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Hisham Kabbani
  Exposing Kabbani 21 : In Defence of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim
Author: Abu Hudhayfah
Article ID : NDV070021  


Badruddeen al-’Aynee al-Hanafee (d.841H), author of the famous commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, wrote in his commendation of ar-Radd al-Waafir of ibn Naasir ad-Deen ad-Dimashqee ash-Shaafi’ee (d.842H), an explanation of the ruling on one who pronounces ibn Taymiyyah to be a disbeliever:

"Since this is the case, it is binding upon those in authority that they punish this ignorant trouble maker - who said that ibn Taymiyyah was a kaafir!! - with various types of punishment, severe beating and long imprisonment. Whoever says to a Muslim: ‘O kaafir,’ then what he has said returns upon him, especially if it is the like of such a filthy one speaking against this scholar, particularly since he is deceased, and there is a prohibition recorded in the Sharee’ah from speaking ill of the deceased Muslims, and Allaah will manifest the truth."

Al-’Aynee also said: "Whoever says ibn Taymiyyah is a kaafir then he is in reality himself a kaafir, and the one who accuses him of heresy is himself a heretic. How is this possible when his works are widely available and there is no hint of deviation or dissension contained therein."

This commendation is established as being authored by al-’Aynee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, despite the attempt of some to discredit it. It is mentioned by al-Haafidh as-Sakhaawee (student of al-Haafidh ibn Hajar) in ad-Dawl al-Laamee (10/13), who described it as: "Defending ibn Taymiyyah to the utmost."

Ibn Hajar also says in his endorsement of the same book (and this is also mentioned by as-Sakhaawee 8/104): "No one says about ibn Taymiyyah that he is a kaafir except two types of people: either one who is himself a kaafir, or one who is ignorant of him... and all the different groups of the people of his time praised his knowledge, Deen and zuhd."

Ibn Hajar also said in his commendation to ar-Radd al-Waafir (p.68): "And if there were no virtues of Shaykh Taqi-ud-Deen (ibn Taymiyyah) except for his famous student Shaykh Shams-ud-Deen ibn Qayyim al-Jawzziyah - the author of many works, which both his opponents and supporters benefit from - then this would be sufficient indication of his (ibn Taymiyyah’s) great position."

In the biography of ibn Taymiyyah in ad-Durar al-Kaaminah, Ibn Hajar writes:

"The shaykh of our shaykhs, al-Haafidh Abu al-Yu'maree (ibn Sayyid an-Naas) said in his biography of ibn Taymiyyah: 'al-Mizzi encouraged me to speak my opinion on Shaykh al-Islaam Taqi ad-Deen. I found him to be fortunate in the sciences that he had. He used to fully understand and implement the Sunan and Aathaar (narrations), memorising them. Should he speak about tafseer then he would carry its flag, and should he pass a fatwa in fiqh then he knew its (or his) limits, and should he speak about a hadeeth then he was the companion of its knowledge and owner of its narrations. Should he give a lecture on Religions and Sects then none was seen who was more comprehensive or meticulous than he. He surpassed in every science over the sons of his like. And you would not see one like him, and his own eye did not see one like himself. He used to speak on tafseer and a large number of people would attend his gatherings, and an agreeable number would return (having drank) from his sweet, rich ocean. Until the sickness of envy crept (into the hearts) of the people of his city. And the people of Nadhr gathered together and picked out anything that could be disapproved of in his beliefs, and they memorised certain statements with respect to this. And they undermined him due to this. They laid traps for him by which they could declare him to be an innovator. They thought that he had left their way, and split off from their sect. So they argued with him, and he with them, and some of them cut relations with him, and he with them. Then he argued with another group who were attributed to the Fuqaraa who thought that they were upon the minute details of the inner reality and upon its truth. And he exposed these Orders. This reached the first group and they sought help from those who cut relations with him and harboured malice towards him. They took the matter to the rulers, each of them having decided that he was a disbeliever and they prepared a meeting, inspiring the ignorant people to spread the word amongst the great scholars. They took steps to transfer the matter to the king of Egypt. And he was arrested and put in prison. Gatherings were convened to discuss the spilling of his blood. They called up for this purpose the people from the small mosques and students, those people that would argue to make others happy, and those that would argue to show their cleverness, and those that announced takfeer and called for disassociation. Your Lord knows what is in their hearts and what they proclaim. And the one who announced his kufr was no better than the one who argued to make others happy. The sting of their plots crept up on him, and Allaah made futile every plot, and rescued him at the hands of those that He chose. Then he continuously moved from one trial to another, in all his life he did not move from trouble except into trouble. And then there followed what followed in the matter of his arrest. He stayed in prison until he died, and to Allaah all matters return. And on the day of his funeral the streets were crowded, and the Muslims came from every roadway...'"

This account recorded by ibn Hajar lays to waste what Kabbani tells his readers about ibn Taymiyya’s imprisonment (p.98):

"In consequence of such strange positions, Ibn Taymiyya was imprisoned by agreement of the Muslim scholars of Egypt and Syria who wished to prevent the dissemination of his ideas. His imprisonment, it should be stressed, came as a result of the consensus of the scholars of his time and not, as it is falsely claimed by his admirers, a massive conspiracy against him. Nor was he put in jail by a tyrannical ruler, nor due to the jealousy of his contemporaries, as is postulated today by some of those who claim to follow his teachings."

As-Suyootee described him as: "Shaykh al-Islaam, the Haafidh, the Faqeeh, the Mujtahid, the distinguished Mufassir, the rarity of his time, scholar of the ascetics."

(Al-Ashbaah wal-Nadha’ir 3/683)

According to ‘Alaa ad-Din al-Bukhari, as cited by Kabbani (p.218), it is disbelief to refer to ibn Taymiyyah as Shaykh al-Islaam! What then of this reference from as-Suyootee? Not to mention the numerous other scholars who applied this title to him, as ibn Naasir ad-Deen records in ar-Radd al-Waafir. Shaykh Bahjatul Baitaar writes: "Ibn al-Hureeree said: ‘If ibn Taymiyyah is not Shaykh al-Islaam then who is?’" (Hayaat Shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, p.26)

As for the noble Imaam, ibn al-Qayyim, many of the scholars have spoken in praise of him:

Ibn Hajar wrote in ad-Durar al-Kaaminah (4/21): "He possessed a courageous spirit as well as vast and comprehensive knowledge. He had deep knowledge concerning the differences of opinions of the scholars and about the ways of the Salaf."

As-Suyootee said in Badhiyyatul-Wi’aat (1/62): "His books have no equal and he strove and traversed the path of the great Imaams in tafseer, hadeeth, fundamentals (usool), the branches (furoo’) and the ‘Arabic language."

His student, the scholar of tafseer, al-Haafidh ibn Katheer, wrote about him in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (14/246):

"He attained great proficiency in many branches of knowledge, particularly knowledge of tafseer, hadeeth and usool. When Shaykh Taqiyyud-Deen ibn Taymiyyah returned from Egypt in the year 712H, he stayed with the Shaykh until he died, learning a great deal of knowledge from him, along with the knowledge he had already occupied himself in obtaining. So he became a singular scholar in many branches of knowledge. He also continued to seek knowledge greatly day and night and was constant in humbly calling upon his Lord. He recited well and had fine manners. He had a great deal of love and did not harbour any envy for anyone, nor harm anyone, nor seek to find fault with anyone, nor bear any malice towards anyone. I was one of those who most often kept company with him and I was one of the most beloved of people to him. I do not know of anyone in this world in this time who is a greater worshipper than him. His Salaah used to be very lengthy, with prolonged bowing and prostration. His companions would often reproach him for this, yet he never retorted back, nor did he abandon this practice - may Allaah shower His Mercy upon him."

Another of his students, al-Haafidh ibn Rajab, said in Dhayl Tabaqaatul-Hanaabilah (4/450):

"He rahimahullah was constant in worship and performing the tahajjud Prayer, reaching the limits in lengthening his Salaah and devotion. He was constantly in a state of Dhikr and had an intense love for Allaah. He also had a deep love for turning to Allaah in repentance, humbling himself to Him with a deep sense of humility and helplessness. He would throw himself at the doors of Divine obedience and servitude. Indeed, I have not seen the likes of him with regards to such matters."

Mullah ‘Alee al-Qaaree said in al-Mirqaat (8/251) that both ibn Taymiyyah and ibn al-Qayyim were:

"... from the great ones of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and from the awliyaa of this Ummah."

And all praise is for Allaah. The choicest peace and blessings upon His final Messenger to mankind, his family and Companions.

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