بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Q: Is it true that Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab did not consider Ibn Arabi to be a disbeliever?
A: That is attributed to the imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, and pertaining to it there is reservations. Maybe this was before he became aware of the true creed of Ibn Arabi, whilst in the beginning stages of studying. This is an assumption of mines that is not far-fetched. Indeed the scholar of Islam Ibn Taimiyyah explained that he himself was deceived by Ibn Arabi, until he studied Ibn Arabi’s authored works. At this point he became cognizant of what was contained therein of deviations and heresy. Thus nothing was permit for him except exposing these deviations and heresies contain within many of his books.
As for after the imam, Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab recognizing what is with Ibn Arabi from deviation and heresy, it is not permitted for us to say that he did not declare Ibn Arabi to be a disbeliever. Being that there was he who was less in adherence to the Sunnah who were explicit in their declaring of Ibn Arabi to be a disbeliever. Al Muqri Al Yamani said, “Whoever doubts the disbelief of Ibn Arabi’s group, then he is a disbeliever.” And he was less in ranking than Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab with respect to adherence to the Sunnah.
Furthermore, many of the Asharis, the scholars from the Asharis and the Hanafis declared the heretic deviate Ibn Arabi to be a disbeliever. They deemed him a disbeliever, so how could it be that Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab does not deem him the same? This is very unlikely.
Translated by Najeeb ibn Yusuf Al Anjelesi
Source: فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ العلامة ربيع بن هادي عمير المدخلي