False Allegations Against Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab By The Deobandi Hanafis

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On the 3rd of April 2014 an article was posted on a deobandi hanafi wordpress site in which the author attempted to highlight the differences and similarities between Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and the elder scholars of Deoband.

Much of the statements of the scholars of deoband and what they said against Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab are from the onset filled with jealousy and hatred and also based on disagreemnt and opposition to the call to Tawhid, the Aqidah and manhaj of the salaf.

In fact it is well known that the scholars of deoband themselves differed with regards to their opinions and thoughts on Shaikh Muhammad. In their deceptive way they would have and present 2 faces and a calculated double standard policy to please the Saudi Government. This InshAllaah can be discussed later.

The aforementioned article was authored by Muntasir Zaman, who signed the article as Student Darul Iftaa, USA Checked and Approved by, Mufti Ebrahim Desai. The latter is known for this rigid adherence to the hanafi school of thought and the deobandi sect, so no surprises there with regards to the maliciousness and animosity. Suffice it to say neither are we unaccustomed to such baseless and distorted writings.

Below is a very brief response as requested by a brother and it is by no means detailed. 

The allegations are stated in red

Major Differences between Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb and the ‘Ulamā of Deoband

The movement spurred by Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb is known derogatively as the “Wahhābī movement.” According to our research, there are three major areas where the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband depart from the ideology of Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb:

This is an outright mistake, error and a blunder, the elder deobandi founding forefathers differ with Shaikh Muhammads in many many aspects. The most important being Aqidah. The deobandis or the deobandi elders had beliefs and still do hold beliefs that are synonymous to the beliefs of the sufi’s ie the barelwis.

For example some of them are the rejection and ta’wil of the sifat, the rising of Allaah above his throne, Allaah being everywhere, ta’wil of the ayaat, asking help from the dead, the shirki wasilah, blessing from the graves, Wahdatul wajood, kashf, muraqahs and much more. The books of the deobandi elders are filled with such erroneous corrupt beliefs. So therefore saying just 3 things is a major flaw in the understanding and a deliberate attempt to play down the issues.


Firstly, in ‘Aqīdah, Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb denounced the Ahlul Kalām or the Mutakallimūn(dialectical theologians) in their entirety, despite conceding that their school was prevalent throughout the Muslim world[2], and in particular, he attacked the revered scholars of the Ash‘arīs[3]. On the other hand, the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband are defenders and followers of the creed of the Ash‘arīs[4], as were the great scholars of the past, like Ibn ‘Asākir, al-Bayhaqī, Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī, al-Qurtubī, Fakhr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī an-Nawawī, al-Qastallānī and others.

Again this is another serious error and a very poor understanding of the author who has made a blanket statement without having consulted the books. It is very sad to suggest that such opinions may have been based on stubbornness. It is absolutely correct that Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab denounced and censured Kalam but he was not the first one.

Many in fact hundreds of scholars denounced kalam from day one. Even if Kalam was prevalent in his time or our time it does not legitimise it. Kalam is a foreign concept to Islam and it has no basis whatsoever so those who are trying to prove its legitimacy must first and foremost prove it. Mentioning a few names unfortunately does not cut as if such was the case, we would have turmoil.

The non Muslims like the Greeks (artistotle, plato etc) were the ones who formulated this and the ignorant Muslims pushed this into Islam and many of the scholars of Islam who did fall into Kalam and who later returned upon the way of Ahlus Sunnah warned against its dangers like Imam Abul Hasan al-Ashari and al-Ghazali.

None of the Righteous salaf participated in Kalam and numerous authored books in reprimand and in censure of it,  authors like Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Battah al-’Ukbari, Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi, Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami, Abu’l-Fadl al-Muqri, Abdallah al-Ansari al-Harawi, Ibn Tahir al-Maqdisi, Abu’l-Muzaffar al-Sam’ani and many more.

The introducers of kalam and philosophy into islam like the heretic Jahm ibn Safwan would debate with the buddists and hindus on atom and particle theory and Imam Ahmad even records this and censures this in his monumental book a-Radd Alal Jahmiyyah Waz-Zanadiqqah. So Imam Ahmad was from amongst the ones to warn against kalam.

The 4 main imams also severely warned against kalam, here we will cite Imam Abu Hanifah to show that these so called Deobandi Hanafis have even abandoned the understanding and teachings of Imam Abu Hanfiah but yet they staunchly call themselves hanafis. The latter day hanafis have abandoned his creed and adopted the later day maturidi and ashari Kullabi aqidah.

Imam Abu Hanifah said: “The Ashab al-Ahwa’ in Basra are many. And I entered it twenty odd times, sometimes I stayed there for a year or more, or less, under the impression that the science of Kalâm (‘ilm al-kalâm) was the greatest of sciences.”[al-Kurdi, Manâqib Abi Hanifah p. 137]

From Hammad bin Abi Hanifah its related: “My father, may Allah have mercy upon him, entered upon me one day and with me were a group from the Ashab al-Kalâm, and we were arguing at a door. So when I heard him approaching the house, I went out to him. So he said to me: ‘O Hammad, who is with you?’ I said: ‘So and so, and so and so, such and such, and such and such’, and I named to him those who were with me. Then he said to me: ‘O Hammad, leave alone Kalâm.’ He said: ‘And my father was not a man who mixed things up, nor was he from amongst those people who commanded something, then prohibited it.’

So I said to him: `O father, did you not used to command me with it?’ He said: ‘Yes, O son of mine, and today I prohibit you from it.’ I said: ‘And why is that?’ So he said, ‘O my son, verily these retarded ones are from the people of Kalâm, from amongst those who you will see that they used to be upon one word and one religion, until Satan came between them. So now you find amongst them enmity and differing, so be upon clarity’”[Muwaffaq Ahmad al-Makki, Manaqib Abi Hanifah p. 183]

Imam Abu Hanifah said to Abu Yusuf: “Beware of speaking to the common folk (al-’âmmah) about the foundations of the religion by way of Kalâm, since they are a people which blindly follow you, so they will become pre-occupied with that.”[Muwaffaq Ahmad al-Makki, Manaqib Abi Hanifah p. 373]

Abu Hanifah said: “I use to count Kalâm the most preferred science. And I used to say: This al-Kalâm concerns the foundation of the religion. I then returned myself after what passed of my age and pondered. and said: [in myself]: Verily, the preceders from the Companions of the Prophet, peace and the blessing be upon him, and the Followers and those who followed them were not passed by anything what we perceive [today].

And they were better able and acquainted and knowledgeable about the realities of things; furthermore, they did not rise against disputants and discussers, nor did they partake in it but rather held off from that (i.e. Kalâm). They prohibited that strongly.. – until he says – ..after this what we’ve described manifested to us concerning their conditions, we abandoned dispute and debate and plunging into Kalâm; and we returned to that where the Salaf were upon.”[al-Kardari, Manaqib Abi Hanifah p.137-138]

The Qadi Abu Yusuf said: “Whoever seeks the religion through Kalâm becomes a Zindiq! And whoever seeks the strange narrations becomes a liar! And whoever seeks money [through alchemy] becomes bankrupt!”[Abdallah al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalam wa-Ahlih 4:210 no.1009; narrated by many more incl. Waki’ in Akhbâr al-Qudat, Ibn ‘Adi in al-Kâmil, Abu’l-Fadl al-Muqri in his epitome Ahâdith fi Damm al-Kalam etcetera]

The Qadi Abu Yusuf said also: “Knowledge (al-’ilm) of disputes and Kalâm is ignorance (jahl); and ignorance (al-jahl) of disputes and Kalâm is knowlegde (‘ilm).”[Abdallah al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalâm wa-Ahlih 4:211 no.1010; also narrated by several Imams]

And from the Qadi Abu Yusuf is also related: “..and none succeeds who permits something of Kalâm”[al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 8:838]

From Nuh al-Jami’ who said: “I said to Abu Hanifah: What do you say regarding such things people innovated from the speech (min al-kalâm) about accidents (al-a’râd) and bodies (al-ajsâm)? He replied: Doctrines of the philosophers! Upon you is to follow the trace and path of the Salaf. Be on your guard against every novelty, for it is an innovation!”[Abdallah al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalâm wa-Ahilih 4:213-214 no.1015]

Imam Abu Hanifah said: “Curse be upon ‘Amr b. ‘Ubayd! Verily, he opened up for the people a path to Kalâm in that which does not benefit them in terms of speech!” Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Shaybani, the student of the Imam and the narrator of this report, said thereafter: “And Abu Hanifah used to stress us upon al-Fiqh and prohibit us from al-Kalâm.”[Abdallah al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalâm wa-Ahlih 4:221-222 no.1029]

Shaikh Abdullah al-Ansari book Dhamm al-Kalam has many many more statements in the censue of Kalam.


Secondly, we see the seeds of allowing for unqualified ijtihād in the writings of Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb. He felt he, and others, were at liberty to access the texts of Qur’an and Sunnah themselves, and select the view of the imams which they feel most inclined to.[5] The position of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband is that a person who is not qualified for ijtihād must resort to the fuqahā, and may not pick and choose based on his own preferences or views as their personal views have no consideration in Sharī‘ah.[6]

Yet again another open manifest blunder and a very naive ignorant based understanding. IT is well known and documented that Shaikh Muhammad was affiliated to the Hanbali Madhab, he learnt it and taught it to the people and even authored some books based on it. He was however not a staunch muqallid like the hanafis are and have been.

He simply advocated that there should be no rigid blind following ie at-Taddayun. These quotes from Durur as-Saniyyah have been taken out of context. What is further strange is most of the advocates and proponents of taqlid cite numerous references from Shaikh Muhammad that he pushed for taqlid for the lay person as well as the general  masses and here they are citing the opposite.

Shaikh Muhammad nor anyone else from the Ahlul Hadeth or the salafis say that we pick up the texts and self interpretate neither do we say that we make new ijtihad on new issues. Most of the issues of fiqh and others have been ruled over with evidences we simply follow them and we do not stick blindly to the opinion of an imam and or scholar.

Shaikh Muhammad said, “If an authentic of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is made clear to us we act according to it. We do not put anyone’s statement before it, regardless of who it may be. Instead we receive it (ie the statement of the Nabi) with complete acceptance and submission. This is because in our hearts, the Messenger of Allaah (Salallahu Alayhis Wasallam) is greater and more important than to give precedence to anybody else’s statement. This si what we believe and this is how we worship Allaah.” (Muallifaat 7/252) of Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab)

Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab also said, “There is no difference of opinion between us and you that if the people of knowledge agree upon something, it is obligatory to follow them. The question though is when they differ. It is then obligatory upon me to accept the truth from wherever it comes and to refer the issue to Allaah and his Messenger. Following the example of the people of knowledge, or shall I simply adopt one of their (the scholars) views without proof? You follow the latter approach… while I follow the former.” (pg.132 ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, Hayatuhu Wa Fikruhu Dar al-Uloom, Riyadh of Shaikh Abdullah al-Uthaimeen)

Shaikh Muhammad also wrote, “We, and all praise be to Allaah are followers and not innovators, upon the school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.” (al-Muallifaat 7/40 of Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab)

So based on this methodology the false claimants alleged Shaikh Muhammad and his followers always did ijtihad. They merely rejected the notion of staunch blind following of the madhabs and at the same instance also rejected the false notion that no one could make ijtihad or derive rulings from the Quran and Sunnah and everyone must follow the opinion of the scholars without making any type of ijtihad. (refer to (pg.133 ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, Hayatuhu Wa Fikruhu Shaikh Abdullah al-Uthaimeen)

Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhabs son, Abdullah also expounded and clarified this further and said, “We are not deserving of the level of absolute ijtihad (ie a mujtahid mutlaq) nor does any of claim it, however concerning some issues (of the hanbali school) if there is a clear definitive text from the Quraan or the Sunnah which is not abrogated, specified or in conflict with any stronger evidence and it is followed by one of the four schools then we follow it and we leave the view of the Hanbali school.” (pg.134 ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, Hayatuhu Wa Fikruhu of Shaikh Abdullah al-Uthaimeen)

This point is so absurd that we are surprised the deobandi hanafis have even cited this, which is a testimony to their poor insight and being chained in the shackles of taqlid and hizbiyyah. It also establishes their poor understanding of who Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab was, therefore this article is not be trusted or relied upon as the authors literally do not know what they are talking about.    


Thirdly, Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb showed extremism in certain issues. While we certainly agree with him that practices like slaughtering for other than Allah, taking a vow by other than Allah, or calling a dead person for aid are heinous acts, we do not accept his blanket ruling that these acts are always “major shirk” and Muslims who do so will automatically be labelled kāfirs and mushriks.[7] Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul Wahhāb even went as far as to say that Muslims who engage in these acts are worse than the idolaters of the time of the Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)![8] ‘Ulamā’ from his time also identified and refuted this extremism in his ideology[9]. The ‘Ulamā of Deoband have also rejected this extremism and have demonstrated that the Muslims who indulge in these errant practices are not the same as the idolaters from the time of Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)[10].

We do not find any evidences or points to suggest otherwise from the compiler of this article. It is also more astonishing the author has totally ignored the more well known works of Shaikh Muhammad like Kitab at-Tawhid and Kashf ash-Shubuhaat wherein he explains in great detail with regards to these heinous acts.

There is a lot more detail and Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab answers all of these allegations himself the book al-Muallifaat volume 7 pag.11 onwards. It is also interesting to note here that these allegations are not new, in fact they were raised during his lifetime and Alhamdulillah the Shaikh refuted them comprehensively.

Just one example is, Shaikh Muhammad said, “As for what the enemies mention about me that I declare disbelief simply on the basis of conjecture or that I declare a disbeliever who is ignorant or the one who has not had the proof established against him, THEY ARE GRAVE LIES, by them they only seek to make the people flee from the religion of Allaah and his Messenger” (al-Muallifaat 7/25)

He also says that he never declared the one to be a disbeliever who attempts to seek close to Allaah via the pious, or that I declared the one who swears by other than Allaah a disbeliever. He says “My response to those issues is that I say, Exalted is he (Allaah) this is a great slander.” (al-Muallifaat 7/11 of Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab)

And much much more.

The reality is do not think you can make these wild accusations and expect no one will answer. These are clear lies and it is utterly shameful that people in this day and age propagate these false and baseless accusations. May Allaah save us. Ameen

By the two weak slaves of Allah in need of your duas.

Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

Rajab 1435 / May 2014

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