April 28, 2020
Wahhabism is a conservative movement within the Sunni branch of Islam. It was developed in the 18th century in Saudi Arabia by a theologian named Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
The theology calls for a return to a “pure” or fundamentalist form of Islam. It is a strict form of religion that prohibits alcohol, music, tobacco and any form of mysticism. Wahhabism also enforces practices such as ritual prayer and the separation of men and women.
Wahhabis (who consider themselves the only true Muslims deserving of that name) are often confused with Salafis, a similar movement with different roots, so it is difficult to estimate their numbers. However, the majority of Sunni and Shia Muslims worldwide denounce Wahhabism as an extremist sect, though it does appear to have disproportionate influence.
This influence was largely gained because the movement has long been associated with the Saudi royal family, who used Wahhabism as a means of uniting the tribes that later formed the first Saudi state in the 18th century. They continue to generously fund the global building of mosques, propaganda and teaching, which spreads the movement.
Wahhabism is known for being an intolerant and aggressive form of Islam and has been blamed for links to global terrorist organizations. However, some observers claim that political, not religious, ideology is to blame for violent action.
IDEAS FOR PRAYER
1. WAHHABIS are very influential and well-resourced, making their movement seem bigger than it is. Pray for Muslims who live unwillingly under the burden of Wahhabism.
2. WAHHABIS avoid association with non-Wahhabis, making it very difficult to build relationships with them. Pray that God will speak to them in dreams and visions and give them opportunities to meet followers of Christ.
3. WAHHABIS are included in God’s promises to the children of Abraham that Paul writes about in Galatians 3. Pray that they would come into their inheritance as God’s children.
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