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Ibn Taimiyyah A Brief Biography, His full name is Ahmed ibn Abdul Halim ibn Abdul Salam ibn Al Khudhr ibn. Taimiyyah He was born in 661 AH in Haran a town in eastern Syria and died in. Damascus Citadel prison in 728 AH The intelligent and quick tempered Ibn. Taimiyyah was imprisoned three times because of his beliefs and religious decrees. His celibacy was left unexplained by his biographers. He authored several books on religious doctrines and theology Many centuries after. his death the Wahhabi movement revived and endorsed his beliefs and opinions. These beliefs and viewpoints are discussed in the following sections. Ibn Taimiyyah and the Prophet s sayings, It is pertinent to wonder whether the claim of Ibn Taymiyyah s followers that he was. an authority on the Prophet s sayings was true or that his critics were correct in. dismissing his approach with regard to these sayings as lacking in rigour and heavily. biased Neither evaluation of Ibn Taymiyyah s approach can be accepted or rejected at. this point final assessment must be deferred until available evidence have been. reviewed and evaluated This is the theme of the following parts. On supplication by asking for the Prophet s intercession. Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned a number of authentic sayings of the Prophet s companions. in which they asked for his intercession such as the well known supplication O. Allah I approach You through Your Prophet the Prophet of Mercy O Muhammad I. approach you through your Lord and mine through you to bestow on me and my. condition Your Mercy According to Ibn Taymiyyah the use of these supplications. was confirmed by Al Bayhaqi Ibn Al Sunni and Al Tabarani He also added that Ibn. Abi Dunia confirmed in his book Majani Al Dua the use of this intercession and. similar ones by early Muslims Ibn Hanbal has also reported in Mansak Al Mirwizi. asking for the Prophet s intercession in his supplication 1. Nevertheless Ibn Taymiyyah wrote in the same book Al Tawasil wa al Wasila that. none of the companions or early Muslims and indeed none of the Muslims asked the. Prophet after his death to intercede on his behalf They never asked him for anything. And none of the eminent Muslims scholars reported doing so in their books 2. This is bewildering since Ibn Taymiyyah himself mentioned later in his book that Ibn. Abi Al Dunia Ahmed Ibn Hanbal Ibn Al Sunni Al Bayhaqi and Al Tabarani. confirmed asking for the Prophet s intercession by early Muslims. On visiting the Prophet s tomb and the tombs of other Prophets and pious. Ibn Taimiyyah wrote An authentic saying by the Prophet on visiting his tomb or that. of the Prophet Abraham can not be found 3 He also claimed that all the sayings. reported on the subject of visiting the Prophet s tomb are weak and definitely. conducted and distinguished imams and scholars did not report any of them 4. However he contradicts himself in the same book by reporting the following. authentic saying of the Prophet from two sources Ibn Maja and Al Darqutni. Whoever visits me after my death is as if he has visited me in my lifetime Thus. evidence presented Ibn Taimiyyah himself serve to disprove his claim that such. sayings by the Prophet have not been reported by leading authorities. On the commentaries and the purposes of revelation. Ibn Taimiyyah claimed that the account of Ali s giving his ring to a beggar during. prayer is untrue according to a consensus of religious scholars 5 There is no need to. look for evidence disputing this claim further than the same book by Ibn Taimiyyah. In this book he highly praised the commentaries on the Qur an by Muhammad Ibn. Jarir Al Tabari for verifying accounts reported by early Muslims and excluding those. by unreliable sources He paid the same tribute to Al Baghawi s commentaries. Ibn Taimiyyah must have known that Al Tabari reported the account of Imam Ali s. giving his ring to a beggar from five different authentic sources in interpreting the. following verse 6, Your leader is Allah and His Messenger and those who believe who say. prayers and pay poor due while they are bowing down in prayer. Al Baghawi also reported this account Indeed it can also be found in all books of. commentaries such as those by Al Zamakshari Al Razi Abi Al Sa ud Al Nasfi Al. Baidawi Al Qurtubi Al Suyyuti Al Shawkani Al Aloosi and Al Wahidi in Asbab. On whether or not it is justified to curse Yazeed Ibn Muawiya. Ibn Taimiyyah wrote that Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal was asked 7. Do you report Yazeed s accounts, He replied No Wasn t he responsible for what happened at Al Hara s battle. He was then told that some people say,We adore Yazeed.
To this he replied Can anyone who believes in Allah and the Day of. Judgement adore Yazeed,His son Salih asked him Why don t you curse him. Imam Ahmad answered And when did you hear your father cursing anybody. This is the only part of Imam Ahmed s discourse on this subject reported by Ibn. Taimiyyah In the complete text he condoned cursing Yazeed according to Abu Al. Faraj Ibn Al Jawzi 8, Ahmed said Why not curse a person who has been cursed in the Qur an. He was asked And in which verse did Allah curse Yazeed. In reply Ahmed read the following verse, Do you seek upon becoming leaders to do evil on this earth and to mistreat your. kindred Those are the ones cursed by Allah by making them deaf and blind to. Ahmed added Is there an evil greater than murder, This case clearly illustrates Ibn Taimiyyah s lack of objectivity in reporting the. Prophet s sayings when he accepted the sayings confirming his personal beliefs and. rejected those contradicting them Other examples of this biased approach are. presented in the following sections,Ibn Taimiyyah and Allah s attributes.
Ibn Taimiyyah believed that all Allah s attributes mentioned in the Qur an or the. Prophet s sayings must be understood on the basis of their literal meanings without. interpreting them Accordingly he maintained that Allah resides upward in the. heavens where He sits upon the throne occupying it completely He descends to the. lowest heaven and then ascends He possesses organs such as eyes hands and legs. which are different from human and other creatures organs 9 Ibn Taimiyyah also. wrote Whoever interprets the meanings of these verses belittle Allah and do not. comprehend him fully 10, The only evidence which Ibn Taimiyyah presented in defence of this belief was his. claim that it was the belief of the Prophet s Companions and early Muslims On this. he wrote 11, I read the commentaries of the Companions and the Prophet s sayings reported. by the Companions and have studied more than one hundred books of. commentaries and so far I have not come across a single account indicating that. one of the Companions interpreted any of the verses or sayings on Allah s. attributes contrary to their obvious literal meanings. This viewpoint was blindly endorsed by his followers without making an effort to. check the books of commentaries which collected the Companions views on the. attributes verses especially those highly acclaimed by Ibn Taimiyyah by Al Tabari. Al Baghawi and Ibn Atia, These and other sources fully reported the standpoints of the Companions and early. Muslims on interpreting the attributes verses which diverged completely from the. literal understanding of Ibn Taimiyyah and Al Hashawia. On the interpretation of the chair verse Al Tabari endorsed Ibn Abbas interpretation. of Allah s chair to mean His knowledge and he supported this with evidence from the. use of the term in Arabic The same interpretation was reported by Al Baghawi Al. Shawkani citing Ibn Atia Al Qurtubi and others, Similarly widely accepted interpretations of the verses which refer to Allah s face do. not lend support to Ibn Taimiyyah s literal understanding of these verses To illustrate. early Muslims interpreted the face in the following verses to mean Himself. All things perish except His face 12, But the face of your Lord will abide forever in all its majesty and glory 13.
Also the face in the following verses was interpreted to mean favour or recompense. And whatever you spend is in seeking Allah s face 14. Who for the sake of His face endure with fortitude 15. This is the best for those who strive to earn His face 16. The poor due you give for the sake of His face 17,We feed you for the sake of His face 18. And so shall be that does good works for the sake of His exalted face 19. These interpretations obviously contradict Ibn Taimiyyah s literal understanding. which considered the face to be the usual human feature The only exception in which. he admitted that early Muslims interpreted the face figuratively to mean the direction. was the verse Whatever direction you face there is Allah s face But he denied that. this was an attribute s verse 20, Ibn Taimiyyah defended his literal understanding of the Qur anic reference to the. face eye and hands of Allah by falsely claiming that it was based on the views of. the Companions and early Muslims Needless to say he failed to produce a single. statement by any of the Companions in support of his allegation. Although his books include no mention of his ideas on the corporeal nature of Allah. these ideas were reported by a number of reliable sources as follows. 1 Ibn Batuta and Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani confirmed that Ibn Taimiyyah said. while delivering a sermon from the pulpit that Allah descends to the lowest. heaven as I descend here and now 21, 2 Ibn Hayan reported in both of his commentaries on the Qur an Al Bahr Al. Muheet and Al Nahr that he read the following statement in Ibn Taimiyyah s. Kitab Al Arsh written in his own handwriting, Allah sits on the Chair and he has left a space beside him for the Apostle of Allah. However this statement quoted by Yusuf Al Nabhani in Shawahid Al Haq 22 and. also in Kashf Al Thunoon 23 was omitted from the published version of Ibn Hayan s. Al Nahr together with other statements on Ibn Taimiyyah s views Regardless of this. Ibn Taimiyyah persistently defended these views without mentioning the seating of. the Prophet with Allah on His throne in his book Minhaj Al Sunna 24. 3 Ibn Taimiyyah claimed that raising the hands during supplication is proof that. Allah resides upward 25 If this reasoning is accepted then it can be argued. that since a person performing prayer recites the Qur anic verse I direct my. face toward the One who created heavens and earth it can be deduced that. Allah is in the direction of the Qibla Allah is exalted above such. descriptions, A distinguishing characteristic of the Arabic language in which the Qur an was.
revealed is that the meaning of a word or a text may not be limited to its literal. meaning Thus when the following verse was revealed Hold fast to the Rope of. Allah all of you together 26 this was not understood as a reference to an actual. rope Otherwise we must await a rope sent down to which we can hold fast. The rope in this verse was interpreted to mean Islam the Qur an or the Thuqalan i e. the Qur an and the Prophet s Household Whoever disallows interpreting such terms is. obviously ignorant of Arabic And whoever claims that early Muslims did not. interpret the verses on Allah s attributes is contradicting authentic accounts One has. only to scan available books of commentaries to prove that such interpretations exist. Ibn Taimiyyah and the Prophet s Household, Members of the Prophet s Household occupy a distinguished and exalted position. among Muslims conferred upon them by the Qur an the Prophet and all Muslims. except those whose beliefs are incomplete, In several of his books Ibn Taimiyyah presented evidence of the eminence of the. Prophet s Household Some of this evidence follows 27. 1 Bani Hashim the Prophet s clan are the best of Quraish his tribe and. Quraish is the best of all the Arabs An authentic saying of the Prophet. confirms this Allah chose Bani Ismail and chose Kinanah from Bani Ismail. and chose Quraish from Kinanah and chose Bani Hashim from Quraish. 2 Al Abbas the Prophet s uncle is reported in the Traditions to have. complained to the Prophet that a group of their Quriashi tribesmen divide. them To this the Prophet said By the One who holds my life in His hand they. shall not enter Paradise until they love you for Allah s sake and because you. are my kin, Ibn Taimiyyah commented on this If they the Prophet s Household are the best of. creation then their deeds must also be the best, After reviewing some of the evidence reported by Ibn Taimiyyah on the eminence of. the Prophet s Household we turn to his views on them These clear and unequivocal. views can be summarised in the following points,Siding with enemies of the Prophet s Household.
Ibn Taimiyyah openly took the side of opponents of the Prophet s Household Not. only did he strongly defend their adversaries with all his talents at polemics but he. also dismissed authentic statements by the Prophet and distinguished Companions and. early Muslims on the eminence of the Prophet s Household His arguments on this. topic also exhibit a blatant disregard of historical facts reported by numerous sources. He even stands accused of inventing and distorting evidence in support of his. His efforts in defence of enemies of the Household culminated in several works A. brief critical review of these works follows, He wrote a book entitled The virtues of Muawiya Yazeed and that the latter must not. Ibn Taimiyyah The True Image In the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful Praise to the Lord of the Worlds and peace and blessings be upon the Seal of the Prophets and the Master of the Messengers Abi Al Qasem Muhammad SAWS and upon his Holy Purified Ahlulbayt AS Having been asked by a few persons to provide a detailed explanation on why the Shia Imamis have a negative stance

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