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Wahhabism


Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية‎‎, al-Wahhābiya(h)) or Wahhabi mission (/wəˈhɑːbi, wɑː-/;Arabic: الدعوة الوهابية‎‎, ad-Da'wa al-Wahhābiya(h) ) is a sect,religious movement or branch of Islam. It has been variously described as "ultraconservative", "austere", "fundamentalist", or "puritan(ical)" and as an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship" (tawhid) by devotees, and as a "deviant sectarian movement", "vile sect" and a distortion of Islam by its opponents. The term Wahhabi(ism) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid. The movement emphasises the principle of tawhid (the "uniqueness" and "unity" of God). Its principal influences include Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) and Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), both belong to the Hanbali school.

Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792). He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd, advocating a purging of practices such as tawassul, and shrine and tomb visitation, widespread among Muslims, but which he considered idolatry (shirk), impurities and innovations in Islam (Bid'ah). Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader Muhammad bin Saud offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement mean "power and glory" and rule of "lands and men."


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