Wahhabism: Is it a fifth Madh-hab?
Reply given by Ibn Baz to written questions posed by a Shaykh from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
From ‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz to my esteemed brother, may Allah guide you to useful knowledge and to act upon it! Amen. Peace be upon you!
I have received your letter dated 2/3/1394 A.H. May Allah guide you and grant you success! It included three questions about Wahhabism. Following is my answer:
Q 1: You asked about Wahhabism and whether it is a fifth Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence) or follows one of the four Madh-habs.
A: The term Wahhabism is used by many people to refer to the call initiated by Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab ibn Sulayman Al-Tamimy Al-Hanbaly (may Allah be merciful to him). He is called along with his followers ‘Wahhabis’. Every knowledgeable person must have heard about Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s movement (may Allah be merciful to him). He called for pure Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah) and warned people against all forms of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), such as supplicating to the dead, trees, rocks or the like. He (may Allah be merciful to him) followed in creedal matters the Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence) of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) while in subsidiary matters he followed the Madh-hab of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal Al-Shaibany (may Allah be merciful to him). This is clear in the books and Fatwas (legal opinions) of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab and in the books of his followers and offspring which are published. Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab appeared at a time when Islam was alienated, the Arabian Peninsula and other areas were engulfed in ignorance and worshiping idols was widespread. So the Shaykh took it upon himself to strive and struggle, and devoted himself to destroying all means of misguidance.
( Part No : 1,Page No:375)
He employed all the possible ways leading to the spread of Tawhid free from any kind of superstition. Allah, out of His Bounty, made Imam Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud, Prince of Al-Dir‘iyyah at that time, accept the call. Thus, the Prince, his sons, those under his authority and his followers supported the Imam, may Allah reward them, forgive them and grant their offspring success to all that pleases Him and to what sets right the affairs of His Servants! All regions of the Arabian Peninsula have lived under this righteous call to the present day. Thus, Imam Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s call was in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). Wahhabism is not a fifth Madh-hab as some ignorant and prejudiced people claim; rather, it is a call to the ‘Aqidah (creed) of Salafiyyah (those following the way of the righteous predecessors) and a way of reviving the main aspects of Islam and Tawhid which was forgotten in the Arabian Peninsula.
( Part No : 1,Page No:376)
Q 2: Do Wahhabis deny Shafa‘ah (intercession) by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? A: Any wise person who has studied the biography of Imam Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab and his followers know they are innocent of such a claim. The Imam (may Allah be merciful to him) wrote about Shafa‘ah, especially Kitab Al-Tawhid (Book of Monotheism) and refuted the suspicions raised about the Messenger’s Shafa‘ah for his Ummah (nation based on one creed) on the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, it is known that the Shaykh (may Allah be merciful to him) and his followers did not deny the Shafa‘ah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and that of other prophets, angels, believers and children who die before puberty. However, they established it as Allah and His Messenger have commanded, treading the way of the Salaf in applying the evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah.Based on this, it is clear that claiming the Shaykh and his followers denied the Shafa‘ah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is completely groundless. It bars people from the Way to Allah and involves spreading lies against Du‘ah (callers) to Allah. However, the Shaykh (may Allah be merciful to him) and his followers only denied seeking Shafa‘ah from the dead and the like. Shafa‘ah can only be granted with the Permission of Allah to the intercessor and His being pleased with the one interceded for. Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says:Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 255 Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission. And:Surah Al-Najm, 53: 26 And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allâh has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with. And:Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21: 28 …and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him. Allah (may He be Glorified) accepts only Tawhid, while the Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) will not benefit from the Shafa‘ah. Allah (may He be Exalted) says:Surah Al-Muddathir, 74: 48 So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them. Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) also says:Surah Ghafir, 40: 18 There will be no friend, nor an intercessor for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers), who could be given heed to. We ask Allah to guide us all to what pleases Him and grant us safety from anything that displeases Him! Allah is the Grantor of success!