Are Wahhabis Sunnis? Chechnya Conference and Saudi anger…

More than 200 Muslim scholars came together in Grozni, Chechnya, for a conference on Islamic issues. They attended from Russia, Syria, Turkey, India, the UK, Lebanon, South Africa, Jordan… and Egypt had a very strong presence.

So what’s special about this, you may be wondering? This is perhaps one of the first times that mainstream Sunni scholars distanced themselves so clearly from Wahhabis, and everyone noticed… But to better understand the significance, here is the broader context to keep in mind…

A bit of context

There are two ideological schools in Islam, namely the Sunni and the Shia, in addition to the Sufi school which runs across both, being more of an behavioural outlook on life than an ideological school. Sunni Islam has two main theological schools (Ash’ari/Maturidi and Mu’tazilite) as well as four major legal schools (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali). This conference was organized by Sunni scholars, for Sunni scholars.

In the Sunni world, there are two main centers of religious authority: Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Egypt is home to Al Azhar, one of the oldest Islamic universities in the world, having been founded around the year 970 by the Fatimids. (Although it only gained university status according to modern standards in 1961, it has been continuously teaching and graduating students since its foundation in 970, making it one of the oldest universities in the world today.)

Saudi Arabia [as it is called today in reference to the family of Saud who basically were given the country to rule in exchange for their allegiance, first to the UK, then to the US] is home to Islam’s 2 holiest sites: Mecca, where about 3 million Muslims converge yearly for about 10 days to perform their annual pilgrimage,

and the city of Medina (or Al Madina Al Munawwarah, the “Radiant City” or the “Illuminated City”) where the Holy Prophet Muhammad is buried.

Egypt, with a population of about 92 million, carries much political and religious weight because Sunni Muslims generally look up to the positions of Al Azhar and its Imam, as well as the grand mufti of Egypt, as the top religious authorities in the world. Egypt is tremendously rich in history, culture, arts, personalities, and has a strong presence in the region in terms of politics and military power, as well as economically. Egypt is therefore considered the center of mainstream Sunni Islam in the world.

Saudi Arabia, although about twice as large in area size, has a population of about 30 million, and has none of the diversity and richness of Egypt in any dimension. Since the 1940’s when oil was discovered, it has been doing what it can to position itself as the main power in the region, having now become the largest importer of arms in the world and often being overtly and directly involved in the internal affairs of its neighbouring states. Saudi Arabia is home to Wahhabism (who themselves prefer the term Salafis and scripturalists), an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam, under the Hanbali school of Islamic law. Generally speaking, the reverence that Muslims have for Saudi scholars stems from the symbolic significance of Islam’s 2 holiest sites being in Saudi Arabia, as well as the unmatchable funding that Saudi Arabia uses to propagate its ideology and promote its policies.

The roots of the Saud family can be traced back all the way back to a Jewish man by the name of Mordakhai bin Ibhrahim bin Moshe, who initially lived in southern Iraq, and who joined a caravan by tricking them and came to the Arabian Peninsula in 851. With time, he was able to eliminate opponents and those who questioned his historical fabrications, create allegiances and alliances, and have many children to spread his name far and wide. (Of course, this is not the official version of their biography, and many historians and journalists in Saudi Arabia have lost their lives when digging too deep and revealing too much of this history. The official family tree of the Saudi Dynasty is now directly connected back to Prophet Muhammad…)

In 1744, one of the descendants of that man, Muhammad ibn Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin (d. 1765), [his father’s name, Saud, being the name based on which present day Saudi Arabia is named] made a pact with a rogue religious scholar called ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792), the founder of the Wahhabi movement.

The latter was running away from the wrath of many Islamic scholars, including his father and his brother, who had run out of patience with his un-Islamic and unacceptable ideas and who considered him as having deviated from the religious teachings. He came to a little place called Ad-Diriyyah seeking protection, and was allowed to become the much needed religious and ideological façade of the Saudi family, in return for political and military protection and wealth. Their oath of loyalty was made official and public by marrying the son of Ibn Saud’s son (Abdul Aziz d. 1803), to ibn Abd al Wahhab’s daughter.

Today, about 300 years later, the two families are still very intertwined and closely knit and the descendants of Abd al Wahhab hold a prestige similar to that of the Saud family (descendants of ibn Abd al Wahhab carry the family name Al ash-Sheikh who form the majority of the clerics in Saudi Arabia).

The conference

The 3-day conference, organized by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, and which actually took place about a week ago, was called “Who are Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah?” Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah is the full name that Sunnis give to their school of thought. In other words, the title of the conference was “who are the real Sunnis?”

This conference is creating all sorts of buzz. As we speak, the Internet is brewing with tweets and articles, especially from Wahhabi and Saudi scholars, hoping to attract the world’s attention to the “coup” that is being staged against them by the evil false scholars, who are conspiring against the poor victims that they are.

The reason for these attacks? Wahhabis were snubbed. No Saudi or Wahhabi scholars were invited to the conference! (except one relatively known scholar; Hatem al ‘Awni) This, despite it being international, and invitations having been extended to many of the major figures of the different schools of Sunni Islam, except the Wahhabis. Why, you may ask? Simply because the conference wanted to make a stand against the ideology of those who encourage terrorism, hatred, and calling everyone who disagrees with their perverted, backward, and narrow mentality “heretic.”

Instead, the conference saw the participation of Ahmed el-Tayeb, the current grand imam of Al-Azhar, and previous president of Al-Azhar University, as well as previous Grand Mufti of Egypt.

The conclusion of the conference was to provide an answer to the question “Who are the Sunnis?” It stated

“Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah are the Ash’arites, Muturidis in matters of belief, and the followers of the four schools in law, as well as the adherents to pure Sufism in knowledge, manners and purification.”

The participants considered this conference to be

“an important and necessary turning point to correct the dangerous and sharp deviation that has taken place in the definition of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah, as a result of the attempts of the extremists to hijack this noble title and allow it exclusively for themselves, excluding its true adherents from it.” Following this conclusion, they also recommended the establishment of a national television channel at the level of Russia, and whose objective would be to “communicate the true image of Islam.”

The conclusion, recommendation, and the choice of participants enraged the Saudi and Wahhabi scholars, in addition to Saudi journalists, and princes. Saudi Arabia’s highest group of religious scholars, the Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia, issues a statement indirectly criticizing the conference by

“warning against any attempts to create rifts between Islamic groups.”

Saudi political analysts and journalists were writing that

“the participation of el-Tayeb in a conference that has excluded the Kingdom from the title of Sunnis necessitates that we change our relationship with Egypt. Our country is more important. Let Sisi’s Egypt fall into destruction.”

Another writes:

“The Chechnya conference took place under the oversight of the Russian and Iranian intelligence services to exclude the Kingdom from the Sunnis. And yet, the Imam of Al Azhar signs stupidly and innocently. Most miserable of allies!”

Many referred to the conference simply as a major betrayal. A known Wahhabi scholar, Adil Al Kalbani, tweeted:

“let the Chechen conference serves as a warning to us that the world is gathering firewood to burn us.”

One academic analyst writes

“The manner in which the imam of Al Azhar is rewarding Saudi Arabia for its immense services to Al Azhar, how he has allied with Putin to kick Saudi Arabia out of the Islamic world… these need a psychotherapist.”

Notable deliberate exclusions include Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian scholar who has been instrumental in the promoting the ideologies and policies of the Saudi Arabia and its allies, and who currently resides in Qatar.

He released a statement on his site declaring

“I was disturbed by this conference because of its objectives and its title, as well as the type of those who were invited to attend and participate in it, as it should have disturbed any scholar of Islam who is loyal and sincere towards his community… The concluding remarks of the conference, instead of aiming to unify the followers of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah as one in the face of the devious groups in Islam, and who are supported politically by the world, and aided with money and weapons, rejects the use of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah on the scripturalists and Salafis among the Wahhabis, when they are an important constituent among Sunnis. […] We did not hear a word of objection from those who have appointed themselves as representatives on behalf of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’ah against what Iran and those who do its dirty work — such as Hizbollah militias in Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen – are doing in terms of killing, looting and destruction, as well as sending the missionaries to Africa to misguide the Sunnis. And not a word is uttered against what Russia or those in its orbit are doing.”

Al Azhar issues a statement explaining that el-Tayeb did not exclude the “scripturalists” and always tries to be inclusive in all his participations and speaking engagements because he believes in the importance of unifying the differences within Sunnism without excluding anyone. But this statement seems to have been in vain so far.

As for the Hassan Farhan al Maliki, a well known and moderate scholar, he wrote that

“excluding Ibn Taymyiah’s branch is not an exclusion of all Salafism. However, Ibn Taymiah’s branch has grown a lot, and it considers the other Sunni schools as forbidden innovations. You reap what you sow. […] the conference remains sectarian, but it emphasises the importance of standing up to the extremists and exposing their use of Islam as a pretext and instrument for the spilling of the blood of those who are Muslims and those who are peaceful/innocent.”

It would not be surprising to see very soon, an international and prestigious conference funded by Saudi petrodollars, to counter the conclusions of the Chechnya conference, in order to re-establish its “Islamic leadership,” as it often refers to it.

I hope that this entry helps you navigate a complex map of foreign names, fragmented groups, and historically charged events, when trying to understand present day tensions…


 

see all the articles of Making Sense of Wahhabism series:

Are Wahhabis Sunnis? Chechnya Conference and Saudi Anger

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 1: Links between the House of Saud and Wahhabism

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 2: Roots of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 3: History of the House of Saud

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 4: Wahhabism and Kharijism 1

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 5: Wahhabism and Kharijism 2

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 6: Québec City Shooting

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 7: Wahhabism and Kharijism 3

Making Sense of Wahhabism – 8: Wahhabism and Kharijism

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38 thoughts on “Are Wahhabis Sunnis? Chechnya Conference and Saudi anger…

  1. you self ejected your self from the fold of islam. enmity becomes a must up on you and us untill you returned to your pure islam that is mainstream saudi salafism.

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  2. you self ejected your self from the fold of islam. enmity becomes a must up on you and us untill you returned to your pure islam that is mainstream saudi salafism.

    Dear visitor of my blog. Thank you for leaving your comment. It was only 31 words (it should have been 30 words, because you made a couple of mistakes, one of them being that you split a word into two words…). As short as your comment was, it said everything it needed to say to prove the main points highlighted in the article.

    Here are my remarks on your comment.

    1. Generally: I hope you do realize that the entry only contained a few of my personal opinions and beliefs. For the most part, I was simply explaining how “Saudi Salafists” as you called them, reacted to a conference. In other words, I was reporting on the actual facts and events, with some additional context and analysis to help the reader understand the event. Please explain what/who you are attacking with your comment. Do you think that I attended or participated for example? Do you think that I am in agreement with the event, its objective, its conclusions, etc.? I did not say any of that. (I did mention my disagreement with Wahhabism, but that is different from reporting on the conference. Please be specific)

    2. Generally: If you disagree with some of the points made in the article, I think that it would be more productive to have a civilized discussion about it, instead of declaring your “enmity” and hatred. Do you agree or disagree with this?

    3. What do you mean by “you” at the beginning of your comment?

    3. a. Do you mean me personally? If so, what do you know about me to claim that I have “self ejected from Islam”?

    3. b. And if you mean some collective “you”, please explain who is that group in which you are lumping me please.

    3. b. i. Did the possibility that I do not belong to the group (in 2.b) ever cross your mind, or do you not care about the facts, and prefer to work with assumptions?

    4. Can you please explain exactly how did I “self eject” from Islam? Was it consciously or not? Do I know what I’m doing, or not? Am I stubborn or not? Am I harming anyone else with my “self ejection” or not? Or don’t your Islamic teachings distinguish between any of these points?

    5. Can you please clearly define the “fold of Islam” that you are referring to, because obviously you want to include some Muslims and exclude others on this basis…

    5. a. Can you please explain how “fold of Islam” is actually established? Who decides who is a Muslim and who isn’t? You?

    5. b. Do you mean something specific by the word “fold” or are you simply using it as a rhetorical artifice? I ask because maybe you think that there is a wider sphere called Islam, and in that sphere there are those who are “in the fold of Islam”, while others, who although still Muslims, are at the periphery or the margins. Can you be a Muslim without being “in the fold”?

    6. “enmity becomes a must”: in what ideology would “enmity” ever become a “must”? Are you telling us that your belief system or your value system is such that you are now obligated to carry enmity towards me (personally)?

    7. Can you please explain what you mean by “must”? Is this an ethical, deontological or categorical imperative? A logical necessity? A philosophical or mathematical necessity? A legislative requirement stemming from your theological ideology? What kind of “must” is it, so that we can discuss this necessity, if you believe in discussion.

    8. “enmity becomes a must upon you and us”:

    8. a. first, in the manner in which you are using “upon,” it is written as one word (upon), not two (up on). The reason I mention this is that if you are ignorant enough to make mistakes such as these without noticing, perhaps you will realize that you may also be mistaken in thinking that your necessary hatred is also a mistake. I hope you see that it’s at least possible that you are mistaken in some of your beliefs, right?

    8. b. Secondly, I understand that for some weird reason (see 6) you carry enmity towards me or towards us (not sure which one, see 2). But are you claiming, as per the second part of that statement (upon you and us), that I actually have enmity towards you? Or are you claiming that I ought to have enmity towards you?

    8. b. i. Why would you think that I have enmity towards you? You really don’t know that much about me. Maybe if you got to know me, you would think that I’m a cool guy, and you would maybe ease up a little on the enmity thing? You can buy me an espresso and it will be like oil, I mean water, under the bridge.

    8. b. ii. And If you think that I should have enmity towards you for some reason, I’m sorry to say that I am simply not that kind of person, to start carrying feeling of enmity and hatred towards others without any good reason. We may disagree very fundamentally on some things (we have to discuss them first to see) but that would still not be enough of a reason to hate you…

    9. “untill you returned to your pure Islam that is mainstream saudi salafism”

    9. a. So I will not underline all the missing capitals here, but I have to remind you, for future reference, that “until” is written with one one “l” at the end, not two. Again, I only mention this to remind you of your fallibility, and the possibility of mistakes in your knowledge and beliefs, which are a lot more complicated matters than English spelling and grammar. (see 8.a)

    9. b. In this statement, you are declaring that your enmity towards me will cease once I (or we) return to “pure Islam”. Based on what you read so far, you might have guessed that I was going to ask you to

    9. b. i. tell me, what are you doing right now to help me “return to pure Islam”? The only I had seen you do is declare your enmity on my blog, without any logic, or appealing argument…

    9. b. ii. clearly define “pure Islam” for me

    9. b. iii. explain to me how you are establishing that this Islam is pure, while that one is not pure. Do you decide that on your own? Every Muslim who agrees and disagrees with you believes that they are following pure Islam, and everyone else is mistaken in some things. Is your only solution to this problem a necessary mutual enmity until everyone agrees with you completely?

    9. c. Are you actually equating pure Islam with anything Saudi?! What is wrong with you! I am not even sure that you king Salman would agree with you on this, because he is record stating that there is no difference between the way Islam is practiced in Saudi Arabia and the way it is practiced elsewhere (although many would beg to differ). Why in the world would there ever be any distinction to Saudi Islam? If you simply mean that there is a cultural variation, cultural variations are irrelevant to the actual belief system revealed by God. And if you mean that Saudi Islam is somehow superior, this is simply racism, and if you followed Islamic teachings, you would know that Islam forbids racism explicitly and unequivocally. And if you are following those who created “saudi salafism” (among many other names) simply to avoid the name “Wahhabi”, please keep reading until the end, where I will tell you why I insist on calling Wahhabis “Wahhabis”.

    9. d. And finally, you are claiming that not only does “pure Islam” have to carry a “made in Saudi Arabia” label, but that it must be Salafi.

    9. d. i. What if someone is Saudi, and Muslim, but not Salafi, in which category of hatred and enmity do you place them?

    9. d. ii. What if someone is Salafi, but not Saudi, how much enmity do they deserve from you?

    9. d. iii. Sometimes we are delusional when it comes to ourselves, thinking for instance that we are a lot bigger or more important than we really are. So let me help you by holding a mirror to your face.

    9. d. iii. 1. Do you realize that Salafism has many types, and you are talking about only one school of Salafism (Wahhabi Salafism)? Do other Salafists also deserve your enmity, or not?

    9. d. iii. 2. Do you realize that your type of Salafism (Wahhabi Salafism) is but one of the many schools of Islamic law, besides the 4 major schools of Sunni law for instance?

    9 . d. iii. 3. Do you realize that there are many schools of thought that don’t even belong to Sunni thought, such Shi’ism, Sufism, and other belief systems who all consider themselves Muslims, or not?

    9. d. iv. Wahhabis have a total population of about 4.5 million in the world, most of them residing in Saudi Arabia. There are currently between 1.8 and 2.1 billion Muslims in the world. I am sure that the remaining 2 096 000 000 Muslims would like to hear more from you regarding their “self ejection” from “pure Islam” (which is only Saudi Salafism apparently…)

    I understand that you are really trying to make a point that you dislike being called Wahhabi, so you referred to yourself as an adherent to Saudi Salafism. The problem is that not all Salafists are Wahhabis. And Wahhabi thought is at the root of so much evil in the world today, that it would simply be unfair to anyone, even those as close to your thinking as other Salafists, to lump you together. Furthermore, many analysts have made compelling arguments that Wahhabi have presented their thought and movement in Salafist terminology to make it more “Islamic” to other Muslims, who would reject Wahhabism if they knew what was being presented to them openly. So I insist on calling you what you are, Wahhabi, because there is no other one word name that identifies you clearly while distinguishing you from all others. You are a follower of a man named Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, so you are a Wahhabi.

    And I would like to conclude my remarks on your comment by thanking you for saving me time and effort that I will be able to spend on other things. You have done such a good job showing the world the way you think and react to a simple entry on some random blog, and you managed to do so with an impressively low 30 words! You probably don’t realize how shocking it is for other, normal (non Wahhabi) human beings, to read your words, because you are so immersed in that mentality already. But believe me, you have proven much of the point the entry was trying to explain, namely, that these scholars who excluded Wahhabism from their conference, did so for a very good reason. And in fact, they have waited way too long to take a step like this one according to me, because the state of Islam would not be what it is today had Sunni Muslims specifically been more vocal and open in their disassociation from Wahhabi thought. But often, geopolitics is what dictates this kind of stuff (as it is dictating it in the Chechnya conference as well…)

    So in case anyone out there still does not know Wahhabism, sorry, I mean “Saudi Salafism,” and how it interacts with the world, your reaction to my blog entry revealed your colors immediately. In other words, there is no further need to try to show that
    • you carry hatred and enmity towards anyone and anything that disagrees with you,
    • that you are incapable of dialogue and civilized discussion first,
    • that you assume without knowing the facts and move hastily to actions without taking any ethical precautions,
    • that you are probably incapable of coexistence with anyone else,
    • that you see yourself as being superior on racist grounds, etc.

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  3. Wahhabi = Salafi Tikfiri Barbaric Savage Fanatic Illiterate Ignorant are the malignant of Muslim Ummah and cancerous on Arabs and parasite on humanity.

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  4. Assalaam alaykum
    I would like to see the criteria that was used to include and exclude people in this conference…
    Explaining the criteria will make it easy for everyone to know and understanding what was and is happening here…..

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  5. Wa ‘alaykum assalam warahmatullah
    I do not know the criteria either, and I agree that clear criteria for participation would make things a lot more “black and white,” so to speak. I simply read a few articles and saw many links and comments from people, especially on social media and Arabic news outlets, and thought that it may be interesting for those who are not in that sphere to know what is going on, because this can become significant, depending on what happens next… Saudi Arabia, along with its journalists, scholars, politicians and monarchy, are waging an open attack on the conference, and many Sunni scholars seem to be siding with it at this time. As for those who organized or participated, they have been very quiet.
    My entry was not to say that I agreed with the conference itself, or its conclusions, or its timing, or its location, or any of that. Obviously, there is a lot more than can be said about the timing and the location for instance, especially when considered in light of everything else going on in the world… I simply found it interesting and worthy writing a little entry about.
    Thank you for your comment.

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  6. Assalaam alaykum,

    Very interesting. Is the timing related to the Hajj? The war in Syria and the Russian – Saudi involvement?

    I am non – Muslim, my knowledge is limited.

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  7. Thank you for spreading news about this conference, which should have been organized 20+ years earlier, but then only a few very bright and brave understood the issue.
    I’d like to point to something I consider a mistake, because you identified the Maturidi school with the Mu’tazila, the way you mentioned both with a slash between them.
    Please take note that there is nothing more far from truth, as Maturidi and Ash’ari schools are almost identical (and were practically and by unanimous approval united in the Tahawy creed), while the mu’tazila is out of the sunni path.

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  8. Thank you for pointing out the mistake – which was not intentional. The slash was supposed to be between Ash’ari and Maturidi, not between Maturidi and Mu’tazili. I didn’t want to get into the differences in detail in this entry so I thought that, for the purposes of this article, I can lump Ash’ari and Maturidi together to help the reader understand their closeness as opposed to the Mu’tazili school. I write my entries very fast and dont review them before publishing – that’s why you will find typos and these kinds of mistakes in many of them. When I have a bit of time, i go back and fix what I notice… I rely on the good eye of the readers. Thank you!

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  9. anything that preaches hatred, animosity to other fellow human being, cannot be the Islam the religion of most Beneficial Allah. its time this should be shown to all those who under the garb of Islam are doing disservice to this religion. Saudis were planted by the english imperialistic to safeguard the jews then and in future, saudi embassy in tel aviv is living testament.

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  10. No doubt that Iran is the face of “Evil” on this planet and they have proved this by sponsoring this conference by taking Russian help in supporting this “Fitna”. This will only create confusion and chaos in Islamic world. When I say “Islamic” world, Iran is automatically out of this Islamic world because they are referred to as “Kafirs” by most Sunni countries. Iran is trying hard to project itself as the leader of Islamic world but inshallah Allah knows their intentions and Allah will destroy these “kafirs”. Shame on those so called “Islamic Scholars” who attended this conference. Their are not scholars they are Evil Scholars who is helping a Kafir state to propagate their false propaganda. May Allah give them true and real sense of thinking and understanding. All Sunnis should untie against this “Evil State” and crush its Evil propaganda against Sunnis and Saudi Arabia. “O Allah please save us from this Evil state” Aumeen!!

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  11. Your statement is full of hate to other fellow human being.

    By the way: there is no Saudi embassy in Tel Aviv, Saudis were not planted by nobody and Jews are human being.

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  12. By spreading hatred against each other we are doing no good to Islam. At the end of the day we should ALL be the followers of the only deen Islam given to us by Allah SWT through Mohammad SAW.

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  13. A historical correction: they were given the country to rule in exchange for their allegiance to the UK and their opposition to the Ottoman Khalifate. The US only came into the picture after World War II.

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  14. I think yousaf qaradawi is very specific and right. In hate of wahabism a Sunni cannot accept the attroceties and illegitimate rule of Russia. This fail attempt of Ramzan Qadrivo that the sunniest may come under the umbrella of Russia to protect their faith from extremest wahabism

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  15. Qaradawi’s allegiance to petrodollars at the expense of everything else is well known, so there is nothing surprising in this or any other of his statements. What is clear is that Sunni scholars are taking sides: on one side, an increasing number are openly rejecting Wahhabi ideology and repeating that it is not representative of Islam, that it is a shame on Islam, etc. (and I will support this with evidence and explain it in detail in future entries) and on the other side, the Wahhabis themselves and the very few others who continue supporting them for various worldly interests, such as Qaradawi…

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  16. Initially, the UK did support them, but the UK was also supporting other groups (such as the Hashemites who also wanted to rule over the Arab Peninsula and the entire Islamic world if they could…). Superpowers with proxy regimes always maintain their support to multiple opposing forces to keep them balancing each other, and to be able to use any of the other forces when the time comes to replace the one in place (you can see this anywhere in the world today). When the Hashemite leader refused to play nice and do as they were telling him, the UK stopped supporting him financially, and that’s when the Saudis became their clear choice. Fast-forward a little, and the US is now the superpower, and they see their interest in securing unrestricted access to oil through the Saudis, since Iraq and Iran, etc. were already being explored by the UK, France, Germany, etc. So both the UK and the US can be said to have kept the Saudis in place all this time.

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  17. As a Muslim, I think you have a responsibility towards yourself, to Islam, and to the rest of humanity to take position about Wahhabism. This ideology keeps growing, and is fueled not only by Saudi Arabia and its satellite Gulf states, but also by the US and Europe to do much of its dirty work. Do you sincerely feel that what the Wahhabis do is representative of Islam? Does Al Qaeda or ISIS represent you as a Muslim? Many Muslims want to make sure the world knows that you cannot lump all “Muslims” under the same heading. Since the day Wahhabism was founded, Wahhabis have killed a lot more Muslims than non Muslims, and they continue to do so every single day all over the world. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Lybia… are all countries where Wahhabis under one name of another are terrorizing and killing innocent people, mostly Muslims. and Muslims are fed up with the rest of the world not realizing what’s going on. But I guess you would like to extend your hand to them in peace, and you consider any critique of Wahhabism as “spreading hatred against each other,” but their killing of everyone who disagrees with them as spreading love and unity maybe?

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  18. please see my reply to a similar comment below, as well as the entry entitled Making Sense of Wahhabism – 3 for the details:
    Initially, the UK did support them, but the UK was also supporting other groups (such as the Hashemites who also wanted to rule over the Arab Peninsula and the entire Islamic world if they could…). Superpowers with proxy regimes always maintain their support to multiple opposing forces to keep them balancing each other, and to be able to use any of the other forces when the time comes to replace the one in place (you can see this anywhere in the world today). When the Hashemite leader refused to play nice and do as they were telling him, the UK stopped supporting him financially, and that’s when the Saudis became their clear choice. Fast-forward a little, and the US is now the superpower, and they see their interest in securing unrestricted access to oil through the Saudis, since Iraq and Iran, etc. were already being explored by the UK, France, Germany, etc. So both the UK and the US can be said to have kept the Saudis in place all this time.

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  19. I don’t think there is any relevance in mentioning Iran, as it had nothing to do with my entry. Your comment does not address the topic: what do you think about Wahhabism? Does it represent you as a Sunni Muslim or not? Iran, like every other country, has its own geopolitical agenda, and is playing the same game as everyone else, so I don’t see how they are more “Evil” or in fact “the face of Evil on this planet”! Can you please provide some evidence that they sponsored the conference? Did they send any of their scholars or delegates to the conference for instance? What is the “fitna” that you speak of exactly when you say that Iran is sponsoring and Russia is supporting this fitna? Is the fitna according to you merely someone saying that Wahhabism does not represent Islam nor the crushing majority of the Muslims of the world? Do you realize that there was no such thing as Wahhabism before 2 centuries ago? That the entire ideology is based on Ibn Taymiyya’s opinions, which were considered devious and corrupted by many scholars during his lifetime and until today? Do you seriously think that among the thousands on top of thousands of scholars in Islam in all the different Islamic schools, it it is only Ibn Abd al Wahhab and Ibn Taymiyya who understood Tawhid and Islam??!?!? And no, Iran is not considered “Kafir” by any Sunni countries, and the proof is that they are economically and politically very close (you need to read a bit more I think). Saudi Arabia sent a message to Iran saying that what the Saudi Grand Mufti just said (that Iran are not Muslims) is not Saudi Arabia’s official position. What do you make of that?! Why are you so filled with hatred towards others? How can you deny the Islam of almost 80 million people who say the 2 Shahada, pray five times a day, fast Ramadan, perform Hajj, pay Zakat, and believe in the afterlife?! Did God make you his custodian over heaven and hell? What is done to your hearts and minds that make you so filled with hatred?

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  20. I thought it useful to at least mention this exchange between the top religious authorities of Iran and Saudi Arabia just as Hajj, the Pilgrimage season, was starting, about 3 weeks ago:

    1. On Septemeber 5, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered his message about the Hajj season. You can read a transcript in English translation here. Highlights:
    • Hajj has been hijacked by Saudis, and the Muslim world should reconsider its management
    • Hajj has been reduced to tourism and turned into political tool serving imperialism by Saudis, who are “puny satans”
    • Iranians and Muslims from all over the world still mourning tragedy of the premeditated deaths of thousands of their family members from the previous pilgrimage season, and Saudis refusing to undertake investigation
    • Saudis form “takfiri” groups and arm them (“takfiri” meaning someone who declares everyone who disagrees with them non-Muslim) in Yemen, Iraq, the Levant, Libya, etc.
    • Iran will not be sending any pilgrims to perform Hajj this year because it is unsafe for them

    2. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah al-Sheikh then said: “We must understand that these [the Iranians] are not Muslims. They are the children of Magi, and their hostility towards Muslims is an old one. Especially with Sunnis…”
    Magi is a very ancient religion that once dominated Persia. While Khamenei is insulting the rulers of Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi scholars, the Grand Mufti basically insulted the entire country of Iran. According to their census, Iran has a population of 75.2 million, and 99.4% declare themselves as being Muslims. In addition to actual Zoroastrians (around 25K in the Iran), there are well known cities in Iran where there is a strong Sunni presence or majority, such as Simnan, as well as the Kurdish areas. But who has time for such details when there are so many people to declare non believers… (see this article)
    Following Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Wahhabi scholars encourage the killing of everyone they disagree with very casually, openly and regularly.

    • See for instance this imam leading the prayer in the Grand Mosque of Mecca: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160907/1045036482/saudi-imam-calls-death-shia-jews-christians.html
    • Or this presenter on al-Jazeera, calling for the televised killing of groups they disagree with ideologically: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57dbd4f9e4b053b1ccf297bd?timestamp=1474027476518

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  21. Thank you so much for your insightful analysis on the evils of wahabbi/salafism and the ignorance of it’s followership. I am a Nigerian and I know the dangers this heretic group had posed to our unity. Boko Haram is an important offshoot of the same Wahhabi Takfiri ideology. The Izala sect which gave birth to it and nurtured it into maturity were the main cause of our problem. Their hypocritical posture and cunning behavior is still casing us headache. We learn that the Saudi Govt with its wahabbi/Salafi institutions were now clandestinely distributing admission to thousands of innocent children from their he Northeast where I come from and especially Borno the epicenter of the crisis. This has to be checked or else we will at the later part of some years to come wake up to an ISIS scenario. May Allah protect s and our faith. Thanks eruditeblogger for your services.

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  22. Best of luck my brother .wahabis are the enemy of islam.they think only wahabi in a true path other muslim are mushrik .but they all go to hell directly.Insha Allah

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  23. Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, we are not supposed to criticise or comment like this as it may hurt other Muslims. As a Muslim we here to obay the orders of our beloved prophet (peaceand blessings be upon him) and thereby to please Allah. Please stay away from these sectarianism and may Allah azzawajal make us come together as a follower of the seal of prophet.
    Aameen

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