Muhammmad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab: Early Life & Studies (Brief)

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“Ash-Shaikh Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab, His Salafee ‘Aqeedah, His Call To Rectification And The Praise Of The Scholars For Him.” p. 11-13. by Shaikh Ahmad b. Hajr b. Muhammad Aal Butaamee, (A former Sharee’ah Court Judge, Qatar. Born, 1335AH/1915CE, died, 1423AH/2002CE), with introduction of Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez b. Baaz (rahimahullaah).

His Name, Birth and Education:

“Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul-Wahhaab b. Sulaimaan b. ‘Alee b. Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Raashid at-Tameemee was born in 1115 AH (1703 CE) in the own of al-‘Uyainah, which is situated to the north of Riyadh.

He was raised by his father Shaikh ‘Abdul-Wahhaab in this town which was under the leadership of ‘Abdullaah b. Muhammad b. Hamad b. Mu’ammar. Shaikh Muhammad as a youth excelled in intelligence and bodily strength and physique. He had a sharp temperament. By the age of ten, he had already memorised the Qur’aan, and he had attained adulthood before the age twelve. His father stated: “I saw that he had become capable of leading the congregational prayers, so I married him off in that year.””

His Pursuit Of Knowledge:

“He studied the Hanbalee fiqh, tafseer and hadeeth under his father. At an early age, he gave great attention to the books of tafseer, hadeeth and ‘aqeedah. More so, he gave special and extra attention to the writings of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahamallaah) studying them in depth.”

His Travels In Search Of Knowledge:

“He then left his town and headed to perform Hajj at the Sacred House of Allaah. After fulfilling the rites of Hajj he travelled to Madeenah and the Prophet’s Mosque. He visited the grave of the Imaam of the Messengers, Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) and those of his noble and sincere Companions.”

His Teachers In Madeenah:

“From the great scholars of that time was Shaikh ‘Abdullaah b. Ibraaheem b. Saif Aal-Saif an-Najdee, and he was a scholar of the town of al-Majma’ah (Sudair in Najd). Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul-Wahhaab took knowledge from him extensively – Shaikh ‘Abdullaah loved him and held him in high esteem, and he exerted much effort in cultivating and teaching him. From those matters that strengthened their relationship and the love between them was the fact the teacher and student were agreed in their thoughts regarding the belief in Tawheed, and their shared pain over the false beliefs of the people of Najd and their futile practices.

Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abdul-Wahhaab benefitted from the companionship of his teacher immensely. Shaikh ‘Abdullaah granted him permission to narrate the well-known hadeeth with connected chains:

“Those who are merciful, then The Merciful is merciful with them.”

Shaikh ‘Abdullaah granted him ijaazah (permission) through two chains of transmission:

Firstly: On the authority of Ibn Muflih from Shaikhul-Islaam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah leading all the way to Imaam Ahmad b. Hanbal.

Secondly: On the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahmaan b. Rajab from al-‘Allaamah Ibnul-Qayyim from his teacher, Shaikhul-Islaam (Ibn Taymiyyah), and this chain also leads to Imaam Ahmad.

Shaikh ‘Abdullaah likewise gave him the authority to narrate all the narrations established upon Shaikh ‘Abdul-Baaqee al-Hanbalee, the the head of the scholars of his era. He granted him ijaazah to read, narrate and teach the narrations of Saheeh al-Bukhaaree with its chain all the way back to the author, Imaam al-Bukhaaree. Likewise with Saheeh Muslim and the explanations of the Saheehs; also the Sunan at-Tirmidhee, an-Nasaa’ee, Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah, the authored works of ad-Daarimee with a chain of narration leading back to the author; additionally the Musnad of Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee, the Muwatta of Imaam Maalik, the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad, and other than them from that which was established upon Shaikh ‘Abdul-Baaqee.

Then Shaikh ‘Abdullaah b. Ibraheem b. Saif introduced and connected Shaikh Muhammad to the Muhaddith, Shaikh Muhammad Hayaat as-Sindee, and informed him of Shaikh Muhammad’s correct and pure ‘Aqeedah, as well as his battle against and animosity towards the evils of innovations wherever that may be, and towards lesser and major Shirk – that he had left Najd in search of knowledge, so as to equip himself with the religious weaponry of knowledge, which will aid him in his determination to establish the da’wah and Jihaad in the cause of Allaah.

The Shaikh also benefitted from the companionship of other scholars: Shaikh ‘Alee Afendee ad-Daaghistaanee, Shaikh Ismaa’eel al-‘Ajloonee, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Lateef al-‘Afaaliqee al-Ahsaa’ee and Shaikh Muhammad al-‘Afaaliqee al-Ahsaa’ee.

The two Shaikhs, ad-Daaghistaanee and al-Ahsaa’ee likewise gave him the ijaazah (permission) similar to that of Shaikh ‘Abdullaah b. Ibraheem in those narrations that were established upon Abul-Muwaahib.

After this, he headed back to Najd, then on to Basrah, intending thereafter Shaam with the desire to increase in the beneficial sciences of Islaam.”

Notes (Abu Khadeejah):

I remember a handful of us sitting with Muhammad ibn Haadee and Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam Burjis (rahimahullaah) former judge of the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1996. Muhammad ibn Haadee made a point of mentioning that the Da’wah of Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H, rahimahullaah) was suppressed and concealed by the ahlul-bid’ah and not easily accessible to the masses, until it was revived by Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab in the 12 century hijrah, nearly 500 years later. This is not to say that Salafiyyah was not present, rather it was, but it was not widespread. So may Allaah have mercy upon the Shaikhul-Islaam, rather upon both of them.