Wahhabism emerged as a reformist protestant movement declaring all the Muslims of the time to be heretics and polytheists. The basis of this accusation being their peculiar notions of what oneness of God entails. To them, seeking intercession and a means to God was idolatry and a negation of monotheism.
This movement emerged from Central Arabia, a region called “Najd“, with its founder Muhammed bin Abdul Wahhab genealogically descending from the “Banu Tamim” tribe. What is interesting here now is to note the historical reaction and experience of the people of Najd/Banu Tamim with subject of intercession. There are two cases available to study, both from the time of Prophet Muhammed(peace be upon him).
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
(The Prophet) said, “O Allah! Bless our Sham and our Yemen.” People said, “Our Najd as well.” The Prophet again said, “O Allah! Bless our Sham and Yemen.” They said again, “Our Najd as well.” On that the Prophet said, “There will appear earthquakes and afflictions, and from there will come out the side of the head of Satan.”
The people of Najd repeatedly seeks the intercession of the Prophet(peace be upon him), to bless their region. The Prophet refuses their request multiple times and goes on to make a prediction that associates their region with afflictions and Satan. Here we notice a bad experience for the people of Najd, at the very outset they attempted to seek intercession.
Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain:
Some people of Bani Tamim1 came to the Prophet and he said (to them), “O Bani Tamim! rejoice with glad tidings.” They said, “You have given us glad tidings, now give us something.” On hearing that the color of his face changed then the people of Yemen came to him and he said, “O people of Yemen ! Accept the good tidings, as Bani Tamim has refused them.” The Yemenites said, “We accept them. Then the Prophet started taking about the beginning of creation and about Allah’s Throne. In the mean time a man came saying, “O ‘Imran! Your she-camel has run away!” (I got up and went away), but l wish I had not left that place (for I missed what Allah’s Apostle had said).
In this second case, the Prophet(peace be upon him) looks forward to give glad tidings, but the Banu Tamim rejects them and asks for something else instead. The Prophet then angrily turns away and gives the good tidings to the people of Yemen. We notice here arrogance, rejectionism and greed in their refusal to accept the glad tidings from the prophet(peace be upon him).
Twelve century’s later, a rebellious bloody totalitarian movement emerges from Najd, from the lineage of Banu Tamim, declaring intercession as paganism, prohibiting Muslims from seeking it, declaring Muslims as polytheists and killing them on account of it.
____________1 Note that the father of Kharijites, Dhil Khuwaysira, was from the Banu Tamim tribe, the same tribe of Muhamed bin Abdul Wahhab.
Abu Salama related that Abu Sa’id said, “While the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was distributing [zakat], ‘Abdullah ibn Dhi’l-Khuwaysira at-Tamimi came and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, be just!’ He said to him, ‘Woe to you! Who will be just if I am not just?’ ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said, ‘Give me permission to cut off his head!’ He said, ‘Leave him. He has companions whose prayer will makes yours seem paltry and whose fasting makes your seem paltry. They will pass through the deen like the arrow passes through game. One looks at his arrowhead and there is nothing on it. Then he looks at the mount of its head and there is nothing on it. He will look at its shaft and there is nothing on it. Then he will look at its feathers and there will be nothing on them, for it has been too fast for excrement and blood. Their sign will be a black man, one of whose arms is like a woman’s breast, or a piece of meat palpitating. They will emerge when there are parties among the people.'” [Sahih al-Bukhari]Pay no attention to those who try to distort history and claim that the Kharijites and Najd are a phenomenon of Iraq only and not Central Arabia.