In the year 1740, the ruler of a small town in Arabia and an Islamic scholar, both of whom were ambitious and visionary, entered into a pact. The ruler undertook to support and promulgate the vision of the scholar, while the scholar undertook to accept the ruler and his descendants as temporal leaders of the movement.
This partnership has been one of the most fruitful of all times for both parties concerned. It has impacted the lives of people in every part of the globe and changed the course of history as well as the nature of society and culture in many parts of the world.
The partnership endured and after quite a few ups and downs, by the early 20th century, most of Arabia was under the control of the Saud family with the help of the Wahhabis. The Wahhabi movement in turn was provided with a state and assumed power to dictate religious behavior in the kingdom.
With the discovery of oil wealth and the influx of itinerant workers in the region, the movement found itself with a source of funding as well as a pool of people to influence and convert to its way of thinking. The converts, when they returned, further influenced and converted their communities back home by constructing madrassas and mosques with their newly acquired wealth, preaching their new doctrine. With time this movement came to dominate the Muslim communities of the subcontinent.
I would like to end this post by quoting Iqbal :
cheen o arab hamaraa, hindostaaN hamaara,
muslim hain hum, watan hai saara jahaaN hamaara
khanjar hilaal kaa hai, qawmi nishaaN hamaara