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Tribulations of the Wahhabiyyah


During the reign of Sultan Salim III (1204-1222 AH) many tribulations took place. One was the tribulation of the Wahhabiyyah which started in the area of al-Hijaz{1} where they captured al-Haramayn{2}, and prevented Muslims coming from ash-Sham{3} and Egypt from reaching their destination to perform Pilgrimage (Hajj). Another tribulation is that of the French who controlled Egypt from 1213 A.H. until 1216 A.H. Let us here speak briefly about the two adversities{4}, because each was mentioned in detail in the books of history and in separate treatises.

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During the reign of Sultan Salim III (1204-1222 AH) many tribulations took place. One was the tribulation of the Wahhabiyyah which started in the area of al-Hijaz{1} where they captured al-Haramayn{2}, and prevented Muslims coming from ash-Sham{3} and Egypt from reaching their destination to perform Pilgrimage (Hajj). Another tribulation is that of the French who controlled Egypt from 1213 A.H. until 1216 A.H. Let us here speak briefly about the two adversities{4}, because each was mentioned in detail in the books of history and in separate treatises.

Background On The Tribulations Of The Wahhabis

The fighting started between the Wahhabis and the Prince of Makkah, Mawlana Sharif Ghalib Ibn Bu Sa^id, who had been appointed by the honored Muslim Sultan as his ruling representative over the areas of al-Hijaz. This was in 1205 AH during the time of Sultan Salim III, the son of Sultan Mustafa III, the son of Ahmad. Previous to the outbreak of fighting, the Wahhabis began to build power and gain followers in their areas. As their territories expanded, their evil and harm increased They killed countless numbers of Muslims, legitimated confiscating their money and possessions, and captured their women. The founder of their wicked doctrine was Muhammad Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab, who originated from eastern Arabia, from the tribe of Banu Tamim. He lived a long life, about one-hundred years. He was born in 1111 AH and died in 1200 AH. His history was narrated as follows:

Muhammad Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab started as a student of knowledge in the city of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam: al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab’s father was a good, pious man among the people of knowledge as was his brother, Shaykh Sulayman. His father, his brother, and his shaykhs (teachers of religion) had the foresight Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab would innovate a great deal of deviation and misguidance, because of their observance of his sayings, actions, and inclinations concerning many issues. They used to reprimand him and warn people against him.

Some Of The Beliefs Of Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab

What Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab’s father, brother, and shaykhs speculated about him came true--by the Will of Allah, ta^ala. Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab innovated deviant and misleading ways and beliefs and managed to allure some ignorant people to follow him. His deviant and misleading ways and beliefs disagreed with the sayings of the scholars of the Religion. His deviant beliefs led him to label the believers as blasphemers! He falsely claimed visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and performing the tawassul{5} by him as shirk{6}. Additionally, he falsely claimed visiting the graves of other prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya’) and performing tawassul by them was shirk as well. He added to this by saying, "To call upon the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, when performing tawassul by the Prophet is shirk." He passed the same judgment of shirk on the ones who call upon other prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya’) in performing tawassul by them.

In an effort to give credibility to his innovations Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab embellished his sayings by quotations which he selected from Islamic sources, i.e., quotations which are used as proofs for many issues but not the issues which Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab was attempting to support. He brought false statements and tried to beautify them for the laymen until they followed him. He wrote treatises for them until they believed that most of the People of Tawhid{7} were blasphemers.

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Alliance With The Su^udiyy Family

Moreover, Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab called upon the princes of eastern Arabia and the people of ad-Dar^iyyah{8} to support him. They carried his doctrine and made this endeavor a means to strengthen and expand their kingdom. They worked together to suppress the Bedouins of the deserts until they overcame them and those Bedouins followed them and became foot-soldiers for them without pay. After that, these masses started to believe that whoever does not believe in what Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab said is a blasphemer, and it is Islamically lawful (halal) to shed his blood and plunder his money.

The matter of Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab started to evidence itself in 1143 A.H. and began spreading after 1150 A.H. Subsequently, the scholars--even his brother, Shaykh Sulayman and the rest of his shaykhs-- authored many treatises to refute him. But Muhammad Ibn Su^ud, the Prince of ad-Dar^iyyah in eastern Arabia, supported him and worked to spread his ideology. Ibn Su^ud was from Banu Hanifah, the people of Musaylimah al-Kadhdhab{9}. When Muhammad Ibn Su^ud died, his son ^Abdul-^Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Su^ud took over the responsibility of fulfilling the vile task of spreading the Wahhabi beliefs.

Many of the shaykhs of Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab in al-Madinah used to say, "He will be misguided, and he will misguide those for whom Allah willed the misguidance." Things took place as per the speculation of the scholars. Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab claimed his intention behind the madhhab he invented was "to purify the tawhid" and "repudiate the shirk." He also claimed people had been following the shirk for six-hundred years and he revived their Religion for them!!

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The Methodology Of Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab

Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab took the verses revealed to speak about the blasphemers and applied them to the Muslims. The following examples from the Qur’an illustrate this point. Allah, ta^ala, said in Surat al-Ahqaf, Ayah 5:

﴿ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لَّا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَائِهِمْ غَافِلُونَ﴾ (الأحقاف ٥)

This verse means: [Who is more astray than the one who performs supplication (du^a’) to [worship] other than Allah; the one other than Allah he supplicates to will not answer his du^a’.] Allah, ta^ala said in Surat Yunus, Ayah 106 :

(وَلَا تَدْعُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُكَ وَلَا يَضُرُّكَ ۖ فَإِن فَعَلْتَ فَإِنَّكَ إِذًا مّـِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴾ (يونس ١٠٦)

This verse means: [Do not perform supplication (du^a’) to [worship] other than Allah; the one other than Allah you supplicate to will not benefit you and will not harm you.]

The verses in the Qur’an similar to these ones are numerous. Muhammad Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab gravely misinterpreted the previously cited verses and said: "The Muslim who asks help from the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, other prophets, or the righteous people (salihun), or who calls or asks any of them for intercession is like those blasphemers mentioned in the Qur’an." According to the false claim of Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab, the Muslims who do these things are blasphemers.

He also considered visiting the grave of Prophet Muhammad and the graves of other prophets and righteous Muslims for blessings as blasphemy. Allah revealed Ayah 3 of Surat az-Zumar in reference to the mushrikun:

﴿ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ ﴾ (الزمر ٣)

This verse means: [Those who worship the idols said: "We do not worship them except to achieve a higher status from Allah."]

Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab falsely stated: "Those who perform tawassul (asking Allah by the prophets, for example) are similar to those blasphemers mentioned in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 3, who claim they do not worship the idols except to achieve a higher status from Allah." He said: "The blasphemers did not believe the idols create anything; they believed Allah is the Creator." He gave his version of proof from the Qur’an by citing Surat Luqman, Ayah 25 and Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 38, in which Allah said:

﴿ وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ﴾ (الزمر ٣٨)

These verses mean: [If you ask them, ‘Who created the heavens and earth?’ They will say, ‘Allah’.]

In Surat az-Zukhruf, Ayah 87, Allah said:

﴿ وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ﴾ (الزخرف ٨٧)

Which means: [If you ask them, ‘Who created them?’ They will say, ‘Allah’.] Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab falsely concluded from these verses that the Muslims who perform tawassul are similar to those blasphemers.

The Scholars Refute Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab

In their writings to refute Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab's sayings, the scholars said his deduction was false. The believers did not consider the prophets or the awliya’ as gods and they did not deem them partners to Allah. Instead, they correctly believe the prophets and awliya’ are good slaves and creations of Allah, and they do not deserve to be worshipped.

The blasphemers intended in these verses believed their idols deserved Godhood. They exalted them as one would exalt his Creator, even though they believed the idols did not create the heavens and the earth. The believers, on the other hand, do not believe the prophets or righteous Muslims (awliya’) deserve to be worshipped, nor do they deserve to be attributed with Godhood, nor do they exalt them as one would exalt God. They believe these people are good slaves of Allah, His beloved ones whom He chose, and by their blessings (barakah) Allah grants His mercy to His creation. Hence, when the slaves of Allah seek the blessings (barakah) of the prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya’) they are seeking these blessings as a mercy from Allah.

There are many proofs and examples from the Qur’an and Sunnah about this basic belief of the Muslims. Muslims believe Allah is the Creator, the One Who grants benefit and inflicts harm, and the only One Who deserves to be worshipped. Muslims believe that no one other than Allah has the power to affect the creation. The prophets and righteous people do not create anything. They do not possess the power to bestow benefit or inflict harm on others, but Allah is the One Who bestows the mercy upon the slaves by the righteous Muslims’ blessings.

Hence, the belief of the blasphemers, i.e., the belief their idols deserve to be worshipped and have Godhood, is what makes them fall into blasphemy. This saying of the blasphemers, as previously cited in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 3, was said in an effort to justify their belief when they were disproved and shown idols do not deserve to be worshipped.

How can Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab and those who follow him find it permissible to equate the believers, who believed in tawhid, to those blasphemers, who believed in the Godhood of the idols? All the previously cited verses and the verses which are similar to them are specific to the blasphemers who associate partners with Allah--none of the believers are included. Al-Bukhariyy narrated by the route of Ibn ^Umar, may Allah raise their ranks, that the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, described the Khawarij as those who took the verses revealed about the blasphemers and attributed them to the believers! In the narration by the route of Ibn ^Umar the Prophet said:

أَخْوَفُ ما أخافُ علَى أُمَّتي رَجلٌ يَتَأَوَّلُ القُرءَانَ يَضَعُهُ في غيرِ مَوْضِعِهِ

which means: <<What I fear most for my nation is a man who mis-explains the Qur’an and takes it out of context.>> This hadith and the previous one apply very well to the Wahhabis.

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Proofs For Tawassul

The Permissibility of Asking Allah for Things by Some of His Creation

If performing tawassul had been blasphemy, then the believers, i.e., the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, his Companions, and the Salaf and Khalaf of this nation would not have done it. Yet it is mentioned in the sahih hadith of the Prophet that the Prophet used to ask Allah by saying:

اللَّهُمَّ إنّـِي أسأَلُكَ بِحَقّ السَّائِلينَ عَليكَ

which means: <<O Allah, I ask You by the status of those who ask You.{10} >> Without doubt, this is tawassul. The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, used to teach this supplication (du^a') to his Companions and order them to say it. This issue was expounded upon in different books and treatises refuting Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab.

There is a hadith related by al-Hakim that mentions after Adam ate from the tree, he performed tawassul by our Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. He did that, because he saw the name of the Prophet written on the ^Arsh, Adam said: <<O Allah, by the dignity of this son [Muhammad], forgive this father [Adam].>>

It was also related by Ibn Hibban, that upon the death of Fatimah Bint Asad, may Allah raise her rank, the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, with his own honorable hands, put her in her grave and said: <<O Allah, forgive my mother{11}, Fatimah Bint Asad, and widen her place by the status of Your Prophet and the prophets who came before me. You are the most Merciful.>>

There is a hadith classified as sahih{12}, that a blind man asked the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, to make a supplication (du^a') to Allah to return his sight. The Prophet ordered him to make ablution (wudu’) and pray two rak^ahs and then say:

"O Allah, I ask You and direct myself to You by Your Prophet, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I ask Allah by you to fulfill my need. O Allah, enable him to intercede for me."

The blind man did what the Prophet taught him to do{13} and Allah brought his sight back. Moreover, as related by at-Tabaraniyy, the tawassul made by the blind man was used by the Companions and Salaf after the death of the Prophet.

^Umar Ibn al-Khattab performed the tawassul by al-^Abbas (the uncle of the Prophet), may Allah reward their deeds, when he prayed the Salah of ’Istisqa’{14} with the people. There are other proofs mentioned in the books of the Islamic scholars but we will not recount them at length here.

The one who pursues the saying of the Companions and their followers will find a great deal of proof about the validity of calling the prophet by saying "O Muhammad" in his presence as well as in his absence and in his life as well as after his death. In fact, many texts include the phrase which means, "O Muhammad". Calling the name of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, is permissible. An example is the saying of the Companion, Bilal Ibn al-Harith, may Allah reward his deeds, when he went to the grave of the Prophet. He said: "O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah to send rain to your Nation." His saying contains this format{15}.

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Sulayman al-Kurdiyy{16} was among the authors who wrote refuting Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab. He was Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab’s own shaykh. Among what he said is as follows:

O Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab, I advise you, for the sake of Allah, ta^ala, to hold your tongue regarding the Muslims. If you hear from anyone who asks for help from other than Allah that one has the power to effect things without the Will of Allah, then teach him the right thing about this issue, and show him the proofs which state no one other than Allah brings things from non-existence into existence. The one who rejects that is blasphemous. You have no right to label the majority of the Muslims as blasphemers{17} while you are deviant from the majority of the Muslims. In fact, it is more reasonable to consider the one who deviates from the majority of the Muslims as a blasphemer then to consider the Muslims as a nation as blasphemers--because the deviant one has followed a path other than the path of the believers. In Surat an-Nisa’, Ayah 115, Allah said:

﴿ وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلّـِهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا ﴾ (النساء ١١٥)

This ayah means: [Whomever contends with the Messenger after the right path was exposed to him and follows other than the way of the believers, Allah will leave him to whatever he followed and put him in Hell (Jahannam)].

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The Permissibility Of Visiting The Grave Of The Prophet

Visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, was performed by the Companions and the Salaf and Khalaf who came after them. Many hadiths cite the benefit of this deed and the scholars of Islam have written books about this matter{18}.

Calling On Someone Other Than Allah

Among of what was mentioned concerning calling on someone other than Allah, whether that one is present, absent, dead or alive, is the saying of the Prophet:

إذا أَفْلَتَتْ دابَّةُ أحدِكم بأرضٍ فلاةٍ فَلْيُنادِ يا عِبادَ اللهِ أَعِينُوا

which means: <<If the animal of anyone of you went out of control in the wilderness, then call: ‘O slaves of Allah, help me’>>, since there are slaves of Allah [i.e. the angels] who will respond to him.

There is another hadith related by al-Bazzar in which the Prophet said:

إذا أَضَلَّ أحَدُكم شيئًا أو أرادَ عَوْنًا وهو بأرضٍ ليس فيها أَنيسٌ فليقُلْ يا عبادَ الله أعينُونِي

which means: << If one of you lost something or needs help while in an open land, then let him say: "O slaves of Allah, help me.">> Another narration says:

أغِيثُونِي فإنَّ للهِ عبادًا لا تَرَوْنَهُم

which means <<Rescue me, because Allah has created slaves whom you do not see.>>

When traveling at nightfall the Prophet, sallallahu ^alyhi wa sallam, used to say:

يا أرضُ رَبّـِي وربُّكِ اللهُ

which means: << O earth, my Lord and your Lord is Allah.>>

When the Prophet viSite2d the grave of Muslims, he used to say:

السلامُ عليكم يا أهلَ القُبُورِ

which means: << O people of the graves, peace be upon you.>>

In the Tashahhud in as-Salah the Muslim says:

السلامُ عليكَ أيُّها النَّبيُّ ورَحمةُ اللهِ وبَركَاتُهُ

which means: << "O Prophet of Allah, may Allah protect you from infirmities, and have mercy and blessings on you.">>

There is no harm in calling on and performing tawassul by someone unless one believes that someone other than Allah actually creates things. Hence, as long as one believes that only Allah creates them, there is no harm in performing tawassul. Likewise, attributing a certain doing to other than Allah does not harm unless one believes this doer actually creates. So once it is established the person does not believe the creating is for other than Allah then attributing a doing to other than Allah is understood in its proper context. When one says: "This medicine benefited me," or "This particular righteous Muslim benefited me," he is merely exposing the created reason of the benefit. These statements are also similar to when one says: "This food satisfied my hunger," or "This water quenched my thirst," or "This medicine cured me." When Muslims say such statements, they understand them in their proper context, i.e., food, water, and medicine are only reasons, and Allah is the Creator of their benefit.

The general proofs mentioned in this summary are enough to refute Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab. The scholars of Islam have expounded on this issue in several treatises.

At the time Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab and his assistants initiated their treacherous ideology by which they called the Muslims blasphemers, they were gaining control of eastern Arabia one tribe after another. This expansion eventually encompassed al-Yaman, Makkah, al-Madinah, and the tribes of al-Hijaz all the way to ash-Sham.

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Debating With The Scholars Of Makkah

Initially, the Wahhabis sent a group to Makkah and al-Madinah thinking they would be able to spoil the belief of the scholars of these two holy cities and tamper with their belief through lies and fabrications. When they reached there and declared their beliefs, the scholars of Makkah and al-Madinah refuted them and established the Islamic evidences against them--which they could not refute. The scholars were certain about the Wahhabis’ ignorance and misguidance and found them absurd and thoughtless.

After evaluating their beliefs and finding them full of many types of blasphemy, the Wahhabis fled like frightened zebras fleeing from a lion. Hence, after establishing the proofs, the scholars wrote an attestation against the Wahhabiyyah to the Head Judge of Makkah confirming the Wahhabis as blasphemous because of their beliefs. The aim of the scholars was to disclose the misguidance of the Wahhabis and make it known to the Muslims near and far. This action took place during the rulership of Sharif Mas^ud Ibn Sa^id Ibn Sa^d Ibn Zayn, the ruler of Hijaz who ordered the imprisonment of those unjust Wahhabis. Sharif Mas^ud Ibn Sa^id Ibn Sa^d Ibn Zayn died in 1165 A.H.

Some Wahhabis managed to escape their imprisonment. They went to ad-Dar^iyyah and spoke about what they encountered in Makkah. This made the Wahhabis more devilishly haughty, and they started attacking the tribes which were loyal to the prince of Makkah.

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Outbreak Of Hostilities:

Fighting In At-Ta’if, Makkah, And Juddah

The fighting between the Wahhabis and the prince of Makkah, Mawlana Sharif Ghalib Ibn Mus^id Ibn Sa^id Ibn Sa^d Ibn Zayd, broke out after 1205 A.H. Many battles took place between the prince and the Wahhabis. Although many people were killed, the Wahhabis’ strength kept intensifying. Their innovations kept propagating until most of the Bedouin tribes paid allegiance to them--even the Bedouins who were under the rulership of the prince of Makkah.

In 1217 A.H., they marched with big armies to the area of at-Ta’if. In Dhul-Qa^dah{19} of the same year, they lay siege to the area the Muslims were, subdued them, and killed the people: men, women, and children. They also looted the Muslims’ belongings and possessions. Only a few people escaped their barbarism.

After at-Ta’if{18} came under their control, the Wahhabis planned to march towards Makkah, but this was during the time the Muslims were performing Pilgrimage, and many of the Muslims from ash-Sham and Egypt were in Makkah. The Wahhabis knew if they attacked Makkah at that time all the people performing Pilgrimage would join in fighting them. They stayed in at-Ta’if until Hajj was over, and the people had returned to their countries. Then the Wahhabis and their armies set out to attack Makkah. Sharif Ghalib did not have enough power to face these armies, so he went to Juddah. The people of Makkah were afraid the Wahhabis would treat them in the same manner the people of at-Ta’if were treated, so they negotiated and surrendered to them. The Wahhabis granted the people of Makkah security and entered Makkah on the eighth of Muharram, 1218 A.H. They occupied themselves there for fourteen days ordering the Muslims to repent and embrace Islam--since the Wahhabis falsely claimed them as blasphemers. The people were prohibited from doing what the Wahhabis incorrectly believed to be blasphemy, like performing tawassul and visiting the graves.

Having gained control of at-Ta’if and Makkah, the Wahhabis turned their armies towards Juddah to fight Sharif Ghalib. When they surrounded Juddah, Sharif Ghalib bombarded them with cannons and projectiles. He killed many Wahhabis and prevented the conquering of Juddah. After eight days, the Wahhabis departed Juddah to return to their own territories. The Wahhabis left some of their army in Makkah and appointed ^Abdul-Mu^in, the brother of Sharif Ghalib, as prince. ^Abdul-Mu^in only accepted this position to protect the people of Makkah and shelter them from the evil mistreatment of the harmful Wahhabis.

In the month of Rabi^-ul-’Awwal of the same year, Prince Ghalib left Juddah accompanied by Sharif Basha--the governor of Juddah and the representative of the Supreme ^Uthmaniyy{21} Sultan. They arrived in Makkah with their army and overpowered the Wahhabis. They expelled the Wahhabi army and this brought Makkah back under the authority of Sharif Ghalib.

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The Capture Of Makkah

The Wahhabis left Makkah and became involved with fighting many of the tribes. They captured at-Ta’if and appointed ^Uthman al-Madayiqiyy as the governor. This governor joined forces with some of the Wahhabis’ soldiers and started fighting the tribes next to the borders of Makkah and al-Madinah until they pledged allegiance to them. They eventually subdued all the tribes and captured all the lands originally under the authority of the Governor of Makkah. After this, ^Uthman al-Madayiqiyy mobilized his army in an attempt to capture Makkah. In 1220 A.H. they lay siege to Makkah and then surrounded it from all directions to tighten this siege. They blocked the routes to the city and prevented supplies from reaching there. It was a great hardship on the people of Makkah. Food became exorbitantly expensive and then unavailable. They resorted to eating dogs.

Sharif Ghalib was compelled to ask for reconciliation with the Wahhabis. He accepted for some people to arbitrate between them. He signed an agreement with conditions stipulating the rulership of Makkah would be kept for him, and the people of Makkah would be treated leniently. The Wahhabis accepted these conditions. They entered Makkah by the end of Dhul-Qa^dah in 1220 A.H. They also gained control of al-Madinah. They plundered what was in the room of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, took all the money that was there, and did some disgraceful acts. They appointed a man among them, Mubarak Ibn Madyan, as the governor of al-Madinah.

The Wahhabis ruled Makkah and al-Madinah for seven years. During these years, they prevented the people of ash-Sham and Egypt from entering Makkah carrying the cloak{20} of the Ka^bah when they came to perform pilgrimage. The Wahhabis started to make the cloak for the Ka^bah from black material. They prevented the people from smoking tobacco. When they found someone smoking they punished him fiercely. During this time, the Wahhabis destroyed the domes built on the graves of the righteous Muslims.

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The ^Uthmaniyy State Starts To React

Throughout these years, the ^Uthmaniyy State was in great confusion and chaos. The ^Uthmaniyys were engaged in fierce fighting with the Christians and they were trying to cope with disunity among the ruling power. One sultan would be appointed, then thrown out or possibly killed, until 1226 AH when the Sultan issued an order to the ruler of Egypt, Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha, to prepare to fight the Wahhabis.

The Army From Egypt

Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha organized a big army and by a mandate from the Sultan, appointed his son, Tusun Basha, as its commanding officer. Those troops left Egypt in Ramadan of the same year and journeyed by land and by sea until they reached Yanbu^ and regained it form the Wahhabis. In Dhul-Hijjah 1226 AH, the army reached an area between as-Safra’ and al-Hadidah. A fierce fight broke out with the Bedouins who were in al-Harbiyyah. These tribes were loyal to the Wahhabis, and many other tribes also joined them. As a result, the Egyptian army was badly defeated, many of the soldiers were massacred, and all the belongings of the army were looted. A small number of this army made their way back to Egypt.

The Second Egyptian Campaign

In 1227 A.H., Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha was determined to lead the army to al-Hijaz himself, so he mobilized more troops. In the month of Sha^ban some ranks of the army were sent before him--at the peak of their strength and preparedness. Among their artillery were eighteen canons. In Ramadan, the army captured what the Wahhabis formerly controlled and regained the area of as-Safra’, al-Hadidah, and other places without a fight, i.e., by attracting the shaykhs of the Bedouin tribes to their side. Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha gave money to the leaders of these tribes and salaries were arranged for them. These arrangements were made under the management of Sharif Ghalib, the Sharif of Makkah, who fooled the Wahhabis into believing he was on their side. The first time the Egyptians were defeated, they had not consulted with Sharif Ghalib--so he was unaware of their need for a similar arrangement.

Around the end of Dhul-Qa^dah, the army entered al-Madinah. When the news about the victory of the Muslim army reached Egypt, the Muslims celebrated the event for three days. They decorated the city, displayed fireworks, and fired their guns in celebration. They conveyed this good news to all the Christian kings.

The army traveling by sea captured Juddah at the beginning of Muharram, 1228 A.H., and then headed towards Makkah to regain control. The army did not engage in any battles with the Wahhabis as a result of the secret arrangements the Sharif managed to achieve. When the army reached Juddah, the Wahhabiyy army and princes fled Makkah. Al-Madayiqiyy, the Wahhabi princes of at-Ta’if, and their army fled at-Ta’if when they got word the Muslim army regained control of Juddah and Makkah.

The prince of the Wahhabis, Prince Su^ud, went to Hajj in 1227 A.H., before these events took place. After Hajj he went to at-Ta’if and then back to ad-Dar^iyyah. It was some time before he learned about the defeat in al-Madinah the Wahhabis suffered at the hands of the Sultan’s army. When he arrived in ad-Dar^iyyah he got word of the capture of Makkah and at-Ta’if.

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The Good News Reaches The Sultan

In Rabi^-ul-’Awwal, 1228 A.H., Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha sent delegates to the capital of the state (Istanbul) carrying good new and keys. A written correspondence explained the keys were from Makkah, al-Madinah, Juddah and at-Ta’if. They entered the palace of the Sultan in a dignified and royal parade, followed by drummers announcing the great victory as songs were chanted joyfully. Fireworks were lit and cannons were fired; the delegates who brought the keys were honored. The Sultan promoted the rank of Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha, decorated him with many medallions, and granted him other medallions with an authorization to decorate the officers of his choice.

In Shawwal, 1228 A.H., before Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha left Egypt for al-Hijaz, Sharif Ghalib caught ^Uthman al-Madayiqiyy, the Wahhabi governor of at-Ta’if, who was one of their greatest agents and rulers. He was placed in iron chains and sent to Egypt. He arrived in Egypt in Dhul-Qa^dah--after Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha left for al-Hijaz. From Egypt, ^Uthman al-Madayiqiyy was sent to the capital of the state--where later he was killed.

Punishing Some Wahhabis And Replacing Sharif Ghalib

Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha reached Makkah in Dhul-Qa^dah, arrested Sharif Ghalib Ibn Mus^id and sent him to the capital of the state. Sharif Yahya Ibn Surur Ibn Musa^id, Sharif Ghalib’s nephew, was appointed as the Sharif (Governor) of Makkah.

In Muharram, 1229 A.H., Mubarak Ibn Madyan, the Wahhabi governor of al-Madinah was sent to the capital. He was carried around Constantinople in a disgraceful manner for the people to see. He was killed after this, and his head was hung on the gate of the government building. The same thing was done to ^Uthman al-Madayiqiyy as a punishment for all the crimes they committed during their rulership.

Sharif Ghalib was sent to Salonika{22}, held in high regard, and treated well until he died in 1231 A.H. He was buried there, and a dome was constructed over his grave--and to this day, the people still visit his grave. Sharif Ghalib’s rulership over Makkah lasted for twenty-six years.

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Uprooting The Wahhabis

Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha continued to fight the Wahhabis, and he sent a large number of troops to Saudi Arabia in the areas of Turabah, Bishah, Ghamid, Dhahran, and ^Asir. His aim was to eradicate the Wahhabis, so he personally led the army in pursuit of them. In Sha^ban, 1229 A.H., he located them, killed and captured many, and demolished their strongholds. Prince Su^ud, the head of the Wahhabis, died in Jumadal-Ula, and his son, ^Abdullah, took over the leadership.

Shortly before the time of Pilgrimage, Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha left these areas and departed for Makkah. He performed Hajj and stayed in Makkah until Rajab, 1230 A.H. Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha left Hasan Basha{23} in Makkah and returned to Egypt in the middle of Rajab, 1230 A.H. He had spent one year and seven months residing in al-Hijaz, because he would not go back to Egypt until he had arranged the affairs of al-Hijaz and destroyed the Wahhabi factions spread throughout the Bedouin tribes of al-Hijaz and Eastern Arabia.

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The Third Egyptian Campaign

The Wahhabi prince, ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud, was still in ad-Dar^iyyah when Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha made preparations for an army to fight him. The troops were sent under the leadership of his son, Ibrahim Basha. Prior to this, ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud corresponded with Tusun Basha Ibn Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha; Tusun Basha was in al-Madinah, to make a peace accord with ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud. In this proposed accord, he agreed to pay his loyalty to Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha on the condition he was left as the governor of that area. Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha did not approve this arrangement. The army was mobilized under Ibrahim’s command at the end of 1231 A.H. Ibrahim Basha and his army reached ad-Dar^iyyah in 1232 A.H. where they battled ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud. In Dhul-Qa^dah, 1233 A.H., they conquered the Wahhabis.

When Egypt received news of the victory, the people were extremely triumphant and rejoiced for seven days. They set off fireworks and fired 1,000 canons in celebration of this great event.

Some Of The War Expenses

Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha had a tremendous concern for fighting the Wahhabis by sea. He spent great amounts of money to attain his goal. Some of those who used to serve him said on one occasion 45,000 riyals{24} were paid to transport ammunition{25}. This costly payment was one of many times such things occurred. Another time, one transport in particular was made for ammunition carried from Yanbu^ to al-Madinah. Each camel cost six riyals, half of which was paid by the governor of Yanbu^ and the other half by the governor of al-Madinah. Upon the arrival of the shipment from al-Madinah to ad-Dar^iyyah, the fee for the transport of ammunition alone was 140,000 riyals.

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The Capture Of The Wahhabis’ Leader

Ibrahim Basha caught ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud and sent him and many of the Wahhabi princes to Egypt. They arrived on the seventeenth of Muharram, 1234 A.H., where people gathered to see the Wahhabi leader paraded around the capital riding on a camel. After this, ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud was brought to see Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha. Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha stood up for ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud, was gentle with him, and smiled as he let Abdullah sit beside him. Muhammad ^Aliyy Basha talked to him.

Al-Basha: Why do you keep rebelling? Ibn Su^ud: The war goes on; you lose sometimes and you win other times. Al-Basha: How did you find my son, Ibrahim Basha? Ibn Su^ud: He was not reckless but he put forth effort and so did we until what Allah had willed happened. Al-Basha: I will petition our master, the Sultan, on your behalf. Ibn Su^ud: What Allah willed to be shall be.

Al-Basha ordered a robe{26} to be put on Ibn Su^ud before he left to the house of Isma^il Basha in Bulaq{27}. Abdullah Ibn Su^ud had a small metal box with him.

Al-Basha: What is this? Ibn Su^ud: This was taken by my father from the
room of the Prophet. I am taking it with me to the Sultan.

Al-Basha ordered the box to be opened. They found three Mushafs in it--the like of which no one had ever seen--and with them were 300 large pearls, one large emerald, and a golden ribbon.

Al-Basha: You have taken much more than that. Ibn Su^ud: This is what I found kept by my father. He did not take all what was in the room for himself. The Bedouin tribesmen, the people of al-Madinah, the Aghas of al-Haram, and the Sharif of Makkah also removed things from the Prophet’s room. Al-Basha: That is true. We found some of these things with the Sharif.

Then ^Abdullah Ibn Su^ud was sent to the place of the Sultan. In Muharram, 1235 A.H., Ibrahim Basha returned to Egypt from al-Hijaz after he destroyed ad-Dar^iyyah such that it was abandoned by its inhabitants. When Ibn Su^ud reached the headquarters of the Sultanate in Rabi^-ul-’Awwal, he was paraded around the city for all the people to see. He was then put to death at the Door of Hamayun (as a punishment for his crimes). The chiefs of his followers were executed in different places.

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This is a very brief summary of the story of Muhammad Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab. To talk at length on each of these details would be very lengthy. The tribulations inflicted by the Wahhabis were a calamity for the Muslims. The Wahhabis shed a great deal of blood and robbed a great deal of money; their harm was prevalent and their evil spread.

Many of the hadiths of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, spoke explicitly about this tribulation. One narration said:

يخرج أناسٌ من المَشرقِ يقرأونَ القرءانَ لا يُجاوِزُ تَرَاقِيَهُم يَمرُقونَ من الدينِ كما يَمرُقُ السَّهمُ من الرَّمِيَّةِ سِيماهُمُ التَّحْليقُ

which means: <<There will be people who come from the eastern side of Arabia who will recite Qur’an, but their recitation will not pass beyond their collarbones{28}. They will go out of Islam as swiftly as the arrow goes through the prey. Their sign is shaving their heads.>> This hadith was mentioned in many narrations, including Sahih-ul-Bukhariyy and other books of hadith. There is no need to expound on listing these narrations or their narrators because they are well-known and of the sahih{29} classification.

The Prophet said: "Their sign is shaving their heads." This is an explicit reference to the Wahhabi sect. They used to order all those who follow them to shave their heads. None of the previous sects, i.e., those who came before the Wahhabis, like the Khawarij or other innovators, had this sign.

As-Sayyid ^Abdur-Rahman al-Ahdal, the Mufti of Zabid, used to say: "There is no need for writing against the Wahhabis. For, in refuting them, it is sufficient to mention the hadith of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam: <<Their sign is shaving their heads>> since no other innovators had ever done it."

It happened once that a women made her point against Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab when they compelled her to follow them and she did. He ordered her to shave her head. She told him: "Since you order the woman to shave her head, you have to order the man to shave his beard. The hair of the women is her decoration and the decoration of the man is his beard." Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab could not answer her.

Among of what the Wahhabis used to do was to prevent the people from asking the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, for his intercession--although the hadiths about the Prophet’s intercession are numerous and are of the mutawatir{30} classification. Most of his intercession is for the Muslims of his nation who committed major sins. The Wahhabis also prohibited Muslims from reading Dala’il-ul-Khayrat--which includes saying as-Salat on the Prophet and mentioning many of the Prophet’s complete descriptions. They said this is blasphemy. They also prevented Muslims from saying as-Salat on the Prophet on the minarets after the Adhan. Once a righteous blind Muslim was calling Adhan and said as-Salat on the Prophet after the Adhan{31}. The Wahhabis brought him to Ibn ^Abdul-Wahhab who ordered his execution.

If I [the author] was to pursue the mischievous things the Wahhabis did, I would fill notebooks and lots of papers. However, what has been mentioned thus far is enough. Allah, subhanahu wa ta^ala, knows best.

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{1}Al-Hijaz refers to the western part of Arabia which includes Makkah and al-Madinah. {2} Al-Haramayn refers to Makkah and al-Madinah. {3}Ash-Sham refers to the area that includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. {4}Only the first adversity will be presented in this booklet. {5} Tawassul is asking Allah for goodness by a prophet, righteous believer, etc. {6}Shirk refers to associating partners to Allah. {7}The People of Tawhid refers to the Muslims. {8} Ad-Dar^iyyah is a region north of the city of Riyad, Saudi Arabia. {9}Musaylimah al-Kadhdhab was a blasphemous man who claimed the status of prophethood for himself after the death of Prophet Muhammad. He was killed by the Muslims during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, may Allah raise his rank. {10}Ibn Majah and others related this hadith and the-Hafidh, Ibn Hajar, deemed it a strong hadith. {11} The Prophet called her ‘my mother’ out of likening her to his real mother. {12}Sixteen hafidhs of hadith classified this hadith as sahih, including at-Tirmidhiyy, at-Tabaraniyy, al-Bayhaqiyy, as-Subkiyy, among others. {13}It is clear in the narrations of this hadith, the blind man was not in the session of the Prophet when he did as the Prophet ordered him. {14} Salah of ’Istisqa’ refers to performing a specific prayer which includes making supplication for rain. {15}Al-Bayhaqiyy related this hadith and classified it as Sahih. {16} Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Sulaym al-Kurdiyy was the one who wrote al-Hashiyah on the explanation of Ibn Hajar to the text of Bafadl. {17} It is mentioned in a hadith it is easier for the devil to trick the lonely person who is away from other Muslims. The Prophet, sallallahu al ^alayhi wa sallam, while encouraging the Muslims to perform the prayers in congregation said:

وإنما يأكُلُ الذّئبُ من الغَنَمِ القاصِيَةَ

which means: <<Moreover, the wolf will eat the lonely lamb.>> {18} Among these hadiths is the one related by ad-Daraqutniyy that the Prophet said: <<On the Day of Judgment, I will intercede for the one who visits my grave with the good intention.>>
{18}At-Ta’if is a city in Hijaz. {19}Dhul-Qa^dah is the eleventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar. {20} The cloak of the Ka^bah is the cloth covering the Ka^bah. {21}The ^Uthmaniyy State was the Islamic state governing Turkey, parts of the ex-USSR, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, ex-Yugoslavia, Albania, Iraq, the Arabic peninsula, Egypt, ash-Sham, Libya, and other areas. {22}Salonika is a town in Greece. {23}Hasan Basha was one of the leaders of the Egyptian army. {24} Riyals were a unit of silver currency at that time. {25}This transport of ammunition involved crossing the Red Sea by ship and then crossing the land by camel. {26} Clothing with a nice garment is a traditional show of generosity. {27}Bulaq is an area in Cairo. {28}This means they do not understand the meaning of what they read. {29} A sahih hadith is a hadith which is related by a trustworthy Muslim from another trustworthy Muslim back to the Prophet or his Companion, and is devoid of any defect in this narration. {30} A mutawatir hadith is a hadith related by a large number of Muslims who witnessed it and conveyed it to large group of people who conveyed it to another large number and so on, until it reached us. Such a hadith is narrated in a way which is impossible for the narrators to have agreed to lie about it. {31}Adhan is the Call for Prayer.

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About The Author

The author of Fitnat-ul-Wahhabiyyah (The Tribulations Inflicted by the Wahhabiyyah Sect) is Ahmad Zayni Dahlan al-Makkiyy, ash-Shafi^iyy . He is a historian and a scholar in the Islamic fiqh. He acquired different types of Islamic knowledge and was appointed as the Mufti of the Shafi^iyyah scholars in the greatly honored city of Makkah. His students were so many, to the extent that it is rare to find a scholar who came after him whose chains of narrations do not include him. He was born in Makkah in 1231 A.H. and died in al-Madinah in Muharram 1304 A.H. He authored many writings which were published and widely spread. The following are some of his works:

1- Sharhu Matn-il-Alfiyyah; (an explanation of the text of al-Alfiyyah in the Arabic language)
2- Tarikh-ud-Duwal-il-Islamiyyah bil-Jadawil-il Mardiyyah; (a history of the Islamic states)
3- Fath-ul-Jawad-il-Mannan ^alal-^Aqidat-il-Musammati bi Fayd-ir-Rahman fi Tajwid-il-Qur’an; (a summary of the tajwid rules of recitation of the Qur’an)
4- Khulasat-ul-Kalam fi Umara’-il-Balad-il-Haram; (the history of the rulers of Makkah)
5- Al-Futuhat-ul-Islamiyyah; (a history of the opening of the different countries by Muslims)
6- Tanbih-ul-Ghafilin, Mukhtasaru Minhaj-il-^Abidin; (a summary exposing the good manners of the worshippers)
7- Ad-Durar-us-Saniyyah fir-Raddi ^alal-Wahhabiyyah; (a treatise refuting the Wahhabiys)
8- Sharh-ul-Ajurrummiyyah; (an explanation of an Arabic grammar text)
9- Fitnat-ul-Wahhabiyyah; [this booklet] (a treatise of the tribulations inflicted by the Wahhabiyyah sect).
The booklet between our hands is a summary of the translation of his work, Fitnat-ul-Wahhabiyyah. We seek the reward from Allah for it.

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