Wahhabi


Wahhabi
   / Wahhabism
   An Islamic sect named for Muhammad Abd al Wahhab, who was born at ‘ Uyaynah in central Arabia in 1703. His father was a local Islamic judge ( qadi ) and a follower of the Hanbali school of Islamic law. Wahhab became an Islamic judge. While studying at Medina he read the works of Taqiyyudin Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328). Wahhab was concerned about what he believed was a decline in Muslim strength. In Taymiyyah, he found inspiration for dealing with Islamic spiritual decay and methods of religious reform.
   According to Wahhab’s analysis of the times, the weakness of Islam was caused by a weakening of the monotheistic purity of the faith. The solution was to put great emphasis upon tawid, or the unity of Allah. With tawid as his chief guide, Wahhab initiated a global Islamic reform movement. Wahhab’s teachings might have come to naught had he not met the military champion of his movement, Muhammad Ibn Sa’ud. In 1744, Wahhab moved to Dar’iyyah, a small village in east central Arabia area of Najd. He encouraged enforcement of tawid, and jihad against those with a different Islamic theology.
   Muhammad Ibn Saud died in 1766. He was succeeded by his son Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud and the by his grandson Sa’ud Ibn ‘Abd al-Aziz, who carried on the Wahhabi movement. Wahhab died at Dar’iyyah in 1792, but in the early 1800s the Wahhabi army captured the Hejaz cities of Mecca and Medina. They “purified” them of the buildings, books, and other things that were offensive to tawid. The activities of the Wahhabi were viewed by the Sultan in Turkey as a challenge to his spiritual leadership. He sent Mehmet Ali to Arabia to fight the Wahhabi. In 1818, Ali defeated the Wahhabi and destroyed Dar’iyyah. He sent Abd al-Aziz to Istanbul where he was beheaded. In the following decades of the nineteenth century, the Al-Saud family continued to follow the teachings of Wahhab. In 1902, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, a direct descendant of both al-Wahhab and the first Ibn Saud, captured the city of Riyadh. In the decades that followed Ibn Saud organized a band of Wahhabi warriors, the Ikhwan, or brotherhood. With them he unified much of the Arabian Peninsula. During World War I, he made an alliance with the British to fight against the Turks.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Algar, Hamid. Wahabbism: A Critical Essay. Oneota: Islamic Publications, 2002;
    DeLong-Bas, Natana J. Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
   ANDREW JACKSON WASKEY

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wahhabi — or Wahabi [wä hä′bē] n. [Ar wahhābī] any member of a strict Muslim sect which adheres closely to the Koran: it was founded by Abdul Wahhab (1703? 92?) and flourishes in Saudi Arabia Wahhabism n. Wahabism [wä hä′biz΄əm] Wahhabite [wä hä′bīt΄] n.,… …   English World dictionary

  • Wahhabi — For the 18th century Saudi Arabian female military leader, see Ghaliyya al Wahhabiyya. Wahhabism is a religious movement[1] or a branch[2] of Islam. It was developed by an 18th century Muslim theologian (Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab) (1703–1792)… …   Wikipedia

  • Wahhabi — /weuh hah bee, wah /, n., pl. Wahhabis. Islam. a follower of Abd al Wahhab (1703 1792), who stringently opposed all practices not sanctioned by the Koran. The Wahhabis, founded in the 18th century, are the most conservative Muslim group and are… …   Universalium

  • Wahhabi — also Wahabi noun Etymology: Arabic wahhābī, from Muḥammad b. ‘Abd al Wahhāb (Abdul Wahhab) died 1787 Arabic religious reformer Date: 1807 a member of a puritanical Muslim sect founded in Arabia in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Wahhabi — noun a member of a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect from Saudi Arabia; strives to purify Islamic beliefs and rejects any innovation occurring after the 3rd century of Islam Osama bin Laden is said to be a Wahhabi Muslim • Syn: ↑Wahabi •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wahhabi — noun an adherent of the puritanical reform movement that arose in 18th century Arabia …   Wiktionary

  • wahhabi — n. member of a very conservative Muslim group founded in the 18th Century that opposes all practices not sanctioned by the Koran …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Wahhabi — [wə hα:bi] (also Wahabi) noun (plural Wahabis) a member of a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect, the predominant religious force in Saudi Arabia. Derivatives Wahhabism noun Wahhabist noun Origin named after the founder, Muhammad ibn Abd al… …   English new terms dictionary

  • wahhabi — wah·ha·bi …   English syllables

  • Wahhabi — Wah•ha•bi or Wa•ha•bi [[t]wəˈhɑ bi, wɑ [/t]] also Wah•ha•bite [[t] baɪt[/t]] n. pl. bis also bites ear a member of a conservative Muslim group founded orig. by followers of ‘Abd al Wahhab (1703–92) • Etymology: 1800–10; < Ar, =‘Abd al Wahhab+… …   From formal English to slang


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