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    Default Ibn Taymiyyah

    Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah

    (From the Introduction to the Book "Letters from Prison") by Muhammad al-'Abdah

    All praises are due to Allaah. We praise Him, seek His help, and ask for (His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evil in our souls and from our sinful deeds. W'hoever Allaah guides, no one can misguide. And whoever Allaah misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allaah. And I bear witness that Muhammad (SAAS) is His servant and Messenger.

    In their search for worthy examples, people tend to look to the past, hoping to resurrect the legacy of those great and honourable men who contributed greatly to the Ummah through their knowledge, wisdom, and courage. It is said that the people agonise when they find no one of significance to look up to. Fortuitously, society does not solely consist of the living, but also the dead. The greatest of the dead are still alive amongst us.

    One of those unique men in lslaamic heritage was the dignified Scholar and valiant Mujaahid: Ahmad bin 'Abdul-Haleem bin Taymeeyah. He was one of the most eloquent and truthful men in analysing the lslaamic mentality and methodology. Yet when we return to the lslaamic heritage, we should not be solely and sentimentally attached to the past, without it materializing and forming the basis and drive for our present and future. This is what we hope to achieve in this book.

    Much of the heritage of Shaykh ul-lslaam IbnTaymeeyah has been published; yet it is still worth appreciating the age in which he lived and some of the features that it enjoyed, and crucially, the reasons behind the sending of the letters that are the subject of this book. The letters are predominantly extracted from two books: Majmoo' ul-Fatawa, and al-'Uqood ud-Durreeyah, and, except the letter to the Christian king, are from his time in prison.

    Ibn Taymeeyah was born on 10th Rabi al-Awwal 661 AH (1263 CE) in the town of Harran in the province of Jazeerah1. He was a descendent of a very well known and established family, characterized by excellent memories and beauty of expression. His father, the Shaykh 'Abdul-Haleem was a scholar of hadeeth, and his grandfather was Majdudeen Abul-Barakat, the author of Muntaqa al-Akhbar2. Says the grandson, "Our grandfather was phenomenal in memorizing hadeeth, narrating them and in knowing people's schools of thought."


    lbn Taymeeyah was born in an age of great cultural and political upheaval. It was only five years prior to his birth that Baghdad was ravaged and mercilessly destroyed by the Tatars, and his family had to flee to Damascus when he was young. The savagery of those invaders had undoubtedly given the boy a deep hatred of oppression, and further instilled in him courage to fight the enemy.


    The age of lbn Taymeeyah was also characterized by the rise of many disciplines. The underlying themes of these sciences, were their depth, breadth, and their authors' attempts to fuse the rising sciences together. Indeed, many of the books resembled encyclopaedias. lbn Taymeeyah had benefited from such an environment, but at the same time he did not content himself to that which he was taught. Instead, he was diligent in learning but maintained an independence of thought. This meant that he was not restricted to one teacher or school of thought, and thereby he gained from all, and produced novel ideas. This search for knowledge led him to be familiar with many of his age's cultures and creeds. He wrote extensively on beliefs, explaining the true one and rebuking those who disagreed; but tafseer (explanation of the Qur'aan) remained the subject that always captivated him. "I might read a hundred interpretations of one verse, but would still ask Allaah's guidance in its comprehension saying, 'Oh teacher of Aadam and lbraaheem teach me!' I would also go to the deserted masjids and ask Allah, 'Oh teacher of lbraaheem! Make me comprehend.'" His contemporaries were quick to recognise his merit, as al-Qadi az-Zamalkaanee gave a true description, "Just as Allaah had made iron soft for Daawood, He made sciences supple for Ibn Taymeeyah's grasp."


    Why was Ibn Taymeeyah such a distinguished figure, one might ask. Firstly, there was his constant and unbroken bond with the masses of Muslims, for he was their teacher and mentor, he would resolve their problems and defend their rights in the face of the rulers. He would try to keep them steadfast when their enemies attacked, he would enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and most especially, he was not diverted by mundane worldly matters. Therefore, the whole of his time was devoted to attaining knowledge and participating in jihads. Indeed, it was this strong connection that made the general masses of Damascus love, respect and honour him. Even the most jealous of his enemies were not able to harm him there, but instead they had their chance in Egypt where he was not as well known.


    These sincere feelings for the affairs of Muslims can be sensed when Shaykh ul-lslaam spoke regarding politics, "Civilisation is rooted in justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating. Therefore, it is said that Allaah aids the just state even if it is non-Muslim, yet withholds His help from the oppressive state even if it is Muslim." He also said, "There are sincere Muslims who perceive that commanding a high post3 inevitably leads to love of rule and wealth. Some common Muslims regard the acceptor of such responsibility, as a turning away from the 'religion of mercy and humbleness'. However, the correct attitude is that the appointment of the virtuous serves the Ummah far better than assigning posts to the wicked." His concern was also with the public in economic problems, attacking those who establish monopolies over foodstuffs, "In times of need, the ruler can force people to sell their goods at their original value!"


    As the Tatars were approaching Damascus, fear gripped the population and some thought of fleeing. Yet Ibn Taymeeyah rejected such defeatist ideas and instead, he appealed for the people not to depart and to be steadfast. He would say in encouragement to the generals of the army, "Allaah will grant us victory!" and they would respond by asking him to say, "Insh'Allaah," but he would reply, "I say it in certainty and not in mere hope!" Indeed, he participated in the jihaad against the Tatars in the battle of Shaqhab after announcing his famous Fatwa declaring the Tatars kaffir, due to their insistence upon the abandonment of some of the rites of Islaam, even though they pronounced the Shahaadah.


    When one of the scholars was imprisoned, and the news reached Ibn Taymeeyah, he personally went and managed the scholar's release, after praising and vindicating him in front of the ruler of Damascus. In another instance, he heard of a man who blasphemed against the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa salam), so he stood to forbid the evil, and with the masses supporting him, he wrote the famous book, as-Sarim al-Maslool 'ala Shatem ar-Rasool4. Furthermore, his deep concern for the Muslims, and his intimate knowledge of their affairs in every country, their conditions, and their nearness or distance to Islaam stands out. This is illustrated in his description of the Muslims in the lands of Sham5 and Egypt who, were standing firm at his time, defending their lands. "


    lf one is to review the affairs of the world, one would inevitably realise that this group in ash-sham and Egypt are the most staunch group upholding the Deen in knowledge, action and jihads. They are relieving the Muslims throughout the world of their obligation of jihaad as they struggle against the hardened disbelievers. The prestige of all Muslims is derived from that group's glory…


    "For the inhabitants of Yemen are weak, and unable or unwilling to carry out jihads, subservient to their rulers,


    "The Hijaazi peoples are swamped in the depths of innovations and misguidance, and their people of knowledge and faith are weak and subdued. lf that group in ash-Sham and Egypt were to be subjugated - and l seek refuge in Allah from that- then those from Hijaaz would be rendered the most degraded of Allaah's servants.


    "The lands of Africa6 are led by its Bedouins and they are very wicked, and themselves deserving to be conquered by jihaad. Further on, the lands of the Maghreb are all but occupied by the Europeans, yet Muslims there do not attempt their jihads. Had Tatars occupied those regions, they would have encountered timid people…


    "Therefore, it is clear that it is that group situated in ash-Sham and Egypt who are the vanguard of Islam, their success is an honour for Islaam, and their defeat is a calamity for it."


    This lengthy quote is included for its importance and to demonstrate lbn Taymeeyah's up-to-date insight into the affairs of his time, and mistreat ability to interpret the social and psychological condition of the people. Secondly, next to the Shaykh's connection with the masses and knowledge of current affairs, he also possessed a depth of understanding and a high level of alertness. He noticed that, from the end of the second century AH, there existed of a group of Muslims who were fascinated by the philosophies of Plato and the logic of Aristotle7. That group tried to instil the theories of the philosophers into the pure creed, thereby disfiguring it, so that beneficial knowledge was turned into sterile debate and idle discussion. The abstract theories had never been able to grant felicity to mankind, which was always granted in the light of Prophethood. Truly, here is an Imaam uninfected by an inferiority complex that diseased some scholars, past and present.


    Thirdly, the letters, which were selected for this book, are another side of Ibn Taymeeyah. A side many people do not know of. Usually, it is his uncompromising stances and truthful, sometimes harsh retorts that are often remembered. However, there is a side of his character that writes a letter to his mother full of concern, leniency and respect. Other letters are for his brothers and students in Damascus, and are characterized by love and advice. He also shows forgiveness towards those who worked to imprison him. Another is a letter full of wisdom, eloquence and firmness to a Christian king. This is the side of his character unknown to many - that of Ibn Taymeeyah, the benevolent man with a heart full of eemaan and mercy.


    These letters were predominantly written in prison. But why was such a Shaykh imprisoned? He was neither imprisoned by a non-Muslim state nor by an oppressive ruler. Unfortunately, his gaoling was conspired by some of the envious Shaykhs of his time, "due to his individual distinction in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, for people's genuine love and adherence to him, and to the large number of his followers."8 This is along with their asabeeyah 9 to what they themselves wrote in Fiqh or Beliefs, and although some did it with a good intention, they nevertheless all conspired to provoke the ruler against Ibn Taymeeyah, and as a result he was imprisoned in Cairo, Alexandria and Damascus.

    Herein lies a serious problem. How can a scholar be imprisoned as a result of an ijtihaad, by which he differed from other scholars yet never transgressed beyond the boundaries of ijtihaad, and certainly not outside of Islaam? How is it that we cannot accommodate another opinion by a scholar noted for his love for Allaah and His Messenger? One says this not to solely dig into the past, but because currently, there are similar incidents and this is indeed a very pitiful state. Our hearts should be big enough to encompass disagreements as long as they are not in the areas of innovation, deviation or legislation contradicting Allaah's command. We should not resort to replies and retorts, which show false piety and bravery, or to using titles to give the mistaken impression of a battle being waged against an enemy, as if with swords and not with the words that are being used.


    We return to Shaykh ul-Islaam in prison. The story began when he wrote a treatise entitled al-Hamaweeyab in reply to a question from the town of Hama regarding Allaah's Attributes in 698 AH. He was asked to explain the treatise in Damascus in a few public gatherings. There, he informed the Deputy Sultan that what was in the treatise was not novel, but had been written in his own book 'Aqeedah al-Wassiteeyah a few years earlier, and that both books included the beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah. None could debate or doubt his strong and evidence-based works. The Deputy tried to resolve the objections of other scholars, by announcing that Ibn Taymeeyah's works were following the tradition of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal. Ibn Taymeeyah rejected this appeasing attitude, and replied that it was the 'Aqeedah of the predecessors, and was not exclusive to Imaam Ahmad.


    The Shaykhs of Egypt succeeded where their counterparts in Damascus failed. This was due to his credibility and trustworthiness in the second capital Damascus, and his anonymity in the first (Cairo, Egypt). The Shaykhs in Cairo had managed to incite the oppressive ruler, Ruknudeen Baybars the Jashangir whose personal shaykh and mentor, was a fanatical Soofee named Nasr al-Manbaji10. As a result, a sultanate order was issued to bring Ibn Taymeeyah to Cairo for interrogation in 705 AH. Against the advice of the Deputy Sultan in Damascus, Shaykh ul-Islaam decided to go to Egypt as he saw much benefit in being there. On his day of departure, says his student Ibn 'Abdul-Haadi, "People gathered to bid their farewells, overwhelmed by grief and surprise… many weeping."11


    When Shaykh ul-Islaam arrived in Egypt, a tribunal chaired by the judge Ibn Makhloof al-Maaliki was arranged. However, the Shaykh felt that his arbiter was also his opponent, and thus refused to answer questions. As a result, he was imprisoned in the Mount's Castle in Cairo with his brothers 'Adullaah and 'Abdur-Rahman. In the meantime, he sent a letter to one of his relatives wherein he mentions that he refused the gift of the Sultanate, not wanting to be defiled in anyway.


    Eighteen months passed before Ibn Taymeeyah was released unconditionally after the intervention of an Arab Prince named Husamudeen bin 'Eesaa in 707 AH. There were earlier initiatives that failed, due to Ibn Taymeeyah's captors attempting to attach conditions that were unacceptable to him. After his release, Ibn Taymeeyah stayed in Cairo where he established classes and circles of knowledge in masjids, to benefit the people thereby. Yet those who harboured rotten ideas, feared the light of guidance emanating from the presence of the Shaykh amongst them. After the Sultan received their complaints, he decided to expel Shaykh ul-Islaam back to Syria, but with conditions, which he later accepted at the insistence of his followers. As he was embarking upon his trip, an order was issued to re-imprison him12. One must relay the magnificent scene witnessed when Shaykh ul-Islaam was re-jailed,


    "When he entered prison, he saw the prisoners busy with all kinds of time-wasting games for entertainment, such as chess and dice games, leading to loss of prayer. The Shaykh rebuked them strongly, and commanded them to keep the prayers, and turn towards Allaah in worship, repentance and good deeds. He taught them from the Sunnah what they needed to know, encouraging them to do good, and bolstering their faith, and thereby rendered the prison a haven for seekers of the knowledge of religion. Such a place became better than schools and circles. Some of the released prisoners preferred staying with him rather than being free; and those frequenting his company increased to a point where the prison became full of them!" 13


    This state of affairs did not please the envious, and so he was sent to a prison in Alexandria. Soon afterwards, the self-exiled Sultan Muhammad bin Qalawoon, who had a great deal of respect for the Shaykh returned in triumph. The Sultan asked for Ibn Taymeeyah to be returned to Cairo. When he came to the Sultanate court, it was full of princes and scholars. The Sultan stood up for the Shaykh greeting him warmly, and then took him to a distant corner and asked, "There are amongst those scholars present here, those whose oath was given to the Jashangir (Qalawoon's former rival), and had slandered you.'' He then asked for his opinion (fatwa) to exterminate them. The Shaykh strongly objected and replied, "If they were to go, none of the same calibre could then be found in your country. As for what they have done to me, and my right to extract a punishment, I forgive them, and they are free."14 And thus the coming of Shaykh ul-Islaam to Cairo was sealed, where he resided near al-Hussayn Masjid, with his ever-present commitment to the spreading of knowledge, and courageous enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.


    In 712 AH, Ibn Taymeeyah returned to Damascus after an absence of seven years and few days. The Egyptian Army that had been dispatched to block the attack of the Tatars accompanied him. He later resettled in Damascus returning to publicise the knowledge of the religion. Yet again, his opponents would not leave him as he gave a fatwa that contradicted their opinions. This was coupled with what they had found in his book Iqtida 'as-Siraat ul-Mustaqim in the form of a chapter on 'Travelling in order to visit graves' and its unlawfulness according to the texts. By this time, the envious scholars had managed to change the mind of the hitherto sympathetic Sultan, who in turn ordered Ibn Taymeeyah's arrest to the Castle in Damascus. Shaykh ul-lslaam was uttering the verse whilst entering his cell:


    "And thereupon a wall will be raised between them, with a gate in it. Within it will be grace and mercy, and the outside thereof suffering." Al-Qur'aan 57:13 In prison he continued to write, working on tafseer, reciting the Qur'aan, and worshipping his Lord. He was later refused access to ink, paper and books, and soon after that, the enlightened heart stopped, and the pure soul passed to the grace of its Lord in the confines of prison in 728 AH. May Allaah have mercy on him, please him and be pleased with him. Thus was the story of the reformer and revivalist Imaam. The example of knowledge, jihad and chivalry...of one who forgave his opponents save those enemies of Allaah and His Messenger.


    Footnotes

    1. Situated north of Syria and Iraq today.

    2. A famous book that Imaam ash-Shawkaanee explained in his Nayl ul-Awtaar.

    3. E.g. a judge, a minister, or an administrator.

    4. Meaning, "The Drawn Sword on the Blasphemer of the Prophet."

    5. The lands of ash-Sham refer to the areas that were historically under the administrational Damascus, Syria, They include today's Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.

    6. The term 'lands of Africa' refers to today's Libya, Tunisia and Algeria.

    7. Just as some are captivated by the discourse of the Orientalists today.

    8. Ibn Katheer, al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya, vol. 14, pg.37.

    9. Meaning unjustified blind following of a certain idea, party or place, belittling and rebuking those who are different. It does not mean mere following.

    10. The Sultan then was Muhammad bin Qalawoon, but as he increasingly sensed that the strong man was the Jashangir and not himself, he left to perform Hajj and then settled in Karak (Jordan), in a face-saving exercise, but he returned later.

    11. Al-'Uqood ud-Durreeyah, pg. 249.

    12. As Allaah says, the Exalted in Might, about the people of Egypt regardingYoosuf: "Even after they had seen all the signs (of Yoosuf's innocence) that they might as well imprison him for a time." It is also striking how the Shaykh stayed for seven years in Egypt, akin to the seven fertile years that Yoosuf (alayhis salam had told the good tidings of).

    13. Al-'Uqood ud-Durreeyah, pg. 269.

    14. Ibid. pg. 282.

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    Default Re: Glory of Ibn Taimiyah

    Ibn al-Qayyim says of Ibn Taymiyyah's remembrance of his Lord: "I heard Shaykul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah (AZ) sanctify his soul, say, 'Remembrance to the heart is like water to fish. What will be the state of the fish if it becomes seperated from the water?'...I once attended fajr prayer with Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, he then sat and remembered Allaah (AZ) until it was nearly midday. He then turned around and said to me, 'This is my early morning meal, if I do not take this breakfast, my strength will drop.' " [1]

    A great manifestation of his worship was in his genuine reliance upon his Lord and his belief in the decree of Allaah. At times when he was subjected to the severest forms of treatment, he had the greatest reliance upon his Lord. When the news of his expulsion to Alexandria came to him and it was said to him: "They are plotting to kill you, expel or imprison you." He replied: "If they kill me it will be a shahaadah for me. If they expel me, it will be a hijrah for me; if they expel me to Cyprus, I will call its people to Allaah so that they answer me. If they imprison me, it will be a place of worship for me." [2]

    Ibn al-Qayyim also says: "He used to say frequently in prostration when imprisoned, 'O Allaah, assist me to remember you, to be grateful to you and to worship your properly.' and he said to me once, 'The one who is (truly) imprisoned is the one whose heart is imprisoned from Allaah and the captivated one is the one whose desires have enslaved him.' " [3]

    Al-Waabil as-Sayyib of Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 60, Daar al-Bayaan.

    Naahiyah min Hayaah Shaykhul-Islaam, pg. 30.

    Al-Waabil as-Sayyib, pg. 61.


    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    "If there were no virtues of Shaykh Taqi ad-Deen except for his famous student Shaykh Shams ad-Deen ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, writer of many works, from which both his opponents and supporters benefited from then this would be a sufficient indication of his (ibn Taymiyyah’s) great position. And how could it be otherwise when the Shaafi`ee Imaams and others, not to speak of the Hanbalees, of his time testified to his prominence in the (Islamic) sciences…"

    [From Ibn Hajr’s endorsement of ‘Radd al-Waafir’ contained at the end of the book.]
    Ibn Katheer said,
    "the least he would do when he heard something was to memorise it and then busy himself with learning it. He was intelligent and had much committed to memory, and he became an Imaam in tafseer and everything linked to it and knowledgeable in fiqh. Indeed it was said he was more knowledgeable of the fiqh of the madhabs then the followers of those very same madhabs in his time and other than his time. He was a scholar in Usul and the branches of the religion and grammar and the language and other textual and intellectual sciences…no scholar of a science would speak to him except that he thought that that science was the speciality of ibn Taymiyyah. As for hadeeth then he was the carrier of its flag, a haafidh and able to distinguish the weak from the strong, fully acquainted with the narrators…"
    [‘al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah’ (14/118-119) of ibn Katheer.]
    Last edited by Ibn Abi Ahmed; 12-25-2006 at 12:49 AM.


    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    After all this, it comes as no surprise that those who argued with ibn Taymiyyah about the contents of his books found that indeed his beliefs where exactly those held by the Salaf of this Ummah. Ibn Katheer writes that when the scholars of his time gathered for a sitting with ibn Taymiyyah to discuss his work al-Aqeedah al-Hamawiyyah that ibn Taymiyyah's replies to their accusations were not able to be rebutted.
    [al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, 14/5]

    And likewise he mentioned that when the scholars sat to argue with him regarding his Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah the argument ended with them accepting all that was contained in the book.
    [Vol. 14 of al-Bidaayah under the heading 'Aqd al-Majaalis ath-Thalaatha']


    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Default Ibn Taymiyyah - Brief Biography



    SHEIKH-UL-ISLAM IMAM IBN TAIMIYAH--BRIEF
    BIOGRAPHY

    Imam Ibn Taimiyah's full name is Taqi ud-Din Ahmad bin 'Abdul-Halim. He was born in Harran on 22 January, 1263 AD (10 Rabi' Al-Awwal, 661 AH). His family had long been renowned for its learning. His father 'Abdul-Halim, uncle Fakhr ud-Din and grandfather Majd ud-Din were great scholars of Hanbalite school of jurisprudence and the authors of many books. His family members
    were forced to leave their native place in 1269 AD before the approach of the Mongols and to take refuge in Damascus. At that time, Ibn Taimiyah was seven years old. His father 'Abdul-Halim was appointed as Professor and Head of the Sukkariyah Madrasah. Endowed with a penetrating intellect and a wonderful memory, Ibn Taimiyah studied, at an early stage, all the disciplines of jurisprudence, Ahadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), commentaries of the Quran, mathematics and philosophy, and in each he was far lead of his contemporaries. Among his teachers, was Shams ud-Din Al-Maqdisi, first Hanbali Chief Justice of Syria following the reform of the judiciary by Baibars.

    The number of Ibn Taimiyah's teachers exceeds two hundred. Ibn Taimiyah was barely seventeen, when Qadi Al-Maqdisi authorized him to issue Fatwa (legal verdict). Qadi remembered with pride that it was he who had first permitted an intelligent and learned man like Ibn Taimiyah to give Fatwa. At the same age, he started delivering lectures. When he was thirty, he was offered the office of Chief Justice, but refused, as he could not persuade himself to follow the limitations imposed by the authorities. Imam Ibn Taimiyah's education was essentially that of a Hanbali theologian and jurisconsult. But to his knowledge of early and classical Hanbalism, he added not only that of the other schools of jurisprudence but also that of heresiographical literature, in particular of philosophy and Sufism. He had an extensive knowledge of Quran, Sunnah, Greek philosophy, Islamic history, and religious books of others, as is evident from the variety of the books he wrote. Though he preferred the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, he was never biased in favor of it. In his writings, he frequently quoted the opinions of all four of the well-known schools of jurisprudence, even others. In a number of matters, he himself held opinions different from those of the four schools. In fact, he was an original thinker ( Mujtahid) who merely drew upon the wisdom of the four established schools. In all his reformative efforts, Ibn Taimiyah accepted the Our an and the Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him)) as the basic criteria. In matters where there was no clear guidance from the Quran and the Sunnah, he never hesitated to venture into rational thought and took the path of Ijtihad or creative originality an initiative. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries AD have a distinguished place in Islamic history. Ibn Al-Atheer described the political and military conditions prevailing in the Muslim world during Ibn Taimiyah's lifetime in the following words:"Islam and Muslims had during that period been afflicted by such disasters that no other nation hadexperienced. One such affliction was the invasion by the Tatar. They came from the east and inflicted overwhelming damages. Another was the onset of the Prankish people (the Crusaders) from the West to Mesopotamia and Egypt, they occupied its ports, and nearly subjected all of Egypt to their rule, had it not been from Allah's Mercy and victory over them. But another affliction was that the Muslims themselves had been divided, and their swords lifted up against their fellows. "In addition to such horrid conditions facing the Muslims on the political and military front, Islam as practiced and preached by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and As-Salaf As-Salih (the righteous predecessors) was being seriously challenged by various deviant sects. The Sufi movement which was spearheaded by the teachings of Al-Ghazali had won over many converts and was exercising a firm hold on the intellect and patterns of thought of many people. Along with this Al-Ash'ari system of creed had been widely accepted by the majority of the scholars of Ibn Taimiyah's day. Al-Ash 'ari system of doctrine was a mixture of the Salafi methodology which is based on revelation centered theology and the Mu'tazilah methodology which is based on a rationalist thought system. Taqleed was practiced widely. Even though information on the Deen, Fiqh, Ahadith, etc., was abundantly available, only a handful of scholars and ordinary people took up the task of investigating the sources of the knowledge and its vehicle. Most people blindly accepted the teaching of their
    Sheikh or Imam without questioning or investigating the sources from where the knowledge had come."

    Imam Ibn Taimiyah's struggles and persecutions

    Ibn Taimiyah's life was not confined to the world of books and words. Whenever circumstances demanded, he took part in political and public affairs too, distinguishing himself not only through his writings and speeches but also with the sword as a brave warrior.

    Participation in Jihad

    1300, the Mongols under their king Ghazan, invaded Syria and defeated the Sultan's army. Ibn Taimiyah, by this time well-known, flung himself into the stream of affairs, while the religious divines and saints were leaving Damascus to take refuge in Egypt. When Mongol threat arose for a second time, Ibn Taimiyah exhorted people to Jihad and encouraged them to confront the Mongols boldly. He toured the cities, called the people to a holy war and fired them with zeal. After a pitched battle at Shaqhab in which Ibn Taimiyah fought bravely, the Syrian-Egyptian army won a glorious victory that turned the tide against the Mongols. This victory, which was to a great extent due to Ibn Taimiyah's efforts and commitment, stopped the Mongols advance. Apart from the battle of Shaqhab, he took part in some other expeditions with the Mamluk authorities, and also undertook a few expeditions without them.

    Opposition of rival Ulama

    Because of his brilliant performance on the battlefield and his radical thinking, Ibn Taimiyah's fame spread throughout the realm, and he became a highly distinguished celebrity. This made a number of jurists jealous. Ibn Kathir has pointed out this fact, saying that: 'A group of jurisprudents were jealous of Ibn Taimiyah, as the people paid heed to him. To enjoin good and forbid evil was his vocation, and because of this he became very popular among the people. His followers were countless. His religious zeal, learning and actions made them jealous of him.' For the complaint of rival Ulama, he was imprisoned several times. His last imprisonment began on 13 July, 1326 and lasted until his death. His opponents dug up an old Fatwa, related to tomb visits, given by him some seventeen years before, which could be provocatively interpreted. In his treatise on the subject ( Risalah Ziyarah Al-Qubur) Ibn Taimiyah had questioned the legality of visiting tombs, even the tomb of the Prophet (peace be upon him). His opponents distorted the sense and context of this Fatwa to make it objectionable in the eyes of the
    public and the Sultan. A great dispute arose and Ibn Taimiyah was imprisoned in the citadel of Damascus along with some of his pupils including Ibn Al-Qaiyim. While in prison, Ibn Taimiyah spent all his time teaching and writing. Many of his works were produced in this period. In 1328, he was deprived of all means of writing, his pen and papers were taken away. But this did not stop him from writing; he wrote many letters and booklets with coal. He never
    complained to anybody about his persecution. Only when all reading and writing materials were taken away from him, did he say: 'Now they really have put me into prison.' He breathed his last on 26 September, 1328 (20 Dhul-Qa'dah 728 AH) having endured harsh conditions for five months. The
    whole country mourned. Schools, shops, hotels and markets were closed to mark his death. His burial was attended by the great numbers of Damascans; eyewitnesses confirm that, excepting some invalids, all turned out for his funeral prayer, both those who had been for him and those against. This is a clear testimony of his place among the people, of their appreciation of his sacrifices for public purposes and just cause. Including the two years and three months of his last imprisonment, Ibn Taimiyah spent about five years in different prisons.

    A great reformer

    In the Islamic perspective, 'reform' is understood quite differently than in Christian terminology. In Islam, 'reform' means purification of the original Islamic teachings, and the removal of UN-Islamic new practices (Bid'at) and misconceptions. In this sense of the word, Ibn Taimiyah was a great
    reformer.

    The main aspects of his reforms

    The most important elements of Ibn Taimiyah's reforms were:
    (a) to bring about a revolution against UN-lslamic practices (Bidht) that had crept into Islam and to emphasize the concept of Tauhid with all
    its implications;
    (b) a return to the fundamental priorities of Islam and its original spirit, instead of disputing over secondary and nonfundamental problems.

    Attack on philosophy and logic

    Another target of Ibn Taimiyah's criticism was Greek philosophy and logic. He knew that unless the crippling falsehood of Greek philosophy was removed, the people would not be able to grasp the Divine truth of Islam. He studied critically all the great Muslim philosophers and their works in this regard, and then he opposed it extremely.

    Rejection of Sufism and deniers of Sifat

    He abhorred the Sufi ideas of pantheism, gnosticism, and deterministic view of total religious resignation. According to him the implication of these ideas upon the Muslim community were devastating, because they led to political apathy, religious misconceptions, and withdrawal from an active community life. A major portion of his intellectual energies was spent refuting the doctrine of the Sufis. The Shi 'ah were also subjected to harsh criticism by Ibn Taimiyah because of the many flaws in their doctrines and beliefs. He strongly denounced their falsification of the historical facts and forging of the Sunnah to support their own political views. Ibn Taimiyah also attacked Al-Jahmiyah and Al-Jabariyah -- the determinists -- who denied the human being's responsibility for any of his actions. He also denounced Al-Mu'tazilah and Al-Qadariyah -- the rationalists -- who held human free will as the basis of human action. He also did doctrinal battle with the followers of Abul-Hasan Al-Ash'ari on various issues including determinism/free will, the Names and Attributes of Allah, and other issues of the Islamic creed. As a result of his confrontation with the Sufis and the scholasticists, he made many enemies among them. Many of their leaders who exercised political clout used it against him, and as a result, he was once exiled in Alexandria and imprisoned on three different occasions. Ibn Tamiyah gave himself relentlessly to pointing the way to the knowledge which, in his own words, means: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) shown the fundamentals and applications of religion, its intent as well as its expression, its (intellectual) knowledge and its action. This fact is the foundation of all fundamental knowledge and belief; and he who most adheres to this foundation is most worthy of the truth -- both, to know it and to do it."

    Method of teaching

    Ibn Taimiyah's method of teaching was both elegant and striking, replete with authentic references, strengthened with rational arguments, and evidence from the Ahadith .For a lecture on any subject, he would refer to verses of the Quran and discuss their meanings with cross references from the Quran.
    He would also note evidence from Ahadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and check their authenticity. He would then expound the relevant opinions of the four schools of jurisprudence and of other famous experts in jurisprudence. Having discussed the matter fully in this way, the problem and
    its solution would become clear in the minds of his listeners. Ibn Taimiyah had a prodigiously good memory which helped him overwhelm his adversaries in polemic.

    Style of writing

    His style of writing is clear and elegant. His writings are so richly steeped in references to the Quran, to Ahadith, to the sayings of the Companions and their followers, and to opinions of other experts in jurisprudence, that any Muslim reader must feel that he is living in the blessed age. From the literal
    point of view too, his writings have great merit. Because of their clear expression and choice of idiom, even his technical works seem to be literary ones.

    His disciples

    Imam Ibn Taimiyah's disciples spread from Syria to Egypt and Cairo to Alexandria. Some of them scattered to very far-off places. They preached and developed his intellectual heritage, and shared their master's persecutions. One of the most famous of them is Imam Ibn Qaiyim al-Jawziyah (Allah's mercy be upon him) (d. 1350), a great writer in his own right. He so mingled his personality with that of his teacher that we find in his books echoes of Ibn Taimiyah's thought. Among other distinguished disciples were Ibn'Abdul-Hadi (d. 1343), who died at the age of forty but left valuable works. He wrote a biography of his master, Al-'Uqud Al-Durriyah; Ibn Kathir (d.1373), the famous historian and commentator of the Quran, whose book Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah contains a detailed biography of his teacher; Hafiz Dhahabi (d. 1348), the great Islamic historian of traditions; Al-Mizzi(d.l341), another expert on traditions; Muhammad bin Muflih (d.1362), writer of many books; Abu Hafs Al-Bazzar (d.1349), the author of a biography of Ibn Taimiyah; Ibn Al-Wardi (d.1348), expert in literature, grammar and some of her branches of learning; and Qadi Ibn Fadl-ullah (d. 1349), a famous writer.

    Impact of Ibn Taimiyah through the ages

    Ibn Taimiyah created a climate of revolutionary thinking both through his ideas and his reformist endeavors whose impact was felt not only in his own time but ever since. In his lifetime people were divided either into those who were strong opponents or strong supporters fully in agreement with him, or uncommitted, those who agreed with some views and disagreed with others. Ibn Taimiyah left behind a large number of books and disciplines. His opponents soon sank into anonymity, while the value of and appreciation for his works has increased. In his own lifetime, Ibn Taimiyah's fame and influence extended beyond the boundaries of Egypt and Syria. When he was imprisoned for the last time in the citadel of Damascus, many letters came from the inhabitants of Baghdad protesting against his arrest and demanding his release. When he died, funeral prayers in absentia were performed even as far as China. Almost all historians have recognized his deep impact on the most prominent reformer of eighteenth
    century, Sheikh Muhammad bin 'Abdul-Wahhab (d. 1792).
    Last edited by Muhammad; 07-15-2007 at 06:31 PM. Reason: spelling mistake

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah



    *Threads Merged*

    All information about Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) can be posted here inshaAllah.

    Jazakallah khair for sharing!


    "...You are my Walî in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous." [Surah Yusuf 101]

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    Default Re: -From the works of Imam Ibn al Qayyim-

    The Heaven of this World - al-Waabil as-Sayyib


    I heard the Sheikh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah - may Allah sanctify his soul - say,

    'Truly, there is a Heaven in this world,
    [And] whoever does not enter it,
    Will not enter the Heaven of the next world.'


    And once he said to me,

    'What can my enemies do to me?
    I have in my breast both my Heaven and my Garden.
    If I travel they are with me, and they never leave me.
    Imprisonment for me is a religious retreat [khalwa].
    To be slain for me is martyrdom [shahada]
    And to be exiled from my land is a spiritual journey [siyaha].'



    During his imprisonment in the fortress, he would say, 'I could not be more grateful for this blessing were I to have this entire fortress in gold'; or, 'I could never repay them for the good that has come to me in [this prison].'158


    And in prostration he would say, whilst in a state of imprisonment 'O Allah, help me in my gratitude to You, remembrance of You and the most comely worship of You' as much as Allah willed. 159


    Once he said to me, 'The real prisoner is someone whose heart is imprisoned from his Lord; the true captive is someone captured by his passions.' And when he entered the fortress and was inside its walls, he gazed upon them and recited the verse, 'And a wall between them is struck which has a gate. On the inside there is a mercy, on the outside punishment.' 160


    Allah knows, I have never seen anyone who had a better life than his. Despite the difficulties and all that expunges comfort and luxury, nay, things completely opposite to them; despite intimidation and oppression, Ibn Taymiyyah had a purer life than anyone could. He was the most generous, the strongest of heart and the most joyful of soul, with 'the radiance of bliss' on his face.161 When we were seized with fear and our thoughts [about Allah's decree] turned negative, and the earth grew narrow for us, we would go to him. No sooner did we look at him and hear his words than all these [feelings] would leave us, to be replaced by relief, strength, certainty and tranquility.


    So glory be to the One who lets His servants witness His Heaven well before they meet Him, who opens its doors to them in this world of deeds and who gives them something of its refreshment, its breeze and its perfume - that they might seek it and hasten towards it with all their strength. A gnostic once said, 'If kings and the sons of kings knew what we had, they would try to take it from us by the sword!' Another said:'How pitiful, the wordly people! They leave this life without ever having tasted the sweetest thing in it.' When asked what that was, he replied, 'The love of Allah, the knowledge of Allah and the remembrance of Allah,' or words to that effect.162 Another said: 'There are times when the heart dances in joy.' And another said, 'There are times when I say, If the people of Heaven have anything like this, how truly sweet their lives!' To love Allah, to know Him intimately, to remember Him constantly, to find peace and rest in Him, to make Him alone the [ultimate] object of love, fear, hope and trust; to base one's act on His control of His servant's cares, aspirations and will - such is the world's Heaven, and such is a blessing with which no other blessing can compare.


    It is by this that the hearts of those who love Allah are gladdened and that the gnostics find life. As their hearts are gladdened by Allah, so others are gladdened by them. For whoever finds his source of gladdness in Allah, gladdens all hearts; whoever does not, finds nothing in this world but restlessness. Anyone with life in his heart will confirm this. But someone whose heart is dead will only estrange you from Allah; and so seek intimacy [with Allah] without him, when you can, for his mere presence will estrange you. If you are tested by him, show him only your outer aspect, but leave him behind in your heart. Depart from him with your soul and do not let him distract you from the one who is most important to you. Know that the greatest of all losses is the involvement with someone who weakens your relationship and standing with Allah, cutting you off from Him, wasting your time, dispersing your heart, weakening your resolve and dividing your aspirations. Therefore, if you are tested with this [kind of situation] - and it is inevitable that you will be - then bear up for the sake of Allah, and acknowledge Him as much as you are able. Draw near to Allah by whatever of it pleases Him. Make your association [with wordly people] a profit not a loss. Be like the man travelling along, whom another invites to stop: seek to take him along with you. When he comes along, lead him but be not lead by him. And if he refuses, and you have no hope that he will journey, then [at least] do not let him detain you. Rather, hasten on, pay him no heed. Do not [even] turn in his direction, for he is a highway robber regardless.


    Protect your heart and be careful of how you spend your day and your night.


    Let not the sun set on you before you reach camp, 'lest you be carried off'.


    Nor let the dawn find you abandoned in the camp after the caravan has moved on, and the time is nigh for you to reach them. 163



    FOOTNOTES
    158 Ibn al-Qayyim accompanied Ibn Taymiyyah to prison (cf. Introduction).
    159 A prayer recommended by the Prophet to Mu'adh. Nasa'i, Sahw, 1286; Abu Dawud, Salat, 1301.
    160 Qur'an LVII:13.
    161 'Nadratun al-na'im'. Qur'an LXXXIII:24.
    162 Possibly referring to the saying by 'Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak: ' Wordly people leave the world before having feasted on the sweetest thing in it.' They asked him what that was and he answered, 'The knowledge of Almighty
    Allah.' Isfahani, Hilya, VIII:167.

    163 There are some ommisions in the arabic editions here. The sense of the last sentence is not at all together clear.


    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah



    The prison in which he died:



    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah



    Subhan Allah.

    Indeed he was a great shaykh. May Allah grant him jannatul- Firdous. His books are amazing. Full of knowledge Masha Allah.

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    he was a heavy scholar, bless him bidaaya wan nihaaya and the waasitah between Allah (swt) and the creation are jus sum hevy books written by him, may Allah (swt) bless him a propa heavy scholar


    Jaa-Ro-Nee-Mo!!!


    "they ask you when will the help of Allah (swt) come! Certainly Allah (Swt) help is always near"

    Surah al Baqarah v214



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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    Quote Originally Posted by chacha_jalebi View Post
    he was a heavy scholar, bless him bidaaya wan nihaaya and the waasitah between Allah (swt) and the creation are jus sum hevy books written by him, may Allah (swt) bless him a propa heavy scholar


    Al Bidayah Wan Nihaayah was actually by Ibn Kathir, his student. But I agree, he was a great scholar Masha'Allah


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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    Quote Originally Posted by seeker_of_ilm View Post


    Al Bidayah Wan Nihaayah was actually by Ibn Kathir, his student. But I agree, he was a great scholar Masha'Allah

    o yesh yesh lol i got mixed


    Jaa-Ro-Nee-Mo!!!


    "they ask you when will the help of Allah (swt) come! Certainly Allah (Swt) help is always near"

    Surah al Baqarah v214



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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah



    Ibn Taymiyyah did not deviate from the "mainstream scholors of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah".

    http://www.islamicboard.com/sects-di...taymiyyah.html


    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah



    My favourite classical scholar. May Allah have Mercy upon him and grant him Jannah, ameen.

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    Salam

    i am looking for the full letters of the Imam that he wrote in prison, does anybody know i can locate them? wasalams


    A person with personal hatred in the heart will argue, however the one who questions his sincerity will reason.

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah





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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah


    mashaAllah he was truely an imam may Allah bless him with janatul firdaws inshaAllah.


    رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى*ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلۡ دُعَآءِ (٤٠) رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَلِوَٲلِدَىَّ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلۡحِسَابُ

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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    Salam

    Thanks for the links, however they were only partial...does anybody know where i can find the full?


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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    Salam, can anybody help me with accessing Imam Ibn Taymiyahs books in Arabi or English. I have certainly become more interested in reading his works. And where are the best places to buy them in Arabi and English


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    Default Re: Ibn Taymiyah

    also does anybody know where i can read the whole of Aqeedah Al Hamawiyyah online?


    A person with personal hatred in the heart will argue, however the one who questions his sincerity will reason.

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