Who are the Wahhaabis and what is their message?
Praise be to Allaah.
It is obligatory upon the Muslim to follow the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), according to the way of the righteous salaf who followed the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Sahaabah and those who followed them – may Allaah be pleased with them all. These people are called Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah (the People of the Sunnah and the Community). Everyone who follows the way brought by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is one of them. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought the message of Tawheed (absolute Oneness of Allaah) and rejection of shirk (polytheism, or association of others with Allaah); he called people to worship Allaah alone and none other. With regard to the word “Wahhaabis”, some people use this word to refer to the message of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab ibn Sulaymaan al-Tameemi al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him), and they call him and his followers Wahhaabis. Everyone who has any knowledge of the movement of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) and his message knows that he sought to spread the message of pure Tawheed and to warn against shirk in all its forms, such as attachment to the dead, or to trees and rocks, etc. In his ‘aqeedah (belief), he was following the way of the righteous Salaf and the Taabi’een [i.e., the earliest generations of Islam], as is indicated by his books and fatwas, and the books of his followers among his sons and grandsons and others. All of these books are in print and are in circulation among the people. His message was in accordance with the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Wahhaabism is not a new way or a new school of thought; rather it is a call to Tawheed and the revival of aspects of the religion that had been forgotten. What you have to do is to beware of those who warn you against the Wahhaabis, because they are warning you against following the truth and the early generation of this ummah. Applying the word “Wahhaabis” to those who adhere to correct belief and warning people against them is the way of the ignorant and biased. We ask Allaah to keep you safe and sound.
See Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), 3/1206; see also Question # 12203. And Allaah knows best/