Nūr ʿalá al-Darb Presenter:

Question from the listener Muḥammad Saʿīd Murād, from the Republic of ʿIrāq, the region of Dohuk – he says: I hear many of the Muslims here say ‘so and so, his ʿAqīdah is ‘Wahhābism’ (intending a practicing person) – what is ʿAqīdah (creed) and where did this name come to us from?

Shaykh ʿAbdullāh ibn Humayd:

O brother, Muḥammad Saʿīd Murād from ʿIrāq – you are saying that you hear some people say that “so and so, his ʿAqīdah is Wahhābism.”
This is wrong brother Muḥammad, by it they mean to disparage him with this and bring it up as one of his flaws. They believe that Wahhābism is a fifth madhab or that they are innovators – and they are not as such.
They are referring by this [statement] to the followers of Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb, – and Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-wahhāb is one of the virtuous scholars, a Salafī man, and his ʿAqīdah is the ʿAqīdah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamāʿah –  He emerged in his land, one of the lands of Najd, at a time when its people were worshipping idols like trees, stones and caves and associating partners with Allāh, so he prohibited them from doing this and clarified to them the clear ʿAqīdah and pure Tawḥīd, and that is the call of the Messengers:
۞ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۞
“Worship Allāh, you have no other Ilāh (God) but Him” [Q 23:23]
However, this was hard on them, as well as others who were filled with the love of worshipping graves, sacrificing to them, making vows to them and seeking aid from them and this no doubt opposes Tawḥīd – for verily the Messengers, the first to the last of them were sent to their various nations calling them to the worship of Allāh exclusively.
He -تعالى – said:
۞ لَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ فَقَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۞
“Indeed, we sent Nūḥ(Noah) to his people and he said: ” O my people! Worship Allāh! You have no other Ilāh (God) but Him” [Q 7: 59]
۞ وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمۡ هُودً۬ا‌ۗ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ ۞
“And to ʿĀd (people, We sent) their brother Hūd. He said: “O my people! Worship Allāh! You have no other Ilāh (God) but Him” [Q 7: 65]
۞ وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمۡ صَـٰلِحً۬ا‌ۗ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَڪُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥ‌ۖ ۞
“And to Thamād (people, We sent) their brother Ṣāliḥ (Saleh). He said: “O my people! Worship Allāh! You have no other Ilāh (God) but Him” [Q 7: 73]
۞ وَإِلَىٰ مَدۡيَنَ أَخَاهُمۡ شُعَيۡبً۬ا‌ۗ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَڪُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۞
“And to (the people of) Madyan (Midian), (We sent) their brother Shuʿayb. He said: “O my people! Worship Allāh! You have no other Ilah (God) but Him” [Q 7: 85]

And Allāh said in regards to our Prophet Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم:

۞ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ‏ ۞
And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muḥammad)
but We inspired him (saying): Lā ilāha illā Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allāh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).” [Q 21: 25]
This is the call of the Messengers.
And the meaning of ‘worship me’ is ‘single me out’ as Ibn ʿAbbās  رضي الله عنه  said: ‘And the meaning of that is to single out Allāh in all acts of worship like sacrifice, vows,  supplication, seeking relief, trust and reliance, fear, humility, awe, turning in repentance and other than that from the different acts of worship, all of them are not allowed except for Allāh – and whenever the  slave directs any of them to other than Allāh then he is a polytheist and a disbeliever – like the one who seeks from the dead in the grave assistance by saying – “Assist me, assist me O so and so, aid me, aid me and remove hardship from me.”‘
This is something that no one is able to do except Allāh.
So it is not permissible to ask a dead person to remove distress from you or bring good to you or remove harm from you. Rather this is for Allāh alone and it is not permissible to give any of Allāh’s dues to others.
This is the message of Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb and he called the people to this, and this is the madhab of the Salaf and the call of the Messengers as we mentioned.
So anyone who rejects the worship of graves and orders that worship should not be for anyone but Allāh, they call him a ‘Wahhābī’ as a way of criticising and condemning him. This is the truth behind their statement. ‘Wahhābīs’ do not have a separate madhab, neither have they invented any unorthodox beliefs and practices into the religion – rather this is their ʿAqīdah that we referred to and they are in this, followers not innovators, and they are in this correct and not criminals, rather the real innovation and crime is calling upon other than Allāh alongside Him and directing Allāh’s right to other than Him.
Worship is not appropriate except to Allāh – and as for that worship then some have defined it as being: a comprehensive term for ‘everything which Allāh loves and is pleased with; from statements and actions, both apparent and hidden’ and others have defined it as ‘that which has been commanded legislatively, without intellectual requirement or cultural influence” – and the meaning is one even if the expressions are different.
Nevertheless, worship is wrong unless it is for Allāh alone so every monotheist who worships Allāh alone and prohibits the worshipping of other than Him they call him ‘Wahhābī’ – this is the reality of ‘Wahhābism’, O brother Muḥammad Saʿīd Murād, and Allāh knows best.