please some one explain why using this word is banned in this site?

only because one user dislike?

is there any dictionary to say it is an insult?

so what I should call the specific movement started 200 years ago in Saudi Arabia which has Alliance with the House of Ibn Saud?

is there any other name for this movement?

this movement is different of Salafi and Sunni and needs a specific name.

this word is used widely in shia books for referring to this movement and many sunni scholars use this word in their books.

shia users get offended when their comments and posts using this word is deleted or edited to "sunni".

why wahhabi Muslims do not respect to other sects and do not leave them free to not become wahhabi. editing the word wahhabi to sunni means that they are trying to show wahhabi is sunni and to hide the history of wahhabism. such actions is not suitable for a moderator of a site that is claimed to be multi view.

one or some users get offended using this word in this site.

this site claims to be multi view.

but seems Wahhabi view has more right against shia view.

shia does not use this word as an insult. but only to refer to this specific movement in Saudi Arabia.


2 Answers 2


so what I should call the specific movement started 200 years ago in Saudi Arabia which has Alliance with the House of Ibn Saud?

Well, the first question you should be asking is: why do you need to?

As Ansari notes, one of the core issues with the use of the word Wahhabi is that it is often seen as derogatory. How does a word become derogatory? By persistently being used to deride others, to imply that their beliefs and practices are separate and incompatible with those of the group they identify with - whether that's Salafi, Arab, Saudi, Muslim, or... Human.

So again, why do you need to use the terms Wahhabi or Wahhabism? Are you referring to beliefs and practices common to Salafism? Then say that. Are you referring to beliefs and practices supported by the House of Saud? Then say that. I suspect that if you were limiting your claims to those supported by specific teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, then you could probably get away with using Wahhabi/Wahhabism, provided you were able to provide concrete references to them... But to the best of my knowledge, this isn't what you're normally focused on when using these terms.

Indeed, from what I've seen of your writings, you use these terms exclusively as a way to brush off certain beliefs and practices as misguided, fringe, or wholly invalid, without bothering to identify or provide references for their actual source or sphere of influence. In other words, the word itself isn't the core problem - you could use "Abracadabra" in the same context and find it just as poorly-received. But by using a term already seen as derogatory, you rub salt in the wound you create by your initial laziness, thereby compounding your errors.

Note that I'm making some generous assumptions here as to your motivations and influences - it may well be that you were educated to believe everything that you've written, and have always heard the terms Wahhabi and Wahhabism used to refer to those who adopt certain beliefs (in the same fashion that certain Protestant Christians might customarily use "idolaters" in place of Catholic Christians"). However, this does not excuse the practice: if you wish to participate here, you're expected to put effort into researching and supporting your claims, something you've been resistant to thus far.

So start doing it now.

  • I do not have any problem in not using this word. I can use other terms instead. only please note wahhbism is a movement which is result of alliance of Muhammad Ibn Abdulwahhab and his religions followers with house of Saud en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… so it is different of Salafi, house of Saud,... thanks for your guide. I use them god will. Sep 17, 2012 at 16:40
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    That same article states that members of such do not themselves use this term - this will make it hard if not impossible to provide valid references for claims made about "Wahhabi beliefs", as it would require them to come from a 3rd-party. Pay close attention to that: any claims made as to a person's belief that can't be traced back to something they've actually said or written is useless. Anyone can say anything about another person's beliefs.
    – Shog9
    Sep 17, 2012 at 16:52
  • the books of Ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab and other scholars like Ibn Kathir which are highly regarded by them are best reference for Wahhabi beliefs. there is no problem of reference. Sep 17, 2012 at 17:00
  • Yes, referencing the writings of specific scholars is always preferred to blanket statements that attribute beliefs or teachings to a broad, ill-defined group. Stick to the such references, and you should be fine.
    – Shog9
    Sep 17, 2012 at 17:06
  • @Ahmadi - The books of Ibn Taymiyyah and Abdul Wahhab do not recognize themselves as Wahhabi, nor does any literature espoused by the Abdul Wahhab movement. That's the crux of the subject. Only other people use the word Wahhabi. It's like the European Colonial use of the term Mohammadan instead of Muslim. It is largely a neutral term with historic backing, but it is rejected by the majority of Muslims which is why it's no longer in use. Sep 19, 2012 at 0:09
  • @SystemDown whatever they recognize themselves still those books are the best standard reference for beliefs of this branch (whatever you call them). this word is highly used by shia scholars and many sunni scholars and many non Muslims. also some of their own scholars even their Najdi scholars. the real reason for hiding this name is important. not what claimed. related: history.stackexchange.com/questions/3154/… Sep 19, 2012 at 4:24
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    @Ahmadi - I'm not denying that these books are the corner stone of Saudi Salafism (my preferred term for "Wahhabi"), I'm just saying that the books (and its followers) never identify themselves as Wahhabi. Many extremist Sunnis call Shia by the term Rwafid, which Shia reject. If we allow for the use of the term Wahhabi (that Saudi Salafists reject), that opens the door for other rejected terms such as Rwafid and then get caught up into sectarianism like the rest of the world. Sep 19, 2012 at 17:24
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    @Ahmadi For the purposes of full disclosure: I am myself opposed to the teachings of Saudi Salfism and was prone to use the word Wahhabi myself, but have since discontinued its use. I found it to have a negative effect when conducting civil discussion. Sep 19, 2012 at 17:25
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    @SystemDown thanks for good substitute (Saudi Salafism). firstly I do not reject to Rafida be used for shia. Rafida is not used only for shia and also for others and means out of religion. it is not specific for shia (but mostly about shia) in fact it is an abusive nickname no the name of a specific branch. but wahhabi is different. also I do not let myself Judge about beliefs of others and if I use name of a sect it is not directed any user and is about the sect itself. again thanks for your useful guides. Sep 20, 2012 at 9:30

Given the reaction from the community to the term "Wahhabi" I think we can say that use of this term will not receive a kind reception on this website, especially if it just bandied about with no nuance or context whatsoever. There are multiple reasons for this:

  1. It is an extremely vague and ill-defined term that means different things to different people. You might have a crystal-clear definition in your mind, but that is not the case for everybody.
  2. Nobody self-identifies as a "Wahhabi" so using it is kind of moot.
  3. There is no "Wahhabi" literature that defines its views.
  4. The majority of its use is pejorative and meant to be insulting
  5. Many users of this website find the term offensive and non-constructive.

To be clear, the use of this word is not "banned", but its use as a label on questions unrelated to its position as a label is highly discouraged and subject to editing. Just because you don't use it in an insulting, offensive, or pejorative manner (and this is highly questionable) doesn't mean that the word doesn't come with those connotations in other places of the world and for other users.

Just so you don't get the wrong idea, if similar criteria apply to any other label we will enforce the same standards.

Applying this standard does not mean that we are favoring one view over the other. It is simply to define some ground rules in the interest of building great content on this website and avoiding non-constructive debates and fights. Applying this standard doesn't handicap the expression of the Shi'a view whatsoever. This is just about being respectful to other users and focussing on building content rather than infighting. If you are going to argue that it is central to Shi'ism to have the right to use the word "Wahhabi" in the manner that you use it, then we have bigger problems.

If you want to refer to the group you mentioned in your question, you can call them people who are inspired by the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, or establishment 'ulema of Saudi Arabia (if that's who you want to refer to), or any other specific and neutral term.

Once we get a FAQ we will make this clear inshaAllah. However, if your intention is to hug the rules as tightly as you can rather than be a team member and contribute in a way that is as frictionless as possible, then you are on the wrong site.

To be perfectly clear, no moderator changed the word Wahhabi to Sunni or is engaged in suppressing history.

  • only one user oppose not all. 1- this word is not vague and only refers to followers of movement of Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab. 2- this has reason but irrelevant to we do not use this word. 3- all books of Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab defined views of this movement. 4- this word is not used as insult but only refer to this movement. 5- how you counted this many? and what it many users consider banning this word offensive? finally your answer is not clear this word can be used in this site ir not. I fear to get suspended without warning for using this word. please give a clear answer. solve biggers Sep 17, 2012 at 4:34
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    @Ahmadi You don't know how many users oppose the word; it may be 1, it may be 100. Just because only one user has spoken out publicly doesn't mean the rest silently agree. Flagging is largely kept private for that reason. Second, my research would indicate that most Saudi Muslims would not choose to describe themselves as such. You seem to identify as a Shi'a; if someone were to use a label for you that wasn't incorrect but also wasn't what you preferred, would you not also become unhappy? You have been asked, kindly and now more strictly, to refrain from using wahabbi. Please cease.
    – Aarthi
    Sep 17, 2012 at 5:04
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    @Aarthi this is not only matter of respect. many political issues are behind hiding this name.offense is only excuse to people do not learn real face and history of this movement and know it as real Islam instead. this is why they try to hijack names of sunni and hide name of their branch.I consider the value of learning truth about Islam higher than being respected. prophet of Islam for 3 first years of Islam was not respected by Meccan people and was at sanctions and was forced to live out of city for 3 years and even could not buy food from society of Mecca.if he wanted respect,Islam died. Sep 17, 2012 at 5:38
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    @Ahmadi I see and understand your point. In my answer to your other post I suggested using "Some schools of Sunni scholarship..." This phrasing would allow you to point out the history of this group of people without also making those people feel like they're being persecuted. I understand that you don't mean to cause offense. However, the unfortunate truth is that you are offending people. This has been pointed out to you; please take steps to be a bit gentler. Remember: intent is tough to measure when all we have is text and not tone.
    – Aarthi
    Sep 17, 2012 at 15:37
  • @Aarthi the problem is does a user has the right to ask a word not be used in site with excuse of offense when this word is not really an insult? they do not provide a real reason why this is offensive and only repeat this is offensive with different illogical reasons. one time say it is a word coined by non Muslims. one time say we do not call ourselves with this word,... what should be criteria? claim of people or standard terminology? do not you consider such claims be for political reasons like hijacking all sects of Islam? why you do not consider users do not right to ask such things? Sep 17, 2012 at 15:46
  • @Aarthi also I do not direct this word to a specific user. (which is falsely claimed by that user) but I direct this word to a movement and irrelevant to any specific user. why a user should be offended when I do not use this word for him and for a movement? he claims I use this word about him which is false. this is his misunderstanding. some times people get offended for what they except that is not their right. Sep 17, 2012 at 15:49
  • Again, I could call you User67 and that would likely not make you happy. A person doesn't have to provide "logical" reasons for being offended -- it's an inherently emotional (thus illogical) response to something. Even if you aren't trying to be accusatory, or even trying to be offensive, you are still coming across that way. This is no longer up for discussion: you have been told repeatedly to please refrain from using that term. I have offered polite alternatives for you to utilize. I suggest you take my advice to heart.
    – Aarthi
    Sep 17, 2012 at 15:52
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    FYI: Ahmedi has clearly called all of the moderators of Islam.SE wahhabi here: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/a/6260/30398 -- it's not true when he says "I do not direct this word to a specific user."
    – ashes999
    Sep 17, 2012 at 18:00

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