There is plenty of evidence in the Quran and in Prophetic Traditions (Ahadith) that prove the invalidity of the Wahhabi school of thought in the eyes of God. The following is the transcript of a lecture delivered by Younus AlGohar about Wahhabism in the Islamic context.
It addresses the claims made by adherents of the Wahhabi sect, specifically the notion that followers of Wahhabism are following the ‘pure Islam’ from the era of the Prophet Mohammad.
The existence of humanity is at a greater risk than ever before.
Tyrants have been born in this world in different ages and killed many million people. We have examples such as Hitler and the notorious holocaust, the crusaders as well as Haluku Khan. There have been many individuals who have taken their hatred to an extreme level.
However, what we have been seeing for the 15-20 years in the shape of Islamic militancy has taken brutality, atrocity and tyranny to an unprecedented level. History cannot present an equal example of gross disrespect to humanity.
Today, we hear of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as fanatic militant groups. We have seen the rise of ISIS from Syria and Iraq. ISIS has done something more extraordinary to disrupt the global peace. All the peace-loving countries in the world seem to be clueless as to how to combat this new rise of global militancy. Although every country in the West is trying to look for a solution, nothing much seems to have been done.
The failure to find a solution to this rise in Islamic militancy could be due to various reasons. When I wander in the field of possible scenarios, I come up with the core issue: the reason why these individuals who come from Islam have taken to commit such anti-social, anti-human, anti-religious and anti-divine atrocities.
First of all, I would like to let you know that these militant organisations in the world who label themselves as Muslims are not Muslims at all.
Their interpretation is based on their theosophical calibre, which determines how accurately they interpret the divine word. It is how precisely they explain what God means when he sends some divine directives to different nations through revelations upon prophets and messengers.
If you look at the core principles of all these militant organisations, you will come to know that Al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS and all the other Islamic militant organisations which are based in Pakistan are chips off the same block.
On the other hand, why do some Muslims talk about divine love and want to love everybody regardless of their religious background? There are many thousand Sufis in India and Pakistan. These Sufis have always projected Islam as a message of peace and love.
In order to understand where Islamic militants went wrong, we need to see how they understand the religion of Islam.
A man was born in the central province of Hijaz, Najd. His name was Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Najdi. He is the main mastermind, the main culprit and the enemy of Islam.
He is the enemy of the Prophet of Islam. He is the enemy of God. Frankly (but truthfully) speaking, he is darkened by heart and he does not have the ability to understand the religion. He is someone who was naïve to the verses of the Quran. He didn’t know the purpose of revelation nor did he understand the divine word.
In order to understand what is wrong with the Wahhabi school of thought, we need to dissect this entire Wahhabi sect.
Abrogation of Quranic Verses
Even at the time of the Prophet Mohammad, there were many verses of the Quran which were abrogated by God himself.
People exclaimed, ‘God cannot say anything wrong. Why have these verses been abrogated by God?’
God replied, ‘I can abrogate any of my verses anytime and I can bring forth another one to replace it. That is to do with my will and accord; I do what I please to do.’
Why were those verses abrogated?
Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi said: ‘Every messenger was granted two types of knowledge. One type was revelation which was revealed on to the messengers for common people. The other was mysterious revelation. Mysterious revelation would stay inside the heart of the prophet; he wasn’t supposed to make it public. It was meant to be dispensed internally from one heart to another.’
This is how Sufis go about.
Abu Hurerra said to the Companions of the Prophet, ‘I was granted two types of knowledge by the Prophet. I only told you about number one. If I told you about the other one, you would have killed me.’
One can understand how different these two must be. If the other was revealed, there would be mischief and bloodshed.
Somehow or other, those verses which were to stay in the heart of the Prophet were said in public by the Prophet. People were really surprised and said, ‘What are you talking about? That’s totally the opposite of what you said yesterday.’
The Prophet did not have any clue how to take control of the situation. So God then said, ‘I’m going to abrogate these verses.’
From the study of the Quran, we understand with reference that God has the authority and power to abrogate any verse of the Quran at any time and replace it with another one.
Changes in Society over Time
Prophet Mohammad and his companions did not cook food the same way that Indians and Pakistanis cook their food today. Therefore, the way they cook food cannot be Sunnah (following the actions of the Prophet Mohammad). We sleep in cosy beds now. There were no cosy beds at the time of the Prophet Mohammad. We travel by plane, by car, by bus. I don’t even vaguely remember if I ever rode on a donkey or horse. Times have changed.
Somebody sent me a question. They said, ‘I am travelling, so can I offer Salat Qasr?’
‘Qasr’ means ‘to reduce.’ Editor’s note: ‘Salat Qasr’ refers to a shortened form of prayer allowed by God for travellers during long and difficult journeys. Normally, Muslims are expected to pray five times a day for a certain period of time.
I said, ‘No, it’s not for you. This was said at the time of the Prophet Mohammad. When people would travel, they would travel by horse or camel. If it is a short journey, they would ride a horse. If it was a long journey, they would ride camels. It would take a week or two travelling from one city to another riding a camel. It was so hot in Saudi Arabia, even 1436 years ago. Travelling was undesired most of the time.’
Keeping that difficulty of travel in mind, God allowed Muslims to reduce the number of Rakat in Salat and Soum. But now, people are on a 6-hour flight wanting to perform Salat Qasr. That’s wrong.
Another example is that, according to Islam, you’re not supposed to look at women. However, if I live in the United Kingdom or the United States of America, if I don’t look at women while talking to them, they think I’m disrespecting them. People don’t understand it. Now, when we are walking in malls and business places, there are women everywhere.
Regarding the Azaan (Call for Prayer), at the time of the Prophet Mohammad, people would live nearby in huts. Someone would be standing on the roof of the mosque giving the call and people would hear it. If someone were to do the same without a loudspeaker today, even they wouldn’t hear their own voice because it is so noisy.
You cannot practise Islam the same way it was practiced 1436 years ago.
1400 years ago, you could marry four women at the same time. Now, you cannot afford two wives mentally. Women are raising slogans of equality and they are Muslims. Today there have been female prime ministers and presidents of many countries: for example, Indra Ghandhi (India), Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan) and Corazon Aquino (Philippines).
We are living in a time which is totally opposite of the times 1400 years ago. Many things have changed.
What should we do now?
Mujaddideen and Renewal in the Religion
In order to keep the religion of Islam updated, God decided to send Mujaddideen. From time to time, they would come and tell people according to the situation and era, ‘You should do things this way, not that way.’
What is the role of a Mujaddid? Mujaddid is an Arabic word, which comes from Tajdeed. It means ‘to renew’. Mujaddid means renewer or reformer. Of course, there is some legitimate difference between reform and renewal: to reform is to fix the same old thing. It is like something has gone wrong with someone’s iPhone, he takes it to the Apple Store and they repair it. But when everything is wrong with the iPhone and nothing seems to work, it becomes irreparable. Then they do not reform it; they replace (in other words, they renew it).
There was a Mujaddid after 100 years and a Grand Mujaddid in 1000 years. Mujaddid Alif Thani is the Grand Mujaddid. Their job was to interpret Quran according to the necessity of the time and then legislate Islamic laws as need arose.
When God thinks something has gone terribly wrong and it must be entirely changed, then he replaces the verses of the Quran with new ones. However, who will bring the new verses when the Prophet has gone back to the pavilion? God will not send Gabriel to delete the previous verse in the Holy Book of the Quran and write the new one; this is not how it happens.
The new verse is introduced by the Mujaddid. The public is supposed to be notified of this new verse by God’s representative, who is in contact with God and is spiritually able to receive the replacement of the revelation.
One becomes a Mujaddid only after a thorough austerity, purgation and purification of the Self, purification of the heart and thorough knowledge of spirituality.
When one’s entire system has been spiritualised and they are now able to see God and enter into a mutual conversation with God, only then will they receive replacement of the verse from God.
If someone has an outfit that is 1436 years old, they would not want to wear it because it is too old. When the television was invented, it was in black and white. But time elapsed and more features were introduced. We have smart TVs now. The television has entirely changed over a period of time. No one would want to use a century-old television set to watch a film or sports match when we have such advanced televisions now.
In a similar way, when the religion of Islam was revealed, it was not revealed fully. It would require some updates from God according to the need of the time.
Another example of this is the issue of why Muslims grow beards. According to the Prophet Mohammad (saw), ‘The Jews grow their moustaches. You should grow your beards so that you can be easily identified.’
The beard was to easily identify Muslims from afar. Today, there are many nations that grow beards so it is not a mark of distinction anymore. It has lost its purpose. Yet today, many Muslims put great emphasis on growing a beard as a religious duty. This is because they have no spiritual intelligence or intuition.
Muhammad Abdul Wahhab Najdi said, ‘We want to practise the same principles of Islam which were practised at the time of the Prophet Mohammad.’
Wahhabis do not want to follow the aima ikram like Imam Ali, Abu Bakr Sadiq RA, Imam Hasan Basri RA, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ans bin Malik, Imam Ahmed bin Hambal, Imam Shafay who interpreted the Quran and reformed the principles of Sharia. They do not want to accept the reformation and renewal of any verse of the Quran which was done by the Mujaddid. They want to follow the same old principles; however, a lot has changed and it is not possible to practise those principles.
‘Go kill Kafireen (infidels) wherever you find them.’
This is in the Quran, but to understand, one has to be intellectual. This verse was revealed when the Prophet was in the battlefield. It was for the battlefield only, in a situation where they were already fighting and the Kafireen were hiding from them.
So it was said to the Prophet Mohammad, ‘Tell them: go around and wherever they find the enemy, kill them.’ That was for the battlefield 1436 years ago. If someone today applies for an American or British visa in order to kill citizens of those countries – and they justify it by saying, ‘The Quran said it,’ then this is ridiculous.
This is why Wahhabis say, ‘We want to stick to those principles of Islam which were practised at the time of Prophet Mohammad.’
They want to exclude whatever changes were made by God from Quran and Islam. We understand the Prophet left after 63 years of age. Prophet Mohammad is the Last Messenger; but who will guide humanity if no guidance will ever come from God? The Last Prophet has come and gone back, but guidance is still needed. God can send his information through any of his men: Sufi’s, auliya, fuqra, dervish.
We do not dispute the fact that Prophet Mohammad is the Last Messenger, but it does not mean nobody will seek guidance now. It is not the duty of the Prophet to guide people.
The Quran: ‘O’ Prophet Mohammad, it is not you who will guide people to whomsoever you love. It is us; we will guide people.’
God hasn’t left. God is still there. He can guide anyone through any means. He can guide Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians or any other religion.
These individuals who follow the Wahhabi sect want to practise the same concept of Islam which was abolished later on.
ISIS is selling and buying women. At the time of Prophet Mohammad, the world was different. Now, if they leave these women alone, they will find a job. They can live a prosperous life. They are not servants anymore; they are not anyone’s slaves. Slavery was abolished; however, they are still keeping slaves.
They say, ‘It was abolished by Abu Bakr Sadiq; we reject it.’ In that case, they should not touch this Quran, for it was compiled by Abu Bakr Sadiq.
They are hateful souls. What they present is not Islam.
Followers of the Wahhabi school of thought are related to a historic group known in Mohammaden terminology as ‘Kharijeen (Pseudo-Muslims)’. For more information, visit this link.