WAHABISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Muhammad Abdul Wahab was born in Najd Arabia in 1703. He was Hanbali Mazhab, but he believed Hanbali Mazhab was contaminated by many false Hadiths, therefore, he promoted Ibn Taymiah ideology, a 14th centuruy Muslim scholar who was aaginst all Mazahabs, Shia or Sunni. Non-holy alliance between Al-Saud family and Al-Shaikh family with the British’s help after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire created Saudi Arabia in 1925. The Al-Saud family took over the kingdom and the Al-Shaikh family took over the religious affairs and began promoting Vahabi ideology in the world. Now petro dollars and Western countries desire to destroy real Islam made Wahabi ideology a worldwide problem.
What is the Wahabi Ideology? A. Reliance on the Quran as the only source of Islam with individual interpretation according to time and place. Therefore, Wahabis in Afghanistan believe they can grow and cultivate, and trade opium and heroine to make money and fight against the Western powers. Wahabi millionaire Osama Binladen is the major opium trader in the world and responsible for most terrorist activities in the world. Wahabi interpretation of the Quran believes Allah (SWT) is like a man with eyes, ears and hands, sitting on a throne above Arabia. Therefore, when Saudi Muslims come to America, they smoke, drink alcohol and gamble in Las Vegas because they believe Allah (SWT) does not see them in Las Vegas.
Shias Reply: We believe in the Quran as our constitution and tradition (Sunna) of the Prophet (PBUH) according to the 14 Masums (Prophet, Fatima Zahra and 12 Imams). The 14 Masums are our role models, we believe our role models are against trading or using opium no matter what is the reason. We believe Allah (SWT) cannot be described as a man. Allah (SWT) is everywhere and close to all of us. Tobacco, alcohol and gambling are Haram no matter where you are.
Wahabi Ideology – Opening Ijtehad to everyone: B. Wahabis believe everyone can read the Quran, understand it, and there is no need to have a special supreme Islamic leader (Mojtaheed) to interpret the Quran for us and give us their special opinion (Fatwa). Therefore, they do not believe in the 14 Masums and other Muslim leaders like Ayatallah, Marja, etc.
Shias Response: If we just use the Quran, we would not know how many Ruka is Maghrib prayer and what Sura we should recite in prayer. All necessary details of our prayer, Zakat, and Haj (Ebadat) are from tradition of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH). The Quran said to obey Allah, obey Rasoul and obey your elected religious leaders (4-59). The Prophet (PBUH) said to follow the Quran and my family, and you will not go astray. Ijtihad brings unity. We all follow the same rules and same order given by Mojtahed. One hundred years ago, Ayatollah Shirazi said tobacco is Haram and Muslims should not use tobacco. His Fetva destroyed Western tobacco importers to Iran. Western powers do not want Muslims to unite and have religious leaders. Therefore, Vahabis, under the influence of Western powers, are destroying our unity and organizational network.
Wahabi Ideology: C. Wahabis do not accept intersession (Shefaat) of Prophet (PBUH). They believe the Prophet was a regular man who came, brought a message, and died and gone. He cannot help us anymore in this life or on the Day of Judgment. Wahabis do not believe in intercession of Imams or Olia (Saints) like Imam Reza or Hazrat Abbas.
Shias Reply: The Quran says, “On the Day of Judgement, intercesssion (Shafaat) will not be accepted except by Allah’s permission and from those whom Allah is pleased with (Imam, Olia)” (Quran 20-109). Shia believes the Prophet (PBUH) has permission from Allah (SWT) to intercede on our behalf if we are pious (Momen), also we believe Imams have permission from Allah to intercede on behalf of their pious followers. We believe in front of Allah (SWT) that Prophets and Imams are so dear that Allah will accept their intercession. We believe Imam Reza or Hazrat Abbas can give healing (Shafa) with God’s permission. We believe Sofreh (religious party) Hazrat Abbas is very helpful to gather all ladies together, talk about Islam and Quran and ask for intercession of Hazrat Abbas and Prophet (PBUH). Wahabis do not believe in intercession to insult the Prophet and Imams, and to destroy the role models so they can interpret the Quran any way they want.
Wahabi Ideology: They do not believe in visiting (Ziarat) tombs of the Prophet and Imams. They say if you visit Imam Reza (RA), you are believing in a partner to Allah. You should only go visit Mecca, but not Medina. Wahabis destroyed Imam Hassan’s tomb in Baghi (in 1930) in Medina and do not allow Shia to rebuild it.
Shias Reply: Your Vali (guardian) is only Allah, Rasoul and those who pray and pay Zakat while in Roku (refer to Imam Ali) Quran 5-55. Imams are our role models and leaders. Prophet (PBUH) said follow the Quran and my family (Imams) and you will not go stray.” Visiting (Ziarat) Imams’ tombs increases the love for Ahlul Bayt and is a nice social Islamic gathering and is very good for the community. You love your parents and visit their tombs, touch and kiss their headstone to show your love and respect. We do the same for our Imams. We visit their tombs, we pray for Allah (SWT) to forgive our sins for the love that Allah has for our Imams who were martyred in the path of God to establish social justice and moral leadership.
Basically when the Prophet was alive, his enemies were fighting with him and his Ahlul Bayt, they killed his daughter Fatima, they killed his son-in-law and his real successor, Ali (RA). They killed his grandson, Hassan Ibn Ali and Hosein Ibn Ali and his descendants, until the 12th Imam. After 1400 years, they are still fighting his Ahlul Bayt, followers, Shiayan and Seyedan.
How do we recognize Wahabi?: Ask them, they are so proud they will tell you or if they say, “We only follow the Quran and nothing else”, or “We do not believe in Ziarat or Shafaat” or “If you love Imams you are Moshrik” or “Islam has no hierarchy” or “We do not believe in Marja, Mojtahed, Ayatallh or any Muslim leaders that can give Fetva” or “Quran is simple, everyone can understand it, you do not need a Mojtahed” or “Just follow the Quran you do not need a role model”. Wahabis get very upset if you say, “Ya Mohammad, Ya Ali, Ya Hazrat Abbas” or if you send 3 Salawat after prayer to our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) or if you ask them who injured and killed Fatima Zahra (RA) and why. Wahabis disagree with Shia and Sufi because Shia and Sufi love the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt and they have hierarchy and leader (Morshed, Shayk).
Who are the Reformist vs. Modernist? Wahabis are also called reformist or salafi.
Modernist: Are a group of westernized Muslims who do not wish to follow strict Islam and Sunnat of Prophet, and do not wish to restrict their lifestyle. They want to smoke, drink alcohol occasionally, want to gamble sometime, fornicate if possible and also want to say they are Muslims, too. They are concerned about their family and children, want to keep them away from alcoholism and drug addiction, gang violence, therefore, they want a partial Islam. They are under the influence of Wahabism and they are against Marja, Mulla, Mojtahed. They are against 14 Masums as role models to follow. They are against Sofreh, against following Sunnat of our Prophet (PBUH). They are against turban, kufi, beard, aba, tasbih, they dress like Western leaders and wear neckties (which symbolizes the cross from the crusaders, nowadays it is a symbol of Western civilization). Modernist takes pride in leading prayer without head cover and wearing a suit and tie or, at times, with T-shirt and blue jeans. Wahabis have kept their zaher. They all have kufi, beard and aba. As a Shia, we must disagree with Wahabis or modernist ideology and follow our 14 Masums in Zaher and Baten.
What should we do with Wahabis and Modernists?
Education: Wahabis have Islamic zaher with kufi, beard, aba so we should educate them about true Islam. How important it is to have a role model like the Prophet (PBUH), how important it is to love Ahlul Bayt and following a Marja brings unity and order to our ummah. If they do not listen, please do not help them financially and do not pray behind them.
For Modernist: In addition to education, we must encourage them to follow the Sunnat of our 14 Masums and maintain the 1400 year tradition of our Ahlul Bayt and Ayatollah and Marjas. At least when they are giving Islamic lectures or lead prayer, they must have a head cover, long, loose clothing and if they do not listen, we should not pray behind them.
Future of Wahabism in America: To destroy Soviet Communism (1980), America and Iran helped Afghan rebels to fight the Soviet Army and eventually with the help of Osama Bin Laden and the CIA, the Soviets were defeated and, eventually, the Soviet empire fell apart. Under the Taliban regime, Afghanistan became a center for Wahabis, terrorists, and opium and heroine dealers. Osama Bin Laden became America’s number one enemy. America helped Sadam (a communist) attack Iran (1982) to destroy the Shia capital of the world, but Sadam was defeated 8 years later. Sadam, with all the military assistance he received from America (1990), invaded Kuwait then America had to attack Sadam to pull him out of Kuwait (1991). Now Sadam is enemy number 2 of the United States. America is now recognizing that she must fight with Vahabi ideology, the source of all terrorist activities and drug trafficking in the Middle East and, instead, must get close to Shia ideology which is more pious, democratic and has a leader like Dr. Khatami that they can negotiate with. With the help of the United States and Iran, Afghani’s and Iraqi’s can succeed to bring democracy, human rights and moral leadership back to their Islamic countries.
Israel was the only base for the U.S. in the Middle East that was democratic and reliable. Now in the 21st Century, President Bush was the first President who was elected without Zionist’s support and even the Zionist did their best to contest his election, but did not succeed. “Thanks God.” On the other hand, 10 million Muslims in America helped President Bush to be elected. America'’ foreign policy should be tilted toward supporting Iran and Shia Islam. Iran now is much more democratic and more stable politically than Israel. Israel is now an apartheid state and the source of shame for America in the United Nations, and instability and violence in the Middle East. In the future, America should support free independent Palestine and allow all 4 million Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. If America supports the Shias in Iraq and Afghanistan, then 2 enemies of America, Sadam and Osama Bin Laden, will be gone in no time. A free democratic government in Arabia is the answer to all American problems with Wahabis.
Middle East Problem: Source of the Middle East problem is the apartheid state of Israel and Wahabi dictators in Arabia. Shias in Lebanon defeated Israel after 20 years of fighting and now Lebanon is a free, democratic country in peace. The separation of Palestine from Israel is not realistic. The better solution is removing discrimination, having free elections and the cooperation of Jews, Muslims and Christians. Blacks in America 50 years ago wanted a separate state, but when the discrimination was removed, their demand subsided. If American foreign policies change to support Shia, Sufi and the traditional Sunni in America, and support democracy, free election in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Arabia, Egypt and Iraq, the Middle East problems will be solved.