Skip navigation

THE WAHHABITE PERSECUTION IN MECCA

About the BOOKS

April 1998 Copyright © Hakikat Bookstore, Istanbul.

Permission to reprint & distribute is granted only if this heading included, and the text is not modified in any way, shape or form to alter the intended meaning. HAKIKAT BOOKSTORE
  THE WAHHABITE PERSECUTION IN MECCA


39 – Although the rascals also attacked Mecca after shedding much Muslim blood in Ta’if, they did not dare to go into the city because it was the time for pilgrimage. Sharif Ghalib Effendi was in Jidda to raise an army to resist the Wahhabis, and the people of Mecca, frightened by the Ta’if calamity, sent a committee to the Wahhabite commander and begged him not to torture them. The Wahhabis entered Mecca in Muharram 1218 A.H. (1803) and disseminated their beliefs. They announced that they would kill those who would visit graves or go to Medina to entreat in front of Rasulullah’s shrine. Fourteen days later, they assaulted upon Jidda to capture Sharif Ghalib Effendi, who straightforwardly attacked the Wahhabite bandits from the Jidda fortress and killed most of them. The remainder fled to Mecca. Upon the Meccans begging, they appointed Sharif Ghalib Effendi’s brother Sharif ‘Abd al-Muin Effendi as the amir of Mecca and went back to Dar’iyya. Sharif ‘Abd al-Muin Effendi accepted being the amir in order to protect the Meccans from being tortured by the Wahhabis.

Sharif Ghalib Effendi returned to Mecca with the Jiddan soldiers and the governor of Jidda, Sharif Pasha, thirty-eight days after the bandits were defeated in Jidda. They drove away the bandits left in Mecca, and he became the amir again. The bandits attacked the villages around Ta’if and killed many people to take revenge on the Meccans. They appointed the bandit ‘Uthman al-Mudayiqi as the governor of Ta’if. ‘Uthman called together all the bandits around Mecca and laid siege to the city with a big gang of looters in 1220 (1805). The Meccan Muslims suffered distress and hunger for months, and there was not even left a dog to eat on the last days of the siege. Sharif Ghalib Effendi understood that there was no other way out but to enter into a treaty with the enemy in order to save citizens’ lives. He surrendered the city under the condition that he should be left as the amir of the city and that the Muslims’ lives and possessions should be safe.

The bandits captured Medina after Mecca and plundered the most valuable historical treasures of the world, which had been collected in the Khazinat an-Nabawiyya (the Prophetic Treasure) for over a millennium. They treated the Muslims in so rude a manner that it is impossible to put into words. Then, they went back to Dar’iyya after appointing somebody named Mubarak ibn Maghyan as the governor of the city. They stayed in Mecca and Medina and did not let the pilgrims of Ahl as-Sunnat into Mecca for seven years. They covered the Kaba with two sheets of black cloth called Qailan. They forbade smoking the hookah and badly cudgeled those who smoked it. Meccans and Medinans disliked and kept away from them.

Ayyub Sabree Pasha (rahimah-Allahu ta’ala) reported in the first volume of his book Mirat al-Haramain, which was published in 1301 A.H. (1883), the tortures inflicted upon the Meccan Muslims as follows:

“The tortures done to the Muslims in the blessed city of Mecca and to the pilgrims every year were so heavy that it is very difficult to describe in detail.

“The chief of the bandits, Sa’ud, frequently sent letters of threat to the amir of the Meccans, Sharif Ghalib Effendi. Although Sa’ud had laid siege to Mecca several times, he had not been able to penetrate into the city until 1218 (1802). Sharif Ghalib Effendi, with the governor of Jidda, assembled the leaders of the pilgrim caravans from Damascus and Egypt in 1217 and told them that the bandits intended to attack the blessed city of Mecca, and that if they would help him they altogether could capture Sa’ud, their chief. But his proposal was not accepted. Then, Sharif Ghalib Effendi appointed his brother Sharif ‘Abd al-Muin Effendi as his deputy and went to Jidda. Sharif’ Abd al-Muin Effendi, as the amir of Mecca, sent five scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat, namely Muhammad Tahir, Sayyid Muhammad Abu Bakr, Mir Ghani, Sayyid Muhammad ‘Akkas and ‘Abd al-Hafiz al-‘AJami, as a committee of goodwill and forgiveness to Sa’ud ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz in 1218.

“Sa’ud responded and went to Mecca with his soldiers. He appointed ‘Abd al-Muin as the head official of the district and ordered that all shrines and graves should be demolished, because, in view of the Wahhabis, the people of Mecca and Medina were not worshiping Allahu ta’ala, but shrines. They said that they would be worshiping Allah in its true form if shrines and graves were demolished. According to Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, all the Muslims had died as disbelievers or polytheists since 500 A.H. (1106); the true Islam was revealed to him, and it was not permissible to bury those who became Wahhabis near the graves of polytheists, by which he referred to the real Muslims.

“Sa’ud attacked Jidda to seize Sharif Ghalib Effendi (rahmat-Allahu ‘alaih) and capture Jidda. But, the people of Jidda, hand in hand with the Ottoman soldiers, bravely defeated the enemies and put Sa’ud’s soldiers to flight. Sa’ud, gathering those fleeing, returned to Mecca.

“Although Sharif ‘Abd al-Muin Effendi (rahmat-Allahi ‘alaih) tried to be friendly with the Wahhabis in order to protect the Meccan Muslims against massacre and torture, the ferocious Wahhabis increased the severity of torture and pillage day by day. Seeing it was impossible to get along with them in peace, he sent a message to Sharif Ghalib Effendi saying that Sa’ud was in Mecca with his soldiers encamped at the Mu’alla Square and that it would be possible to capture Sa’ud if he assaulted them with a small number of soldiers.

“Upon the message, Sharif Ghalib Effendi took some distinguished soldiers with the governor of Jidda, Sharif Pasha, and attacked the Wahhabis in Mecca at nighttime. He encircled their tents, but Sa’ud fled alive. His soldiers said that they would surrender their arms if they would be forgiven, and their wish was accepted. Thus the blessed city of Mecca was saved from those cruel people. This success frightened the Wahhabis in Ta’if, who also surrendered without any bloodshed. The cruel ‘Uthman al-Mudayiqi fled to the mountains in Yaman with his men. Seeing that those who were driven out of Mecca had started robbing villagers and tribesmen in the countryside, Sharif Ghalib Effendi sent messengers to the Bani Saqif tribe and ordered, ‘Go to Ta’if and raid the Wahhabis! Take for yourself whatever you capture!’ The Bani Saqif tribe attacked Ta’if to take revenge on the looters, and thus Ta’if was saved, too.

” ‘Uthman al-Mudayiqi gathered the ignorant, savage villagers of the Yaman Mountains and, with the Wahhabis he met on his way, laid siege to Mecca. Meccans suffered severely in the city for three months. Sharif Ghalib Effendi failed in his attempts to sally out against the besiegers, although he tried ten times. The food stocks vanished. The price of bread went up to five rials and butter to six rials per oke (2.8 lb), but later no one sold anything. Muslims had to eat cats and dogs, which later could not be found. They had to eat grass and leaves. When there was nothing left to eat, the city of Mecca was surrendered to Sa’ud on the condition that he should not torture or kill the people. Sharif Ghalib Effendi was not faulty in this event, but he would not have fallen into this situation if he had called for aid from the allying tribes before. In fact, Meccans had begged Sharif Ghalib Effendi, ‘We can go on resisting till the time of pilgrimage if you obtain help from the tribes who love us, and we can defeat them when the Egyptian and Damascene pilgrims come.’ Sharif Ghalib Effendi had said, ‘I could have done it before, but it is impossible now,’ confessing his former mistake. He did not want to surrender, either, but the Meccans said, ‘Oh Amir! Your blessed ancestor Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam), too, made agreement with his enemies. You, too, please agree with the enemy and relieve us of this trouble. You will be following our master Rasulullah’s sunnat by doing so. Because, Rasulullah had sent Hadrat ‘Uthman [from Khudaibiya] to the Quraish tribe in Mecca to make an agreement.’ Sharif Ghalib Effendi distracted people from this idea of surrender until the last moment and did not go into an agreement. He yielded to the constraint of a man of religious duty named ‘Abd ar-Rahman when the people could not endure the difficulty any longer. It was very intelligent of Sharif Ghalib Effendi to have listened to ‘Abd ar-Rahman and to use him as a mediator in preventing Sa’ud from torturing the Muslims. He also won the favor of Meccans and soldiers by saying, ‘I yielded to make an agreement unwillingly; I was planning to wait till the time for pilgrimage.’

“After the capitulation, Sa’ud ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz entered Mecca. He covered the Magnificent Kaba with coarse felt. He dismissed Sharif Ghalib Effendi (rahmat-Allahi ‘alaih). He attacked here and there like a pharaoh and tortured the people in an inconceivable way. Because no help had come from the Ottomans, Sharif Ghalib Effendi was offended. He disseminated the hearsay that the reason for the surrender of Mecca was due to the slackness of the Ottoman government, and he incited Sa’ud not to let the Egyptian and Damascene pilgrims into Mecca in order to provoke the Ottomans to start action against the Wahhabis.

“This behavior of Sharif Ghalib Effendi made Sa’ud get more ferocious, and he increased the torture. He tortured and killed most of the ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat and prominent and rich people of Mecca. He threatened those who did not announce that they were Wahhabis. His men shouted, ‘Accept Sa’ud’s religion! Shelter under his vast shadow!’ in markets, bazars and streets. He forced Muslims to accept Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s religion. The number of the faithful people who could protect their true faith and correct madhhab decreased greatly, as it was in the deserts.

“Sharif Ghalib Effendi, seeing the dismal situation and apprehending that Islam would be annihilated also in the Hijaz and the blessed cities as it had in the Arabian deserts, sent a message to Sa’ud, saying, ‘You cannot resist the Ottoman army that will be sent from Istanbul if you stay in Mecca after the season of the pilgrimage. You will be captured and killed. Do not stay in Mecca after the pilgrimage, go away!’ This message was of no avail but only increased Sa’ud’s ferocity and cruelty in torturing Muslims.

“During this period of tyranny and torture, Sa’ud ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz asked an alim of Ahl as-Sunnat, ‘Is Hadrat Muhammad (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) alive in his grave? Or is he dead like every dead person as we believe he is?’ The alim said, ‘He is alive with a life which we cannot comprehend.’ Sa’ud asked him this question because he expected such an answer on account of which he would easily torture him to death. ‘Then, show us that the Prophet is alive in his grave so that we may believe you. It will be understood that you are obstinate in refusing my religion if you answer incongruously, and I will kill you,’ said Sa’ud. ‘I shall not try to convince you by showing something unrelated to the subject. Let’s go to al-Madinat al-Munawwara together and stand in front of the Muwajahat as-Saada. I shall greet him. If he returns my greeting, you will see that our master Rasulullah is alive in his blessed grave and that he hears and answers those who greet him. If we get no answer to my greeting, it will be understood that I am a liar. Then you may punish me in any way you wish,’ answered the alim of Ahl as-Sunnat. Sa’ud got very angry at this answer but let him go, for he would have become a disbeliever or polytheist according to his own beliefs if he had done as the alim proposed. He was stupefied for he was not learned enough to make any rejoinder to this answer. He set the alim free so that he might not be disreputed. However, he ordered one soldier to kill him and to immediately let him know when he was killed. But the Wahhabi soldier, by the Grace of Allah, could not find an opportunity to attain his goal. This terrible news reached the ear of that mujahid scholar, who then migrated away from Mecca thinking that it would not be good for him to stay in Mecca any longer.

“Sa’ud sent an assassin after the mujahid when he heard of his departure. The assassin traveled day and night, thinking that he would kill one belonging to Ahl as-sunnat and win much thawab. He caught up with the mujahid but saw that he had died a normal death shortly before he reached him. He tethered the mujahid’s camel to a tree and went to a well for water. When he returned, he found that the corpse was gone and only the camel was there. He went back to Sa’ud and told him what had happened. ‘Oh, yes!’ Sa’ud said, ‘I dreamt of that person ascending to the heavens among voices of dhikr and tasbih. People with shining faces said that the corpse was his (the mujahid’s) and was being raised up to the heavens because of his correct belief in the Last Prophet (sall-Allahu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam).’ Thereupon, the Wahhabi said, ‘You sent me to murder such a blessed person! And now you do not correct your corrupt belief although you see Allahu ta’ala’s favor on him!’ and swore at Sa’ud. He repented. Sa’ud did not even listen to the man. He appointed ‘Uthman al-Mudayiqi to be the governor of Mecca and went back do Dar’iyya.

“Sa’ud ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz lived in Dar’iyya. He captured the blessed city of Medina, too. Later, he set out for Mecca with those who wanted to go on pilgrimage and those who were able to talk well. Men of religious attire who were to praise and disseminate Wahhabism went ahead. They started reading and explaining the book written by Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca on Friday the 7th of Muharram, 1221 (1806). The ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat refuted them. [For details, see Saif al-Jabbar, a collection of the Meccan ulama’s refutations of Wahhabism, later printed in Pakistan; reprint in Istanbul in 1395 (1975).] Sa’ud ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz arrived ten days later. He settled in Sharif Ghalib Effendi’s mansion at Mu’alla Square. He put a part of the cover he wore on Sharif Ghalib Effendi as a demonstration of friendship. And Sharif Ghalib Effendi showed friendship towards him. They went together to Masjid al-Haram and performed tawaf around the Magnificent Kaba together.

“Meanwhile, the news came that a caravan of Damascene pilgrims was coming towards Mecca. Sa’ud sent Masud ibn Mudayiqi to meet the caravan and tell them that they would not be allowed into Mecca. Masud met the caravan and said, ‘You disregarded the previous agreement. Sa’ud ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz had sent you an order with Salih ibn Salih that you should not come with soldiers. But you come with soldiers! You cannot enter Mecca, for you have not obeyed the order.’ The leader of the caravan, ‘Abdullah Pasha, sent Yusuf Pasha to Sa’ud to ask his forgiveness and permission. Sa’ud said, ‘Oh Pasha! I would kill all of you if I did not fear Allah. Bring me the sacks of gold coins which you intend to distribute to the people of the Haramain and Arab villagers, and immediately go back! I forbid you the pilgrimage this year!’ Yusuf Pasha surrendered to him the sacks of gold and turned back.

“The news that the Damascene caravan was prevented from carrying out the pilgrimage spread as a terrible shock among the Muslim world. Meccan Muslims wept and lamented for they thought that they, too, were forbidden to got to ‘Arafat. The following day they were given permission to go to ‘Arafat, but were forbidden to go on mahfas or camel-palanquins. Everybody, even judges and ‘ulama’, went to ‘Arafat on donkey or camel. Instead of the Qadi of Mecca, a Wahhabi delivered the khutba at ‘Arafat. They returned to Mecca after carrying out the acts necessary to the pilgrimage.

“Sa’ud dismissed the Qadi of Mecca, Khatib-zada Muhammad Effendi, from service upon his arrival to Mecca and appointed a Wahhabi named ‘Abd ar-Rahman as the Qadi. ‘Abd ar-Rahman summoned Muhammad Effendi, Su’ada Effendi, the mullah (chief judge) of Medina, and ‘Atai Effendi, the Naqib (representative of the Sharifs in Mecca) of the blessed city of Mecca, and made them sit on the felt on the floor. He told them to pay homage to Sa’ud. These ‘alims clasped hands saying, ‘La ilaha illa’llah wahdahu la Sharika lah,’ in accord with the Wahhabite belief and sat down on the floor again. Sa’ud laughed and said, ‘I command you and the pilgrims of the Damascene caravan to Salih ibn Salih’s care. Salih is one of my good men. I trust him. I permit you to go to Damascus on the condition that you will pay 300 kurushes for each mafha -and load- camel and 150 kurushes for each donkey. It is a great favor for you to be able to go to Damascus at such a low price. You may go comfortably and happily under my protection. All pilgrims will travel under these conditions. And this is a justice of mine. I wrote a letter to the Ottoman Sultan, Hadrat Salim Khan III [rahmat-Allahi ‘alaih]. I asked that it be forbidden to build domes on graves, to make sacrifice for the dead and to pray through them.’

“Sa’ud stayed in Mecca for four years. Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha, the Governor of Egypt, came to Jidda in 1227 A.H. (1812) upon the order of the Ottoman Sultan, Mahmud-i ‘Adli (rahmat-Allahi ‘alaihima). The Egyptian forces he sent from Jidda and Medina jointly drove Sa’ud out from Mecca after a bloody battle.”



HizmetBooks © 1998

Advertisements

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.
%d bloggers like this: