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Abd al-Wahhab
Arabic: ¢abd 'al-wahhāb

(1703-1792) Founder of the Islamic school of the muwahhiduns, also known as Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a central part in the development of the modern ideologies known as Islamism.
He studied in Madina with teachers of the Hanbali school, as defined by Ibn Taymiya. Abd al-Wahhab spent many years of his life travelling, studying philosophy and Sufism, and started to preach his message. He also wrote the book 'Book of Unity', kitāb at-tawhīd (see: Tawhid). This met with more opposition than interest, and after some time here, he was forced to flee to the medium-sized town of Dar'iya, whose chieftain Muhammad Ibn Sa'ud, gave him protection.
According to sources that were very close to the court of Ibn Sa'ud, the two made an arrangement, through which Abd al-Wahhab would be religious leader, leaving the secular power in the hands of Ibn Sa'ud.

1703: Born in Unayna.
1720's: He studies in Madina with teachers of the Hanbali school, as defined by Ibn Taymiya. Lives 4 years in Basra then 5 years in Baghdad.
1730's: Moves to the Kurdish areas where he lives for a year, then 2 years in Hamadan, a year in Esfahan, before continuing to Qom and finally returning to Uyayna.
1765: Ibn Sa'ud dies, but his successor, Abd al-Aziz, also chose Abd al-Wahhab as a religious guide. As the area under the power of Abd al-Aziz increased, the number of doctrines from Abd al-Wahhab also increased.
1766: The doctrines of Abd al-Wahhab win recognition among the scholars of Mecca.
1792: Dies a natural death.

By Tore Kjeilen