Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Is Wahabism the Real Islam?

  • You bet!
  • No one should have a shred of doubt about it.

Many Westerners, as well as so-called moderate Muslims, consider Wahhabism a twisted, if not perverted, version of Islam. The truth is that Wahabism is not an alien religion, neither is it a type of ‘imported beer’ from a distant planet; rather, IT IS ISLAM itself. Moderate Muslims have a utopian idea of a perfect Islamic country that does not exist and never can be pursued based on Islamic teachings. As a result, they conveniently reject Saudi style Islam as extreme and far from their dream of an artificial Islamic society. The reality is that Saudi Arabia practices the best form of Islam and it is the role model of an ideal Islamic country.

Ironically, the troopers of Wahhabism do not call themselves Wahhabist; it’s the opponents who have invented this name. On the contrary, they call themselves Muwahhidun, which means ‘Unitarians’. However, the term Wahhabism is derived from its founder, Abdul I-Wahhab.

Abdul I-Wahhab’s teachings were in harmony with Hanbali doctrine, preached by Ahmed Ibn Hanbal. Be assured he is not the same Hannibal of the famous TV series “A-Team”, which aired in the 80s. Ahmed Ibn Hanbal was a famous Islamic theologian of the ninth century. Although he did not create a specific legal system, his answers to his students formed a school of thought known as Hanbali.

Hanbali is one of the four schools of the Islamic legal system; the other three are Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i. Now, don’t get excited; these schools of thought never had any problem among themselves and never fought each other, although fighting has been prescribed by Allah and Muslims often kill each other when a difference in opinion surfaces. With a little variation, these schools of thought are the strings of a violin and play the same music of Islam.

Precisely, Hanbali is the purest form of Islam. Whereas, in order to establish hand slashing - throat cutting - women beating Sharia Law, other schools of thought rely on ra’y (personal opinion) and qiyas (analogy); Hanbali strictly depends on the Quran and Hadith. So, Wahhabism, a successor of Hanbali, ought to be the best form of Islam.

A few months ago, the Washington Post published an excellent article, written by Nina Shea. The author tried to expose the Saudi education system in her article -“This is a Saudi textbook (After the intolerance was removed)”. Apparently, Saudi Arabia’s public schools had a history of using textbooks that humiliated the West, Christians and other Unbelievers, but after the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, the situation supposedly improved.

Nina Shea reported, “The Saudi government even took out a full-page ad in the New Republic last December to tout its success at ‘having modernized our school curricula to better prepare our children for the challenges of tomorrow.’ A year ago, an embassy spokesman declared: ‘We have reviewed our educational curriculums. We have removed materials that are insightful or intolerant towards people of other faiths.’ The embassy is also distributing a 74-page review on curriculum reform to show that the textbooks have been moderated.”

I was about to throw a ‘Red Salute’ to this brave author for exposing the truth of Saudi textbooks. But..but..she got it all wrong. The author cited some examples from the books, which we will discover and dissect shortly, but she blamed everything on Wahhabism. She innocently commented, “Religion is the foundation of the Saudi state's political ideology; it is also a key area of Saudi education in which students are taught the interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism (a movement founded 250 years ago by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab) that is reflected in these textbooks.”

Her misunderstanding of Islam continues: “Undeterred by Wahhabism's historical fringe status, Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world's authoritative voice on Islam -- a sort of ‘Vatican’ for Islam, as several Saudi officials have stated-- and these textbooks are integral to this effort.”

What did I tell you? Many people indeed believe Wahhabists interpret Islam differently, which means it’s not real Islam.

Nina Shea revealed another astonishing fact. She affirmed, “The Saudi public school system totals 25,000 schools, educating about 5 million students. In addition, Saudi Arabia runs academies in 19 world capitals, including one outside Washington in Fairfax County, that use some of these same religious texts.”

Presto (Quick)! Look around! Five million die-hard Muslims are coming after you and some of them could be homegrown Jihadists.

Now let’s check the contents of those books provided by Nina Shea.


”Every religion other than Islam is false."

What’s wrong with this statement? After all, it came directly from all-naughty Allah (the actual word Almighty is outdated). “… As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. (Q.2:257). Ibn Kathir, the well-renowned interpreter of the Quran, explained, “He (Allah) also stated that Shaytan (devil) is the supporter of the disbelievers who beautifies the paths of ignorance and misguidance that they follow, thus causing them to deviate from the true path into disbelief and wickedness.”

"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire):
Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."

The above-mentioned verse 2:257 also applies to the first part of this intelligent question and there are several verses that confirm how disbelievers of Islam will suffer in hell. However, the following verse tops the list as benevolent Allah promises to supply fresh skin. “Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise”(Q.4:56).


"True belief means. . .  that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."

“Then seized I those who disbelieved, and how intense was My abhorrence!” (Q.35:26). If Allah himself hates the polytheists, it becomes obligatory for all Muslims to do just that. Evidently, the Saudi government did reform their textbooks by adding, “…do not treat them unjustly”. I am not sure how a person could hate and treat justly at the same time!


"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives."

"It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."

It’s clear in this verse, “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers” (Q.3:28). The same command was reaffirmed in verses 4:144 and 5:57. While explaining the impact of this verse (3:28), Ibn Kathir stated, “This Ayah discourages and forbids taking the enemies of Islam and its people, such as the people of the Book and the polytheists, as friends.


"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power."

Ibn Kathir explains the verse 9:29, “This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the people of the book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s religion in large numbers, and the Arabian peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control.” He continued, “Allah said (until they pay the Jizyah) if they do not choose to embrace Islam (with willing submission), in defeat and subservience (and feel themselves subdued), disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.”


"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."

If you are a non-Muslim, imagine yourself: all of a sudden you find an appetite for eating dozens of bananas and an urge to find lice in your wife’s hair, or maybe you wake up on a fine morning and ask your husband, “Honey, what time is it?”, but all you could say is “OINK-OINK”.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas was a cousin of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. Although he was only thirteen when Mohammed died, Ibn Abbas was one of the dearest companions of the ‘Profit’ of Islam. He contributed a great many number of hadith and became a scholar of Islam. When Ibn Abbas was born, he was taken to Mohammed for blessing and the prophet put some of his saliva on the baby’s tongue. Disgusting! Well, this is baptism Islamic-style. Mohammed was confident of his cousin’s future and prayed to Allah, “Oh Lord, make him acquire a deep understanding of the religion of Islam and instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things." So do we have any choice other than accepting Ibn Abbas’s instruction?

Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."

Yes, there is danger! Why would a Muslim volunteer to become a pig or a monkey? So, a Muslim should not take the risk of imitating those Kufirs. As a matter of fact, the great prophet of Islam prophesied the danger a long time ago. He warned his followers not to follow Jews and Christians step by step, which many Muslims are doing in today’s world and their destination will be a lizard’s hole. “Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)" those before you"? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?” Sahih Muslim B34,N6448.


It is part of God's wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour [of judgment]."

It’s time to quote the famous hadith, “Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim).

Ah! What a relief!

So far, there is no sign of talking rocks, let alone cursing rocks yelling at Jews. Hence, the danger of the judgment day or a possibility of ending the world is not eminent and we are safe from Allah’s wrath.


"Blood money for a free infidel. [Its quantity] is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, whether or not he is 'of the book' or not 'of the book' (such as a pagan, Zoroastrian, etc.)”.

If you are a pagan, a Jew or a Christian, don’t feel degraded. Wahhabists have not harvested these flowery words in the Saudi desert, but it came directly from Mohammed’s teachings:“…the value of the bloodwit in the time of the Apostle of Allah (PBH) was eight hundred dinars or eight thousand dirhams, and the bloodwit for the People of the Book was half that for Muslims…” (4527, Sunan Abu Dawud, ISBN969-432-096-8).

”Blood money for a woman: Half of the blood money for a man, in accordance with his religion. The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money for a male infidel."

In Islamic law, women are no better than domestic animals; they should remain grateful for Allah’s kindness and be allowed to have at least a half of what a male gets. The Quran is as clear as spring water in this regard: “Males are to inherit twice that of females” (4:11).


"The greeting 'Peace be upon you' is specifically for believers. It cannot be said to others."

"If one comes to a place where there is a mixture of Muslims and infidels, one should offer a greeting intended for the Muslims."

"Do not yield to them [Christians and Jews] on a narrow road out of honor and respect."

Why this ‘Gang fight’ mentality? As if a bunch of gang members are trying to corner an innocent man on the street. Hey! We are not talking about ‘Alexander the Great’ but we are dealing with the Muslims’ leader ‘Mohammed the Threat’. Look at the following hadith: “Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads, force him to go to the narrowest part of it.” (Sahih Muslim B26, N5389).


"Jihad in the path of God -- which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it -- is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God."

Ibn Kathir, in verse 2:216, explains, “though you dislike” means, ‘Fighting is difficult and heavy on your hearts.’ Indeed, fighting is as the Ayah describes it, as in includes being killed, wounded, striving against the enemies and enduring the hardship of travel. Allah then said, ‘and it may be that you dislike a thing is good for you’ meaning, fighting is followed by victory, dominance over the enemy, taking over their lands, money and offspring.”,

Ibn Kathir (Q 2:193) continued: “Allah then commanded fighting the disbelievers when he said, ‘until there is no more Fitnah’, meaning shirk. This is the opinion of Ibn Abbas, abu Al-Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi, Muqatil bin, Hayyan, As-Suddi and Zayd bin Aslam. Allah’s statement: and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone). This means, ‘So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.”

On the same verse Ibn Kathir said, “Verily aggression can only be started against unjust.”

What is unjust? Don’t look in the dictionary. I have already checked it for you. It says, “Violating principles of justice or fairness; unfair”. You may think treating someone unfairly is a sign of unjust. You are wrong my friend. Islam has a unique definition of unjust.

Ibn Kathir put it in plain words, “Ikrimah and Qatadah stated,' The unjust person is he who refuses to proclaim there is no God worthy of worship except Allah.’

Get the picture! You are an unjust person if you are not singing Shahada (a magic spell to become and remain a Muslim); in other words, if you are a non-Muslim, you cannot be fair or just.

Poor Nina Shea continued blaming Wahhabism and stated, “Saudi texts proudly cited in the new 74-page review of curriculum reform now being distributed by the Saudi embassy are shaping the views of the next generation of Saudis and Muslims worldwide. Unchanged, they will only harden and deepen hatred, intolerance and violence toward other faiths and cultures. Is this what Riyadh calls reform?”

She does not know that this is real Islam - full of hatred, intolerance and cruelty. All the Saudi government is doing is protecting Islam and its values. In Islam, the Quran and Sunnah (story of Mohammed’s life) are the foundations of knowledge and education. There is no other book in the world that may challenge the Quran; if it does, the author’s neck will embrace the sword. The Quran has repeatedly insulted the rest of humanity, and called for unconditional subjugation of non-Muslims and ways to kill them in the event of disobedience. Sunnah guides Muslims how to live their lives and supports the Quranic verses that prescribe killing and overpowering non-Muslims.

Evidently, those Wahabists are following and implementing the rules of the Quran and Sunnah. It would be foolish to challenge their effort and beat about the bush to find a peaceful Islam unless the root of the problem, the Quran, is banned.

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