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'''Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab''' (محمد بن عبد الوهاب, born 1703 in 'Uyaynah; died 1792) was a Muslim scholar from the Najd region of what is today known as [[Saudi Arabia]], who founded the eponymous Wahhabi branch of the [[Salafism|Salafi]] movement, a movement which he would also be ultimately responsible for popularizing in general.
 
'''Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab''' (محمد بن عبد الوهاب, born 1703 in 'Uyaynah; died 1792) was a Muslim scholar from the Najd region of what is today known as [[Saudi Arabia]], who founded the eponymous Wahhabi branch of the [[Salafism|Salafi]] movement, a movement which he would also be ultimately responsible for popularizing in general.
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== Early life ==
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==Early life==
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=== Upbringing and education ===
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===Upbringing and education===
 
Born in a sedentary clan to a family of well-established Islamic jurists in the Najd, Abd al-Wahhab was raised with a standard classical training in Qur'anic memorization as well as [[Islamic Law]] and [[fiqh]] according to the Hanbali [[Madh'hab]], which was common in the area.
 
Born in a sedentary clan to a family of well-established Islamic jurists in the Najd, Abd al-Wahhab was raised with a standard classical training in Qur'anic memorization as well as [[Islamic Law]] and [[fiqh]] according to the Hanbali [[Madh'hab]], which was common in the area.
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These experiences would later inspire the especially puritanical and anti-classical strain of Salafism that were taught by and became eponymous with Abd al-Wahhab
 
These experiences would later inspire the especially puritanical and anti-classical strain of Salafism that were taught by and became eponymous with Abd al-Wahhab
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=== Return home ===
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===Return home===
 
Upon his return home, Abd al-Wahhab began preaching his new ideas, and ultimately managed to secure a political pact with the ambitious ruler of Uyaynah at the time by the name of Ibn Mu'ammar. With the resultant political authority, al-Wahhab begin implementing his interpretation of Islam in addition to preaching it. Among his first acts where: the leveling of a companion's grave (that of Zayd ibn al-Khattab), the removal of trees that locals considered sacred, and the stoning of a woman who had admitted to having committed adultery.
 
Upon his return home, Abd al-Wahhab began preaching his new ideas, and ultimately managed to secure a political pact with the ambitious ruler of Uyaynah at the time by the name of Ibn Mu'ammar. With the resultant political authority, al-Wahhab begin implementing his interpretation of Islam in addition to preaching it. Among his first acts where: the leveling of a companion's grave (that of Zayd ibn al-Khattab), the removal of trees that locals considered sacred, and the stoning of a woman who had admitted to having committed adultery.
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== Political Pacts ==
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==Political Pacts==
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=== Ibn Mu'ammar ===
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===Ibn Mu'ammar===
 
Abd al-Wahhab's preaching upon his return home earned him an alliance with the then ruler of Uyaynah, Ibn Mu'ammar. As Abd al-Wahhab began to act out using his new found authority in addition to simply preaching, however, a competing Najdi ruler by the name of Ibn Ghurayr (chief of al-Hasa and Qatif) became incensed, and ultimately threatened to prevent Ibn Mu'ammar from collecting taxes from properties Ibn Mu'ammar owned in al-Hasa if Ibn Mu'ammar did not evince or execute Abd al-Wahhab. Ibn Mu'ammar complied, banishing al-Wahhab, and thus spelling the end of their political alliance.
 
Abd al-Wahhab's preaching upon his return home earned him an alliance with the then ruler of Uyaynah, Ibn Mu'ammar. As Abd al-Wahhab began to act out using his new found authority in addition to simply preaching, however, a competing Najdi ruler by the name of Ibn Ghurayr (chief of al-Hasa and Qatif) became incensed, and ultimately threatened to prevent Ibn Mu'ammar from collecting taxes from properties Ibn Mu'ammar owned in al-Hasa if Ibn Mu'ammar did not evince or execute Abd al-Wahhab. Ibn Mu'ammar complied, banishing al-Wahhab, and thus spelling the end of their political alliance.
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=== Muhammad bin Saud ===
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===Muhammad bin Saud===
Hearing of al-Wahhab's expulsion from Uyaynah and drawn by his teachings, Muhammad bin Saud, another leader in the Najd (this time of the Diriyah settlement), invited al-Wahhab to work and live with him. In 1744, they famously sounded a pact (or ''bay'ah'', lit. "oath of loyalty"). Dividing political and religious affairs between the two of them (the latter being al-Wahhab's responsibility), both set out to conquer the Arabian peninsula. The two families of al-Saud and al-Wahhab would persist in this "mutual support pact" until the present time, and together see the establishment of the first (Emirate of Diriyah, 1744-1818), second (1824), and third Saudi states.
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Hearing of al-Wahhab's expulsion from Uyaynah and drawn by his teachings, Muhammad bin Saud, another leader in the Najd (this time of the Diriyah settlement), invited al-Wahhab to work and live with him. In 1744, they famously sounded a pact (or ''bay'ah'', lit. "oath of loyalty"). Dividing political and religious affairs between the two of them (the latter being al-Wahhab's responsibility), both set out to conquer the Arabian peninsula. The two families of al-Saud and al-Wahhab would persist in this "mutual support pact" until the present time, and together see the establishment of the first (Emirate of Diriyah, 1744-1818), second (Emirate of Nejd, 1824-1891), and third (Saudi Arabia, 1902-present) Saudi states.
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== Teachings ==
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=== Tawhid and intercession ===
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Abd al-Wahhab emphasized [[Tawheed|''tawheed'']], or strict monotheism, as his core teaching, which was epitomized in his famous book entitled ''Kitab al-Tawheed'' (lit. "The book of monotheism"). In focusing on tawheed, al-Wahhab saw any and all veneration of humans (such as venerated scholars, deceased and living) and human constructs (physical shrines as well abstract constructs such as the four schools of Sunni law) as interrupting and violating an absolute monotheism. While orthodox Islam had long accepted the possibility of selected pious persons (specifically the prophet) interceding on behalf of other before God with God's permission on the Day of Judgement, al-Wahhab taught that believing in any such thing was tantamount to [[Shirk|''shirk'']], or polytheism.
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It is important to note that Islamic scripture is itself unclear on the possibility of intercession, and gives seemingly [[Contradictions in the Quran|mixed messages]] (note the first and second verses which suggest that ''no'' intercession is possible whatsoever, and the third and fourth which suggest that some persons may be given permission to intercede for others):
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{{Quote|{{quran|2|48}}|And guard yourselves against a day when <b>no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped.</b>}}{{Quote|{{quran-range|2|254|255}}|245. O ye who believe! spend of that wherewith We have provided you ere a day come when <b>there will be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession.</b> The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers.
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255. Allah! There is no deity save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. <b>Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave?</b> He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.}}{{Quote|{{quran|20|109}}|<b>On that day no intercession availeth save (that of) him unto whom the Beneficent hath given leave and whose word He accepteth.</b>}}
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=== Takfeer ===
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Abd al-Wahhab went so far as to declare all those who believed in the possibility of intercession with God to be [[Kafir|''kuffar'']], or [[non-Muslims]] (lit. "unbelievers"). This practice of excommunication whereby one declares someone else who self-describes as a Muslim to, in fact, be a non-Muslim, is known as ''[[takfeer]].'' Abd al-Wahhab can be seen as responsible for re-popularizing it until the present time (the practice had been at least somewhat common place prior to the 13th century and especially during the civil wars over Muhammad's [[Caliph|caliphal]] succession much earlier on, but had since died out).
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Another popular [[Salafi]] commonly attributed to al-Wahhab is [[Love and Hate in Islam|''al-Wala' wal-Bara' li-Allah'']], or the practice of "loving and hating for the sake of Allah".
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=== Wahhabism ===
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Today, followers of al-Wahhab self-Identify more generically as "Salafis" (which merely connotes a focus on the practices of the [[Salaf|Salafs]], or the early Muslim) and are usually only referred to by others, in an almost derogatory manner, as "Wahhabis". In practical discourse, however, the term Wahhabism proves useful, as the Salafi movement is much larger and far more diverse than the followers of al-Wahhab, who only comprise one sub-group.
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== See Also ==
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* [[Salaf]]
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* [[Salafism]]
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* [[Ibn Taymiyya|Ibn Taymiyyah]]
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* [[Madh'hab]]
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* [[Fiqh]]
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[[Category:Stubs]]
 
[[Category:Stubs]]
 
[[Category:Muslims]]
 
[[Category:Muslims]]
 
[[Category:Islamic scholars]]
 
[[Category:Islamic scholars]]
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