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INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER: Written on 8th of June, 2015

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER: Written on 8th of June, 2015

 

   Within the earlier omitted introductory chapter of this book, we have demonstrated the principles of the Islamic country or state as it should be and how to apply such principles within justice and liberty, as done by Prophet Muhammad within the city-state of Yathreb in the 7th century Arabia, and we have called this religious legitimacy, not to be confused with the term theocracy, an abhorrent term which is foreign to Islam. We later on demonstrated how the city-state of Islam during Muhammad's life time was succeeded by regimes (monarchies) based on power, and we have called this political legitimacy, such as the Sunnite Abbasid Caliphate, the Shiite Fatimid Caliphate, the Sufi Sunnite Mameluke Caliphate, and the Sufi Sunnite Ottoman Caliphate. When M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab emerged in Arabia as a foe of both the Sufi and Shiite creeds, he called for his doctrine, Wahabism, which is an extremist Sunnite sub-creed. Abdul-Wahab suffered persecution at first, which led him to seek political protection and aid by allying himself to the family of Ibn Saud; this alliance resulted in the establishment of the very first Saudi state, which was destroyed and toppled by the governor of Egypt at the time, Muhammad Ali Pacha, in 1818 A.D. Yet, a second Saudi state was established, but to collapse soon afterwards, and the Saudi royal family fled to the Gulf region that came to be known later on as Kuwait. Later on, in the 20th century, Abdul-Aziz Ibn Abdul-Rahman Al-Feisal Al-Saud managed to establish the third current Saudi state and monarchy, called the KSA,  with the help of his allies and supporters, the "Najd Brothers'' group members, who later on turned against him and opposed his reign, becoming his fiercest enemies. This turnabout of events asserts the fact that any theocracy holds inherent factors of its collapse and downfall; as it produces unwittingly from inside it religious opposition movements from within the same doctrine, when the opposition figures try to prove themselves as more 'pious' and 'devout' than the existent regime.

  With the above summary, we have decided to omit the rest of the earlier written introductory chapter, as details of it were published in several of our earlier articles and researches; yet, it is sufficed here to quote below some passages, from the omitted introductory chapter, about the relation between Ibn Abdul-Wahab and Ibn Saud that resulted in the establishment of the very first Saudi state of kingdom.

 

 An overview of the history of the sheikh M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab:

 1- It is reported that he was born in 1703 A.D., and his father, sheikh Abdul-Wahab Ibn Ali, from the city of Brida, of the tribe of Tamim, worked as a judge in the city of Al-Eineiya, in Haneefa valley, in the Najd region, which was ruled at the time by Abdullah Ibn M. Ibn Al-Muammar. Sheikh Abdul-Wahab, besides his job as a judge, was also teaching the ancient interpretations of the Quran, hadiths, and fiqh (i.e., jurisprudence) of the Ibn Hanbal doctrine; hence, his house was a mecca for scholars and imams who seek to further their knowledge of theological studies. Within such atmosphere, the child M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab memorized the Quran before he reached the age of ten, and he attended lessons, sermons, and lectures of his father. Later on, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab read, and was well-versed in, the books of Ibn Taymiyya, the scholar/imam that influenced M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab a great deal later on in his life. The eruditeness of M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab was shown early, to the extent that his father made him, as a youth, the imam of congregational prayers, saying to others that he drew useful lessons from his son in many fatwas and issues of jurisprudence (27).

2- It is reported that when he reached the age of 13, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab performed pilgrimage in Mecca, and he made pilgrimage to the so-called tomb ascribed to Prophet Muhammad in Yathreb, where he stayed for two months. M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab felt shocked and condemned the sanctification and worshipping of this tomb, considering that practices of worship at tombs and mausoleums as polytheistic acts. Later on, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab went to Hejaz region to further his theological studies, and he met in Yathreb sheikh Abdullah Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Al-Seif, who was from Najd, the reformist scholar well-known at the time, who befriended M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab. Moreover, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab was taught there by sheikh M. Hayat Al-Sanady, one of the biggest scholars/imams of Yathreb (28). Later on, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab returned to Najd to stay for a while, and then, he left it to Iraq, visiting Baghdad, and staying four years in Basra, where he studied fiqh and hadiths by sheikh M. Al-Majmouey. M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab was vociferous and outspoken in his condemnation of the Shiite rites and practices of worshipping and sanctifying tombs and mausoleums as well as their belief in endless myths related to them. When people of Basra asked him about such practices and acts of worship, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab would tell him that worship is never deemed acceptable except when it is dedicated to God alone, and they used to be astounded by such declarations (29). People of Basra grew more furious because of the views of M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, and they gathered to drive him forcibly out of the city. This led him to consider moving to the Levant, but his impecuniousness foiled such a plan. Thus, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab left for Al-Ahsa region, in Arabia, for a while, where he was the guest of sheikh M. Ibn Abdul-Latif of Al-Ahsa. Later on, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab returned to the city of Heirmeila, where his father resided. Reaching the age of 36, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab repeated his perusal of all books of Ibn Taymiyya, which exerted a considerable influence over him, despite the fact that the works of Ibn Taymiyya were authored four centuries before M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab was born. It is noteworthy that the religious rites and notions fought against by Ibn Taymiyya, who died imprisoned in a fortress in Damascus in 1327 A.D., were the same rites and notions fought against by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab in Arabia and Iraq and elsewhere, and thus, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab walked into the route of Ibn Taymiyya in the fight against polytheism (30).

 

 The movement of sheikh M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab in spreading his call:

1- M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab engaged into several intellectual disputes and heated debates with both laymen and other theological scholars, yet, his call that came to be known later on as Wahabism was not crystalized until the death of his father in 1740, as M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab used to hide his sentiments and call from his father, who used to adopt different methods in calling and preaching (31). Thus, once his father died, the book of M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab titled "Monotheism Is God's Right within Human Beings" spread all over Arabia, as M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab became free from restrictions imposed on him by his late father, and he moved everywhere to spread his call in all cities such as Heirmeila, Al-Eineiya, Al-Deireiya, and Riyadh. As a result of such popularity, the number of his foes augmented, to the extent that some of them tried to have him murdered, and M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab had to flee his birth city and to settle in Al-Eineiya, as he was welcomed by its ruler/emir, Othman Ibn M. Al-Muammar, who was among the followers of Wahabism. As countless persons followed Wahabism, violent groups were formed to demolish all mausoleums of the so-called saints, which included the famous tomb of Zeid Ibn Al-Khattab in the region of Al-Jabaleiya, destroyed by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab himself. Believers in saints waited for a curse or malediction to fall on the head of M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, but nothing happened to him, and as a result, he gained more followers to his call of Wahabism. Some new followers cut off the 'holy' trees that were being worshipped at the time, including the well-known Tree of Zeinab (32).

2- Settling in the city of Al-Eineiya, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab applied the corporal punishment of stoning an adulteress, who confessed her sin and witnesses asserted her confession, and Othman Ibn Al-Muammar participated in stoning her, to declare the application of the Sunnite sharia laws that were abolished before in the region of Najd and other regions of Arabia at the time. M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab grew more famous, and his foes, especially the scholars of the Seheim family in Riyadh, wrote letters to rulers of all cities to warn them against Wahabism that would make the masses revolt against their rulers. These scholars presented a formal complaint against M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab and Othman Ibn Al-Muammar, ruler of Al-Eineiya, to Suleiman, the governor of Al-Ahsa, which was the region in which Al-Eineiya was located. The governor ordered Othman to promptly kill M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, threatening to wage war against Othman if he would disobey this command. Scholars and theologians of Al-Eineiya who bore grudges against M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab frightened Othman and he had to follow their advice by urging M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab to leave the city at once, as he could not face the governor of Al-Ahsa in fighting (33).                                           

3- M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab had to move to the city of Al-Deireiya, which was ruled at the time by the Saud family since 1682, since the days of Miqrin Ibn Markhan and his son Saud, and the grandson M. Ibn Saud who ruled it from 1725 to 1765. At the time, Mashary and Thanyan, Brothers of M. Ibn Saud, converted to Wahabism, and consequently, the city dwellers welcomed M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab and a new era began by the pact created between M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab and the ruler/emir M. Ibn Saud. Turba and Al-Kharama

The pact between M. Ibn Saud and M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab in 1745:

Principles and formulation of the pact:

1- It was reported that within the influence of Mashary and Thanyan, sons of Saud and Brothers of M. Ibn Saud, as well as that of the wife of M. Ibn Saud, the ruler/emir M. Ibn Saud met with M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab in the house of Ahmed Ibn Suweilam, where he resided. M. Ibn Saud said to M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab: "Feel glad to reside in a city better than yours, where you will find prosperity, pride, and glory", and M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab replied: "We urge you to feel the glad tidings of pomp and wealth and authority, using the testimony of There is no God but Allah, and as you support it and stick to it, you will reign supreme over people and lands, for this is the testimony preached by all prophets of God".

 

2- M. Ibn Saud feared that if he would support M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, the latter would later on leave him to seek further aid from other emirs, and he feared as well that M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab would refuse taxes imposed on the dwellers of the city of Al-Deireiya, and thus, he said to M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab: "O pious imam! We feel no doubt that this is the religion of God and His messenger, and we bear you glad tidings of victory and we promise you to declare jihad to fight those who refuse monotheism, but we stipulate two conditions; firstly, we fear if we militarily supported you and subdued cities for the sake of your call, you would leave us for the sake of other supporters and allies; secondly, we fear that you would object to tributes and taxes we impose of people of this city". M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab replied: "We assure you, O Emir, that as for the first thing, we are to remain with you always, blood for blood and destruction for our enemies, as for the second thing, we hope God will come to our aid in conquering other cities that would increase your wealth". Thus, both M. Ibn Saud and M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab shook hands and declared their pact and allegiance to perform jihad for the sake of God's religion and sharia laws by commanding people to do righteous acts and prevent them from evil deeds (34). Thus, the very first KSA was established based on coercion and compulsion in religion and on jihad, or blood for blood and destruction for all who disobeyed the family of Saud. Thus, their 'jihad' means here to fight to death all those who opposed Wahabism and its call, and declare them as 'infidels' who must be robbed, raped, and murdered. When news of this pact reached all the Najd region, all supporters of Wahabism came to the city of Al-Deireiya, turning it into a capital of a military and political theocracy; the space of city increased and expanded as more residents came to settle and build houses and as all spoils and zakat money were collected into it. Thus, this pact and the Najd region forced the so-called Islamic world into entering a new phase.

The meaning of this pact:

1- Sufism was the dominant religion in Najd, and indeed the whole Arab world, before this pact came into being; each city had its local patron saints, or rather deities, of the two types: living saints/clergymen and dead ones in their 'holy' tombs. This was in addition to deification and sanctification of all dead imams, theologians, and scholars as well as Prophet Muhammad and his progeny and family members, as a dominant faith tenet among both the Sunnites and the Shiites, and symbolic mausoleums were erected in their memory. Moreover, the Sufi religion used up all sentiments of the Muhammadans in general; as they leant on it to replace their being repressed and shut out of political life, which was based, as always, on injustices, tyranny, and bloody struggle and conflict. Hence, negative values thrived: submission to people, counting on others, passivity, laziness, and renouncing the world and its affairs, especially in major cities by the river-banks, in Egypt and Iraq. Thus, ruling and authority were for those who would achieve military victory, either by mercenaries within the Ottoman Empire or by tribal fanaticism in the Arabian Peninsula. Within the Najd region in Arabia, after the military Shiite call of the Qarmatians, no religious call emerged among rulers and governors that would use tribal fanaticism to fight others under the banner of creeds. Thus, the struggles were mainly political within local rulers with no manipulation of religion at all, and the victorious ones used only their intelligence and pacts with allies, who might as easily switch their fealty for other allies/foes, for the sake of more loot. Thus, the very first pact of military-religious nature in Najd was between M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab and M. Ibn Saud, creating thus a new status quo: political and military invasion, rechristened as 'jihad' for God, under the banner of the Sunnite Ibn Hanbal doctrine of Wahabism, declaring its foes as infidels and enemies of Islam! Those infidels were of course other cities whose residents and rulers were Sunnite or Shiite Sufis.

2- This pact was new in its kind at the time: it considered all other rulers and their nations as infidels/polytheists who deserved to be murdered, invaded, raped, and robbed, and thus, they must be fought to be coerced and forced to convert to the 'only true' religion: Wahabism: i.e., the Sunnite Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Hanbal doctrine as presented and understood by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab. To use theological terms of Sunnite sharia jurisprudence, this new pact considered all countries and cities of the Muhammadans and Arabs who did not like Wahabism as ''lands of war and disbelief'' that should be fought, conquered, invaded, and occupied just as in the case of Arab conquests of the 7th century and the purported battles of Prophet Muhammad in his so-called biography written a century after his death. Hence, the ''lands of war and disbelief'' were no longer Christian Europe, but rather all Arabs among the Muhammadans of all non-Wahabi sects and creeds that reject Wahabism.

Factors that led to consolidation of this erroneous concept of ''lands of war and disbelief'':

1- These are two factors. The first factor is as follows: the ordeals M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab underwent by his foes, as he was expelled from several cities, like Basra in Iraq, in disgrace, and the attempt on his life in his birthplace town. This did not differ much from the persecution suffered by Ibn Taymiyya by his foes four centuries earlier, as mentioned in his books, admired and perused a lot by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab. Thus, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab had to peremptorily attack other cities using a military and political pact; otherwise, he might have been imprisoned like Ibn Taymiyya or might have been murdered. We are to remember that at the time, M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab have not reached the stature and fame of Ibn Taymiyya in his era. M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab witnessed hoe the ruler/emir of Al-Ahsa ordered his murder; thus, he was to either revoke and renounce his call to stay alive or to go one by waging wars against his foes, armed by a military political pact with an ambitious ruler. Thus, the motto ''Blood for blood and destruction for all enemies!'' echoed his ardent desire for revenge, to make his foes pay the price for his suffering and humiliation in Najd and Iraq. The second factor is as follows: M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, as an ambitious well-versed sheikh and scholar, waited patiently to revive the historical background of Najd region and its people: this background included revolts and religious opposition movements of desert-Arabs and the Bedouins in Najd and Al-Ahsa and other regions. Within such movements of rebellion, a new creed would be created that reflects the social nature of desert-Arabs and Bedouins, especially their raids of looting, robbing, stealing, enslavement, destroying, and rape. With this new man-made, tailored creed, such Bedouin raids for loot would be rechristened as 'jihad': i.e., to loot and rape and presumably end up in Paradise in the Hereafter as a reward for such crimes! Such earthly creed entails the existence of the notion of declaring the others (i.e., those who oppose the new creed) as infidels and disbelievers who deserve to be murdered, raped, and robbed. Thus, the earliest background of the history of Najd simply began with the revolt of Al-Khawarij and later on revolts of the Shiite Qarmatians and the Zanj rebellion. Hence, within such revolts, the military power and the belligerent nature of the desert-Arabs and Bedouins would unite together in the struggle for rule, power, and authority, instead of mere looting, thus turning their violence and fighting into a religious jihad. Thus, such repetitive pattern in the history of Najd could be revived easily enough by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab by turning raids for loot into jihad within the new creed of Wahabism. Hence the Ibn Hanbal extremist doctrine, rechristened as Wahabism, would seize the chance at the time to avenge persecution of both Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taymiyya that occurred centuries ago.

 

Lastly: This is NOT Islam:

1- It was natural that Wahabis would consider Wahabism as 'real' Islam and that their 'duty' was to fight everyone among Arab Muhammadans as infidels and polytheists, as well as Jews and Christians if they possibly can fight them. This fighting was not just for loot and rule, but also to coerce all humans to convert to Wahabism, and later on, coerce all those under Wahabi control to perform religious duties as per Wahabi compulsion traditions of imposing 'good' deeds and fighting 'bad' ones.

      

2- This compulsion of religion was a tradition came down by historical accumulation to the mind of M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, who considered this compulsion and coercion as part of religion, and a notion of vital importance on which he based his pact with M. Ibn Saud. Both this compulsion of religion and this aggression consisting of violence, fighting, and violation against those who were peaceful and never attacked first are notions against Islam as per the Quran. Yet, we find both notions to exist normally in centuries of history of the Arabs/Muhammadans, beginning with the crime of Arab conquests perpetrated by the so-called companions of Prophet Muhammad after his death, until aggressions committed by the Ottoman Empire within Europe and the Arab and non-Arab worlds within the countries of the Muhammadans     

 

3- In fact, Muhammadans of the Middle Ages were living the culture of the Middle Ages like all nations of the globe at the time, with its values of extremism, fanaticism, religious wars, and Inquisitions, and people of that era in human history had to invent, fabricate, and create creeds, religions, and sharia laws that would endorse such Middle-Ages culture and values of aggression of all sorts. In the case of the Muhammadans, they had to distort Islam by deliberately misinterpreting Quranic verses and overlooking other verses, fabricating the so-called hadiths, and finally by giving great importance and focus in theological branches of thought like fiqh, in order to justify the logic of the Middle-Ages culture. Later on, such books that contained such notions and hadiths etc. were made holy, sanctified, and revered with the passage of time as ascribed to Prophet Muhammad himself (a falsehood adopted and propagated by the Sunnites), to the relatives, progeny, family members, and in-laws of Prophet Muhammad (a falsehood adopted and propagated by the Shiites), or finally to holy, sanctified saints and imams (a falsehood adopted and propagated by the Sufis).   

 

4- If people would draw Islam and its tenets from such subjective, human viewpoints of the Muhammadans of such eras, they would learn nothing but terrorism, aggression, violations, and violence. If people want to discover and learn real Islam and its tenets, they must rely on the sole source of them: the Quran. The Quranic teachings, tenets, concepts, notions, and sharia laws, if studied closely and focused upon, show clearly that Islam is the religion of tolerance, peace, justice, goodness, and charity and that God sent Muhammad as a mercy to the humankind, NOT to fight, invade, and conquer the lands of the humankind to coerce them in religion.                          

Footnotes:

27- Hussein Ibn Ghannam: ''History of Najd'', edited by Nasser Al-Assad, page 26.

28- Othman Ibn Bishr: "Title of Glory in History of Najd" 1/17.

29- Hussein Ibn Ghannam: ditto, page 28.

30- Dr. Abdel-Hameed Al-Batreek: "Wahabism as a Religion and a State", an article published in the Magazine of Girls College, Cairo 42:43, 1964. 

31- Hussein Ibn Ghannam: ditto, page 77.

32- Amin Al-Rihany: "Modern History of Najd", the 39th edition, Beirut, 1954 and Fareed Mustapha: "The Saud Family in History", the 9th edition, Damascus, 1949.

33- Hussein Ibn Ghannam: ditto, page 79 and a book titled "The Brilliant Comet" by an unknown author, edited by Ahmed Mustapha Abou Hakma, page 324, Beirut, 1967.

34- Othman Ibn Bishr: ditto, 12:11/1 and Hussein Ibn Ghannam: ditto, page 81. 

The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century
The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century

Authored by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour
26th of June, 2001
Cairo, Egypt
Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

We publish here the complete book titled "The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century", after writing it previously in a series of successive articles before on our website. We authored this book in 2001, and it is published here online after omitting an introductory chapter about Wahabism and its origins and roots; we have omitted this chapter because it repeats what we have written in hundreds of articles about Wahabism, Salafism, and the Sunnite Ibn Hanbal doctrine. We have decided to confine this book to the rest of this research, whose details are summarized in the new introduction, and we consider this research or book as adopting a neutral historical viewpoint of events. Parts of this book have been published before separate
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