Everyone is Misguided Except for Me – Ibn Taymiyya & Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab

Ibn Taymiyya brazenly claims that everyone including himself was upon misguidance until he somehow supposedly happened upon “true” guidance and was guided:

Ibn Taymiyya mentions in his Majmu’at al-Fatawa (6/258) regarding the issue of non-eternal attributes subsisting in Allah’s essence:

However, this issue, the issue of visitation [to the grave of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] and other issues besides these have emanated from the later scholars (muta’akh’khirun) and there is a lot of confusion therein. At first, even myself and others were upon the way of our forefathers in this – we used to advocate the doctrine of the innovators. Then when it became clear to us what the Messenger [sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] has brought, the matter became one of either following what Allah has revealed or following what we found our forefathers upon, and what was necessary (wajib) is following the Messenger [sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam].

قال ابن تيمية في مجموع الفتاوى (6/258) عن مسألة حلول الحوادث:

وَلَكِنْ هَذِهِ الْمَسْأَلَةُ وَمَسْأَلَةُ الزِّيَارَةِ وَغَيْرُهُمَا حَدَثَ مِنْ الْمُتَأَخِّرِينَ فِيهَا شُبَهٌ، وَأَنَا وَغَيْرِي كُنَّا عَلَى مَذْهَبِ الْآبَاءِ فِي ذَلِكَ نَقُولُ فِي الْأَصْلَيْنِ بِقَوْلِ أَهْلِ الْبِدَعِ؛ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَنَا مَا جَاءَ بِهِ الرَّسُولُ دَارَ الْأَمْرُ بَيْنَ أَنْ نَتَّبِعَ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ أَوْ نَتَّبِعَ مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا، فَكَانَ الْوَاجِبُ هُوَ اتِّبَاعُ الرَّسُولِ.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab followed his imam, Ibn Taymiyya, in this respect, while taking it a step further, and based on this perverse understanding, he actually had the audacity to make takfir upon his teachers and all the scholars around him – he basically even made takfir upon himself prior to having supposedly happened upon such “true” guidance:

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab mentions in his letter to the Qadi of al-Dir’iya, Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Isa, (al-Durar al-Saniyya, 10/51):

At that time I did not know the meaning of la ilaha illa Allah, nor did I know the religion of Islam prior to this blessing which Allah has graciously bestowed. It was the exact same thing with my teachers, none of them had any such knowledge. Therefore any of the ‘ulama of ‘Arid, who claimed that he knew the meaning of la ilaha illa Allah or that he knew the meaning of Islam, has certainly lied, falsified, and deceived the people. If he claimed any of his teachers had any such knowledge, then he has certainly lied, falsified, and deceived the people while praising himself with something which he does not possess.

قال ابن عبد الوهاب في “الدرر السنية” (10/51) في رسالة إلى قاضي الدرعية الشيخ عبد الله ابن عيسى:

وأنا ذلك الوقت لا أعرف معنى “لا إله الا الله” ولا أعرف دين الاسلام قبل هذا الخير الذي مَنَّ الله به، وكذلك مشايخي ما منهم رجل عرف ذلك، فمن زعم من علماء العارض أنه عرف معنى “لا اله الا الله” أو عرف معنى الإسلام قبل هذا الوقت، أو زعم عن مشايخه أن أحداً عرف ذلك، فقد كذب وافترى ولبّس على الناس ومدح نفسه بما ليس فيه.

Imam ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi calling ibn Taymiyya a Deviant? – Visiting the Grave of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)

The Taymiyyun love to quote Imam ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi (d.846AH) and his book al-Radd al-Wafir in defence of their Imam, ibn Taymiyya. However, the following is a clear cut example of how many of those who defended him weren’t truly aware of all the deviant positions held by him on various issues. Imam ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi falls into this category as is evident from the following, where he declares anyone who rejects the Hadiths in relation to the reward and virtue of visiting the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) a deviant. It is well known that ibn Taymiyya is the foremost proponent of the view that travelling out to visit the blessed grave of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is a reprehensible innovation – a view which he based on the rejection of the aforementioned narrations. Imam ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi mentions:

“Visiting the grave of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is a Sunnah of the Muslims, it is unanimously accepted as an act of reward and it is an act of virtue that is encouraged. The Hadiths on this topic have been accepted and practised upon, even though a few of these Hadiths have weakness. Only a deviant will reject them totally.”

(Jami’ al-Athar, vol.8 pg.141)

In addition, it is worth noting that Imam ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi has written extensively on this and has approved several Hadiths on this issue in the book of his which has been quoted from above (Jami’ al-Athar) – see vol.8 pgs. 129-141.

Quote taken from HERE

ibn Taymiyya Affirms Limits for Allah in the Six Physical Directions

The Tajsīm of Ibn Taymiyyah:
Ibn Taymiyyah’s Affirmation of Limits for Allah in the Six Physical Directions

In his Bayān Talbīs al-Jahmiyyah, Ibn Taymiyyah affirms that Allah has boundaries and limits (hadds/ghāyahs) in the six physical directions, namely: up, down, back, front, left and right.

He mentions this in the context of discussing Qādī Abū Ya‘lā’s discussion on ascribing hadd to Allah. Qādī Abū Ya‘lā is one of the notorious anthropomorphists taken to task by Hāfiz Ibn al-Jawzī in his Daf‘ Shubah al-Tashbīh.

First, Ibn Taymiyyah quotes Qādī Abū Ya‘lā relating two purported statements of Imām Ahmad:

1. The first that Allah has a hadd that only He knows

2. And the second that He does not have a hadd.

Then he quotes Qādī Abū Yalā’s attempt at reconciling these two purported statements:

فالموضع الذي قال (أحمد) إنه على العرش بحد معناه ما حاذى العرش من ذاته فهو حد له وجهة له والموضع الذي قال هو على العرش بغير حد معناه ما عدا الجهة المحاذية للعرش وهي الفوق والخلف والأمام والميمنة والميسرة

That is, Abu Ya‘la said: “The place in which Ahmad said that He is on the throne with a hadd, its meaning is [the part] of His essence that is in line with the ‘Arsh, so it (the ‘Arsh) is His hadd and His direction; and the place which he said He is over the throne without hadd, its meaning is what is besides the direction in line with the ‘Arsh – that is, above, behind, front, right and left.” (Bayān Talbīs al-Jahmiyyah, 3:735)

And he goes on to make it even more explicit. Abū Ya‘lā said:

“The difference between the downwards direction parallel to the ‘Arsh and other than it which we mentioned [i.e. the other five directions] is that:

The downward direction is in line with the ‘Arsh as established from evidence, and the ‘Arsh is limited (mahdūd) so it is possible to describe [the part] of the self [of Allah] that is in line with it and that it [the ‘Arsh] is a limit and direction. That is not so in other than it [i.e. other than the downward direction], because it is not in line with that which is limited, but it is traversing through the right and the left, up, front and behind, without a limit. This is why none of these [five directions] are described with Hadd or direction; whereas the direction of ‘Arsh is parallel to what opposes it from the direction of [Allah’s] self, but it is not in line with the whole [of Allah’s] self because it has no limit.”

In brief, Qādī Abū Ya‘lā is saying that the self or essence of Allah is limited by the ‘Arsh in the downward direction (from the perspective of Allah’s self); but in the other directions, i.e. up, right, left, front and back, there are no limits, and Allah’s self is endless. That is, he believes Allah is a physical body but an infinitely large body. Hence, Abu Ya‘lā reconciles the two purported statements of Imam Ahmad as follows: the negation of hadd is for the five directions and the affirmation is for the downward direction.

Ibn Taymiyyah, however, does not agree with Qādī Abū Ya‘lā. According to Ibn Taymiyyah, the difference between the downward direction and the other directions is not that the first is limited and the others unlimited, but that the limit in the first is known while the limits in the other five directions are unknown. This is also how Ibn Taymiyyah reconciles the two purported statements of Imam Ahmad. He says the affirmation is affirmation of limits themselves (i.e. that Allah Himself has limits in all six directions), and the negation is negation of known limits in the five directions besides the downward direction. He says: “Where he [Ahmad] negated it, he negated a definer defining Him and his knowledge of His hadd, and where he affirmed it, he affirmed it in itself.” (حيث نفاه نفى تحديد الحاد له وعلمه بحده وحيث أثبته أثبته في نفسه).

Ibn Taymiyyah says: “As for what Qadi said of affirming hadd from the direction of ‘Arsh only (faqat)…it is the view of a group of the people that affirm (the attributes), and the majority hold the contrary view and that is correct.” (وأما ما ذكره القاضي في إثبات الحد من جهة العرش فقط فهذا قد اختلف فيه كلامه وهو قول طائفة من أهل الإثبات والجمهور على خلافه وهو الصواب)

What is the contrary view? It is the opposite of what Abū Ya‘lā said that Allah does not have a hadd above, behind, left, right and front. That is, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, Allah does have a hadd in all these directions, but it is just that we do not know what those hadds are.

He also says that the fact the hadd of Allah is not known (as mentioned in Imam Ahmad’s purported statement) shows that the hadd is not limited to the direction of ‘Arsh, as that is known to us! Hence there are hadds in the other directions which we do not know! (ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فإنهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش)

Hence the clear meaning of Ibn Taymiyyah’s speech is that Allah has hadds from the six physical directions.

This is Ibn Taymiyyah’s view with respect to the self of Allah itself: that it is bounded by limits in the six physical directions (just like every single physical object). However, he does not believe the limited self is contained within creation (i.e. hulūl). The two issues should not be confused.

Scholars of lughah and other sciences, like Rāghib al-Asfahānī clearly defined “jism” as that which has length, breadth and depth. Imam al-Ghazāli defined jism in this way also:

أعني بالجسم عبارة عن مقدار له طول وعرض وعمق يمنع غيره من أن يوجد حيث هو إلا بأن يتنحى عن ذلك المكان

“By jism I mean [something with spatial] measurement of length, breadth and depth, which prevents something else from being present where it is, unless it moves from that place.”

Ibn Taymiyyah affirms that Allah’s self is bounded by limits in the six physical directions which is the very definition of jism. Hence, Ibn Taymiyyah was explicitly promoting tajsīm (corporealism) in this passage.

Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari – Conspiracy Against ibn Taymiyya?

Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari (d.1371AH) says regarding some conspiracy theorists that exist in these times:

“Whoever thinks that all the scholars of his time joined in a single conspiracy against him from personal envy should rather impugn their own intelligence and understanding, after studying the repugnance of his deviations in belief and works, for which he was asked to repent time after time and moved from prison to prison until he passed on to what he’d sent ahead.”

[al-Sayf al-Saqil, pg.6, Reprint. Cairo, Maktaba Zahran; quoted by Shaykh Nuh Keller in Reliance of the Traveller, x178, pg.1060]

ibn Rajab al-Hanbali says al-Subki is Excused for his Takfir on ibn Taymiyya

Imam Taqi al-Din al-Hisni al-Shafi’i (d.829AH) mentions some points regarding Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d.795AH) and some of his negative views concerning ibn Taymiyya:

al-Shaykh Zayn al-Din ibn Rajab al-Hanbali was from among those who firmly believed in ibn Taymiyya’s kufr (disbelief), and had (authored) refutations against him. He would say at the top of his voice during some gatherings:

“al-Subki is excused – meaning in regards to his takfir“.

[al-Hisni, Daf’ Shubah man Shabbaha wa Tamarrad, ed. Dar al-Mustafa, pg. 535]

وكان الشيخ زين الدين بن رجب الحنبلي ممن يعتقد كفر ابن تيمية وله عليه الرد. وكان يقول بأعلى صوته في بعض المجالس: معذور (173/أ) السبكي – يعني في تكفيره ([1]).
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([1]) في ب: معذور السبكي في تكفيره
دفع شبه من شبه وتمرد، دار المصطفى، ص. ٥٣٥

ibn Rajab al-Hanbali refutes ibn Taymiyya’s views on Talaq

Imam Jamal al-Din Yusuf ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi ibn al-Mibrad al-Hanbali (d.909AH) mentions Imam Zayn al-Din ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s (d.795AH) book in refutation of three talaqs (in a single sitting) being equal to one – which was a view ibn Taymiyya held and was stubborn upon:

“…ibn Rajab said in the book Mushkil al-Ahadith al-Warida fi ann al-Talaq al-Thalath Wahida (The problematic nature of the narrations in regards to three talaqs being equivalent to one)…”

[ibn al-Mibrad al-Hanbali, al-Sayr al-Hath ila ‘Ilm al-Talaq al-Thalath, ed. Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyya 1997, pg. 27]

Note: Imam ibn al-Mibrad al-Hanbali then goes on to quote multiple passages from the above-mentioned book of Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali. This shows that although this book of Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali may not have survived to this day, it was known and available to those Imams who came just after his time.

قال ابن رجب في كتاب “مشكل الأحاديث الواردة في أن الطلاق الثلاث واحدة”

– السير الحاث الى علم الطلاق الثلاث للإمام جمال الدين يوسف ابن عبد الهادي ابن المبرد الحنبلي
– دار البشائر الإسلامية، ١٩٩٧
– ص. ٢٧

ibn Rajab al-Hanbali Left Issuing Fatawa in Accordance to ibn Taymiyya and was Loathed by the Taymiyyun

The student of ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (who in turn was the student of ibn Taymiyya) – al-Imam al-Hafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d.795AH), stopped issuing fatawa in accordance to the views of ibn Taymiyya and was loathed by the Taymiyyun because of it:

al-Hafidh Zayn al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn Rajab al-Hanbali al-Baghdadi – then al-Dimashqi. The son of Rajab, born in Baghdad in the year 736 (AH).

In Egypt he heard from al-Maydumi, in Cairo from ibn al-Muluk, in Damascus from ibn al-Khubbaz, as well as the addition of numerous others. He kept the company of our Shaykh, Zayn al-Din al-‘Iraqi in hearing (from him) a great deal. He was proficient in the disciplines of hadith – the names (asma’), the narrators (rijal), hidden defects (‘ilal), the different routes/chains (turuq), and insight in explaining (itla’) their meanings.

He authored “Sharh al-Tirmidhi” in around twenty volumes, regarding which he achieved excellent results, (he also authored) a commentary of a major portion of (Sahih) “al-Bukhari”, as well as a commentary of “al-Arba’in li al-Nawawi” (Imam al-Nawawi’s collection of fourty ahadith) in one volume. He worked on “Wadha’if al-Ayyam” (the recommended actions of each specific day) which he named “al-Lata’if”, and also worked on “Tabaqat al-Hanabila” (the ranks of the Hanbali scholars) as a follow up of “Tabaqat Abi Ya’la”.

He was a man devoted to worship and tahajjud. He was resented because of his deliverance of religious legal edicts (ifta’) based on the sayings of ibn Taymiyya. He then proclaimed retraction from that and the Taymiyyun loathed him, so he was neither (aligned) with this group, not that group. In the end, he abandoned issuing religious legal edicts (ifta’).

Ibn Hajji said: “He mastered the science (of hadith and it’s branches) and became the most recognised of the people of his time in the field of hidden defects (‘ilal) and the pursuit of the different chains of transmission (tatabbu’ al-turuq). He would not intermingle with anyone and would also rarely visit anyone.”

He passed away during the month of Ramadhan, may Allah have mercy upon him. Most of our Hanbali companions were trained/educated by him in Damascus.

[ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Inba al-Ghumr bi Anba al-‘Umr, ed. al-Majlis al-A’la li al-Shu’un al-Islamiyya 1969:1998, pt. 1, pg. 460-461]

عبد الرحمن بن أحمد بن رجب البغدادي ثم الدمشقي الحنبلي، الحافظ زين الدين بن رجب. وُلد ببغداد سنة ستٍ وثلاثين وسبعمائة، وسمع بمصر من الميدومي وبالقاهرة من ابن الملوك وبدمشق من ابن الخباز وجمع جمٍّ، ورافق شيخنا زين الدين العراقي في السماع كثيرًا، ومهر في فنون الحديث أَسماءً ورجالًا وعِللًا وطرقا واطلاعًا على معانيه.
صنَّف “شرح الترمذي” فأَجاد فيه في نحو عشرين مجلدة، وشرح قطعة كبيرة من “البخاري” وشرح “الأَربعين للنووي” في مجلدة، وعمل “وظائف الأَيام” سمَّاه “اللطائف” وعمل “طبقات الحنابلة” ذيلًا على “طبقات أبي يعلى”.
وكان صاحبَ عبادَةٍ وتهجد، ونُقِم عليه إِفتاؤه بمقالات ابن تيمية ثم أَظهر الرجوع عن ذلك فنافره التيميون فلم يكن مع هؤلاءِ ولا مع هؤلاءِ، وكان قد ترك الإِفتاءَ بآخره.
قال ابن حجي: “أَتْقَنَ الفنَّ وصار أَعرف أَهل عصره بالعلل وتتبُّع الطرق، وكان لا يخالط أَحدًا ولا يتردد إِلى أَحد”. مات في رمضان رحمه اللّٰه، [و]تخرج به غالب أَصحابنا الحنابلة بدمشق.

– ابن حجر العسقلاني في كتابه “إنباء الغمر بأنباء العمر”، المجلس الأعلى للشئون الإسلامية ١٩٩٨:١٩٦٩، الجزء الاول، ص. ٤٦٠-٤٦١

Imam Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri on ibn Taymiyya’s Anthropomorphism and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab

al-Imam al-Muhaddith Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri (d.1352AH) says in his book ‘Faydh al-Bari ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari’, 4/447:

As for al-Hafidh ibn Taymiyya, then he studied them (the narrations on the attributes) externally (ie. from non-Islamic sources) until he approached anthropomorphism, just as I have heard regarding his affair – that he was sitting upon the pulpit and a questioner asked him regarding His (Allah’s) nuzul – exalted is He – so ibn Taymiyya descended to the second step and said “The nuzul is in this manner”. Thus he studied it externally and exaggerated in it until he was deluded by his anthropomorphic speech.[1]

يقول الإمام المحدث محمد أنور شاه الكشميري ( المتوفى سنة 1352 ه) في كتابه ” فيض الباري على صحيح البخاري ” 4/447 : ( وأما الحافظ ابن تيمية فحققها في الخارج حتى قارب التشبيه ، كما كنت سمعت من حاله أنه كان جالساً على المنبر فسأله سائل عن نزوله تعالى فنزل ابن تيمية إلى الدرجة الثانية فقال هكذا النزول ، فحققه في الخارج وبالغ فيه حتى أوهم كلامه التشبيه ) .

He also says in the same book, ‘Faydh al-Bari ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari’, 1/171:

As for Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab al-Najdi, then indeed he was an idiotic man of little knowledge, thus he would be hasty in making takfir. Diving into this river (of takfir) is not appropriate except for the one who is cautious upon, proficient in, and well-acquainted with the existence of disbelief and it’s causes.[2]

ويقول ايضا في كتابه ( فيض الباري ، 1/171 ) : ( أما محمد بن عبدالوهاب النجدي فإنه كان رجلاً بليداً قليل العلم ، فكان يتسارع إلى الحكم بالكفر ، ولا ينبغي أن يقتحم في هذا الوادي إلا من يكون متيقظاً متقناً عارفاً بوجوه الكفر وأسبابه ).

__________

The above quotes can be found in the Maktaba Rashidiyya edition under the following references:

[1] 7/305
[2] 1/252

Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi on ibn Taymiyya’s Corrupt Beliefs

After praising ibn Taymiyya, Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi mentions the following:

And some corrupt beliefs have been conveyed from him for which he was condemned by al-Yafi’i, ibn Hajar al-Makki (al-Haytami), and others. He is a man who has committed sins and made mistakes, thus the people should be aware of his errors and acknowledge his proficiency and virtue. His death was – according to what ibn Hajar has mentioned about him – in the year 728 (AH) while in prison by the command of the ruler of his time. May the Mercy of Allah be upon him.

[Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi, Iqama al-Hujja with Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda’s notes, pg. 29, Maktaba Matbu’at al-Islamiyya – 1998]

وقد نُقِلَ عنه عقائد فاسدة شنَّع عليه بها اليافعي وابنُ حجر المكي وغيرها، وهو بشر له ذنوب وخطأ، فلينتبه الإنسان على خطئه، وليُقِرَّ بمهارته وفضله، وكانت وفاته – على ما ذكره ابن حجر – سنة ثمان عشرين وسبعمائة في الحبس بأمرِ سلطان زمانه. منه رحمه الله تعالى.

“إقامة الحجة على أن الإكثار في التعبد ليس ببدعة” للإمام عبد الحي اللكنوي، ص. ٢٩، مكتبة مطبوعات الإسلامية – ١٩٩٨