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 Ibn Taymiyyah

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مُساهمةموضوع: Ibn Taymiyyah   الخميس يوليو 30, 2009 10:12 am

Ibn Taymiyyah



The entire world of Islam was trembling with fright as an imminent
target of Tartar oppression. Iraq, Iran, and Khurasan continued to be
despotically ruled by the Tartars. Egypt, Sudan, Syria, and Hijaz were
ruled by the Memluk Turks.

Simultaneously, a large Christian evangelical movement was mounting to
censure Islam. The crusaders were incessantly attacking Palestine and
the European Christians residing in Syria and Cyprus had become
emboldened to criticize the prophecy of Rasoolullah (saws), compose
works on the alleged truthfulness of Christianity, and to invite
theological debate.

As the external pressures mounted, several internal problems plagued
the Muslims. A so-called Muslim sect known as the Batinites was
conspiring with the enemies of Islam to destroy the Muslims. They
sought to propagate their creed, which was based on Magian doctrine and
Platonic concepts and spread misguidance among the Muslims. It was also
at this time that a sufi sect, called the Rafaa'iyah, with its
neo-platonic gnosticism and Hindu pantheistic ideas, had introduced the
concepts of divination, and the use of charms and spells into Islam.

In addition, other concepts alien to Islam had been injected into the
Muslim society by influence of the Dhimmis living in the Muslims lands.
By this means, the practices of worshipping, supplicating to, or
excessively praising saints were also introduced to the Muslims.

Even as the ignorant masses fell deeper into the pits of misguidance,
some scholars, themselves, had become entangled in the web of
theological rhetoric and philosophical jargon, thereby allowing
heretical beliefs to creep into the Islamic creed.

In the midst of this degradation, the other scholars were stagnant.
They were lost in regards to providing a solution for the worsening
situation.

Such was the situation of the Muslim Ummah in the seventh century after
Hijrah. From among this ummah came a man who would change the time he
lived in with his exceptional knowledge, devotion, courage. He was a
mujtahid and a mujahid and he fought all of the enemies of Islam,
internal and external, being opposed all the way, and persevering even
in the face of insurmountable obstacle.

He was a great scholar, son of a great scholar, who was the son of a great scholar.

Taqi ul-Deen was his title, and Abul-'Abbas was his kunniyyah
(pet-name). Ahmad the son of Abdul-Halim, commonly known as Ibn
Taymiyyah, had a family history which was just as illustrious as his
own life. His grandfather, Majd-ud-Din (d. 652 AH) was a renowned
teacher of the Hanbali school of thought. His father, (Shahab ud-Din)
Abdul Halim (d. 682 AH) was the Imam of the great Ummayyad mosque and a
professor of Hadith in Damascus.

Ibn Taymiyyah was born on Monday, the 10th of Rabi'-ul-Awwal 661 AH in
the city of Harran, Syria. At the age of seven, his family moved to
Damascus, fleeing from the Tartar invasion.

He studied with over 200 sheikhs, among them his own father and four
women. Ibn Taymiyyah was the model student due not only to his zeal for
learning but also to his amazing mental capacity and particularly his
prodigious memory. An eyewitness account of his amazing memory was
preserved in the writings of a scholar:

"Once a scholar of Halb who came to Damascus heard of a prodigious
child, Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, renowned for his marvellous retentive
power. Coming to a tailor's shop near Ahmad's house he sat down there
to wit for the child. After a short while, the tailor pointed out the
boy sought by him. He summoned the boy and asked him to wipe off his
tablet so that he could write on it. The boy handed over the clean
tablet to the scholar who wrote 11 or 13 ahadith on it and then asked
the boy to read them carefully once. Now, the scholar took back the
tablet and asked the boy to repeat what he had read. The boy repeated
them all without a single mistake. The scholar got the table wiped off
again and wrote thereon a few transmitting chains of the ahadith. The
boy went through these and again repeated the whole thing. Astonished
at the feat of the boy's memory he remarked: 'If Allah wills him to
live, he would be a genius without a peer in the whole world.' " [1]

From his childhood, he was never interested in games or sports; but the
pursuit of knowledge consumed his life. He mastered all of the
religious and secular sciences of his time giving special attention to
Arabic literature, grammar, and lexicography. He also learned the laws
of shari'ah, Jurisprudence, Hadith and Quranic sciences, and studied
the Hanbali system of law under his own father. Besides this he also
learned calligraphy and mathematics. A close examination of his work
suggests that he followed none but the early pious Muslims (salaf
al-salihoon). He was the champion opponent against all of the different
innovations that had infiltrated the deen in his time.

He had a particular fancy for the tafseer (explanation) of the Quran.
Ibn Taymiyyah, himself, explains the way he used to persist in
pondering each verse:

"Sometimes I have gone through as many as hundred commentaries of a
single verse of the Quran. After I have dipped into these pages, I have
supplicated Allah to enlighten me about the true content and
significance of the verse. I pray to Allah thus on these occasions:
'You are the Exalted Teacher of Adam and Ibrahim. Favour me with the
essence of this verse.' " [2]

Among the other tasks that Ibn Taymiyyah took upon himself was the
response to the contemporary Ash'arite school of dialectics that was
them predominant in Syria and Egypt and which was in opposition to the
Hanbalite position. He learned and mastered the study of dialectics,
logic, and philosophy and to such a degree that he so forcefully argued
against the Greek philosophers that no philosopher in retaliation came
forward to rebut his criticism.

Ibn Taymiyyah always tried to prevent, by force if necessary, all
accretions and innovations in religion. He taken upon himself the
responsibility of acting as a public censor who would purge the deen of
any heretical ideas. He formed a society for this purpose and even
accompanied some expeditions to fight the guilty heretical sects that
have conspired with the crusaders and Tartars.

His jihad was not only an ideological one, but he also personally
participated in the battles against the Tartar army. In 699 AH, when
the Egyptians army was unsuccessful in holding of the Tartar army from
Damascus, almost all of the inhabitants of the city had fled and so the
few remaining patricians of the city, among them Ibn Taymiyyah, decided
to meet the Tartar king and ask for the peace of the city. While the
others trembled in his presence and would dare not speak out, Ibn
Taymiyyah was uninhibited and strongly defended truth and justice.

One of his companions in the delegation recounts Ibn Taymiyyah's courage:

"I was with the Sheikh (Ibn Taymiyyah) on this occasion. He set forth
in his address to the King, the Quranic verses and ahadith enjoining
fairness and just conduct. His voice gradually rising, he was drawing
nearer to the king until his knees were about to touch those of Ghazan
(the king), who was attentively listening to the Sheikh but didn't
appear to be displeased with or spiteful of him. But he was straining
his ears as if struck with awe.

“At last he asked; 'Who is this? I have never seen a man like him (in
bravery and courage). None have made a dent in my heart as he has!' “

“The Sheikh was then introduced to the King. The Sheikh then said to
the King: 'You claim to be a Muslim. I have been told that you have
with you a Qadi and an Imam, a Sheikh and a Mu'adhdhin; yet you have
deemed it proper to march upon Muslims. Your forefathers were not
Muslims, but even they always abstained from breaking the promises made
by them. They redeemed the pledges they made, but you violate the word
of honour given by you. You trample underfoot your solemn declarations
in order to lay a hand on the servants of Allah!' "

His companion adds that despite Ibn Taymiyyah's remonstrance in such a
strong language, the King bade him farewell with the highest mark of
respect. He even set free, on Ibn Taymiyyah's recommendation, a good
number of prisoners.

Ibn Taymiyyah often used to say: 'Only that person fears, who has a sickness of heart.'

In 702 AH, Ibn Taymiyyah participated in the battle of Shaqaab and helped defeat the Tartars.

Naturally, Ibn Taymiyyah began to be recognized as one of the leading
scholars of Syria and his popularity was increasing but some of the
scholars became envious of him and resented his trying to enforce the
shari'ah. Ibn Kathir explains:

"A group of the theologians was jealous of Sheikh Taqi ud-Din Ibn
Taymiyyah because of his position in the court of the governor and also
for his acting as a public censor who had taken upon himself the
responsibility of enforcing what was lawful and preventing what was
prohibited. They were envious of his growing popularity and of the love
and respect accorded to him as well as of his learning and zeal for
religion."

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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Ibn Taymiyyah   الخميس يوليو 30, 2009 10:15 am

As a result of this and strong
opposition by some of the scholars to his views, Ibn Taymiyyah was
imprisoned several times yet he never wavered in his belief and was
unmatched in his generosity and forgiving nature.

In 705 AH, he was summoned to Egypt where he was interrogated in reference to his belief about the nature of Allah's

attributes. Qadi Ibn Mukhluk, one of Ibn Taymiyyah's fiercest
opponents, was appointed as the judge in his case. He was imprisoned
along with his brothers, Sharaf ud-Din 'Abdullah and Zaid ud-Din
'Abdur-Rahman.

Many had pleaded incessantly for his release until, after a year had
passed, he was offered to be set free if he renounced his creed. The
offer was made to him as many as six times, but he always refused,
saying, "The prison is dearer to me than what I am asked to affirm."

In prison he found his fellow prisoners immersed in a life of sin and
he raised his voice against them. Thus, not long after his arrival, he
changed the whole atmosphere of the prison. A number of the prisoners
became his devoted disciples who, on being released, opted to stay with
their beloved teacher than to return to their families.

Perhaps nothing better at indicating Ibn Taymiyyah's moral excellence
than his mercy and forgiveness towards those who inflicted harm on him.
In a letter he sent to Syria soon after his release, he stated:

"...I do not want that anyone should be punished for my suffering or
for levelling false allegations against me, for I have already forgiven
everyone of them. I desire the well-being of every Muslim -- the same
as I desire for myself. All those persons who discredited me or gave
false evidence against me or caused trouble to me are not the least
accountable in so far as I am concerned; no responsibility lies upon
them on my score."

This was only the first of the many times he was imprisoned and in
every cases he forgave the perpetrators of the injustice against him
and was patient with his fate. Still, some were not satisfied, and
continued to put forth allegations against him.

One ruling, which was attributed to him stated that no journey to any
shrine, even if it were to the grave of Rasoolullah (saw), could be
undertaken as an act of devotion under the shari'ah. His enemies used
this alleged statement to discredit him among the ignorant ones. The
order for his arrest came on the 7th of Sha'ban, 726 AH, and when news
of this came to Ibn Taymiyyah, he said, "I was looking forward to it.
It has a lot of goodness and grace for me."

While in prison he completed 80 recitals of the Quran and wrote several
books and treatises. When the authorities confiscated paper and writing
materials from him he wrote with charcoal on any loose sheets of paper
he could find. He completed a 40-volume tafseer called al-Bahr
al-Muheet. He wrote in total over 500 books according to Imam adh-
Dhahabi, most of them in prison. While his enemies succeed in
containing his person, they couldn't contain his mind, wisdom, and
scholarship. All the while they considered that they were harming him,
he had a different perception.

He wrote in a letter:

"Thanks to Allah that we are now engaged in a fight in the way of
Allah. The battle we are fighting here is not a bit lower in order

than our previous warfare against Ghazan, the heretics of the hills and
the propagators of pantheistic monism. This is undoubtedly a blessing
of Allah on us, although most of the people are unaware of it."

And so he died as he lived, in a constant struggle for the sake

for Allah (swt). Zaid ud-Din 'Abdur-Rahman relates that after

completing eighty recitals of the Quran, Ibn Taymiyyah started it again
with him. However, when he reached the closing verses of Surat
al-Qamar: "Lo! The righteous will dwell among gardens and rivers firmly
established in the favour of a Mighty King." [54:54- 55] he expressed
his desire to continue the recital with 'Abdullah ibn Muhib and his
brother, 'Abdullah az-Zara'ee. He was not able to complete this
recitation.

Ibn Taymiyyah died on the 22nd of Dhul Qa'dah, 728 AH. It is estimated
that a train of 60,000 to 100,000 people, of which at least 15,000 were
women, joined the funeral procession.

Ibn Taymiyyah revived an otherwise dying society. He was the torch of
tawheed, a fortress of courage, an encyclopedia of knowledge and a
patient servant of Allah (swt). He surpassed all of the scholars of his
time and even his enemies bore witness to this fact. His knowledge and
works continued to have a marked affect on history and he is, without
doubt, one of the greatest scholars of Islamic history.

Perhaps the greatest tribute to Ibn Taymiyyah's status in the annals of
knowledge is a statement made by one of his most bitter rivals, Sheikh
Kamal-ud-Din az-Zamalkaani:

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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Ibn Taymiyyah   الخميس يوليو 30, 2009 10:16 am

"Allah has made knowledge of all the sciences as easy for Ibn

Taymiyyah as iron had been softened for Prophet Dawud. Whenever he was
asked any question, he answered in a way that the audience thought him
to have spent his whole life in acquiring knowledge of that very branch
of knowledge alone and that he was acknowledged as the greatest
authority on the subject. Scholars subscribing to different juristic
schools attended his discourses and each one of them learnt something
that he had not known earlier. It never happened that he debated any
point and was put to shame or was falsified. Whatever be the subject
matter about which he spoke, whether religious or discursive, he
surpassed all the authorities on that particular subject. In
penmanship, too, he was equally elegant."

Source: http://fisabilillah.org/show_articles.asp?id_cat=18

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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Ibn Taymiyyah   الخميس يوليو 30, 2009 10:18 am

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