The answers made me despair, to tears..., havent seen a single answer that is based on true islamic theology "ilm". From mine modest studies, it results that what today is called Wahabism, began during Muhamad ibn Abdul Wahhab as a revival of pious and puritan form of Islam, placed in opposite to ottoman grave worships, bidats, neglecting of sunnah, spread of forms of shirk in the arabian peninsula. Wahabi is a term used by ottomans primarily, as an offensive name to arabian ppl whom seceded from ottomans. It don't exist in world an organization called "Wahhabism", nor a muslim that calls himself "wahabi". Instead here I see a confusion in writers above, I notice a lack of knowledge (for respect can't say ignorance).
To begin from A, Sunni Muslim mean to practice islam as the tradition of Sunnah (practice of Muhammed as.) as sahabah and as tabi'ins. The Salafis, that are called wahabis from their opponents, are highly decided to practice the "Type of Islam" that was practiced from Prophet Muhammed a.s, his sahabah, and tabiins (the golden generations of Islam), they are highly puritans, which means they reject every addition, invention, fabrication tool in Islam (Bid'a).I read above mine posting, many who write: "sunnis celebrate the mawlud while wahabis no!". This is totally to cry, how you can be called pure sunni a person who fests mawlood? It didnt exist any quran verse, hadith, sahabah practice, tabi'in, ulemas, that prove mawlud practice! Thus the ones who are sunni in this matter are the Salaf (what you call wahabi) and those that defend mawlood arent sunni ( or desperately are ignorant sunni muslims).
I read another who wrotes below: "Sunnis believe in asking duah through saints and prophet". Where is the hadith, what says imam Bukhari. Muslim, what says Imam Ebu Hanifah, what says imam Shafi, El Hambel, Ibn Taymiya, Ibnul Kajjim about this issue?! Dear brothers and sisters, try to read books, don't give answers without any basis, we are talking about Islam dini Ilahi, not about politics. To direct dua at a "saint" (which in islams don't exists) is prohibited categoricaly, its a form of shirk, this was tought to us by the first generation of Islam!
Let aside your fanaticism and try to read Quran, Hadith books, try to learn islam!
respected muslim community, we know that islam will split into 72 sects, so sunni, shia, Wahhabi, Bellvei, debonair , theses are different sects. To me the big difference is the eid miladul nabi which we sunni celebrated as birth day of Mohammad (SAWW) which Wahhabi don't celebrate.
Secondly wahabis always talk about biddat and heaven hoor and superficial things, diverting from the real path of islam. Sunnis are true muslim who has hold the 5 basic pillars of islam. They always think positiv, all the time think for the true love of Allah and Mohammad (SAWW).
let me clear one thing if some one is born in sunni family he will say sunnis are right because he is sunni by birth not by choice,if some one is born in wahabi family he will say wahabis are right because he is wahabi by birth not by choice and same with shia ,on the other hand if some sunni would have been born in wahabi the same sunni will be saying wahabis r right...wo you people do not think by yourself what is right and what is wrong.
Please read quran and hadit and decide what is good and what is bad and stop blaming each other it will strengthen your enemies.
Look if some one is born in non muslim he will say non muslim r right without thinking what is right and worng and the same you people are doing .Quran is for every one ,hadit is for every one it is not algebra or maxwel equation that you people can not understand ,it is very easy it is for all the humanity then why ALLAH will make it difficult.
If you will not research by yourself then you yourslef will be responsible if you are on wrong path by follwoing your firqa blindly because to born in some firqa is not a ticket of authanticity for that firqa to be true if it is so then why you people say only your firqa is right.May Allah give you some time to reseach by yourself so that you may save yoursel from wrong path,
So going back to the question at hand.....
From what I understand, Wahabi is not a sect, it was originally meant as a derogatory term. According to the people from the country where it originated from (Saudi) it is meaningless. If anything people following this school of thought are referred to as "Hanabillahs".
Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulawahab was a scholar who gained is Islamic knowledge from various places and went back to his home which was then a remote desert are in central Saudi to re-educate the people, bringing them back to the basics of Islam.
Note: Basics of Islam....a religion of peace, which people commenting on here seem to have forgotten.
Anyway so somehow this re-education has been categorised or become the foundation of 'sect', how ever you want to see it, but really I would say that these people are simply conservative Sunni's.
They follow the Qu'ran and Hadith and refuse to mix cultural or 'traditional' uneducated teachings which comprimise the basics of our religion.
Such as the whole darbars, hathums etc
For the record I am Sunni and even so I see that Sunni's do tend to get carried away with mising tradition in with religion. For example, people go to peers and sit at their feet, go to darbars and bow down at saint's graves or kiss the ground, etc. These are all acts of worship, when we know that Muslims must ONLY bow down in worship to Allah.
There are of course other differences but a lot of it is similar as I have said before, but I won't go into it as I feel I will be out of my depth.
Hope this helps on some level.
A wahabi does not do any of the above.
Wahabis are nothing actually the scholars from deoband school are called wahabis, because they followed Mohammad bin Abdul Wahab who said that don't prostrate ( Sijda ) grave only prostration is allowed for ALLAH.
Hope its better ans for you
It is very sad that we are defining ourself as wahabi & sunni names today, as we all know that Allah is the only one whome we have to worship alone and S.A.W (PBUH) is his appostle.
We must be punctual at namaz & other 4 Farz
On the other hand we must also not forget the importance of
Allah aap sab ko or mujhe deen ko samajhne or us pe amal karne ki tofeeq ata farmae (Aameen)
Allah Subhan Tala said In The Quran in Surah Hajj ... HUWA SAMMA KUM AL MUSLEMIN which means Allah has readily given a name to His obeyer that is MUSLIM. So whatever we adopted according to our own sweet will is actually disobedience! On the overhand, Din and Islam totally condemned Firqa Bandi. So, be Muslim, be united as per instructed by the Quran and Sunnah. Thanks.
Wahabis and Sunnis, have same believes. The only two things that differ, are that
1) How they act upon their believes.(They way they pray, the num of Rakats in their prayers etc)
2) Wahabis Follow Quran and Sunnah strictly, where as Sunnis believe that there are somethings that are not defined in Quran and Hadees 'Directly', so in that case, they look into the lives of Sahabas as well.
For example, If a person turns away from Zakat, what Sunni would do is Jihad. Because Abu Bakr(R.A) did the same.
On the other hand, Wahabi would only look for the problem in Quran and sunnah.
Everyone is right in their own Manner. They just have a different perspective. At the end of the day, They both believe in the oneness of Allah, Quran to be the word of Allah and Mohammad (PBUH) to be the true messenger of Allah.
Sunni's follow the path that was followed by Sahabas, Shohdas, Saleheen as stated in Al Qur'aan,
But Wahaabi's try to show that they are like our Beloved Prophet MUHAMMED Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
MUHAMMED Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is no doubt a NOOR as stated in AL Qur'aan Kareem.
Wahabi are non-sufees (1.Allah 2.Messenger Muhammed (SAWS)
Sunnis believe in modesty, Wahhabi believe in extremism
Sunnis believe that killing people just because they don't believe in real islam is sin, Wahhabi believe that killing those who do not believe in true Islam is one of the most fundamentals of Islam known as Jihad, and Allah will reward those killings
Wahhabi believe that human being should strive for 72 virgins they can get in heaven, they believe that the more jihad you do the more virgins you will get in heaven. Sunnis believe that we should follow Allah because of the Love for Allah and not for having sex with 72 virgins.
Wahhabi believe that women should not take education other than reading quran and hadith. Sunnis believe that for all human being education is must.
Wahabi women are not allowed to drive a car, Sunni women can drive a car