Ibn Taymiyya

Further charges of heresy were brought against Ibn Taymiyya for his assertion that a divorce pronounced in innovative fashion does not take effect, against the consensus of the scholars which stipulated that it does, though innovative. After spending the years 719-721 in jail, he was jailed again in 726 until his death two years leater for declaring that one who travels to visit the Prophet commits innovation. His burial was attended by about 50,000 people.

His student al-Dhahabi praised him lavishly as “the brilliant shaykh, imam, erudite scholar, censor, jurist, mujtahid, and commentator of the Qur’an,” but acknowledged that Ibn Taymiyya’s disparaging manners alienated even his admirers. For example, the grammarian Abu Hayyan praised Ibn Taymiyya until he found out that he believed himself a greater expert in the Arabic language than Sibawayh, whereupon he disassociated himself from his previous praise. Other former admirers turned critics were the qadi al-Zamalkani and al-Dhahabi himself, in whose al-Nasiha al-Dhahabiyya he addresses Ibn Taymiyya with the words: “When will you stop criticizing the scholars and finding fault with the people?”

Dr. al-Buti pointed out that although Ibn Taymiyya blamed al-Ghazzali and other Ash`ari scholars for involving themselves in philosophical or dialectical disputations, yet he went much further than most into kalam and philosophy. This is shown by his books in kalam and philosophy, most notably by his positions in al-Radd `ala al-Mantiqiyyin (“Against the Logicians”) on the “generic beginninglessness” of created matters and Aristotelian causality (al-`illa al-aristiyya).10 Al-Dhahabi alluded to this in his epistle to Ibn Taymiyya: “When will you stop investigating the poisoned minutiae of philosophical disbelief, so that we have to refute them with our minds? You have swallowed the poisons of the philosophers and their treatises, not once, but several times!”11

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami on Ibn Taymiyya

Al-Haytami wrote in his Fatawa Hadithiyya:

Ibn Taymiyya is a servant which Allah forsook, misguided, blinded, deafened, and debased. That is the declaration of the imams who have exposed the corruption of his positions and the mendacity of his sayings. Whoever wishes to pursue this must read the words of the mujtahid imam Abu al-Hasan (Taqi al-Din) al-Subki, of his son Taj al-Din Subki, of the Imam al-`Izz ibn Jama`a and others of the Shafi`i, Maliki, and Hanafi shaykhs… It must be considered that he is a misguided and misguiding innovator (mubtadi` dall mudill) and an ignorant who brought evil (jahilun ghalun) whom Allah treated with His justice. May He protect us from the likes of his path, doctrine, and actions!… Know that he has differed from people on questions about which Taj al-Din Ibn al-Subki and others warned us. Among the things Ibn Taymiyya said which violate the scholarly consensus are:

Page 3 of 8 | Previous page | Next page