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25-Apr-2019 18:23

There, according to a Wahhabi chronicler `Uthman b. Bishr: "The Muslims" – as the Wahhabis referred to themselves, not feeling the need to distinguish themselves from other Muslims, since they did not believe them to be Muslims – scaled the walls, entered the city ...

and killed the majority of its people in the markets and in their homes.

in what is now Iraq, and possibly Mecca and Medina while there to perform Hajj, before returning to his home town of 'Uyayna in 1740.

There he worked to spread the call (da'wa) for what he believed was a restoration of true monotheistic worship (Tawhid).

Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader, Muhammad bin Saud, offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement meant "power and glory" and rule of "lands and men".

The "pivotal idea" of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's teaching was that people who called themselves Muslims but who participated in alleged innovations were not just misguided or committing a sin, but were "outside the pale of Islam altogether," as were Muslims who disagreed with his definition.

With the support of the ruler of the town – Uthman ibn Mu'ammar – he carried out some of his religious reforms in 'Uyayna, including the demolition of the tomb of Zayd ibn al-Khattab, one of the Sahaba (companions) of the prophet Muhammad, and the stoning to death of an adulterous woman.

However, in the last couple of decades of the twentieth century several crises worked to erode Wahhabi "credibility" in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world – the November 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque by militants; the deployment of US troops in Saudi during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq; and the 9/11 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.

In the West, the end of the Cold War and the anti-communist alliance with conservative, religious Saudi Arabia, and the 9/11 attacks created enormous distrust towards the kingdom and especially its official religion.

According to most sources, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab declared jihad against neighboring tribes, whose practices of asking saints for their intercession, making pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, he believed to be the work of idolaters/unbelievers.