Many books have been published on the Biography of the Prophet ﷺ by different authors and compilers, but this book is different from them as it has been written by the great Imam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab At-Tamimi and never published before.
A committee was appointed to collect the writings of Imam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab throughout the Muslim world and compile this book from printed, handwritten and microfilm sources.
After Imam Muhammad bin Sa’ud Islamic University had decided to hold a conference in the name of Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdul Wahhab, it formed a committee to prepare for this conference and to provide a detailed concept of it and then to implement it.
The committee began its work by restating its general objective for the conference, which was to inform people about the Shaikh and reveal the truth of his Da’wah throughout the muslim world and to dispel the doubts and uncertainties about it which have become common in some Islamic countries and during certain periods in history.
While striving to attain this objective in a scientific and correct manner, the committee came to the conclusion that it was necessary to collect all of the Shaikh’s written works and to substantiate their attribution to him and to confirm it, then to publish them in a special printing in the name of the University, in order to send copies of it after that to the organizations and researchers who would be invited to take part in the conference. Regarding this, the committee kept in mind the fact that many researchers in muslim countries do not have available the books of the Shaikh and his written scholarly works, which would, without any doubt have a clear effect on the shortcomings, incompleteness or mistakes of some of the things which they might write about the Shaikh’s Da’wah, for that reason, it was essential the genuine works of the Shaikh be available to them in an authentic form, so that they might become acquainted with the truth of his Da ‘wah and the unbiased scholarly works which have been written about it.
Hence, the committee proceeded to collect all of the works of the Shaikh which they could, both printed and handwritten, and to search for them in every place they could think of, with individuals belonging to the Shaikh’s family, in public and private libraries and in all parts of the Kingdom and outside it. In this regard, we would like to indicate the large number of handwritten works of the Shaikh which we found in As-Sa’udiyyah Library at Dukhnah, in Riyadh; the committee copied these manuscripts and they also obtained copies of the printed works of the Shaikh by purchasing them, being given them as gifts, through private connections and by borrowing some printed works which were few in number or were rare from individuals and organizations.
The Committee also published and broadcast an announcement, in which they called upon those who possessed any written or printed works of the Shaikh to present them to the Committee; and they sent letters carrying the same meaning to a number of well-known personalities who had ties to him and his family, both in the Kingdom and abroad.
They also made personal contact with some individuals who had some special interest in the Shaikh, his Da’wah and his written works, or who had written something of value about them. Also, during the summer vacation of the year 1396 A. H. (1976 C. E.), some members of the Committee undertook a search of some of the important libraries in Egypt and other countries in order to become acquainted with any of the works of the Shaikh which might be there and then to work on bringing whatever was possible from these works to help with the requirements of the Committee.
As a result of all this, many copies from among the works of the Shaikh were collected, both printed and handwritten and on microfilm. Then a board was appointed from among the members of the Committee to classify these works and their responsibilities included the following:
1. Examining each work, whether printed or handwritten and verifying that it was really one of the works of the Shaikh.
2. Gathering all of the printed and handwritten copies and describing each copy.
3. Recording the category in which each work belonged (Aqeedah [Beliefs], Fiqh [Islamic Jurisprudence], Seerah [Biography of the Prophet ﷺ and treatises)
Also, a number of subcommittees were formed for the purpose of authentication and their responsibilities included the following:
1. Comparing the printed and handwritten copies of each book with each other in order to obtain a complete copy, which could be prepared for printing.
2. Numbering the Qur’anic Verses, mentioning the Surahs from which they came and adding the diacritical marks to them.
3. Adding punctuation and paragraphs and making the chapter headings stand out, in accordance with the modern system of writing and printing.
4. Ascertaining the authenticity of works presented to the board of classification whose attribution to the Shaikh was in doubt.
The Conference Committee took great care that every one of the authentication subcommittees was composed of specialized scholars with a strong connection to the type and nature of the work which they were reviewing. They also took care to the best of their ability, to ensure that each subcommittee brought together a number of scholars whose collective expertise in the field of authentication was complete. And in this regard, the Committee sought help from some expert scholars from outside the Committee.
So these works of the Shaikh, the conference Committee presents, complete and authenticated, as the first result its formation and its work. And what the Committee intended by its efforts was to reveal the truth of the Shaikh’s Da’wah and to make it easy for people to study it and refer to it, based upon all of his written works, without addition, omission or commentary, to allow those who study, write and search for the truth regarding it to reach it by the firmest path, whilst avoiding every untruth, distortion or false claim, the bearer of which seeks to disguise the truth.
The Conference Committee