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It is known among historians of the region that while Ibn Abdul Wahhab's father and brother initially disapproved of his movement, they eventually retracted their criticisms. It is also known that the book attributed to Ibn Abdul Wahhab's brother was written by an Iraqi author with a similar name. This is not even a secret or something only known to academics in the Arabic language, but since the mid-2000s followers of Sufism in the Western world have brought up this claim, knowing that many in the West do not know Arabic and can't look at the primary sources to confirm or deny.
With that in mind, I would like for concerned editors to have a look at the citation used to support this claim which is now in the English version of this article. It links to a book on Google Books but the actual page isn't available. I would like to see what this source actually says though either way, it should be noted that this is simply a claim of some individuals. In Arabic, followers of Sufism who disagree with Wahhabism gave up on this claim long ago once it was disproven, and it only seems to be some English speakers that still cling to this. MezzoMezzo (talk) 08:08, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Due to lack of response, I am going to be WP:BOLD and simply remove the reference to this book. I don't deny that it could possibly be contained within the given source; but without a version online, and given that it's citing a known fabrication - again, there have been more than one research pieces by historians in the Middle East showing that this book was written by an Iraqi who only had a similar sounding name to the subject's brother - I think it's reasonable that it be removed until a better, clearer source can be found. Even then, the way that it is presented should adhere to WP:NPOV; some people claim that the subject's brother wrote this book. The fact that it is a claim should be made clear, as well as the fact that counter-claims exist. As abhorrent as much of the modern world finds the fundamentalist movement of the subject, neutrality must still be adhered to; there is no reason to exaggerate or paint any individual in a better or worse light than reliable sources can show. MezzoMezzo (talk) 07:21, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm somewhat concerned by language like "detractors" and "totally alien". Where are we getting these phrases from? It Is Me Heret / c 11:58, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. I also find problematic the phrase, "...was an Arabian Islamic scholar and founder of a movement that sought to eradicate anti-Islamic practices that had cropped up in Arabia in the 18th century (examples being seeking solace on the graves and burial grounds of various individuals, etc.)." Eradicate anti-Islamic practices... according to whom are these practices anti-Islamic? Ditto for "participants of this reform effort." I recommend rewording the lede as follows:
Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (Arabic: محمد بن عبد الوهاب; 1703 – 22 June 1792) was an ArabianIslamic scholar and founder of a movement that sought to eradicate practices that had cropped up in Arabia in the 18th century and which he claimed to be anti-Islamic. Opponents of this movement coined the term "wahabi" or "wahabism", though neither Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab nor any of the movement's participants referred to themselves as such. His pact with Muhammad bin Saud helped to establish the first Saudi state and began a dynastic alliance and power-sharing arrangement between their families which continues to the present day in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The descendants of Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, the Al ash-Sheikh, have historically led the ulama in the Saudi state, dominating the state's clerical institutions.
Lead neutrality and possible disputed factual accuracy
I just read the lead and I have to say it is not NPOV. It says:
Abd Al-Wahhab was an Najdi Islamic scholar who was considered a heretic by the leading Sunni Muslim scholars of his time, as well as his brother; Sulayman ibn `Abd al-Wahhab who issued a Fatwa against him titled: "Fasl al-Khitab min Kitab Allah wa-Hadith al-Rasul wa-Kalam Uli al-Albab fi Madhhab Ibni `Abd al-Wahhab" declaring him as a heretic.
I do not have the knowledge to make it neutral whilst also maintaining the criticisms he had. The lead should give an overview of the article name and not dive straight into criticism. Also the statement that he was labelled a heretic by the leading sunni scholars of the time needs to be referenced. I am sure whoever put the edit in could provide those. From what I can tell reading MezzoMezzo's comment above, the book that is being referred to might be fraudulent. I was not able to check the authenticity of the book. For further information regarding the book please read MezzoMezzo's comment as he seems to know more about the issue. I shall put in a POV-lead template on the article page so that other able editors are able to improve the lead. I have also put in the Disputed template for possible factual inaccuracies due the unclear nature of the books authenticity and also because MezzoMezzo above says that his brother & father redacted their criticism later on is life. Please could someone check this over. Mbcap (talk) 20:56, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the opening paragraph is not only not NPOV, it's also uninformative. I've re-written it. DeCausa (talk) 21:18, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your speedy edit on the lead. I shall remove the templates, please feel free to add information regarding view of other scholars both during his time and contemporary ones. Mbcap (talk) 21:27, 26 December 2014 (UTC)