My personal thoughts on Islamic Topics, not a form of ijtihad rather than applying my mind.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Poetic Justice?

When Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab first started his movement, one of the main ideas he espoused was to purify Islam once again and bring it back to the way it was practiced during the time of the Prophet. He was very adamant about vehemently cleaning up Islam and removing what he perceived as bad innovations (bid’a) which resemble t he Jahiliya times. One of his first actions was to level the the grave of Zayd ibn al-Khattab, a companion of the Prophet and brother of the second Caliph, on the grounds that Islamic teachings forbid grave worship.

Many recent Saudi fatwas by various Wahhabi sheikhs have echoed the same belief and have gone down the same route calling for the destruction of shrines, even outside of the borders of the Kingdom. Maybe there are none left there to destroy? A fatwa called for the destruction of the Shia shrines in Iraq on the grounds that "they are symbols of shirk and worship of idols". Amongst the "scholars" who have issued such fatwas are: Sheikh Abdel- Rahman al-Barak, Sheikh Mamdooh al-Harbi, Dr Nasser al-Omar, Sheikh bin Jibreen, Dr Safar al-Hawali, Shaikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baz and Hamed al-Ali.

Another article mentions that Saudi religious "scholars" have been issuing fatwas calling for the destruction of the great Shi’ite shrines in Najaf and Karbala in Iraq, some of which have already been bombed like Samarra's Askariya shrine, also known as the Golden Mosque, which holds the tombs of two revered 9th-century Shia imams Imam Ali al-Hadi and Imam Hassan al-Askari, father of the "hidden imam," al-Mahdi.

According to BBC Monitoring Middle East on Jul 23, 2007, other shrines have also been listed and urged to be destroyed "in order to save the Muslims from falling into polytheism". Mentioned were the shrines of Sayyida Zaynab, in Syria, and the shrines of Al-Sayyida Zaynab and that of Al-Sayyid al-Badawi in Egypt.

Apparently this has already happened once in 1802, when the Wahhabis assaulted the city of Karbala where more than 9,000 men, women and children were killed and the shrines in Karbala were first desecrated and then set alight.

The ironical thing is that Sulayman Ibn Abdel Wahab, brother of Muhammad Ibn Abdel Wahab, was rather distressed by his brother’s extreme opinions regarding who is or is not a believer. So Sulayman wrote a book "Al-Sawa`iq al-Ilahiyya fi Madhhab al-Wahhabiyya" ("The Divine Thunderbolts Concerning the Wahhabi School") that rejects Wahhabism and criticises those extreme views. He wrote : “Intercession occurred during the time of the companions when one dreamed that he had complained to the Prophet about drought. The Prophet ordered him to seek the help of Umar. In this case, neither Umar nor the companions denied intercession, yet you Wahabis claim those who ask for intercession are unbelievers." He continued: "Similar actions occurred at the time of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Although some scholars might have had reservations, none ever accused anyone of being a kafir, labelled them apostate or permitted them being killed as mushriks.”

Sulayman Ibn Abdel Wahab even managed to find a Hadith (prophetic tradition) to argue that intercession was not prohibited anywhere: "In one hadith a blind man came to the Prophet to asked him to pray for the return of his eyesight. The Prophet replied, ‘If you wish, I will pray for that, but you must be patient.’ ‘Please,’ the man asked, ‘Do pray for me’. The Prophet ordered he perform Wudu, pray two Rakaats and then ask, ‘O Allah, I ask and beseech you in the name of Muhammad Messenger of Mercy, O Muhammad, I beg you to intercede for my request to be fulfilled, O Allah, please accept his intercession’. Uthman bin Hanif, the narrator of this report said, ‘We did not separate from our meeting until the blind man returned to us with his sight fully restored.’ " (As found in Sunan ibn Majah Vol. 1 p. 441, Mustradak al-Hakim Vol.1 p. 313 and Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal Vol.4 p.138)

Sulayman Ibn Abdel Wahab argues that this Hadith not only provides clear evidence that the Prophet not only accepted the concept of intercession, but that he himself complied with a request to intercede, giving instruction on how Allah should be asked so that his intercession can be accepted.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baz’s
opinion about Ibn Abdel Wahab’s the demolition of shrines equates it to removing polytheism. He writes: “One day, the Shaikh said to the governor, 'Let us demolish the dome at the grave of Zaid Ibn al-Khatab (Zaid Ibn al-Khatab was the brother of Umar Ibn al-Khattab t and a martyr, who died in the fighting against Musailimah Khaddhab in 12 A.H, he was buried and later on people built a dome on his grave). It is erected on deviation and the Prophet has forbidden building domes or mosques on graves. Moreover, this dome has destroyed the people's belief with polytheism. So, it must be demolished.' Then the Shaikh took the action of demolishing and removing the dome. Allah removed it by his hands and Al-hamdulillah, none of its traces remains now. Similarly, there were other domes, caves, trees, etc. that were also destroyed and removed.”

That much for demolishing shrines and purifying Islam. Now the other day I was watching a program on Al Jazeera, which can be viewed here:

And I couldn’t help it but burst out laughing watching this program. So after all this destruction, demolition and ruin and the deep-seated aversion to any kind of shrine, what happens to the Wahhabi Mujahideen? They get their own shrines, without even an intercession with Allah. Their graves have alleged baraka and karamat, which make barren women have children, heal the sick and generate special visits to ask for special favours because of the purported miracles as the
bbc has reported last month.

Now that’s what I call poetic justice!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bannos

To purify Islam is a great idea.... maybe it is time to implement it !!!

The Wahhaby's was a primitive Beduin way and it concentrated more on physical practices. Their limited education and low IQ caused by their isolated way of life, resulted their extremism and violence in enforcing their ideas on the rest of the arabian peninsula and the rest of the world if they can.

Now it is high time for the Moslem intellects to brake the taboo and "purify"
Islam from the parasite ideas and practices that got stuck to it along the centuries wether by ignorance or on purpose. It is an urgent must that Islam gets edited and cleared of all and any antiscientific legends, political teachings, and practices not in line with modern human rights.

This will probably result the annulation of a great number of "Hadith" and the restriction of many "Ayat" to their historic and circumstances concept.

It is a mammoth task and will take a long time and a great effort, but it's got to be done if Islam is to survive the future.

Maged Farag

12:56 pm  
Blogger Y. Amin said...

Thanks Dr. Farag.

The problem with purification is who gets to decide what is pure from what isnt? By whose standards? And in which way?

While I agree that the Wahhabi way is primitive, misogynistic and fanatic, it is too easy to just generalise. Looking at Sulayman, the brother of Muhammad, he doesn’t strike me as neither violent nor ignorant, after all he realised early on what his brother was doing and went as far as to call it misguidance

I am all for the re-evaluation of the Hadith collections, this is one of the "asnam" that we Muslims must tackle, as for the Qur’an, I will have to disagree with you, we just need a continuous interpretation of it, one that takes it to the 21st century and beyond 7th century Arabia

Indeed it is a mammoth task and will require the efforts and cooperation of huge numbers of scholars, each in his field, one person alone can maybe ignite a spark, but the cooperation of many is crucial and indispensable.

2:24 pm  

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