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Is Anyone Willing To Take On The Perversion of Islam Caused By The Wahhabi-Saudi Combine?

On 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated militant attacks in Paris shook the world. The attacks, reportedly the deadliest in France since the Second World War, followed soon after many European countries had opened their doors to the traumatised and homeless refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom are Muslims. Although many nations in the European Union expressed discomfort with the decision, this was largely seen as a great humanitarian gesture on the part of the EU. Some even saw it as an expression of guilt for the West’s violent involvement in the ongoing conflicts for decades. Over the last month, countries such as the United States of America and Canada announced that they would be joining the European nations in granting asylum to refugees.

However, the path forward is unclear. Two fronts require serious action. The first and foremost challenge is the one that faces not only Muslim nations but all Muslims: to unambiguously confront the custodians of the Islamic faith, who have hijacked the narrative of Islam. The second is that in order to decimate the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, the West must shelve their strategic and economic interests in west Asia.

Islamic faith, as it stands now, has been vandalised. The vandals of the faith are the same custodians of the holy places of Islam who ganged up with the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim preacher Abdul Wahhab almost two hundred years ago. Wahhab believed that Islam should be returned to the original principles that were followed by the first three generations of Muslims, and rejected many common practices that the faith had come to include over time. The Ottomans, who controlled the region then, may be answerable for the many atrocities they committed during their rule, but the Islam they professed and propagated was based on the traditional heterodox Bektashi Sufi thinking, a dervish order of Islam. Their outlook was loose, and was accommodative of diverse local cultural practices. It is still practiced and venerated in the regions of the Balkans and the erstwhile Russian states in central Asia. The battle between the subsequent Wahhabi-Saudi combine and the Ottomans was not merely a fight for territorial control, but also a fight to save traditional Islam from the depredations of the combine. The defaced Islam peddled by the Islamic State and other fundamentalists today originated two hundred years ago, and mayhem and mass murders are the ugliest manifestations of this corruption.

To understand the criminalisation of Islam, we must delve into the rise of the Wahhabi-Saudi combine. The Ottomans perceived the emerging combine from Najd, the most backward region of Arabia, as a serious threat. Inspired by the 14th century scholar Ibn-Taymayya, who hated the Shias and Sufis, Wahhab also decried them to be grave worshippers. He also declared war against Greek philosophy, which inspired the Baitul Hikma (House of Wisdom), a major intellectual centre during the Abbasid period, to generate a huge corpus of scientific literature between the 8th and 11th centuries. Wahhab took this revisionism forward in his main work, The Book of Monotheism, laying down the framework of a sectarian and hateful Islam. The Prophet’s personality and his dedication to compassion and mercy were amputated from the body of Islam. Wahhab denounced his opponents, and all Muslims not willing to accept his views, as idolaters and apostates. He believed that all Muslims had fallen into unbelief and that if they refused to follow him, they should be killed, their women violated and their possessions confiscated. Shias, Sufis, and other Muslims—who were heretical according to his doctrine—were to be exterminated, and all other faiths were to be humiliated or decimated. With this awful dogma, the basis for the future Islamic fundamentalism, and ultimately terrorism, was laid.

S Irfan Habib is the Maulana Azad Chair at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi.


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Readers' Comments

12 thoughts on “Is Anyone Willing To Take On The Perversion of Islam Caused By The Wahhabi-Saudi Combine?”

Thank God! Its time to call a spade a spade. Legitimate criticism of bad ideas is not Islamophobia, as the regressive leftists and their cleric allies would have us believe.

Yes the Muslims must unite and throw out the Sharia law which is regressive and anti women . That would go a long way towards cleansing Islam .

Its good to see Professor Habib personally taking up the serious issue and trying to spark a debate,but many doubts are not addressed for example Professor Habib gave a clean chit to “real Islam” and alleged that Prophet’s dedication to mercy has been amputated and distorted when it has been proven beyond doubt that Prophet himself lead Jihad and showed no mercy to “Non believers”(read Ali Sina,Ayan Hirsi Ali,Robert Spencer etc), my point is that Professor Habib here is attacking the symptoms but not the disease itself which are the teachings in Quran,Hadees etc. even if hypothetically we defeat “Saudi version of Islam” tomorrow some other Abdul Wahhab will stand up with inspirations from Quran and other religious texts.Me think just like world over in India too a strong demand from within the Islamic community must emerge with demands of rejecting not only Saudi Version but also some of the Prophets teachings which are not compatible with today’s time.Sugarcoating “real Islam” is clearly not working in internet’s age. #With_no_offence

Very Well said! There are some serious issues with the way Muslims understand the Koran or are made to understand it. Or like u said there are points/clauses in it that oppose a modern way to look at our way of living. Even if we beat the IS and Saud -Wahhabi school of thought, many others will keep popping up!

Dixit does not want sugar coating of Islam. I too feel the same way but why Hindu fanatics sugar coat Ram and Parashuram? Ram and his brother cut off nose and ears of a woman for her expression of love and lust.Every one knows the way Ram treated his wife Sita.It is greatly puzzling as to why Laxman had to follow his brother to forest leaving behind his young wife at home for 14 years. Parashuram beheaded his mother on the orders of his father because that father doubted the fidelity of his wife. Parashuram is well known for the genocide he committed against Kshtriyas. Both these characters are AVATARS of god Vishnu!!! Whether Hindu fanatics ever disown these two characters?

various religious groups and sects in India have popularized memorable sayings of their prophets, saints or leaders and addressed them to the common public and not just to their co coreligionists. Like “Love your neighbor” by Jesus Christ.Muslims constitute more than 20% of India but I have not seen one quote of quran or Prophet Mohammad being addressed by Muslims to the general public at large. “Allaho Akbar”appears to be the only phrase known to non Muslims in India.Why?Don’t they have any sayings of their preachers which can be addressed to humanity at large? Why this hiding in burkha?Irfan Habibs well intention ed article talks about plurality within Islam but how Muslims are going to accept plurality of humanity?

Dixit you seem to be a bit of a dick shit if the sources of information that you rely on are as quoted. Read Karen Armstrong, Muhammad Hussain Haykal or even the Indian Muslim scholar, Syed Ameer Ali’s writings on the Prophet and the early history of Islam. First inform yourself from a variety of intellectual sources before putting your arguments against Islam forward rather relying on dickheads like Ayaan HirsI who have issues with their own cultures and are making a lot of money riding the Islamophobia waves.

Interesting article quite long though , I don’t want to comment since i am not the guru of religion ,may be my views are different , before quoting here I would love to verify the facts from proper source.

You cannot save your home while creating & imposing war in homes of other ones.All these acts of extremism are retribution.We see lot of propaganda against Islam as later has limited access to media controlled by western Alliance.Reality is harsh to swallow.The religion of peace,ISLAM,is divided for broader agenda.If they show us cruelties and crimes attributed to satanic people,then why not they eradicate with their technology and power?All these topics are Rubbish and nothing to do with religions,but to run war industry.Fuel is the blood of innocent Muslims.