Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i

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Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i
Cause of deathLiver disease
Resting placeMakkah, Saudi Arabia
Main interest(s)Hadith, Aqeedah
Alma materUniversity of Madinah
OccupationLecturer and teacher
Muslim leader

Muqbil bin Hadi bin Muqbil bin Qa’idah al-Hamdani al-Wadi’i al-Khallali (1933–2001) (Arabic: مقبل بن هادي الوادعي‎) was an Islamic scholar and considered to be the reviver of Salafism in Yemen. He was the founder of a Madrasa in Dammaj which was known as a center for Salafist ideology and its multi-national student population.[1]


Wadi'i was born sometime between the late 1920s and early 1930s nearby to the city of Sa'adah in northern Yemen. He is said to be from a Zaydi tribe, and he was initially a Zaydi Shia himself.[2] He left Yemen as a young man and travelled to Saudi Arabia to work and became acquainted with sunni works of Islamic scholarship.[3][page needed]


After finishing primary education in Yemen, Wadi'i spent roughly two decades of studying Islam in Saudi Arabia. In 1963 he began by studying[3] in the Salafi teaching centre developed by Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen in Najran before then being accepted to study at the Islamic University of Madinah where he attended Halaqas led by Hadith scholar Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani and Abdul-Ghaffar Hasan Al-Hindi as well as former Grand Mufti Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz while also studying under Muhammad al-Sumali[4][5] Wadi'i is said to have graduated from the Islamic University of Madinah with a master's degree in the science of hadith.[3][page needed]

Return to Yemen[edit]

In 1979 his stay in Saudi was ended abruptly when he was indicted on suspected involvement in the Grand Mosque Seizure. After spending a few months in prison, Grand Mufti ibn Baaz negotiated his release, though Wadi'i was forced to return to his home country; where he would eventually become known as the father of the modern Salafi movement within Yemen.[3] It was there that he began to spread the Salafi Da'wah in Yemen, with much initial opposition from the Shafi`is, Ismailis, and Zaidis there.[5]

Wadi'i went on, soon after his return to his native region, to found and establish an institute that he named Dar al-Hadith al-Khayriyya in Dammaj. It would become one of the most important and influential educational institutions of Salafism in the world, teaching tens of thousands of students ranging from the Arab world to Africa to Southeast Asia to even the Western world.[1][3] It was during this time that Wadi'i, along with Ja'far 'Umar Thalib, established the close ties between Yemeni and Indonesian Salafis.[6]

In the 1980s Wadi'i accepted grants from various sources such as Ibn Baaz and the Saudi government for 15,000 Saudi Riyals every two months. However, his continued critique of the Saudi Monarch, due to his believed wrongful imprisonment, led him to be more independent in the financing of running the institute. He stated that managing the mosque and institute in Dammaj required little funding and was easily covered by local donations and zakat.[1][3]

In 2014, Wadi'i's institute, Dar al-Hadeeth would be shut down after a long Siege of Dammaj by Houthi rebels. The manager of the institute, Yahya al-Hajuri, as well as thousands of foreign students were forced to relocate to Al Hudaydah Governorate.[7]


After a prolonged illness, and hospital treatment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Cologne,Germany and Los Angeles, California, Wadi'i died on July 21, 2001 from either cirrhosis or liver cancer. His funeral prayer was performed in the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and he was laid to rest in the Al-'Adl cemetery closely to the graves of Ibn Baaz and Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen[3][8] After his death, reports continued to surface of changes in curriculum and power struggles at the Dar al-Hadith, though these rumors were dispelled a few years later by contemporary Muslim scholar Rabee Al-Madkhali.[citation needed]

Links to Guantanamo detainees[edit]

Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts prepared Summary of Evidence memos offering justifications for continuing to hold them in extrajudicial detention.[9][10][11] Several of the captives had their detention justified, in part, through their association with Al Wadi.[12][13]


On Terrorism[edit]

Wadi'i made a number of statements against terrorism and attempted to advise Osama bin Laden against it, whom he blames - along with older movements like the Muslim Brotherhood - for many of the problems Muslims face today; he further commented in an interview:[14]

I did in fact send my advice and warning (to bin Laden) but only Allah knows if it actually arrived or not. However, some of those people did come to us, offering their help and assistance in preaching and calling to Allah. Afterwards, we found them sending money, requesting that we distribute it among the leaders of various tribes; they were trying to buy rocket-launchers and machine guns. But I refused them and told them to never come to my house again. I made it clear to them that what we do is preach only and we don’t allow our students to do anything but that.

Waadi'ee had earlier authored a book as well, referring to bin Laden as the head of all "sectarianism," "partisanship," "division," and "religious ignorance," and accusing him putting money into weapons while ignoring his religion.[15]

Wadi'i's Dar ul-Hadith seminary and institute of Dammaj was known to oppose al-Qaeda and other radical extremist organisations, as Wadi'i himself stated in an interview with Hassan al-Zayidi of the Yemen Times in 2000.[citation needed]

His Fiqh[edit]

In terms of Islamic jurisprudence, Wadi'i did not follow any established school of thought in Islam and opposed the practice of Taqlid, or subordination to higher legal authority.[citation needed] His views on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence were almost identical with those of the Zahiri school; he rejected the usage of Qiyas, or analogical reasoning, in deriving rulings in Islamic jurisprudence entirely, recommending the books of Zahiri scholar Ibn Hazm in the principles of jurisprudence for details on the topic.[16] Waadi'i was fond of the works of Ibn Hazm, to the point that, when asked about Ibn Hazm's Zahirism, he advised every Muslim "to be a Zahiri."[17]

On Yemen[edit]

Wadi'i believed that even the sinful and corrupt leaders must be obeyed by the Muslims while advising the leader must be done by the learned scholar in private. Additionally the Muslims are commanded to endure hardship and be patient until Allah removes the burden of an oppressive ruler for that of a better one.[3][page needed]

Wadi'i thought that South Yemen's colonial rule by Britain was better than its independence in 1967, due to the fact that independence had allowed a socialist government to come to power and also resulted in the unnecessary death of Muslims. Although claiming to be neutral by assuming a neutral or apolitical stance, Wadi'i maintained excellent relations with the Yemeni government after unification. This was in fact done by his de facto support of the Yemeni government via his stances on issues such as not partaking or calling to elections and political parties or candidates as well as cooperating with the Yemeni government against common enemies such as extreme Zaydi militias and the Muslim Brotherhood's local chapter.[18][page needed]

On Saudi Arabia[edit]

While critical of the Saudi government throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Wadi'i never compromised by siding with the Sahwa movement and its preachers. He vocally opposed them and their methods of overtly calling to politics and labeled them with hizbiyyah, or partisanship.[18] He harbored hard feelings against Saudi Arabia up until toward the end of his life, when he would ultimately recant his criticism, speaking highly of the country and its authorities.[3][page needed]


  • al-Ilhad al-Khomeini fi Ard al-Haramayn or the Impudence of Khomeini on the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (criticism of the Iranian Revolution)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Laskar Jihad : Islam, militancy and the quest for identity in post-New Order Indonesia" (PDF). p. 74. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  2. ^ François Burgat (2008). Islamism in the Shadow of Al-Qaeda. University of Texas Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780292718135.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bonnefoy, L. (2009) in Meijer, R. (ed.) Global Salafism
  4. ^ Zahab, M. (2009) Salafism in Pakistan in Meijer, R. )ed.) Global Salafism)
  5. ^ a b "Laskar Jihad : Islam, militancy and the quest for identity in post-New Order Indonesia" (PDF). p. 73. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  6. ^ "Laskar Jihad : Islam, militancy and the quest for identity in post-New Order Indonesia" (PDF). p. 76. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  7. ^ Nasser Al-Sakkaf (2014-01-14). "Non-local Salafis evicted from Dammaj". Yemen Times. Archived from the original on 2016-01-02. Retrieved 2016-01-02.
  8. ^ Tarjamah Abee ‘Abdir-Rahmaan (1999) [2nd Ed.]
  9. ^ OARDEC (July 17, 2007). "Index for Combatant Status Review Board unclassified summaries of evidence" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  10. ^ OARDEC (August 9, 2007). "Index to Summaries of Detention-Release Factors for ARB Round One" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  11. ^ OARDEC (July 17, 2007). "Index of Summaries of Detention-Release Factors for ARB Round Two" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  12. ^ Though Shaykh Muqbil never supported terrorism or terrorists as can be seen in his harsh criticism of Usaamah ibn Laden OARDEC (19 May 2006). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Yafi, Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammed" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. 56–58. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
    *The detainee attended a mosque in Yemen and at various times listened to sermons urging Muslims to seek a better life for themselves. On one occasion the detainee listened to a sermon given by Sheikh Muqbil al Wadi.
    *The detainee studied for six months at the al Dimaj Institute in Sadah, Yemen under Sheik Muqbuil al Wadi.
  13. ^ OARDEC (25 October 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Mudhaffari, Abdel Qader Hussein" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. 48–50. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-03. The detainee studied under Sheik Muqbil al Wadi.
  14. ^ Interview with "Ar-Rayu Al-Aa’m" newspaper, issue #11503, 19 December 1998
  15. ^ Tuhfah Al-Mujeeb, from the chapter “Who’s Behind the Bombings in the Two Sanctuaries (Mecca & Medina)?”, 1996
  16. ^ Al-Waadi'ee, Muqbil, "Ijabat al-Sa`il fi Ahamm al-Masa`il," Question #157
  17. ^ Al-Waadi'ee, Muqbil, "Ijabat al-Sa`il fi Ahamm al-Masa`il," Question #320, pg.562
  18. ^ a b Meijer (2009) Global Salafism

External links[edit]