Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Sufism



In his Fatāwā wa Rasā’il, p.31 by Sh. Muḥammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhāb, mas’ala 5 states:[1]

اعلمأرشدك اللهأن الله سبحانه وتعالى بعث محمداً صلى الله عليه وسلم بالهدى الذي هو العلم النافع, ودين الحق هو العمل الصالح إذا كان من ينتسب إلى الدين: منهم من يتعانى بالعلم والفقه ويقول به كالفقهاء, ومنهم من يتعانى العبادة وطلب الآخرة كالصوفية فبعث الله نبيه بهذا الدين الجامع للنوعين...

“Know – and may Allah guide you – that He Most High sent Muḥammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) with the Guidance which consists of beneficial knowledge and the True Religion which consists of righteous action. Those who adhere to the Religion include: those who concern themselves with acquiring [exoteric] knowledge and Fiqh and discuss its matters such as the Jurists (al-fuqahā’) and then there are those who concern themselves with devotion and worship of Allah as well as seeking the Hereafter such as the Sufis. Allah thus sent His Prophet with this religion which encompasses both these two kinds of knowledge.”


It would do well for those who claim to adhere to the teachings of Muḥammad Ibn `Abd al-Wahhāb (1703-1793) that they understand his general stance on Taṣawwuf (Sufism) which is clearly outlined in this segment (translated above) of his legal edicts and treatises.

The suggestion here is that Islam consists of beneficial knowledge and good actions. The study of Fiqh alone is beneficial knowledge and study of the science of the ego-self – Taṣawwuf – will alone secure correct actions.  These two types of knowledge broadly comprise the religion as a whole.


And Allah alone gives guidance.


S. Z. C.

Cairo, Egypt.


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