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Islams Reformers

The bigotry of the religion reformers or bigots of science who surfaced lately to blame all previous scholars, basic fundamental beliefs or practices

that Allâhu ta’âlâ

that Allâhu ta’âlâ was material and an object. He supposed that the Creator was in the shape of man. By giving wrong meanings to symbolic (mutashâbih) âyats and hadîths according to his own comprehension, he went wrong. He was so badly fixed in this heretical belief that one day he said on the pulpit of the mosque in Damascus, “Allâhu ta’âlâ descends on the earth from the sky as I descend now,” and got down from the pulpit. Ibn Battûta reported this. The ’ulamâ’ of the four madhhabs, by writing answers refuting these words of Ibn Taimiyya, prevented the deterioration of Muslims’ i’tiqâd. The book Ar-raddu ’ala ’l-mushabbihi fî qawlihi ta’âlâ ar-Rahmânu ’ala ’l-Arsh-istawâ by Muhammad ibn Jamâ’a, who was a Shâfi’î scholar of fiqh and hadîth and had been the qâdî Of Egypt, Damascus and Jerusalem and passed away in 733 (1333), is full of these invaluable answers. In the fatwâ book Tâtârhâniyya and in Al-milal wa ’n-nihal and in many other books, it is written that the groups of Mujassima and Mushabbiha, i.e. those who believe Allâhu ta’â’lâ to be a material being who sits, gets down and walks on the ’Arsh, are disbelievers. In 705 A.H. scholars and officials, who had been convened in the presence of Egyptian Sultan Nâsir, sentenced Ibn Taimiyya to confinement in the well of Cairo fortress because he spread such heretical words. Because he gave wrong fatwâs which the Ahl as- Sunna scholars did not consider permissible, he was again imprisoned in the Damascus fortress in 720. His words about visiting prophets’ graves and blessed places also made a mess and caused fitna. For this reason, he was imprisoned again in Damascus in 726. In 728 (1328), he became ill in the dungeon and died. Ibn Taimiyya said that he was in the Hanbalî madhhab. However, one has to adapt one’s belief to that of the Ahl as- Sunna so that one can be in one of the four right madhhabs. Many words of his indicate that he did not belong to the Ahl as-Sunna and, on the contrary, he disliked the Ahl as-Sunna. He represented himself as a mujaddid, as a reformer. Hanbalî scholar Mar’î (d. 1033 A.H.) wrote a biography of Ibn Taimiyya titled Kawâkib, in which he quoted Ibn Taimiyya’s writings that denied the necessity of following the imâms of madhhabs and even the ijmâ’. Though he attacked the Ahl as-Sunna scholars because they had done qiyâs, he himself did qiyâs on many matters, especially in his book Majmû’at ar-rasâ’il wa ’l-masâ’il. He did not believe in the greatness of Awliyâ’ and attacked visiting graves. He mutilated the hadîth, “Only three mosques are visited at the – 126 –

expense of a journey,” to distort it into “Only three mosques are visited,” and said that it was a sinful act to visit even Rasulullah’s (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) grave. Hadrat Ibn Hajar al-Hîtâmî answered this in detail in his book Fatâwâ al-fiqhiyya. In the 222nd article of the book Nuzhat al-hawâtir by ’Allâma ’Abd al- Hayy al-Hasanî (d. 1341/1923), it is written that Muhammad ’Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawî, an Islamic scholar of India (d. 1304/1887), debated upon this subject with Muhammad Bashir, a lâmadhhabite Indian. Ibn Taimiyya was aggressive against the madhhab of Hadrat Abu ’l-Hasan al-Ash’arî, one of the greatest Ahl as-Sunna scholars, and against this profound scholar’s explanation of qadar and of the Names of Allâhu ta’âlâ and against his explanations of the âyats about the punishment in the next world. He said that the punishment in Hell would not be eternal also for disbelievers and that every kind of tax paid to the State would stand for zakât. He did not admit that the words incompatible with what the four madhhabs had unanimously declared were disbelief. He strived to rebut the honour and fame of the Ahl as-Sunna scholars. In al-Jabal mosque in Sâlihiyya, he said that Hadrat ’Umar (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) had made many mistakes. In another gathering, he said that Hadrat ’Alî (radiy- Allâhu ’anh) went wrong three hundred times. A hadîth, which is written in the book Kunûz by al-Manâwî, in Imâm Ahmad’s Sahîh and in the book Mir’ât al-kâ’inât, states: “Allâhu ta’âlâ has put the true word on ’Umar’s tongue,” by which Rasûlullah (’alaihi ’ssalâm) meant that Hadrat ’Umar (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) would never go wrong. Ibn Taimiyya opposes this hadîth by saying, “ ’Umar made many mistakes,” Indeed, he was learned enough to have known of this hadîth. He was vastly learned on the Hadîth, yet the multitude of his errors counterbalanced the amplitude of his knowledge. It was true that many of the Sahâbat al-kirâm except ’Umar (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) might have made mistakes in those matters that were to be solved through ijtihâd. But their mistakes were the mistakes in ijtihâd. For this reason, even the mistakes of those great people and also of the Ahl as-Sunna scholars in those matters understandable through ijtihâd will be rewarded (thawâb) in the next world, since all of them were mujtahids. As for Ibn Taimiyya’s mistake in the teachings pertaining to belief, it took him away from the right path and aggravated the punishment he deserved. By presuming himself to be a mujtahid, he became above himself and led himself to disaster. He went further and mercilessly attacked the great men of tasawwuf such as Sadr ad- – 127 –

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