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Misconceptions About the Scholars of the Salaf
  Imaam adh-Dhahabi on Ibn Taymiyyah : Removing the Misconceptions
Author: Shaikh Saleem al-Hilaalee
Source: Al-Kawkab ad-Durree (trans. A. Iyaad)
Article ID : MSC060003  [24252]  
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Then he turned to fiqh, its minutae, its foundations, evidences, concensus, and matters of difference until sheer amazement would arise when he would mention one of matters in which there was difference of opinion, then he would bring evidence (from the texts), would evaluate and point out the stronger of the positions and would strive (in seeking out the truth), and all of that was deserving to him for the various conditions of making ijtihaad had combined in him. Certainly, I have not seen anyone quicker in extracting the verses which would be relevant to the matter which he was discussing, and nor one who was greater in recalling the texts of the ahaadeeth..." Then he said, "...He would constanly enjoin the good and forbid the evil and the reproach of the criticisor would not prevent him from the path of Allaah, the possessor of authority (i.e. in his knowledge and speech) and boldness. He had no concern with the jealous and whoever mixed with him and knew him well will accuse me of falling short in describing him and whoever opposed and hated him will accuse me of overpraise and exaggeration... yet I do not believe that he is infallible. Never, for he, despite the vastness of his knowledge, overflowing braveness, fluidity of mind, extreme respect and venerance for the sanctities of the deen, is a man from among me. Zealousness would overcome him in study, and he would become angry ... hatred for him would develop in the souls and they would avoid him. And if he had not (been like this), by Allaah, if he had been kind with his antagonists, was kind to them, was amiable with them and made his speech cordial with them, their would have been a word of agreement and concensus[10]. For certainly, their senior scholars and imaams humbled themselves in front of the knowledge and sciences and fiqh he possessed, acknowledging (at the same time) that they disliked him. And it was as if they affirmed the rarity of his mistakes. I do not mean those scholars whose charactersitic and habit is to belittle him and mock his excellence, who have such intense hatred of him that they declare him to be ignorant and also to be a disbeliever, who attack him without even having looked at his works, who do not understand his words and who do not have any share of vast understanding and cognizance.

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