Addendum to “Why We Warn”
In the initial post here: http://facetofloor.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/why-we-warn-against-wahhabism/ four points were mentioned about the dangers of Wahhabism (quasi-Salafism). There is another that is important to keep in mind. Although it was alluded in the first post, i think that it needs to be elaborated on some more. The Wahhabis (quasi-Salafis) sever the Muslims from their historical and scholarly heritage. The (moderately informed) Wahhabis know that what they follow does not match up with history.
Prior to the era of European colonialism and the rise of Wahhabism in central Arabia in the mid 1700’s C.E.—or even more recently prior to the founding of the Saudi-Wahhabi state and discovery of petrol in Arabia, what were the Sunni Muslims following around the world following? The Muslims of North Africa, of the Indian subcontinent, the Sunnis of Iraq and Ash-Shaam (Greater Syria), the Sunnis of Malaysia and Indonesia, the Sunnis of the Central Asian regions, the Muslims of Hijaaz (inc. Mecca and Medina), of West Africa, East Africa, Al-Maghrib (Morocco/Northwest Africa), the Ottoman Turks and the regions controlled in Europe (incidentally, Greece was governed by the Ottomans and still has remnant communities of early Muslims there) and elsewhere were NOT following a methodology remotely related to Wahhabism (i.e., quasi-Salafi ideology).
In the mind of the Wahhabi (quasi-Salafi) the Muslims were for CENTURIES universally—with virtually no exception—all people of extreme deviance and/or kuffaar (disbelievers). This is not to say that all the Muslims in the regions mentioned above were all pious or even learned, but that also does not mean that the Muslims scholars did not preserve and transmit the Religion or that the common people had all lapsed into idolatry. Instead, one sees from century to century the methodology adopted by Ahlus-Sunnah to explain, clarify, and defend the Sunni Creed, and this is what was taught in the Muslim educational institutions from Senegal to Singapore. This is simply a fact of history. The (moderately informed) Wahhabi knows this.
The Wahhabi knows that other than his revisionist version of the earliest Muslim generations of this Ummah, a handful of early pseudo-Hanbali anthropomorphists, Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, and then FOUR HUNDRED YEARS LATER, Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab and the birth of the Wahhabi blight, the so-called Salafi really has no history. (He doesn’t even mention how the Wahhabis were supported by the colonial powers or that the British essentially made the Saudi-Wahhabi state.) The Wahhabi knows that his ideology is alien to Islam. He is a pariah, and if it hadn’t been for the petrol under the Arabian sands and the support from imperialist regimes, Wahhabism would not be more than a footnote in history.
The other danger of Wahhabism is that it leaves Muslims (or those claiming to be) intellectually defenseless. Simply consider what an atheist would say to a Wahhabbi (quasi-Salafi) if the atheist was familiar with the Wahhabi creed. The atheist might say something along the lines of:
“So this imaginary shadow casting sky-buddy of yours with the big feet (well, actually very small feet in comparison to the rest of its body)… and smiling face, you say that it is above the ‘Throne’… but you Muslims [Wahhabis] say that your ‘friend’ descends to the lowest heavens at the last third night. You Muslims also say that Jesus is in the second heaven… so you are saying that Jesus is in a higher place—and therefore, according to your logic has a higher status (at least for part of the time)—than your “god.” Also, [so says the atheist to the Wahhabi] you do recognize that there is a thing called ‘timezones?’ When it is the last third of the night here, it is daytime somewhere else. So according to your fantasy… or ‘belief,’ your supposed ‘god’ is going up and down and up and down. This is ludicrous and absurd, and only a fool would believe such nonsense. [The atheist might go on to say] No wonder you Mozlems are such barbaric extremist throwbacks.”
The Wahhabi really has no rational response to such a critique. All he can do is roll off a litany of Verses and Hadiths (which he misinterprets and misunderstands) that his Saudi masters have programmed him to say. The so-called Salafi might follow by saying: “Allah’s [alleged] giant shinbone is not like our little shinbones or that His humongous smiling face is not like our small smiling face.” The atheist, of course, doesn’t believe in the Qur’an or Hadiths, so quoting them isn’t likely to persuade an atheist, and will likely lead to him attacking the Qur’an, and the belief that the atheist (and the Wahhabi) thinks the Qur’an teaches (that’s aside from the standard secular-supremacist attack the atheists make against the practices of Islam). The Wahhabi is stuck. And for the unlearned Muslims to witness such an exchange will likely cause them confusion and perhaps even doubt about whether or not Islam is intellectually defensible. (It should be no surprise why the Wahhabis turn to violent fanaticism: they can’t use rational persuasion to demonstrate the validity of their belief; hence, they use the “persuasion” of terror and murder).
As for the Sunni who has been blessed and taken out the time to learn the matters of `Aqidah, this Sunni knows that atheism and Western intellectualism poses no threat to his Imaan (Faith). He (or she) establishes that this universe is not “self-created,” for to believe something acted before it existed is more ludicrous than believing in the Tooth Fairy. Also, if the atheist tries to claim that the universe is beginningless, the Sunni explains that an infinite regress is also impossible (if the events before today had no start, there would be no way to reach the present).
The Sunni then goes on to establish that this universe must have a Creator—and the Creator is not a “sky-buddy.” The Eternal Creator, Who is Perfect does not change. The Eternal Creator, Who existed before the universe: before light and darkness, before time and space, before distance and direction is not dependent in any way whatsoever upon the creations, and after the Creator originated the creations, the Creator did not transform into an object and materialize in a place or become dependent upon the creations in any other way. The Creator is not a body or spatial entity; the Creator does not have a size, shape, or dimensions. The Creator exists without being inside a location or in a direction.
Now the atheist might not submit to his Lord on the spot and become a Muslim by saying the Declaration of Faith1, but he has to admit that what the (real) Muslims believe about God is at least rationally consistent and not like the contradictory doctrines of Christianity, Hinduism, or Wahhabism. Also, the atheist is far more likely to accept the (true) Muslim belief than he is to go from not believing in anything to start believing that there is a “God” with large outstretched hands, who shows off His shin and puts His foot inside of Hell on the Judgment Day (as the Wahhabis believe).
Learning well the standard Sunni creed as explained by our great scholars, provides a Muslim with a TREMENDOUS boost of confidence and heightens one’s yaqeen (certitude) in the truthfulness of Islam. With the proper understanding of the Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah, one can stand up to the fans of philosophy, the materialists, the atheists, the secularists and go toe-to-toe with any and all of them—and defeat them—by simply using rational proofs. To walk around knowing that you have an intellectually invincible creed in your chest not only increases confidence, it increases one’s intellectual capacity; it, God-willing, increases wisdom and forbearance; it increases one’s compassion for others, for one can see how important and how beautiful the True `Aqidah is and how it can transform people’s lives.
Compare the belief of a Sunni Muslim to a Wahhabi walking around with a bunch of jumbled confusion up in his head about a smiling face, big foot, shin bone, casting shadows, laughing, having eyes, etc. (all of which the quasi-Salafis attribute to the Creator). Of course, a Wahhabi is going to feel threatened by thinking, rational people (Muslim or non-Muslim), for reasonable people are going to recognize and point out the contradictions that the Wahhabi believes in and is incapable of defending (again, it should be no surprise why the Wahhabis are violent: they are intellectually bankrupt and call people to ignorance and stupidity).
In conclusion, we as Muslims have a vast and rich historical and intellectual heritage (not to mention spiritual heritage—that the Wahhabis also want to cut the Muslims off from). Our history has continuity. Our Creed is rationally consistent and is derived from the luminous Verses of the Qur’an and the pearls of wisdom as spoken by our blessed Prophet, Muhammad, the Mercy and Guidance to the creations. This is the path the Sunnis. May Allah make us steadfast in adhering to Islam and standing up and defending it from all forms of corruption.
1One becomes Muslim by saying: Nothing is worthy of worship except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.