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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

dîn al-Qonawî,

dîn al-Qonawî, Muhyiddîn ibn al-’Arabî and ’Umar ibn al-Fârid. He said that al-Ghazâlî’s books were full of mawdû’ hadîths, and he did not neglect to criticize our scholars of Kalâm. He could not understand that the madhhabs arose out of the differences of ijtihâd and supposed that they were the results of philosophical thoughts. He considered it as a guilt that the Ahl as-Sunna scholars had said that the old churches in Muslim countries should not be touched, and for this reason, he vituperated the great men of Islam. Mawdûdî, like Ibn Taimiyya, misrepresents Imâm al-Ghazâlî as defective. Great scholar Ibn Hajar al-Makkî, in commenting on the causes of disbelief, wrote that any person who asserted that there were errors in Imâm al-Ghazâlî’s writings either envied him or was an atheist. [1] Hanafî scholar Ibn ’Âbidîn wrote at the end of his Al-’uqûd ad-durriyya, “A person who says that Imâm al- Ghazâlî was not an ’âlim is the most ignorant among the ignorant and the worst of fâsiqs. He was Hujjat al-Islâm and the most superior of the scholars of his time. He wrote very valuable books on fiqh.” Some Muslim scholars declared that Ibn Taimiyya had departed from Islam and become a renegade. Profoundly learned scholars such as Ibn Battûta, Ibn Hajar al-Makkî, Taqî ad-dîn as- Subkî and his son, ’Abd al-Wahhâb, ’Izz ad-dîn Ibn Jamâ’a and Abû Hayyân az-Zâhirî al-Andulûsî, whose words have been regarded as documentary evidence, considered him a man of bid’a, a heretic. Even those who said he was a heretic did not deny his knowledge, intelligence and zuhd, but, a hadîth written in Mishkât states, “The worst of the bad is the bad man of religion.” Hadrat al-Imâm ar-Rabbânî Ahmad al-Fârûqî wrote in his fifty-third letter: “The good scholar is the best of mankind. The evil scholar is the worst of mankind. Men’s happiness and doom depend upon scholars. A great man saw the Satan sitting unoccupied and asked why he was loitering. The Satan said, ‘The heretical scholars of the peresent time do my work. They do not leave any work for me to lead the people astray.’ ” Imâm as-Subkî, too, used to praise Ibn Taimiyya’s knowledge [1] Al-a’lâm bi kawati’ al-Islâm, p. 137, with references to Ibn as-Subkî and other scholars. This book of Ibn Hajar’s was printed on the page margins of Zawâjr, another book written by him. It is in Arabic and available in Istanbul. – 128 –

and intelligence much. Burhân ad-dîn ibn Muflih wrote in his Tabaqât that Imâm as-Subkî praised Ibn Taimiyya much in the letter he had written to az-Zahabî. However, Imâm as-Subkî, in his work Ar-raddu li Ibn Taimiyya, and his son ’Abd al-Wahhâb, in his Tabaqât, wrote that Ibn Taimiyya departed from the Ahl as- Sunna and went astray. Many persons whom he imbued with his ideas, especially his disciples Ibn al-Qayyim and az-Zahabî, praised him too much. ’Alî al-Qârî ’ and Mahmûd Âlûsî, who are considered as religious scholars because of their annotations to famous books and who lived on writing on the Qur’ân and valuable books, and Muhammad ’Abduh, who claimed to be a mujtahid, followed in his footsteps and departed from the Ahl as- Sunna. Yûsuf an-Nabhânî, one of the profound scholars of the present century, in his book Shawâhid al-haqq, and Shaikh al-Islâm Mustafâ Sabri efendi, one of the great Ottoman scholars, in his book Al-’ilm wa ’l-’aql, and Abu Hâmid ibn Marzûk, a Damascene scholar, in his two-volume work, which was partly published by offset under the title At-tawassulu bi ’n-Nabî wa Jahalat al- Wahhâbiyyîn in Istanbul in 1395 A.H. (1975), proved Ibn Taimiyya’s heresy with documents. Those who approve Ibn Taimiyya, in order to prove that he was judged and imprisoned unjustly, write: “His writings against the men of tasawwuf offended them. His fatwâs about divorce made the scholars of fiqh feel hostile towards him. And his fatwâs about the Divine Attributes hurt the scholars of Kalâm. Therefore, the scholars of Kalâm, fiqh and tasawwuf co-operated against him, and he was punished.” They think that they can make everybody believe that religious scholars would become hostile towards or torture or denounce a Muslim because of a few words. They misrepresent him as a victim of oppression and the scholars as cruel. On the contrary, Ibn Taimiyya rose in rebellion against the Ahl as-Sunna. He spread the fire of fitna over the Muslim world. For example, when Abû Hayyân, a scholar of Arabic, came to Cairo in 700 A.H., Ibn Taimiyya said to him, “Who is Sibawaih that you call him a scholar of Arabic! There are exactly eighty errors, which you cannot distinguish, in his book.” Hearing these words which would not become a man of knowledge, Abû Hayyân preferred to keep away from him and censured him in his Qur’ân commentary Al-bahr and also in its abridgement titled Nahr. Ibn Hajar al-Askalânî quotes az-Zahabî in his book Durar al- – 129 –

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