`Asqalani on Ibn Taymiyya

“People were divided into parties because of him. Some considered him an anthropomorphist [mujassim] because of what he mentioned in ‘al- `aqeeda al-Hamawiyya’ and ‘al-`aqeeda al-waaSiTiyya’ and other books of his, such as Allah’s hand, foot, shin, and face being litteral attributes of Allah (Sifaatun Haqeeqiyyatun lillaah) and that He is established upon the Throne with His Essence (wa annahu mustawin `ala al-`arshi bi dhaatihi). It was said to him that were this the case He would necessarily be subject to spatial confinement (al-taHayyuz) and divisibility (al-inqisaam). He replied: “I do not concede that spatial confinement and divisibility are (necessarily) properties of bodies (anaa laa usallimu anna al-taHayyuz wa al-inqisaam min khawaSS al- ajsaam),” whereupon it was adduced against him (ulzima) that he held Allah’s Essence to be subject to spatial confinement.

[Note: Ibn Taymiyya nowhere explicitly rejects limit and dimension for Allah. In fact he says in his answer to Razi (‘al-Ta’sis‘) that the rejection of limit (Hadd) and dimension (qadr) for Allah is nowhere found in the Book and the Sunna (as quoted in Kawthari’s ‘Maqaalaat‘ p. 351), whereas the Sunni `aqeedah explicitly states: “The Glorious and Exalted Lord is above and beyond sharing in the properties of having directions or spatial limits: thoughts cannot measure Him, locations cannot contain Him, dimensions cannot encompass Him” (Imam al-Juwayni in ‘Lam` al-adillat fi qawaa`id `aqaa’id ahl al-sunna’ [The Radiance of Proofs Concerning the Bases of the Beliefs of Ahl al-Sunna]). Ibn Taymiyya even says that there are two kinds of tashbeeh [likening of God], one of which “whose meaning it would be improper to disallow” (Beirut edition of ‘Majmoo` fataawa shaykh al-islam...’ 3:172, and again in the ‘Ta’sis‘ that “the Book, the Sunna, and the Consensus nowhere say that all bodies are necessarily created, nor that Allah Himself is necessarily not a body” (quoted in Kawthari p. 350).]

“Others considered him someone who conceals unbelief [zindeeq] due to his saying that the Prophet (s) is not to be sought for help (laa yustaghaathu bihi) and the fact that this amounted to diminishing and impeding the establishing of the greatness of the Prophet (s)…

“Others considered him a hypocrite [munaafiq] because of what he said about `Ali:… that he had been forsaken (makhdhoolan) everywhere he went, had repeatedly tried to acquire the khilafa and never attained it, fought out of lust for power rather than religion, and said that “he loved authority while `Uthman loved money.” He would say that Abu Bakr had declared Islam in his old age, fully aware of what he said, while `Ali had declared Islam as a boy, and the boy’s Islam is not considered sound upon his mere word… In sum he said ugly things such as these, and it was said against him that he was a hypocrite, in view of the Prophet’s (s) saying (to `Ali): “Only a hypocrite would show you hatred.” [p. 153-155]

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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