The Sources of Ibn Taymiyya’s Ideas Part 3 of 3

Al-Khallal, Ibn al-Jawzi’s offenders, Ibn Hibban’s and Tabari’s would-be killers, Ibn Qayyim, and Ibn Taymiyya all form the party that maintain that Allah sits on the Throne then places his feet on the kursi as one would on a footstool, and that the Prophet sits on the throne by His side. As a contemporary scholar remarked, all this seems to replicate another passage of the Bible, namely what is found in the Gospel according to Mark (19:16): “Then the Lord [Jesus], after he spoke to them, was raised to the heaven, and sat at the right of Allah.”6 Yet these anthropomorphists claim that their views represent the way of the Salaf, and that to depart from it was to leave Islam. What is clear, on the contrary, is that to follow the views of Ibn Taymiyya and the persecutors of Ahl al-Sunna in ascribing Allah a body is to commit disbelief, while to leave the views of Ibn Taymiyya and the persecutors of Ahl al-Sunna is a sign that one follows the Salaf.p. 149: “He showed part of Himself.”p. 164: “And His other hand was empty without anything in it.”*

Ibn Khuzayma (d. 311): He wrote a large volume which he named Kitab al-tawhid (Book of the declaration of oneness),7 which he later regretted having authored, as established by two reports cited by Bayhaqi with their chains of transmission.8 Imam Fakhr al-Din Razi was so repelled by Ibn Khuzayma’s book that he renamed it: Kitab al-shirk9 (Book of associating partners to Allah) just as Kawthari later renamed `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad’s book: Kitab al-zaygh (Book of aberration).10

Ibn Khuzayma cites, as a proof for establishing that Allah has a foot and other limbs, the verse: “Have they feet wherewith they walk or have they hands wherewith they hold, or have they eyes wherewith they see, or have they ears wherewith they hear?” (7:195). This contravenes the sound position of the Salaf expressed by al-Muqri as related by Abu Dawud in his Sunan: “Allah hears and sees” means: He has the power of hearing and seeing (not the organs).”11

Kawthari points out that Ibn Khuzayma’s understanding is identical to that of the anthropomorphists of Tabaristan and Isfahan mentioned by al-Saksaki in his al-Burhan fi ma`rifat `aqa’id ahl al-adyan (The demonstration concerning the knowledge of the doctrines of the people of religion) who say: “If He does not have eyes, nor ears, nor hand, nor foot, then what we are worshipping is a watermelon!” and they claim in support of their views that Allah in the Qur’an has derided those who lacked limbs by saying: “Have they feet wherewith they walk?”12

Ibn al-Jawzi says the following about him:

I saw that Abu Bakr Ibn Khuzayma compiled a book on Allah’s attributes and divided it into chapters such as: “Chapter of the Asserting of His hand”; “Chapter of His Holding the Heavens on His fingers”; “Chapter of the Asserting of His foot, in spite of the Mu`tazila.” Then he said: Allah said: “Have they feet wherewith they walk or have they hands wherewith they hold, or have they eyes wherewith they see, or have they ears wherewith they hear?” (7:195); then he informs us that he who has no hand and no foot is like cattle.

I say: Verily I wonder at that man, with all his lofty skill in the science of transmission of hadith, saying such a thing, and asserting for Allah what he vilifies the idols for not having, such as a hand that strikes and a foot that walks. He should have asserted the ear also. If he had been granted understanding, he would not have spoken thus, and he would have understood that Allah reviled the idols in comparison to their worshippers (i.e. not to Him). The meaning is: You have hands and feet, how then do you worship what lacks them both?

Ibn `Aqil al-Hanbali (d. 515)13 said:

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