Biography Of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahaab
Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab
A renowned Reviver and a great Reformer
His Birth and Lineage
Sheikh-ul-Islam, Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab, was born in 1115 H. in the city of Uyainah, seventy kilometers northwest of Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He belonged to a highly respectable and scholarly family; his father Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab bin Sulaiman, characterized by his profound scholarship and righteousness, inherited an exalted status from his ancestor Sheikh Sulaiman bin Ali, the chief of the scholars and well versed in teaching, writing and giving verdict.
Sheikh-ul-Islam acquired his primary education from his esteemed father at his native place and was nurtured under his guidance. He was intelligent enough to memorize the Qur’an by heart at the very tender age of ten only. He read the books on Tafseer (exegesis), Hadith and Fiqh. From the very outset, he was greatly interested in studying the works of early scholars, particularly those of Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah and his noble disciple Allamah Ibn Qaiyim. He went through all those books and well grasped the contents.
On attaining the age of maturity, he set out to perform Hajj at Makkah and derived benefits from the scholars there. He then proceeded to Al-Madinah, met the learned ones there, and adopted the studentship of two renowned erudite, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ibrahim bin Sa’id Najdi and Sheikh Muhammad Hayat Sindhi for a long period. Out of the curiosity for higher education, he took also the journey to Iraq and Basrah and got himself benefited there.
Condition of Najd
In those days, the people of Najd were badly indulged in polytheistic deeds and un-Islamic practices. They were completely overwhelmed with polytheism. The graves, trees, stones, caves, evil spirits and insane persons were regarded as deities. The baseless stories and tales were ascribed to them to manifest their excellence. The worldly Ulama too had misguided them for the fulfillment of their materialistic lust. The soothsayers and magicians were having their influence over the society.
None could dare challenge their holds on the commoners. Same condition was prevailing in both Makkah and Al-Madinah also. Yemen was also in the same line. Polytheism, erection of structures on the graves, seeking refuge and assistance of the dead, saints and jinns were the common religious features.
Mission of Da’wah
Having studied this pitiable condition of the nation, Sheikh was highly moved. More pitiable was the situation that no one was ready to take trouble to guide the people to the Right Path. It is obvious that to take this task meant to challenge those evildoers who had) their provisions through these practices. It meant to make oneself prepared to face every torture and atrocities from these selfish misguiders and their followers. But Sheikh resolved to make every effort to fight against the circumstances up to the extent of Jihad.
Sheikh started his mission. He invited the people to the Tauhid (Islamic Monotheism) and guided them to the Qur’an and Sunnah. He urged upon Ulama to strictly follow the Qur’an and Sunnah and derive the issues directly from them. He forcibly contradicted the blind following of any scholar of the Ummah in preference to the Qur’an and Hadith.
Sheikh was a man of courage and enthusiasm. He started his preaching, made correspondence with religious scholars inviting them to lend helping hands in eradication of the prevailing absurdities and defilements in religious matters.
A number of scholars from Makkah, Al-Madinah and Yemen accepted his invitation, and supported him. But apart from them, there were also such ignorant and selfish scholars who criticized him and kept themselves aloof.
The so-called learned ones rose against Sheikh as they were being affected by his Da’wah in terms of their worldly gains. Even then he took journey to different places to convey his message to the people given to error. Traveling through Zabir, Ahsa, Huraimala, he reached Uyainah. . .
To be continued.