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Traditional Scholarship & Modern Misunderstandings
Understanding The Ahle al-Sunnah -
By Abu Ammar

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23) Recitation of Amin loudly behind Imam of Salaah

When we perform our salat behind the Imam and he recites"Waladdallin" loudly, we say, "Amin" quietly.This is because "Amin" is a du'a' and it should always be read quietly.Some people say that during the performance of salat behind the Imam, you should say "Amin" loudly with rhythm.

We argue that there is no such hadith which mentions that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered this action or even encouraged anyone to do this.

The people who follow this action put forward one hadith which says that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "Amin" loudly in the salat.

We claim that it is true that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said "Amin" loudly a few times. However, the Prophet used to sometimes carry out actions only to educate people. For example, in Zuhr salat part of the Qur'an was recited loudly. Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim write:

"When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was performing his Zuhr and 'Asr prayers, he recited part of the Qur'an loudly, which we could hear"

[Bukhari and Muslim, chapter on 'Qira'at, Zuhr and 'Asr']

After reading this hadith no one in the whole Umma says that the Imam should recite any part of the Qur'an loudly in the Zuhr and 'Asr salat. This is because everyone knows that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) only did this to educate the people. In the same way, the hadith that mentions that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said "Amin" loudly does not mean that it is Sunna to say, "Amin" loudly. There is also proof from the Qur'an and Sunna that Amin should be said quietly behind the Imam.

Proof From the Qur'an That Amin is a Du'a'

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"When someone finishes reciting Surat al-Fatiha, it is preferable to say "Amin". Amin means, 'Oh Allah, accept our du'a'!'

"There is proof from the Qur'an that Amin is a du'a'. For example, Allah Most High says in the Qur'an that Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) prayed to Allah by saying:

'Oh Allah, destroy the wealth of Pharaoh!'

[Sura Yunus, verse 87]

"The Prophet Musa's brother, Harun (peace be upon him) was standing beside him and said, "Amin." Allah accepted their du'a' by saying:

'I accept both of your du'a's' [Sura Yunus, verse 89]

"The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) supplicated to Allah whereas Harun only said "Amin." And yet Allah attributed the du'a' to both of them.This proves that Amin is a du'a'"

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Sura Fatiha]

Qadi Shawkani and Imam al-Qurtubi also wrote, in the interpretation of Sura al-Fatihah, that Amin is a du'a' [Tafsir Qurtubi and Fath al-Qadir, Surah Fatiha]

Now that it has been proved that Amin is a dua, we should supplicate quietly to Allah. Proof from the Qur'an and Sunna show that du'a' should be recited quietly.

Proof From The Qur'an That Du'a Should be Recited Quietly

Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:

"Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors" [Sura al-A'raf, verse 55]

It is proved from the above verse that all should supplicate to Allah with humility and secrecy.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And remembering your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear, without loudness in words"

[Sura al-A'raf, verse 205]

Qadi Shawkani writes:

"In the above verse, the word 'Remember' means du'a' and du'a' should be said secretly"

[Fath al-Qadir, Sura al-A'raf, verse 205]

Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:

"This is a mention of mercy of your Lord to his slave Zakariyya. When he called out to his Lord - a call in secret"

[Sura Maryam, verse 2-3]

Proof From Hadith That Du'a' Should be Recited Quietly

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal writes:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that Allah Most High is pleased with those who remember him secretly"

[Musnad Ahmad, Narration of Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, vol. 1, p.172]

Thus it is proven from the Qur'an and Sunna that du'a' should be supplicated to Allah quietly and since "Amin" is also a du'a' it should also be said quietly. That is the reason why all du'a's are read silently. For example, thana, takbir, ta'awwudh, tasbih, tashahhud, salutation and the final sitting's du'a' are all read silently, so Amin should also be included in the above. The reason why the Imam says the takbir loudly is only to inform his followers that he is moving from one position to another.

Proof From Hadith to Say Amin Quietly

Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari write:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that when the Imam says 'Waladdallin' then you must say 'Amin' because the angels also say 'Amin' and whosoever's 'Amin' is similar to that of an angel, their past sins will be forgiven"

[Bukhari and Muslim, chapter on 'Ta'min']

There are two ways in which "Amin" can be similar to the angels' "Amin":

1) To say "Amin" loudly with the Imam

2) To say "Amin" silently because the angels say "Amin" with the Imam and also silently.

If someone proclaims "Amin" loudly it would not be similar to the angels' as no one hears the angels.

Imam Muslim writes:

"Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that when the Imam says 'Sami'allahu liman Hamida' you should say, 'Rabbana lak al-Hamd.' Whoever's tahmid [saying of praise]becomes similar to the angels', his past sins will be forgiven"

[Muslim, Bab Ta'min]

The Hadiths of "Amin" and Tahmid are Written Under The Same Chapter

Both of these ahadith mention that whosoever's "Amin" or Tahmid coincides with that of the angels' their past sins will be forgiven. It is clear now that "Amin" should be said as "Rabbana lak al-hamd" i.e. silently and individually, without rhythm.

Imam Nasa'i writes:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that when the Imam says 'Waladdallin", you should say 'Amin' This is because the angels and the Imam also say 'Amin.' Whosoever's 'Amin' coincides with that of the angels', his past sins will be forgiven"

[Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Darimi, chapter on 'Tahmid'; Musnad Ahmad, Narrations of Abu Hurayra]

This hadith proves that "Amin" should be said as the Imam says his "Amin". No one hears the Imam's "Amin", so no one should hear the follower's "Amin".The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has also ordered us to follow the Imam, so we should say "Amin" quietly.

One Doubt

Some people claim that the Imam should say "Amin" loudly.

Imam Daraqutni writes:

"Wyle said that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) led the salat and read 'Amin' loudly"

[at-Tirmidhi and Daraqutni, chapter on 'Ta'meen']

This hadith provides evidence that "Amin" should be said loudly. There is also another hadith which Imam Daraqutni wrote:

"It is reported by Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) led the salat and said 'Amin' loudly"

[Daraqutni, Ta'meen]

There is also a third hadith which is reported by Umm Hasin:

"She relates that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) read the salat and said 'Amin' loudly"

[Zali, Ta'min]

All the above narrations appear to prove that the Imam should say "Amin" loudly and the followers should also say "Amin" loudly.

We clear this doubt by saying:

  1. Al-Bukhari or Muslim did not write the above narrations.

  2. All these narrations prove that the Imam says "Amin" loudly sometimes.

  3. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said "Amin" loudly sometimes.

  4. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said "Amin" loudly so that his followers would know that after "Waladdallin", "Amin" should be said.

  5. These narrations cannot be used as evidence because they are not authentic.

Examining the Narrators

The first narrator was called Muhammad ibn Kathir. Imam adh-Dhahabi and Hafiz al-'Asqalani write:

"Imam Ahmad said that Muhammad ibn Kathir is weak. Imam an-Nasa'i said that he is not reliable in the science of Hadith. 'Abdullah ibn Ahmad said that he narrates false narrations of hadith, which is why the scholars of Hadith reject his narrations and say that Muhammad ibn Kathir is weak. Imam al-Bukhari, Imam Abu Dawud, Imam Salih, and Hafiz Jazrah say that he made many mistakes in his narrations, all his narrations are weak and that his narrations are difficult to understand. Imam Ibn Adhi mentions his unknown narrations in his book Kamil. Imam Ibn Habban said Muhammad ibn Kathir is authentic but made many mistakes. Imam Laith and Ibn Mu'in praised him"

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Muhammad ibn Kathir]

The other narrator of these narrations is Muhammad ibn Khalid. Imam adh-Dhahabi and Hafiz al-'Asqalani write:

"Muhammad is a truthful man but is unknown. Imam Ibn Abi Khatim said that I asked my father about Muhammad but he replied that he was unaware of his existence"

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal;, Biography of Muhammad ibn Khalid]

Another narrator of these narrations is called 'Abd al-Jabbar ibn Wyle. Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Imam Bukhari, Imam at-Tirmidhi and Imam ibn Habban said that Ibn Wyle had never heard any hadith from his father. The other scholars of Hadith say that he was born after his father's death which explains why it was not possible for hom to have heard any hadith from his father. Imam Ibn Sa'd said that Ibn Wyle has only narrated a few hadith"

[Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of 'Abd al-Jabbar ibn Wyle]

'Abd al-Jabbar's narrations cannot be used as evidence because he said that he narrated directly from his father whereas his father had died before his birth.

Ishaq ibn Ibrahim az-Zubedi was another narrator of these narrations. Imam adh-Dhahabi writes:

"Imam Dawud and Imam an-Nasa'i said that he had no knowledge of Hadith and he was not authentic. Imam Ati said that he was a liar"

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal;, Biography of Ishaq ibn Ibrahim az-Zubedi]

Another narrator of these narrations is called 'Abdullah ibn Salim. Imam adh-Dhahabi writes:

"He was a Nasibi [from a misled sect]. 'Abdullah ibn Salim contempted Hazrat 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and he used to say that Hazrat 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) helped those people who killed Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and Hazrat 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)"

[Mizan al-I'tidal;, Biography of 'Abdullah ibn Salim]

Another narrator of these narrations is Isma'il ibn Muslim Makki. Imam adh-Dhahabi and Hafiz al-'Asqalani write:

"Imam Ahmad, Imam Abu Zur'a, Imam an-Nasa'i, Imam 'Ali, and Imam al-Bukhari say that he is weak and that he narrates unknown ahadith. This is why the scholars of Hadith began to avoid his narrations. Imam ibn Mu'in said that he combined the text from one hadith into another"

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Isma'il ibn Muslim Makki]

How can the above narrations be used as evidence when the narrators of these ahadith have been highly criticized by the scholars of Hadith. The ahadith that have been narrated by these narrators cannot be authentic; they can only prove that "Amin" is to be said loudly by the Imam and not that the followers say "Amin" loudly together with the Imam. If this was the case, the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) should have said, 'When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said "Amin" loudly, we also said "Amin" loudly.' But they only reported that the Prophet said "Amin" loudly.

It is established that the Imam says "Amin" loudly sometimes. The way of the Companions was to follow this and to listen to the "Amin" quietly - not to read "Amin" loudly themselves. Secondly, there are other ahadith that mention that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say "Amin" silently:

Imam Ibn Abi Shayba writes:

"Wyle reported that he performed salat behind the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he said, 'Amin' silently"

[Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, Chapter on 'Ta'min']

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal writes:

"Wyle reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) led the salat and said, 'Amin' silently"

[Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Narrations of Wyle ibn Hajjar]

Both of the above narrations prove that when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) led the salat he said Amin silently.

Imam Abu Dawud writes:

"When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) led the salat, after saying, 'Waladdallin', he became silent"

[Abu Dawud, al-Qira'at]

The above narration proves that when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) became silent, it was to say "Amin" silently. If the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was to say "Amin" loudly then there was no point in him remaining silent after saying "Waladdallin."

Examination of the Evidence in support of saying "Amin" Loudly Behind the Imam

1) Imam al-Bukhari writes:

"Ata ibn Rubah said that "Amin" is a du'a'. 'Abdullah and the people who were behind him said "Amin" loudly and this sound echoed throughout the masjid"

[Bukhari, Chapter on 'Ta'min']

Those who believe "Amin" should be recited loudly use this hadith to prove their assertion as the sound echoes throughout the masjid. We argue that although this narration is written in Bukhari, he did not write the chain of this narration. Imam al-Bukhari was born at the very end of the second century AH and 'Abdullah ibn Zubayr died in the 73rd year AH. This means that Imam al-Bukhari was born 125 years after the death of 'Abdullah ibn Zubayr. How then could Bukhari know that the masjid echoed with the sound of "Amin", at the time of 'Abdullah ibn Zubayr?

Ta'liq (To Suspend)

When a scholar of Hadith writes a hadith without mentioning the chain between himself and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), or he mentions a little part of the chain, the hadith such as this is called hadith mu'allaq (suspended hadith). This is because this type of hadith is chain-less. The scholars of Hadith call it a suspended hadith.

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"When a scholar of Hadith writes a chainless hadith directly from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) or from a Companion, or a student of a Companion, this type of narration is not accepted because he never met the Companion of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) or the Companion's student. It is not known whether the narrators, whom he does not mention, are authentic or weak. The majority of scholars of Hadith agree that if a scholar who writes a chainless hadith claims that the narrators are authentic, his claim will not be accepted until he mentions their names. Both Muslim and Bukhari contain some chainless hadith which cannot be accepted"

[al-'Asqalani, Sharh an-Nukhbah and Muqaddama Fath al-Bari, Chapter on Hadith Mu'allaq]

According to the majority of scholars, chainless narrations are not acceptable. Ibn Zubayr's above narration is a chainless narration and so it cannot be accepted as evidence.

Secondly, it is not clear from Ibn Zubayr's narration if the followers said "Amin" after "Waladdallin" or during the du'a' in the Fajr salat. It is also not clear as to whether the followers in the salat said "Amin" in all their salat or just once. Thirdly, the hadith does not show the Prophet ordering the Companions to say "Amin". The above mentioned hadith cannot be used to prove that "Amin" should be said behind the Imam.

2) Imam Ibn Majah writes:

"Bishar ibn Rafir said that Abu Hurayra's cousin Abu 'Abdullah told me that he heard Abu Hurayra saying, 'The people have stopped saying "Amin" although the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say "Amin" after "Waladdallin." The people in the first row offering salat could hear him. The sound echoed throughout the masjid' "

[Ibn Majah, Chapter on 'Ta'min']

Examination of the Narrators

The first narrator of this narration is Abu 'Abdullah. Imam adh-Dhahabi writes:

"He is Abu Hurayra's cousin, but is unknown. Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim did not take this narration from him"

[Mizan al-I'tidal, Biography of Abu 'Abdullah]

The second narrator is Bishr ibn Rafir. Imam adh-Dhahabi and Hafiz al-'Asqalani write:

"Imam al-Bukhari said that no one could verify his narration. Imam Ahmad said that his narrations are weak and he has no knowledge of Hadith. Imam Yahya ibn Mu'in said that his narrations are unknown. Imam an-Nasa'i said that he is not strong in the knowledge of Hadith. Imam Ibn Habban said that he narrates false ahadith. Imam Abu Khatim and Imam at-Tirmidhi say that he is weak and that he narrates unknown hadiths. This is the reason why his narrated ahadith are weak. Imam Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr said that all the scholars of Hadith agree that all his narrations should be thrown away. The scholars of Hadith did not accept his narrations. Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim did not take any narrations from him. There were only two or three people who praised him"

[Mizan al-I'tidal & Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Bishr ibn Rafir al-Harsi]

The above statements show that the narrators of these narrations have been highly criticized by the scholars of Hadith.

The Text of the Hadith

Abu Hurayra was a famous Companion of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he died in 59 AH. He complained that the people had stopped saying "Amin". In his time, a large number of the Companions were alive thus if it was a Sunna to say "Amin" loudly behind the Imam, then the Companions would have done so and Abu Hurayra need not have complained.

Abu Hurayra saw this in the time of the Khulafa' ar-Rashidun but did not mention that they, or their followers, used to say "Amin" loudly - it has been proven that the Khulafa' ar-Rashidun and their followers did not practice this.

Abu Hurayra continued to say that when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say "Amin" the people in the first row heard it and the sound echoed throughout the masjid. This statement proves that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say "Amin" sometimes to teach the people, but the people behind him did not say "Amin" loudly.

The statement, "The sound echoed throughout the masjid" requires attention because the sound can only echo if the place is made of cement and also has a dome. The roof of the masjid at the time of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was made from palm tree branches and no cement was used. This means that it is not possible for the sound to have echoed throughout the masjid. The interesting thing is that Imam Dawud also wrote this narration in his chapter on Ta'min, but did not mention the above words (i.e. "The sound echoed throughout the masjid").

The above narration is not authentic and the text does not prove that "Amin" should be said loudly behind the Imam. This is because in the whole narration there is no proof that the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say "Amin" loudly behind the Imam.

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24) Placing hands below the navel

There are some who claim that placing the hands below the navel whilst performing the prescribed prayers is either of a weaker opinion than that of placing the hands upon the chest or has no evidence at all. This chapter will address this issue in the light of the Sunna and prove that this false claim has absolutely no foundation.

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, it is part of the Sunna for a man performing the ritual prayer, salat, to place his hands beneath the navel. Many Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and their students (Tabi'un) performed their salat in this manner.

Imam at-Tirmidhi writes that it is Sunna to place one hand over the other but there are different opinions amongst the Companions and their students regarding the actual positioning of the hands [at-Tirmidhi, Watal-yamin 'ala ash-Shimal]

Qadi Shawkani states that there existed different opinions amongst the scholars regarding the positioning of the hands during salat. The following consider it correct to place the hands beneath the navel: Imam Abu Hanifa, Sufyan ath-Thawri, Ishaq ibn Rahwia and Abu Ishaq [Nayl al-Awtar, Watal-yamin 'ala ash-Shimal]

The aforementioned scholars were outstanding in the field of Hadith sciences and clearly knew the differences between authentic, acceptable, weak and fabricated narrations. Furthermore, if the ahadith stating that the hands should be placed beneath the navel were fabricated then why would Imam Ahmed and Yahya ibn Mu'in, the teacher of both Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, act upon these narrations?

Evidence About The Validity of Placing the Hands Below The Navel During The Prayer

Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal writes:

" 'Ali said that it is a Sunna to place one hand over the other and beneath the navel"

[Musnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal; also Daraqutni & Abu Dawud, Watal-yamin 'ala ash-Shimal]

Imam Ibn Abi Shayba writes:

"Alqama reported from his father that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would place his right hand over his left and beneath the navel. Imam Ibrahim says that 'Ali said it is a Sunnato place your hands beneath the navel during the salat"

[Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, ash-Shimal'ala al-Yamin]

Ibn Hazm writes that the hands should be placed beneath the navel and Anas reported that there are three things which are Sunna:

1. Not to delay the breaking of the fast [during Ramadan]

2. To end the fast aftet the very last minute

3. To place the hands beneath the navel during the prayer

[Ibn Hazm, Muhalla, Watal-Yamin]

The aforementioned narrations prove that it is an established Sunna to place the hands beneath the navel. These ahadith are neither weak nor fabricated as Ibn Hazm would have declared them as being such because he was in strong opposition to the Hanafi School of thought.

Evidence About The Validity of Placing The Hands Upon The Chest During The prayer

Wyle relates:

"I saw that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was performing his prayers with his hands placed upon his chest"

[Sahih Ibn Khuzayma, Chapter on Salat]

We respond to the above narration with the observation that it is neither present in Sahih Muslim or Bukhari. It is amazing how people who rigorously promote Bukhari and Muslim as the only books to follow for Sunna will quickly use a hadith that does not appear in either, just as long as they feel it will win them an argument! A close examination of the hadith in question will show who is following a sahih hadith and who is blindly following the mistakes of their scholars - the same people who have the audacity to criticise scholars of the orthodox four schools of fiqh but do not see their own glaring mistakes.

Secondly, the main narrator of this hadith,Muammal ibn Isma'il has been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. Imam adh-Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar al-'al-'Asqalani write:

"Imam al-Bukhari said that Muammal ibn Isma'il was amongst the Mukirul Hadith (deniers of hadith). Imam Abu Khatim, Imam Abu Zahra, Imam Saje, Imam Ibn Sa'd, Hafiz Marwaze and Daraqutni all consider Muammal ibn Isma'il as having a weak memory. When informing others of hadith Muhammad ibn Isma'il would make many mistakes. He has been known to have burnt his books and hence made errors in transmitting his ahadith from memory.He also made erroneous claims by stating that he heard many of his narrations from the great scholars, whereas he had not done so. Only some scholars, such as Ibn Habban and Ibn Khuzayma claim that he was a knowledgeable scholar"

[Mizan al-I'tidal & Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Muammal ibn Isma'il]

Allama Ghulam Rasul Sa'idi writes that Imam al-Bayhaqi wrote another two ahadith in his book, Sunan, regarding the placement of the hands upon the chest during the salat. However, neither of these ahadith are authentic as their narrators have been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. We will look at each one in turn.

First Hadith

One of the narrators of the hadith is Muhammad ibn Hujjar, whom Imam adh-Dhahabi writes as having been criticised. Notably, he did not fit the criterion that Imam al-Bukharihas for accepting hadith from someone. Imam al-Bukhari says that it is impermissible to accept any hadith narrated by him because he narrates doubtful ahadith from his uncle.

The other narrator of that hadith is Umm Jabbar; she is unknown. Imam al-Bayhaqi himself wrote that this hadith is weak.

Second Hadith

The second narrator is known as Ibn 'Abbas while the main narrator is Ruh ibn Musayyib. Imam Ibn 'Adi says that Ruh ibn Musayyib has been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. Imam Ibn Habban says that Ruh narrates fabricated hadith and therefore it is impermissible to accept his narrations. Also, Imam Fikri considers Ruh as transmitting unknown hadith which should not be accepted [Allama Sa'idi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Wujubi Qira'at]

We close this chapter by stating that there exists no single authentic hadith proving the permissibility of placing the hands upon the chest during the salat.

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25) Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab and the Wahhabis

The reason why this sect are often called Wahhabis boils down to the name of one of their main leaders: Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab. It is often believed that 'Abd al-Wahhab started the "crusade" against the Sunni Muslims but in reality he did not start this; it was started in the time of 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). Throughout history there have been different names for this sect but in the eighth century, one of their leaders use to call himself "Salafi".Even today, this sect has four names: Salafi, Wahhabi, Najdi and Ahl al-Hadith. It is generally known that today they prefer to call themselves Salafi.

This sect would not have been as famous as it is if it were not for the state sponsorship of Saudi Arabia.Even today if a person, or a number of people, were to petition the country of Saudia Arabia, they would receive funds or grants if they promise that a Mosque or Madrassa would be built to teach the Wahhabi cirriculum. Another common method is for magazine publications to receive funds to help increase circulation on condition of propagating Wahhabi beliefs. It is in this way, and by currently owning large, well equipt publishing houses, that the Wahhabis have been able to mass distribute and mass circulate misinformation about the Ahl as-Sunna wa'l-Jama'a and propogate their own beliefs - passing them under the guise of "Salafi" Islam.Many, if not all, of their publications are beautifully designed, but this cannot hide the fact that they are continually trying to break Sunni Muslims from a scholarship this has flourished for over 1400 years.The head office of this "organisation" is in the Najd region and that is where Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab was born.

'Abd al-Wahhab was born at the beginning of the 12th century AH, in Jazeerat al-Arab (the name given by the Prophet [may Allah bless him and grant him peace] and which was changed by the Saudi Royal Family to that of their grandfathers to Saudi Arabia). He was born in Najd so that is why often he was referred to as Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi in his time.

Shaytan Came in the Form of the Najdi Shaykh

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"When the kuffar of Makka had a meeting concerning the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), an old man came claiming: "I am a Najdi - whatever you want to know, I will be helpful." This Najdi Shaykh then gave his view against the Prophet throughout the meeting"

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, Volume 4]

The Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) stated: "I fear from the Najdis" [Bukhari, Chapter on Jihad]

The Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) stated: "The fitna will emerge from the east" [Bukhari, Kitab al-Fitna]

'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar narrates:

"The Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) made du'a for Syria and Yemen. Some people asked him: "Ya Rasulu'llah pray for Najd!"The Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) again repeated his du'a only for Syria and Yemen. They again requested for Najd. Upon the third time, the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) said: "There will be earthquakes there, tribulations will emerge there and the horn of Shaytan will emerge from there"

[Bukhari, Kitab al-Fitan]

The brother of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi, Shaykh Sulayman ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, said about his brother, "The horn of Shaytan, which the Prophet(may Allahbless him and grant him peace) referred to, is you" [Sawa'iq al-Ilahiya]

The false Prophet, Musaylima Kazzab, was also born in Najd. After reading the history of Najd you will see that this is a place of Shayatin. Secondly, the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) predicted earthquakes and tribulations for this place and indeed there occurred such an earthquake that we can still hear its bang over two centuries later.

Many people say that the Najd is high land and that the du'a was not made regarding the high land. However, in this hadith the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) mentioned specific places/ regions like Syria and Yemen and not the type of land. Therefore, the word "Najd" in this hadith refers to the place, Najd itself, which is in Saudi Arabia and not in Iraq.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's Education

He was educated in the Najd, Basra and Damascus. His brothers and parents were of the 'aqida of Ahl as-Sunna but, through reading Ibn Taymiyya's books, he chose to differ in belief with the rest of his family, who were not pleased with him. His brother Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab Sulayman wrote a book against him called Sawa'iq al-Ilahiya in which he gives answers to all Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's objections.

Shaykh 'Uthman ibn Bashir and Shaykh Juhri took all the information we will provide here from Ta'rikh an-Najd and the book on Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab.Some Najdis says that Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab Sulayman, during his lifetime, converted to Wahhabism; however, there is no evidence to prove this.

Wahhabis in History

As previously mentioned, there are four names by which Wahhabis are famous: Wahhabis, Najdi, Salafi and Ahl al-Hadith.Initially, at the time when the British were ruling in India, the followers of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi were called Wahhabis but Maulana Muhammad Husayn Batalvi made an application to the viceroy of India that they be called Ahl al-Hadith rather than Wahhabi - this application was granted. That is the reason why Maulana Muhammad Husayn wrote: "It is haram to perform jihad against the British [Iqtisad fi Masail Jihad]

In his book, Hayyat at-Taybiyya, Mirza Hayrat of Delhi writes that Moulana Ismail of Delhi, a founder of Wahhabism in India, said in his speech in Calcutta: "It is haram to do jihad against the British." These people are so loyal to the British so how could the British not accept their application.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi influenced the spouse of the Amir of Dur'iyya, Muhammad ibn Sa'ud, to his movement and later the Amir also followed. Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi asked him to aid his movement with his power. Muhammad ibn Sa'ud assisted with spreading their reign over boundaries beyond Dur'i'yya. Lawrence of Arabia was a spy for the British in Arabia and pretended to be a Muslim. He promoted Arab Nationalism and always said to the people: "O Arabs! Islam started in Arabia, so to rule is your right. Why do you live under the 'Uthmani Khilafat?" This brainwashing worked well and helped in destroying the Uthmani (Ottomon) Khilafat. Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi and Muhammad ibn Sa'ud were attracted to this nationalistic movement. Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi labelled this to be Jihad and said: "In Hijaz, the people are worshipping other than Allah" ['Uthman ibn Bashir, Ta'rikh an-Najd]

Muhammad Hasni wrote:

"Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi said: 'When I went to study in Basra, mushriks would ask me questions and I would leave them very surprised with my answers'

[Ta'rikh as-Sa'ud]

Shaykh Juhri states:

"Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi called all Ahl as-Sunna Muslims, Kafirs and Mushriks - apart from himself and his (blind) followers."

The proof for this is that Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab himself said that in Basra, Mushriks would come and ask him questions. These people were Muslims and thus Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab only considers himself and his followers to be Muslims.

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab wrote:

"Those people who ask for intercession from Prophets and angels and make du'a through their wasila to come closer to Allah, are commiting sins.Due to this crime it is permitted to kill them and to take their possessions"

[Kashf ash-Shubhat]

Shaykh Attar wrote that Shaykh an-Najdi said: "I declare war on these people as the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) declared war on the Kuffar of Makka, - against those people with corrupt beliefs."Corrupt beliefs refers to those people who seek intercession from Anbiya, or awliya and they make their du'a through them (wasila) and those people who travelled to the Prophet 's(may Allahbless him and grant him peace) grave with the intention to seek help other than Allah's

[Ta'rikh an-Najd, Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, page.55]

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab said: "The people who leave their corrupt beliefs and join us, then their blood will be saved. And those people who do not repent or pay jizya [tribute paid by non-Muslims] get ready to do battle....To spread the good is in Islam as to do jihad. Who can refuse this?"

[Ta'rikh an-Najd, Shaykh Ahmed Attar]

Mas'ud Alam Nadwi wrote that Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi has called only those Muslims kafir who make du'a with the wasila of Prophets and Awliya', and he made jihad against them

[Ta'rikh an-Najd, Mas'ud Alam Nadwi]

All these statements prove that Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi's jihad was not against kafirs but against those Muslims who held the 'aqa'id of Ahl as-Sunna. Like the Khawarij, he considered all other Muslims to be kafirs.

The Khawarij

The Khawarij (or Kharijites) are those people who consider all other Muslims to be non-believers apart from themselves.They are supposed to kill people who have trust in pious people, as they did with Khabab for saying that he loved 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him).They also would call any person who has committed a major sin a non-believer.Even for anything small they would call the Sahabas non-believers, as they did with 'Uthman, Talha, and Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with them).

The Khawarij would only take the literal meaning of the Holy Qur'an and would take it no further. They would call the sahih (rigourously authenticated) hadith fabricated, such as Hadith Rajm (stoning the adulteror to death). They would label their opponents non-believers and consider it right to take their belongings and their wives as slave girls. When the Khawarij spoke they would try to refer to the Qur'an or the hadith as much as possible.

It has been said by 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that Khawarij are so mischievous that they fit those Qur'anic verses that were revealed about the non-believers [Bukhari, al-Murtadin]

For further details please consult books by Ibn Hazam Sharastani, Abu Mansur Maturdi,Abu Zahra Misri and Mazhabe Islamiyya.Despite this it seems that 'Abd al-Wahhab's blind followers could not digest the fact that their activities were mirroring that of the Khawarij. Shaykh Juhri wrote: "I think that, apart from himself and his followers, Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi has labelled all other Muslims as kafir; this is despite the fact thast not all Muslims have worshipped graves and especially not the 'Ulema. At the time no Muslims worshipped graves but that was an excuse by Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi so that he could kill the Muslims." [Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, page 36]

Shaykh Juhri says: "I cannot find any reason why they should all have been labelled kafirs." Juhri was a strong follower of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab but even he was surprised at this action by Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab.

Destruction by the Wahhabis

Now returning to the movement of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab An-Najdi. With the help of the Amir of Dur'iyya, 'Abd al-Wahhab destroyed the shrines (graves) of Companions who were buried in the Najd. He killed those people who were leaders of the Ahl as-Sunna and took their properties and possessions. With the support of those Arabs that were nationalist they continued increasing their reign, coming out of Najd until Hijaz was taken by them and they managed to win control over the whole of Jazirat al-Arab.

During this time the Ottoman Khilafa was busy engaged in international battles and was therefore unable to respond in a swift manner. On the 22 June 1792 Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi died, upon which Qadi Shawkani wrote a poem, one sentence of which was: "Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab was that son with whose nur the Hijaz and its surrounding places became enlightened." See how the person who sought help from the kuffar is being praised!

For some time after the rule was in the hands of Ahl as-Saud. It was during this time, during the reign of the son of Muhammad ibn Saud, that the Ottomans sent Muhammad Ali Pasha against him. Ali Pasha defeated him and finished their influence and reign.Once again Jazirat al-Arab became part of the Islamic Caliphate and the Royal Family fled to Kuwait.

Some time later, the Ahl as-Saud managed to regain control over Jazirat al-Arab and changed its name to Saudi Arabia. Grants were given from abroad to spread Wahhabism. Initially it was spread by the sword but now it is through money.The Saudis came to Europe and spent the wealth from the Bait al-Mal as though it was their fathers' wealth. In front of the guilty Saudi 'Ulema all this haram and bid'a goes on but they say nothing, and yet will still give fatwas against Milad an-Nabi.

An Interesting Story

When Shaykh Faisal was deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia, he toured India and put flowers upon Mahatma Gandhi's grave [[News (Pakistani Daily), 11th May 1955]. Similarly, in 1957 Shah Sa'ud went on a tour to America and with him was the Defence Minister Fahd ibn Sa'ud, who put flowers on the grave of George Washington[Kohstan (Pakistani Daily) , 2nd February 1957]

When Saudi shaykhs go to Muslim countries they do not place flowers on any of the graves of the awliya' because it may dent their 'aqida, but do they think by placing flowers upon the graves of Mahatma Gandhi and George Washington theywill strengthen their 'aqida?

Shah Sa'ud whilst on tour in India said, "I am satisfied that the Indian government are treating the Muslims with justice." This was at the time when Muslims were being sacrificed in Kashmir. Shah Sa'ud invited the Indian prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to tour Saudi Arabia. When he arrived, the newspaper Al-Balad Sa'udia Makka reported thus:

"When Nehru arrived in Riyadh the Indian national anthem was played and the women of the Royal Family left their homes and cars to welcome him."Everything we have written about Nehru is taken from Ta'rikh Najd wa Hijaz by Allama Ghulam Rasul Sa'idi and Safar Nama by Muhammad Asim an-Najdi, who was with Maududi when he toured in 1960.

Al-Balad Sa'udia then wrote an article including the lines: "We welcome Nehru as he is a peaceful and sensible person, and it is our prayer that he lives thousands of years. Shah Sa'ud said: "Mr Nehru's soft voice has more effect than the bang of guns" and called him the "angel of Asia" and also called him a "Rasul". Our assumption is that he did not mean Prophet but messenger, just as many Muslims use the name 'Abd al-Mustafa, meaning not a worshipper but a follower.

When they received Nehru, they called him Aman ar-Rasul. He toured a school where the rulers studied and where the Gita was sung. We have a right to askwhy do the Saudi 'Ulema not say that these things are haram: to sing Gita, for Muslim women to come out of their homes to welcome kafir rulers, to put flowers on the graves of kuffar, to call the person who slaughtered uncountable Muslims in India a messenger of peace (Aman)? Oh those who ask for authentic proof for Milad an-Nabi, by Allah show us even a da'if (weak) hadith to justify these actions!

When they welcomed Nehru in such a way, back in India and Pakistan marches and rallies were organised in protest. The King was sent a telegram in 1960 by Sayyid Mawdudi, who came to Saudi for Hajj and was invited on Royal order to Riyadh. Delivering his speech he said:"If we were to invite the Prime Minister of Israel to Pakistan and welcome him like you welcomed Nehru, how would you feel? You called the enemy of Muslims the Messenger of Peace." The whole world criticised them for this, but no Saudi 'alim made any objection.

In the West people do dhikr in mosques, and do Na'at Khanni once a month; or they read the Qur'anand convey the reward to Muslims who have parted from this world, especially Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir Jilani. The Najdi students who come to the West write piles of books against this and ask for authentic proofs but when reminded that the people and leaders of their own countries put flowers on the graves of kuffar they quietly digest it.

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26) Sources

Revealed Books

  • Qur'an

  • Bible

Hadith

  • Allama Hindi, Kanz al-A'mal

  • Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba

  • Abu Dawud, Sunan Abu Dawud

  • Abu Hanifa, Musnad Imam Abu Hanifa

  • Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal

  • 'Abd ar-Razzaq, Musannaf 'Abd ar-Razzaq

  • al-Bayhaqi, Bayhaqi

  • al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari

  • Daraqutni, Daraqutni

  • adh-Dhahabi, Takhlis Mustadrak

  • ad-Darimi, Sunan ad-Darimi

  • al-Hakim, Mustadrak

  • Haythami, Majmu' az-Zwa'id

  • Humaydi, Musnad Humaydi

  • Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah

  • Imam Malik, Al-Muwatta Imam Malik

  • Imam Muhammad, Al-Muwatta Imam Muhammad

  • Imam Muhammad, Kitab al-Atar

  • Imam Muslim, Sahih Muslim

  • an-Nasa'i, Sunan an-Nasa'i

  • Qadi Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar

  • at-Tabarani, at-Tabarani

  • at-Tirmidhi, Jami' at-Tirmidhi

  • Wali'd-din, Mishkat al-Masabih

Tafsir

  • Allama Sa'idi, Tibyan al-Qu'ran

  • Alusi, Ruh al-Mani

  • Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir

  • Qadi Shawkani, Fath al-Qadir

  • al-Qurtubi, Tafsir al-Qurtubi

  • Sayyid Mawdudi, Tafhim al-Qu'ran

  • at-Tabari, Tafsir at-Tabari

  • Tanaullah Panipatti, Mazhari

'Ulum al-Hadith

  • Allama Sakhawi, Fath al-Mughith

  • Dr. Subhi, 'Ulum al-Hadith

  • Ibn Hajr al-'Asqalani, Sharh an-Nukhbah

  • Ibn Kathir, 'Ulum Ahadith

  • Ibn as-Salat, Muqqadima Ibn as-Salat

  • Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Tadrib ar-Rawi

al-Jarh wa at-Ta'dil

  • al-Bukhari, Ta'rikh al-Kabir

  • al-Bukhari, Ta'rikh as-Saghir

  • adh-Dhahabi, Muhammad ibn Ahmad., Mizan al-I'tidal

  • adh-Dhahabi, Muhammad ibn Ahmad., Tadhkirat al-Huffaz

  • Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib

  • Ibn Hatim al-Razi, al-Jarh wa Ta'dil

  • Khatib al-Baghdadi, Ta'rikh Baghdad

Ta'rikh

  • Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr, al-Isti'ab

  • Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghaba

  • Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi't-Ta'rikh

  • Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, al-Asabah

  • Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa'n-Nihaya

  • Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd

  • as-Subki, Taqi ad-Din., Tabaqat ash-Shafi'iyyah

  • at-Tabari, Ta'rikh at-Tabari

  • al-Waqidi, Futuh ash-Sham

Sira

  • Ibn Hisham, Sirat Muhammad

  • Qadi 'Iyad, Kitab ash-Shifa'

  • Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi

  • Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma'ad

  • Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi, Muhammad., Mukhtasar Sirat ar-Rasul

  • Ashraf Ali Thanvi,,Nashr at-Tib

Hadith Commentaries

  • Allama Ayni, Umdat al-Qari

  • Allama Sa'idi, Sharh Sahih Muslim

  • Ibn Hajr al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari'

  • an-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim

  • Qastalani, Irshad as-Sari

Others

  • Abu Bakr al-Jazayri Waja a-Yarkudin

  • 'Alawi Maliki, Muhammad., al-Mafahim Ibn Taymiyya, al-Kalim at-Tayyib

  • 'Alawi Maliki, Muhammad., Shifa' al-Fu'ad

  • 'Alawi Maliki, Muhammad., Milad an-Nabi and Ziyarat ar-Rawdat ash-Sharifa

  • Albani, Nasr ad-Din., at-Tawassul

  • Albani, Nasr ad-Din., Silsalat al-Ahadith ad-Da'ifa

  • Allama Kawthari, Ta'nib al-Khatib

  • Allama Sa'idi, Ta'rikh an-Najd aw al-Hijaz

  • Allama Sa'idi, Tawzih al-Bayan

  • Allama Shami, Fatawa Shami

  • Allama Sharastani, Al-Milal

  • Amartsari, Thana'iya., Fatawa Thana'iya

  • al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrid

  • adh-Dhahabi, Alam an-Nabala

  • Faruqi, Shah Abul Husayn Zayd., Sawane Hayat Imam Abu Hanifa

  • Hayat Khan, Ta'rikh Saudi Arab

  • Husayn, Muhammad., Iqtisad fi Masail Jihad

  • Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi, Muhammad.,Kitab Kashf ash-Shubhat

  • Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, M., Majmu'a al-Mu'allifat

  • Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr, Jami' al-Bayan

  • Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr, at-Tamhid

  • Ibn Bashir, 'Uthman., Ta'rikh Najd

  • Ibn Hazm, Muhalla

  • Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Wafa

  • Ibn al-Jawzi, Talbis Iblis

  • Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-Arab

  • Ibn al-Qayyim, Alam al-Muwakki'in

  • Ibn al-Qayyim, Jala al-Afham

  • Ibn al-Qayyim, Kitab ar-Ruh

  • Ibn al-Qayyim, Qasida Nuniyya

  • Ibn Rajab, Lata'if al-Maharif

  • Ibn Sakhun, al-Maduna

  • Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida' as-Sirat al-Mustaqim

  • Ibn Taymiyya, Kitab al-Istigatha

  • Ibn Taymiyya, Minhaj as-Sunna

  • Ibn Taymiyya Qayda Jalila

  • Ibn Taymiyya, al-Radd al-Akhna'i

  • Ibn Taymiyya, Raf' al-Malam

  • Ibn Taymiyya, Tanaww 'Ibadat

  • Ibn Taymiyya, 'Usul Tafsir

  • Kazmi, Ahmad Sa'id., Hayyat an-Nabi

  • Khan, Ahmad Yaar., Ja al-Haq

  • Khan, Nawab Siddique Hasan.,Abjad al-'Ulum

  • Louise, Al-Munjid

  • Mullah Nizam ud-Din, Fatawa Alamghir

  • an-Nawawi, Kitab al-Adhkar

  • an-Nawawi, Tahzib al-Asma wa'l-Lughat

  • Qadi Shawkani, al Majmu' Da'ifa wa'l-Mawdudah

  • Qadi Shawkani, Tuhfat adh-Dhakirin

  • Qadri, Ahmad Raza Khan., Fatawa Razawiyya

  • Qadri, Sharf., Nida 'Ya Muhammad!'

  • Rawpari, A., Fatawa Ahl al-Hadith

  • Salah ud-Din Yusuf, Milad an-Nabi

  • Sayyid Mawdudi, Khalifat aw Malukiyat

  • Sayyid Mawdudi, Rasa'il al-Masa'il

  • Sayyid Mawdudi, Tafhimat

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