They have not left Shah Wali Ullah dehalwi and Muhammad bin Ismaeel as-San’ani (1099 H – 1182 H)
Muhammad Umar Icharwi Sufi said, Shah Wali ullah became a Wahabi when he went to Hajj and named himself a Muhammadi, and that Muhammad bin Ismaeel accepted wahabism after reading the books of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab and propagated this madhab in Yemen. [Miqyas Hanafiyyat, p.575 to 578]
No, Rather they followed Qur`an and sunnah, they never said we are following Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab. Following are the statements of Shah Wali ullah and Muhammad bin Ismaeel as-San’ani Yemeni which forced the sufi molvis of subcontinent to say that they were Wahabis.
a) Muhammad bin Ismaeel as-San’ani Said in his book Tahteer al Aiteqaad
قال محمد بن اسماعيل الصنعاني رحمه الله في كتابه تطهير الاعتقاد : فإن هذه القباب والمشاهد التي صارت أعظم ذريعة إلى الشرك والإلحاد ، وأكبر وسيلة إلى هدم الإسلام وخراب بنيانه : غالب ـ بل كل ـ من يعمرها هم الملوك والسلاطين والرؤساء والولاة ، إما على قريب لهم أو على من يحسنون الظن فيه من فاضل أو عالم أو صوفي أو فقير أو شيخ أو كبير ، ويزوره الناس الذي يعرفونه زيارة الأموات من دون توسل به ولا هتف بإسمه ، بل يدعون له ويستغفرون حتى ينقرض من يعرفه أو أكثرهم ، فيأتي من بعدهم فيجد قبراً قد شيد عليه البناء ، وسرجت عليه الشموع ، وفرش بالفراش الفاخر ، وأرخيب عليه الستور ، وألقيت عليه الأوراد والزهور ، فيعتقد أن ذلك لنفع أو دفع ضر ، وتأتيه السدنة يكذبون على الميت بأنه فعل وفعل ، وأنزل بفلان الضر النفع . حتى يغرسوا في جبلته كل باطل ، والأمر ما ثبت في الأحاديث النبوية من لعن من أسرج على القبور وكتب عليها وبنى عليها . وأحاديث ذلك واسعة معروفة فإن ذلك في نفسه منهى عنه . ثم هو ذريعة إلى مفسدة عظيمة . انتهى .
These big Domes and Mashaahid that have become the greatest source of polytheism and Ilhaad, and biggest means to destroy Islam and destruction of its structure, Those who made these (domes) were kings, sultan, presidents, governors, They made Domes of their close relatives or for those people to whom these Sultans had good opinion, Like Fadhil, scholar, Sufi, Faqeer, Teacher, elders. Those people who knew them they visited their graves without making tawassul, and taking their names rather they visited to do astaghfar for them, and when these people who knew the dead died then the people who came later saw that the grave has a beautiful construction, Decorated by candles,… They believed that (they did) this so that they may take benefit from them or to prevent problems….and these people make lies regarding the graves that he did this and he did this. [Fath ul Majeed Chapter 21 Exaggeration in Raising up the graves of Righteous]
b) He also said:
والحديث دليل على فضيلة المساجد هذه ودل بمفهوم الحصر أنه يحرم شد الرحال لقصد غير الثلاثة كزيارة الصالحين أحياء وأمواتا لقصد التقرب ولقصد المواضع الفاضلة لقصد التبرك بها والصلاة فيها وقد ذهب إلى هذا الشيخ أبو محمد الجويني وبه قال القاضي عياض وطائفة
This hadith is evidence regarding virtues of these Masajid and It is evidence that It is prohibited to travel other places other than three (masajid) like visiting the righteous whether they are alive or dead with the intention of seeking nearness to Allah, With the intention that these are virtuous places, with the intention of seeking blessings from them and to pray. This is the opinion of Shaykh Abu Muhammad al Juwaini and this is also said by Qaadi Iyaad and others. [Subul al-salām 2/177]
c) As-San‘aani also said:
I (As-San`aani) say, ‘Building mosques near the grave of a pious person out of seeking its blessing is, in fact, a form of veneration. Moreover, the Ahaadeeth deeming it absolutely forbidden to pray in mosques containing graves have a general indication and there is no evidence of the above mentioned justification.
The preponderant opinion is that the reason for the prohibition is to eliminate the means leading to unfavorable ends and avoid the imitation of idol worshippers who venerate inanimate objects that do not hear, benefit, or harm them.” [Subul As-Salaam] [see islamweb Fatwa No : 263494]
d) Shah Wali ullah on Tawassul and Istigatha.
Shah Wali Ullah said:
When the drought hit during the time of `Umar’s Caliphate, Umar went for Istesqa (Asking Allah for rain) with a big group of people in Madinah Munawwarah and asked Abbas for dua and said: “”O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain.”
It is proven from this is that those who have passed away and the ones who are not present their tawassul was not allowed according to Sahaba. As Abbas was not better than Prophet peace be upon him, why they never said: “”O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and now we ask his soul to invoke” [Farsi book by Shah Wali Ullah al Balagh al Mubeen Page 16]
Shah Wali Ullah on grave worshipers
And these type of stories are those which the grave worshipers tell that so and so man sought help from the grave of so and so elder due to the calamity and he was cured. And the man in grave helped so and so man who asked his helped in a disaster… These khadim and Mujawar (of graves) tell lots of lies of this type… So when the helpless hears that so and so grave is proven to be a Medicine then he runs towards it and ASK ALLAH near his grave with.. Humility.. humbleness so Allah listen and hear his humility and humbleness and accept his prayer and this ignorant thinks that this grave is involved in acceptance of my prayer and do not know that Allah accepts the prayer of Helpless even if he is a kaafir. Allah would accept his prayers even at his shop, bazaar or hammam if he ask with humiity and humbleness. [Balaagh ul Mubeen (Farsi) page 25-26]
He also said
تفهيم – كل من ذهب إلى بلدة أجمير أو إلى قبر سالار مسعود أو ما ضاهاها لأجل حاجة يطلبها فإنه أثم إثما أكبر من القتل والزنا. ليس مثله إلا مثل من كان يعبد المصنوعات أو مثل من كان يدعو اللات والعزى إلا أنا لا نصرح بالتكفير لعدم النص من الشارع في هذا الأمر المخصوص. كل من عين حيوان الميت وطلب منه الحوائج فإنه آثم قلبه داخل في قوله تعالى ذلكم فسق
“Instruction: Anyone who goes to the town of Ajmer [to the grave of Khawaja Mu’in al-Din Chishti] or to the grave of Salar Mas’ud, or to any such place, for a need he requests of them, indeed he has committed a sin more grievous than murder and adultery. His likeness is not but like those who worship the creation or like those who call on Lat and ‘Uzza [for help]. However, we do state explicitly that he has disbelieved due to the absence of a text from the Lawgiver in this specific matter. Anyone who assigns life to the dead and requests his needs from them, ‘his heart is surely sinful’ (Qur’an, 2:283), and [this act] is included in His statement (Exalted is He), ‘that is iniquity’ (Qur’an, 5:3).” (al-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyyah, 2:45, taken from a website)
e) Shah Wali Ullah said regarding traveling to seek blessings from blessed places:
والحق عندي أن القبر ومحل عبادة ولى من أولياء الله والطور كل ذلك سواء فى النهى
And truth according to me is that the graves, the places of worship of Auliya Allah and Mountain Toor are equal in this prohibition.
حجة الله البالغة -1/325
He said the above statement while commenting on the following hadith
Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said:
Do not undertake a journey to visit any Mosque, but three: this Mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis). [Sahih Muslim Book 7, Hadith 3218]
f) He also said:
“And among that (the occasions where forbidden shirk is present): Surely they seek aid from [people] other than Allah for their needs — including cure for the ill and giving wealth to the poor; and they make vows (nadhr) and hope that their aims are successful on account of those vows; and they recite their [people’s] names hoping to gain their blessings. Allah Most High has made it incumbent on them that the say in their prayers, ‘It is only you that we worship and it is only you that we seek aid from.’ Allah Most High says, ‘So, do not call with [the name of] Allah anyone else.’ And the meaning of du’a (supplication) is not ‘ibadah (worship), as the exegetes say, but it is isti’anah (seeking assistance), because of the verse of…” (Hujjat Allah al-Balighah, 1:186, Taken from a sufi website)
If 4 Imams, the authors of Sihaah sitta, Ibn Hajr al asqalani and all the major muhadditheen were alive today. These people would call them wahabi.