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Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية, Wahabism, Wahabbism) is an Orthodox Islamic movement, named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab (1703–1792). It is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and recently Western Iraq.
A BBC report on 18 November 2006 referred to dangers from the growth of Wahhabism in Bosnia, especially Sarajevo.<ref>BBC Today programme, 8.10am, 18 November 2006 - see also Spero News on the issue.</ref>
The term "Wahhabi" (Wahhābīya) is rarely used by members of this group today, although the Saudis did sometimes use it in the past. The currently preferred term is "Salafism". From at least 1914, they usually called themselves the Ikhwan, the Brethren. The term Wahhabism was originally bestowed by their opponents.
The Wahhabis claim to hold to the way of the Salaf as-Salih, the "pious predecessors" as earlier propagated mainly by Ibn Taymiyya, his students Ibn Al Qayyim, and later by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab and his followers. 
Wahhabism accepts the Qur'an and hadith as fundamental texts, interpreted upon the understanding of the first three generations of Islam. It also accepts various commentaries including Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's book called Kitab al-Tawhid ("Book of Monotheism"), and the works of the earlier scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328).
Wahhabis differ from the orthodox traditionalist Sunnis in that they do not follow any specific madhhab (method or school of jurisprudence), but claim to interpret the words of the prophet Muhammad directly, using the four maddhabs for reference. However, they are often associated with the Hanbali maddhab. Wahhabi theology advocates a puritanical and legalistic stance in matters of faith and religious practice.
Wahhabis see their role as a movement to restore Islam from what they perceive to be innovations, superstitions, deviances, heresies and idolatries. There are many practices that they believe are contrary to Islam, such as:
- Listening to music or watching television
- Listening to radio
- Photographs or drawings of human beings or other living things which contain a soul
- Praying at tombs (praying at Mohammed's tomb, the prophet of Islam, is also considered "shirk (polytheism)")
- Invoking any prophet, Sufi saint, or angel in prayer, other than God alone (Wahhabis believe these practices are polytheistic in nature)
- Following or strictly adhering (taqlid) to one of the four madhabs of Islamic jurisprudence, "except for one who is under necessity and can not reach the Sunnah.<ref>Muhammad Nassir ad-Deen al-Albaanee in the Jumaad al-Oola issue of al-Muslimoon magazine, 1415 A.H</ref>
- Celebrating annual feasts for the Mohammed or Sufi saints (see mawlid and urs)
- Wearing of charms, and believing in their healing power
- Innovation in matters of religion (e.g. new methods of worship) - Bid‘ah
It is as a result of these and several other beliefs that Wahhabis may brand people from Sunni sects, and particularly those of the Shia sect, as heretics. This has led many to associate Wahhabis with takfiris.
 Modern spread of Wahhabism
In 1924 the Wahhabi al-Saud dynasty conquered Mecca and Medina, the Muslim holy cities. This gave them control of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage, and the opportunity to preach their version of Islam to the assembled pilgrims. However, Wahhabism was a minor current within Islam until the discovery of oil in Arabia, in 1938. Vast oil revenues gave an immense impetus to the spread of Wahhabism. Saudi laypeople, government officials and clerics have donated many tens of millions of US dollars to create religious schools, newspapers and outreach organizations.
Wahhabism spread into Oman during the 18th century where it played a role in the internal disputes and succession struggles of the country. Ultimately however, its influence lessened over time despite early success.
Wahhabism is also thought to have had a large impact in the Qatar peninsula. It caught on with many of the tribes of the penisula and was a motivating factor in the efforts of the Al Thani clan (the current ruling dynasty of Qatar) to resist attempted conquest by the Al Khalifa clan (the current ruling dynasty of Bahrain) who rejected Wahhabism. Wahhabism also set apart Qatar from the rest of the Persian Gulf States. This may have been part of the reason that Qatar did not join the United Arab Emirates as was suggested by the British at the time.
 Salafism and Qutbism
Hassan al-Banna, the Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, is said to have been influenced by the Wahhabis. The Muslim Brotherhood also claimed to be purifying and restoring original Islam. When the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in various Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia gave refuge to Brotherhood exiles. Some Wahhabis, or Salafis, rejected what they call Qutbism, as a deviation from true Salafism.
 See also
- House of Saud
- Al Thani
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Colonel Philby
- Ibn Abdul Wahhab
- Bin Baz
- ibn Uthaymeen
- Hassan al Banna
- Syed Qutub
- Syed Maudoodi
- Traditional Islam
- Syed Ahmad Barelvi
- David Holden & Richard Johns, The House of Saud, Pan, 1982, 0-330-26834-1
- Hamid Algar, Wahhabism : A Critical Essay, Islamic Publications International, ISBN 1-889999-13-X
- Ayyub Sabri Pasha, Wahhabism and its refutation by the Ahl As-Sunna
- Natana J. Delong-Bas, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-516991-3
- Madawi Al-Rasheed, A History of Saudi Arabia, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-64412-7
- Gerald De Gaury, Freya Stark, Arabia Phoenix, Kegan Paul International Limited, ISBN 0-7103-0677-6, ISBN-13, 9780710306777
 External links
- Full Text of Kitab Al Tawhid by Ibn Abdul Wahhab
- The Methodology Of The Prophet's In Calling To Allaah - That Is The Way Of Wisdom & Intelligence
- Islamic Q&A website
- from spubs.com
- WAHHABISM AND ITS REFUTATION BY THE AHL AS-SUNNAT- Hizmet Books
- SALAFIYYA- Hizmet Books
- Wahhabi's labeling of Ahl as-Sunna Muslims as polytheists and its answer
- Hadith On The Present Fitnaar:وهابية
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