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

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ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani on ibn Taymiyya’s Prohibiting of Travelling to Visit the Prophet’s Grave (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (D. 852AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s prohibiting of travelling to visit the Prophet’s grave (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):

“Al-Kirmani (D. 786AH) has said: On this issue there has been much discussion in our Syrian lands, and many treatises have been written by both parties. I say: He is referring to Shaykh Taqi al-Din al-Subki and others’ responses to Shaykh Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya… and the crux of the matter is that they have pointed out that his position implies that it is prohibited to travel to visit the tomb of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)… This is one of the ugliest positions that has been reported of ibn Taymiyya. One of the things he has adduced to deny the claim that there is a consensus on the matter is the report that (Imam) Malik disliked people saying: I have visited the tomb of the Prophet. The discerning scholars of the (Maliki) school have replied that he disliked the phrase out of politeness, and not the visiting itself, for it is one of the best actions and the noblest of pious deeds with which one draws near to Allah the Majestic, and it’s legitimacy is a matter of consensus without any doubt, and Allah is the One who leads to truth.”

[ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (Cairo: Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, 1959), 3:308]

ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani on ibn Taymiyya’s Diminishing of ‘Ali (radhiallahu ‘anh)

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (D. 852) has recorded in Lisan al-Mizan (6/319, Hyderabad edn.):

وكم من مبالغة لتوهين كلام الرافضي ادته أحيانا إلى تنقيص علي رضى الله عنه

“How much did he (Ibn Taymiyya) exaggerate in order to weaken the words of the Rafidi (al-Hilli), which at times led him to diminish Ali (radiallahu ‘anh).”

ibn Taymiyya’s Faulting of ‘Umar, and Slander of ‘Uthman and ‘Ali (radhiallahu ‘anhum)

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (D. 852AH) quoting Najm al-Din al-Tufi al-Hanbali on his colleague – Ibn Taymiyya, in his al-Durar al-Kamina:

(1/179 – قَالَ الطوفي سمعته يَقُول من سَأَلَني مستفيداً حققت لَهُ وَمن سَأَلَني مُتَعَنتًا ناقضته فَلَا يلبث أَن يَنْقَطِع فأكفي مُؤْنَته وَذكر تصانيفه وَقَالَ فِي كِتَابه أبطال الْحِيَل عَظِيم النَّفْع وَكَانَ يتَكَلَّم على الْمِنْبَر على طَريقَة الْمُفَسّرين مَعَ الْفِقْه والْحَدِيث فيورد فِي سَاعَة من الْكتاب وَالسّنة واللغة وَالنَّظَر مَا لَا يقدر أحد على أَن يُورِدهُ فِي عدَّة مجَالِس كَأَن هَذِه الْعُلُوم بَين عَيْنَيْهِ فَأخذ مِنْهَا مَا يَشَاء ويذر وَمن ثمَّ نسب أَصْحَابه إِلَى الغلو فِيهِ وَاقْتضى لَهُ ذَلِك الْعجب بِنَفسِهِ حَتَّى زها على أَبنَاء جنسه واستشعر أَنه مُجْتَهد فَصَارَ يرد على صَغِير الْعلمَاء وَكَبِيرهمْ قويهم وحديثهم حَتَّى انْتهى إِلَى عمر فخطأه فِي شَيْء فَبلغ الشَّيْخ إِبْرَاهِيم الرقي فَأنْكر عَلَيْهِ فَذهب إِلَيْهِ وَاعْتذر واستغفر وَقَالَ فِي حق عَليّ أَخطَأ فِي سَبْعَة عشر شَيْئا ثمَّ خَالف فِيهَا نَص الْكتاب مِنْهَا اعْتِدَاد المتوفي عَنْهَا زَوجهَا أطول الْأَجَليْنِ وَكَانَ لتعصبه لمَذْهَب الْحَنَابِلَة يَقع فِي الأشاعرة حَتَّى أَنه سبّ الْغَزالِيّ فَقَامَ عَلَيْهِ قوم كَادُوا يقتلونه وَلما قدم غازان بجيوش التتر إِلَى الشَّام خرج إِلَيْهِ وَكَلمه بِكَلَام قوي فهم بقتْله ثمَّ نجا واشتهر أمره من يَوْمئِذٍ وَاتفقَ الشَّيْخ نصر المنبجي كَانَ قد تقدم فِي الدولة لاعتقاد بيبرس الجاشنكير فِيهِ فَبَلغهُ أَن ابْن تَيْمِية يَقع فِي ابْن الْعَرَبِيّ لِأَنَّهُ كَانَ يعْتَقد أَنه مُسْتَقِيم وَأَن الَّذِي ينْسب إِلَيْهِ من الِاتِّحَاد أَو الْإِلْحَاد من قُصُور فهم من يُنكر عَلَيْهِ فَأرْسل يُنكر عَلَيْهِ وَكتب إِلَيْهِ كتابا طَويلا وَنسبه وَأَصْحَابه إِلَى الِاتِّحَاد الَّذِي هُوَ حَقِيقَة الْإِلْحَاد فَعظم ذَلِك عَلَيْهِم وأعانه عَلَيْهِ قوم آخَرُونَ ضبطوا عَلَيْهِ كَلِمَات فِي العقائد مُغيرَة وَقعت مِنْهُ فِي مواعيده وفتاويه فَذكرُوا أَنه ذكر حَدِيث النُّزُول فَنزل عَن الْمِنْبَر دَرَجَتَيْنِ فَقَالَ كنزولي هَذَا فنسب إِلَى التجسيم ورده على من توسل بِالنَّبِيِّ صلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وسلّم أَو اسْتَغَاثَ فأشخص من دمشق فِي رَمَضَان سنة خمس وَسَبْعمائة فَجرى عَلَيْهِ مَا جرى وَحبس مرَارًا فَأَقَامَ على ذَلِك نَحْو أَربع سِنِين أَو أَكثر وَهُوَ مَعَ ذَلِك يشغل ويفتي إِلَى أَن اتّفق أَن الشَّيْخ نصرا قَامَ على الشَّيْخ كريم الدّين الآملي شيخ خانقاه سعيد السُّعَدَاء فَأخْرجهُ من الخانقاه وعَلى شمس الدّين الْجَزرِي فَأخْرجهُ من تدريس الشريفية فَيُقَال أَن الآملي دخل الْخلْوَة بِمصْر أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا فَلم يخرج حَتَّى زَالَت دولة بيبرس وخمل ذكر نصر وَأطلق ابْن تَيْمِية إِلَى الشَّام وافترق النَّاس فِيهِ شيعًا فَمنهمْ من نسبه إِلَى التجسيم لما ذكر فِي العقيدة الحموية والواسطية وَغَيرهمَا من ذَلِك كَقَوْلِه أَن الْيَد والقدم والساق وَالْوَجْه صِفَات حَقِيقِيَّة لله وَأَنه مستوٍ على الْعَرْش بِذَاتِهِ فَقيل لَهُ يلْزم من ذَلِك التحيز والانقسام فَقَالَ أَنا لَا أسلم أَن التحيز والانقسام من خَواص الْأَجْسَام فألزم بِأَنَّهُ يَقُول بتحيز فِي ذَات الله وَمِنْهُم من ينْسبهُ إِلَى الزندقة لقَوْله أَن النَّبِي صلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وسلّم لَا يستغاث بِهِ وَأَن فِي ذَلِك تنقيصاً ومنعاً من تَعْظِيم النَّبِي صلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وسلّم وَكَانَ أَشد النَّاس عَلَيْهِ فِي ذَلِك النُّور الْبكْرِيّ فَإِنَّهُ لما عقد لَهُ الْمجْلس بِسَبَب ذَلِك قَالَ بعض الْحَاضِرين يُعَزّر فَقَالَ الْبكْرِيّ لَا معنى لهَذَا القَوْل فَإِنَّهُ إِن كَانَ تنقيصاً يقتل وَإِن لم يكن تنقيصا لَا يُعَزّر وَمِنْهُم من ينْسبهُ إِلَى النِّفَاق لقَوْله فِي عَليّ مَا تقدم وَلقَوْله إِنَّه كَانَ مخذولا حَيْثُ مَا توجه وَأَنه حاول الْخلَافَة مرَارًا فَلم ينلها وَإِنَّمَا قَاتل للرئاسة لَا للديانة وَلقَوْله إِنَّه كَانَ يحب الرِّئَاسَة وَأَن عُثْمَان كَانَ يحب المَال وَلقَوْله أَبُو بكر أسلم شَيخا يدْرِي مَا يَقُول وَعلي أسلم صَبيا وَالصَّبِيّ لَا يَصح إِسْلَامه على قَول وبكلامه فِي قصَّة خطْبَة بنت أبي جهل وَمَات مَا نَسَبهَا من الثَّنَاء على … وقصة أبي الْعَاصِ ابْن الرّبيع وَمَا يُؤْخَذ من مفهومها فَإِنَّهُ شنع فِي ذَلِك فألزموه بالنفاق لقَوْله صلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وسلّم وَلَا يبغضك إِلَّا مُنَافِق

Much of the above was translated years ago by Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad as follows:

“He used to bring up in one hour from the Book, the Sunna, the Arabic language, and philosophical speculation, material which no-one could bring up even in many sessions, as if these sciences were before his very eyes and he was picking and choosing from them at will. A time came when his companions took to over-praising him and this drove him to be satisfied with himself until he became conceited before his fellow human beings. He became convinced that he was a scholar capable of independent reasoning (mujtahid). Henceforth he began to answer each and every scholar great and small, past and recent, until he went all the way back to `Umar (r) and faulted him in some matter. This reached the ears of the Shaykh Ibrahim al-Raqi who reprimanded him. Ibn Taymiyya went to see him, apologized, and asked for forgiveness. He also spoke against `Ali (r) and said: “He made mistakes in seventeen different matters.”…Because of his fanatic support of the Hanbali school he would attack Ash’aris until he started to insult al-Ghazzali, at which point some people opposed him and would almost kill him…. They ascertained that he had blurted out certain words, concerning doctrine, which came out of his mouth in the context of his sermons and legal pronouncements, and they mentioned that he had cited the tradition of Allah’s descent (to the nearest heaven), then climbed down two steps from the minbar and said: “Just like this descent of mine” and so was categorized as an anthropomorphist. They also cited his refutation of whoever uses the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — as a means or seeks help from him (aw istaghatha)…. People were divided into parties because of him. Some considered him an anthropomorphist because of what he mentioned in al-`Aqida al-Hamawiyya and al-`Aqida al-Wasitiyya and other books of his, to the effect that the hand, foot, shin, and face are litteral attributes of Allah and that He is established upon the Throne with His Essence. It was said to him that were this the case He would necessarily be subject to spatial confinement (al-tahayyuz) and divisibility (al-inqisam). He replied: “I do not concede that spatial confinement and divisibility are (necessarily) properties of bodies,” whereupon it was adduced against him (ulzima) that he held Allah’s Essence to be subject to spatial confinement. Others considered him a heretic (zindiq) due to his saying that the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — is not to be sought for help and the fact that this amounted to diminishing and impeding the establishing of the greatness of the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — …. Others considered him a dissimulator (munafiq) because of what he said about `Ali:… namely, that he had been forsaken everywhere he went, had repeatedly tried to acquire the caliphate and never attained it, fought out of lust for power rather than religion, and said that “he loved authority while `Uthman loved money.” He would say that Abu Bakr had declared Islam in his old age, fully aware of what he said, while `Ali had declared Islam as a boy, and the boy’s Islam is not considered sound upon his mere word…. In sum he said ugly things such as these, and it was said against him that he was a hypocrite, in view of the Prophet’s — Allah bless and greet him — saying (to `Ali): “None but a hypocrite has hatred for you.”