Ibn Taymiyya and Tajseem
Ibn Taymiyya and Tajseem
The following is translated from ‘Maqalat al-Kawthari‘ [The Articles of Kawthari] by Muhammad Zahid ibn al-Hasan al-Kawthari (Riyadh and Beirut: Dar al-ahnaf, 1414/1993) p. 350-353.
How much did the Hanbalis Ibn `Uqayl and Ibn al-Jawzi suffer at their hands ( the anthropomorphists), and how much was the former falsely summoned to repent from being a Mu`tazila whereas they were both only declaring God’s transcendance!
[Note: Ibn al-Jawzi’s book against the so-called Hanbali anthropomorphists has received many editions and is widely available. The title is: ‘Daf` shubah al-tashbih bi akuffi al-tanzih‘, “The Repelling With the Hands of Purification of the Sophistries of Anthroporphism”, also known as ‘al-Baz al-ashabb al-munqadd `ala mukhalifi al-madhhab al- hanbali’, “The Flaming Falcon Swooping Down on the Dissenters of the Hanbali Madhhab”! Editions: Damascus, 1926; Cairo, 1977?; Beirut, 1987; Amman, 1991; and recently, a new edition by Imam Abu Zahra]
Then there was the story of Ibn al-Qudwa al-Karrami against Imam [Fakhr al-Din] Razi… Then there was the mischief (fitna) of Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi [al-Hanbali], it can be found in the Appendix (or towards the end) of Abu Shama’s ‘al-Rawdatayn’ [a book on Salah al-Din’s times]. Then there were the many mischiefs (fitan) of Ibn Taymiyya in Damascus which have become known far and wide. They are detailed in Taqi al-Din al-Hisni’s (1351-1426 M) ‘Daf`u shubahi man shabbaha wa tamarrad’ [The Repelling of the Sophistries of the One Who Rebels and Likens God to Creation], which is in print [Cairo, 1350/1931, but recently reedited and published by Imam Abu Zahra together with Ibn al-Jawzi’s work]…
Much of the historical evidence related to Ibn Taymiyya and his student (Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya) is recorded in ‘al-Sayf al-Saqeel fi al-radd `ala ibn Zafeel’ [The Burnished Sword in Responding to Ibn Zafeel, by Abu al-Hasan Taqi al-Din al-Subki] (Cairo: Matba`at al-Sa`adat, 1356/1938) and its gloss (hashiatuh), which is in print.
Ibn Taymiyya is the one who broadcast their (the mujassima’s) deviant writings in Egypt and Syria at a time such writings were non-existent in these two countries. The simple-minded were completely fooled by his books due to the purported refutations of innovations they found in them, written with a fluent style. They did not perceive that his lines were laced through and through with deadly poisons.
Ibn Taymiyya replicates part and parcel what is found in the book of Uthman ibn Sa`eed al-Darimi [al-Radd `ala al-Jahmiyya], the book of Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal [Kitab al-Sunna], and the book of Ibn Khuzayma [al-tawhid wa sifaat al-Rabb], therefore one answers him in the same way that one answers them.
It will not hurt to mention some of the texts from among his writings in the book which he named ‘al-Ta’sis fi radd asas al-taqdis’ [The Laying of the Foundation: Refutation of “The Foundation of the Sanctification of God”, a book by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi], and which is found inside volumes 24, 25, and 26 of ‘al-Kawakib al-Darari’ [The Brilliant Stars, probably comprising two books with this or similar titles, respectively by Ibn `Abd al-Hadi and Mar`i ibn Yusuf al-Karmi, extolling the praises of Ibn Taymiyya] in the Zahiriyya Library in Damascus, and in other of his books, in order that those who are passionately in love with Ibn Taymiyya be fully aware of who it is they love so much.
In the ‘Ta’sis’ he says this: “Indeed ‘al-`arsh’ (the throne) in language means ‘al-sarir’ [elevated seat or couch], so named with respect to what is on top of it (wa dhalika bi al-nisba ila ma fawqihi), just as ‘the roof’ is so named with respect to what is under it (ka al- saqfi bi al-nisba ila ma tahtihi). Therefore, if the Qur’an attributes a throne to Allah — which is not like a roof with respect to Him (but the reverse) — it is then known that this throne is, with respect to Allah, like the elevated seat is with respect to other than Allah. And this makes it necessarily true that He is on top of the throne (wa dhalika yaqtadi annahu fawqu al-`arsh).”
So then the Throne is, for Ibn Taymiyya, the seat (maq`ad) of Allah the Exalted — Exalted is He from such a thing!
In the same book he also says: “It is well-known that the Book, the Sunna, and the Consensus (of scholars) nowhere say that all bodies are created (lam tantiq bi anna al-ajsama kullaha muhdathatun), nor that Allah Himself is not a body (wa annallaha laysa bi jismin). None of the imams of the Muslims ever said such a thing. Therefore if I also choose not to say it, it does not expel me from religion nor from shari`a.”
Indeed the above is complete impudence. What did he do with all the verses declaring Allah to be far removed from having anything like unto Him? Does he expect that the idiocy that every single idiot can come up with be addressed with a specific text? Is it not enough that Allah the Exalted said: “Nothing is like unto Him” (42:11)? Or does he consider it permissible for someone to say: Allah eats this, and chews that, and tastes the other thing, just because no text mentions the opposite? Now this is disbelief laid bare (al-kufr al-makshuf) and pure anthropomorphism (wa al-tajsim al sareeH).
In another passage of the same book he says: “You (Ash`aris) say that He is neither a body (laysa huwa bi jismin), nor an essence (wa la jawhar), nor confined (wa la mutaHayyiz), and that He has no direction (wa la jihatan lahu), and that He cannot be pointed to as an object of sensory perception (wa la yusharu ilayhi bi Hissin), and that nothing of Him can be considered distinct from Him (wa la yatamayyazu minhu shay’in min shay’), and you have asserted this on the grounds that Allah the Exalted is neither divisible (laysa bi munqasim) nor made of parts (wa la murakkab) and that He has neither limit (wa annahu la Hadda lahu) nor end (wa la ghayat), with your view thereby to forbid one to say that He has any extent/measure (Hadd) or dimension (qadr), or that He even has a dimension that is unlimited (aw yakuna lahu qadrun la yatanaha). And how do you allow yourselves to say or do this without (evidence from) the Book and the Sunna?”
The reader’s intelligence suffices as comment on these heretical words (hadhihi al-kalimat al-ilHadiyya). Can you imagine for an apostate (maariq) to be more obvious (aSraH) than this, right in the midst of a Muslim society?
Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America