Movement in Islam from mid-18th century, calling for a renewal of the Muslim spirit, with cleansing of the moral, and removal of all innovations to Islam, bid'a, even laws and regulations agreed upon through consensus, ijma.
The core of Wahhabism is:
- No other object for worship than God
- Holy men or women must not be used to win favours from God
- No other name than the names of Allah may enter a prayer
- No smoking of tobacco
- No shaving of beard
- No abusive language
- Rosaries are forbidden
- Mosques must be built without minarets and all forms of ornaments
- All men must attend public prayer, salat
- Alms, zakat, must be paid from all income
- Butchers slaughtering animals according to halal must have their life styles scrutinized. It is not sufficient that they perform the basic rituals correctly
The movement has played an important role in the funding of Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is known for its conservative regulations which have impact on all aspects of life. It has been recognized as being in accordance with Hanbali doctrine.
The term 'wahhabism' is not used by themselves. The term they use is 'muwahhidun'. 'Wahhabism' is a term given to them by their opponents, and is now used by both European scholars and most Arabs. The name 'wahhibims' comes from their founder Abdu l-Wahhab. The term 'muwahhidun' is Arabic, and means 'unitarians'.
Central in the organization and spread of the teaching was the self-proclaimed specialists in Islamic rituals, the Mutawwa'a.
The muwahhiduns started in 1912 to establish agricultural colonies, where people from different tribes lived together. The inhabitants of these colonies were known as Ikhwan, "Brethren". Each colony could house from 1,000 to 10,000 inhabitants.
The colonies were established near water sources, and were defended by arms. Mud huts were built in place of traditional tents.