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.

ibn Hajar al-Haytami – ‘ibn Taymiyya was a Servant whom Allah Abandoned, Misguided, Blinded, Deafened, and Humiliated’

The Shaykh al-Islam of the Shafi’i Madhhab in his age – Abul Abbas Shihab al-Din Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974AH) has recorded in a formal legal opinion in his al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya (1/183-84) the following:

ابْن تَيْمِية عبد خذله الله وأضلَّه وأعماه وأصمه وأذلَّه، وَبِذَلِك صرح الْأَئِمَّة الَّذين بينوا فَسَاد أَحْوَاله وَكذب أَقْوَاله، وَمن أَرَادَ ذَلِك فَعَلَيهِ بمطالعة كَلَام الإِمَام الْمُجْتَهد الْمُتَّفق على إِمَامَته وجلالته وبلوغه مرتبَة الِاجْتِهَاد أبي الْحسن السُّبْكِيّ وَولده التَّاج وَالشَّيْخ الإِمَام الْعِزّ بن جمَاعَة وَأهل عصرهم، وَغَيرهم من الشَّافِعِيَّة والمالكية وَالْحَنَفِيَّة، وَلم يقصر اعتراضه على متأخري الصُّوفِيَّة بل اعْترض على مثل عمر بن الْخطاب وَعلي بن أبي طَالب رَضِي الله عَنْهُمَا كَمَا يَأْتِي. وَالْحَاصِل أنْ لَا يُقَام لكَلَامه وزن بل يَرْمِي فِي كلّ وَعْر وحَزَن، ويعتقد فِيهِ أَنه مُبْتَدع ضالّ ومُضِّلّ جَاهِل غال عَامله الله بعدله، وأجازنا من مثل طَرِيقَته وعقيدته وَفعله آمين

“Ibn Taymiyya was a servant whom Allah abandoned, misguided, blinded, deafened, and humiliated. This has been frankly expressed by the Imams who explained the corruptness of how he was, and the mendacity of what he said. Whoever wants to check this should read the words of the Mujtahid Imam, whose Imamate, greatness, and having reached the rank of Ijtihad are universally acknowledged, Abul Hasan (Taqi al-Din) al-Subki; together with his son Taj (al-Din as-Subki), the Shaykh and Imam al-‘Izz Ibn Jama’a, the scholars of their time, and other Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanafi scholars. Nor did he confine his criticism to later Sufi’s; but censured the likes of Umar ibn al-Khattab and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them), the outcome of which is that his words are devoid of any worth or consideration, to be scattered across the wilds and wastelands, while the man himself is considered an initiator of bid’ah (reprehensible innovations), misled, misleading, ignorant and spiteful. May Allah give him what he deserves, may Allah preserve us from the likes of his way and his beliefs and works, Ameen.”