Ibn Taymiyyah

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Ibn Taymiyyah_table_infobox_0

Ibn Taymiyyah

ابن تيميةIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_0_0

PersonalIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_1_0
BornIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_2_0 10 Rabi' al-awwal 661 AH, or
January 22, 1263 CE

Harran, Sultanate of RumIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_2_1

DiedIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_3_0 20 Dhu al-Qi'dah 728 AH, or
September 26, 1328 (aged 64–65)

Damascus, Mamluk SultanateIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_3_1

ReligionIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_4_0 IslamIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_4_1
NationalityIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_5_0 ShamIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_5_1
EraIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_6_0 Late High Middle Ages or Crisis of the Late Middle AgesIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_6_1
DenominationIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_7_0 SunniIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_7_1
JurisprudenceIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_8_0 HanbaliIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_8_1
CreedIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_9_0 AthariIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_9_1
Alma materIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_10_0 Madrasa Dar al-Hadith as-SukariyaIbn Taymiyyah_cell_0_10_1
Muslim leaderIbn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_11_0
Personal (Ism)Ibn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_12_0 Ahmad

(أحمد)Ibn Taymiyyah_cell_0_12_1

Patronymic (Nasab)Ibn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_13_0 Ibn Abd al-Halim ibn Abd as-Salam ibn Abd Allah ibn al-Khidr ibn Muhammad ibn al-Khidr ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Abd Allah

(بن عبد الحليم بن عبد السلام بن عبد الله بن الخضر بن محمد بن الخضر بن إبراهيم بن علي بن عبد الله)Ibn Taymiyyah_cell_0_13_1

Teknonymic (Kunya)Ibn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_14_0 Abu al-Abbas

(أبو العباس)Ibn Taymiyyah_cell_0_14_1

Toponymic (Nisba)Ibn Taymiyyah_header_cell_0_15_0 al-Harrani

(الحراني)Ibn Taymiyyah_cell_0_15_1

Taqī ad-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Abd al-Halim ibn Abd al-Salam al-Numayri al-Ḥarrānī (Arabic: تقي الدين أحمد بن عبد الحليم بن عبد السلام النميري الحراني‎, January 22, 1263 - September 26, 1328), known simply Ibn Taymiyyah (ابن تيمية) for short, was a controversial Muslim scholar muhaddith, theologian, judge, jurisconsult, who some have argued was a philosopher, and whom Rashid Rida considered as the renewer of the 7th century. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_0

He is known for his diplomatic involvement with Ilkhanid ruler Ghazan Khan and for his victorious achievement at the Battle of Marj al-Saffar which ended the Mongol invasions of the Levant. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_1

A member of the Hanbali school, Ibn Taymiyyah's iconoclastic views on widely accepted Sunni doctrines of his time such as the veneration of saints and the visitation to their tomb-shrines made him unpopular with many scholars and rulers of the time, under whose orders he was imprisoned several times. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_2

A polarising figure in his own times and in the centuries that followed, Ibn Taymiyyah has become one of the most influential medieval writers in contemporary Islam, where his particular interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah and his rejection of some aspects of classical Islamic tradition are believed to have had considerable influence on contemporary ultra-conservative ideologies such as Salafism, and Jihadism. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_3

Particular aspects of his teachings had a profound influence on Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the Hanbali reform movement practiced in Saudi Arabia, and on other later Wahabi scholars. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_4

Moreover, Ibn Taymiyyah's controversial fatwa allowing jihad against other Muslims is referenced by al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_5

Their reading of Ibn Taymiyyah's thought has been challenged by recent scholarship. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_6

Name Ibn Taymiyyah_section_0

Ibn Taymiyyah's full name is Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Ḥalīm ibn `Abd as-Salām ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Khidr ibn Muhammad ibn al-Khidr ibn Ibrahim ibn `Ali ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Numayri al-Ḥarrānī (Arabic: أحمد بن عبد الحليم بن عبد السلام بن عبد الله بن الخضر بن محمد بن الخضر بن إبراهيم بن علي بن عبد الله النميري الحراني‎). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_7

Ibn Taymiyyah's (ابن تيمية) name is unusual in that it is derived from a female member of his family as opposed to a male member, which was the normal custom at the time and still is now. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_8

Taymiyyah was a prominent woman, famous for her scholarship and piety and the name Ibn Taymiyyah was taken up by many of her male descendants. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_9

Overview Ibn Taymiyyah_section_1

Ibn Taymiyyah had a simple life, most of which he dedicated to learning, writing, and teaching. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_10

He never married nor did he have a female companion, throughout his years. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_11

Al-Matroudi says that this may be why he was able to engage fully with the political affairs of his time without holding any official position such as that of a judge. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_12

An offer of an official position was made to him but he never accepted. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_13

His life was that of a religious scholar and a political activist. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_14

In his efforts he was persecuted and imprisoned on six occasions with the total time spent inside prison coming to over six years. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_15

Other sources say that he spent over twelve years in prison. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_16

His detentions were due to certain elements of his creed and his views on some jurisprudential issues. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_17

However according to Yahya Michot, "the real reasons were more trivial". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_18

Michot gives five reasons as to why Ibn Taymiyyah was imprisoned, they being: not complying with the "doctrines and practices prevalent among powerful religious and Sufi establishments, an overly outspoken personality, the jealousy of his peers, the risk to public order due to this popular appeal and political intrigues." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_19

Baber Johansen, a professor at the Harvard Divinity School, says that the reasons for Ibn Taymiyyah's incarcerations were, "as a result of his conflicts with Muslim mystics, jurists, and theologians, who were able to persuade the political authorities of the necessity to limit Ibn Taymiyyah's range of action through political censorship and incarceration." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_20

Ibn Taymiyyah's own relationship, as a religious scholar, with the ruling apparatus was not always amicable. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_21

It ranged from silence to open rebellion. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_22

On occasions when he shared the same views and aims as the ruling authorities, his contributions were welcomed but when Ibn Taymiyyah went against the status quo, he was seen as "uncooperative" and on occasions spent much time in prison. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_23

Ibn Taymiyyah's attitude towards his own rulers, was based on the actions of Muhammad's companions when they made an oath of allegiance to him as follows; "to obey within obedience to God, even if the one giving the order is unjust; to abstain from disputing the authority of those who exert it; and to speak out the truth, or take up its cause without fear in respect of God, of blame from anyone." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_24

Early years Ibn Taymiyyah_section_2

Background Ibn Taymiyyah_section_3

His father had the Hanbali chair in Harran and later at the Umayyad Mosque. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_25

Harran was a city part of the Sultanate of Rum, now Harran is a small city on the border of Syria and Turkey, currently in Şanlıurfa province. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_26

At the beginning of the Islamic period, Harran was located in the land of the Mudar tribe (Diyar Mudar). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_27

Before its destruction by the Mongols, Harran was also well known since the early days of Islam for its Hanbali school and tradition, to which Ibn Taymiyyah's family belonged. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_28

His grandfather, Abu al-Barkat Majd ad-Din ibn Taymiyyah al-Hanbali (d. 1255) and his uncle, Fakhr al-Din (d. 1225) were reputable scholars of the Hanbali school of law. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_29

Likewise, the scholarly achievements of his father, Shihab al-Din Abd al-Halim ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1284) were also well known. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_30

Immigration to Damascus Ibn Taymiyyah_section_4

In 1269, aged seven, Ibn Taymiyyah, left Harran together with his father and three brothers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_31

The city was completely destroyed by the ensuing Mongol invasion. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_32

Ibn Taymiyyah's family moved and settled in Damascus, Syria, which at the time was ruled by the Mamluk Sultanate. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_33

Education Ibn Taymiyyah_section_5

In Damascus, his father served as the director of the Sukkariyya Madrasa, a place where Ibn Taymiyyah also received his early education. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_34

Ibn Taymiyyah acquainted himself with the religious and secular sciences of his time. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_35

His religious studies began in his early teens, when he committed the entire Qur'an to memory and later on came to learn the Islamic disciplines of the Qur'an. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_36

From his father he learnt the religious science of fiqh (jurisprudence) and usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_37

Ibn Taymiyyah learnt the works of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Khallal, Ibn Qudamah and also the works of his grandfather, Abu al-Barakat Majd ad-Din. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_38

His study of jurisprudence was not limited to the Hanbali tradition but he also learnt the other schools of jurisprudence. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_39

The number of scholars under which he studied hadith is said to number more than two hundred, four of whom were women. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_40

Those who are known by name amount to forty hadith teachers, as recorded by Ibn Taymiyyah in his book called Arba`un Hadithan. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_41

Serajul Haque says, based on this, Ibn Taymiyyah started to hear hadith from the age of five. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_42

One of his teachers was the first Hanbali Chief Justice of Syria, Shams ud-Din Al-Maqdisi who held the newly created position instituted by Baibars as part of a reform of the judiciary. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_43

Al-Maqdisi later on, came to give Ibn Taymiyyah permission to issue Fatawa (legal verdicts) when he became a mufti at the age of 17. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_44

Ibn Taymiyyah's secular studies led him to devote attention to Arabic language and Arabic literature by studying Arabic grammar and lexicography under Ali ibn `Abd al-Qawi al-Tuft. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_45

He went on to master the famous book of Arabic grammar, Al-Kitab, by the Persian grammarian Sibawayhi. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_46

He also studied mathematics, algebra, calligraphy, theology (kalam), philosophy, history and heresiography. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_47

The knowledge he gained from history and philosophy, he used to refute the prevalent philosophical discourses of his time, one of which was Aristotelian philosophy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_48

Ibn Taymiyyah learnt about Sufism and stated that he had reflected on the works of; Sahl al-Tustari, Junayd of Baghdad, Abu Talib al-Makki, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi and Ibn Arabi. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_49

At the age of 20 in the year 1282, Ibn Taymiyyah completed his education. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_50

Life as a scholar Ibn Taymiyyah_section_6

After his father died in 1284, he took up the then vacant post as the head of the Sukkariyya madrasa and began giving lessons on Hadith. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_51

A year later he started giving lessons, as chair of the Hanbali Zawiya on Fridays at the Umayyad Mosque, on the subject of tafsir (exegesis of Qur'an). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_52

In November 1292, Ibn Taymiyyah performed the Hajj and after returning 4 months later, he wrote his first book aged twenty nine called Manasik al-Hajj (Rites of the Pilgrimage), in which he criticized and condemned the religious innovations he saw take place there. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_53

Ibn Taymiyyah represented the Hanbali school of thought during this time. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_54

The Hanbali school was seen as the most traditional school out of the four legal systems (Hanafi, Maliki and Shafii) because it was "suspicious of the Hellenist disciplines of philosophy and speculative theology." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_55

He remained faithful throughout his life to this school, whose doctrines he had mastered, but he nevertheless called for ijtihad (independent reasoning by one who is qualified) and discouraged taqlid. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_56

Relationship with authorities Ibn Taymiyyah_section_7

Ibn Taymiyyah's emergence into the public and political sphere began in 1293 at the age of 30, when he was asked by the authorities to issue a fatwa (legal verdict) on Assaf al-Nasrani, a Christian cleric accused of insulting Muhammad. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_57

He accepted the invitation and delivered his fatwa, calling for the man to receive the death penalty. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_58

Despite the fact that public opinion was very much on Ibn Taymiyyah's side, the Governor of Syria attempted to resolve the situation by asking Assaf to accept Islam in return for his life, to which he agreed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_59

This resolution was not acceptable to Ibn Taymiyyah who then, together with his followers, protested outside the governor's palace demanding Assaf be put to death, on the grounds that any person—Muslim or non-Muslim—who insults Muhammad must be killed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_60

This unwillingness to compromise coupled with his attempt to protest against the governor's actions, resulted in him being punished with a prison sentence, the first of many such imprisonments to come. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_61

The French orientalist Henri Laoust says that during this incarceration Ibn Taymiyyah "wrote his first great work, al-Ṣārim al-maslūl ʿalā s̲h̲ātim al-Rasūl (The Drawn Sword against those who insult the Messenger)." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_62

Ibn Taymiyyah, together with the help of his disciples, continued with his efforts against what, "he perceived to be un-Islamic practices" and to implement what he saw as his religious duty of commanding good and forbidding wrong. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_63

Yahya Michot says that some of these incidences included: "shaving children's heads", leading "an anti-debauchery campaign in brothels and taverns", hitting an atheist before his public execution, destroying what was thought to be a sacred rock in a mosque, attacking astrologers and obliging "deviant Sufi Shaykhs to make public acts of contrition and to adhere to the Sunnah." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_64

Ibn Taymiyyah and his disciples used to condemn wine sellers and they would attack wine shops in Damascus by breaking wine bottles and pouring them onto the floor. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_65

A few years later in 1296, he took over the position of one of his teachers (Zayn al-Din Ibn al-Munadjdjaal), taking the post of professor of Hanbali jurisprudence at the Hanbaliyya madrasa, the oldest such institution of this tradition in Damascus. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_66

This is seen by some to be the peak of his scholarly career. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_67

The year he began his post at the Hanbaliyya madrasa, was a time of political turmoil. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_68

The Mamluk sultan Al-Adil Kitbugha was deposed by his vice-sultan Al-Malik al-Mansur Lajin who then ruled from 1297 to 1299. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_69

Lajin had a desire to commission an expedition against the Christians of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia who formed an alliance with the Mongol Empire and taking part of the military campaign which lead to the destruction of Baghdad the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and Harran the birthplace of Ibn Taymiyyah, for that purpose he urged Ibn Taymiyyah to call the Muslims to Jihad. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_70

In 1298, Ibn Taymiyyah wrote an explanation of the ayat al-mutashabihat (the unclear verses of the Qur'an) called Al-`Aqidat al-Hamawiyat al-Kubra (The creed of the great people of Hama). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_71

The book is about divine attributes and it served as an answer to a question from the city of Hama, Syria. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_72

At that particular time Ash'arites held prominent positions within the Islamic scholarly community in both Syria and Egypt, and they held a certain position on the divine attributes of God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_73

Ibn Taymiyyah in his book strongly disagreed with their views and this heavy opposition to the common Ash'ari position, caused considerable controversy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_74

Ibn Taymiyyah collaborated once more with the Mamluks in 1300, when he joined the expedition against the Alawites and Shiites, in the Kasrawan region of the Lebanese mountains. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_75

Ibn Taymiyyah thought of the Alawites as "more heritical yet than Jews and Christians", (بالنصيرية هم وسائر أصناف القرامطة الباطنية أكفر من اليهود والنصارى ; بل وأكفر من كثير من المشركين), and according to Carole Hillenbrand, the confrontation with the Alawites resulted because they "were accused of collaboration with Christians and Mongols." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_76

Ibn Taymiyya had further active involvements in campaigns against the Mongols and their alleged Alawite allies. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_77

Second expedition against the Alawites Ibn Taymiyyah_section_8

Ibn Taymiyyah took part in a second military offensive in 1305 against the Alawites and the Isma`ilis in the Kasrawan region of the Lebanese mountains where they were defeated. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_78

The majority of the Alawis and Ismailis eventually converted to Twelver Shiism and settled in south Lebanon and the Bekaa valley, with a few Shia pockets that survived in the Lebanese mountains. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_79

Involvement in Mongol invasion Ibn Taymiyyah_section_9

First invasions Ibn Taymiyyah_section_10

The first invasion took place between December 1299 and April 1300 due to the military campaign by the Mamluks against the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia who were allied with the Mongols. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_80

The Ilkhanate army managed to reach Damascus by the end of December 1299. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_81

Ibn Taymiyyah went with a delegation of Islamic scholars to talk to Ghazan Khan, who was the Khan of the Mongol Ilkhanate of Iran, to plead clemency and to stop his attack on the Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_82

It is reported that none of the scholars said anything to the Khan except Ibn Taymiyyah who said: Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_83

By early January 1300, the Mongol allies, the Armenians and Georgians, had caused widespread damage to Damascus and they had taken Syrian prisoners. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_84

The Mongols effectively occupied Damascus for the first four months of 1303. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_85

Most of the military had fled the city, including most of the civilians. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_86

Ibn Taymiyyah however, stayed and was one of the leaders of the resistance inside Damascus and he went to speak directly to the Ilkhan, Mahmud Ghazan, and his vizier Rashid al-Din Tabib. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_87

He sought the release of Muslim and dhimmi prisoners which the Mongols had taken in Syria, and after negotiation, secured their release. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_88

Second Mongol invasion Ibn Taymiyyah_section_11

The second invasion lasted between October 1300 and January 1301. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_89

Ibn Taymiyyah at this time began giving sermons on jihad at the Umayyad mosque. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_90

Ibn Taymiyyah also spoke to and encouraged the Governor of Damascus, al-Afram, to achieve victory over the Mongols. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_91

He became involved with al-Afram once more, when he was sent to get reinforcements from Cairo. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_92

Third invasion and fatwa Ibn Taymiyyah_section_12

The year 1303 saw the third Mongol invasion of Syria by Ghazan Khan. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_93

What has been called Ibn Taymiyyah's "most famous" fatwā was issued against the Mongols in the Mamluk's war. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_94

Ibn Taymiyyah declared that jihad against the Mongol attack on the Malmuk sultanate was not only permissible, but obligatory. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_95

The reason being that the Mongols could not, in his opinion, be true Muslims despite the fact that they had converted to Sunni Islam because they ruled using what he considered 'man-made laws' (their traditional Yassa code) rather than Islamic law or Sharia, whilst believing that the Yassa code was better than the Sharia law. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_96

Because of this, he reasoned they were living in a state of jahiliyyah, or pre-Islamic pagan ignorance. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_97

The fatwa broke new Islamic legal ground because "no jurist had ever before issued a general authorization for the use of lethal force against Muslims in battle", and was to influence modern Islamists in the use of violence against self-proclaimed Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_98

Ibn Taymiyyah called on the Muslims to jihad once again and personally participated Battle of Marj al-Saffar against the Ilkhanid army. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_99

The battle began on 20 April of that year. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_100

On the same day, Ibn Taymiyyah declared a fatwa which exempted Mamluk soldiers from fasting during Ramadan so that they could preserve their strength. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_101

Within two days the Mongols were severely defeated and the battle was won. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_102

Facing charges against his anthropomorphism Ibn Taymiyyah_section_13

Ibn Taymiyyah was imprisoned several times for conflicting with the prevailing opinions of the jurists and theologians of his day. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_103

A judge from the city of Wasit, Iraq, requested that Ibn Taymiyyah write a book on creed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_104

His subsequent creedal work, Al-Aqidah Al-Waasitiyyah, caused him trouble with the authorities. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_105

Ibn Taymiyyah adopted the view that God should be described as he was literally described in the Qur'an and in the hadith, and that all Muslims were required to believe this because according to him it was the view held by the early Muslim community (salaf). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_106

Within the space of two years (1305–1306) four separate religious council hearings were held to assess the correctness of his creed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_107

1305 hearing Ibn Taymiyyah_section_14

The first hearing was held with Ash‘ari scholars who accused Ibn Taymiyyah of anthropomorphism. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_108

At the time Ibn Taymiyyah was 42 years old. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_109

He was protected by the then Governor of Damascus, Aqqush al-Afram, during the proceedings. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_110

The scholars suggested that he accept that his creed was simply that of the Hanbalites and offered this as a way out of the charge. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_111

However, if Ibn Taymiyyah ascribed his creed to the Hanbali school of law then it would be just one view out of the four schools which one could follow rather than a creed everybody must adhere to. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_112

Uncompromising, Ibn Taymiyyah maintained that it was obligatory for all scholars to adhere to his creed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_113

1306 hearings and imprisonment Ibn Taymiyyah_section_15

Two separate councils were held a year later on 22 and 28 of January 1306. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_114

The first council was in the house of the Governor of Damascus Aqqush al-Afram, who had protected him the year before when facing the Shafii scholars. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_115

A second hearing was held six days later where the Indian scholar Safi al-Din al-Hindi found him innocent of all charges and accepted that his creed was in line with the "Qur'an and the Sunnah". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_116

Regardless, in April 1306 the chief Islamic judges of the Mamluk state declared Ibn Taymiyyah guilty and he was incarcerated. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_117

He was released four months later in September. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_118

Further objections after release Ibn Taymiyyah_section_16

After his release in Damascus, the doubts regarding his creed seemed to have resolved but this was not the case. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_119

A Shafii scholar, Ibn al-Sarsari, was insistent on starting another hearing against Ibn Taymiyyah which was held once again at the house of the Governor of Damascus, Al-Afram. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_120

His book Al-Aqidah Al-Waasitiyyah was still not found at fault. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_121

At the conclusion of this hearing, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Sarsari were sent to Cairo to settle the problem. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_122

Life in Egypt Ibn Taymiyyah_section_17

Debate on anthropomorphism and imprisonment Ibn Taymiyyah_section_18

On arrival of Ibn Taymiyyah and the Shafi'ite scholar in Cairo in 1306, an open meeting was held. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_123

The Mamluk sultan at the time was Al-Nasir Muhammad and his deputy attended the open meeting. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_124

Ibn Taymiyyah was found innocent. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_125

Despite the open meeting, objections regarding his creed continued and he was summoned to the Citadel in Cairo for a munazara (legal debate), which took place on 8 April 1306. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_126

During the munazara, his views on divine attributes, specifically whether a direction could be attributed to God, were debated by the Indian scholar Safi al-Din al-Hindi, in the presence of Islamic judges. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_127

Ibn Taymiyyah failed to convince the judges of his position and so was incarcerated for the charge of anthropomorphism on the recommendation of al-Hindi. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_128

Thereafter, he together with his two brothers were imprisoned in the Citadel of the Mountain (Qal'at al-Jabal), in Cairo until 25 September 1307. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_129

He was freed due to the help he received from two amirs; Salar and Muhanna ibn Isa, but he was not allowed to go back to Syria. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_130

He was then again summoned for a legal debate, but this time he convinced the judges of his views and was allowed to go free. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_131

Trial for intercession and imprisonment Ibn Taymiyyah_section_19

Ibn Taymiyyah continued to face troubles for his views which were found to be at odds with those of his contemporaries. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_132

His strong opposition to what he believed to be religious innovations, caused upset among the prominent Sufis of Egypt including Ibn Ata Allah and Karim al-Din al-Amuli, and the locals who started to protest against him. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_133

Their main contention was Ibn Taymiyyah's stance on tawassul (intercession). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_134

In his view, a person could not ask anyone other than God for help except on the Day of Judgement when intercession in his view would be possible. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_135

At the time, the people did not restrict intercession to just the Day of Judgement but rather they said it was allowed in other cases. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_136

Due to this, Ibn Taymiyyah, now aged 45, was ordered to appear before the Shafi'i judge Badr al-Din in March 1308 and was questioned on his stance regarding intercession. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_137

Thereafter, he was incarcerated in the prison of the judges in Cairo for some months. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_138

After his release, he was allowed to return to Syria, should he so wish. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_139

Ibn Taymiyyah however stayed in Egypt for a further five years. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_140

House arrest in Alexandria Ibn Taymiyyah_section_20

1309, the year after his release, saw a new Mamluk sultan accede to the throne, Baibars al-Jashnakir. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_141

His reign, marked by economical and political unrest, only lasted a year. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_142

In August 1309, Ibn Taymiyyah was taken into custody and placed under house arrest for seven months in the new sultan's palace in Alexandria. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_143

He was freed when al-Nasir Muhammad retook the position of sultan on 4 March 1310. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_144

Having returned to Cairo a week later, he was received by al-Nasir. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_145

The sultan would sometimes consult Ibn Taymiyyah on religious affairs and policies during the rest of his three-year stay in Cairo. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_146

During this time he continued to teach and wrote his famous book Al-Kitab al-Siyasa al-shar'iyya (Treatise on the Government of the Religious Law), a book noted for its account of the role of religion in politics. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_147

Return to Damascus and later years Ibn Taymiyyah_section_21

He spent his last fifteen years in Damascus. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_148

Aged 50, Ibn Taymiyyah returned to Damascus via Jerusalem on 28 February 1313. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_149

Damascus was now under the governorship of Tankiz. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_150

There, Ibn Taymiyyah continued his teaching role as professor of Hanbali fiqh. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_151

This is when he taught his most famous student, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, who went on to become a noted scholar in Islamic history. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_152

Ibn Qayyim was to share in Ibn Taymiyyah's renewed persecution. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_153

Three years after his arrival in the city, Ibn Taymiyyah became involved in efforts to deal with the increasing Shia influence amongst Sunni Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_154

An agreement had been made in 1316 between the amir of Mecca and the Ilkhanid ruler Öljaitü, brother of Ghazan Khan, to allow a favourable policy towards Shi'ism in the city. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_155

Around the same time the Shia theologian Al-Hilli, who had played a crucial role in the Mongol ruler's decision to make Shi'ism the state religion of Persia, wrote the book Minhaj al-Karamah (The Way of Charisma'), which dealt with the Shia doctrine of the Imamate and also served as a refutation of the Sunni doctrine of the caliphate. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_156

In response, Ibn Taymiyyah wrote his famous book, Minhaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah, as a refutation of Al-Hilli's work. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_157

Fatwa on divorce and imprisonment Ibn Taymiyyah_section_22

In 1318, Ibn Taymiyyah wrote a treatise that would curtail the ease with which a Muslim man could divorce his wife. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_158

Ibn Taymiyyah's fatwa on divorce was not accepted by the majority of scholars of the time and this continued into the Ottoman era. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_159

However, almost every modern Muslim nation-state has come to adopt Ibn Taymiyyah's position on this issue of divorce. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_160

At the time he issued the fatwa, Ibn Taymiyyah revived an edict by the sultan not to issue fatwas on this issue but he continued to do so, saying, "I cannot conceal my knowledge". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_161

As in previous instances, he stated that his fatwa was based on the Qur'an and hadith. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_162

His view on the issue was at odds with the Hanbali position. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_163

This proved controversial among the people in Damascus as well as the Islamic scholars who opposed him on the issue. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_164

According to the scholars of the time, an oath of divorce counted as a full divorce and they were also of the view that three oaths of divorce taken under one occasion counted as three separate divorces. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_165

The significance of this was, that a man who divorces the same partner three times is no longer allowed to remarry that person until and if that person marries and divorces another man. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_166

Only then could the man, who took the oath, remarry his previous wife. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_167

Ibn Taymiyyah accepted this but rejected the validity of three oaths taken under one sitting to count as three separate divorces as long as the intention was not to divorce. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_168

Moreover, Ibn Taymiyyah was of the view that a single oath of divorce uttered but not intended, also does not count as an actual divorce. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_169

He stated that since this is an oath much like an oath taken in the name of God, a person must expiate for an unintentional oath in a similar manner. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_170

Due to his views and also by not abiding to the sultan's letter two years before forbidding him from issuing a fatwa on the issue, three council hearings were held, in as many years (1318, 1319 and 1320), to deal with this matter. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_171

The hearing were overseen by the Viceroy of Syria, Tankiz. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_172

This resulted in Ibn Taymiyyah being imprisoned on 26 August 1320 in the Citadel of Damascus. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_173

He was released about five months and 18 days later, on 9 February 1321, by order of the Sultan Al-Nasir. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_174

Ibn Taymiyyah was reinstated as teacher of Hanbali law and he resumed teaching. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_175

Risāla on visiting tombs and final imprisonment Ibn Taymiyyah_section_23

In 1310, Ibn Taymiyyah had written a risāla (treatise) called Ziyārat al-Qubūr or according to another source, Shadd al-rihal. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_176

It dealt with the validity and permissibility of making a journey to visit the tombs of prophets and saints. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_177

It is reported that in the book "he condemned the cult of saints" and declared that visiting Muhammad's grave was a blameworthy religious innovation. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_178

For this, Ibn Taymiyyah, was imprisoned in the Citadel of Damascus sixteen years later on 18 July 1326, aged 63, along with his student Ibn Qayyim. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_179

The sultan also prohibited him from issuing any further fatwas. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_180

Hanbali scholar Ahmad ibn Umar al-Maqdisi accused Ibn Taymiyah of apostasy over the treatise. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_181

Life in prison Ibn Taymiyyah_section_24

Ibn Taymiyyah referred to prison as "a divine blessing". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_182

During his incarceration he wrote that, "when a scholar forsakes what he knows of the Book of God and of the sunnah of His messenger and follows the ruling of a ruler which contravenes a ruling of God and his messenger, he is a renegade, an unbeliever who deserves to be punished in this world and in the hereafter." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_183

Whilst in prison he faced opposition from the Maliki and Shafii Chief Justices of Damascus, Taḳī al-Dīn al-Ik̲h̲nāʾī. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_184

He remained in prison for over two years and ignored the sultan's prohibition, by continuing to deliver fatwas. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_185

During his incarceration Ibn Taymiyyah wrote three works which are extant; Kitāb Maʿārif al-wuṣūl, Rafʿ al-malām, and Kitāb al-Radd ʿala 'l-Ik̲h̲nāʾī (The response to al-Ik̲h̲nāʾī). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_186

The last book was an attack on Taḳī al-Dīn al-Ik̲h̲nāʾī and explained his views on saints (wali). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_187

Death Ibn Taymiyyah_section_25

Ibn Taymiyyah fell ill in early September 1328 and died at the age of 65, on 26 September of that year, whilst in prison at the Citadel of Damascus. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_188

Once this news reached the public, there was a strong show of support for him from the people. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_189

After the authorities had given permission, it is reported that thousands of people came to show their respects. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_190

They gathered in the Citadel and lined the streets up to the Umayyad Mosque. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_191

The funeral prayer was held in the citadel by scholar Muhammad Tammam, and a second was held in the mosque. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_192

A third and final funeral prayer was held by Ibn Taymiyyah's brother, Zain al-Din. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_193

He was buried in Damascus, in Maqbara Sufiyya ("the cemetery of the Sufis"). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_194

His brother Sharafuddin had been buried in that cemetery before him. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_195

Oliver Leaman says that being deprived of the means of writing led to Ibn Taymiyyah's death. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_196

It is reported that two hundred thousand men and fifteen to sixteen thousand women attended his funeral prayer. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_197

Ibn Kathir says that in the history of Islam, only the funeral of Ahmad ibn Hanbal received a larger attendance. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_198

This is also mentioned by Ibn `Abd al-Hadi. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_199

Caterina Bori says that, "In the Islamic tradition, wider popular attendance at funerals was a mark of public reverence, a demonstration of the deceased's rectitude, and a sign of divine approbation." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_200

Ibn Taymiyya is said to have "spent a lifetime objecting to tomb veneration, only to cast a more powerful posthumous spell than any of his Sufi contemporaries." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_201

On his death, his personal effects were in such demand "that bidders for his lice-killing camphor necklace pushed its price up to 150 dirhams, and his skullcap fetched a full 500." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_202

A few mourners sought and succeeded in "drinking the water used for bathing his corpse." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_203

His tomb received "pilgrims and sightseers" for 600 years. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_204

Almost 600 years after his death, the large Sufi cemetery where he was buried in was razed for redevelopment by French colonial authorities. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_205

His grave alone was left untouched after the Arab demolition teams "insisted" that his grave "was too holy to touch." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_206

His resting place is now "in the parking lot of a maternity ward", though as of 2009 its headstone was broken, according to author Sadakat Kadri. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_207

Students Ibn Taymiyyah_section_26

Several of Ibn Taymiyyah's students became scholars in their own right. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_208

His students came from different backgrounds and belonged to various different schools (madhabs). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_209

His most famous students were Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya and Ibn Kathir. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_210

His other students include: Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_211

Ibn Taymiyyah_unordered_list_0

  • Al-DhahabiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_0
  • Al-MizziIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_1
  • Ibn Abd al-HadiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_2
  • Ibn MuflihIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_3
  • ʿImad al-Din Aḥmad al-WasitiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_4
  • Najm al-Din al-TufiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_5
  • Al BaʿlabakkiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_6
  • Al BazzarIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_7
  • Ibn Qadi al-JabalIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_8
  • Ibn Fadlillah al-AmriIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_9
  • Muhammad Ibn al-ManjIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_10
  • Ibn Abdus-Salam al-BattiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_11
  • Ibn al-WardiIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_12
  • Umar al-HarraniIbn Taymiyyah_item_0_13

Legacy Ibn Taymiyyah_section_27

Many scholars have argued that Ibn Taymiyyah did not enjoy popularity among the intelligentsia of his day. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_212

Yossef Rapoport and Shahab Ahmed assert that he was a minority figure in his own times and the centuries that followed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_213

Caterina Bori goes further, arguing that despite popularity Ibn Taymiyya may have enjoyed among the masses, he appears to have been not merely unpopular among the scholars of his day, but somewhat of an embarrassment. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_214

Khalid El-Rouayheb notes similarly that Ibn Taymiyyah had "very little influence on mainstream Sunni Islam until the nineteenth century" and that he was "a little-read scholar with problematic and controversial views." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_215

He also comments "the idea that Ibn Taymiyyah had an immediate and significant impact on the course of Sunni Islamic religious history simply does not cohere with the evidence that we have from the five centuries that elapsed between his death and the rise of Sunni revivalism in the modern period." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_216

On the other hand, of SOAS university says that Ibn Taymiyyah, "was perhaps the most eminent and influential Hanbali jurist of the Middle Ages and one of the most prolific among them. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_217

He was also a renowned scholar of Islam whose influence was felt not only during his lifetime but extended through the centuries until the present day." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_218

Ibn Taymiyyah's followers often deemed him as Sheikh ul-Islam, an honorific title with which he is sometimes still termed today. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_219

In the pre-modern era, Ibn Taymiyyah was considered a controversial figure within Sunni Islam and had a number of critics during his life and in the centuries thereafter. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_220

The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami stated that, Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_221

He also stated that, Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_222

Taqi al-Din al-Hisni condemned Ibn Taymiyya in even stronger terms by referring to him as the "heretic from Harran" and similarly, Munawi considered Ibn Taymiyyah to be an innovator though not an unbeliever. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_223

Taqi al-Din al-Subki criticised Ibn Taymiyyah for "contradicting the consensus of the Muslims by his anthropomorphism, by his claims that accidents exist in God, by suggesting that God was speaking in time, and by his belief in the eternity of the world." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_224

Ibn Battūta (d. 770/1369) famously wrote a work questioning Ibn Taymiyyah's mental state. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_225

The possibility of psychological abnormalities not with-standing, Ibn Taymiyya's personality, by multiple accounts, was fiery and oftentimes unpredictable. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_226

The historian Al-Maqrizi said, regarding the rift between the Sunni Ash'ari's and Ibn Taymiyyah, "People are divided into two factions over the question of Ibn Taymiyyah; for until the present, the latter has retained admirers and disciples in Syria and Egypt." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_227

Both his supporters and rivals grew to respect Ibn Taymiyyah because he was uncompromising in his views. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_228

Dhahabi's views towards Ibn Taymiyya were ambivalent. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_229

His praise of Ibn Taymiyya is invariably qualified with criticism and misgivings and he considered him to be both a "brilliant Shaykh" and also "cocky" and "impetuous". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_230

The Hanafi-Maturidi scholar 'Ala' al-Din al-Bukhari said that anyone that gives Ibn Taymiyya the title Shaykh al-Islām is a disbeliever. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_231

As a reaction, his contemporary Nasir ad-Din ad-Dimashqi wrote a refutation in which he quoted the 85 greatest scholars, from Ibn Taymiyyah's till his time, who called Ibn Taymiyyah with the title Shaykh al-Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_232

Ibn Taymiyyah's works served as an inspiration for later Muslim scholars and historical figures, who have been regarded as his admirers or disciples. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_233

In the contemporary world, he may be considered at the root of Wahhabism, the Senussi order and other later reformist movements. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_234

Ibn Taymiyyah has been noted to have influenced Rashid Rida, Abul A`la Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, Hassan al-Banna, Abdullah Azzam, and Osama bin Laden. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_235

The terrorist organization Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant used a fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah to justify the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_236

Ibn Taymiyyah's fatwa on Alawites as "more infidel than Christians and Jews" has been recited by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi and former Jaysh al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_237

Influences Ibn Taymiyyah_section_28

Ibn Taymiyyah was taught by scholars who were renowned in their time. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_238

However, there is no evidence that any of the contemporary scholars influenced him. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_239

A strong influence on Ibn Taymiyyah was the founder of the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence, Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_240

Ibn Taymiyyah was trained in this school and he had studied Ibn Hanbal's Musnad in great detail, having studied it over multiple times. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_241

Though he spent much of his life following this school, in the end he renounced taqlid (blind following). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_242

His work was most influenced by the sayings and actions of the Salaf (first 3 generation of Muslims) and this showed in his work where he would give preference to the Salaf over his contemporaries. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_243

The modern Salafi movement derives its name from this school of thought. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_244

In what may justifiably be described as an unscrupulous attempt of magnifying the purported influence of Ibn Taymiyyah on Jewish theology, the claim of the late Pakistani Islamic scholar Mawdudi deserves to be mentioned; if only for the purpose of correcting the published record. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_245

In his treatise Tajdīd-o-Ahyā-e-Dīn (Lahore: Islamic Publications, 31st Printing: 1999, p. 76; English edition translated by Al-Ash`ari titled: A Short History of the Revivalist Movement in Islam, Lahore: Islamic Publications, 9th edition: 2004, p. 43), Mawdudi advances the following claim about the influence of Ibn Taymiyyah by appealing to the authority of the great scholar Goldziher: Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_246

"... he had acquired such an insight into the Jewish and Christian literatures and the differences between their religious sects that, according to Goldziher, no scholar who wanted to deal with the characters of the Bible could lose sight of and set aside the researches of Ibn-i-Taimiyyah." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_247

As a matter of fact Goldziher expressed his views and analyses about Ibn Taymiyyah's influence in his The Zāhirīs (Engl. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_248

tr. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_249

2008, pp. 173–177) as well as in his article on Ibn Taymiyyah in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (Vol. 7, p. 72). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_250

In neither of the mentioned writings does Goldziher say anything amounting to what Mawdudi attributed to him in his above-cited claim. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_251

What Goldziher did write was the following: Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_252

" In his writings he [i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah] is a zealous adversary of Greek philosophy, Judaism, and Christianity. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_253

By way of inciting the Muslims against them, he pointed to the Mongol invasion which had just swept over Syria, asserting that the visitation was in part due to the laxity of his co-religionists. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_254

He issued a fatwa demanding that the Jewish synagogues in Cairo should be destroyed, and urging his people not to allow the chapels of other faiths to exist in their midst..." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_255

Views Ibn Taymiyyah_section_29

God's Attributes Ibn Taymiyyah_section_30

Ibn Taymiyyah said that God should be described as he has described himself in the Qur'an and the way Prophet Muhammad has described God in the Hadith. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_256

He rejected; the Ta'tili's who denied these attributes, those who compare God with the creation (Tashbih) and those who engage in esoteric interpretations (ta'wil) of the Qur'an or use symbolic exegesis. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_257

Ibn Taymiyyah said that those attributes which we know about from the two above mentioned sources, should be ascribed to God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_258

Anything regarding God's attributes which people have no knowledge of, should be approached in a manner, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, where the mystery of the unknown is left to God (called tafwid) and the Muslims submit themselves to the word of God and the Prophet (called taslim). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_259

Henri Laoust says that through this framework, this doctrine, "provides authority for the widest possible scope in personal internationalization of religion." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_260

In 1299, Ibn Taymiyyah wrote the book Al-Aqida al-hamawiyya al-kubra, which dealt with, among other topics, theology and creed. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_261

When he was accused of anthropomorphism, a private meeting was held between scholars in the house of Al-Din `Umar al-Kazwini who was a Shafii judge. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_262

After careful study of this book, he was cleared of those charges. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_263

Ibn Taymiyyah also wrote another book dealing with the attributes of God called, Al-Aqidah Al-Waasitiyyah. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_264

He faced considerable hostility towards these views from the Ash'ari's of whom the most notable were, Taqi al-Din al-Subki and his son Taj al-Din al-Subki who were influential Islamic jurists and also chief judge of Damascus in their respective times. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_265

Ibn Taymiyyah's highly intellectual discourse at explaining "The Wise Purpose of God, Human Agency, and the Problems of Evil & Justice" using God's attributes as a means has been illustrated by Dr. Jon Hoover in his work Ibn Taymiyyah's Theodicy of Perpetual Optimism. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_266

Duration of Hellfire Ibn Taymiyyah_section_31

Ibn Taymiyyah held the belief that Hell was not eternal even for unbelievers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_267

According to Ibn Taymiyyah, Hell is therapeutic and reformative, and God's wise purpose in chastising unbelievers is to make them fit to leave the Fire. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_268

This view contradicted the mainstream Sunni doctrine of eternal hell-fire for unbelievers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_269

Ibn Taymiyyah was criticised for holding this view by the chief Shafi scholar Taqi al-Din al-Subki who presented a large body of Qur'anic evidence to argue that unbelievers will abide in hell-fire eternally. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_270

Ibn Taymiyyah was partially supported in his view by the Zaydi Shi'ite Ibn al-Wazir. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_271

Sources of Shari'a Ibn Taymiyyah_section_32

Of the four fundamental sources of the sharia accepted by thirteenth century Sunni jurists— Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_272

Ibn Taymiyyah_ordered_list_1

  1. Qur'an,Ibn Taymiyyah_item_1_14
  2. sunnah,Ibn Taymiyyah_item_1_15
  3. consensus of jurists (ijma), andIbn Taymiyyah_item_1_16
  4. qiyas (analogical reasoning),Ibn Taymiyyah_item_1_17

—Ibn Taymiyyah opposed the use of consensus of jurists, replacing it with the consensus of the "companions" (sahaba). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_273

Like all Islamic jurists Ibn Taymiyyah believed in a hierarchy sources for the Sharia. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_274

Most important was the Quran, and the sunnah or any other source could not abrogate a verse of the Qur'an. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_275

(For him, an abrogation of a verse, known in Arabic as Naskh, was only possible through another verse in the Qur'an.) Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_276

Next was sunnah which other sources (besides the Quran) must not contradict. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_277

Consensus (ijma) Ibn Taymiyyah_section_33

Concerning Consensus (ijma), he believed that consensus of any Muslims other than that of the companions of Muhammad could not be "realistically verifiable" and so was speculative, and thus not a legitimate source of Islamic law (except in certain circumstances). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_278

The consensus (ijma) used must be that of the companions found in their reported sayings or actions. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_279

According one supporter, Serajul Haque, his rejection of the consensus of other scholars was justified, on the basis of the instructions given to the jurist Shuraih ibn al-Hârith from the Caliph Umar, one of the companions of Muhammad; to make decisions by first referring to the Qur'an, and if that is not possible, then to the sayings of the Prophet and finally to refer to the agreement of the companions like himself. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_280

An example of Ibn Taymiyyah use of his interpretation was in defense of the (temporary) closing of all Christian churches in 1299 in the Mamluk Sultanate. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_281

The closing was in violation of a 600-year-old covenant with Christian dhimmis known as the Pact of Umar. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_282

But as Ibn Taymiyyah pointed out, while venerable, the pact was written 60 years or so after the time of the companions and so had no legal effect. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_283

Analogy (qiyas) Ibn Taymiyyah_section_34

Ibn Taymiyyah considered the use of analogy (qiyas) based on literal meaning of scripture as a valid source for deriving legal rulings. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_284

Analogy is the primary instrument of legal rationalism in Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_285

He acknowledged its use as one of the four fundamental principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_286

Ibn Taymiyyah argued against the certainty of syllogistic arguments and in favour of analogy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_287

He argues that concepts founded on induction are themselves not certain but only probable, and thus a syllogism based on such concepts is no more certain than an argument based on analogy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_288

He further claimed that induction itself depends on a process of analogy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_289

His model of analogical reasoning was based on that of juridical arguments. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_290

Work by John F. Sowa have, for example, have used Ibn Taymiyyah's model of analogy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_291

He attached caveats however to the use of analogy because he considered the use of reason to be secondary to the use of revelation. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_292

Ibn Taymiyyah's view was that analogy should be used under the framework of revelation, as a supporting source. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_293

There were some jurists who thought rulings derived through analogy could contradict a ruling derived from the Qur'an and the authentic hadith. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_294

However, Ibn Taymiyyah disagreed because he thought a contradiction between the definitive canonical texts of Islam, and definitive reason was impossible and that this was also the understanding of the salaf. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_295

Racha el-Omari says that on an epistemological level, Ibn Taymiyyah considered the Salaf to be better than any other later scholars in understanding the agreement between revelation and reason. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_296

One example for this is the use of analogy in the Islamic legal principle of maslaha (public good) about which Ibn Taymiyya believed, if there were to be any contradiction to revelation then it is due to a misunderstanding or misapplication of the concept of utility. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_297

He said that to assess the utility of something, the criteria for benefit and harm should come from the Qur'an and sunnah, a criterion which he also applied to the establishment of a correct analogy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_298

An example of Ibn Taymiyyah's use of analogy was in a fatwa forbidding the use of hashish one the grounds that it was analogous to wine, and users should be given 80 lashes in punishment. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_299

"Anyone who disagreed was an apostate, he added, whose corpse ought not to be washed or given a decent burial." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_300

Prayer (Duʿāʾ) Ibn Taymiyyah_section_35

Ibn Taymiyyah issued a fatwa deeming it acceptable to perform dua in languages other than Arabic: Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_301

This view was also shared by an earlier theologian and jurist, Abu Hanifa. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_302

Reason (`Aql) Ibn Taymiyyah_section_36

Issues surrounding the use of reason ('Aql) and rational came about in relation to the attributes of God for which he faced much resistance. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_303

At the time, Ashari and Maturidi theologians thought the literal attributes of God as stated in the Qur'an were contradictory to reason so sought to interpret them metaphorically. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_304

Ibn Taymiyyah believed that reason itself validated the entire Qur'an as being reliable and in light of that he argued, if some part of the scripture was to be rejected then this would render the use of reason as an unacceptable avenue through which to seek knowledge. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_305

He thought that the most perfect rational method and use of reason was contained within the Qur'an and sunnah and that the theologians of his time had used rational and reason in a flawed manner. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_306

Criticism of the grammarians Ibn Taymiyyah_section_37

Ibn Taymiyyah had mastered the grammar of Arabic and one of the books which he studied was the book of Arabic grammar called Al-Kitab, by Sibawayh. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_307

In later life he met the Quranic exegete and grammarian Abu Hayyan al-Gharnati to whom he expressed that, "Sibawayh was not the prophet of syntax, nor was he infallible. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_308

He committed eighty mistakes in his book which are not intelligible to you." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_309

Ibn Taymiyyah is thought to have severely criticized Sibawayh but the actual substance of those criticisms is not known because the book within which he wrote the criticisms, al-Bahr, has been lost. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_310

He stated that when there is an explanation of an Ayah of the Qur'an or a Hadith, from the Prophet himself, the use of philology or a grammatical explanation becomes obsolete. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_311

He also said one should refer only to the understanding of the Salaf (first three generations of Muslims) when interpreting a word within the scriptural sources. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_312

However he did not discount the contributions of the grammarians completely. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_313

Ibn Taymiyyah stated that the Arabic nouns within the scriptural sources have been divided by the fuqaha (Islamic jurists) into three categories; those that are defined by the shari'a, those defined by philology (lugha) and finally those that are defined by social custom (`urf). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_314

For him each of these categories of nouns had to be used in their own appropriate manner. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_315

Maddhabs Ibn Taymiyyah_section_38

Ibn Taymiyyah censured the scholars for blindly conforming to the precedence of early jurists without any resort to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_316

He contended that although juridical precedence has its place, blindly giving it authority without contextualization, sensitivity to societal changes, and evaluative mindset in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah can lead to ignorance and stagnancy in Islamic Law. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_317

Ibn Taymiyyah likened the extremism of Taqlid (blind conformity to juridical precedence or school of thought) to the practice of Jews and Christians who took their rabbis and ecclesiastics as gods besides God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_318

In arguing against taqlid, he said the salaf, who in order to better understand and live according to the commands of God, had to make ijtihad using the scriptural sources. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_319

The same approach, in his view, was needed in modern times. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_320

Ibn Taymiyyah believed that the best role models for Islamic life were the first three generations of Islam (Salaf); which constitute Muhammad's companions, referred to in Arabic as Sahaba (first generation), followed by the generation of Muslims born after the death of Muhammad known as the Tabi'un (second generation) which is then followed lastly by the next generation after the Tabi'un known as Tabi' Al-Tabi'in (third generation). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_321

Ibn Taymiyyah gave precedence to the ideas of the Sahaba and early generations, over the founders of the Islamic schools of jurisprudence. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_322

For Ibn Taymiyyah it was the Qur'an, the sayings and practices of Muhammad and the ideas of the early generations of Muslims that constituted the best understanding of Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_323

Any deviation from their practice was viewed as bid'ah, or innovation, and to be forbidden. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_324

He also praised and wrote a commentary on some speeches of Abdul-Qadir Gilani. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_325

Islamic law and policy Ibn Taymiyyah_section_39

Ibn Taymiyya believed that Islamic policy and management was based on Quran , and that the goal of al-siyasa (politics, the political) should be to protect al-din (religion) and to manage al-dunya (worldly life and affairs). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_326

Religion and the State should be inextricably linked, in his view, as the state was indispensable in providing justice to the people, enforcing Islamic law by enjoining good and forbidding evil, unifying the people and preparing a society conducive to the worship of God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_327

He believed that "enjoining good and forbidding wrong" was the duty of every state functionary with charge over other Muslims, from the caliph to "the schoolmaster in charge of assessing children's handwriting exercises." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_328

Ibn Taymiyyah supported giving broad powers to the state. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_329

In Al-siyasa al-Shar`iyah, he focused on duties of individuals and punishments rather than rules and procedural limits of authorities. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_330

Suspected highway robbers who would not reveal their accomplices or the location of their loot, for example should be held in detention and lashed for indefinite periods. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_331

He also allowed the lashing of imprisoned debtors, and "trials of suspicion" (da`sawi al-tuham) where defendants could be convicted without witnesses or documentary proof. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_332

Henri Laoust said that Ibn Taymiyyah never propagated the idea of a single caliphate but believed the Muslim ummah or community would form into a confederation of states. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_333

Laoust further stated that Ibn Taymiyyah called for obedience only to God, and the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and he did not put a limit on the number of leaders a Muslim community could have. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_334

However Mona Hassan, in her recent study of the political thoughts of Ibn Taymiyyah, questions this and says laoust has wrongly claimed that Ibn Taymiyyah thought of the caliphate as a redundant idea. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_335

Hassan has shown that Ibn Taymiyyah considered the Caliphate that was under the Rashidun Caliphs; Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali, as the moral and legal ideal. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_336

The Caliphate in his view could not be ceded "in favour of secular kingship (mulk). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_337

Jihad Ibn Taymiyyah_section_40

Ibn Taymiyyah was noted for emphasis he put on the importance of jihad and for the "careful and lengthy attention" he gave "to the questions of martyrdom" in jihad, such as benefits and blessings to be had for martyrs in the afterlife. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_338

He asserted that martyrdom and eternal rewards and blessings, . Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_339

He wrote that, "It is in jihad that one can live and die in ultimate happiness, both in this world and in the Hereafter. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_340

Abandoning it means losing entirely or partially both kinds of happiness." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_341

He defined jihad as: Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_342

He gave a broad definition of what constituted "aggression" against Muslims and what actions by non-believers made jihad against them permissible. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_343

He declared Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_344

In the modern context, his rulings have been used by some Islamist groups to declare jihad against various governments. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_345

Innovation (Bid`ah) Ibn Taymiyyah_section_41

Main article: Bid'ah Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_346

Even though Ibn Taymiyyah has been called a theologian, he claimed to reject `ilm al-kalam, known as Islamic theology, as well as some aspects of Sufism and Peripatetic philosophy, as an innovation (Bid'ah). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_347

Despite this, Ibn Taymiyyah's works contained numerous arguments that openly refer to rational arguments (kalam) for their validity and therefore he must be included amongst the Mutakallimin. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_348

Ibn Taymiyyah opposed giving any undue religious honors to mosques (even that of Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque), to approach or rival in any way the Islamic sanctity of the two most holy mosques within Islam, Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Madina). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_349

As to the practice of making journey for the sole purpose of visiting a mosque, Ibn Taymiyyah has said in his books; Majmu'at al-Rasail al-Kubra, Minhaj al-Sunna and Majmu'at Fatawa, that, "Journey must not be made except to three mosques; Masjid al-Haram, Masjid al-Nabawi and Masjid Al-Aqsa". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_350

Regarding this Serajul Haque says that, "In the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah only these three mosques have been accepted by the Prophet as the object of journeys, on account of their excellence over all other mosques and places of prayer. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_351

Ibn Taymiyyah uses a saying (hadith) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in Bukhari and Muslim to justify his view that it is not permitted to journey exclusively to any mosque than Mecca, Medina, or Jerusalem. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_352

Existence of saints Ibn Taymiyyah_section_42

Although it is sometimes supposed that Ibn Taymiyyah rejected the very idea of saints, which had become a cardinal Sunni belief in the medieval period, scholarship has shown that this is not true. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_353

Nevertheless, it's important to note that the term saint (wali) in Islam is not equal to the Catholic definition of it. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_354

Saint in islamic theology designates righteous people from the past, who became well-known for their piety. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_355

There is, though, no process of canonization or veneration of icons, which is strongly condemned in Islam as violations of the basic monotheism. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_356

Indeed, while Ibn Taymiyyah did indeed reject widely-established orthodox practices associated with the veneration of saints in Islam at his time, like the visitation to their graves and the seeking of their intercession, he never rejected the actual existence of saints as such. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_357

On the contrary, he explicitly states: "The miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct, by the acceptance of all Muslim scholars. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_358

And the Qur'an has pointed to it in different places, and the sayings of the Prophet have mentioned it, and whoever denies the miraculous power of saints are only people who are innovators and their followers." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_359

In this particular respect, he differed little from all his contemporaries; for just as practically all of the era's scholars believed that "the lives of saints and their miracles were incontestable", so also did Ibn Taymiyyah. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_360

Ibn Taymiyyah's most categorical declaration of accepting the existence of saints and their miracles appears in his famous creed 'Aqīda al-Wāsitīya, in which he states: "Among the fundamentals of the belief of the People of the Sunna is belief in the miracles of the saints (karāmāt al-awliyā) and the supernatural acts which God achieves through them in all varieties of knowledge, illuminations (mukāshafāt), power, and impressions as it is handed down about the ancient nations in the chapter of the Cave and in other Quranic chapters and is known of the early men among this Community of Believers among the Companions and Followers and the rest of the generations of this Community of Believers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_361

It [the blessing of having saints and saintly miracles] will be with them until the Day of Resurrection." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_362

Although Ibn Taymiyyah was critical of some of the developments within Sufism, he never rejected the practice outright, and actually enumerated a list of early Sufis whom he considered to be among the greatest Islamic saints. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_363

In this list, he included Bayazid Bastami, Junayd of Baghdad, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Hasan of Basra, Ibrahim ibn Adham, Maruf Karkhi, Sirri Saqti, and several other venerable personages who have always been venerated in mainstream Sunni Islam as being among the greatest saints of all. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_364

Regarding all these early saints, Ibn Taymiyyah even declares: "These great Sufi people were the leaders of humanity, and they were calling to what is right and forbidding what is wrong." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_365

While Ibn Taymiyyah did indeed reject the veneration of saints who promulgated the Akbari doctrine of wahdat al-wajud, he never rejected the venerability of saints who belonged to all the other Sufi orders. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_366

Visitation of the tombs of the Prophets and the saints Ibn Taymiyyah_section_43

Ibn Taymiyyah considered the visitation of the tombs of Prophets and saints as impermissible, a blameworthy innovation and comparable to worshiping something besides God (shirk). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_367

This view was vigorously rejected by Sunni scholars both during his life and after his death. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_368

The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani stated that "This is one of the ugliest positions that has been reported of Ibn Taymiyya" and also added that travelling to visit the tomb of the Prophet was "one of the best of actions and the noblest of pious deeds with which one draws near to God, and its legitimacy is a matter of consensus." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_369

The Hanafi hadith scholar Ali al-Qari stated that, "Amongst the Hanbalis, Ibn Taymiyya has gone to an extreme by prohibiting travelling to visit the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace" Qastallani stated that "The Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya has abominable and odd statements on this issue to the effect that travelling to visit the Prophet is prohibited and is not a pious deed." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_370

Other scholars in opposition to Ibn Taymiyyah's views include Ghazali, Nawawi, Munawi and Qadi Ayyad who stated that visiting the Prophet was "a sunna of the Muslims on which there was consensus, and a good and desirable deed." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_371

Intercession Ibn Taymiyyah_section_44

Ibn Taymiyyah said that seeking the assistance of God through intercession is allowed, as long as the other person is still alive. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_372

However, he believed that those who ask assistance from the grave of the Prophet or saints, are mushrikin (polytheists), someone who is engaged in shirk. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_373

This view was also vigorously rejected by mainstream Sunni scholars. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_374

For example, the chief judge of Damascus, Taqi al-Din al-Subki stated that, "It is proper to entreat and ask for the help and intercession of the Prophet ﷺ with God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_375

No one from amongst the salaf and khalaf denied this, until Ibn Taymiyya came along and disapproved of this, and deviated from the straight path, and invented a position that no scholar has said before, and he became a deterrent example for Muslims". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_376

Similarly, Ibn Hajar rejected Ibn Taymiyya's view on intercession and held that he had broken with the established consensus of Sunni scholars, as did many other scholars such as Zurqani and Khalil ibn Ishaq. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_377

Mutakallimun Ibn Taymiyyah_section_45

The mutakallimun are scholars who engage in ilm al-Kalam (rationalist theology) and they were criticised by Ibn Taymiyyah for their use of rationalist theology and philosophy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_378

He said that the method of kalam was used by the Mu`tazilites, Jahmites and Ash`ari's. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_379

Ibn Taymiyyah considered the use of philosophical proofs and kalam to be redundant because he saw the Qur'an and the Sunna as superior rational proofs. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_380

Ibn Taymiyyah said that these explanations were not grounded in scriptural evidence such as the philosophical explanation of the divine attributes of God or the proof of God using the cosmological argument. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_381

He said that the call to Islam was not made using such methods by the Qur'an or the Prophet and that these theories have only caused errors and corruption. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_382

The mutakallimun called their use of rationalist theology "Usul al-Din" (principles of religion) but Ibn Taymiyyah said that the use of rationalist theology has nothing to do with the true usul al-din which comes from God and to state otherwise is to say that the Prophet neglected an important aspect of Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_383

Ibn Taymiyyah says that the usul al-din of the mutakallimun, deserve to be named usul din al-shaytan (principles of Satanic religion). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_384

Ibn Taymiyyah's attempts to focus attention onto Qur'anic rationality was taken up by his student Ibn Qayyim, to the exception of his other followers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_385

This focus on traditionlist rationlism was also taken up by Musa Bigiev. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_386

Despite his critical stance, one of Ibn Taymiyyah's last direct students, Ibn Qadi al-Jabal (d. 1370), says that "Ibn Taymiyya used to praise the expansiveness of al-Ash'ari’s knowledge and would quote the latter’s works by memory in public lessons (al-majalis al-a'mma), in particular al-Iba'na", that he talked highly of later Ash'ari scholars like Al-Baqillani and Al-Juwayni and as for Al-Ghazali, having studied his books with Ibn Taymiyyah, he says that "Ibn Taymiyyah told those present how impressed he was by al-Ghazali’s eloquence and the extent of his knowledge." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_387

Sufism Ibn Taymiyyah_section_46

Ibn Taymiyyah belonged to the Qadiriyya tariqa (order) of Sufism and claimed to inherit the khirqa (spiritual mantle) of the founder of the Qadiriyya order 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_388

Among his explicit positive references to Sufism and the Qadiriyya tariqa in particular, Ibn Taymiyyah referred to Jilani as "Shaykhuna" (our Shaykh) and "Sayyidi" (my master). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_389

He spoke highly of a great many other Sufi Shaykhs also such as Abu Yazid al-Bistami and al-Junayd, and went to great lengths to state that Sufism is not a heretical innovation (bid'ah). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_390

Gibril Haddad, a contemporary Sunni scholar who's often critical of Ibn Taymiyyah's doctrinal positions, notes, after cementing his affiliation with the Qadiri order, that "insofar as the goal of tasawwuf is the purification of the heart by progress through states (ahwal) and stations (maqamat), Ibn Taymiyya in al-Tuhfat al-'Iraqiyya (al-Zarqa’ Jordan 1978, p. 18) imitated Imam al-Ghazali's fatwa in al-Munqidh min al-Dalal in considering tasawwuf obligatory upon every Muslim, naming it a'mal al-qulub." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_391

Despite this, Ibn Taymiyyah rejected two views associated with some extreme Sufis. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_392

Firstly, he rejected monism which he believed was similar to the pantheistic belief that God "encompasses all things". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_393

This rejection included denouncing the views of Ibn Arabi. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_394

Secondly he said that the view that spiritual enlightenment is of a greater importance than obeying the sharia was a failure to properly follow the example of Muhammad. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_395

On Ibn Arabi, and Sufism in general, Henri Laoust says that Ibn Taymiyyah never condemned Sufism in itself, but only that which he considered to be, inadmissible deviations in doctrine, ritual or morals, such as monism, antinomianism or esotericism. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_396

Scholar Arjan Post, in the introduction to the edition and English translation of Risālat al-sulūk (Epistle on the Spiritual Way) by al-Baʿlabakkī (d. 734/1333), a Lebanon-born Hanbali Sufi and direct student of Ibn Taymiyyah, talks of a "Sufi circle" among his students, notably through ʿImād al-Dīn Aḥmad al-Wāsiṭī, who "fulfilled the role of Sufi shaykh in the Taymiyyan circle until he passed away in 711/1311", and who was appreciated by other famous direct or indirect students of Ibn Taymiyyah who became famous scholars, notably Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Rajab and Al-Dhahabi. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_397

Shi'a Islam Ibn Taymiyyah_section_47

Main article: Minhaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_398

Ibn Taymiyyah was extremely critical of Shia and considered them religiously bankrupt, among the most morally depraved people and the root cause of many Islamic ills. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_399

His severe critique of Twelver Shia in his book, Minhaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah, was written in response to the book Minhaj al-karama fi ma'rifat al-imama, by the Shia theologian Al-Hilli. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_400

He focused his criticisms to the similarity between Shia, Christians and Jews. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_401

Regarding the Shia mourning for Husayn on Ashura, Ibn Taymiyyah considered Husayn's martyrdom as a divinely bestowed honour—not a major tragedy. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_402

He also argued that such mourning was never instructed by Muhammad and that the Islamic response to recent (let alone ancient) loss is not extravagant mourning but to endure the loss with patience and trust in God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_403

However, he also believed those who celebrated on Ashura were anti-Shia zealots ("an-Nāṣibiyyah") or ignorant people. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_404

Fathi Shaqaqi, the Sunni Islamist inspired by the Islamic revolution of Iran who founded the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, said that Ibn Taymiyyah didn't consider Twelver Shi'as, that is the majority of the Shi'as, to be heretics, but mainly sects like the Ismailis, also precising that the geopolitical context of the day played a role in his thinking, and that, among Sunni scholars, "fatwas such as his were not disseminated, despite the fact that the Shi‘a had by then been in existence for some 600 years." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_405

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, one of the most influential modern jihadi ideologues, bases himself on Ibn Taymiyyah to say that the laypeople among the Shi'as are not to be considered disbelievers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_406

Christianity Ibn Taymiyyah_section_48

Main article: Al-Jawāb al-Ṣaḥīḥ li-man baddala dīn al-Masīh Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_407

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote polemics against Christians. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_408

His work Al-Jawāb al-Ṣaḥīḥ li-man baddala dīn al-Masīh is a detailed refutation of Christian doctrine. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_409

He hold also extreme anti-Christian views and enmity. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_410

He also discounts the Christians' role in early Islamic history and views interfaith commonality as a luxury, giving an ideological justification to declare unrestricted war on Christians and Jews. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_411

Meanwhile, in what a number of modern scholars have seen as the golden age of Christian Arabic literature, Arab speaking Christian scholars wrote extensive theological treaties in Arabic language in which they not only responded to the polemics of their Muslim advertiser but they also provided systematic, summary discussions of Christian faith and practice. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_412

Ibn Taymiyyah issued a fatwa prohibited Muslims to participate and greeting Christians on their religious events and celebrations or to imitate them, he said in Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (2/488): "It is not permissible for the Muslims to imitate them [ Christians ] in any way that is unique to their festivals, whether it be food, clothes, bathing, lighting fires or refraining from usual work or worship, and so on. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_413

And it is not permissible to give a feast or to exchange gifts or to sell things that help them to celebrate their festivals, or to let children and others play the games that are played on their festivals, or to adorn oneself or put up decorations". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_414

He also issued a fatwa to reduce to rubble Christian Churchs in Cairo. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_415

An example of Ibn Taymiyyah use of his interpretation was in defense of the (temporary) closing of all Christian churches in 1299 in the Mamluk Sultanate. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_416

The closing was in violation of a 600-year-old covenant with Christian dhimmis known as the Pact of Umar. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_417

But as Ibn Taymiyyah pointed out, while venerable, the pact was written 60 years or so after the time of the companions and so had no legal effect. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_418

Ibn Taymiyyah also suggested that Jews and Christians should be confined to their own specific regions. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_419

Druze Ibn Taymiyyah_section_49

Ibn Taymiyya dismissed the Druze as non-Muslims, and his fatwa cited that Druzes: "Are not at the level of ′Ahl al-Kitāb (People of the Book) nor mushrikin (polytheists). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_420

Rather, they are from the most deviant kuffār (Infidel) ... Their women can be taken as slaves and their property can be seized ... they are be killed whenever they are found and cursed as they described ... Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_421

It is obligatory to kill their scholars and religious figures so that they do not misguide others", which in that setting would have legitimized violence against them as apostates. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_422

Ibn Taymiyyah believed that Druze have a high level of infidelity, besides being apostates. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_423

Thus, they are not trustworthy and should not be forgiven. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_424

He teaches also that Muslims cannot accept Druze penitence nor keep them alive, and Druze property should be confiscated, and their women enslaved. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_425

Mamluk and Ottoman sultans have often relied on Ibn Taymiyya religious ruling to justify their persecution of Druze, and calling for jihad against the Druze. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_426

Alawites Ibn Taymiyyah_section_50

Ibn Taymiyyah pointed out that Alawites were not Shi'ites and a heretics outside Islam, arguably being the most virulent anti-Alawite in his fatwas where he cited that Alawites "are more infidel than Jews or Christians, even more infidel than many polytheists. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_427

They have done greater harm to the community of Muhammad than have the warring infidels such as the Franks, the Turks, and others. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_428

To ignorant Muslims they pretend to be Shi’is, though in reality they do not believe in God or His prophet or His book…Whenever possible, they spill the blood of Muslims…They are always the worst enemies of the Muslims…war and punishment in accordance with Islamic law against them are among the greatest of pious deeds and the most important obligations". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_429

Non-Muslims Ibn Taymiyyah_section_51

Ibn Taymiyyah strongly opposed borrowing from Christianity or other non-Muslim religions. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_430

In his text On the Necessity of the Straight Path (kitab iqtida al-sirat al-mustaqim) he preached that the beginning of Muslim life was the point at which "a perfect dissimilarity with the non-Muslims has been achieved." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_431

To this end he opposed the celebration of the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad or the construction of mosques around the tombs of Muslim saints saying: "Many of them (the Muslims) do not even know of the Christian origins of these practices." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_432

Economic views Ibn Taymiyyah_section_52

He elaborated a circumstantial analysis of market mechanism, with a theoretical insight unusual in his time. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_433

Regarding the power of supply and demand, Ibn Taymiyyah said, "If desire for goods increases while its availability decreases, its price rises. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_434

On the other hand, if availability of the good increases and the desire for it decreases, the price comes down." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_435

His discourses on the welfare advantages and disadvantages of market regulation and deregulation, have an almost contemporary ring to them. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_436

However, he also advocated a policy of "fair prices" and "fair profits", with the implication that anything higher would be impious. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_437

Such forms of price fixing was detrimental to entrepreneurship. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_438

Eternity of Species Ibn Taymiyyah_section_53

He argued that there was an alternate view to the view held by philosophers, like Ibn Sina, who claimed the universe was eternal in its entirety, and Islamic scholars, like Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, who claimed that the universe was created from nothing by God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_439

In his Sharh Hadith Imran ibn Hasan, Ibn Taymiyya distinguishes between species and elements, asserting that the former are eternal with God. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_440

He states: "If it is supposed that the species [of things done] has been with Him from eternity, neither revelation nor reason denies this 'withness' (ma^iyya). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_441

On the contrary, it is part of His perfection." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_442

In fact, Ibn Taymiyya draws this assertion from his belief that God perpetually creates, i.e. in preeternity. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_443

John Hoover, in his Perpetual Creativity In The Perfection Of God: Ibn Taymiyya's Hadith Commentary On God's Creation Of This World, elaborates, "Following in the footsteps of Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd, Ibn Taymiyya then roots God's perpetual creativity in a Neoplatonic concept of God's perfection. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_444

Power and creativity are necessary concomitants of God's perfection. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_445

If God's creativity were not perpetual, God would have been devoid of His creativity, as well as other attributes of perfection, in pre-eternity." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_446

Assessment Ibn Taymiyyah_section_54

Salafism Ibn Taymiyyah_section_55

Ibn Taymiyyah is thought by some to be the main influence behind the emergence of Salafism. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_447

He placed an emphasis on understanding Islam as it was understood by the salaf (first three generations of Muslims). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_448

Modern Islamism Ibn Taymiyyah_section_56

Various concepts within modern Islamism can be attributed to Ibn Taymiyyah. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_449

His influence is noted by Yahya Michot who says Ibn Taymiyyah "has thus become a sort of forefather of al-Qaeda." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_450

One reason for this was his categorising the world into distinct territories: the domain of Islam (dar al-Islam), where the rule is of Islam and sharia law is enforced; the domain of unbelief (dar-al-kufr) ruled by unbelievers; and the domain of war (dar al-harb) which is territory under the rule of unbelievers who are involved in an active or potential conflict with the domain of Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_451

(Ibn Taymiyyah included a fourth. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_452

When the Mongols, whom he considered unbelievers, took control of the city of Mardin the population included many Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_453

Believing Mardin was neither the domain of Islam, as Islam was not legally applied with an armed forces consisting of Muslims, nor the domain of war because the inhabitants were Muslim, Ibn Taymiyyah created a new "composite" category, known as dar al-`ahd.) Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_454

A second concept is making a declaration of apostasy (takfir) against a Muslim who does not obey Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_455

But at the same time Ibn Taymiyyah maintained that no one can question anothers faith and curse them as based on one's own desire, because faith is defined by God and the Prophet. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_456

He said, rather than cursing or condemning them, an approach should be taken where they are educated about the religion. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_457

A further concept attributed to Ibn Taymiyyah is, "the duty to oppose and kill Muslim rulers who do not implement the revealed law (shari'a). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_458

Ibn Taymiyyah's role in the Islamist movements of the twentieth and twenty first century have also been noted by, the previous Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the United States Department of State, Daniel Benjamin who labels the chapter on the history of modern Islamic movements in his book The Age of Sacred Terror, as "Ibn Taymiyya and His children". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_459

Yossef Rapoport, a reader in Islamic history at Queen Mary, however, says this is not a probable narrative. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_460

Mardin fatwa and the Mardin Conference Ibn Taymiyyah_section_57

One of Ibn Taymiyyah's most famous fatwas is regarding the Mongols who had conquered and destroyed the Abbasid caliphate in 1258 and had then converted to Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_461

Once they were in control of Mardin, they behaved unjustly with their subjects so the people of Mardin asked Ibn Taymiyyah for a legal verdict regarding the classification of the territory under which they live. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_462

He categorized the territory as dar al-`ahd which in some ways is similar to dar al-kufr (domain of unbelievers). Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_463

Included in his verdict was declaring the Mongol ruler Ghazan and other Mongols who did not accept shari'a in full, as unbelievers. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_464

According to Nettler and Kéchichian, Ibn Taymiyyah affirmed that Jihad against the Mongols, "was not only permissible but obligatory because the latter ruled not according to Sharīʿah but through their traditional, and therefore manmade, Yassa code. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_465

This essentially meant that Mongols were living in a state of jāhilīyah (ignorance)." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_466

The authors further state that his two famous students, Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Kathir, agreed with this ruling. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_467

He called for a defensive jihad to mobilise the people to kill the Mongol rulers and any one who supported them, Muslim or non-Muslim. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_468

Ibn Taymiyyah when talking about those who support the Mongols said, "Everyone who is with them (Mongols) in the state over which they rule has to be regarded as belonging to the most evil class of men. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_469

He is either an atheist (zindīq) or a hypocrite who does not believe in the essence of the religion of Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_470

This means that he (only) outwardly pretends to be Muslim or he belongs to the worst class of all people who are the people of the bida` (heretical innovations)." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_471

Yahya Mochet says that, Ibn Taymiyyah's call to war was not simply to cause a "rebellion against the political power in place" but to repel an "external enemy". Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_472

In 2010, a group of Islamic Scholars at the Mardin conference argued that Ibn Taymiyyah's famous fatwa about the residents of Mardin when it was under the control of the Mongols was misprinted into an order to "fight" the people living under their territory, whereas the actual statement is, "The Muslims living therein should be treated according to their rights as Muslims, while the non-Muslims living there outside of the authority of Islamic Law should be treated according to their rights." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_473

They have based their understanding on the original manuscript in the Al-Zahiriyah Library, and the transmission by Ibn Taymiyyah's student Ibn Muflih. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_474

The participants of the Mardin conference also rejected the categorization of the world into different domains of war and peace, stating that the division was a result of the circumstances at the time. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_475

The participants further stated that the division has become irrelevant with the existence of nation states. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_476

Reevaluation Ibn Taymiyyah_section_58

However, some recent scholarship has argued that attempts by Salafis and Jihadis to portray the figure of Ibn Taymiyyah as being a direct classical precursor of their own beliefs are flawed inasmuch as they are often borne, according to these same scholars, of a limited reading of the theologian's substantial corpus of works, many of which have not yet been translated from the original Arabic. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_477

James Pavlin, for example, has argued: "Ibn Taymiyya remains one of the most controversial Islamic thinkers today because of his supposed influence on many fundamentalist movements. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_478

The common understanding of his ideas have been filtered through the bits and pieces of his statements that have been misappropriated by ... [his] alleged supporters." Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_479

Additionally, Abdul Haq Ansari has argued that the ubiquitous notion that Ibn Taymiyyah rejected Sufism outright is erroneous, for while "the popular image of Ibn Taymiyyah [is] ... that he [criticized] Sufism indiscriminately ... [was] deadly against the Sufis, and ... [saw] no place for Sufism in Islam," it is historically known, according to the same scholar, that Ibn Taymiyyah actually considered Sufism an essential part of Islam, being on the whole "sympathetic" towards what everyone at the time considered an integral part of Islamic life. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_480

Indeed, "far from saying [Sufism] has no place in Islam", Ibn Taymiyyah, according to the same author, seems to have wanted to reform the practice of medieval Sufism as part of his wider aim to reform Sunni Islam (of which Sufism was a fundamental component at the time) by divesting both these traditions of what he perceived to be heretical innovations within them. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_481

Moreover, these scholars also point out that Ibn Taymiyyah had a deep reverence and appreciation for the works of such major Sufi saints as Junayd, Sahl al-Tustari, Abu Talib al-Makki, and even Bayazid Bastami, and was part of the Qadiriyya Sufi order himself. Ibn Taymiyyah_sentence_482


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn Taymiyyah.