What is your opinion about Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab and in particular his aqidah book Kitab al Tawhid?
I had the chance to study the book, but then a scholar told me that the author (Abdul-Wahhab) was deviated in aqidah to the degree that he even fell out of Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah. Do you agree with this statement? And what is the ruling on Salafi aqidah in general, is it within or outside Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
(1) Shaikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi (رحمة الله عليه) is not out of the folk of Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah but in some rulings (Masail) he is so strict like Allama ibn Taymiya and ibn al-Qayyim (رحمهم الله). His book Kitab al-Tauhid is a nice book on the subject, but one should avoid where he has gone strict.
(2) It is against the final opinion of the Ulama of Deoband to declare Shaikh (رحمة الله) out of the folk of Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah. For details see the book “Shaikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab Ke Khilaf Propaganda Aur Hindustan Ke Ulama-e-Haq Par Us Ke Asarat” by Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Nomani (رحمة الله).
(3) The maslak of earlier elders of Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah regarding the real meaning of Allah’s Attributes is to keep quiet, while the later Ulama of Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah i.e. Ashairah, and Maturidiyah allow in the degree of possibility to have such a meaning which is not against the dignity of Allah the Almighty; e.g. to mean power with hands and Allah’s self with face. Thus if by Salafi belief you mean the belief of silence regarding the real meaning of Allah’s attributes then those who follow it shall not go out of Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah, though nowadays some people of the same belief have adopted the extremist attitude which is wrong as per the Shariah and in the light of the differences of past elders (salaf). But if by Salafi belief you mean the Ghair Muqallidin as they too call themselves as salafi, then since they have differences in some important and basic rulings with Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah such as the refusal of Hujjiyat Ijmah and Qiyas etc, therefore they are out of the Ahl Sunnah al-Jamah without any doubt. One should stay away from them.
Allah knows Best!
Darul Uloom Deoband