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Political Thought of Ibnu Taimiyah. Gonda Yumitro. His biography.

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his biography
His biography
  • His name was Ahmad ibn Abdul HalimIbnAbdussalamibnTaimiyah, was born in Harran – syiria, on monday, 10 rabiulawal 661 H/ 22 January 1263 M and was died in damaskus on Sunday night, 20 zulkaidah 728 H/ 26 September 1328
  • From educated family – his father was a professor
  • In 7 years he was able to memorize the whole alquran, then he memorize all bukhari – muslimhadits
  • He was envolved in some political moments of Abbasiyah in his time to protect his country from the invation of mongolian people (Tartar tribe).

Some other political issues in his time were treachery of the Fatimites in their alliance with the crusaders against the Islamic state, the conflict with the christian invander, corruption of kings and rulers, and their distance from Islam, and the spread of rigid blind-followingof Madhhabs causing deep sectarian divides

  • Though he had experience in jail, but he said to his student Ibnul-Qayyim that 'The one who is (truly) imprisoned is the one whose heart isimprisoned from Allah and the captivated one is the one whose desires have enslaved him.' [Al-Wabil as-Sayyib, p.61].

Ibn Taymiyyahpassedawaywhile in prisonintheyear 728H. His funeral wasone of therarefuneralslikethat of Imam Ahmed Ibn Hambal, whousedtosay, 'Saytothepeople of bidah, 'Betweenus and betweenyou are thefunerals.’ Al-Bazzarsays, 'Once thepeoplehadheard of hisdeath,not a single person in Damascuswhowasabletoattendtheprayer and wantedto, remaineduntil he appeared and took time outforit. As a result, themarkets in Damascuswereclosed and alltransactions of livelihoodwerestopped. Governors, heads, scholars, juristscameout. Theysaythatnone of themajority of thepeoplefailedtoturn up, accordingto my knowledge - exceptthreeindividuals; theywerewellknownfortheirenmityfor Ibn Taymiyyah and thus, hidawayfromthepeopleout of fearfortheirlives.' [Al-A'lam al-'Aliyyah, p.82-83]


was a great Islamic scholar, jurist, theologian and logician of his time and produced work on many topics. He wrote more than 500 books

  • Some of Islamic scholars who were influenced by his thoughts were Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab di Saudi Arabiah, Muhammad Abduh and Rasyid Ridha in Egypt, and Syah Wali Allah in India.
some of his political ideas
Some of His Political Ideas
  • Allowthataqlidforthe new studentswithtauhid as basicunderstanding. Sebagaimanadiketahui, bahwaTheessence of Ibn Taymiyyah'sDawah can beseen in thesescholarsorinstitutions, in thatthey …1. Giveprioritytoestablishingthepureworship of Allah, and warnagainstallmanifestations of Shirk.2. Theypromotethecorrectunderstanding of theDeen and clarifythedoubts and distortions of theinnovative sects.3. Theyappreciate and refertotheteachings of allthescholars of Ahlus-Sunnahbutrefrainfrombigotedpartisanshiptowards particular individualsthusopposingthedestructiveblind-following. 4. Theycallforthepracticalimplementation of Islamicteachingswhether in one's personal behavior, in transactionsor in thesociety, and in takingAllah'sLegislationtobethemostsupreme.
  • He compromise the position of revelation and aql (logic)

Politics and leadership is a part of religion where religion will be thoughly implemented without the existence of leadership.

  • To regulate the affairs of people and religion cannot be established truly without government and the duty of commanding the good and forbidding the evil cannot be completely discharged without power and authority. He brings the concept Siyasa Shariyah, Government according to Shariyah (Divinely Revealed Law).
  • It can be seen through the command of prophet to appoint the leader when there are more that two people are traveling – for people live in peace. But it doesn’t mean the imamah concept as what shiah does believe in.

To elect such great leader, IbnTaymiyyah says that it is to be decided by consensus of an electoral body, ahl al-hall wa’l-‘aqd (those empowered to bind and loose) and finally the choice should not be imposed on public rather presented for ratification. Ultimate power of choice of leadership rests with the public. Just as any contract, neither side should be under compulsion.

  • He against the coup to government though they are not fair in governing as long as they still perform praying. This ideas acknowlegded by the weakening of Abbasid caliphate which no longer had the resources to enforce its central tributary system and local leaders became economically and militarily independent, some local leaders maintained a nominal relationship with the caliphate as the basis of their political legitimacy while others declared independence.

The most important what he explain about the leader is the hadits of prophet Muhammad,

  • “Everyone of you is a shepherd, and everyone of you is responsible for his flock; the Caliph who rules the people is a shepherd and he is responsible for those whom he governs; the woman is a shepherdess in her husband’s house, and she is responsible for the household; the youngster is a shepherd in regard to his father’s wealth, and he is responsible for the money at his disposal; the slave is a shepherd as regards to his master’s possessions, and he is responsible for these possessions. Lo! Everyone of you is a shepherd and everyone of you is responsible for his flock.” (Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)
  • “Any shepherd to whom Allah has entrusted his flock who dies one day, after having cheated his subjects (but without repenting of his faults), Allah will not allow him to breathe the odor of Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim)

In his opinion, Quran neither prescribes any specific form of the government, nor it explicitly say anything concerning the question of succession. The Quran also does not lay down any number of the Amirs (rulers)

  • Thus, within Islamic community, Ibn Taymiyyah accepts the plurality of separate states. Within each state, the ruler is responsible for the application of Legal Punishments, the observation of fast and pilgrimage, the performance of public services, the application of social and economic norms and above all, the conduct of prayer and Jihad.

The state is only the tool to make the moslems become closer to Allah so they can bring the islamic values such as justice, brotherhood, security, obidience, law enforcement, peace, etc within their daily life. So that, state should manage the jihad, zakat, and force all of the criminality actions.

  • Though the state should not be islamic state, but in term of its function, state should be able to protect the people from cheating, riba, gambling, corruption, manipulation, tyrany, etc.
  • But monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy are not compatible to Islam – because islam should guarantee that the leader should be the best person and support the implementation of syariah. It should not be secular state as what implemented in western tradition

In this case, nationalisme is compatible with the islamic principles which demand the unity among moslems.

  • So that, Khilafat is not the compulsary, which means that the moslem people can have more than one leaders in one time as long as the places is not he same. But still all of the moslems should be united by the name of religion, not based on political unity.
  • With another words, He has major influences on current Islamic revivalism" - did not view the establishment of a Caliphate, or an Islamic state, as a fundamental duty or as inherently axiomatic in Islam. Rather, he viewed the formation of political associations as part of the natural propensity of humans, and considered it better to have religious associations.

In his opinion, he believed that excessive insistence on political unity can be harmful on the Islamic community. The community held together only through political or military is not truly united.

  • In islamic brotherhood, members of the Muslim community are required to support and sustain one another – socially, spiritually, and even physically. Therefore, if someone in the community falls on hard times, it is the responsibility of others to furnish whatever is necessary to restore his/her to a life of meaningful faith.
  • He asserts that the identifying feature of an Islamic society is not its leader's character, but rather the people's responsiveness to the shari'ah"

In term of solving the society problems, he demands jihad. Ibn Taymiyyah defined jihād "as the struggle to remove fitnah and until the religion, all of it, is for Allah“.

  • He posited two kinds of fitnah: fitnah of the kuffar or polytheists and fitnah of sharr (evil) or transgression, disobedience and ignorance.
  • He divided jihād into jihād makki, which is struggle with knowledge, argumentation and da'wah, enjoining good and preventing wrong, and jihād madani, which is military fighting.