Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab and The Ahl al-Hadeeth

By Shaykh Ehsan Elahi Zaheer

Question: Who was Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab and why are the Ahlul-Hadeeth attributed to him?

Answer: Many people ask this question and I think the people should understand this properly. Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab bin Suliemaan at-Tameemee was born in the area of Najd in a place called Uyainah in the year 1115H and he died in 1206H in a place called Dar’iyyah which is near Riyaadh.
During his time he saw Shirk and innovations widespread so he started to advise the people and called them according to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam). However as ignorant people just have enmity and hatred without any reason these people had the same. So instead of accepting the call of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab which was based upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Messenger (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), which included the prohibition and the impermissibility of worshipping others besides Allaah or the permissibility of supplicating to others, they totally opposed him.
However it was the will and power of Allaah that the village he resided in was near the capital of the government offices, Riyaadh. The ruler of this and the surrounding areas was Muhammad bin Sa’ood al-Ghazanee. Allaah guided through the dawah of the Shaikh and then he joined the Shaikh in spreading and propagating the call to Allaah. Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab explained to him that he needed to use force in order to spread the religion of Allaah and to establish the laws of Allaah upon the earth. “Allaah has granted you understanding of his tawheed and if you aid and help me, then we will be able to overcome and surpass the people who oppose our dawah and in this way the tawheed of Allaah will spread to all the tribes of the arabs, just as the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) called the people to the simple and clear tawheed.”
So Muhammad bin Sa’ood and his tribe helped the Shaikh and just in a short amount of time his dawah and methodology spread and became widespread. People began to follow the straight path, they refrained from grave worship and connected themselves with the tawheed of Allaah. However a powerful government (Turks-Ottomans) that harboured and propagated shirk, attacked Muhammad bin Sa’ood and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab and his tribe and defeated them. So they migrated to Kuwait where they sought refuge. This incident occurred at the end of the Eighteenth century. On one hand the turks empire began to weaken and crumble and on the other hand this exiled tribe continued to strive and struggle to regain their land.
The father of Shaah Fahd and Shaah Faisal, Abdul Azeez bin Abdur Rahmaan Aal-Sa’ood in 1902 with 40 people attacked the castle in Riyaadh in the night. They captured the ruler of Aal Zasheed and other people. After this Abdul Azeez Aal Sa’ood began to capture other areas.

The Turkish government had become hollow and weak. Due to shirk and innovations these people had lost the power of Eemaan and other aspects of their condition had surpassed and worsened than the disbelievers. On the inside they had began to build secular thoughts which were eventually officially established in 1924ce by Ataa-Turk by finishing the Uthmaanee Khilaafah. Restrictions were put on learning the Arabic language and many rulings and laws were imposed that were such to expel the Turk’s from Islaam.
On the other hand Abdul Azeez Abdur-Rahmaan Aal Sa’ood after Najd, captured Hijaaz, Ta’if, al-Bahaa, Abhaa, Ahsaa, Damaam the borders of Sham and A’raaq, Dauqah al-Jizl and in 1932ce he laid the foundations of the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, which is also present to this day. It is a total of 41 provinces and much larger in area than Paakistaan.
Since Abdul Azeez Aal Sa’ood had grown up in a house of righteousness and those who promoted and propagated tawheed, he therefore hated shirk and innovations. So as he would capture any land he would establish the sharee’ah. Alongside this he would destroy the tombs erected over graves to the extent that all the Arab peninsula had been ridden and purified of Shirk. All praise be to Allaah we still do not see anything like these graves and tombs there to this day.
So the establishment of Islamic law and the prohibition of shirk was in reality the call of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab. Thereafter some opposers started to term and call this, based upon the teachings of the British, “The Wahhaabee Movement” and they called everyone who was a Salafee and adopted the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, a person who disrespected the Messenger and a wahaabee and other such names. Whereas those who say and utter these names, then they themselves in their actions were under the influence and affect of the jews and the christian’s.
This was a brief description of the call of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab and its success. Then as far as the Ahlul-Hadeeth are concerned, why are they attributed the Shaikh? Then this is the ignorance of the people as the Ahlul-Hadeeth do not accept anyone to be their leader, representative or guide. Also the fact that the name of the Shaikh was Muhammad and if some one wants to attribute someone to him then they should call them Muhammadee. Wahaabee is from the name of Allaah, al-Wahhaab, so when these people deliberately call some one Wahaabee then in reality they are saying he is a person of Allaah, which is a title and attribution of respect and honour, not one of disrespect. When the British came to India they thoroughly investigated the affair of the people there and they came to the conclusion that if any group of people hate and have enmity towards the jews and christians then it is the Ahlul-Hadeeth.
So in light of this they thought lets make the general public and these religion selling Mullahs, oppose this group upon the truth and they told them such people that those who believe in Allaah are called ‘Wahaabee’s’. So these people sold their religion and faith and strenuously fulfilled the duties and orders of their masters to the extent that these people banned this saved sect from entering the Masjids. However the people know the reality now and the same people are getting beaten by their masters.

Clear your minds on this point that if the Ahlul-Hadeeth do not do taqleed of Imaam Abu Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal and Imaam shaafi’ee, then how can they do taqleed of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab. However it is a totally separate issue that wherever the issue of the Book and Sunnah is found then it will be the issue adopted by the Ahlul-Hadeeth.
The people who establish Islaam and practice it in every time and era are the brothers of the Ahlul-Hadeeth. So on this basis the dawah of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab and the dawah of the Ahlul-Hadeeth is one and the same and that is the Book and the Sunnah. The basis of dawah for both of them is that it is impermissible to associate anything in worship with Allaah and nor is it permissible to ask anything other than Allaah for help and assistance. The dawah and methodology of the Ahlul-Hadeeth has been around from the time when the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) began his call to the oneness of Allaah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab was only 2 centuries before us.

There is no other manhaj in this world today other than the Ahlul-Hadeeth who can claim that their manhaj and madhab is the same as the one the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) showed us. If this is not the case, then it is due to the people who erected walls and boundaries between themselves and the Prophet of Allaah. Is there a madhab or manhaj in the world today that can claim with certainty that their manhaj is exactly the same which the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) gave to Abu Bakr as-Siddeeque and Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhuma) or to the rest of the companions, the only people who can claim this are the Ahlul-Hadeeth. This is why there is no wall between the Ahlul-Hadeeth and Allaah and his Messenger. This is the pure dawah and the call of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) and there are no innovations or additions in this dawah

All the sects and groups of the world today claim their Imaams said so and so, or their holy people said such and such or their religious leaders said such and such. The Ahlul-Hadeeth say, “Allaah said and his Messenger said…” and that’s it. This is the dawah the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) gave to his companions and he said to them,
“There will be 73 sects in my Ummah and all of them will go to the Fire except 1. The companions asked “Who are they?” The Messenger of Allaah said, “What I and my companions are upon.”
Today the inheritors of this dawah are the Ahlul-Hadeeth. As you well know the example that pure milk does not contain any water and so therefore nor do we add anything into the religion.

Now the question arises why do we call ourselves Ahlul-Hadeeth? What is the meaning of calling ourselves Ahlul-Hadeeth? Whereas as people have started to name and attribute themselves to people from the Ummah, so then we attributed ourselves to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam).

Some said “We are hanafee’s.” due to Imaam Abu Haneefah, some said, “We are Shaafi’ee’s” due to Muhammad bin Idrees ash-shaafi’ee.

Some said, “We are deobande’s” because they attributed themselves to the town of Deoband in India,

some said, “We are bareilwi’s.” because they loved the city of Bareily in India.

But we said, “We are Ahlul-Hadeeth” because we attributes our selves to Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam). Now you also must know what Hadeeth is.
Allaah said,
“Allaahu Nazzala Ahsanal-Hadeethee…”
“Allaah has sent down the best statement…”[1 ]
So the word Hadeeth has been used for the Qur’aan. Then Allaah said in Soorah a-Waaqi’ah,
“Afabihadhal Hadeethee Antum Mudhinoon.”
“Is it such a talk (this Qur’aan) that you deny?”[2 ]
So if you do not deny then why do you attribute yourselves to other people and what does calling yourself bareliwee, deobandee. Shaafi’ee and maalikee mean.
“Fabiayyee Hadeethim Ba’aduhu Yu’minoon.”
“Then in what statement after this they will believe.”[3]
In terminology the statements of the Messenger of Allaah are the Ahadeeth and the speech of Allaah is the Qur’aan. So therefore we have attributed ourselves to the Qur’aan and Hadeeth and call ourselves the Ahlul-Hadeeth and we are happy to do so, all praise be to Allaah. We have never attributed ourselves to any village nor to any other people. May Allaah grant this methodology strength and protect and preserve it. Ameen.


1 Soorah az-Zumar (39):23).
2 Soorah al-Waaqi’ah (56):81).
3 Soorah al-Mursalaat (77):50).

10 comments on “Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab and The Ahl al-Hadeeth

  1. Pingback: Islamic Shariah Law or is it Saudi Wahhabi Law ? - Page 3 - Islamic Awakening Forums

  2. Assalaamu alaikum

    excellent work. I’m looking for a book by Ehsan Elahi Zaheer titled shia wa sunna (in english). It is of an urgent matter. Any idea how I can get my hands on a hard copy, or download it online?

  3. Md bin Abdul Wahab Nazdi was an agent of the British. The British used this man and Muhammad bin Sa’ood to bring about disunity among Muslim Ummah. A puppet monarchy was established in Arab. This puppet Govt., powered by the British, commenced propaganda across the globe that Md bin Abdul Wahab Nazdi was an reformer and he was the torch-bearer of pure tawhid. Saudi-sponsored Mullahs,Publishing houses and media tried to demonstrate that almost entire muslim Ummah has become Mushrik and Md bin Abdul Wahab Nazdi and his cadres are re-establishing pure tawhid. some innocent people fell victim to their massive propaganda also. But history proves that this British-paid freemason is the father of modern Kharizism. He and his extremist followers, sponsored by Saudi petro-dollar,made the set-up of the Muslim world topsy-turvy. Entire Muslim World is now like a boiling cauldron. Only British agent Md bin Abdul Wahab Nazdi and wahabees are responsible for it. Ehsan Elahi Zaheer is an artist-lier. These people, by virtue of their word-game, strive to mislead innocent Muslims.

    • please stop spreading lies and open your eyes and read and you would stop following a religion that was invented by the British agent Reza Khan the Shia.
      fear Allaah and don’t backbite the scholars of Sunnah you have followed all the other people of innovation in making claims without proof so don’t post on here again spreading your lies

  4. brother I don’t have the time, energy or even knowledge to rise up to your stupid challenges, You made claims against Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab and now want me to prove your writings is a lie??!! what planet are you on man?
    I don’t allow you sufis to have a platform here to misguide people and every time you comment your link to a deviant sufi website will be deleted so why waste your energy and mine?

  5. brother firstly I told you links to your own sufi site will be deleted yet you linked back to it again.

    secondly this proof of yours >>> (Monthly Ahle Hadees 28th February, 2009 Page 46-48; Published by Jamiat Ahle Hadees Paschim Banga)

    I only found out recently that Paschim Banga is a corner of India how do you expect me to have this copy of magazine/journal or whatever it is?! and if you have it why don’t you upload it and show it to your barelwee friends on your own blog. Alhamdulillaah the salafis are bigger than just Indian sub-continent unlike the Berailly sect so how do you expect everyone to have this copy of Magazine/journal from this corner of India? if you have it post it (ON YOUR OWN BLOG)

    thirdly it is well known that Raza Khan and Ghulam Qadian were agents of the British they fought for the British with their pens I have said to you before I don’t have the time, energy or even knowledge to rise up to your stupid challenges.

    fourthly you say you will become wahhabi again I believe you were a salafi who finally saw the light as much as I believe those fake ex muslims.

    and most importantly Im telling you for the last time I will not allow this place to be a stage for raza khans hindu religion!

  6. Assalaamu alaikum. Regarding the fictional Humphrey Memoirs used to sell the lies about Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab that Md Abul Kalam Azad appears to have accepted, please consider this debunking of the book Abdul-Haqq Abdul-Khaliq:

    “This book was translated into Urdu in India and it was claimed by its publishers that Humphrey was an English spy whose duty was to spy on the Ottoman caliphate in the 18 th Century. He went through training in adopting an Islamic identity and learning Arabic, and then travelled to Basra where he met Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, and a strong friendship developed between the two. The Publishers claim that these memoirs remained hidden until they fell into the hands of the Germans during World War II, who published it as a way of slandering the British government. It was translated into French, Arabic and Urdu. A perusal of this book makes it abundantly clear that it is an imaginary fictional narrative, coined deliberately to discredit Sheikh ibn Abdul Wahhab and his followers by the British. Our evidence to prove the book is a concoction is twofold: historical evidence from its contents, and our fruitless search to find the original English version.

    We began with a trip to the British Library’s Rare Books Section, which contains books printed prior to 1975. There were 72 entries under Humphrey, but none related to our subject. We found one entry under Humphrey’s Memoirs (printed 1734), but these were the memoirs of the Duke of Gloucester who recorded his relations with the ruling family of the time.

    The publishers of the offending book had also given a number of alternative titles such as ‘Colonisation Ideal’ and ‘The English spy in Islamic countries’. Needless to say we found no such book, and neither did our search under ‘spy’ reveal anything useful. The advent of computers has made access to rare and remote books very easy, and we have been forced to conclude after an intensive search that no such book exists and that we have a fabricated translation published by the enemies of the Sheikh ibn Abdul Wahhab.
    Humphrey claims he travelled to Istanbul in 1710 at the age of 20. He returned to London and then travelled to Basrah in 1712 after a long sea journey lasting six months. This claim is irrational as sea travel between England and Gulf was not that long. He also claims to have met Shaikh At Taee, one of the Sheikhs of Basrah. He then met a carpenter of Iranian origins called Abdul Riza with whom he began working, and there he met a. young man who spoke Turkish, Persian and Arabic. He wore the garb of students and was known as Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. [Humphrey’s Memoirs, Colonisation Ideal, The English Spy in Islamic Countries p35) The claim of this acquaintance is clearly false. Sheikh ibn Abdul Wahhab was born in 1703, attaining majority at the age of twelve when his father arranged his marriage. After travelling to the Hijaz for the Hajj, he returned to Najd and stayed with his father to study. He did not travel to seek knowledge until 1722 when he travelled to Makkah, Madina and Basrah. There is thus no possibility of the Sheikh and the fictional Humphrey meeting in Basrah as the dates do not correspond. And all the scholars who have researched the biography of the Sheikh have rejected claims that the Sheikh travelled to Turkey and Persia. (Dr. S. A. Al-Abood, 1 : 188 )
    The book claims that the Sheikh expressed a desire to travel to Istanbul, but was advised against it by Humphrey for fear of persecution from the Ottomans. He advised the Sheikh to travel to Isfahan instead, and the Sheikh did so. This too is a lie. Syyed Abdul Haleem al Jundi quotes in ‘Al Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab ‘ the victory of the Salafi method’, ‘I discussed this with Sheikh ibn Baz, who denied the journey to Kurdistan and Iran. Sheikh Ibn Baz told me he took this information from his Sheikhs, including the grandchildren of Sheikh Ibn Abdul Wahhab, and especially his own Sheikh, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim’. (Ibid, 1 : 186 )

    Humphrey claims that the Sheikh declared his da’wah in 1143 AH. This is the only time he uses the hijrah calendar in his book. It also reveals his ignorance of historical facts, as the Sheikh returned to Huraymilah three years before the death of his father in 1153, and declared his da’wah after the death of his father.

    There is yet more evidence that Humphrey was devoid of historical knowledge. Humphrey travelled to Istanbul in 1710, giving the ostensible reason that the British Empire was assigning great importance to its established colonies. The Empire was so vast it was said that the sun did not set within its boundaries. Although the British Isles were themselves relatively small, the extended territories including India, China and the Middle East were extensive and required careful governance. The Ministry for Colonies decided to recruit spies to gather information from the territories, and so Humphrey became involved. ( Humphrey, p. 6 )It is historically inaccurate to place these events at the beginning of the 18 th Century. India at the time was not a colony; the East India Company began trading in the 17 th Century but had no political hold until1757 when Bengal was captured. It began expanding until the rule of the Company was transferred to direct rule from England in 1857. Therefore, there was no Indian colony in 1710. There was also no British colonial involvement in China at the time; Hong Kong did not fall to the British until the Treaty of 1898.

    It is therefore clear that the inventor of the Memoirs has let his imagination run riot and abandon historical accuracy. He has set his story at the end of the 19 th Century in the heyday of the British Empire, when the sun truly did not set on its colonies. But in doing so, he has exposed himself to be a writer of fiction, not fact.

    The author attributes many actions and words to the Sheikh which are at clear odds with the beliefs, teachings and distinctly Islamic character of the Sheikh. There is no need to discuss these filthy slanders in any detail, as the authenticity of the facts in the book has been proven to be false. In order to lend credibility to his ‘memoirs’, the author sprinkles the novel with stories of plots by the British government to disunite the Muslims; to create ideological and religious upheaval among them; to spread evil among their men and women; to distance them from Arabic, the language of the Qur’an; to encourage the use of national and social languages; to establish missionary schools; and to weaken the position of the Muslims politically and economically.

    I have attempted to prove the fabrication of this book through its historical inaccuracy and doubtful authorship, as I believe that no one else has done so yet. In fact, a book as insignificant as this does not deserve even a second glance, let alone a serious critical study. But from a sense of duty and Amanah, I decided to shed light on the lies contained within it. And Allah knows best the intentions.”

    For a more comprehensive studies refer to the fulkl document on…46&category=19

    The lies peddled by the Humphry’s work of fiction have been recycled in what purports to be a captured secret Iraqi Intelligence document that is now available on-line. This no doubt equally fictional document does not stop at committing fitna against Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and goes on to make extravagant and ridiculous claims about Shiite as well. In the document it is asserted:

    “Revealing the British intelligence documents that aimed to destroy Islam and Muslims within one century, so Islam become old news after being the reality which confronted its top agents working to achieve the fourteen items of the agreement. They ordered to keep the document secretive and warned about disclosing its contents so that Muslims will not be aware of it and take adverse actions, and the document sums up as follow:

    1. The positive cooperation with the Caesars of Russia to seize the Islamic region of Bukhara, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kharasan, and others and cooperating with them.
    2. The positive cooperation with France and Russia to put together a comprehensive plan to destroy the Islamic world internally and externally.
    3. Create disputes and severe conflicts between the Turkish and Persian governments and stir up sectarianism and racialism between both sides.
    4. Give part ofthe Islamic countries to non Muslims; (first) Yathrib to the Jews, (second) Alexandria to the Christians, (third) Yazid to the Parisian Zarusht, (fourth) AI-‘Amara to AI-Sa’ibah, (fifth) Karaminshah for those who make God out o f’Ali bin Abi Talib, (sixth) AI-Musil for AI-Yazidyyin, (seventh) the Gulf of Dhars to the Hindus, (eighth) Tripoli for Druze, and (ninth) Qarid for AI-Tubiyyin.
    5. Planning to squander both Turkish and Persian Islamic governments into the largest number possible of conflicting small local authorities as is the case in India, applying the rule of (Divide and Conquer) and (Divide and Destroy).
    6. Plant false religions and faiths in the body ofthe Islamic countries as follows: a. Plant four religions in the body of the Shiite countries as follow: 1) A religion that idolizes AI-Hussayn bin ‘Ali, and the right location is Karbala 2) A religion that worships Ja’far AI-Sadiq, and the right location is Isfahan 3) A religion that worships AI-Mihdi AI-Maw’ud and the right location is Samirra’. 4) A religion that worships ‘Ali AI-Rida, and the right location is Kharasan. b.Make the four Sunni faiths, independent without connection to each other; they are the only Muslims and the rest are infidels and should be killed and eradicated.
    7. Spread immorality among Muslims through adultery, sodomy, alcohol, and gambling.
    8. Take an interest in cultivating corrupted rulers in the land that are a tool in the hands of the British.
    9. Prohibit the Arabic language as much as possible and expand on non Arabic languages such as, Sanskrit, Bayisiyyah, Kurdish, and Pashto; and expand the scope for local dialects branching off Arabic which entails disconnecting Arabs from the great language which is the language of Koran and Sunna.”

    It should be clear to anyone that these fantastic claims which are being peddled in a propaganda war are intended by the enemies of Islam to promote sectarian conflict and weaken the Umah. We do not need to think to hard about the true sources of these slanderous claims.

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