IBN TAYMIYYAH (1263-1328). Presented by Nurul Najwa Abd . Latiff Nadalmuhtadi Abd . Razak Triningsih Ngadimun Edited by Dr. Md. Mahmudul Hasan International Islamic University Malaysia 2011.
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Dr. Md. MahmudulHasan
International Islamic University Malaysia
He was a member of the school founded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
Like Ahmad ibn Hanbal, he is referred to as "Sheikh ul-Islam,“ a title of superior authority on Islamic knowledge.
Scholarly achievements of ibn Taymiyyah's father, Shihab al-deen 'Abd al-Haleem ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1284), were also well-known.
Due to Mongol invasions, his family fled to Damascus in 1268 when he was still young. Damascus was then ruled by the Mamluks of Egypt.
At that time the Tatar hordes under Hulagu Khan were inflicting their barbaric onslaughts throughout the world of Islam - especially the Mesopotamium region. IbnTaymiyyah was only seven when the Tatars launched attacks on Harraan. Consequently, the populace left Harraan to seek refuge elsewhere.
IbnTaymiyyah was later trained by prominent scholars of his time. Among them a woman scholar named ZaynabbintMakki who taught him hadith. IbnTaymiyyah was always an industrious student and later he acquainted himself with secular and religious sciences and the study of Arabic literature and lexicography.
He became an expert in the great Arab grammarian Seebawayh's al-Kitaab which is regarded as the greatest authority on grammar and syntax. He also pointed out the errors therein.
He commanded knowledge of all the prose and poetry then available. Furthermore, he studied the history of both pre-Islamic Arabia and that of the post-Islamic period. He also learnt mathematics and calligraphy.
His scholarly zeal combined with his intense partisanship and hypergraphia led many contemporaries and later observers, most notably Ibn Battuta, to consider him mentally unbalanced.
Later, he became the representative of the Hanbali school of thought and studied jurisprudence from his father, and looked further in the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Sirah.
Ibn Taymiyyah had great love for tafsir (Qur’anic exegesis). He read over a hundred commentaries of the Qur’an.
He studied theology (kalam), philosophy, and Sufism. He used to refute the Christians. His student IbnQayyim Al-Jawziyya authored the famous poem “O Christ-Worshipper” which unapologetically examines the dogma of the Trinity propounded by many Christian sects.
He completed his studies when he was a teenager and at 19 he became a professor of Islamic studies.
He started giving fatwas on religious legal matters without following any of the traditional legal schools, the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'ee and Hanbali and he was well versed in Qur’anic studies, hadith, fiqh, theology, Arabic grammar and scholastic theology.
He defended the authentic prophetic traditions by arguments which, although taken from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, had been unfamiliar to people of his time.
The freedom of his polemics made him many enemies among the scholars of the traditional Orthodox Schools, who falsely accused him of all kinds of heretical beliefs.
He was imprisoned for several times due his outspokenness and for conflicting with the ijma of jurists and theologians of his day.
His troubles with government began when he went with a delegation of ulama to talk to Ghazan Khan of Iran to stop his attacks on the Muslims. It is reported that not one of the ulama dared to say anything to the Khan except Ibn Taymiyyah who said:
“You claim that you are Muslim and you have with you Muezzins, Muftis, Imams and Shaykhs but you invaded us and reached our country for what? While your father and your grandfather, Hulagu were non-believers, they did not attack and they kept their promise. But you promised and broke your promise.”
He was banned from having any books, papers and pen during his imprisonment.
Ibn Taymiyyah died while in prison on 22 Zulkaedah 728 AH (27 September 1328).
Al-Bazzar says, “Once the people had heard of his death, not a single person in Damascus who was able to attend the prayer and wanted to, remained until he appeared and took time out for it. As a result, the markets in Damascus were closed and all transactions of livelihood were stopped. Governors, heads, scholars, jurists came out. They say that none of the majority of the people failed to turn up, according to my knowledge - except three individuals; they were well known for their enmity for Ibn Taymiyyah and thus, hid away from the people out of fear for their lives."
c) His stances against the oppressive rulers. One of the well-known ones was his stance against Qazan, the ruler of the Tartars.
d) IbnTaymiyyahalso influenced the rulers to assume their role of commanding the good and forbidding the evil.
The existing works of IbnTaymiyyah are great in number, despite the fact that a proportion of his works have perished.
He left a considerable body of work; 350 works listed by his student, IbnQayyimal Jawziyya and 500 by other student, al Dhahabi.
His works have been republished extensively in Syria, Egypt, Arabia, and Indiaand some of them have been translated into English.
Majmu’ al Fatwa al Kubra
Majmu' al-Fatawa—(Compilation of Fatawa)
al-Aqeedahal-Hamawiyyah—(The Creed to the People of Hamawiyyah)
al-Asmawa's-Sifaat—(Allah's Names and Attributes) Volumes 1–2
KitabulWasitiyyah(Principles of Islamic Faith)
KitabIqtida al- Sirat al-Mustaqim(On the Necessity of the Straight Path)
al-Jawabas Sahih li man Baddala Din al-Masih(The Correct Response to those who have Corrupted the Deen (Religion) of Jesus Christ [A Muslim theologian's response to Christianity])—seven volumes, over a thousand pages.
ar-Radd 'ala al-Mantiqiyyin (Refutation of Greek Logicians)
al-Uboodiyyah—(Subjection to God)
Chapter two contains the view of Ahlus-Sunnah wa'l Jamaah regarding the attributes of God based on the Qur’an and Sunnah without ta'teel (rejection), tamtsil (anthropomorphism), tahreef (changing His Attribute), and ta’yif (questioning His Attribute).
This book also contains the six parts of faith for Muslims, namely belief in God, His Angels, His Messengers, His Books, the Day of Resurrection, and taqdeer (pre-decree).
From Ahmad bin Taymiyyah to my dear and honourable Mother…
…our stay in Egypt is for an important issue. The abandonment of such a task leads to the corruption of our Deen and of our life.
Yet it was not our choice to be far from you. Had birds been able to carry us, we would have come to you. But the absent one has his reason; and had you been able to look deeply into the affairs of the Muslims, you would not choose for me another place to the one I am in now.