Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi on ibn Taymiyya’s Lacking Intellect and Inferiority

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi on ibn Taymiyya’s Lacking Intellect and Inferiority

“Mawlana ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi (D. 1304AH), the great ‘alim from India and the author of hundreds of invaluable books known to the world, said in his book Ghais al-Ghamam, ‘Like the predecessor ibn Taymiyya al-Harrani, the successor al-Shawkani (D. 1250AH) was very learned but was less intelligent. The latter was exactly alike, even more inferior than the former.’

[Shaykh Muhammad Ziyaullah from Siyalkut, Pakistan, in his work The Truth of Wahhabism]


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]

Imam al-Safadi – ‘His (ibn Taymiyya’s) Intellect was Lacking’

The direct student of Ibn Taymiyyah, Al Imam As Safadi (D. 764AH) said in his explanation of the poem called “Laamiyyatul ‘Ajam”

:شرح لامية العجم
يقال إن الخليل بن أحمد اجتمع يوما هو وعبد الله بن المقفع فتحادثا إلى الغداة. فلما تفرقا قيل للخليل كيف رأيته قال رأيت رجلا علمه أكثر من عقله. وقيل لابن المقفع كيف رأيت الخليل قال رأيت رجلا عقله أكثر من علمه. وكذا كان فإن ابن المقفع قتله قلة عقله وكثرة كلامه شر قتلة وشر ميتة. قلت: وكذا كان الشيخ الإمام العلامة تقي الدين أحمد بن تيمية علمه متسع جدا إلى الغاية وعقله ناقص يورطه في المهالك ويوقعه في المضايق. أهـــ

“It’s been said that one day Al Khaleel bin Ahmad met Abdullah bin Al Muqaffa’, and they talked until the morning. When they dispersed, Al Khaleel was asked, what do you think about him? He answered, he’s a man whose knowledge exceeds his intellect. And Ibn Al Muqaffa’ was asked about Al Khaleel. He answered, “His intellect exceeds his knowledge.” And thus it was. For the lacking intellect and excessive speech of Ibn Al Muqaffa’ led him to a most terrible slaughter and horrible death. I’ll say (As Safadi) thus was the Shaikh, the Imam, the ‘Allaamah Taqiyyud Deen Ahmad bin Taymiyyah. His knowledge was extremely vast, yet his intellect was lacking. It would lead him to destruction and make him fall into tight spaces.”

Courtesy of Shaykh Abdur Rahman Sondalaani: