ISIS in History

November 11, 2015 OPINION/NEWS


Sattar Rind

Some may not be aware of the fact that in the Muslim world, the people who are killing mercilessly in the name of God and that have changed the meaning of the word ‘brutality’, are the followers of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, from the 18th century, a great companion of Muhammad ibn Saud, the grandfather of the existing Saudi Arabian ruling family.

Muslim jurisprudence has always been an issue and a point of differing opinions and ideas. Thus four main schools came into existence at an early stage and were being followed by large groups of Muslims. Even at the time of these pioneers or interpreters of the jurisprudence (Fiqh) or Islamic law and culture, the differences of opinions were very acute between them.

However, over time this difference increased to the point of killing each other. It is also worth mentioning that at the same time they were even pupil and teacher and agreed with each other, but differences lead such schools of thought under their names: Malik ibn Anas as ‘Maliki’, Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi as ‘Shafi’, Imam Abu Hanifah as ‘Hanafi’ and Ahmed ibn Hanbal as ‘Hanbali’. All four schools of law and culture were created within a relatively short period of time to each of the other pioneers.

These schools of thought on the issue of culture, and especially the law, still seem unclear on many points. However, Abd al-Wahhab was a follower of Ahmed ibn Hanbal of the 8th century. He was very different from the rest of the schools and most rigid in his point of view.

If we again trace the chronology of Hanbali Islamic law and culture, then we cannot ignore the name of the 13th century scholar Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah. He was a follower of the Hanbali School and in fact became the main source of the Wahhabi School of thought of the 18th century, reorganising the Hanbali Jurisprudence.

Being followers in the lineage of Hanbal, the Wahid’s followers are known as Wahhabi in the modern Muslim world. Muslims want to revive the Islamic law and culture from the early Islamic period up to three generations since Islamic religion come into existence.

The Ibn Abd al-Wahhab school has always remained a source and cause of tension as his followers have continued to inculcate a certain tension among Muslims, pulling Muslims in an uncompromising direction, unarguable, with an austere faith, shorn of their own perception.

This school is mostly being practised in the gulf Arabian countries. But if one was to label it to countries as such, then it is fully practised only in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia,  the remaining Arab countries followers of the Shafi or Maliki School, which are being considered closed to the Hanbali, though not entirely. However, Hanafi is different from all three and is very easy and simple in many ways, also having the largest number of followers in the Muslim world if we were to compare it to the remaining three schools of thought.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab considered his movement an effort to purify Islam by returning Muslims to what he believed were the original principles of that religion, as characterised by the Salaf (the early Muslims) and rejecting religious improvement or modernisation as Bidet (heresy) and Shirk (polytheism) and are bound to be beheaded with the word.

He taught that the primary doctrine of Islam was the uniqueness and unity of God, and that worship to God and God alone was the basic principle. Besides, there are many and more important areas of difference which can be understandable only by Muslims. Writing those points here could be dangerous as they are very thin to comment on, but make a lot of differences and divergence with all four schools of Islamic law and culture.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was keen on emphasising that dangerous acts as making Dua (calling upon to or seeking help, protection or intercession) from anyone or anything other than God is a Shirk and Bidet and contradict the code of belief of God and that those who tried would never be forgiven, but should be killed; although making Dua is safest and a totally unharmed act of a human being.

The followers of this idea barely amount to 5% of the total population of Muslims of the 1.5 billion in the world, in which 20% are Shiite Muslims who all come under the Bidet and Shirk and are bound to be killed. Besides it is an open fact that the Shiites have a different line and they are only followers of Hazrat Ali and his offspring up to his grandson Zain-ul-Abidin.

The Sufis, who mostly belong to the Hanafi and Shiite school of thought and seek the spiritual dimension of Islam, are being considered the most dangerous and near to the Wahhabi school of thought as are of the view that the creation of human beings in this universe is a means to draw the human soul closer to God.

Sufis seek a reflection of Divine Reality in the perfect soul. In the Sufi position, observance of the Sharia is the first essential step on the road to Irfan (True and Complete Knowledge or Nirvana). They require additional work; through Dhikr (Zikr) (constantly repeating the remembrance), the source of cleansing the soul and especially the service of humanity without any cost, creed, colour and religion is the key for a person to attain certainty of true knowledge. Thus ultimately being the unbreakable part of Divinity.

Nevertheless there are many schools of thought and ways of practicing to reach such purity of soul that come to be close to divinity – the God, or at one stage soul itself, becomes or goes through the process of diffusion into divinity and one stage then gets to be completed. Many of them are claiming that the human being is nothing but the real contour of Him (God).

Around 70% of the total populace of Muslims belongs to such a school, though hardly any know the steps or practice this. Mostly these people belong to the Hanafi and Shiite Muslims, but it is not necessary for Sufis to be from the Maliki or Shafi schools of thought. Nonetheless it is Bidet near to Hanbali and no one or at least true followers of Hanbali or Wahhabi could be a Sufi.

One of the important differences between Shiites and Sufis is that both consider the Muhammad (PBUH) as a Noor (light of God) but they have very different views on the first three caliphs of Muslim History. All four companions of the Muhammad (PBUH) became caliph, one by one following his death.

Thus Shiites are not ready to accept three of them, except one: Hazrat Ali, the first cousin and son in law of Muhammad (PBUH). The Shiites strictly limit themselves only to the family of Hazrat Ali and his offspring.

The Wahhabis consider the Muhammad (PBUH) a human being though incomparable in morality, greatness, and honesty; he was the perfect human being. Conversely, the Wahhabis are very strict in religious matters. They are totally rigid and often excessive in the characteristic of Puritans in what they believe.

In the time of Caliph Al-Ma’mun there were philosophers, in particular the Junayd of Baghdad who over extended their rational techniques to matters of faith and even came up with the idea that the Qur’an was “created” in time, Muslim Scholars of the time resisting such an idea.

It is also a fact that Muslims of the Sufi schools became very impressed by Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras in the Abbasid Caliph period and indirectly tried to combine the Muslim theology with such philosophies. These practices were at their peak in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The immediate guru and follower of the Hanbali school ibn Taymiyyah went severely against these Bites as it was the time of the poet and mystic philosopher Sheikh Ali ibn Muhammad, the most inventive of Islam scholars.  Ibn Taymiyyah became more austere and declared Ibn Arabia a non Muslim, Bidet or heresy.

He questioned the Al-Ghazali Sufis, specifically his position regarding the supremacy of Tasawwuf (mystic thought) over other forms of knowledge and emphasised the literal meaning of the Quran, rejecting every kind of symbolic meaning of the Holy Book of the Quran.

Abd al-Wahhab was a strong follower of the most rigid school of thought thus he needed support from a powerful person in the Arabian desert. Somehow he successfully gained such support, from tribe chief Muhammad ibn Saud and they mutually decided that when they were free from the Ottoman Caliph they would get control of Mecca and Medina and that the government would be Al-Saud but the religious system would be in his control and the government will never interfere in it.

Therefore with the help of the British Empire, MI5 and Major Laurence of Arabia, the Al-Saud Family came into power and created a country that is today known as Saudi Arabia, giving the Wahhabi movement a global platform.

The Al-Saud family was already pitiless and evil but Abd al-Wahhab had in the same connection beaten them. He was more brutal and organised the Al-Saud family warriors accordingly. He and a shrewd tribe chief of Muhammad ibn Saud became a powerful combination in the Saudi Arabian desert to beat anyone and had decelerated a jihad against the neighboring tribal chiefs who would not subscribe to the strict interpretations of religion offered by the ibn Wahhab. Therefore they destroyed the Shiite’s tombs in Karbala in 1802, the Mecca 1804 and Medina 1805 and killed thousands in one day when they attacked the area.

Now all Muslims will be destroyed if they are not ready to accept the ideology that 5% of their people hold. What we are observing today, particularly in regard to the militancy in the form of ISIS, is nothing but the result of the Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Al-Saudi family nexus. However, they now have another advantage, that of petro money with the support of the United States.









Sattar Rind

Sattar Rind lives in Sindh, Pakistan. and is an Author with four books to his credit. three poetry and one on politics. As a Columnist he has written for a number of newspapers and magazines since 1991. Sattar can be contacted at the following email address: [email protected]


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