Book review (upd.) of
Kitâb al-Tawh.îd
al-Ladhî Huwa H.aqqullâh `alâ al-`Abîd
by Muh.ammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb
Translated into English by Unknown
Ryadh: Darussalam Publications, 1996.

by Sh. G. F. Haddad

Muh.ammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb's “inelegant book ... containing the acceptable and the inacceptable” � according to al-Shawkânî's student S.iddîq H.asan Khân al-Qinnawjî[1] � Kitâb al-Tawh.îd, has been raised, through the power of free distribution and “dumping” on the book market, to the perceived status of classic when it is in fact replete with strange statements and doctrinal errors such as the following:

* Calling the Ash`aris 'Nullifiers of the Divine Attributes' (mu`attila) [chapters 2, 16]

* Declaring the Lesser shirk an integral part of the Greater. [chapter 7]

* Deprecating the understanding of 'the elite of people today' for tawhîd. [chapter 15]

* Stating that Abu Jahl knows lâ ilâha illâ Allâh better than the Muslim Ulema. [18]

* Attributing the beginning of shirk on earth to the act of the people of knowledge and religion, caused by their love for saints. [19]

* Misinterpreting the hadith 'do not make my grave an idol' to mean: do not even pray near it whereas the agreed-upon meaning is: Do not pray towards or on top of it. [20]

* Omitting the phrase “and that I am the Messenger of Allâh (swt) in quoting the h.adîth: “When the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ sent Mu`âdh (ra) to Yemen, he said: 'You will come upon the People of the Book, so call them first to testify that there is no God but Allâh (swt) � although this phrase is narrated by the totality of the h.adîth Masters except for one (al-Bayhaqî). [5]

* Misrepresenting a very gharîb narration as being narrated from the Prophet ﷺ by T.âriq ibn Shihâb whereas it is a mawqûf report of the words of Salmân al-Fârisî narrated by T.âriq. [10] This blunder is due to the fact that Ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb imitated the erroneous claim to that effect made by Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Jawâb al-Kâfî (p. 21) without checking the sources where this report is found such as Ibn Abî `Â's al-Zuhd, Abû Nu`aym's H.ilya, and al-Khat.îb's Kifâya. Worse, Ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb references the report to “Ah.mad” (rawâhu Ah.mad), which means the Musnad of Imâm Ah.mad ibn H.anbal in h.adîth terminology; however, the report is not found in any of the works of Imâm Ah.mad, whether the Musnad, al-Zuhd, or others. It is true that the chain of the report comes through Ah.mad, but to reference the report to him is deception.

* Citing another weak narration that “a Companion” said: “Let us all go seek the help of the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ (qûmû binâ nastaghîthu birasûlillah) against this hypocrite [`Abd Allâh ibn Ubay ibn Salûl who challenged Abû Bakr to ask the Prophet ﷺ for a major miracle],” whereupon the Prophet ﷺ said: “Innahu lâ yustaghâthu bî innamâ yustaghâthu billâh � “Help is not sought with me, it is sought only with Allâh.” Ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb references it to al-T.abarânî. [10]

First neither the wording nastaghîthu birasûlillah nor innahu lâ yustaghâthu bî innamâ yustaghâthu billâh is found in any book of h.adîth and there is no chain for them! The reference to “al-T.abarânî” shows blind imitation of Ibn Taymiyya's incorrect referencing of these wordings to al-T.abarânî's al-Mu`jam al-Kabîr in al-Radd `alâ al-Bakrî and Majmû` al-Fatâwâ.
Second the correct wording in Ibn Sa`d's T.abaqât, the Musnad, and al-Jâmi` al-S.aghîr states that Abû Bakr said: “Let us rise to the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ to seek help (qûmû nastaghîthu ilâ rasûlillah) against this hypocrite” whereupon the Prophet ﷺ replied: Lâ yuqâmu lî innamâ yuqâmu lillâh � Not for me is redress sought but only for Allâh.” So the reply of the Prophet ﷺ does not address the means but the motivation and purpose of the Companions against the hypocrite. This is confirmed by another report in which `Umar asks permission to kill `Abd Allâh ibn Ubay ibn Salûl, whereupon the Prophet ﷺ said: “Leave him lest people say that Muh.ammad kills his companions!”[2]
Third the chain of the report Lâ yuqâmu lî innamâ yuqâmu lillâh contains an unnamed narrator in addition to `Abd Allâh ibn Lahî`a who is weak as indicated by al-Haythamî in Majma` al-Zawâ'id (8:40), so the report is weak and wholly unfit to be adduced in matters of belief!
Fourth the report is not found other than in very few of the h.adîth compilations and is long-winded and quite improbable in its complete wording, hence Ibn Kathîr declared it “extremely strange” (gharîb jiddan) in his Tafsîr (3:174).
Fifth the Companion in question is Abû Bakr (ra), which would be a proof in itself � if the report were authentic � that istighâtha from the Prophet ﷺ cannot be shirk, since Abû Bakr was of the most knowledgeable and strictest of Companions in Tawh.îd!
Sixth the meaning of personal redress meant in Abû Bakr's phrase and the reply of the Prophet ﷺ is confirmed by the extraordinary words Abû Bakr spoke to Rabî`a al-Aslamî � the Prophet's ﷺ servant � whom he regretted having insulted: “You will insult me back [in fair requital] or else I will seek the help of the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ against you! (aw la'asta`diyanna `alayka Rasûlallâh).”[3]

* Stating verbatim: 'The disbelievers who know their disbelief are better-guided than the believers.' (inna al-kuffâr al-ladhîna ya`rifûna kufrahum ahdâ sabîlan min al-mu'minîn) [23]

* Stating: 'Among the polytheists are those who love Allah with a tremendous love' [31].

* Stating: 'The Muslim was named a worshipper of the dinar and dirham.' [37]

* Showing undisguised loathing of the Awliyâ, the Ulema, and the generality of the Believers: “Conditions decayed to the point that, among most, worshipping the monks is the best deed and is called sainthood (wilâya), while worshipping the doctors of the Law is 'knowledge' and 'jurisprudence.' Then conditions decayed further, until those who were not even saints were worshipped besides Allah, and, in the second rank, those who were ignorant.” [38]

* Stating that 'the two opposites [belief and disbelief] can be found in a single heart' [41] in violation of the verse {Allah has not assigned unto any man two hearts within his body} (33:4). This and the previous four concepts are fundamental to understand the Wahhâbî propagation of mutual suspicion among Muslims.

* Equating the poem al-Burda to setting up an equal to Allah SWT [44].

* Assimilating the Islamic title qâdî al-qudât, 'Judge of judges,' to the prohibited title shâhân shâh, 'King of kings.' [46]

* Citing Ibn Hazm to explain a verse on `aqîda, although Ibn Hazm is considered by them a Jahmi in `aqîda. [50]

* Attributing shirk to Prophets 'in name, not in reality.' [50]

* Stating that Allah SWT is explicitly said to have two hands: the right holds the heaven and the other holds the earth, and the other is explicitly named the left hand. [67]

GF Haddad

Another version of this text is at:
- Kitab al-Tawhid
List of ”Wahhabi” Related Texts:
- Salafism And Salafi - ”Wahhabi” Related Texts



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