Manipal, India — Although the U.S. State Department considers the Wahabbi sect to be engaged in "purifying" the Muslim faith, in fact what Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahab created three centuries ago was an entirely new faith, used thereafter to uproot the Sufi-suffused Islam that had gifted scholarship and success to the Muslims. Neither of his two biographies is credible, both being the work of admirers of the al-Sauds, the family later installed as the titular masters of the Arabian Peninsula.
Abdul Wahab developed his teachings to protect the absolutist rule of the al-Sauds, wrapping them in a cloak of piety that concealed personal conduct the opposite of the example set by the Prophet Mohammed. The founder of Wahabbism was an individual who sought to uproot traditional Islam from the land where it was revealed.
Early in his career as a preacher, Abdul Wahab formed a partnership with Muhammad ibn Saud, whereby the desert chieftain's dynasty was declared by the preacher to be the legitimate rulers of the lands where Islam first took root. A grateful ruler promptly anointed Abdul Wahab as the only correct teacher of the tenets of Islam. That the Muslim faith, democratic in its chemistry, explicitly rejects kingship, or that the Prophet Mohammed is the only transmitter of the Word of Allah, were seen as inconsequential.
Almost from the start of their sojourn into fortune, the al-Sauds fastened themselves to the flanks of the British, thereby gaining assistance in their battles with other chieftains, until their presumed loyalty finally earned them installation in 1932 as masters of the land they called "Saudi Arabia." But for British and later U.S. help, the al-Sauds would have remained just another of several tribal families, very possibly made extinct by those angered at their incessant aggression.