Imam Muhammad ibn al-Tayyib al-Fasi, Shaykh al-Islam Taqi al-Din al-Subki, and Imam Ahmad Zarruq al-Burnusi on ibn Taymiyya’s Lack of Reason

The prominent Maghribi-born Medinan-based scholar, Imam Muhammad ibn al-Tayyib al-Fasi (D. 1170AH); one of the teachers of the famous scholar and lexicographer Imam Muhammad Murtada al-Zabidi (d. 1205AH); in his commentary on the popular litany (hizb) of Imam al-Nawawi (D. 676AH), went on to briefly consider and reject ibn Taymiyya’s position on the popular expressions of piety such as litanies (awrad and ahzab) while quoting Shaykh al-Islam Taqi al-din al-Subki (D. 756AH) and Imam Ahmad Zarruq al-Burnusi (D. 899AH) on ibn Taymiyya:

“Ibn Taymiyya criticised ahzab and rejected them in a most inappropriate manner, and went to extremes in undermining it. They have responded to him, and gone to extremes in criticising him, and have stated that his abilities are conceded as far as memory is concerned, but that he is unreliable in matters of dogma, and that he is deficient in reason, let alone mystical gnosis (‘irfan). Some have even gone to the extent of attributing to him not only heresy (zandaqa) but unbelief. The Imam of Imams, Taqi al-Din al-Subki (d. 756AH) was asked about him and said: He is a man whose knowledge is greater than his reason. Shaykh [Ahmad] Zarruq [al-Burnusi (d. 899AH)] has said: The upshot of this is that consideration is given to items of knowledge that he relates, but not to his handling of this knowledge. Hence no heed is given to his rejection, and no consideration given to his analysis and judgement. And Allah knows best.”

[Ibn al-Tayyib al-Fasi, Sharh Hizb al-Imam al-Nawawi (MS Princeton University Library: Yahuda 3861), fol. 135a-135b]


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