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Muqbil bin Hadi al Wadi'i

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Cause of death
Liver disease


Lecturer and teacher

Resting place



A photo of the Islamic University of Madinah, things scattered on the floor.

1933 (age 67)

2001 (aged 67) , Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Saleh Al Fawzan, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, Dawud al Zahiri

Imitating the voice of quranic reciters asy shaykh muqbil bin hadi al wadi i

Muqbil bin Hadi bin Muqbil bin Qa’idah al-Hamdani al-Wadi’i al-Khallali (1933–2001) (Arabic: مقبل بن هادي الوادعي‎‎) was an Islamic scholar and considered to be the reviver of Salafism in Yemen. He was the founder of a Madrasa in Dammaj which was known as a center for Salafist ideology and its multi-national student population.


Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i with a mustache and a beard while his eyes closed.


A poster of Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i wearing hijab while raising his hand with a microphone in front of him.

Wadi'i was born sometime between the late 1920s and early 1930s nearby to the city of Sa'adah in northern Yemen, and is said to be from the tribe of a Zaydi. He left Yemen as a young man and travelled to Saudi Arabia to work and became acquainted with orthodox sunni works of Islamic scholarship.


News featuring Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i wearing hijab with a microphone in front of him.

After finishing primary education in Yemen, Wadi'i spent roughly two decades of studying Islam in Saudi Arabia. In 1963 he began by studying in the Salafi teaching centre developed by Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen in Najran before then being accepted to study at the Islamic University of Madinah where he attended Halaqas led by Hadith scholar Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani and Abdul-Ghaffar Hasan Al-Hindi as well as former Grand Mufti Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz while also studying under Muhammad al-Sumali Wadi'i is said to have graduated from the Islamic University of Madinah with a master's degree in the science of Hadith.

Return to Yemen

Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i wearing hijab while raising his hand with a microphone in front of him.

In 1979 his stay in Saudi was ended abruptly when he was indicted on suspected involvement in the Grand Mosque Seizure. After spending a few months in prison, Grand Mufti ibn Baaz negotiated his release, though Wadi'i was forced to return to his home country; where he would eventually become known as the father of the modern Salafi movement within Yemen. It was there that he began to spread the Salafi Da'wah in Yemen, with much initial opposition from the Shafi`is, Ismailis, and Zaidis there.

News featuring Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i with a mustache and a beard, wearing a hat, and eyeglasses.

Wadi'i went on, soon after his return to his native region, to found and establish an institute that he named Dar al-Hadith al-Khayriyya in Dammaj. It would become one of the most important and influential educational institutions of Salafism in the world, teaching tens of thousands of students ranging from the Arab world to Africa to Southeast Asia to even the Western world. It was during this time that Wadi'i, along with Ja'far 'Umar Thalib, established the close ties between Yemeni and Indonesian Salafis.

A poster with the name of Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i.

In the 1980s Wadi'i accepted grants from various sources such as Ibn Baaz and the Saudi government for 15,000 Saudi Riyals every two months. However, his continued critique of the Saudi Monarch, due to his believed wrongful imprisonment, led him to be more independent in the financing of running the institute. He stated that managing the mosque and institute in Dammaj required little funding and was easily covered by local donations and zakat.

In 2014, Wadi'i's institute, Dar al-Hadeeth would be shut down after a long Siege of Dammaj by houthi rebels. The manager of the institute, Yahya al-Hajuri, as well as thousands of foreign students were forced to relocate to Al Hudaydah Governorate.


After a prolonged illness, and hospital treatment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Cologne,Germany and Los Angeles, California, Wadi'i died on July 21, 2001 from either cirrhosis or liver cancer. His funeral prayer was performed in the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and he was laid to rest in the Al-'Adl cemetery closely to the graves of Ibn Baaz and Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen After his death, reports continued to surface of changes in curriculum and power struggles at the Dar al-Hadith, though these rumors were dispelled a few years later by contemporary Muslim scholar Rabee Al-Madkhali.

Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts prepared Summary of Evidence memos offering justifications for continuing to hold them in extrajudicial detention. Several of the captives had their detention justified, in part, through their association with Al Wadi.

On Terrorism

Wadi'i gained the respect of some (and the ire of others) in part through his rejection of Osama bin Laden, whom he blames - along with movements like the Muslim Brotherhood - for many of the problems Muslims face today; he further commented in an interview:

I did in fact send my advice and warning (to bin Laden) but only Allah knows if it actually arrived or not. However, some of those people did come to us, offering their help and assistance in preaching and calling to Allah. Afterwards, we found them sending money, requesting that we distribute it among the leaders of various tribes; they were trying to buy rocket-launchers and machine guns. But I refused them and told them to never come to my house again. I made it clear to them that what we do is preach only and we don’t allow our students to do anything but that.

Waadi'ee had earlier authored a book as well, referring to bin Laden as the head of all "sectarianism," "partisanship," "division," and "religious ignorance," and accusing him putting money into weapons while ignoring his religion.

Wadi'i's Dar ul-Hadith seminary and institute of Dammaj was known to oppose al-Qaeda and other radical extremist organisations, as Wadi'i himself stated in an interview with Hassan al-Zayidi of the Yemen Times in 2000.

His Fiqh

In terms of Islamic jurisprudence, Wadi'i did not follow any established school of thought in Islam and opposed the practice of Taqlid, or subordination to higher legal authority. His views on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence were almost identical with those of the Zahiri school; he rejected the usage of Qiyas, or analogical reasoning, in deriving rulings in Islamic jurisprudence entirely, recommending the books of Zahiri scholar Ibn Hazm in the principles of jurisprudence for details on the topic. Waadi'i was fond of the works of Ibn Hazm, to the point that, when asked about Ibn Hazm's Zahirism, he advised every Muslim "to be a Zahiri."

On Yemen

Wadi'i typified the orthodox salafi idea in regards to the rulership. Namely, that even the sinful and corrupt leader must be obeyed by the Muslims while advising the leader must be done by the learned scholar in private. Additionally the Muslims are commanded to endure hardship and be patient until Allah removes the burden of an oppressive ruler for that of a better one.

Wadi'i thought that South Yemen's colonial rule by Britain was better than its independence in 1967, due to the fact that independence had allowed a socialist government to come to power and also resulted in the unnecessary death of Muslims. Although claiming to be neutral by assuming a neutral or apolitical stance, Wadi'i maintained excellent relations with the Yemeni government after unification. This was in fact done by his de facto support of the Yemeni government via his stances on issues such as not partaking or calling to elections and political parties or candidates as well as cooperating with the Yemeni government against common enemies such as extreme Zaydi militias and the Muslim Brotherhood's local chapter.

On Saudi Arabia

While critical of the Saudi government throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Wadi'i never compromised by siding with the Sahwa movement and its preachers. He vocally opposed them and their methods of overtly calling to politics and labeled them with hizbiyyah, or partisanship. He harbored hard feelings against Saudi Arabia up until toward the end of his life, when he would ultimately recant his criticism, speaking highly of the country and its authorities.


  • al-Ilhad al-Khomeini fi Ard al-Haramayn or the Impudence of Khomeini on the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (criticism of the Iranian Revolution)
  • References

    Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i Wikipedia

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