Exegesis of Wahabism
Syed Kamran Mirza
is Wahabism (?): many
conniving Islamists want to blame Wahabism for the inherent intolerance of
real Islam. That is, they want to portray Wahabism as the separate or
deviant entity of Islam which is being misunderstood (by westerners) as
the real Islam. Most western non-Muslims are also being misguided by the
so called Wahabite type of Islam, which according to some is not real/true
peaceful Islam. Now what is actually Wahabism?
of the matter is, the so-called Wahabism is not a separate religion, nor
is it a ~
separate brand of Islam. Truly, this Wahabism is the new force to
unite Islam into its pristine form that existed in the early Islamic
period of 7th century. That is the time of Prophet Muhammad and
his four favorite disciples—Khula-faye-Rashedin.
In the early 18th century Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahab a
famous Saudi religious extremist leader called for a renewal of Islamic
spirit, moral cleansing and the stripping away of all innovations to Islam
since the 7th century. His followers are called Wahabis or
wahbite Islamists, and these followers of Abdul Wahab preach pure and real
original Islam which got the name (erroneously) as Wahabism.
Wahabism is not a new brand of Islam or
any offshoot of Islam; rather Wahabism is the re-orientation of the
original pure Islam. That is Wahabism is the old
pure wine in a new bottle. Wahabism
does not have any separate scriptural book, Qur’an and Sunnah (hadiths)
are the principle guidance for Wahabism. Actually, Wahabism is nothing but
the real Islam of 7th century in a sheer rejuvenation by the
grace of Arab’s petrodollars. Most
importantly, Wahabism (pure islam) is dangerously intolerant towards other
religions and infidels as it was during early period of Islam (Starting
from Prophet Muhammad up to the end period of four rightly guided
of Wahabism prefer to identify themselves as Muwahiddun—which
means “the unifiers”.
Wahabism is simply the political Islam that has been adopted for power
sharing purposes. It has no special practices, nor special rites, and no
special interpretation of the religion Islam that differs from the main
body of Sunni Islam. Wahabite followers consider every Muslims should
follow the practice of Islam like Wahabite Muslims and regard all those
who do not follow them as
the heathens and enemies
of Islam. Osama bin
Laden is the true follower of Wahabism.
The followers of Wahabism
including the Saudi Arabia’s ruling house of Saud insist they are simply
practicing the “true” Islam of Prophet Muhammad. Saudi ruler (King of Saudi
Arabia) did not change anything in the theological aspect of original
Islam. But they have changed their own political designation as the rulers
of Saudi Arabia. They are not calling them king (as Islam does not
advocate Kingship); rather Saudi rulers call them “The
custodian of Islam”.
Wahabism got popularity to
the west and the Muslim world during the aftermath of Iranian Revolution
in 1979. Billions of Dollars were spent by Saudi to influence Wahabism
ideology as the counter force to Iranian Shiite ideology throughout the
whole Muslim world by building thousands of Mosques, Madrassahs, Islamic
centers etc. Pakistan was flooded with Wahabi madrassas (Islamic school or
factory of terrorism) which was the main focus to the American media after
the 9/11 episode as the breeding ground of Taliban and al-Qaeda Jhadi
Sheik Shishu a Kurdish Imam
who is the follower of wahabism (when asked by a Kurdish reporter about
wahabism) said: “What is Wahabism?” there is no such thing called
Wahabism, only true Islam”. Saudi students and Saudi citizen also have
the similar opinions about Wahabism.
the book ‘Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence’—Princeton
University Press, 2000). ”Like many other Saudis in America, Mr. Alahmari does not like to
refer to the brand of Islam that is exported from his country as Wahhabism.
"We don’t feel Wahhabism is
something different," he
said. "It is a purification of
and reflections of Wahabism on the lives of Muslims:
If we recapitulate how Islam
as a religion had been practiced during the decades of 60s, 50s and 40s
and beyond, we can surely detect tremendous changes the way Muslims
practice Islam today. During 60s, 50s and 40s and even before that (for
many centuries)—Muslims used to practice religion Islam very privately,
easily and peacefully. There was no political influence in Islam and especially in the Indian sub-continent as well as entire
South East Asia Islam was tremendously influenced by Sufism and other
local brand of cultural admixes. We did not see young people and college
students so serious about religion. Religious activities (mainly five
times prayers and fasting during Romadhan and two Eids) were duty of
mainly the elders. Youngsters were not so serious about religion. During
Pakistani era, political leaders were not spell bound to show up their
religious zeal to appease the voters/publics. Muslim women like Hindu
women used to put their portion of their Saree over their heads (called
Ghumta, a century old Indian costume) but never ever we could see
burkha-clad or hijab-clad women among the city duelers. In very rare
cases, burkha-clad rural aristocrat old women were visible in the country
do we see for the last several decades?
For the last 30/40 years
period, this so called Wahabism (real
Islam) has rapidly invaded the lives of Muslims throughout the whole
world. Especially, Muslim majority countries in the south-east Asia were
silently invaded right before our eyes by this so called wahabite pure
to be mistaken that—it came by the name of wahabism, actually it came as
the purification of Islam which was considered polluted by many centuries
of neglect by the guardians of Islam Saudi Arabia. Thanks to
two generals (Zia and Ershad) of Bangladesh for vigorously importing
Wahbite Islam in lieu of Arab petro-dollars.
However we have seen
following radical changes in the Muslim majority country like Bangladesh
by the courtesy of Arab petro-dollars:
numbers (mushrooming) of Mosques and Madrasshas, Islamic Universities
thorough out the country producing millions of religiously educated (Talibans)
students who are mainly unproductive young generation for the nation.
of religious based political parties. Several dozens of politically
motivated Islamic jihadi parties creating extreme fanaticisms amongst
the young generation and spreading Islamic venom. These Islamic
political parties are fighting tooth and nails to
establish Sharia-based Islamic paradise to take the country back
into the 7th century darkness.
visible cultural changes like: replaced century old habit of saying:
“Khuda hafej” by the
Saudi style: “Allah hafej”,
declaring (by some religious parties) women’s visits of
Shaid-Minar, Gaye Holud festival (use of turmeric baths in marriage
ceremony) etc. as un-Islamic.
activities (Five times prayers and fasting during Romadhan) have
increased thousand folds amongst the young generation. Restaurants remain shutting during Ramadhan month even
for non-Muslims. Use of
Arab garbs amongst the religious mullahs has increased ten folds. Even
common publics (men and women) changed their dress to become more
Islamized (Mucholman) i.e. men wear loose dress (Kurta-Shallower),
grow beards and women wearing Shalower-Qumiz
instead of Bengali Saree and ridiculous looking hijab to show their
devotion towards Islam.
fatwabazi in the country side has taken roots (which was unknown even
in Pakistani era) like epidemics.
Stoning deaths, Islamic lashings and other sharia-based punishments have rampant in Bangladesh.
showing up extreme zeal of religiosity and their main slogans of
politics become ‘who can save
Islam more potently’. Iftar-culture
has started vigorously amongst the all political parties and
pilgrimage to Mecca (Haj) and visiting other religiously holy places
become the rule for politicians.
Tremendous competition between the rival politicians to show up
who is the best Muslim. All these above unproductive and hypocritical
manifestations of politicians were totally unknown even in Pakistani
of Arm Forces (which was non-existent in Pakistani time). During
British India or even in Pakistani time—Arm forces were totally
secular/progressive minded people. But soon after the assassination of
the father of the Bangali Nation in 1975, Bangladesh Arm-forces were
readily exposed to Islamic fanaticism and very quickly converted the
whole Army into a fanatically India hated Islamized Arm-forces of
Bangladesh. Thousands of
regular Joans (soldiers) are ex-madrassah students and bearded
soldiers. Jamaat Guru war-criminal Gulam Azam visits Dhaka cantonment
to provide Islamic sermons to the ordinary soldiers.
utopia of Pir-business has bloomed in Bangladesh (although, wahabite
guardians of Islam do not like it) by the golden opportunity developed
due to the extreme zeal of religiosity among the common publics.
of Religious Ministry (Dharmo
Montry) , Islamic Foundations (dozens of them), haj ministry, haj
department, haji camps, Tablig Jamat (Biswa-iztema) are a few cardinal
signs of wahabite influence in Bangladesh. These were unknown even in
Pakistani era or during the British India.
of education system as a whole taken roots by this Wahabite influence.
Some over jealous Mullaic intellectuals of Bangladesh discovered lots
of modern “budoo” science in holy Koran to fool ordinary peoples.
the general publics pilgrimage to Mecca (haj and Umrha-culture) and
visiting Islamic holy places have increased 100 folds. Pilgrimage to
Mecca was rare thing even in Pakistani time.
speaker (Microphone) culture was begun with competition. One can
experience the horrendously disturbing ear-busting sounds of Ajan
(call for prayers), Friday sermons and Gozzals coming from the various
Mosques from all directions. These were totally unknown during periods
30/40 years back.
general a dangerous movement (utopia) of making Sharia-based Islamic
paradise has been generated in every Muslim majority countries
throughout the whole world because of Wahabite influence.
invading successfully al most all the Muslim majority countries, this
so called Wahabism also occupied 80-90% of the Mosques established in
the infidel lands around the world.
or even more jihadi brand of Islamization changes can be observed in
Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Muslim majority countries around
Undoubtedly, rejuvenation of real 7th century Islam has taken
it’s ugly roots among all Muslim countries including Bangladesh and
century old Sufi-mixed peaceful benign Islam has evaporated from
Bangladesh and elsewhere in South East Asia. So it is not correct to claim
that Muslims in Bangladesh and other Muslim majority countries of the
world have no idea what Wahabism is until after September 11th”.
September 11th episode was only the visible cardinal
sign exhibited by the soldiers of Allah inspired by pure (wahabi) Islam.
The malignant signs of this so called Wahabism (pure Islam) was also taken
it’s roots among the Muslim expatriates around the world which is
clearly visible by the courtesy of intense religiosity (Ummabazi, various
Islamic organization, hijab culture among the Muslim women who never used
hjab/burkha in their own land before coming to this western infidel lands.
All of these above changes among the Muslims in general are the direct
effects/influence of the propagation of 7th century pure Islam under
the false banner of so called Wahabism.
It is most unfortunate that,
at the modern era of 20th and 21st centuries when
entire world was shedding out the century-old religious fervors, and very
rapidly embracing secularism, modern science and technology—Muslims on
the contrary was embracing more and more fanatical religious fervors of so
called Wahabism and going back to the dark days of medieval 7th
century life style. Only Allah knows when Muslims will learn to go forward
instead of going backward!