Ibn Taymiyya Compares Allah to the Moon

  1. that he who violates the consensus commits neither disbelief (kufr) nor transgression (fisq)
  2. that our Lord is subject to created events (mahallun li al-hawadith) — glorified, exalted, and sanctified is He far above what the wrong-doers and rejecters ascribe to Him!
  3. that He is complex or made of parts (murakkab), His Essence standing in need similarly to the way the whole stands in need of the parts (taftaqiru dhatuhu iftiqara al-kulli li al-juz’), elevated is He and sanctified above that!
  4. that the Qur’an is created in Allah’s Essence (muhdath fi dhatillah),3 elevated is He above that!
  5. that the world (al-`alam) is of a pre-eternal nature (qadim bi al-naw`) and that it existed with Allah from pre-eternity (wa lam yazal ma` Allah) as an everlasting created object (makhluqan da’iman), thus making it necessarily existent in His Essence (fa ja`alahu mujaban bi al-dhat) and not acting deliberately (la fa`ilan bi al-ikhtyar), elevated is He above that!4
  6. his sayings about Allah’s “corporeality,” “direction,” “displacement,” (al-jismiyya wa al-jiha wa al-intiqal), and that He fits the size of the Throne, being neither bigger nor smaller, exalted is He from such a hideous invention and wide-open disbelief (kufr), and may He forsake all his followers, and may all his beliefs be scattered and lost!
  7. his saying that the fire shall go out (al-nar tafni),5
  8. and that the prophets are not free from sin (al-anbiya’a ghayru ma`sumin),6
  9. and that the Prophet has no particular status before Allah (la jaha lahu)7 and must not be used as a means (la yutawassalu bihi),8
  10. and that the undertaking of travel (al-safar) to him in order to perform his visit (al-ziyara) is a disobedience (ma`siya) in which it is unlawful to shorten the prayers,9 and that it is forbidden to ask for his intercession in view of the Day of Need
  11. and that the words (alfaz) of the Torah and the Gospel were not substituted, but their meanings (ma`ani) were

Some said: “Whoever looks at his books does not attribute to him most of these positions, except that whereby he holds the view that Allah has a direction, and that he authored a book to establish this, and forces the proof upon the people who follow this school of thought that they are believers in Allah’s corporeality (jismiyya), dimensionality (muhadhat), and settledness (istiqrar).” That is, it may be that at times he used to assert these proofs and that they were consequently attributed to him in particular. But whoever attributed this to him from among the imams of Islam upon whose greatness, leadership, religion, trustworthiness, fairness, acceptance, insight, and meticulousness there is agreement — then they do not say anything except what has been duly established with added precautions and repeated inquiry. This is especially true when a Muslim is attributed a view which necessitates his disbelief, apostasy, misguidance, and execution. Therefore if it is true of him that he is a disbeliever and an innovator, then Allah will deal with him with His justice, and other than that He will forgive us and him.10

1 Ibn Taymiyya, al-`Aqida al-wasitiyya (Salafiyya ed. 1346 / 1927) p. 20.

2 Very slightly adapted from Nuh Keller’s biographical notice on Haythami in his Reliance of the Traveller p. 1054.

3The Jahmis believed that the Qur’an was created.

4These are of the crassest expressions of kalam and speculation in which one could possibly indulge.

5This was refuted by San`ani in Raf` al-astar.

6This is a logical corollary of his belief that contradicting the ijma` on matters of belief and law is neither kufr nor fisq.

7 A reference to Ibn Taymiyya’s manner of answering questions specific to the Prophet with generalities about all human beings.

8 The scholars’ refutation of this heresy innovated by Ibn Taymiyya is detailed in the second volume of the present work.

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