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Hisham Kabbani
  Exposing Kabbani 10 : Kabbani's Slander of Tajseem Against Ibn Taymiyyah
Author: Abu Hudhayfah
Article ID : NDV070010  [14245]  
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Another unfounded allegation thrown in the direction of ibn Taymiyyah is that he considered Allaah to be a body (jism). This ancient argument has, sadly, also been repeated by Kabbani in our time as well as Hasan as-Saqqaaf who wrote in his notes to Daf’ Shubhah at-Tashbeeh (pp. 245-246):

"Entering into this category is al-Harraanee (ibn Taymiyyah)... who has affirmed a jism (body) for Allaah in many of his books. From this is his saying in at-Ta’sees (1/101): ‘There is not in the Book of Allaah, nor in the Sunnah of His Messenger, nor a statement from any one of the Salaf of this Ummah and its Imaams that He is not a body, and that His Attributes are not bodily, consisting of organs...’"

The falsity of as-Saqqaaf’s allegations can be explained in the following ways:

i. The previously mentioned quote that he ascribed to ibn Taymiyyah is not from his own words. Rather, ibn Taymiyyah was quoting the saying of the people of kalaam (theological rhetoric) in explanation of their views. However, in order to bring about his accusation, as-Saqqaaf conveniently omitted the beginning of ibn Taymiyyah’s words where he began by saying: "They say...."!

How ludicrous then are the words of Kabbani: "We warn the reader not to be deceived by the disclaimer invoked by some of Ibn Taymiyya’s admirers that he did not really hold all these beliefs but merely quoted them in his review of the positions of those he criticised." (Kabbani, p.66)

ii. Ibn Taymiyyah has repeatedly spoken against describing Allaah as a body or with organs: "Indeed, the term body (jism), organs (‘arad), extent (mutahayyiz) and their like are all newly-invented terminologies. We have mentioned many a time before that the Salaf and the Imaams have not spoken about such things, neither by way of a negation nor by way of affirmation. Rather, they declared those who spoke about such matters to be innovators and went to great lengths to censure them."

(refer to ibn Taymiyyah, Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa 3/306-310 and 13/304-305, Minhaajus-Sunnah an-Nabawiyah 2/134-135, 192, 198-200 and 567)

iii. Ibn Taymiyyah also wrote in Sharh Hadeeth an-Nuzool (p. 71) that describing Allaah as a body is: "An innovation in the Sharee’ah, a corruption of the language and a contradiction to the intellect. Rather, it is repudiated by the Sharee’ah, the language and the intellect."


Even Dr. Sa'eed Ramadaan al-Buti, who Kabbani happily quotes (pp. 117-134) because he wrote what was in Kabbani’s view a ‘landmark study of the ‘Salafi’ innovation’, is quick to point out the fallacy of the accusations against ibn Taymiyyah:

"We are amazed when we see the extremists declaring ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, to be an unbeliever. And also at them saying that he was one who held Allaah to be a body (mujassid), and I have studied long and hard as to where I could find a statement or a word from ibn Taymiyyah that he wrote or said which would indicate his holding Allaah to be a body as was quoted from him by as-Subki and others and I have not found anything from him like this. All I found was him saying in his legal rulings, 'Indeed Allaah has a Hand as He said, and has risen over the Throne as He said, and He has an Eye as He said'."

Al-Buti adds to this:

"I referred to the last work written by Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari, 'al-Ibaanah', and I found him saying exactly what ibn Taymiyyah said..." (Nadwa Ittjaahaat al-Fiqr al-Islaamee, pp. 264-265, of al-Buti)


Another distortion of ibn Taymiyyah’s views, again repeated by Kabbani (p.96), is what ibn Batootah (d.779H) alleges in his Rihlah (1/110):

"I was present in Damascus on Friday where he (ibn Taymiyyah) was admonishing and reminding the people from the pulpit of the congregational mosque. During his speech he said: ‘Indeed Allaah descends to the lowest heaven of the world just as I am descending now.’ Then he descended one step of the pulpit..."

Again, the falsehood of this claim can be shown from a number of angles:

i. Ibn Taymiyyah was not the khateeb of the aforementioned masjid, rather it was Qaadee al-Qazwaynee. Ibn Batootah himself says in his Rihlah (1/107): "At the time of my entering it (Damascus) their Imaam was Qaadee Jalaal ad-Deen Muhammad bin Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Qazwaynee from the great legal jurists, and he was the khateeb of the masjid."

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