah is above the throne. It is my belief that you a propagating your belief that Allah is “without place” by attacking all the groups, individuals, scholars, governments, institutions, etc. that believe and teach the opposite. Attributing Al-Qaeda is of the same beliefs, tit for tat, as the likes of Shaik ibn Baz, Uthaymeen, ibn Tamyyah, ibn Wahab, etc. is less than expected from you Ali Gill… Please clarify your statements and repent to Allah, as I ask Allah to forgive me for anything that I did or said wrong, ameen…

  3. facetofloor says:


    From the inception of the Saud/Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab movement in the 1700’s, the SUNNI scholars have been referring to the followers of the Najdi ideology as “Wahhabis.” This is simply the name the Sunnis use to refer to that sect. It’s nothing new. After all, Sulayman Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab’s book (he was the brother of Muhammad) is called: As-Sawa`iq Al-Ilahiyya fi Madhhab al-Wahhabiyyah (“The Divine Thunderbolts Concerning the Wahhabi School”).

    The Wahhabis—including Muhammad Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab—deemed the Muslims at large to be “mushriks” (so they will say things like: “We don’t kill MUSLIMS.” But then they deem most of the Muslims to be polytheists). Again, it is enough to look at what is written by THEIR LEADERS. Also, when we talk about the terror being committed in the name of Sunni Islam, it is almost always motivated by Wahhabi ideology (not that Wahhabis are Sunnis, but they claim to be). Simply investigate the history of this movement from non-Wahhabi sources. The answer is clear: Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab innovated a sect; they were extremists; they murdered/are murdering a lot of Muslims. The terrorists of today are merely follow the “sunnah” of their leader, Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab.

    As for Allah allegedly being “above the `Arsh,” it should be clear that a direction involves the relationship between the location of two objects. As has been said before, words have meanings. Literal “aboveness” is a direction. You cannot talk of the direction of a single object (without comparing it to another object). You cannot talk of the literal direction of a mental concept, like, happiness. Allah is not an “jism” (object or spatial entity). Allah is the CREATOR of all locations; hence, Allah is not in a direction. As in English, when people say: “Your royal highness,” they are speaking of STATUS and not literal location, so likewise, when one speaks of the `Uluww of Allah, one means STATUS and not location (again, Allah is not an object; hence, Allah is not inside a location).

    Whether a Wahhabi advocates open terrorism, as did Muhammad ibn aabdul-Wahhab, or Osama bin Laden—or like the Najdi-Saudi leaders, who advocate covert terrorism, what needs to be understood, Yusuf, is that this is a sect that is not from Ahlus-Sunnah. It is a sect that promotes object worship and tashbeeh. Again, simply compare the creed of what the Muslims taught in their institutions from Senegal to Singapore prior to the era of colonialism, and you will see that it blatantly opposed the ideology/doctrine of Wahhabism. Just investigate. God-wiilling, you will see that Wahhabism simply doesn’t line up with the facts of history or the true `Aqidah.

  4. Jibril says:

    How is any of this to and fro productive? Its easy to copy, paste and gather info from Sheik Google, which has fast become the paradigm, who among us will break free of this endless debate, drop it and pick up the fight for injustices perpetrated on the citizens of the country today or better yet, lets bring it home here to Memphis. Is any of this beneficial to the mentally, physically and spiritual hungry and starving in Memphis? Is any of this thwarting corruption here? Is any of this derailing the escalating black on black crimes and murders? Is any of this benefiting oppressed here locally? Is it derailing the falling off the cliff education of our young? Do you care anything at all about the people you see, walk and drive by daily? Stop and look at the faces of Memphians and ask yourself, Is your allegiance to Allah for the love, dawah and benefit of the people who live around you that know nothing of Islam, or is it for “dawah” or debate among ones who are already Muslims and have accepted Islam as their faith. Do you have any idea what impression people get of Muslims in Memphis? We are obscure to them, and when we become visible does it cool the eye of the beholder or repulse? Its just one big thousand year old pissing contest. I’m sick of it.

    • facetofloor says:


      It is good that you are concerned about the well-being of others. However, if a person does a lifetime of good deeds but has a bad belief about Allah, then this person will not attain salvation in the Hereafter. This is why there must be clarity in the Creed first and foremost. If the Muslims wish to unite and help the people of this region, then they would have to submit to following authentic traditional knowledge. If a person is unfamiliar with what that is, then he (or she) needs to take the time out to research and investigate. If one wants clarity just ask. We are here and that is what we do. Without sound knowledge, however, there can be no genuine unity.

      As for the debate about Wahhabism, the point is multi-fold. One, the Muslims here (in Memphis, in particular) are VERY ignorant about the matters of traditional `Aqidah. This makes them vulnerable to deviant ideologies. Simply consider what happened a couple of generations ago with the so-called “Nation of Islam.” Because the Sunnis (in general) were lazy or negligent in making da`wah and teaching the true `Aqidah, the Nation went on to define for many people, and the masses of African-Americans in particular, what is “Islam” (in their minds). You know as well as i do that there are STILL people in Memphis who think that Islam is Farrakhanism. This is the consequence of neglecting enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and not educating the public about the Muslim creed.

      Two, as this Wahhabi ideology spreads in Memphis, you may find some youth (or others) joining the more radical elements of that ideology and committing acts of extremism, whether here or abroad—as has happened with the youth in places, like Minneapolis or Columbus. Then, you know what would happen—especially, in a place like Memphis: the beggin’ wannabe Uncle Toms will start crying about how Muslims are not terrorists—while they are SILENT about the very theology taught in their mosques that enables terrorist ideology.

      Three, one has to keep in mind that at the core of Wahhabism is mass takfeer of the Ummah. The Wahhabis, as a core aspect of doctrine (and i ain’t just talking about OBL) deem the masses of Muslims as mushriks (pagans). This is how they justified (in their minds) the slaughter of the people of Najd and the massacre of the Muslims of Taa’if in the early 1800’s. This is the practice of the earliest Wahhabis. So if this is what they practiced back then by following the “sunnah” of Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab, then what do you think they want to do today? Just consider their slaughter of Muslims now in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and the mess they are causing in Libya Mali, Nigeria, and Syria.

      Four, the Sunni Creed is predicated on the belief that Allah ABSOLUTELY does not need or resemble the creations. The Sunnis say that the Creator of space, place, distance, and direction exists without a space, place, distance, or direction. The Sunnis say that Allah is not a jism (body/object/spatial entity). The Wahhabis, on the other hand, say that Allah has real-actual eyes, fingers, a shin bone; they teach that Allah casts a shadow and that Allah has comparatively small feet that are on the Kursiyy. When all is said and done, the Wahhabis believe that Allah, the Al-Musawwir (the CREATOR of all forms) is something with a form, a location, and a size. In other words, they pray to a giant object, and the Sunnis say that the one who takes an object for worship has committed shirk.

      In conclusion, the Wahhabis can only thrive in an environment of ignorance. As long as the Muslims are negligent about learning their Deen and fall back on platitudes, like, “We need to put aside our differences in `Aqidah,” then these people will be able to continue to spread their evil. They will continue to try to intimidate, attack, terrorize and KILL those Sunnis who are aware of the issues and speak out against them. As for the masses of Muslims in America, the Wahhabis might not physically attack them, but they can confuse them and turn them against Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah and cut the Muslims off from their scholarly heritage. Also, asking for the Sunnis to put their differences aside from the Wahhabis isn’t going to make those differences go away. The differences between Sunni Islam and Wahhabism are fundamental and core matters: the Sunnis say Allah is not an object, while the Wahhabis pray to an object with organs and limbs that requires space in order to exist. The Sunnis do NOT worship what the Wahhabis worship.

      For the one sincerely seeking the Truth, when they here the True Creed, they accept it. As for those with diseases in their hearts, they will insist on deeming Allah to be somehow similiar to and in need of the creations. The love of object worship has settled in their chests, and they don’t want to cleanse their hearts of polytheism. When we have clarity in the Creed and traditional knowledge, then, God-willing, the Muslims can move forward with unity of purpose and be benefactors to the people of this society.


      it is those people who advocate terrorism

      • Many Thanks Dear Brother. You have given me much to contemplate. I have my homework cut out for me so to speak. Believe me, how else can I put it….I’m feelin ya on all this word up? Its time for me now to put in the work and plead for Allah’s Supreme Guidance and Protection.

  5. facetofloor says:


    It is part of the journey. We need to sincerely want to find the truth and then work to seek it.

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