All About The Founder of the Al-Salafiah Movement, Moqbil Bin Hadi Al-Wade and His Followers [Archives:2000/29/Law & Diplomacy]

July 17 2000

Moqbil Al-Wadei, founder of Al-Salafiah Movement in Yemen, left Al-Thawrah Hospital in Sana’a two weeks ago after undergoing treatment for ten days. He was suffering from some liver problems. Reports confirm that sheikh Moqbil was planning to leave for Saudi Arabia for treatment. Other reports indicate that he is planning to leave for Germany in the next few days.
After going out of the hospital, he delivered two consecutive lectures titled “Science and the Sunnites” in Al-Khair Mosque which were attended by about 4,000 people.
Moqbil Al-Wadei is now 70 years. He was born in Wadiah district located in the middle of Hashid, Sa’adah governorate. He acquired his primary education when he came in contact with the scholars of Al-Zaidiah here in Yemen. Then, he left for Saudi Arabia where he used to work and learn at the same time. He studied in the Islamic University, in the Fundamentals of Religion Department.
He stayed in Saudi Arabia for 15 years during which he acquired the Salafiah doctrine. It was also reported that he was specialized in Al-Hadith and Sunnah Science. Following the Juhaiman event in which Juhaiman, of a Saudi nationality, was accused of planning a coup d’tat against the Ruling family, Al-Wadei was accused of being a supporter and was sent to jail early in the 1980s. He was imprisoned for three months and then he was deported to Yemen where he established a foundation for propagating the fundamentals of his missionary work.
He gained in popularity and eventually had a good number of supporters all over Yemen. Salafiah supporters believe that political activities, plurality and elections should be banned. Sheikh Al-Wadei passed a Fatwa in 1993 in which he banned elections.
Salafiah Movement has no alliance with other organization as they do not believe in organizations. Their missionary work is focused on spreading an awareness about the legislative science in the community. They have no goal to constitute an Islamic government. They believe that the Islamic government does exist; what it lacks is science.
Sheikh Moqbil Al-Wadei is supervising the following Salafiah missionary work centers:
1) Damaj Center, Sa’adah governorate is under the direct supervision of sheikh Al-Wadei himself. There are between 3000 to 4,000 students studying at the center.
2) Ma’aber Center supervised by one of Al-Wadei students named Mohammed Al-Imam. There are between 1500-2000 students studying at the center.
3) Mareb Center is supervised by Abo Al-Hassan Al-Massri who settled down in Mareb. His students are between 200-300 each year.
4) Al-Hudeida center is supervised by Mohammed Abdulwahab Al-Osabi whose students are between 200-300 each year.
5) Al-Khair Mosque in Sana’a is supervised by Mohammed Al-Sua’ali. This center organizes lectures on Fridays for Salafiah Scholars which are usually well attended. There are about 200 students studying each year at the center.
6) Hubaish Center in Ibb is supervised by sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Burai. There are about 200 students studying at the center. There are some other branches of this center in Al-Baida, Hadramout and Haja.
Generally speaking, most of the supporters of Salafiah are from Aden governorate and Lahj.
Al-Salafiah and other Islamic Doctrines:
The Salafiah Movement has lots of disagreements with Islah party. This is pretty clear from the books published against Islah by sheikh Moqbil titled “Al-Muaned” and “Nassf Jame’at Al-Iman” meaning ‘the destruction of Al-Iman University’. In this regard, he has also recorded some cassettes and delivered some lectures in mosques. The latest lecture on this issue was delivered in Sa’awan Mosque in Haddah and other lectures were given in Sa’adah and Aden.
The main differences between Islah and Salafiah pertains to democracy, elections and political plurality which are banned in Salafiah. The difference between societies such as Al-Hikmah Al-Yamaniah Society and Al-Ehssan Society, on the one hand, and Al-Salafiah, on the other, is that Al-Salafiah charges these societies of working within limited scope towards promoting partisan interests despite the fact that they have the same Sunah approach.
Al-Salafiah also criticizes the Islamic Jehad Movement by saying that it is not the proper time for Jehad. However, the Salafiah criticizes Al-Tabligh Group for the weak science and faith they have.
Some sources said that the main financial resources of Al-Salafiah are generated from some Saudi merchants and businessmen. They have some support from voluntary donors. Besides, they are officially supported by Holy Mosques Establishment, a charitable establishment based in the Saudi Arabia.
Many students come from different countries such as Britain, USA, Russia and India to study the principles of Al-Salafaiah. These students are sent to Yemen by the Salafiah scholars who live in these countries.
Some other students come to Yemen to be more closely acquainted with the Salafiah approach. Salafiah sheikhs who are responsible for Salafiah teaching centers say that these students suffer from some actions of the government due to their stay in Yemen. Some of these students have to stay for ten years so as to finish their studies. There are also some Europeans who left their countries and came to Yemen when they were converted to Islam. They came to Yemen to learn more from Moqbil Al-Wadei in his institute located in Sa’adah. The food, their and their families’ accommodation and protection are all provided by Sheikh Moqbil’s centers. Some of them have been living in Yemen for more than 15 years.
Hassan Al-Zaidia