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 Taymiyya’s Belief that Allah is Sitting on the Kursi and has Left Space to Seat the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) Next to Him

al-Imam al-Mufassir Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi (D. 754AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s Belief that:

Allah Most High is sitting (yajlisu) on the Kursi but has left a place of it unoccupied, in which to seat the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Excerpt from the article – ‘Reforming Classical Texts’ by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller:

…the two-volume Qur’anic exegesis of Abu Hayyan al-Nahwi (d. 754/1353), Tafsir al-nahr al-madd [The exegesis of the far-stretching river] condensed mainly from his own previous eight-volume exegesis al-Bahr al-muhit [The encompassing sea], arguably the finest tafsir ever written based primarily on Arabic grammar. Abu Hayyan, of Andalusion origin, settled in Damascus, knew Ibn Taymiya personally, and held him in great esteem, until the day that Barinbari (d. 717/1317) brought him a work by Ibn Taymiya called Kitab al-‘arsh [The book of the Throne]. There they found, in Ibn Taymiya’s own handwriting (which was familiar to Abu Hayyan), anthropomorphic suggestions about the Deity that made Abu Hayyan curse Ibn Taymiya until the day he died. This was mentioned by the hadith master (hafiz) Taqi al-Din Subki in his al-Sayf al-saqil (85). Abu Hayyan, in his own Qur’anic exegesis of Ayat al-Kursi (Qur’an 2:258) in surat al-Baqara, recorded something of what so completely changed his mind:

I have read in the book of Ahmad ibn Taymiya, this individual whom we are the contemporary of, and the book is in his own handwriting, and he has named it Kitab al-‘arsh [The book of the Throne], that “Allah Most High is sitting (yajlisu) on the Kursi but has left a place of it unoccupied, in which to seat the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)” [italics mine]. Al-Taj Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Haqq Barinbari fooled him [Ibn Taymiya] by pretending to be a supporter of his so that he could get it from him, and this is what we read in it (al-Nahwi, Tafsir al-nahr al-madd, 1.254).

This is of interest not only because it documents (at the pen of one of Islam’s greatest scholars) that Ibn Taymiya had a “double ‘aqida,” one for the public, and a separate anthropomorphic one for an inner circle of initiates…

Read full article here:

[Note: The author of Kashf al-Zunun has also reported this, vol. 2, pg. 1438]

Also from the above article by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller:

“When Abu Hayyan’s work was first printed on the margin of his longer exegesis al-Bahr al-muhit in Cairo by Matba‘a al-Sa‘ada in 1910, the whole passage was deleted—intentionally, as the guilty party later confessed to Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari, who quotes the above passage in a footnote to al-Sayf al-Saqil and then says:

This sentence is not in the printed exegesis al-Bahr [al-muhit], for the copy editor at Matba‘a al-Sa‘ada told me he found it so extremely revolting that he deemed it too enormous to ascribe to a Muslim, so he deleted it, so it would not be exploited by the enemies of the religion. He asked me to record that here by way of making up for what he had done, and as a counsel (nasiha) to Muslims (al-Sayf al-saqil, 85).