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]).
([1]) في ب: معذور السبكي في تكفيره
دفع شبه من شبه وتمرد، دار المصطفى، ص. ٥٣٥

Taqi al-Din al-Subki – ibn Taymiyya and his Followers were from the Deviant Hashwiyya Sect, and they were a Minority Fringe Group who would Teach their Beliefs in Secret

Shaykh al-Islam Taqi al-Din al-Subki (D. 756AH) on ibn Taymiyya and his followers being from the deviant Hashwiyya sect, and that they were a minority fringe group who would teach their beliefs in secret

“As for the Hashwiyya, they are a despicable and ignorant lot who claim to belong to the school of (Imam) Ahmad (ibn Hanbal)… They have corrupted the creed of a few isolated Shafi’is, especially some of the Hadith scholars among them who are lacking in reason… They were held in utmost contempt, and then towards the end of the seventh century (AH) a man appeared who was diligent, intelligent and well-read and did not find a Shaykh to guide him, and he is of their creed and is brazen and dedicated to teaching his ideas… He said that non-eternal attributes can subsist in Allah, and that Allah is ever-acting, and that an infinite chain of events is not impossible either in the past or the future. He split the ranks and cast doubts on the creed of the Muslims and incited dissension amongst them. He did not confine himself to creedal matters of theology, but transgressed the bounds and said that travelling to visit the tomb of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is a sin… The scholars agreed to imprison him for a long time, and the Sultan imprisoned him… and he died in prison. Then some of his followers started to promulgate his ideas and teach them to people in secret while keeping quiet in public, and great harm came from this.”

[al-Zabidi, Ithaf al-Sada al-Muttaqin, 2:11. al-Zabidi is quoting from al-Subki’s al-Sayf al-Saqil fi al-Radd ‘ala ibn Zafil, see al-Rasa-il al-Subkiyya, 84-85]

Hafidh al-Sakhawi – ibn Taymiyya was Someone who People Avoided and Were Careful Not to Utilise his Knowledge

Hafidh al-Sakhawi (D. 902AH) on ibn Taymiyya:

وكذا ممن حصل من بعض الناس منهم نفره وتحامى عن الانتفاع بعلمهم مع جلالتهم علماً وورعاً وزهداً لإطلاق لسانهم وعدم مداراتهم بحيث يتكلمون ويجرحون بما فيه مبالغة كابن حزم وابن تيمية

“There are also those scholars of great learning, austerity, and asceticism whom people avoided and whose knowledge they were careful not to utilise, because of their loose tongue and lack of tact, which caused them to talk and criticise excessively. Such men were ibn Hazm and ibn Taymiyya.”

[al-Sakhawi, I’lan bi al-Tawbikh (pg. 163), (English translation in ‘A history of Muslim Historiography‘, pg. 284, by F. Rosenthal)]

Imam al-Suyuti – ‘ibn Taymiyya was Arrogant. He was Self Conceited…’

Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (D. 911AH) on ibn Taymiyya:

“ibn Taymiyya was arrogant. He was self-conceited. It was his habit to represent himself as superior to everybody, to slight the person whom he talked to, and to make fun of great Muslims”

[al-Suyuti, Kam’ al-Mu’arid]

Not Much Attention was Given to the Works of ibn Taymiyya and ibn al-Qayyim

Not much attention was given to the works of ibn Taymiyya and ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya:

QUOTE Article –

Changing Views of ibn Taymiyya by Khaled el-Rouayheb

Bio-bibliographical sources provide yet further support for the view that Ibn Taymiyya’s influence in subsequent centuries can easily be exaggerated. The Damascene scholar Najm al-Din al-Ghazzi wrote a biographical dictionary of Sunni scholars and notables who died in the tenth century of the Hijra (1492-1588), a work that incorporates material from biographical dictionaries by the Ottoman scholar Ahmet Taskropuzade (d. 1568), the Aleppine scholar Radi al-Din Ibn al-Hanbali (d. 1563), the Egyptian scholar ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani (d. 1565), and the Damascene scholar Ibn Tulun (d. 1564). Al-Ghazzi’s compilation has been edited and thoroughly indexed by Jibra’il Jabbur. The index of titles mentioned by al-Ghazzi provides for an interesting contrast with the index to a contemporary introduction to Islamic religious history such as Berkey’s The Formation of Islam. Al-Ghazzi’s text does not mention a single work by Ibn Taymiyya or Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. By contrast, the kalam works of al-Taftazani are mentioned ten times; the semantic rhetorical works of al-Taftazani ten times; the kalam works of al-Jurjani fourteen times; books on logic thirteen times; Ibn ‘Arabi’s works seven times; the Jam’ al-Jawami’ of al-Subki twenty-seven times (mostly along with the commentary of al-Mahalli); the Shifa’ of al-Qadi ‘Iyad ten times; and the Mawahib of al-Qastallani four times.[1]
The more detailed obituaries of scholars in ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti’s well-known chronicle of eighteenth-century Egypt also provides valuable information on the books studied by prominent Egyptian scholars. Again, there are no references to the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, while the theological works of al-Taftazani, al-Sanusi, and al-Laqani appear regularly, as does the Shifa’ of al-Qadi ‘Iyad and the Mawahib of al-Qastallani.[2]
The athbat – ie. works listing the books one had a certificate to teach – by prominent seventeenth – and eighteenth-century scholars in the Hijaz tend to reinforce the impression obtained from biographical entries. The thabat of the Meccan Shafi’i scholar Ahmad al-Nakhli (d. 1717), for example, does not mention any works by Ibn Taymiyya or Ibn al-Qayyim, but mentions the Sharh al-‘Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya of al-Taftazani and the Jawharat al-Tawhid of al-Laqani, as well as Ibn ‘Arabi’s Futuhat, al-Mahalli’s commentary on al-Subki’s Jam’ al-Jawami’, al-Shifa’ of al-Qadi ‘Iyad, and al-Mawahib of al-Qastallani.[3] The thabat of the Meccan scholar ‘Abdallah ibn Salim al-Basri (d. 1722) likewise does not mention the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim, while mentioning the theological works of al-Taftazani, al-Jurjani, al-Dawani, and al-Laqani, as well as the Shifa’ of al-Qadi ‘Iyad and the works of Ibn ‘Arabi.[4] Even the thabat of the Damascene Hanbali scholar Abu al-Mawahhib al-Hanbali (d. 1714) does not mention the works of Ibn Taymiyya or Ibn al-Qayyim, while mentioning the theological works of al-Taftazani, al-Sanusi and al-Laqani, as well as the Mawahib of al-Qastallani, the Shifa’ of al-Qadi ‘Iyad, and the works of Ibn ‘Arabi.[5] To be sure, the evidence of the athbat is not conclusive, partly because they sometimes mention works under a general description, such as “all the works that he is certified to teach” or “the books of the jurists of the school, both earlier and later.” It is thus not unlikely that some of the mentioned scholars were acquainted with the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. Yet, it is striking that Ibn ‘Arabi, whose ideas were supposedly dealt a decisive blow by Ibn Taymiyya, and philosophical theologians such as al-Taftazani and al-Jurjani, whose field was supposedly marginalized by the victory of traditional neo-Hanbalis, appear regularly in these athbat while Ibn Taymiyya does not.
The Ottoman scribe and polymath Katip Celebi, author of the well-known bibliographic compilation Kashf al-zunun ‘an asami al-kutub wa al-funun was obviously much better acquainted with the works of Ibn Taymiyya’s critics than with the works of Ibn Taymiyya himself. For example, he mentioned Ibn Taymiyya’s Minhaj al-sunna, but did not give the incipit, presumably because he had not actually seen a copy of the work. Instead, he quoted Ibn Taymiyya’s critic Taqi al-Din al-Subki to the effect that it was a powerful response to a Shi’i polemical work by Ibn Mukhtar al-Hilli (d. 1326), but also expounded the heretical views that created things need not have a beginning in time, and that non-eternal attributes subsist in God.[6] After mentioning Ibn Taymiyya’s Kitab al-‘arsh, Katip Celebi again did not give an incipit, but quoted the grammarian and Qur’an commentator Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi (d. 1344) as stating that he had seen this work, and that Ibn Taymiyya had written there that God is literally seated on the throne, and had left a place on it for the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) to sit next to him.[7] After mentioning Ibn Taymiyya’s work [Iqtida’] al-sirat al-mustaqim, Katip Celebi yet again did not give an incipit, and merely wrote that this was the work in which Ibn Taymiyya, according to Taqi al-Din al-Hisni, expressed the outrageous view that the venerable Companion and transmitter of Hadith Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiallahu ‘anh) was an unbeliever.[8]

[1] – Al-Ghazzi, al-Kawakib al-sa’ira,, 3:314-316. Al-Ghazzi mentions one work by Ibn Taymiyya’s grandfather Majd al-Din ibn Taymiyya (d. 1254) – a handbook on Hanbali law entitled al-Muharrar.
[2] – ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, ‘Aja’ib al-athar fi al-tarajim wa al-khabar (Cairo: al-Matba’a al-‘Amira, 1297AH), 1:309-310, 2:25-26, 2:227-228, 4:185-186.
[3] – Ahmad al-Nakhli, Bughyat al-talibin al-mashayikh al-muhaqqiqin al-mu’tamadin (Hyderabad: Da’irat al-Ma’arif al-‘Uthmaniyya, 1328AH).
[4] – Salim ibn ‘Abdallah al-Basri, al-Imdad bi ma’rifat ‘uluww al-isnad (Hyderabad: Da’irat al-Ma’arif al-‘Uthmaniyya, 1328AH).
[5] – Abu al-Mawahib al-Hanbali, Mashyakha, ed. Muhammad Muti’ Hafiz (Damascus & Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1990).
[6] – Hajji Khalifa, Kashf al-zunun, 2:1872.
[7] – Ibid., 2:1438
[8] – Ibid., 2:1078


ibn Hajar al-Haytami on ibn Taymiyya in his Own Time and the Reality of his Followers

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar al-Haytami (D. 974AH) on ibn Taymiyya in his own time and the reality of his followers:

“The scholars of his age rose against him (ibn Taymiyya) and impelled the Sultan to either kill or imprison him, so he imprisoned him until he died and his innovations died out and his darkness disappeared. Then he was supported by followers whose heads Allah has not raised, nor has He granted them power or strength; rather they were afflicted with humiliation and remained under Allah’s wrath, due to their disobedience and their beliefs.”

[ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Jawhar al-Munazzam, 31]

Imam al-Munawi on there being No Disagreement on ibn Taymiyya and ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya being Innovators

Imam ‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Munawi (D. 1031AH) on there being no disagreement that ibn Taymiyya and ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya are innovators and refuting some of their incorrect beliefs:

QUOTE Article –

Changing Views of ibn Taymiyya by Khaled el-Rouayheb

For example, the Egyptian Shafi’i scholar and mystic ‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Munawi (d. 1622), in his commentary on al-Tirmidhi’s Shama’il, cited ibn Hajar’s condemnation of ibn Taymiyya’s suggestion that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) had let down a part of his turban to mark the spot between his shoulders that God had touched with His hand. Though al-Munawi’s overall assessment of ibn Taymiyya and ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya was anything but positive, he did not believe that this particular proposition of theirs was beyond the pale:

“I say: As to them (ibn Taymiyya and ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya) being reprehinsible innovators, there is no disagreement (amma kawnahuma min al-mubtadi’a fa-musallam). As to this particular claim being based on corporealism, this is not correct. First, because they said that the mentioned seeing was during sleep… Second, because (they also said:) we believe that He has a hand unlike the created being, and hence there is nothing to prevent placing It in a manner that does not resemble the placing of a created being.”[1]

[1] -‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Munawi, Sharh al-Shama-il (MS British Library; Or. 12522), fol. 148a. The passage is quoted in al-Alusi, Jala al-Aynayn, 569, though al-Alusi left out the first sentence in which al-Munawi agreed that ibn Taymiyya and ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya Were innovators (Mubtadi’a). The British Library manuscript from which I have quoted was written in 999/1590-1, 32 years before the death of al-Munawi, and may be an autograph.


For more information on this quote and scans of the above-mentioned quote from Imam al-Munawi, both from the published edition of the book and the manuscript, see the following link to where two modern day followers of ibn Taymiyya have been addressed – one who distorted/tampered the above quote from Imam al-Munawi, and another who claimed that the version of the quote mentioned in the above article has been tampered with – based on his blind following of the first individual: