To really understand the stand – and one must say Resistance Movement which has arisen in rejection of Wahhabism, one must speak of the People of Ali (AS), those men and women, Saudi Arabia’s clergy has long demonized to better claim themselves legitimate over the Islamic World.
It is likely you have learnt to think Islam as a faith in division, a people split by a schism as old as time … it could not be farther from the truth. In all fairness, one could argue that this infamous schism Riyadh has been so keen on highlighting only really exist in the minds of a bigot clergy, whose understanding of Islam is anchored in exclusionism.
Islam you see is One. One God, One Message, One Prophethood, One Testimony of Faith so that Creation would learn Unity in the Divine. And while many have been the roads, voices, and fashions of people to undertake that journey, God has remained immovable and absolute in His Truth – altogether outside time, and time itself.
And yes there are various schools of thoughts in Islam, and some identify as Shia, Sunni or Sufi; but such labelling only speaks of Islam pluralism, and man’s free-will in adopting that he feels more incline to. Let us remember that in religion there can be no compulsion, and that Guidance ultimately lies with God.
Today it is the Shia of Ali (AS), the followers of the First Imam of Islam who most of all have borne the brunt of Wahhabism’s wrath, on account this one people’s allegiance has always been to that the Prophet Muhammad spoke in Ghadir and which even Sunni Islam’s most revered scholar: Bukhari, immortalised in his collection of hadiths:
“O people, certainly I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger from my Rubb and I, in response to Allah’s Call, but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the Book of Allah, in which there is a right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it … The second are the members of my family [Ahl-ul-Bayt], I remind you of your duties to the members of my family.”
There lies Islam’s grand dispute – there lies Wahhabism’s fear …
This Sunni hadith essentially asserts, confirms and exemplifies the very cornerstone of Shia Islam – that the Prophet Muhammad called upon his community, his Shia, to pledge themselves to the Qur’an and his Ahl-ul-Bayt to that guidance could be true.