The Revival of the Twelfth Century Hijri:
Shaykh Muhammad Aman Ibn ‘Ali Al-Jami (d. 1416H, رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ) – former head of the faculty of Aqidah at the Islamic University of Medinah & Teacher at Masjid an-Nabawi:
“The Islamic nation lived off the remnants of that abundant rain – although in intervals – that poured down upon the land of Islam successive periods beginning with the time of ash-Shaibani [Imam Ahmad] (رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ), when the land was irrigated and absorbed the water and thus, those who Allah (tabaraka wa ta’alaa) wished good for from His worshippers benefitted from it.
So every time pre-Islamic ignorance emerged in some or all of its forms that tried to change the understanding of Islam and to hide its characteristics and constrict the chests of everyone concerned with the affair of Islam and the situation of the Muslims and the need demanded revival and blowing the dust from the face of the truth. At this point Allah (tabaraka wa ta’alaa) brings forth someone from the nation who will revive for them their religion until cloud of ignorance and the pre-Islamic period clears, so that the face of Islam can shine so that those for whom Allah (tabaraka wa ta’alaa) wanted good may act upon it with sound understanding and insight since:
“Whosoever Allah wishes good for He gives him understanding in the Religion”54
Then in the twelfth century, the caller who strove so fiercely, Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ), noticed that the intense winds of the hurricane that hit the Islamic creed and legislation with great strength had changed its teachings and moved things from their proper places and tossed them wherever they fell. So due to this much of the people’s understanding changed and so the people were deceived in many of the religious issues and innovations that had nothing to do with Islam appeared.
So the young caller saw that he must make the necessary preparations for establishing the revival and returning the affairs back to the correct state which it was upon before the storm. So he saw that there was a need for an increase in knowledge, understanding, extensive reading, connection with the modern world and knowledge of the general situation of the Islamic world. So the young man decided to embark on a long journey for knowledge that included some of the Arab lands, while before this he studied under his father Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhab (رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ) who was a well-known judge in ‘Uyyainah. He studied under his father jurisprudence, and some tafsir and hadith, while at the same time he would spend long hours looking through the books of the two great scholars and revivers, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim, and he benefitted greatly from this and was greatly affected by it.”
54 See al-Bukhari (no. 71) and Muslim (no. 1037), on the authority of Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ).
Source: The Book, The Islamic Creed & Its History, DuSunnah Publications, 2014, Translated by: Abu Anas ‘Abdullah Hylton & Qasim Mativa, pp. 158-159.
Note: Permission was granted by the publishers of this book to use this excerpt on this site.