Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Sufi Path and Why Your Present, Past, and Future State Doesn't Matter, Relatively Speaking: Professor Alan Abdal Haqq Godlas

The Sufi Path and Why Your Present, Past, and Future State Doesn't Matter, Relatively Speaking:
The first few years I was following the Sufi path it would bother me whenever I would run into the statement in traditional Sufi texts that one's state or station was irrelevant. The reason this disturbed me was that, originally, one of the main motivating factors driving me was that I had been feeling miserable, for years, and that basically Sufism had saved my life by enabling my depressed state to become transformed into ecstasy, love, and tranquility; and it had also enabled my decision-making ability to be less obscured by my moods.
After I number of years, however, I came to understand why my state or station was relatively irrelevant. The reason is that what is much more important than how you are is how you respond at this moment to how you are.
In other words, the key to self-transformation (and to actualization of the Divine attributes as well) is to respond to whatever you are feeling, thinking, and perceiving at this moment by making your intention to remember God with even just a drop of unconditional gratitude.
This means that even if you do not feel grateful and are feeling utterly downtrodden or feel simply anxious, angry, worthless, faithless, confused, exhausted, or any feeling, it means that nevertheless you can still attempt to call to mind even the faintest hope in the possibility that God is the All-Inclusive Lord-Sustainer of all worlds (rabb il-'alamin)--including you and your world at this moment--the possibility that beneath the surface (zahir) of your uncomfortable state (whatever it is), is an infinite sea of merciful love (rahma), which (although you are not perceiving it and it is hence ghayb/unmanifest) is closer to you than your jugular vein, a sea that is ready to flood into your heart once you stop closing the door by forgetting to be grateful and by forgetting about this impending blessed flood.
An interesting silver lining of making such a response your most important priority or most important form of effort is that--in contrast to many people's fears that gratitude to God will make you passive in the face of injustice or abuse, insensitive to situations that necessitate caring, or unresponsive to circumstances that demand action--such relatively UNCONDITIONAL gratitude helps to free you from the limited viewfinder of the CONDITIONING of your ego and thus increases the likelihood you will be able to find solutions to real life problems, solutions outside the box of your ego's CONDITIONED habits, solutions to what Sufis refer to as lesser but still extremely important forms of effort.
Furthermore another perk of responding to your own state at each moment with gratitude (even for no good reason except the possibility that God is the All-Merciful rabb il-'alamin/The Lord-Sustainer of all worlds, including you and your world) is that such a grateful response increases the likelihood that you will stop strangling your heart and preventing yourself from being nurtured by the flood of God's Merciful and Loving Presence. Once you have tasted a few drops of this blessed Merciful Love, you will have more energy to carry out the solutions that greater freedom from your ego's habits has enabled you to see (not to mention that you can even use some of that energy to pursue some of your ego's solutions should they be in yours and others best interests).
Three poems, one Turkish (from Yunus Emre), one Persian (from Rumi), and one Arabic (from Sayf al-Din Bukharzi) exemplify this unconditional gratitude:
Yunus Emre:
Cana cefa kıl ya vefa
Kahrın da hoş, lutfun da hoş,
Ya derd gönder ya deva,
Kahrında hoş, lutfun da hoş.
O Beloved, whether you treat me badly or well
I'm happy with your severity or your benevolence
Whether you send pain or the cure
I'm happy with your severity or benevolence
Hoştur bana senden gelen:
Ya hil'at-ü yahut kefen,
Ya taze gül, yahut diken..
Kahrında hoş lutfun da hoş.
I'm happy with whatever comes to me from you
Whether it's a robe of honor or a burial shroud
Whether it's roses or thorns
I'm happy with your severity or benevolence
Gelse celalinden cefa
Yahut cemalinden vefa,
İkiside cana safa:
Kahrın da hoş, lutfun da hoş.
Whether difficulty comes from your Grandeur
or ease from your Beauty
both of them are pure goodness for my soul
I'm happy with your severity or benevolence
Ger bağ-u ger bostan ola.
Ger bendü ger zindan ola,
Ger vasl-ü ger hicran ola,
Kahrın da hoş, lutfun da hoş.
Whether I'm in a garden or an orchard
in chains or in prison
in union or separated
I'm happy with your severity or benevolence
Ey padişah-ı Lemyezel!
Zat-ı ebed, hayy-ı ezel!
Ey lutfu bol, kahrı güzel!
Kahrında hoş, lutfun da hoş.
O Shah of Reality without cessation
the Essence of eternity-before time, the Life of eternity-after-time
O You, whose kindness is overflowing, whose severity is beautiful
I'm happy with your severity or benevolence
Ağlatırsın zari zari,
Verirsen cennet-ü huri,
Layık görür isen nari,
Kahrında hoş, lutfun da hoş.
If you make me weep waves of tears
or if you bring me paradise and its beauties
or if you consider me worthy of hell
I'm happy with your severity or benevolence
Gerek ağlat, gerek güldür,
Gerek yaşat gerek öldür,
Aşık Yunus sana kuldur,
Kahrında hoş, lutfun da hoş.
Whether you make me laugh or cry
Or whether you make me live or die
Yunus the lover is your slave
I'm happy with your severity or your benevolence
------
عاشقم بر قهر و بر لطفش بجد بوالعجب من عاشق این هر دو ضد
والله ار زین خار در بستان شوم همچو بلبل زین سبب نالان شوم
این عجب بلبل که بگشاید دهان تا خورد او خار را با گلستان
این چه بلبل این نهنگ آتشیست جمله ناخوشها ز عشق او را خوشیست
عاشق کلست و خود کلست او عاشق خویشست و عشق خویش‌جو
I'm in love with His severity and benevolence, truly
It's amazing to be in love with these two opposites!
I swear to God, if I flee this garden because of the thorns, like the nightingale, I would be forever wailing.
But this is an astonishing nightingale! It opens its mouth
and swallows up both the rose garden and the thorns!
What kind of nightingale is this?! It's really a firey orca!
On account of its love, every distasteful thing becomes pleasant!
It is a lover of the whole and is the whole
It is a lover of its self and is seeking its self's love.
--------
Sayf al-Din Bukharzi:
My love for Him is obligatory, whether He's affectionate or treats me harshly
His spring is sweet, whether turbid or clear
I've entrusted to the Beloved all of my affairs
if He wants, He will give me life; and if He wants, He'll destroy me
هوائي له فرض تعطف أوجفا
منهله عذب تكدر أو صفا
وكلت إلى محبوبي أمري كلها
إن شاء أحياني وإن شاء أتلفا
HawA'I la-hu farD tamanhaluhu
wakkaltu ilA l-mahbUbi amrI kullahA
in shA'a aHyAnI wa-in shA'a atlafA
Copyright, text as well as tranlstated poetry, by A. Godlas 2016,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Short Biography of Mehmed Zahid Kotku Effendi- by Professor Mahmud Esad Cosan

A Short Biography of Mehmed Zahid Kotku Effendi
The following is an abridged translation of the biography of Mehmed Zahid Kotku Effendi,originally written in Turkish by his son-in-law, Professor Mahmud Esad Coşan.
The Family
Khawaja Effendi’s family was among the Muslims who migrated to Bursa from the Caucuses in 1883. His ancestors were from Nuha (one of the capitals of the old Khanate). That city is now called Sheki and is situated in northern Azerbaijan.
His mother, Sabire Hanim, passed away in 1900, in Bursa, and is buried in Pinarbashi cemetery there; Hocaefendi was left an orphan at the age of three.
His father, Ibrahim Effendi, was a seyyid (a descendent of the Prophet [saw]). He came to Bursa at the age of 16. He completed his studies at the Hamza Bey Medresesi, and served as imam at various localities. He passed away in 1929 at the age of 76 and was buried in the village of Izvat in Bursa.
Short Life Story
Khawaja Effendi was born in 1897 in Bursa. He completed his primary school education at Oruç Bey primary school. He attended the junior high school at Maksem for one year. Then he continued his schooling at Bursa Trade School. While there, the First World War broke out. He joined the army on April 14th, 1916. He served on various fronts for three years and faced many dangerous situations. On July 10th, 1919 he was transferred to continue his military service in Istanbul as a military clerk.
Involvement in Sufism
While in Istanbul, he regularly attended various religious meetings, lectures, and sermons. Finally, on July 16th, 1920, after performing his Friday prayer at Hagia Sofia, he went to the tekke of Gümüşhaneli, next to Fatma Sultan mosque, across from the office of the governor of Istanbul. He joined the order there and took his duty lesson from sheikh Ömer Ziyaeddin Efendi. He made remarkable progress in his purification process. When his shaikh, Ömer Ziyaeddin Efendi, passed away on November 18th, 1921, he continued his lesson with the new teacher of the tekke, Mustafa Feyzi Efendi. He completed his seyr-i süluk (the spiritual process of achieving membership in a religious order) under the supervision of Mustafa Feyzi Effendi.
In 1924, at the age of 27, he was given the Certificate of Deputation (permission to guide and teach). He also completed the conclusive memorization of the Holy Book. Moreover, he was given permission to teach certain important books used by the tekke for training and education purposes (i.e., Ramuzu’l-Ehadis, Delailu’l Khayrat, Hizb-i Azam and Qaside-i Burde)
After the closure and banning of all Sufi institutions by the law enacted on November 30th, 1925, Khawaja Effendi returned to Bursa, where he got married. When the post of imam at the village of Izvat in Bursa was vacated by the passing away of his father in 1929, he took over that post and lived there for about 16 years as the main imam of that village. In 1945, he was transferred to Uftade Mosque in the city of Bursa, where he served as its imam-khatib until 1952.
After the demise of Abdulaziz Bekkine Efendi (the 38th member of the Noble Lineage) and upon the insistent requests of his followers, he accepted a transfer to Istanbul as the imam-khatib of the Çivizade mosque. During that assignment, he also served as the imam-khatib of the Ummü Gülsüm Masjid in Zeyrek-Istanbul. On October 1st 1958, he was transferred to the post of imam-khatib of Iskenderpaşa mosque, where he served until his death on November 13th, 1980.
Noble Lineage (Spiritual Family Descent)
Mehmed Zahid Kotku Khawaja Effendi is the 39th member of the Noble Lineage (Spiritual Family Descent) starting with the Holy Prophet (pbuh.). 
His Personality
Our late Khawaja Effendi was of above medium height and weight. His appearance was both imposing and inspiring. His skin was white and his cheeks were rosy. He had a rather large head with a wide and alabaster forehead. His eyebrows were widely spaced. At first glance, his eyes appeared to be chestnut in color, but in reality his eyes were so profound in essence and so mysterious in appearance that a close look was almost impossible. There were some red specks in his eyes and a palm-size birthmark on his back and abdomen. His outer appearance was solemn, pleasant, and delightful. His face was always brightened by a rosy smile. Onlookers could not help but develop a deep sense of respect and a warm affection towards him. He greeted everybody by salutation and dealt with each of them cheerfully and in a pleasant manner.
He had an excellent memory, which enabled him to easily recall very fine details of past events and personalities. His conversations and talks were very pleasant and appealing. Most of the time, he used the dialect of the common people. He was an excellent and patient listener and never interrupted others while they spoke. When listening to others on subjects even very well known by him, he paid such close attention that it was possible to give the speaker the impression that Hocaefendi was hearing those things for the first time. His answers were full of meaning and niceties. When delivering the Friday khutba (official sermon delivered to the congregation from the podium in a mosque), the style of his address to the audience was awe-inspiring. He raised his voice considerably and talked extemporaneously to the audience, assuming the conciseness of an army commander addressing his troops.
On all the issues he was interested in, he contemplated deeply and at length. It was impossible not to be filled with admiration for the resourcefulness and colorful comparisons he incorporated to his addresses and conversations. Sometimes he used to dwell on the interpretation of a single verse from the Qur’an for months.
He was extremely modest and was never pretentious. Many examples can be given of this attitude. He lived among his followers as if he was one of them and let everybody have and maintain such an impression. He very carefully concealed his very high spiritual attainments. He was extremely respectful and bound to his teachers. His friends from the tekke used to tell how obedient and respectful he was in the presence of his masters.
As a spiritual guide and teacher, he exercised extreme patience and tolerance in training and educating his pupils. He could work on an individual for years and never get tired or let him down. He was able to probe and gain spiritual access to a person’s heart. Most of the time, it was possible for one to get the answers to the questions in one’s heart without raising them verbally. He used to bestow the needs of the needy without being asked. He had a certain control and dominance on the dreams and the hearts of people.
In family life, he was very affectionate and witty towards his household. He never ordered or asked for anything. In case of need, he preferred to express it through allusion, hint and allegory; and if not understood, he exercised patience.
He was extremely faithful to his friends. He frequently visited them as well as inquired about and looked after them. He also strictly observed his duties and obligations towards his relatives.
He was very generous, making unbelievably high donations. He was never afraid of being left without and always had guests and visitors for meals. He received them with a smiling face and pleasant manners and always left the door of his house open. He paid great attention to seeing to it that those serving him were fully content and happy. His attendance at evening and morning prayers and worships was extremely regular, urging his followers to do the same.
Works by Mehmed Zahid Kotku (RhA)
1. Tasavvufî Ahlâk (5 vols.)(Istanbul: Bahar Yayinevi, 1977)
2. Cennet Yolları (Istanbul: Sönmez Yayınevi, 1980)
3. Mü'minlere Vaazlar (2 vols.)(Istanbul: Sönmez Yayınevi, 1979)
4. Ehl-i Sünnet Akaidi  (Istanbul: 1980)
5. Ana Baba Hakları (Istanbul, 1980)
6. Hadislerle Nasihatlar (2 vols.)
7. Nefsin Terbiyesi
8. Tezkiretül-Evliyâ Tercümesi (Istanbul: Bahar yayinevi 1970)
9. Risâle-i Hàlidiyye Tercümesi (Istanbul: Bahar Yayınevi, 1974)
10. Evrâd-ı Şerif (Istanbul, Bahar Yayınevi)
11. Faydalı Dualar ve 32 Farz Mecmuası
12. Yemek Âdâbı
Works based on his discourses
1. Zikrullahın Faydaları (Istanbul: Seha, )
2. Özel Sohbetler (Istanbul: Seha, 1991)
3. Peygamber Efendimiz (Istanbul:

http://gumushkhanawidargah.8m.com/silsile39.html

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya & his Contemporary Scholars by Allama Shah Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi

http://www.naqshbandiya.in/Allama%20Ibn-e-Taymiyya%203rd%20Feb.pdf

Please read PDF for Urdu,Arabic & Farsi Poetry of Allama Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi r.a,
Naqshbandi Shaykh Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi
Foreword
Mawlana Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s Review
Mawlana Saeed Ahmad Akbarabadi’s Review Seven couplets from Qasidah Burdah
Introduction
Preface
Allama Taqi al-Din Ibn-e-Taymiyya
Birth
Death
Conditions in Ibn-e-Taymiyya ’s day
Upbringing and education
Excellence and features
Allama Taqi al-Din al-Subki
Allama Subki’s writing
Allama Dhahabi
Allama Dhahabi’s writing
No one like unto him.
Hafiz Zumlakani
Allama Abu Hayyan
Why there is a complaint?
Kawthari’s account
Custom of Chroniclers
Reasons of hostility
  • Al-Durur al-Kaamina
  • Dhahabi’s Zaghl al-Ilm
  • Dhahabi’s al-Nasihah al-Dhahabi yah
  • Summary
  • Ibn-e-Taymiyya ’s reviling of Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
  • Branding Sheikh Akbar as devil
  • Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s reviling of Sadr al-Din, Talmisani
    and Ibn Sab‘ayn.
  • Religiosity and pronouncing the truth.
  • Allama Manawi’s statement
  • Contempt for Ulama
  • Mawlana Azad’s statement
  • Allama Ibn al-Wardi
  • Hafzi Ibn Kathir
  • Allama Ibn Jahbal
  • Ustadh Abu Zahrah
  • A new standard of research
  • Ibn Batutah’s travelogue
  • Ustadh Baytar’s critique
  • Comments on his critique
  • Ibn Khaldun’s Statement
  • Ustadh Baytar’s Critique
  • Pulpit
  • Hadith Nuzul
  • Fauqiyat and Ma‘iyat
  • Israelite reports
Allama Ibn Jawzi
Ustadh Abu Zahrah’s stance
Allama Ibn al-Humam’s writing
Sheikh Akbar Ibn ‘Arabi
Key to the works of Sheikh Akbar
Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s view.
Sheikh Murshidi’s incident
Hazrat Mujaddid’s statement
Tawheed Ulwihiyat and Tawheed Rububiyat Allama Dayjawi’s refutation
Tawassul
Istighathah
Imamat-e-Kubra
Controversial Issues
Concluding Discussion
Visiting graves
Hadith la tashudd al-rihal
Imam Ghazali’s statement
Hafiz Ibn Hajr ‘Asqalani’s statement
Allama ‘Ayni’s statement
Allama Ibn Al-Humam’s statement
Sheikh Abd al-Haqq’s statement
Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s divergence of opinion
Qaazi ‘Ayad Maliki’s statement
Imam Malik’s statement
Abu ‘Imran’s statement
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 7
  • Imam Malik and Caliph Mansur
  • Allama Samhudi’s writing
  • Hafiz Ibn Hajr’s Writting
  • Taking graves as mosques
  • A strange stance
  • Hanbali stance
  • Ahadith on Ziyarah
  • Allama Ibn Humam’s study
  • Seeking blessings from relics
  • Devils abode
  • Invocation
  • Conclusion
    Bibliography
FOREWORD
Ibne Taymiyya and his contemporary Ulama in urdu, by Shams Al-Muhaqaqeen Allama Shah Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi Mujaddadi (Fazil Jamia Azhar, Egypt) is an academic research study. It deals with various aspects of the life and views of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya in balanced way. A group of Muslims likes his personality and endorses his viewpoint. As opposed to this, many Muslims disagree with him. The present work may be used profitably by both the groups.
By Allah’s grace, this work has been widely acclaimed for the last 45 years since it was published first in Urdu. It is the need of the hour that important and popular books in Urdu should be translated into English and Hindi. Hence the main translation was done by professor Abdur Raheem Kidwai head of English Depart. & Director UGC Academic staff college Aligarh Muslim University, who has translated into English another publication of Abul Khair Academy, Tarikh al-Quran. (History of the Quran).
Since this book deals with Islamic faith & belief, the detailed translation & simplification has been done where ever needed, under the guidance of academy owner, while doing proof reading.
May Allah grant every success to our Academy in bringing out this publication (Ameen)!
Rabi al-Thani 1433H Abun-Nasr Anas Farooqi Mujaddedi March 2012 Shah Abul Khair Academy
Delhi, India
8 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 9
Mawlana Abdul Majid Daryabadi’s Review
(This Review was published in the Urdu weekly Sidq-i Jadid Vol. 26: No. 26 (28 May 1976, p.4)
Ibn-e-Taymiyya awr unke Ham‘Asr Ulama az Mawlana Shah Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi. 129pages. Price Rs.3/= Address: Shah Abul Hasan Zaid, Dargah Hazrat Shah Abul Khair, Delhi-6.
Ibn-e-Taymiyya has been an outstanding personality. For one group he is a scholar but for the other an exponent of extremist views. The author, gifted with balance and moderation, has presented a fair assessment of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He has cited Ibn- e-Taymiyya’s original writings, which explain why some of his contemporaries had misgivings. This book will be read with profit by both the admirers and detractors of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. The author has done a great job in this field.
Mawlana Saeed Ahmad Akbarabadi’s Re- view
Published in
Islamic Culture, vol. LIV:2 Hyderabad, India, (April 1980)
The personality of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya (1268-1328 AD) has always been controversial among the ulama of various sects of Islam. On the one hand, he was one of the greatest erudite scholars ever born in Islam who combined in his person rare qualities of heart and mind. He was a versatile author and a very forceful writer and orator. Practically he lived an austere, simple, pious life. On the other hand, he was a bitter critic of those great scholars of Islam like Imam Ghazali and Ibn Arabi from whom he differed on certain points. In his criticism of his opponents, he was imprudent and intemperate. He seems to have been a man of contradictions on account of which he got equally a large number of friends and foes, admirers and critics, supporters and adversaries.
He gained the profound knowledge of Islam as well as Greek science at the feet of great and well-reputed scholars of the age; Ibn-e-Taymiyyah began his career as a teacher. When he was only 20, even at this young age his deep knowledge of a wide range of subjects coupled with oratory and versatile writings won him fame and name throughout the Islamic world and his contemporary ulama of great repute showered praise upon him, which he deserved up to the age of 40. He was supposed to have been a Hanbali; in fact he was a free thinker in Islam. As such he was bold enough to bluntly express his personal views on certain important issues of Islamic creed, as definitely opposed to the consensus of ulama.
10 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 11
An analytical survey of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s books, more or less one hundred in number, reveals that his differences with the popular observations of ulama, lie in the following categories:-
1. He differs with the major opinion of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal on 26 issues though he claims to be a follower of the Imam.
2. On 16 occasions he ignored completely the opinion of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and adopted the opinion of any one of the remaining three Imams.
3. On 39 occasions he has ignored the juristic opinion of all the four Imams and has given his own independent verdict.
4. On 39 occasions he has ignored the unanimous opinion and consensus of Ummah and exercised his own free choice.
This last category termed as rarities or exclusive opinions of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, which inter-alia include the following-
(a) His anthropomorphic interpretation in the verse- (Al- Rahmaan ‘ala al-‘Arsh Istawa)
(b) His declaration that to make journey for the main purpose of visiting the tomb of the Prophet is illegal,
(c) Divorce given during the period of menstruation is invalid.
It created havoc in the Islamic world with the result that even many of the staunch admirers of Ibn-e-Taymiyya from amongst contemporary ulama turned out to be his bitter critics at his older age when he began to express his “exclusive opinion with greater force and obduration”.
A particular sect of Islam has since been perfectly sincere and faithful to Ibn-e-Taymiyya, while some sects are against him and condemn him totally.
Apart from these two groups, there is a third group, who takes an objective view of the situation concerned and has adopted the attitude of truthfulness. They accept Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s high
scholarship, achievements, ability and remarkable contributions to Islamic literature; nevertheless they refuse to accept the views of Ibn-e-Taymiyya which come under any of the four categories mentioned above. This third group stands by self-restraint while taking into consideration the values and ideas of the great theologians and erudite of Islam according to their merits and demerits so as to determine their real status and position.
The learned author of the book under review, who himself is a well-reputed scholar of Islamic science and a Sufi of first order, belongs to the above third group. As such in an attempt to show both sides of the picture, he after giving a life sketch of Ibn-e- Taymiyya, has thoroughly discussed the views of contemporary ulama of Ibn-e-Taymiyya concerning him and has given his own reasons based on the Quran, Hadith and the writings of undisputed luminaries of Islam in order to justify or contradict the statements by Ibn-e-Taymiyya.
The whole treatise is indeed a piece of great scholarship. It is enlightening and worth reading. The preface of the treatise written by Dr. Muhammad Abdul Sattar Khan of Osmania University provides an account of the biography and accomplishments of the learned author. This is an added charm to the beauty of the book.
Saeed Ahmed Akbarabadi
12 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 13
Seven Couplets from Qasidah Burdah
1. Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the leader in both this
and the Next worlds, of men and jinn and of Arabs and non-Arabs.
2. He is Allah’s beloved and his intercession is hoped for all the calamities befalling one.
3. He is ahead of all the Messengers in his birth, nature and conduct. They cannot vie with his knowledge and nobility.
4. They all are drawn towards him as a sip of water from a river or a rain drop from clouds.
5. His accomplishments, both inward and outward ones, reached perfection and the Creator of the universe took him as His favourite.
6. He does not have anyone equal unto him in his virtues and his excellence is not shared by anyone.
7. One should exalt and glorify him as much as he can. O Allah! Shower Your special mercy and blessings on him.
Introduction
By Dr Mawlana Muhammad Abdul Sattaar Khan Naqshbandi Qadri, Ex- Professor of Arabic, Jamia Osmania, Hyderabad, AP.
(All praises and thanks be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon our leader, Muhammad and upon his descendants and companions and all those who follow and love them!)
By Allah’s grace India has produced a number of illustrious scholars in all eras, who have championed the cause of faith, knowledge and guidance. Among the Ulama of this century, who through their words and deeds, spread the mission of truth and reformed fellow human beings, Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi holds a prominent position (May Allah extend the ambit of his benefit and let people gain from his gnosis). He has devoted his whole life to knowledge, academic work and training and guiding people. Doing so, he never sought name or fame. Rather, he has been single mindedly pursuing these causes only for the sake of Allah. Outwardly he is a simple, unpretentious person. Yet inwardly he is graceful, lustrous and has profound personality that leaves lasting impact.
Trust in Allah has been his main trait, as in the case of all devout servants of Allah. He leads contented life in isolation. In view of his scholarship, breadth of knowledge, sound views and his graduation from Jamia al-Azhar, he could get any lucrative assignment. Yet he preferred to stay at his ancestral seminary, Khanqah Shah Abul Khair. (1) He retains the virtues of the classical
14 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Ulama in his dedication to knowledge, his simple life and his
contented life style.
He hails from the branch of that illustrious tree (family lineage) for which Hazrat Khwaja Bairang Baqibillah Quddisa Sirruhoo has said in his Saaqi Naamah:-
(This whole lineage is of pure gold. This entire house is the sun by itself.)
Hazrat Khwaja Baqibillah wrote in his letter 65 (Ruq‘aat-e- Khwaja Baqibillah) about Hazrat Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alf- Thani and his children:
“Offspring of that shaikh who are minor, are secrets of Allah. In a nut shell, they are sound lineage”. Further he states, “They are spiritual servants of the door of Allah and keep astonishing hearts”
By Allah’s grace, the spiritual master Baqi’s supplication in favor of his Sirhindi devotees was granted and so even after four hundred years approximately we see the members of this family admirably serving the cause of faith and scholarship. Allah willing, this will continue until the Last Day, as the blessed progeny of Imam Rabbani will keep benefiting the Muslim community.
“Many of like us got ruined; you & your place may remain with peace”
Shah Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi gained his early education from the Ulama of Delhi under the supervision of his father, Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abul Khair. He was then enrolled in Madrasa Abdur- Rabb and studied there under the guidance of Mawlana Abdul Wahhaab, Mawlana Hakeem Muhammad Mazharullah and Mawlana Mahboob Ilahi. His teachers of Hadith were: Mawlana
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 15
Abdul ‘Ali Meeruti, and Mawlana Muhammad Shafi, son-in-law of Mawlana Mahmoodul Hasan. He studied word by word Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Sunan Ibn Majah from the former and Jame‘y Tirmidhi, Sunan Abu Dawud and Sunan Nasai from the latter. He finished his studies under the supervision of such accomplished teachers and scholars.
His keen interest in studies took him to Jamia al-Azhar, Egypt, along with his younger brother. During his four years stay there, he studied fiqh (Islamic laws), usool-e-fiqh (Principles of Islamic laws), tafsir (Detailed Description of Holy Quran), Hadees {(Hadith: The wordings, the teachings, the routine of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)}, mustaleh hadees (Principles of Hadith), tawheed (monotheism), nahw & sarf (Arabic grammar), ma‘ani (Faith), bayaan (rhetoric), badee‘a (Arabic literature) and mantiq (logic). He passed his course with distinction. Furthermore, he was conferred asnaad-e-hadees (Certification of Hadith) by al-Syed Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sannausi, Syrian Hadith scholar Sheikh Badr al-Din Damishqi, another Hadith scholar from the west, Al- Syed Muhammad Abd al-Haee al-Kittaani Al-Maghrabi, Allama Mohammad Bakheet al-Muteei al-Hanafi and Sheikh Muhammad Habibullah Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sheikh Mayaabi al-Shinqeeti.
Shah Zaid Farooqi took to writing after his return from Egypt. Each of his writing is marked by originality, depth of understanding, breadth of scholarship, insights and fresh interpretations. It is hard to discuss all of his works, so mentioned below are some of his important writings:
  1. Al-Asaanidul-‘Aliya m‘a suwarish Shahadah (Arabic, unpublished)
  2. Al-Khairul Mazid fi ‘Irabil Ayah wa Kalimatit Tawheed. (Arabic, unpublished)
  3. Al-Qawlus Sani fiz Zabb ‘anish Sheikh ‘Abdil Ghani
    (Persian, unpublished)
16 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
  1. Al-Hujjato fi Masalatil Lahiya wal Qubdha (Persian,
    unpublished)
  2. Bazm-e-Khair Az Zaid Dar Jawabe Bazm-e-Jamshed
    (Urdu, published)
  3. Majmu‘a-e-Khairul Bayaan (Urdu, published)
  4. Manahijus Sayr wa Madarijul Khair (Persian, published).
  5. Taqweem-e-Khairi (Urdu, published).
  6. Risalah-e-Khairul Maqaal fi Rooyatil Hilal (Urdu,
    published).
  7. Masala Dhabt-e-Wiladat (Urdu, published).
  8. Manhajul Alibba fis Salaam ‘alal Anmbiya war Ridha ‘anil Awliya (Urdu and Persian, published).
  9. Risalah-e-Wahdatul Wujood (Urdu, published).
  10. An-Nabaqaato minat Tabaqaat (Arabic, unpublished).
  11. Maqaamaat-e-Khair. It is an 800 pages long, voluminous work, containing an account of author’s forefathers up to Hazrat Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alf- thani i.e. author’s tenth great grandfather; and their caliphs, disciples and their children. It covers the profile of author’s father Shah Abul Khair Mujaddadi Farooqi in detail. This work is in Urdu and has been reprinted thrice.
  12. Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya awr Unke Ham Asr Ulama: This is his outstanding work. Shah was gracious enough to grant us permission to publish it in Hyderabad. At the last of this introduction, I would discuss below some of its features. (2) (This English translation is of the same book)
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 17
Hazrat Shah Zaid is also gifted with a fine taste of poetry in Urdu, Arabic and Persian. His poetry is marked by natural spontaneity, free from affectation. About his poetry he states: “I do not have a very keen or deep interest in poetry. Nor am I well-versed with its rules. I have not been anyone’s disciple in composing poetry. It depends purely on my mood. If I am inclined towards saying something in verse, I do so. That is why for months I do not compose even a single couplet. (Maqaamaat-e-Khair p. 764)
Some of the couplets in these three languages are mentioned below as a sample:
Sample of his Arabic poetry: In Shimla, one person turned apostate. This incident threw sorrowful impression on his heart and he uttered following couplets:
What happened to that person that he turned away from his religion (Islam) even after superiority of Islam was revealed to him?
And, will the true religion be given up? No, by God, it’s his ignorance.
Is this appropriate to compare Islam with rest of the religions as the top can never be similar to the bottom in any reference.
Allah is pleased with Islam as He states in the Quran.
 It is appropriate to be proud of following this religion, which is incomparable.
Sample of his Persian poetry: Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan read through “Qadyaani Mazhab” by renowned scholar Mawlana Ilyaas Barni:
(Though, there have been many prophets. I am not lesser than any one in Divine Knowledge.)
(He, who has given to every prophet in his cup, has given me full cup.)
(Certainly, I am not less than any one among all of them. Who ever says, the false, he is abominable.)
Unintentionally, he uttered many stanzas out of which few are mentioned below:
3. (You have become unbeliever and apostate (too) for the sake of wealth. For which you are wandering from door to door and from one quarter to the other.)
4. (O Slave, There is no (big) sin after infidelity. Undoubtly, this is the true phrase, listen carefully.)
5. (At the first most you claimed of having inspiration. Then came the divine revelation of London in front of you.)
6. (Iblis (demon) is your inspirer and Europe became your revelatory. You filled your cup with their wine and also the jar.)
7. (You made the dust of their door collyrium for the eyes and being slave, you have put the collar of curse in your neck.)
8. (So that the Saplings of the unbelievers may get root in the Country of India. It may grow and flourish.)
Furthermore he delivered few more couplets and concluded his poetic answer as under:
9. (If somebody deny, I would say to him. How far you would argue and have this discourse.)
(O the slave of Qadyan listen what I say : there is no other than you in the world who is abominable.)
(You, the stupid fellow, became the enemy of Islam. You are giving your life for the unbelievers and also your self-respect.)
10. (Read Qol o Fel* and Qadyan Mazhab. So that you may know about these two just witnesses.)
* Qol-oFe'l and Qadyan Mazhab are the names of two books by Mawlana Ilyas Barni
11. (If, even after that you deny, I would say to him. Be off, go away from me, because you are ugly natured.)
12. (You have became apostate and unbeliever. Your hands may perish The Curse of God, The Truth, be always upon your head.)
* Sura LAHAB (No. 111)
Shah Mawlana Abu Sa‘eed Mujaddedi (sajjada Nashin Khanqah M‘asoomi Rampur) cousin brother of Shah Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi, sent a letter to latter from Ranikhet (Uttranchal). He entitled this letter as “Kooh-e-Fikr” (Mountain of thought), it has 283 couplets. As soon as Shah Abul Hasan Zaid read through this letter, he composed 340 Persian couplets in just four days. Since the numerical value of word “Qamar” in Urdu is equal to 340, he entitled this set of poetry as “Qamar bar Kooh-e-Fikr Tulo‘o Namooda” (The moon arose above the mountain of thought). Few of the initial couplets of this set of poetry are mentioned below
(The colourful and sumptuous letter has come. It is difficult to describe its attributes.)
(This has been fully versified, from beginning upto the end. It presents the bunch of the pleasant coloured flowers.)
(His verses are lustrous like the pearl. They are two hundred eighty three in number.)
(Who ever reads them gets full enjoyment. The Fjr* is the final word of all this discourse.)
* The numerical value lies in the word "Fjr", i.e., two hundred eighty three. (According to Urdu numerical)
(With the numerical value of word “Fjr” (i.e., 283) the number of the verses became known. From its three letter Fjr* three languages got perceived.)
* Fjr has three alphabets. It gives the indication that the poem is said in three language ie, Arabic, Persian & Urdu.
(Most of them have been written in Urdu (Language). Less than that are in Pahlavi Language.)
(Verily, I praise God (Almighty) The Most Holy. I applaud the leader of " Lou-Laak"*
* (Lou-Laak : The world would not have been called out of non existence. This has been called out for the sake of the Prophet).
(A few verses are in Arabic. Bravo! The bay of his ideas/ thoughts is (still) in the state of playfulness.)
(In sweetness, it is more sweet than the candy. In deliciousness, it is more pleasant than the water of life.)
(In its flow it is better than the water of the stream. In its meaning very beautiful and very nice.)
(Why his poem should not be sweet and unmatched,WhenIts composer is similar to the Sun.)
(Chaste in nature, pleasant in conduct and of high origin. He belongs to the chain of genealogy of his holiness Hazrat Umar caliph.)
(His tenth ancestor was Shaikh Ahmed, the pole of religion. Certainly he was the revivalist of religion in the second millennium.)
(His fourth ancestor made Delhi his dominate. He, whose name became the ultimate fame.)
15. (God Almighty made all of his ancestors wise. He is auspicious and his name is Abu Saeed.)
I am neither eloquent nor much aware of poetics but looking at the delicacy, charm and fluency of Shah Abul Zaid’s poetry, it is evident that his poetry carries all virtues of higher level of poesy.
Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan Zaid has also composed poetry in praising Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Ghani Mujaddedi, for whom Mawlana Zakariya (sheik al-Hadith, Mazahir al-Uloom Saharnapur) gave following titles:
“al-Imam al-Hafiz al-Hujja, Masnad-e-waqtihi, Abu Haneefa ‘Asrihi wa Bukhari Dahrihi”.
[Ref: Introduction of Aujaz al-Masaalik]
In the linage of Hadith teachers, Sheikh Abd al-Ghani is the

sheikh (teacher) of hadith for Mawlana Zakariya through two stages. Sheikh Abd al-Ghani was born in 1234 H, Delhi and passed away in 1296 H, al-Madina al-Munawwara (Jannat al-Baqi). He was real brother of Shah Ahmed Sa‘eed Mujaddedi who was the great grandfather of author (Shah Abul Hasan Zaid).
Some of the couplets are mentioned below so as to make our readers aware of the virtue of his poetic sample. He says:
(How I can mention the qualities of Shah Abdul Ghani. He is the leader (Imam) and the spiritual guide (murshid) of the city of the Prophet.)
(In privacy, he had the Glorious Qur'an in the house of his heart. He recites that every moment with pity.)
(That pious man learned away the reins of his courage. He studied the sciences of religion actively.)
(He enjoyed studying the traditions of the Prophet. He obtained many high degrees (in that subject.)
(Since his childhood, he had his object to be seeker of God. The eye sight of Godly persons has much effect.)
(By his effort in a short span of time. He found boundless favours of God, the Lord.)
(He obtained permission from the unique person (i.e., spiritual guide). He received the caliphate from the spiritual guides of the exalted rank.)
(He was the perfect man in the commands of Islamic law (Shariat). He was the single perfect man in knowing the secrets of the mystic Path.)
(Every moment his tongue was busy in remembrance of Allah. His heart was illuminated with the Divine Light of the creator.)
(All the time, his foot was on the path of obedience. All the time, his ears were fully ready to listen the word of God.)
(All the time, his lips were engaged to recite "Glory be to Allah." All the time, his eyes were fully attentive to behold the view of the Dear one (i.e., God Almighty.)
(Neither he spoke, nor took any measure nor did he listen. Nor he looked at, if he did not see in that the Will of God.)
(Apparently his body was made of clay. But, his inner self was fully built of the pure Divine Light.)
(ThinkofthathowfarisHind(India)fromTayyeba,theholy city of Madina. Felicity was the supporter and the fortune stood before (him).
(He travelled all the ways, all over the mountains, plains and seas. He felt comfort at heart, by reaching the gate of the Prophet.(P.B.U.H)
(Howfortunatehewas,thathespenttheretwentyoneyears. He resided there free from cave with the peace of mind.)
(Sometimes he was busy in remembrance of Allah and some times teaching the revealed book (i.e., the Glorious Quran). Sometimes he had discussion regarding the traditions (Hadith), sometimes producing the evidence and doing rectification.)
(In this way he spent his life there. He trained many people who were unskilled.)
(When the period of ife came to an end.Th angel(of death) brought for him the cup of red colour.)
(He took that colourful cup with thousands of pleasure / great pleasure. He sacrificed immediately his sweet life.)
(He drank the wine of the union of the Beloved, the dearest one. He became the sultan of the continent of eternity.)
(Blessings on him, on this felicity to him. Happiness on him on this generosity upon him.)
(Is it possible that the eye can see in the passing world such
a man of action and such a God knowing perfect man?)
(Is it possible that the mother of the dust gives birth to such a true speaking the Truth seeing and such a chaste person ?)
(Is it possible that in the garden of instruction there blossoms any other flower with such delicacy?)
(If every strand of my body,becomes tongue. The description of which one of his qualities can be given.)
(His wonders and virtues are countless. He was in Light of God from his head to the feet.)
(Our regards to his soul every moment. O Allah! may your blessings be upon him every moment.)
(O Allah, what ever favours that you shown. Entrust upon him, the wonders in abundance.)
(From that bounties, give me a single draught. From that Divine knowledge, bestow upon me a single glance.)
31. (Have a look of benediction, so that my heart becomes pleased. Zaid, (The Poet) has the affection of your friends.)
Shah Abul Hasan Zaid has got this passion of love & affection for Hazrat Shah Abdul Ghani in heritage and he has fully showcased the same in his poem of 41 couplets. In addition to faith, we find culmination of thought, power of speech, enthusiasm & smoothness in this poem. He has displayed his talent in choosing lexis in a way that ultimately correlated its art of speech & meaning; and altogether made it as a magic.
While discussing about his father Hazrat Shah Abul Khair in his book “Maqaamaat-e-khair”, Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan Zaid has written two couplets as under:
(O dear, you are the remover of evil from my soul. O dear, may all my belongings be sacrificed upon you.)
(Come for a moment in the sanctury of the heart. My both the eyes may spread like the carpet on your way.)
He has well described his inner passion and utmost emotions in the aforesaid couplets.
Some portion of his Persian poetry entitled as “Ashk Haa-e- Gham 1377” in 32 pages, has gone through publication. This humble servant (Prof Abdul Sattar Naqshbandi) has presented some portion of Hazrat Shah Abdul Ghani’s poetry, from this book only. Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan Zaid has also composed Shijra Sharifa Naqshbandiya Mujaddediya in Persian which is exemplary in itself.
Samples of his Urdu poetry: His Urdu poetic collections Nazm Shamail and La aali Manzoomah have been published. In the former he has provided an account of his father, Shah Abul Khair also. Here is the translation of some of his couplets:
Here is the account of that devout figure, who restrained the bad desires.
The one who drank the wine of ecstasy and forfeited his ego; he revived the heart by giving the antidote.
We still cherish him, though he is gone after having imparted a unique taste of gnosis.
He made us stand on the right path and trained us well in Islamic laws & principles (Shari‘ah).
He endeared himself to everyone through his teaching, training and mentoring.
Helped us in disregarding all others than Allah and imprinted indelibly the concept of Allah on our hearts.
He transformed the heart of this humble servant as a place of Allah and then decorated it with the (Divine) luminosity.
Our chest got filled with the light of monotheism when he gave us the lessons of gnosis.
He taught us new lessons and showed the talent of his depth.
10. He enlightened our Lataaif i.e .senses of zikr with his attentive power; which purged our raw hearts.
11. He taught us much and did us many favors in an appealing way.
12. We enjoyed much his company.Regrettably,he left us and we miss him sorrowfully.
13. Darkness is bound to envelope the age as the light of his guidance is no more.
We bring to mind his unique personality. Now, who is there to recall the hidden traits?
Thanks to his amiable attention, which filled our hearts with the remembrance of our Lord
Friends! How should I describe him? Recalling him, I remember Allah.
This is the sign of saints, as told by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Though pious destitute, he was a blessed person. Even emperors were fan of his destitution.
Whoever became his slave; rose to great heights then why should he look for the shadow of Huma to gain the worldly needs.
He was of immense benefit to every one and he himself became a treatment for numerous human beings.
Don’t consider him like elixir only; as elixir itself can be sacrificed under his feet.
How he left us!may our being is sacrificed on him.Everyone is in deep mourning.
How can we get that panacea! Once the tavern lies in ruins.
The scene is altogether changed: that cup, that bearer that drink is no more and there is no cry of ecstasy amid the seekers.
Neither there is extreme pain of spiritual love(raqs-e-bismil), nor the noise of rivals. There are no miracles of his decent characters.
That cry of Hu is heard no longer,which unraveled the secrets of the heavens and subterranean world.
He used to pass by the divine throne swiftly,moving the staple of blessed pious doorsill.
His above description of the marvels of his father is indeed unique. Apart from being his son, he had close spiritual, emotional relations with him. The above account is therefore free from affectation, exaggeration and any show of passions. On the contrary, it is characterized by sincerity of purpose, meaningfulness, originality of thought, deep personal touch and elevated thought.
In my modest opinion, La aali Manzoomah is his masterpiece in Urdu. Below is the paraphrase of some of its couplets:
  1. 1)  O’ Allah! there is no equation between the contemptible handful of dust (of which man is made), and the Extreme Elevated and Pious Place.
  2. 2)  Your Divine Mercy has been so kind that it elevated him and gave him the glad tidings of wasilah i.e. intercession.
  3. 3)  The intercession (Wasilah) enables man to rise above and empowers him to speak in front of you.
  4. 4)  Wasilah lets man reach the heights which are not accessible even to angels.
  5. 5)  A worthless servant came to Your Door, you may accept him with Your Intercession (tawassul).
  6. 6)  With the Intercession (tawassul) of all the Excellent Names and Tremendous Characters (accept the humble servant)
  7. 7)  With the Intercession (tawassul) of Eminent & Great Names, (O’Allah) listen to our supplication with Your Mercy!”
    These introductory couplets are followed by the description of Naqshbandiya Mujaddediya order. Shah, then records his moving supplication: 
  1. 1)  I invoke the wasila of such pious servants of Yours,
    who were wholly devoted to You.
  2. 2)  Whose chest brimmed with love for You, whose hearts turned anxious with enthusiasm.
  3. 3)  Every pore of their bodies re-echoed with Your remembrance, day & night their tounge engaged in Your Dhikr (remembrance).
  4. 4)  Every particle acclaimed You as Almighty Lord, affirmed that you are the Only True God, without a partner.
  5. 5)  They used to apply peculiar affect on the hearts, strangely imprinting Your Holy Names.
  6. 6)  They used to guide everyone with the kindness on the Path, with their special attention they showed the Destination.
  7. 7)  Their preaching was effective on Lataaif (the points of the human body which accepts the effects of Dhikr- e-Ilaahi), everyone used to go towards his extreme points (Mowtan).
  8. 8)  They preached the truth to the world and glorified Your Exalted Name.
  9. 9)  They were Your selected servants, O’ The Creator. This shameful entity is associated with them (those noble souls).
  10. 10)  Though I do not have any good deed to my credit, my only hope is my association with them.
  11. 11)  On their intercession, this humble servant raises the hand for supplications, O Gracious!
  12. 12)  I make my supplication with utmost humility and modesty, Your Merciful Door is open for everyone.
 There is no refuge other than Yours’. Your bounties
nourish everyone day and night.
14) You are the Lord and accomplish everything. Everyone is Your servant and You are Gracious to everyone.
15) Your being is self-subsisting while everyone is dependent upon You. Everyone, big or small, seeks Your help.
16) You keep bestowing Your Bounties all the time and on everyone, the ruler and the poor, gets what he wants
17) Your Grace sustains the entire universe. O the Kindest One! Listen to my supplication.
Next to this supplication are the sections: “Invocation” (Du‘a), “the extreme circumstances” (Ahwaal-e-Uzma), “the great intercession”(Shafaat-e-Kubra), “intercession by Messengers and saints” (Anbia aur Aulia ki Shafaat), “Prophet Muhammad, being the mercy unto the worlds” (Rahmatul-lil-Aalameen), “gratitude to Allah” (Shukr-e-Ilahi), “the perfect mentor” (Murshid-e-Kamil), and “master for the Holy path”(Pir-e-Tariquat).
What he states under the last section (The guide to the way) represents the axis of his thoughts and presentation. It goes without saying that couplets composed in fervor and ecstasy are generally very inspiring and delightful. This is the why that this section has become a tremendous example of passion & true thoughts. According to him, man’s supremacy consists in his inner passion. He further states:
1) 2) 3)
Love for the mentor is the way for the destination, which reaches the court of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
Whoever is fully devoted to his mentor, got included in the list of true devotee of the Prophet
Whoever has overflowing love for the Prophet (peace be up on him) is indeed protected from the Hell 
Who suffers from the fire of (Devine) love, can not be included in the Hell
The chest which gets wounded with love, can not have fear of the (Hell) fire
May Allah’s consistent mercy be upon those, who are killed in sincerity (Qateel-e-wafa), they are destined for a place in paradise
After having outlined the author’s life and works, let me now focus on the present work. In August 1973 while I was on an official visit in Delhi, I went to meet Hazrat shah. He was kind enough to let me know about his works, including the present one. I submitted to him that it will be privilege of his admirers in Hyderabad to publish it out. Graciously he granted me permission. My friends and I stand indebted to him for his favor.
I am indeed sorry that the production of this work took too long. Copy-writers are responsible for the delay. I apologize to both Shah Saheb and readers for this. I also seek Allah’s forgiveness. May Allah pardon me!
(O God! My heart is grieved with the burden of sins, the soul is lamenting, the heart is pierced and soul-heart (jegar) is full of blood.)
(Though, my sins are beyond the limit. Your forgiveness is more than my sins.)
It is a truism that man seeks glory, power and superiority. Given a chance, he may lay claim to even divinity. He wants to dominate over fellow human beings. Therefore, Allama Iqbal states about this:
Human is a hunter of human species
There is hardly any individual who does not suffer from this weakness, be he a ruler or academic, businessman or artisan, Hadith or Quran scholar or philosopher but exceptions may be there. Deterioration of heart and soul are the root cause of all these bad habbits & behavioral illness. Therefore, Allah has accordingly prescribed the purification & control over desires as the panacea for man’s success in both the worlds. The Quran pronounces this
This excellent poem concludes on this note:
  •   Lord! Let me maintain my love for my revered saints, let every one have love for the Prophet (peace be upon him)
  •   O Lord! Grant me deep communion with you and bless me with Your pleasure
  •   The senses of Zikr should get initiated with your Holy name, every pore of my body should be devoted to You
  •   Let us not fall in to any error or lapse, there should not be any shortcoming at any stage
  •   This should be my life-long mission and I should die in the same state.
  •   Although I am wrecked with sins, this thought keeps me going
  •   O Zaid! don’t get feared as (our) mentor is Shah Abul Khair, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the intercesser and Allah is the Most Merciful.
    It is evident from the above that these couplets have emanated from the depths of Shah’s heart and articulate his lofty and inner most thoughts. These are not marred by any pretence or affectation. He expresses faithfully what strikes a chord in his heart. Little wonder then that his poetry is deeply moving and spell-binding. His poetry stands out for this feature.
    --------------------------------
    Brief about this Book

truth “one who purges his soul attains felicity and conversely, one
who fails to do so, stands damned”. (92:9/10)
My affectionate teacher, Mawlana Abdul Bari Nadwi in his work, Tajdid-e-Talim wa Tabligh states: “The truth is that the correction of inner etiquettes, came to be known as tasawwuf, is the essence of faith. Without this one cannot forge any spiritual or inner proximity with Allah and one’s faith tends to be almost soulless or lifeless. Mere faith does not draw one to Allah.” (p. 65) otherwise, general tendency of human is :
(Where there is the Odour of God See the people they come with haste.
His advice was that one should join the company of the pious for developing in himself the true spirit of faith. Hence, the nobility & superiority of Prophet’s Companions (Sahaba) was due to accompanying the prophet (peace be upon him). He points out in the above work of his: “For spelling out this ideal Islamic principle of company, I urge that the study of paper books on Islam must be supplemented by reading the live noble, pious persons i.e. accompanying them. Without this one cannot gain the spirit of either humanity or faith.” (p. 310).
“The true faith is evolved by the company of noble, pious persons rather through books or colleges or wealth.”
In his book al-Munqiz min al-Dhalal, Hujjat al-Islam Imam Ghazali contends: “In privacy such truths were unraveled to me, which are hard to describe. I state below only what may benefit others as well. I have the conviction that Sufis are the special leaders of the true path; theirs is the best conduct; theirs is the straightway and their morals are the most virtuous.... This is so because all of their actions, both outward and inward ones, are after the Prophet’s pattern. And his is the only light on the planet

earth which may guide one. What can be said about the way, of which the first and foremost principle is that the heart should be cleansed of all else other than Allah. Its other main tenet is the immersion of the heart into the remembrance of Allah. It is as crucial to Sufi order as takbir tahrimah is to Prayer. Its final stage is that one should merge wholly with Allah, the Supreme Lord.”
In his Riyaz al-Hukm fi Ma‘arif al-Qidam, (3) Shah Muhammad Ma‘sum Naqshbandi Mujaddadi Makki brings home thus the significance and rationale of tasawwuf:
On being requested to explain Ehsan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “You should worship Allah in a way as if you are watching Him. If this is not possible, you should, at least, think that Allah is watching you.”(4) I (Shah Mohammad Ma’sum) state that this Hadith constitutes the crux of tasawwuf. It is therefore obligatory on everyone to seek knowledge and to act upon it. One’s act is not accepted, unless it is done with a sincere intention. Allah says, “All worship is for Allah alone” (Zumar 3). Ehsan represents the means to attain sincerity towards Allah and without cleaning one’s heart one cannot act sincerely. Sufis stand out as a band of people, engaged wholly in purging their heart and self. There are certain norms and rules of this exercise, represented by various dhikr, supplications, spiritual exercises, strive and mediation.”
That is why the Quran plainly warns that the man’s reall loss is the loss of the Last Day rather than the loss & sufferings in this materialistic world. It further declares that on the Day of Judgement, purity & virtue of man’s heart alone, will avail him,
not his wealth or children. “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail” (Ash-Shu’ara:88). The Prophet (peace be upon him) too, clarified the same truth in warning man eloquently against the corruption of his heart; on it depends man’s entire fate. Be aware of that, it is yout heart.
Hasan Basri is cited in Sunan Daarimi thus: “There are two varieties of knowledge – one of which is related to the heart and this is beneficial kind of knowledge. The other one is linguistic, which Allah has conferred on man as clinching evidence.”
How beautifully Mawlana Rumy has cited this :
(If you put knowledge in your heart that would be your friend. If you put the knowledge upon your body, that would be serpent.)
My distinguished teacher and mentor, and the jurist of the day, Mawlana Abul Wafa Afghani, former Chairperson of Majlis Ihya al-Ma‘arif al-Numania, Hyderabad, made an insightful point in explaining Verse 69 of Surah al-Ankabut which reads as follows: “As for those who strive in Our cause, we shall surely guide them to Our ways. Indeed Allah is with those who do well.” His contention was that since even in minor Jihad against unbelievers, one is obliged to fight under the leadership of Imam, the major Jihad waged against man’s own self cannot be properly or legitimately launched without pledging obedience to some leader or master. A perfect Sufi Sheikh alone could be such a leader or master. One may attain the purgation of the heart under the supervision of his spiritual master.
On studying even cursorily the 1400 years long Islamic history it emerges that such community reformers and leaders achieved success in guiding the Muslims, who had worked under the care of their spiritual masters. The guidance radiated by them illuminates us to this day. In contrast, those who neglected the inner self
development and had no relation with Sufism did commit lapses, though they were outstanding scholars in their own right. Furthermore, their carelessness led the future generations to behave more irreverently & erroneously and they had the audacity to revile saints and even Messengers of Allah. Same holds true for Ibn-e- Taymiyya and his ilk. Here is Mawlana Manazir Ahsan Glani’s estimate of Ibn-e-Taymiyya in his Maqalat-i Ehsani (pp. 339-340): “In some of his works Ibn-e-Taymiyya has criticized Imam Ghazali, charging him with an unsuccessful attempt to disentangle himself from philosophy. Although Ibn-e-Taymiyya is a towering scholar and I am fully alive to his greatness. Otherwise my impression is that almost same holds true of him as well. Unconsciously his mind was caught up by the law of cause and effect.”(5)
One of the elders, Mawlana Abul Wafa Afghani has thoroughly studied and greatly appreciated the work of Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan on Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya; hence there is no need for me to give any modest opinion on this well deserved work. In his words: “Hazrat Abul Hasan has written it in the light, illuminated by his heart and reached perfection. No one else can write in such a lucid, comprehensible way.”
Mawlana Abul Wafa did not live long to contribute a full length review. Ibn-e-Taymiyya has differed with Ulama on 98 issues. On 39 issues he had abandoned consensus view (Maslak-e-Jamhoor) of majority of Islamic scholars. Its details appear in the work under study. Let me conclude my piece with recounting the stance of later centuries Indian Ulama and spiritual masters on visiting graves.
Even before Ibn-e-Taymiyya, some persons had declared the act of undertaking a journey for visiting a grave as forbidden. While relying on their views Ibn-e-Taymiyya declares that the same holds true in case where one intends to visit the graves of Messengers or of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan has stoutly refuted this view, with the help of
arguments. In vindicating his stance he has quoted the opinion of Allama Ibn Hajr ‘Asqalani, Allama Qistalani, and Shah Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlavi. Cited below are the opinions of Hazrat Shah Waliullah Dehlavi and Mawlana Zakariya in order to warn readers of the serious lapse committed by Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya. May Allah protect us from this!
Towards the end of his life when Shah Waliullah wrote his will, he made this point very strongly amid others: “It is inevitable for us (Muslims) to visit the two holy mosques and to rub our faces at these shrines. It will be our felicity. In an otherwise case it will be our misfortune and wickedness, if we disregard the above.” He recounts his own experience that he gained immense benefits while keeping the complete attention towards the Prophet near his shrine in Madina Munawwarah (Anfasal-Aarifin). The details of such spiritual gains have been featured at length in his Fuyuz al-Haramayn. One should better go through it for finding out what he gained there. In this work he declares: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself guided me to the path of sulook and trained me with his blessed hands. I owe everything to him and I am his direct disciple (Owaisi).”
In a dream Shah’s father, Shah Abdur Raheem has been granted two hairs by the Prophet (peace be upon him) out of his blessed beard. Shah Waliullah states that his father had received these in the state of wakefulness, and had been in his father’s custody for a long time. When it was time for the distribution of relics, he got one of those hairs. (Anfas al-Arifin P-41)
Shah Walliullah’s son Shah Abdul Aziz has explained one of the features of his work is that “After meditation (Muraqaba), he (Shah Waliullah) used to record whatever he saw in his divine inspiration (Kashf)”. (Malfoozaat P-40)
So, for the blessed persons, this is the status of Prophet’s holy grave (Raudha-e-Munnavara) and the status of Prophet Himself,
 May numerous blessings be upon the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Let us now study Mawlana Zakaria’s stance on visiting the Prophet’s grave:
While it is proven that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is alive even after his death inside his grave, calling on him now is similar to visiting him when he was alive. Allah speaks of those who emigrate from their homes towards Allah and His Messenger. As people migrated to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in his life time, after his death too, the same command is in force.” (Aujaz al- Masaalik P-364)
Shah Waliullah’s and Mawlana Zakariya’s above statement point to the errors in Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s stance. He is at fault on all such issues. Readers will get a fair picture of his stance after reading this work.
By Allah’s grace, I am fully confident that it is a sound, authentic, informative and ground-breaking book on this subject. This book, the first of its kind, has thus filled a gap which had been felt for a long period. It will act as a guide for those who place premium on the values of justice, honesty and moral courage.
Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan concluded his work with a gracious supplication. Let me conclude with the same invoking:
O our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who embraced faith before us. Let us not have any grudge against those who believe. O our Lord! You are Most Lenient, Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Messengers and all praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
21 Shawwal 1395H Muhammad Abdul Sattar Khan 27 October 1975. Naqshbandi Qadri

Preface
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and peace and blessings be upon our leader, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and his household and his Companions, and all those who follow them well until the Last Day.
The twin holy cities of Makkah and Madinah fell to the people of Najd in 1342H/1924 and since then a number of works have been published about Allama Hafiz Ahmad Taqi al-Din Ibn-e- Taymiyya Hanbali Harrani thumma Dimishiqi. Prior to this, Ulama and noble souls were not pleased about the mention of Ibn-e- Taymiyya. My father, Hazrat Syed Shah Muhi al-Din Abdullah Abul Khair Farooqi, Mujaddadi Dehlavi never discussed Ibn-e- Taymiyya, Ibn Hazm and others of his ilk. He had no interest in their writings. His affectionate and kind teacher, and the younger brother of his ancestor, Muhhadith Dar al-Hijrah, Shah Abd al- Ghani was the teacher of Syed Ahmad Hasan Arshi Qannuji, brother of Syed Siddiq Hasan Khan. The latter gave the following documentary advice to the former:
“It is obligatory on him (Syed Ahmad Hasan Arshi) to follow in the footsteps of the noble servants of Allah, the way of Sufis, sound jurists and the Hadith scholars who are on the straightway, unlike Ibn Hazm and Ibn-e-Taymiyya .”
I have noted that now every writer tries to outpace others in projecting the glorious contributions of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Everyone seeks to prove his stance as superior to of all others. In view of the earlier practice of noble souls and that of today’s writers, thought I should ascertain the truth. I decided to study first classical writings and then the recent ones and to state the truth as it dawned on me. I studied the following classical writings:
1. Risala Rad ala Ibn-e-Taymiyya fi Khabr al-Jihat byAllama Shahbauddin ibn Jahbal Kulabi (d. 733H).(6)
2. Risala Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab and Risala al-Nasiha al- Dhahabiyah by Allama Dhahabi (d. 748H).
3. Miraat al-Jinan by Imam Yafi‘i (d. 768H).
4. Travelogue by Sheikh Sharf al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abdullah
popularly known as Ibn Batutah (d. 770H).
5. Tarikh al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah by Allama Hafiz Ibn Kathir Dimishqi (d. 774H).
6. Al-Durar al-Kaaminah by Allama Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani (d. 852H).
7. Risala Radd al-Wafir ala man za‘ma anna man samma Ibn-e-Taymiyya Sheikh al-Islam Kafir by Allama Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Nasir al-Din al-Shafai (d. 842H).
8. Al-Qawl al-Jali fi Tarjuma Sheikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya al-Hanbali by Allama Safi al-Din Hanafi Bukhari.
9. Al-Kawakib al-Durriyyah fi Manaqib al-Imam Ibn-e- Taymiyya by Allama Sheikh Mara‘i Hanbali (d. 1133H).
10. Shadhrat al-Dhahab by Allama Ibn Imad Hanbali (d. 1089H).
I have consulted the following recent works also. 1. Ibn-e-Taymiyya by Ustadh Abu Zahrah Misri.
  1. Hayat Ibn-e-Taymiyya by Ustadh Muhammad Bahjat Baytar
    al-Dimishiqi
  2. Hashiyah Ustadh Abd al-Samad Sharafuddin on Majmua‘ Tafsir.
  3. Ibn-e-Taymiyya : Batl al-Islah al-Dini by Muhammad Mehdi Istanbuli
  4. Tazkira by Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad
  5. Maqalat-i Ihsani by Mawlana Manazir Ahsan Gilani
  6. Dawat wa Azimat, vol. 2 by Mawlana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
  7. Imam Ibn-e-Taymiyya by Dr Muhammad Yusuf Kokan
  8. Hayat Sheikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya by Mawlana
    Ataullah Hanif Bhojyani Lahori. 
The leading Ulama, however, did not approve such extreme views of Qaazi Akhnai Maliki and Allama Ala al-Din Bukhari. On this issue Allama Hafiz Shams al-Din Ibn Nasir al-Din Shafai wrote Risala Radd Wafir. He collected the opinions of 86 Ulama who hold Ibn-e-Taymiyya in esteem. He then asked Hanafi, Maliki and Shafai Ulama to contribute introductions to his work. The first such introduction is by Allama Ibn Hajr Asqalani Shafai and the fifth one by Allama Ayni Hanafi, who has to his credit the gloss over Bukhari’s Hadith collection. All these Ulama refuted the extreme viewpoint on the issue and concluded that Ibn-e-Taymiyya is one of the outstanding scholars of Islam. He was not an unbeliever. Nor is one calling him Sheikh al-Islam to be branded as an unbeliever.
The above work does not deal with Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s unconventional views. This does not mean that these scholars accepted these views of his or that they have described him as superior to Imam Abu Hanifah or Imam Malik or Imam Shafai. They have refuted Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s stance and pointed out his errors in their works/books.
In his gloss over Bukhari’s collection, Fath al-Bari (III, 53), Allama Ibn Hajr Asqalani states the truth thus:
“In sum, these people, in view of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s view that undertaking a journey for visiting our master, the Prophet’s grave is forbidden, considered Ibn-e-Taymiyya as unbeliever. We do not approve all these. Explaining the position of both the parties on the issue is quite lengthy. It is one of the absha’ rulings of Ibn-e- Taymiyya.”
Although Bhojyani presents his work as the Urdu version of Ustadh Abu Zahrah’s, in view of his liberties, charges and additions, it should be better considered as an independent book.
Farjullah Zaki Kurdi has published in 9 volumes the following: Radd Wafir, Qawl Jali and Kawakib Durriya in 1329H. All these three works speak highly of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. No doubt, Ibn-e- Taymiyya had many virtues and strengths. His critique is needed as he crossed all limits in expressing his stray views. He even went to the extent of disallowing the visit to the holy grave of Allah’s beloved Messenger, leader of Messengers and our leader and intercessor, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was then that under the leadership of Qaazi Taqi al-Din Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr Akhnai Maaliki, eighteen Ulama declared Ibn-e-Taymiyya as unbeliever, deserving to be killed on account of these unfair rulings. After a hundred years when there were differences between Asharites (Asha‘ira) and Hanabalites (Hanabila) in 835H, Sheikh Ala al-Din Bukhari stating that whoever calls Ibn-e-Taymiyya as Sheikh al-Islam is an unbeliever.
46 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
In Muntaha al-Arab absha’ is defined as something odious,
of foul taste which hurts the throat on eating.”
Qawl al-Jali and Kawakib al-Durriya have been written with the same objective. However, the former’s author, Allama Safi al- Din al-Bukhari, after citing his stance on visiting graves, asserts that Ibn-e-Taymiyya committed a serious error on this issue.
(7) I am neither a follower nor opponent of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. I take Muslims as the best people evolved for mankind. The Prophet’s observation is: “My community is like rainfall; it cannot be said which part of it is blessed, the earlier or
the later one.”
Ulama and spiritual masters will keep appearing among the Muslim community until the Last Day who will be a class unto themselves. I am firmly persuaded of the distinctions of the great Imam, Imam Abu Hanifah and conform to his rulings. I believe these Imams have been a source of blessing and goodness for
Muslim community. They acted on the dictum:
“Make it easy; do not make it complicated.”(8)
So doing, they opened the way for the community. Imam Shafai observed:
“Allah will not take to task for the issues on which Ulama have differed”.
Since the Imams have deduced their rulings from the Quran and Hadith. They articulated it to the best of their understanding. Their rulings certainly have validity in Shariah and will ensure our deliverance.
As to the issues on which Ibn-e-Taymiyya has digressed from the mainstream viewpoint, away from the ruling of the four Imams, I am quit of these and detest his stance on visiting graves.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 47 In Suyuti’s Jame‘y Saghir there features this report cited by
Muslim and Abu Dawud:
“Keep people in their place.”
One should not try to turn the superior one into an inferior

one or vice versa.
I studied the above mentioned 19 works and have stated the truth in this book which was dawned on me. The title of this work is:
“Ibn-e-Taymiyya and his Contemporary Ulama.”
This title implies also the year of its composition i.e. 1387H. And Allah alone is to support and help.
22 Jumadi al-Awwal 1387 29 August 1967
Abul Hasan Zaid Farooqi Dargah Hazrat Shah Abul Khair Shah Abul Khair Marg, Delhi-6
Allama Taqi Al-din Ahmad Ibn-e-Taymiyya
Birth: Monday 10 Rabi al-Awwal 661/29 January 1263 in Harran.(9) Death: Night before Monday 20 Dhi al-Q‘adah 728/4 October
1328 in Damascus.(10)
Condition in Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s Day
Ibn-e-Taymiyya was born in Harran. It was a traumatic period for Muslims. In 620H Sheikh Najm al-Din Raazi wrote his Mirsad al-Ibad, of which the opening part relates at length the barbarity and beastly acts unleashed by Tatars: “In a single town, which is the birth place and abode of the writer, at least 700,000 people are estimated to have been killed and arrested. What these accursed invaders have wreaked upon Muslims can hardly be described.” He invokes the help of other Muslims:
“O Muslim rulers! Rush immediately so that you may get some of Islamic faith here. Islam is in danger while you are neglectful. Unbelief (Kufr) has established itself in the world while you are lost in your slumber.”(11)
Five years before Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s birth, in 656H Tataris had captured Baghdad, the Muslim capital and killed the Abbasi Caliph Abu Ahmad Abdullah al-Must‘asim bi Allah and his children. For
full forty days they caused violence and bloodshed in Baghdad, resulting in mass killings. Allama Abul Fazal Kamal al-Din Abd al- Razzaq al-Fawti, a leading historian of the day, has discussed at length the calamity in his al-Hawadith al-Jamia.12) According to him, “800,000 people were killed in Baghdad. It does not include those who died because of drowning in wells and rivers or those who died of hunger and thirst as they were left helpless in their homes and basements”. In his history, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah Allama Ibn Kathir has put the casualty figures from 800,000 to 2 million.(13) Allama Ibn al-Imad in his Shadhrat al-Dhahab describes the figure as 1.8 million.(14)
On one hand, Muslims were embroiled in this calamity and on the other; the European Christians had waged Crusade wars in Egypt, Syria and Palestine. Allah caused the birth of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi for checking the latter menace.
Politically it was the period of nadir for Muslims. Yet Muslims excelled in scholarly fields. It is evident from Siraj al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Himsi’s Qasidah Baaiya which is a tribute for Ibn-e- Taymiyya. It is affirmed in its couplet No 21
“In Syria alone at the time of Ibn-e-Taymiyya there were seventy distinguished jurists of Islam”.
Thus Ibn-e-Taymiyya was born in the golden period of Islamic learning.
Upbringing and Education
While Ibn-e-Taymiyya was 6 years old, Tataris captured Harran. His father Allama Abul Muhasin Shahab al-Din Abd al- Halim Ibn-e-Taymiyya moved along with his family to Damascus. As he was a scholar, he was appointed Sheikh al-Hadith in Dar al-
50 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Hadith Sakariyya. He was Hunbali, and got expertise in knowledge and education from his ancestors. Ibn-e-Taymiyya studied religious subjects thoroughly at the feet of his father and other leading Ulama. His area of special interest was Hadith and studied several times Musnad Imam Ahmad. He copied many sections of Hadith collections. Likewise, he paid special attention to grammar, theology and philosophy. He had amazing memory and never forgot what he had learnt once.
Even as a child he was keenly interested in polemics. As he came of age, he took Ulama to task and criticized earlier scholars severely. Since his was a family of scholars, he inherited a rich collection of books, which helped him much. Even before turning 20 he took to issuing religious decrees (Fataawa). After his father’s death, he was appointed as a teacher in his place, at the young age of only 21 years.
Excellence and Features
In Radd Wafir, Qawl Jali and Kawakib Durriya his excellence has been spelled out in detail. In Urdu, glowing tributes have been paid to him by Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad in Tazkira and by Mawlana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi in Dawat wa Azimat (Vol.II). True, a scholar recognizes the virtues of another genius.
Since the above mentioned Arabic works have been written with a specific objective, one may assume these contain an exaggerated account of his. It is nonetheless true that Allah had adorned him with many excellent traits such as memory, knowledge, piety, fear of Allah, devotion, contentment, perseverance, boldness, observance of Sunnah, eschewing any innovation in matters of faith, assertion of the truth, readiness for Jihad, seeking Allah’s pleasure in upholding the truth and avoidance of this-worldliness. These are some of traits sincerely acknowledged by even those who have written works against him. Let me first mention Allama Subki on this count.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 51 Allama Subki
Qaadhi al-Qudhat Allama Taqi al-Din Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Abd al-Kaafi Subki Shafai has written two tracts on the issues of visiting graves and divorce. Both of these are masterpieces of research and deep scholarship. He had thoroughly studied Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s Minhaj al-Sunnah which is the refutation of the Shia author Hussain Ibn Mutahhir’s Minhaj al-Karama fi Marifa al-Nadama. Though Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s is a brilliant work, at places he has rejected certain authentic Ahadith. On this point Allama Subki has composed some very good couplets in which he has criticized Ibn-e-Taymiyya for this.
“Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s refutation of the Shia fanatic is a remarkable. For it turns the tables on the Shia author. However, both are guilty of rejecting certain authentic Ahadith.”
Although Allama Dhahabi differed with Ibn-e-Taymiyya on several minor and major issues, he did not like controversy or confrontation. He wrote a letter regarding Ibn-e-Taymiyya to Subki, to which the latter responded thus.
Allama Subki’s Writing
“My master (Allama Dhahabi ) has written something about Ibn-e-Taymiyya which is a testament to his own greatness, his vast scholarship embracing both transmitted and innate knowledge, his brilliant intelligence and his qualities which are beyond description. I have always acknowledged the same and hold him in great esteem. Allah has bestowed upon him much excellence in terms of his piety, truthfulness, stand for the truth, his commitment, his conformity to the ways of his noble ancestors. Such a scholar is indeed rare.”(15)
Subki has been very fair in his judgment. He has acknowledged the greatness of Ibn-e-Taymiyya and spoken of him as a rare genius. Yet he has refuted Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s errors. In doing so, Subki appears to have followed the Hadith which says that one perfects his faith whose love, dislike and criticism are for the sake of Allah alone. (16) He discharged his duty in pointing out the errors of a scholar and in declaring the truth.
Allama Dhahabi
Another towering scholar of this golden period is Allama Shams al-Din Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Dhahabi. In his Shadhrat al- Dhahab (17) Allama Ibn Imad has mentioned 63 of his (Allama Dhababi) writings, saying that there are many others besides these. Ulama have spoken highly of his genius in the following works: Radd Wafir, al-Qawl al-Jali, al-Kawakib al-Durriya and al-Durar al-Kaamina. Undoubtedly, Dhahabi seems to be swayed in praising Ibn-e-Taymiyya and he notes only good in him. Yet he did not follow Ibn-e-Taymiyya in any of the controversial matters.
Dhahabi was fully devoted to Hadith studies. He sought ijazah for Musnad Imam Ahmad and for some of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s writings. In terms of the chain he has mentioned Ibn-e-Taymiyya as well. In view of the same, some chroniclers speak of him as Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s disciple, which is not correct. Many among Hadith scholars have sought permission, or taken it from their
student, or at a later date, yet it does not make them a disciple or student of that person. Such persons are rather known as Mujeez (One who permits for somthing) or Majaz (One who is permitted for something).
Allama Dhahabi ’s Writing
Mawlana Azad contends (18): “Dhahabi felt short of words in
admiring the genius of Ibn-e-Taymiyya and finally said:
“He holds such an elevated status that I can hardly describe it. By Allah, were I to say on oath near Kaba between its one of the corners and Maqam-e-Ibrahim, I did not see anyone like unto him. Nor did he himself find anyone equal to him, my oath would be true. My testimony should suffice for you.”
At another place Dhahabi writes:
“His command over Sunnah studies and his ability to deduce arguments and evidence from the same is remarkable. Even this may be said: If a Hadith is not known to Ibn-e-Taymiyya, it is not Hadith. However, such breadth of knowledge befits Allah alone.”
I didn’t see any one like him
While describing the accomplishments of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, many Ulama of the day are seen saying in exclamation:
“Neither I saw anyone like him, nor he saw anyone like himself”
Mawlana Azad appears to have been impressed much by this description. However, it was more used as a proverb. It is difficult to say as to when this expression was introduced. It has been in circulation for centuries. Sheikh Warqa and Sufiyan Thawri were contemporaries and died in 161H. Ibn Imad cites the Sheikh Warqa’s tribute to the latter (19)
“Thawri did not see anyone like him”
Ibn Kathir has quoted Abu Thawr’s use of the same regarding

Imam Shafai.(20)
“Neither we saw anyone like Shafai nor he saw anyone like him”
Ibn Rajaa employed it for Imam Ahmad.(21)
“Neither I saw anyone like Ahmad nor I saw anyone who has seen anyone like him”
Allama Ibn Hajr Asqalani reproduces the same as used by Ali Madini for Imam Bukhari.(22)
“Indeed he did not see anyone like himself”
Initially this expression may have carried its literal meaning. Later on, it was used for praise in general. Dhahabi is very generous in using such expressions. He has used the above for both Ibn-e- Taymiyya and Hafiz Mazi. Ibn-e-Taymiyya belonged to a period of academic excellence and there were many great scholars. Hence, its use for him is not surprising.
 Hafiz Zumlakani
He was of Dhahabi ’s era, as pointed out by Allama Ibn Kathir. While Ibn-e-Taymiyya was around 30 years told, Hafiz Zumlakani wrote about him (23):
“Combined in him are the conditions of ijtehad. He is good at presentation, writing and compilation.”
In one of his writings he composed the following couplets in praise of Ibn-e-Taymiyya:
How one can praise him while his qualities are beyond praise.
He is like an overwhelming evidence form Allah and a marvel among us.
Among creatures he is an evident sign and his light is as radiant as of dawn.
Allama Abu Hayyan
28 years before his demise when Ibn-e-Taymiyya was only 39 years old, Allama Abu Hayyan spoke of him as a leading scholar, adding
“My eyes had not seen anyone like unto him.”
He composed the following six couplets in his praise:
As Ibn-e-Taymiyya approached us; we realized that he is a caller from Allah, without a counterpart.
His face has a radiance which illumined the Prophet’s Companions. Even the moon pales before his glow.
He is a towering scholar of the day and like a sea that scatters pearls.
He champions the Prophet’s Shariah while Muzar had disobeyed.
He declared the truth when it was not owned by anyone and checked evil while it raged everywhere.
We used to speak of the advent of a great scholar, he is that promised scholar.”
40 years. It was the period of youth for both. It is in this period that one is more prone to praising oneself and discrediting others. As this phase was over and Ibn-e-Taymiyya turned older, his admirers started turning hostile to him, one after another.
Kawthari’s Account
An illustrious scholar author of several books, Allama Muhammad Zahid ibn al-Hasan Kawthari states in his Zaghlul Ilm wa al-Talab (24):
Why there is a complaint?
In Radd Wafir there are opinions of 86 Ulama, praising Ibn-e- Taymiyya for his contributions. Nine eminent scholars have written their introductions to it. Some of them regard Ibn-e-Taymiyya as an authority on Hadith while others elevate him to the position of carrying out ijtihad. Some brand him as the promised scholar whereas others think that his qualities are too innumerable to be counted.
These Ulama acclaimed Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s genius when he was not even forty years old. Most of his admirers were also less than
“The truth of the matter is that one group of Ulama acted hastily in praising Ibn-e-Taymiyya and in forming his coterie. It then became hard for them to recant their position. On the other hand, Ibn-e-Taymiyya kept crossing limits in his unconventional views. Such views of his are common knowledge by now. So Ulama too, took to distancing themselves from him. There came a time when Jalaal Qazwini, Qawnavi and Hariri, among others, could not bear it any longer. Even Dhahabi moved away from him, though for a long time he had tried to pacify Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s opponents. He tried his best to salvage Ibn-e-Taymiyya out of this mire. These points are well known to his students. May Allah pardon what is past”!
Kawthari refers to Qaazi al-Quzzat Jalal al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rahman Qazwini Shafai (d.739H), Allama Ala al-Din
Ali ibn Ismail ibn Yusuf al-Qawnavi al-Shafai (d.729H) and Saif al-Din Abu Bakr Ibn Abdullah Hariri (d.747H). Regarding Qawnooni, Allama Ibn Hajr Asqalani says 25):
“Allama Qawnavi used to respect and defend Ibn-e-Taymiyya, though they had divergence of opinion on certain issues and he held Ibn-e-Taymiyya at fault. It is said that the king al-Naasir appointed him Qaazi and told him that on reaching Damascus he should ask his deputy to release Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He asked him the grounds on which he was arrested. The king replied: “On the basis of his religious decrees.” He replied: “If he recants, we will set him free.” According to Ibn Hajr, the above reason accounts for the long imprisonment of Ibn-e-Taymiyya.”
Custom of Chroniclers
Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s biographers trig to justify all of his actions, including his unconventional views. They also seek to belittle the Ulama who oppose Ibn-e-Taymiyya. So doing they disregard that the same Ulama for years had heaped praise on Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Mawlana Azad has declared “contemporary” (Mua’asirat) as the reason of academic conflicts among Islamic scholars(26). One’s contemporaries are, no doubt, an irremediable calamity. Mawlana Azad rightly states as other Ulama have also pointed out:
“If we open this door and go by the opinion of contemporaries,
 no one will be safe, including the leading Companions and
Successors.”
Let us identify whether some of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s contemporary Ulama opposed him on account of professional rivalry or other reasons. Let us ascertain also whether they are guilty on this account or not.
We note that Ulama of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s day respected him sincerely and paid glowing tributes to him, of which there is no precedence. Mawlana Azad himself has described how warmly Dhahabi portrays him. Such pious and devoted persons could not turn into enemies overnight. To the best of my knowledge no such incident on the part of Ulama has ever taken place that they praised someone in his youth and condemned him in his old age. Had it been the case of an individual, it could be attributed to his professional rivalry. But in this case all of them behaved in the same manner.
About Allama Qawnooni, Ibn Hajr says (27):
“Ibn Jumlah called on Qawnooni and spoke ill of Ibn-e- Taymiyya. He replied in Turkish: He does not understand Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s writings.”
The same Qawnooni told the king that if Ibn-e-Taymiyya recanted his unconventional decrees, he will set him free.” Ibn-e- Taymiyya did not disavow his views and was not released. Ibn Hajr further says about Qawnooni(28):
“He was a kind, principled person who adhered to the truth, always dispensed justice, was keen on acquiring knowledge and was soft spoken.”
He has then described his commitment to scholarship. Could he be accused of personal animosity in not having freed Ibn-e- Taymiyya?
Mawlana Azad says regarding Allama Abu Hayyan (29): “After praising Ibn-e-Taymiyya, he did not enjoy his company. On some grammatical issues he cited Seebawayh. Ibn-e-Taymiyya, however, insisted that even Seebawayh is at fault in that particular instance regarding the Quran. He added that Seebawayh was neither a Prophet of grammar nor infallible. This enraged Abu Hayyan and since then he turned hostile to Ibn-e-Taymiyya until the end of his life.” Asqalani says: “It was reckoned as an unpardonable crime. This explains his dismissive reference to Ibn-e-Taymiyya at a place in his tafsir.”
Asqalani’s above account features in his description of Ibn-e- Taymiyya in the opening part of Durar al-Kaamina. He discusses Abu Hayyan in the fourth part. On that point he writes (30):
“Abu Hayyan used to hold Ibn-e-Taymiyya in esteem, praised him, and wrote a eulogy in his praise. Later, he turned hostile to him and in his brief Tafsir al-Nahr he has always discredited Ibn- e-Taymiyya. It is reported that its reason was that Abu Hayyan discussed with Ibn-e-Taymiyya some issues of Arabic grammar. The latter made some uncharitable comments about Seebawayh which hurt him and he broke his ties with Ibn-e-Taymiyya. It is also said that he had studied Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s Kitab al-Arsh and charged him with anthropomorphism.”
In the first part of Durar al-Kaamina Asqalani quotes Abu Hayyan thus (31):
“Abu Hayyan said: “I had a heated discussion with Ibn-e- Taymiyya and cited Seebawayh. Ibn-e-Taymiyya dismissed him (Seebawayh). It was then I decided that this person is not worth- talking to.”
On studying the whole account it emerges that Abu Hayyan developed a negative view about Ibn-e-Taymiyya after the latter’s harsh comment on Seebawayh. Moreover, on studying Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s Kitab al-Arsh he realized that Ibn-e-Taymiyya subscribes to anthropomorphism. Owing to these reasons he turned so hostile to Ibn-e-Taymiyya that in 734 H when he heard from Ibn al-Muhibb, his own couplets in praise of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, he told him:
“I have deleted these from my collection and do not recall these with any happiness.”
Abu Hayyan made these comments six years after Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s demise. It was not a trivial issue for him.
Reasons of Hostility
It goes without saying that it was the period of academic glory. Ulama loved Ibn-e-Taymiyya out of truth and praised him lavishly. We have already noted Subki’s letter to Dhahabi . Even if Ibn-e- Taymiyya excels all the scholars in his accomplishments it does not entitle him to reject any authentic Hadith. In his Minhaj al- Sunnah Ibn-e-Taymiyya stands guilty on this count. Allama Subki has criticized him on the same ground, though subtly. Likewise,
 Ibn-e-Taymiyya maintains that Ahadith do not specify any divorce
during menses. On this Asqalani exclaims (32):
“May Allah have mercy on him. He is ignorant of the reports featuring in Imam Muslim’s Sahih.”
Same holds true for his stance on visiting graves. He writes (33):
“Hadith scholars unanimously maintain that all of these are weak, rather fabricated. No leading Hadith scholar has given credence to these.”
However, he himself concedes that Imam Bayhaqi’s Hadith which he has cited on the authority of Shaddad ibn Aws, is an authentic report. The same has been quoted by Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Mardawiyah, Bazzar and Nasai.
How could Ulama bear with such misconduct? At one place Allama Dhahabi concedes the point:
“He behaved strangely with regard to Sunnah and to deducing inferences from these. As to the assertion that what is not known to him as Hadith, is not Hadith, rather extreme knowledge is for Allha only.” (34)
And the same Dhahabi compelled to say:
“I wish the Ahadith featuring in Sahihain (Bukhari & Muslim collections) had not been tampered by you.” (35)
Hafiz Zumlakani spoke highly of Ibn-e-Taymiyya when he was around 30. His fulsome praise is recounted up to this day. However, as Ibn-e-Taymiyya turned old, the former developed a strong dislike for him. Mawlana Azad comments on this (36): “Zumlakani too, opposed Ibn-e-Taymiyya strongly. On both the occasions he was the chief polemicist. Hafiz Ibn al-Bilqini informs that it was only Zumlakani who spoke in the debate with Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Ibn Hajr opines:
“Zumlakani displayed his severe hostility against Ibn-e- Taymiyya and strove to torment him.”
Almost the same may be said about Allama Athir al-Din Abu Hayyan. He praised Ibn-e-Taymiyya 28 years before his death and bestowed all sorts of honorific titles upon him in extolling him. Then he turned so hostile that he deleted his couplets in Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s praise from his collection and remained hostile to Ibn- e-Taymiyya even after his death.
Al-Durar al-Kaamina
This work is by Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani. It has been published from Hyderabad, Deccan, India. The first part of this work (pp. 144-161) contains an account of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. The first six pages are devoted to incidents and his biography. He points out that the opposition to Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s views came out first in Rabi al-Awwal 698H when a group of jurists protested against some of his Hamwi edicts.
Since Ibn-e-Taymiyya was born in Rabi al-Awwal 661H, it emerges that the opposition began when he was 37 years old. Since these controversial edicts are related to articles of faith, this serves as the starting point. Ibn Hajr then cites praises and mistakes
of Ibn-e-Taymiyya from the writings of Ulama and this description
runs into several pages.
Amid his qualities which won a wide acclaim were his scholarship, depth of knowledge, sharpness of answering, command over all the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, refutation of innovations, readiness for Jihad, piety, fear of Allah, boldness and other virtues. It is gratifying that no one has denied any of the good qualities of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. However, it is observed that his supporters tend to suppress his unconventional views and his erroneous interpretations. Nawab Syed Siddiq Hasan Khan and some Ulama from Najd are instances in point. With the same design Jila al-Aynain was published. As a result, those who study only Radd Wafir and then Jila al-Aynain think that there is no one like unto Ibn-e-Taymiyya among Ulama, which is not true. For the same consideration, some of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s unconventional views, as appearing in Ibn Hajr’s al-Durar al- Kaamina are recounted below:
described in no time could not be covered even in hours by others. He appeared to be in full control over all the subjects. He made his own selection. On noting his skills and his all-embracing gamut, his supporters extolled him, which induced pride in him and he thought himself superior to others. He developed the idea that he has become an independent muslim theologias/thinker (Mujtahid). Accordingly he took to criticizing both recent and classical Ulama. No one was spared, including even Caliph Umar, whom he criticized as someone at fault. When Sheikh Ibrahim Riqqi came to know about it (37) he condemned Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Ibn-e-Taymiyya called on him, sought apology and repented. However, later he charged Caliph Ali with seventeen mistakes, including the opposition to what the Quran apparently says. He cited the ruling regarding the longer waiting period for a pregnant wife. Owing to his opposition to Hanbalism Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to criticize Asharites and even reviled Imam Ghazali, which enraged some people so much that they were about to kill him.” (p. 153).
“Ibn-e-Taymiyya referred to Hadith nuzul and then stepped down two stairs of his pulpit and said like my stepping down likened thesametoit.Thatiswhyhewaschargedwithanthropomorphism. He denied the Prophet’s agency as the medium for intercession.
“Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to deliver sermons from the pulpit, which were admixtures of tafsir, jurisprudence and Hadith. In a compressed manner he discussed Quranic verses, Ahadith and various topics. What he
He was sent from Damascus to Cairo in Ramadan 705H.” (p.
154).
“A group has the opinion that Ibn-e-Taymiyya was after annexing religious leadership. He relished the account of Ibn Tumarat. This explains why he was imprisoned for a long time. Such reports are fairly common that on being interrogated he referred to some far-fetched interpretation of things. He was a wise person who had many accomplishments.” (pp. 155-156).
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 67
he treated his detractors well, it would have brought about unity. For even his detractors recognized his genius and acknowledged his greatness. He was like a limitless ocean and a precious treasure. Yet his conduct is disliked. One’s tongue makes him popular or unpopular.” (p. 151).
About his brother, Sharf al-Din Abdullah Ibn-e-Taymiyya, Ibn Hajr says: “Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to hold him in esteem and reckoned him as a scholar of the day. In comparison to Ibn-e- Taymiyya, his brother Abdullah was more familiar with the ways of Ulama and scholars.”
Dhahabi ’s Zaghl al-Ilm
Allama Dhahabi has written this tract for students of religious studies, informing them of the benefits and harms of knowledge. While discussing Hadith sciences, he first praises Allah and adds that the following 14 scholars of the day value truly the significance of this subject Mizzi, Ibn-e-Taymiyya, Barzaali, Ibn Sayyid al- Nas, Qutb al-Din Halbi, Taqi al-Din Subki, Qaazi Shams al-Din Hanbali, Ibn Qaazi al-Quzzat Ibn Jamaa‘a, Salah al-Din Ibn al- Alaai, Fakhr al-Din ibn al-Fakhr, Amin al-Din ibn al-Wani, Ibn Imam al-Saaleh, Muhi al-Din Muqaddasi, and Syedi Abdullah Ibn Khalil.
About Shafai jurists he states:
“Whoever joined him and recognized his genius accused me of not estimating him properly. In contrast, those who were hostile and opposed to him charged me with partisanship in supporting him. Both the parties have hurt me equally, his supporters and his opponents.
I do not regard him as infallible. I differ with him on some major and minor issues. Notwithstanding his vast scholarship, his boldness & his insights and his concern for religious sanctities, he was after all a human being. During debates he behaved bitterly, angrily and harshly with his opponents which caused discord. Had
“In a debate do not seek name and fame, even if you are right. Do not discuss any issue about which you do not have conviction. Protect yourself against pride and arrogance, especially regarding your scholarship. You will be really fortunate if you are not held accountable on the count of your knowledge and you clear your account. By Allah, I did not see anyone more gifted and knowledgeable than Ibn-e-Taymiyya. His piety with regard to food, clothing and women and his commitment to the truth; and his readiness for Jihad are his unprecedented qualities. For years I tried to understand him and then gave up. Eventually, I saw the fate of his pride and arrogance, his immense lust for fame of being noble scholar and his habit of belittling the masters. People in Egypt and Syria took to hating him for all this. They rejected him and declared him as an unbeliever. This was the mischief of the tendency to assert oneself and of making tall claims. We seek Allah’s help and support.
Such persons rose to rejecting and opposing Ibn-e-Taymiyya, who were not very towering scholars. They did not excel him in his knowledge, piety and commitment. Allah did not impose them upon him in view of their better scholarship or piety. Rather, all this resulted from Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s own sins. Allah saved him and his followers from more severe hardship. You should not have any doubt about all this.”
While spelling out the principle of faith Dhahabi approves the way of classical masters and disapproves of that of the later date. He emphasizes that one of the good features of a person with Islam is that he disregards what is vain and trivial. He adds:
“If you gain mastery over the principles of faith and jurisprudence and also over its allied branches of logic and philosophy, and even the supernatural, you should be more drawn towards the Quran, Sunnah and the way of our masters. Even if you attain all this, including having mastery over all knowledge, you cannot reach the status which is enjoyed by Ibn-e-Taymiyya. By Allah, you cannot even get close to him. I know what Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s fate was. He was humiliated reviled and he was both justly and unjustly opposed and rejected i.e. He was branded as a liar, astray and unbeliever.
Before such behavior people regarded him someone with a glowing face, following in the way of masters. Later on, the same face turned in their sights as that of a misguided person. In the opinion of his detractors he was a fabricator, liar and unbeliever. According to discerning scholars, he introduced something new and was a scholar while in the estimate of his supporters, he was a champion of Islam who defended the principles of faith and revived Sunnah. This is the point I wish to convey to you.”
 Al-Nasihah al-Dhahabiyah
It is a letter which Allama Dhahabi wrote as an advice to Ibn- e-Taymiyya. Allamma Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari published it along with his tract Zaghal al-Ilm wa al-Talab in 1347H in Damascus. The letter by Dhahabi reads thus:
1. In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. All praise is for Allah alone. O my Lord! Have mercy on me in view of my weakness and humility. Pardon my lapses and maintain my faith.
O the agony I suffer on the loss of Sunnah and of those devoted to it. O my brethren who join me in my cry for faith. How badly I miss those treasure houses of knowledge, piety and virtues. What a pity there is no concern now for lawful earning or for a sympathizing brother. Fortunate is he who refrains from finding faults in others. Cursed is he who, while looking for others’ lapses, turns blind to his own errors.
2. How long will you engage in criticizing others while disregarding your own self? How long will you indulge in self praise and in speaking highly of your writings? How long will you be devoted to condemning Ulama and in finding fault with others? You know well the Prophet’s prohibition against it. He advised that we should speak only good of the deceased. They are destined to be recompensed for what they did. I know in your defence you will argue: “My criticism is against those who are unfamiliar with Islam and who do not understand the Prophet’s Shariah. Therefore I am engaged in Jihad against them”. By God! People do know what is good and if they act upon it, they will attain deliverance. They are unaware of unnecessary details. It is one of the features of Islam that a Muslim avoids what is trivial.
  1. O servant of Allah! Do restrain your tongue against us. Of course you are eloquent and loquacious. You cannot sit idle. Save yourself against the trials of faith, of too much interrogation and of hair splitting. The Prophet (peace be upon him) disapproved all this. Rather, he condemned one who indulges in all this. He is on record saying: “I fear against that member of my community who has duality of character and is loquacious.” Unnecessary talk about the halaal (lawful) and the haraam (unlawful) leads only to the hardening of the heart. What is the point in engaging with Yunusiya and philosophical text? These are manifestations of falsehood which turn the hearts blind.
    Note: (Yunusiya refers to the followers of Sheikh Yunus ibn-e-Yusuf Ibn-e-Musa‘id Shaybaani (d. 619H), of Mardin, Quniya. He was a pious spiritual master. Ibn-e-Khalqan has recorded his marvels. His followers are known as Yunusis. It seems that their followers got distracted from the true path. Allama Ibn-e-Imad has written in Shazarat-az-zahab- “May Allah do away with their evil!” Perhaps Ibn-e- Taymiyya wanted to eliminate their evils.
  2. By Allah! We have been reduced to a laughing stock in the world. How long will you engage in your philosophical hair splitting and how far we will keep refuting it with reasons? O servant of Allah! You have drunk deep the poison of philosophers & of their books. When we consume poison frequently, the body
 becomes habitual of it and it remains hidden in the
body.
Ah! my love for such blessed gatherings in which we used to reflect, on reciting the Quran, remembering Allah with humility and silent meditation. I miss those sessions in which the pious were mentioned. Allah’s mercy descends as they are mentioned. In contrast, Allah’s mercy does not bless those gatherings in which the pious are dismissed contemptuously.
6.
Hajjaj’s sword and Ibn Hazm’s tongue were the pebbles of the same pouch. You have adopted both of these. For Allah’s sake, leave us alone and also give up the meal of Thursdays as innovative. Be more careful about the innovation, which we regarded as the mother of all evil. Now the same (that innovation) lies at the core of monotheism. If someone is unaware of this (monotheism) he is an unbeliever (Kafir) and whoever does not regard him as an unbeliever is an unbeliever worse than pharoh. Even Christians are paraded as someone similar to us.
7. By Allah! I have serious doubts regarding you. If you die proclaiming your testimony to Islam, it will be your felicity. Ruined is he who follows you, because he makes himself vulnerable to the loss of faith and heresy, especially he who is weak in faith, lacks knowledge, follows his base desires and seeks greatness for himself. Such a person will be your associate both physically and verbally yet he will oppose you in his heart. Most of your followers are your yes men, foolish, ignorant, liars and dim-witted. Some of them are of foreign origin, deceitful or harshly pious fools. If you do not trust my estimate, find out about them. Judge them fairly.
9.
Is it still not time for you to recant? Is it not time for repentance and turning to Allah? You are in your seventies. It is time for the journey to the next world. By Allah! I believe you never think of death. Rather, you may mock those who remember death. I do not think you will pay heed to my advice because you are a spirited person. You may write volumes, refuting my (this) one page letter to you. You may keep thundering against me until I give in. Since you can treat me thus who is your sincere advisor, you can behave worse towards those whom you take as your enemy. I can say it on oath that among your enemies some are wise, scholars as well. Likewise among your supporters, however, there are wicked, deceitful, lying, ignorant and dim-witted persons.
How much more will you indulge in self praise? By Allah, you do not praise so much the standard Ahadith in the collections of Bukhari and Muslim. I wish you had not attacked these. All the time you are keen on proving their weakness or lowering their value or misinterpreting or rejecting these.
8. O Muslim! Desires seem to have overwhelmed you. How long will you consider yourself to be true and keep belittling the noble souls? How far will you follow this attitude while deprecating pious servants of Allah?
10. I am reconciled to your public reviling on the condition you act on my advice. May Allah have mercy on him who brings to my attention my weaknesses! I am a sinner, full of lapses. If I do not repent, I am doomed for destruction. Alas! I shudder at my disgrace before the One Who knows the Unseen. My only hope is His pardon, guidance and strength to me. All praise is for Lord of the worlds. May Allah bestow special blessings upon our leader, the seal of the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his household and his Companions!
Summary
Below are the salient points as emerging from the writing of Imam Dhahabi and Allama ibn Hajr Asqalani: Dhahabi says that he has divergence of opinion with Ibn-e-Taymiyya on both major and minor issues. Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to express much fury and wrath in debates. He was censured for his misconduct. He suffered from pride and arrogance and sought supremacy. He was given to belittling leading Ulama and sought their weaknesses. He used to reject authentic Ahadith. He was mired in philosophy. People humiliated him and declared him as the one in error. According to Dhahabi , it was his estimate while he was sincere to him, what to say of the opinion of those opposed to him.
In Durar al-Kaamina, Allama Asqalani states: Ibn-e-Taymiyya suffered from pride and he used to look down upon Ulama. He refuted even Caliphs Umar and Ali. He was swayed by Hanbalism
and condemned Asharites. He reviled Imam Ghazali, misinterpreted Hadith nuzul while speaking from the pulpit. He would descend to hair-splitting in a debate and was after acquiring religious leadership.
Dhahabi’s critique on Ibn-e-Taymiyya, be it positive or negative, is both first-hand and well-considered. Asqalani’s writing is taken from the writings of scholars, which he regarded as reliable.
Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s reviling of Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Raazi
In his account of the two sons of Sheikh Muhammad, Imam Razi’s grandson, Allama Ibn Imad Hanbali says (38):
“Allama Abu Zaid Abd al-Rahman and Allama Abu Musa Isa, sons of Sheikh Muhammad, had a polemical debate with Ibn-e- Taymiyya. Both of them overwhelmed him and this hurt Ibn-e- Taymiyya. Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to reject Imam Raazi. Allama Abu Abdullah Ayli relates on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Ibrahim Zannuri that in his presence Ibn-e-Taymiyya read out two of his couplets with the following import-
1. 2.
On reading Muhassil about the principles of faith it seems that the above work is without of any religious content.
Moreover, this work is a collection of error and white lies. Most of it must have been inspired by the devils.
78 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Zannuri adds that at that time Ibn-e-Taymiyya had a stick in his hand and he said it on oath: “Had I seen Razi, I would have thrashed him with this stick.”
Branding Sheikh Akbar as Devil
Dr Yusuf Kaukani points out (39): “Let this be borne in mind that Ibn-e-Taymiyya did not fear anyone as he reproached someone. He has serious differences with Sheikh Muhi al-Din Ibn Arabi, Imam Ghazali and Imam Raazi. On the issue of wahdat al-wujood he was so hostile to Sheikh Ibn Arabi that he used to label the later as the devil of the community. Such harshness was resented by those given to personality cult. Dhahabi’s statement that he was egotistic projected himself and belittled the authorities. However, he did not have any base motive behind such harshness. It was his extremism in the cause of the truth. Kaukani has given a cross reference to Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s Tafsir Surah al-Ikhlas, regarding the title of devil of the community.
Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s reviling of Sadr al-Din Qawnooni, ‘Afeef Talmisani and Ibn Sab‘ayn
Mawlana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi says (40):
While speaking of Sadr Rumi (Allama Sadr al-Din Qawnooni),

Ibn-e-Taymiyya maintains that
He is far away from Islam and Shariah.”
He then strongly refutes the stance of Talmisani and Ibn Sab‘ayn. He is opposed most to Talmisani,
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 79 “Timisani’s evil was the most serious one in the group and he
is immersed deep in unbelief.”
Religiosity and pronouncing the truth
Ibn-e-Taymiyya reviled many Ulama and saints. He has branded someone as the devil of the community and another as the wickedest of the group.
“He expressed his wish to have crushed the head of someone whom he thinks to be an associate of the devil.”
Imam Dhahabi and other noble souls were hurt by this forbidden act. Kaukani, however, brands them as the ones given to personality cult. For him Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s action amounted to the display of his religiosity and his stand for the truth.
This raises the question whether such conduct is to be condoned only in the case of Ibn-e-Taymiyya or of everyone. Whether the law of retribution will apply or not, if a fellow Muslim is killed under the pretext of religiosity,
Before Ikrimah, son of Abu Jahal embraced Islam the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised: “Ikrimah is about to accept Islam. Do not hurl abuses at his father. Reviling does not hurt the deceased;however, it offends his relatives. This was the Prophet’s stance regarding the worst enemy of Islam. Given this, what can be said about reviling saints and Ulama? The Quranic advice is: “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation and reason with them in the best manner possible.” (Al-Nahl 16: 125) Ibn-e-Taymiyya neither followed the Quranic nor the Prophetic advice. Consequently, even his associates parted company with him. Even Imam Dhahabi, his sincere friend, turned hostile to him. Had Ibn-e-Taymiyya acted on the Quranic and Prophetic guidance, even his enemies would have turned into his friends.
It amazes me that Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s supporters seek to justify Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s misdeeds. What is forbidden is forbidden, no matter who does it.
Allama Abdul Raoof Manaawi’s statement
Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to declare people as in error or unbelievers on the basis of unconfirmed reports. Ibn Imad has reproduced Allama Manaawi’s statement in this regard(41):
“He has recorded baseless charges (such as marrying one’s mother or daughter) against Afif al-Din Talmisani and his spiritual masters, Ibn Sab‘ayn and Sadr al-Din Qawanawi. No such belief was held by them. They, no doubt, subscribe to the view that the absolute being (Wujood-e-Mutlaqu) is Wajib-al-Wujood i.e, the being whose presence is indispensable. Their whole order rests on the same premise.
Someone contends that Afif al-Din has many works – one of these is a commentary upon Allah’s excellent names and the other is on Mawaqaf Nafzi and yet another on Fusus al-Hakam. Beside these, he has other works and a poetic collection.
Sheikh Burhan al-Din, son of Faashooshah Kutbi relates: “I visited Talmisani the day he died. I asked after his welfare.” He
replied: “I am fine. One who recognizes Allah does not fear. By Allah, since I have gained divine gnosis, I am not fearful. I am sanguine about meeting Him.”
This sincere, pious servant of Allah thus realized this life as a barrier to his meeting with Allah. He looked forward all along to the divine call: “O serene soul! Return to your Lord well-pleased, well pleasing (to your Lord)” (al-Fajr 89: 27-28). Accordingly he is ready for taking off his corporeal being in order to join his beloved for the last stage.
Someone with such pious, noble intentions cannot be discredited on the basis of some false assumptions. Has Imam Dahbi not reported in Zaghl al-Ilm wal al-Talab that Ibn-e- Taymiyya was dubbed a dajjal, fabricator and unbeliever? Will someone really consider Ibn-e-Taymiyya to be so, on this basis? Will it be appreciated by any sane person?
Contempt for Ulama
Ibn-e-Taymiyya treated both the classical and contemporary Ulama with disdain. Ustaadh Abu Zahrah reports that Ibn-e- Taymiyya declared Qaazi Akhnai as ignorant, accusing him of not possessing much knowledge (42). Since the latter had refuted Ibn- e-Taymiyya’s stance on visiting graves, Ibn-e-Taymiyya dismissed him as an ignorant person while writing his rejoinder to Qaazi Akhnai.
Among Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s contemporary Ulama there was an
illustrious scholar, Sheikh Safi al-din Hindi. Allama Ibn Imad relates (43):
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Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 83
“Allama Subki says regarding the teacher of teachers, Allama Safi al-Din Hindi Shafai that he is an authority on the school of Imam Abul Hasan al-Ashari and embraces all its principles and mysteries.”
The king summoned Ibn-e-Taymiyya in 705H from Damascus to Egypt regarding his decrees and appointed a committee of Ulama to serve notice for explanation to Ibn-e-Taymiyya. For days this committee interrogated Ibn-e-Taymiyya. One day it was chaired by Allama Hindi, who noted that Ibn-e-Taymiyya does not adhere to any stance. He therefore told him (44):
“You are like a bird, moving hither and thither.”
In other words, he did not take a firm stand on any issues. Ibn- e-Taymiyya has recorded this debate, as reproduced by Ustad Baytar Dimishqi in his work. Regarding Allam al-Hindi, Ibn-e- Taymiyya records this contemptuous observation: “He is big because of his robe and cloak.” (45) Since the latter was an old person, he was dressed thus. That is how Ibn-e-Taymiyya belittles him. He did this in the face of the Prophet’s saying (46):
“One who is not kind to our young and does not respect our elders is not one of us.”
Those who seek to cover up Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s misconduct under the pretext of his religiosity should think about his satire and sarcasm. Does its disapproval betray any personality cult?
As part of the record of that debate Ibn-e-Taymiyya writes (47):
“Whoever opposes my writing, I know better his thought pattern than he himself does.” In his al-Nasihah al-Dhahabi yah
Allama Dhahabi has referred to the same weaknesses in Ibn-e- Taymiyya, alerting him to the dangers thus: “How long will you indulge in self-projection, and praising your own writings while condemning Ulama?” He disapproved also “the gatherings in which the pious servants of Allah are reviled.”
Mawlana Azad’s Statement
Mawlana Azad studied critically Radd Wafir, Qawl Jali and Kawakib Durriya. He speaks adoringly of Ibn-e-Taymiyya and remarks(48): “Strangely even some scholars have committed incredible blunders. In his gloss over Aqaid Jalali, Mawlana Abdul Hakeem Firangi Mahli while discussing the constituents of the universes, primordial being and beingness has ascribed the idea of anthropomorphism to Ibn-e-Taymiyya and finally says that of Ibn Hajr’s Durar Kaamina and Dhahabi in history have refuted his (Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s) charge. It is not strange that some unconventional views have all along been attributed to Ibn-e- Taymiyya. His above contention is therefore based on Jawhar al- Munazzam and Mir-at al-Janan etc. What is indeed strange is the reference to Ibn Hajr and Dhahabi . We have already noted their contents. They speak of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s errors or his virtues. We do not seek to condemn anyone. Everyone is liable to err. We would nonetheless like to press home the point that the ambit of scholarship in India is very narrow and hence such errors came into picture”.
He continues in his Tazkira (49): “Leading scholars of Syria and Egypt have contributed their opening remarks to al-Radd al-Wafir. Among them are Ibn Hajr and Qaazi Ayni Hanafi, the commentator of Bukhari. The latter maintains: “Whoever denies the exalted status of the knowledge, actions, ijtihad and leadership of Ibn-e- Taymiyya is either insane or a perfect fool or a highly wicked person”. Asqalani’s opinion is not restricted to his foreword to
this work. In Durar Kaamina he pays glowing tributes to Ibn-e- Taymiyya. He has compiled the testimony of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s contemporaries regarding his excellence.
The praise in Radd Wafir and Asqalani’s and Ayni’s opening remarks sway Mawlana Azad so much that he noted only praise in Ibn Hajr’s Durar Kaamina, though Ibn Hajr has explained in Fath al-Bari as to why he wrote the opening remarks for Radd al- Wafir (50):
“In sum, some people take it as a command not to visit the Prophet’s grave, because Ibn-e-Taymiyya has decreed so. We disapprove this. It is pointless to delve into further details. It is one of the odious (absh‘a) opinions of Ibn-e-Taymiyya.” He uses the expression absh‘a, which is defined in Muntaha al-Arab as “food of bad taste which hurts the throat and torments the body.” In other words, it is one of the tormenting views of Ibn-e-Taymiyya.
We do not approve those Ulama who declared Ibn-e-Taymiyya as an unbeliever. Asqalani’s foreword to Radd Wafir does not absolve Ibn-e-Taymiyya of his error. Ibn Hajr states the truth in Durr Kaamina that Ibn-e-Taymiyya was a towering scholar, yet he had some moral vices and that he committed some errors. On same articles of faith his stance differs from that of orthodoxy. That is why he stands discredited.
Today Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s supporters try to vindicate his stance. So doing, they try to find something appealing or something new. They fail to match the old rigorous standards of research. They are no match to classical scholars.
 Allama Ibn al-Wardi
Allama Abu Hafs Umar Zain al-Din Ibn Muzaffar Shafai popularly known as Ibn al-Wardi was an admirer of Ibn-e- Taymiyya. On Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s death he wrote an elegy which is included in Kawakib Durriya, and is reproduced also in Nawab Syed Siddiq Hasan Khan’s Abjad al-Ulum. (51) The latter has related some account of Ibn-e-Taymiyya from Ibn al-Wardi’s history, of which the following extract is worth-considering (52):
He is too exalted for my description. I can say on oath inside Haram, between its corner (Rukn Hajr-e-Aswad) and the Prophet Abraham’s place, that I or he did not see anyone like unto him. He lacked politeness. He did not take sufficient caution. He was not of the ruling class and did not follow their way either. However, he got involved in such matters which neither the people of his era nor even their knowledge could bear. He thus strengthened the hands of his enemies. For example, on the issues of divorce during menses, he adopted a very odd stance. He was imprisoned several times in Egypt, Damascus and Alexandria. He rose to fame and had his fall. He clung to his viewpoint. May all this be expiation (Kaffara) for him!
Ibn Al-Wardi’s above extract should be studied carefully. He clarifies that there was no one like unto him in scholarship. He
makes a pointed reference to his strong views and that his imprisonment might be expiation for him. In other words, he committed lapses. Almost the same point is made by Allama Dhahabi in Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab: “The hardships on him are much more than those against Allah protected him and his followers.”
Hafiz Ibn Kathir
Regarding Allama Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr Ibn Ayyub Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziya, Ibn Hajr says (53): “It is a remarkable incident about Allama Ibrahim that there was a dispute between him and Hafiz lmad al-Din Ibn Kathir over teaching. The latter told the former: “You dislike me for being an Ashari (i.e. a follower of Abul Hasan Ash‘ari, Imam Ahl-e-Sunnah Wal- Jama‘ah).” The former replied:
“Even if there are hairs all over your body, no one will take you an Ashari. For Ibn-e-Taymiyya is your mentor.”
Let this be clarified Allama Ibrahim was a Hanbali and most of Hanbalis are not Asharite, since Ash‘ari word is also used (in arabic) for a person who has more hair; that is why Ibrahim said these wordings to Ibn-e-Kathir. About Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajr says (54):
“Ibn Kathir studied at the feet of Ibn-e-Taymiyya and was devoted to him. For the same reason he faced many trials.”
Ibn Kathir writes about his teacher, Ibn-e-Taymiyya (55):
“In sum it may be said that Ibn-e-Taymiyya was one of those illustrious Ulama who was, at times, in error and at others, was in the right. His errors in comparison to his righteousness are like a drop in relation to an ocean. His errors are pardonable. For it is recorded in Sahih Bukhari: “A ruler who exercises discretion (ijtihad) will get a double reward provided he is right. If he is in error, he will still get his reward.” Therefore, he will gain rewards. Imam Malik says: “Everyone is accepted or rejected on the basis of his opinions, except the one in that blessed grave i.e. the Prophet (peace be upon him). For all of his opinions are sound and worth- following. This privilege is special only to him.”
In the above brief statement Ibn Kathir, while recording his tremendous love for his teacher, Ibn-e-Taymiyya, concedes that committed laps notwithstanding being a righteous person. In citing Imam Malik he explains that what befell Ibn-e-Taymiyya was due to his tongue.
As to the Hadith cited by Ibn Khathir, it is related to rulings and their inference. It has nothing to do with reviling someone. A scholar may declare someone an unbeliever in view of his statements. Yet it does not entitle him to abuse someone or to brand him as the devil. Because these deeds got indulged in Huqooq al-Ibaad (Rights of fellow human beings) for which one will be taken to task. The adverse affect and harshness of these deeds cannot be covered up under the guise religiosity or fervour.
88 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama Allama Ibn Jahbal
Allama Shahab al-Din Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Yahya popularly known as Ibn Jahbal Shafai Halabi, of Damscus (d.733H) wrote the refutation of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s works, entitled: al-Radd ala Ibn-e-Taymiyya fi Khabr al-Jaht, which was also featured in Allama Taj al–Din Abu Nasr Abd al-Wahab ibn Taqi al-Din Subki’s Tabaqat al-Shafaiya al-Kubra (d.771H) (56). It emerges from Ibn Jahbal’s tract that Ibn-e-Taymiyya suggested the high-on (upward) direction for Allah. He has rejected this stance of Ibn-e-Taymiyya in an academic fashion. It deals well with the issues of istawa and nuzul. He quotes Ibn-e-Taymiyya saying that
“Indeed Allah is above the Throne”.
On this, in his Tarikh Dawat wa Azimat Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi states: “Fortunately, Sheikh al-Islam’s own independent tract on this issue is on record in which he sites the debate in Egypt, his imprisonment, efforts for his release and his refusal and the defence of his position. This tract throws light on many new, important points of which some are described below (57):
Ibn-e-Taymiyya did say that he asserted that Allah established Himself on the high above. (58) In his tract Ibn Jahbal says that the Quranic verse employing the expression istawa is a very good example and the people wrote the same verse at the gate of the mosque in Hamadan. There are numerous Quranic verses and Ahadith in which similar expressions are used for Allah. Leading Imams i.e. Maalik, Thawri, Layth and Awzaaee make a very balanced point about the use of
such metaphors:
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“These should be retained as they occur. These should be neither translated nor elucidated.” Imam Malik points out:
“We know well the meaning of istawa. Allah the Most Glorious is peerless. We do not know what is meant by His istawa. We believe in the words revealed to us, realizing that it is an innovation to probe such issues further.”
Allah is Self-Subsisting. The entire universe owes its existence to Him. If a particular spot or direction is earmarked for Him, He will be restricted to it i.e. He will need something to exist. Allah is too glorious to transcend all this. Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s statement is refuted at length by Ibn Jahbal in his tract.
Ustadh Abu Zahrah
It emerges from Ibn Hajr Asqalani’s Fath al-Bari (part 3), that the opinions prefacing Radd Wafir aim at refuting that Ibn-e- Taymiyya was someone in error or that he was an unbeliever. Rather, he was a great scholar, liable to err. Ibn Kathir also makes the same point that his lapses will be pardoned and he will be rewarded for his exercising ijtihad. However, some misinterpret the above work in the sense that Ibn-e-Taymiyya is that greatest scholar of all times. Ustadh Abu Zahrah states (59):
 on renewing the original teachings of Islam, free from conformity
or any neglect.”
After studying Radd Wafir and Jila al-Aynain some think that Ibn-e-Taymiyya is an unprecedented scholar of Islam. It is not proper to compare him with the four leading Imams because they were jurists, theologians, Hadith scholars and writers.
Muslim community has all along acclaimed the substantial scholarship of the four Imams and recognized their leadership. Their followers are likely to attain deliverance, subject to Allah’s mercy and grace. This may better be appreciated in the light of this blessed Hadith (60):
“Anas says: A coffin was carried and people spoke well of the deceased. The Prophet (peace be upon him) exclaimed: “Destined for him”. Another coffin was carried and people did not say good words about the deceased. The Prophet (peace be upon him) exclaimed: “Destined for him.” When Umar requested him to explain, prophet elucidated: “You spoke well of one and he is destined for Paradise. You spoke evil of another and he is destined to be hurled into Hellfire. You are Allah’s witness on the earth.”
A major flaw in Ustadh Abu Zahrah’s above estimate is that he has mentioned only three Imams and omited the fourth one. His omission is inexplicable. Today in egypt & near by areas even ordinary school teachers are dismissively referred to as faqih. Does Abu Zahrah consider the three Imams to be of the same category? These Imams were mujtahid in the absolute sense. No one can match their insights into faith. The Prophet’s observation is on record:
“After having studied the life and times of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, it is not easy to evaluate the status of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Unlike classical masters he was not a specialist of any particular field. Abu Hanifah was a jurist and is recognized so, though in his early career he addressed theological issues as well. This early training facilitated his later accomplishments in jurisprudence. Malik was both a jurist and a Hadith scholar. By then the two disciplines were not very sharply divided. Shafai was an eloquent writer who had gained insights into jurisprudence and its principles. It is easy to comprehend the disciplines of these Imams because they were specialists in a particular field. In contrast to them is Ibn-e- Taymiyya who embraced wide and varied fields of jurisprudence, theology and tafsir, including its norms and principles. He ranks highly in all these fields. His opinions on these issues underscore the breadth of his scholarship. It might be said that he was the first to record such opinions, though he gave credit to earlier masters. He did not claim to have said anything new. Rather, he was keen
“People are like mines of gold & silver. Those excelling in the days of Jahiliyat (Illiteracy) will be so after embracing Islam”, especially if they have sound understanding and are well-grounded in the subtleties of the Quran and Ahadith.
Ulama report about Imam Abu Hanifah that a leading Hadith scholar, A’amash asked the Imam: “On what basis do you contend so?” To this he replied: “On the basis of the Hadith you have related to us on the authority of Abu Saleh, and Abu Hurayrah.” Upon
hearing this A’ amash exclaimed:
“O the group of jurists! You are like physicians while we are only druggists. “In other words, the former carries out the understanding and inference while the latter compiles Hadith.”
A New Standard of Research
Some supporters of Ibn-e-Taymiyya follow a strange standard of research. Mawlana Bhaujyani writes (61): “We have noted Hafiz Dhahabi ’s estimate of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He had great love for Ibn- e-Taymiyya. No contemporary of his has spoken with such regard in praise of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He has related the account of Ibn-e- Taymiyya in seven of his works – Tarikh al-Islam, al-Mujam al- Kabir, al-Mujam al-Awsat, al-Mujam al-Saghir, al-Mujam al- Mukhtas bi al-Muhaddithin, and Tazikra al-Huffaz. Its length varies from work to work. He continues: “These views may be found in al-Uqud al-Durriya, Fawat al-Wafiyat, al-Durar al- Kaamina, Tabaqat al-Hanaabila, al-Kawaakib al-Durriya and al-Radd al-Wafir. In the face of these writings of Dhahabi it cannot be assumed that he may have written at places in his Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab what is attributed to him.” He elaborates further: “Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab was brought out by the worst enemy
of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, the Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Zahid Kawthari Hanafi, along with his comments from Damascus. Furthermore, he appended writing to it by another bitter enemy of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, entitling it as al-Nasihah al-Dhahabi ya and ascribing its authorship to Imam Dhahabi .”
On p.780 he contends: “In Hafiz Sakhaawi’s (d. 902H) al- Aylan bi al-Tawbikh, this writing is no doubt ascribed to Dhahabi . Now the question arises that since this was not in the knowledge of Subki, and also Sakhaawi’s teacher and mentor Ibn Hajr, how could Sakhaawi get the Dhahabi ’s writing.”
These are some of the samples of the very odd scholarship of Mawlana Bhaujyani. The above is on account of the books studied by Mawlana Bhaujyani. Nawab Syed Siddiq Hasan Khan has promoted vigorously the teachings of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He has published nine tracts, including Radd Wafir, with his occasional comments. He has also published al-Qawl al-Jali, which alludes to Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab. He has quoted its relevant portions, followed by this remark (62): “You have already noted Imam Dhahabi ’s praise for Ibn-e-Taymiyya in Radd Wafir. Now compare it with passage of Zaghl. There is evident incongruity between the two. And Allah knows the secrets.”
Syed Siddiq Hasan Khan notes incongruity in Dhahabi ’s writing. In other words, the reference is to the recanting of his earlier views. There is no such thing in Dhahabi ’s writing. In his several books he has extolled Ibn-e-Taymiyya, and not mentioned his lapses. In Zaghl, however, he does speak of Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s errors, such errors to which scholars are vulnerable. One often comes across such scholars. May Allah protect everyone from these errors!
Mawlana Bhaujyani seems very angry with Allama Kawthari. The latter is guilty only of having stated the truth, which Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan and other scholars of Najd try to suppress. If
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Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s writings properly come to public knowledge, Ulama can ascertain why the leading scholars were unhappy with him. No doubt, Ibn-e-Taymiyya followed the stance of the earlier Hanbali scholars with regard to the divine attributes. However, he indulgedinroundaboutexpression.AfterreadingIbn-e-Taymiyya, a scholar observe: “Literally Ibn-e-Taymiyya is not given to anthropomorphism (Attribute human form or personality to God). However, the impression left by his writings is certainly that of anthropomorphism.”
Allama Kawthari consulted the libraries for years in Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Iraq and collected precious material. He came across al-Nasihah al-Dhahabiya and got it printed along with Zaghl. It is stated on the opening page: “Dhahabi ’s al-Nasihah al-Dhahabi ya has been copied from the version of Burhan al-Din Ibn Jama‘a, which is taken from Hafiz Salah al-Din Alai’s copy and is extracted from Dhahabi ’s writings.”
Allama Kawthari has also brought out Allama Subki’s al-Saif al-Saqeel, along with a copy of al-Nasihah, which is inscribed by Ibn Qaazi Shahbah. Even in the face of all these pieces of evidence, Mawlana Bhaujyani challenged: “A writing of some bitter enemy of Ibn-e-Taymiyya has been given the title al-Nasihah al-Dhahabi ya and been ascribed to Imam Dhahabi and the same has been published.”
No one is Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s friend or foe. We are interested only in ascertaining as to why the leading Ulama, once admirers of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, gradually turned hostile to him one after another. Later on, they strongly opposed him.
Mawlana Bhaujyani raises an interesting question of methodology in asking how Sakhaawi could find something which was not in the knowledge of Subki or his mentor, Ibn Hajr. The standards followed by Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s supporters are indeed very odd. They have launched an organized effort to discredit those
who opposed Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s unconventional views and to criticize their works. Since Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s supporters have gained ascendancy in the holy Hijaz, they seek to reserve this land only for Ibn-e-Taymiyya and Ibn Abd al-Wahab. Hundreds of writingsofAhlal-Sunnahwaal-Jama‘aareproscribedthere.People with such mentality can argue in this childish manner that how could a disciple find what was not known to his teacher, as is held by Mawlana Bhaujyani. By this token of logic, any Hadith not related by Imam Malik should not be reported by Imam Bukhari either.
During the Ottoman era Allama Kawthari held the position of Wakil Mashikhat Islamia. His ambit of study was very wide. He reported that Allama Syed Mahmud Aalusi (d. 1270H) wrote Tafsir Ruh al-Ma‘ani and presented its copy to Sultan Abdul Majeed Khan and that copy is in Raaghib Basha’s collection in Istanbul. His son Syed Numan Aalusi has published this tafsir. He had acquaintance with Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan. At the latter’s behest he wrote Jila al-Aynayn and again at his prompting he altered at places his father’s tafsir. On comparing its present copy with the one in Istanbul collection the nature and range of alterations may be identified.
Ibn Batutah’s Travelogue
Sheikh Sharf al-Din Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Lawwati al-Tabkhi, popularly known as Ibn Batutah, set out from his home on 2nd Rajab 725 on his world tour and returned at the end of Dhi al-Hijj 754. In his travelogue Tuhfah al-Nuzzar fi Gharaib al-Amsar wa Ajaib al-Asfaar also known as Rohlat-e- Ibn-e-Batutah he has recorded his encounter with pirates on sea. (63) They robbed him of everything, including his clothes and his travel notes. Abu Annan, king of Fas, heard from him his strange experiences and instructed him to get recorded his observations
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recollecting from his memory. (64) His travelogue, covering events of twenty-nine years and numerous happenings, including some strange ones, is based on his memory. In the introduction he clarifies that he was known as Sheikh Sharf al-Din in the eastern world. This travelogue was compiled in Safar 757. Here is a relevant portion from it (65):
“I reached Damascus on 9 Ramadan 726 and stayed at Maliki Madarasa Sharaabasiya. Among the great Hanbali scholars of Damascus was Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He used to speak on many
subjects. Yet there was something wrong in his
mind. The people of Damascus held him in esteem and he used to address them from the pulpit. Once he said something which displeased jurists. The latter complained to the king al-Nasir who summoned him to Cairo. The king appointed a panel of Qaazis and jurists. Sharf al-Din Zawawi Maliki reported the disagreeable statements of Ibn-e-Taymiyya and produced witnesses and handed over the papers to chief judge. The latter asked Ibn-e-Taymiyya
to explain his position and he said (Arab used to say
this for their innocence). He repeated the charge but Ibn-e- Taymiyya made the same reply. The king ordered his imprisonment and he was behind the bars for some years.
When a similar incident happened again, I was in Damascus. I called on him on Friday while he was delivering his sermon. Amid other points, he stated
(Allah descends to the heavens of this universe like my descent)
And saying this, he came down one step from his pulpit. A Maliki jurist, Ibn Al-Zahra, present there, objected to it and the people present there took to manhandling and hitting him with shoes and fists. In the mean while his turban fell off. His silken cap
remained on his head, thus he was taken to task and was carried to the house of the Hanbali Qaazi Izz al-Din Ibn Muslim, who ordered his imprisonment and some additonal punishment. Maliki and Shafai Ulama protested against additional punishment and conveyed this to the chief, Sayf al-Din Tinkiz, who was one of the pious noble persons. He reported the matter to the king Al-Nasir, stating Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s disagreeable statements, including his peculiar views on divorce, visiting the Prophet’s grave etc. This report based on Shariah arguments was sent to the king who ordered that Ibn-e-Taymiyya be detained within the castle. This lasted until Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s death.”
Ustadh Baytar’s Critique
In 1380H/1961 Ustadh Muhammad Bahjat Baytar of Damascus wrote his book Sheikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Included in it, is an article “Dafa’o Fariyya Ibn Batutah a’n Ibn- e-Taymiyya” i.e. the refutation of Ibn Batutah’s slander against Ibn-e-Taymiyya. On the following three grounds Ustadh Baytar charges Ibn Batutah with having slandered Ibn-e-Taymiyya.
  1. Ibn Batutah arrived in Damascus on 9th Ramadan while Ibn-e-Taymiyya had been imprisoned a month before i.e. early Shaban. So he did not meet Ibn-e- Taymiyya. Nor did he hear anything first-hand from Ibn-e-Taymiyya.
  2. Ibn Batutah has mentioned many things in his travelogue which are not endorsed by Shariah. Nor are these credible. He speaks of Prophet’s Zakariyya’s grave in Jame’y Umawi, though it is of Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him). He refers to a report about the excellence of Jame’y Umawi mosque, saying that one prayer inside it carries the reward for thirty thousand prayers. It is a fabricated report. On pages 99, 133
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and 136 he describes his calling on various kings and also about Abu Ishaq and other’s graves. Without offering any refutation he kept the reports as it is.
3. According to him, Ibn-e-Taymiyya was speaking at the pulpit of Jam‘a (Masjid). This is not true. Ibn-e- Taymiyya did not deliver Friday’s sermon in the Jam‘a (Masjid). Nor did he deliver any sermon there. His version is baseless that Ibn-e-Taymiyya stepped down from the pulpit. On the contrary, he used to speak while sitting on a chair, as is related by Hafiz Dhahabi. Ibn al-Hadi no doubt specifies the pulpit, saying that Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to speak from the pulpit at Jam‘a (Masjid). But he has not mentioned Friday sermon. So the account about the pulpit is not true, hence Pulpit means anything which is bit above the ground level.
Comments on Critique
Ustadah Baytar’s article deals with Ibn Batutah’s version. He has studied with the binary opposition between a Syrian and a non-Syrian. With such a perspective, the dictates of justice cannot be met. He has rigorously analysed the account of a pious, scholarly traveler.
First, he finds fault with the date when Ibn Batutah arrived in Damascus. Technically his objection is sound. However, let us not disregard the following facts about the travelogue. Ibn Batutah was robbed of all his notes by pirates. For full 29 years he had been travelling and he recorded his account two years after his return, recollecting events from his memory. He met Ibn-e- Taymiyya in 726H. He recorded it 30 years after his meeting. After such a long gap it is hard to recall accurately the exact date and month of every event.
Take the event of Isra as illustrative. No Muslim can doubt that this event took place, for it features in the Quran. Yet there is much divergence of opinion about its date, month and even year. As many five months—of Rabi al-Awwal, Rabi al-Akhir, Rajab, Ramadan and Shawwal are mentioned in its context. Likewise, as to its year, some says it (Isra) happened 5 years after the Prophet’s declaration of his prophecy (peace be upon him); other put it 5 or 3 or 1 and a half years before Hijra. Some think it happened on Friday, others suggest other days of the week. In view of this difference of opinion on its date, month and years, God forbid, no one calls into question the incidence of the event itself. Will every narrator, with his variant version of its date, month and year be reckoned as a liar or false?
Many events related to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions and Successors are subject to disputes of dates, time & year. The standard position of Ulama is that nothing can be said with certainty about the exact date yet the event is never called into question. It is a pity that a mistake of date is overblown as slandering by Ustadh Baytar. How can it be justified to brand a pious scholar as a liar on the basis of this minor lapse?
Maulvi Zakaullah writes about Ibn Batutah’s arrival in Delhi during the era of Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq (66): “Tughlaq was a peculiar king. His personality was full of contradictions. His virtues covered up his weaknesses. He was so generous that he gave no importance to money and bestowed large amounts on scholars. That is why many of them wrote volumes in praise of him. In view of his generosity people from everywhere were attracted towards him and used to get more than what they had expected. He spent in a day what other kings would spend in years.”
Ibn Batutah has provided a detailed account of this king. On reading this, some thought it is wrong. Ibn Hajr says (67):
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“I have read Ibn Marzuq’s writing that this travelogue was inscribed by Abu Abdullah Ibn Jazi at the command of Sultan Abu Enan. Balfiqi accused Ibn Batutah of lying. Ibn Marzuq however exonerates him from this charge. According to him, Ibn Batutah lived up to 770 and served as Qaazi at some places until his death. To the best of my knowledge, no one else traveled as widely as he (Ibe Batutah). Moreover, he was a generous, kind person”.
Ibn Khaldun’s Statement
In his Tarikh al-Ebr wa Diwan al-Mubtada wal-Khabar, chapter-3 the celebrated Muslim thinker, Allama Abd al-Rahman Ibn Khaldoon writes (68):
“One from a leading family of Tabkha, popularly known as Ibn Batutah traveled to the east around twenty years ago. While travelling across Iraq and Yemen he reached India and met its king and prince Firoz. The latter appointed him Maliki Qaazi of some part of the country. Then he returned to the west and met Sultan Abu Enan, to whom he apprised the strange incidents. He has described at length India, including the generous bestowal of gold and silver coins by its king etc. On reading all this, some took him as a liar. By coincidence I (Ibn Khaldoon) met Sultan’s vazeer (Prime Minister) Faris Ibn Wardar, who enjoys much fame. When I related to him Ibn Batutah’s account and its rejection by people, he vindicated the traveler’s version, saying that we should refrain from denying such accounts of rulers”.
How excellent and judicious comments Allama Ibn Marzooq,
Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani, Vazeer ba-tadbir Faris bin Vardar and Ibn Khaldoon has made. They all have acknowledged Ibn Batutah’s honesty and integrity. Anyone can study his travelogue and find out how true or false it is.
Ustadh Baytar’s Critique
He has mentioned in particular the following five instances as illustrative of the slander committed by Ibn Batutah:
  1. Prophet Yahya’s grave is located inside Jamey Umawi whereas Ibn Batutah describes it as Prophet Zakariya’s. It is a minor lapse on the part of Ibn Batutah. What is significant is that there is a grave of a Prophet inside that mosque. As to the mixing up of names, the thirty years’ gap accounts for it. Such lapses may arise, were one to record what happened thirty years ago. He cannot be discredited as a liar on that basis alone. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “My community will be condoned its forgetfulness and lapses.”(69)
  2. As to Ibn Batutah’s report about the excellence of praying inside Jamey Umawi, Ustadh Baytar should have only pointed out that it is a fabricated report. For mentioning it, Ibn Batutah does not deserve any reproach. He was not a Hadith scholar. Nor did he seek to prove that report as correct. Thousands of Ulama have stated in their works several fabricated reports out of ignorance. They are not blameworthy. There has been much discussion of fabricated reports (Maudhuaat) for Syria, Damascus and Jamey Umawi during the period of Banu Umayya. May Allah reward Hadith scholars that they have thoroughly checked all the reports!
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  1. On p. 199 Ibn Batutah has related the calamities and hardships that befell him at Kabnook in Turkmenistan, as he was overtaken by snow storm. There was no hope for him to servive. However, thanks to Allah’s mercy he survived. It is not clear as to what appeared objectionable to Baytar in this. Ibn Batutah seems to be only recounting Lord’s Divine Mercy bestowed upon him. Relating this incidence is something commendable, not objectionable.
  2. On p. 133 he discusses the grave of Hazrat Syed Ahmad, brother of Hazrat Ali Ridha, a member of the Prophet’s family. May Allah be pleased with all of them! He explains that the residents of Shiraz love him and invoke Allah, taking him as the agency.
  3. On p.136 he has described Abu Ishaq’s grave and monastery in Kazudani, a little away from Shiraz. Whoever is in distress, visits that monastery and its keepers recite the Quran and Allah’s remembrance and pray at the Sheikh’s grave. By Allah’s command the distressed person gets relief. If people in India and China are stuck in a sea storm, they invoke Allah through Sheikh Abu Ishaq and they present their offerings at his monastery.
Ustadah Baytar takes exception to these incidents and cites Verse 65 of Surah al-Ankabut.
“And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Alllah, making their Faith pure for Him only: but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give share of their worship to others”
In his Mawdheh al-Quran Shah Abd al-Qadir points out: “The Makkans enjoyed peace through the agency of Allah’s House,
though the whole of Arabia was in grip of chaos. Yet they acknowledged it as the favor of their false idols, rather than as the true bounty of Allah.”
There is a world of difference between the acts of Muslims and of polytheists. Muslims seek the agency in line with the Quranic
directive. “And seek the means of approach to Him”.
Infact the approach of pious persons is because of their good deeds and peculiar characters. Imam Abu al-Muwaid al-Muwaffiq Ibn Ahmad al-Makki (d. 568H) copied this authentic statement of Imam Shafai (70):
“I seek blessings from Imam Abu Hanifah and visit his grave daily. Whenever I am in need, I visit his grave after offering two rakah Prayer, and state my need before Allah. Within no time my need is met”.
Ibn Batutah, a follower of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah, does not deserve to be reproached, without any basis.
Pulpit
As Ibn Batutah has mentioned pulpit, Baytar has raised some strange questions regarding it. Had the same expression been not employed in the same context by Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s own disciple and biographer, the historian, Hafiz Shams al-Din Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Abd al-Hadi, Baytar may have declared Ibn Batutah as a liar on this account as well. In view of Ibn Hadi’s admission of the fact, he has resorted to something odd. (71)
He contends that Ibn Batutah speaks of pulpit whereas Ibn-e-
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Taymiyya used to deliver sermons while sitting on a chair, as is
also reported by Dhahabi thus:
“Ibn-e-Taymiyya gained fame and his name was spread everywhere. On Fridays he used to present tafsir based on memory while sitting on a chair.”
The historian Ibn Abd al-Hadi states:
“As usual on Friday Ibn-e-Taymiyya spoke in Damascus and Ibn Abd al-Hadi presented his account in Egypt. Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to deliver sermons in mosques from pulpit after Friday Prayer up to Asr.”
Since Ibn Abd al-Hadi has not specified the Friday mosque pulpit, he means anything which is raised from the ground level. Baytar thus charges Ibn Batutah with having missed this point.
Ibn Batutah’s is a first-hand account. He is not guilty of any neglect. Negligence is the part of those writings which are intentionally prepared. Baytar found a passage of Dhahabi’s writings in a book and since that passage was meaningful for him, he proved it as original and on its basis offered Ibn Abd al-Hadi’s version according to his whims. And he declared Ibne Batutah as the man of negligence.
In one of his writings Dhahabi refers to (Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s) chair and in another to (his speaking from) pulpit. The historian and jurist Abu al-Falah Abd al-Hayy ibn al-Imad al-Hanbali in his work on history (d. 728H) provide a six pages long account of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He quotes Dhahabi to the effect:
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 105 “Ibn-e-Taymiyya, in place of his father, took to presenting his
tafsir on Friday from the mosque pulpit”. (72)
On closely studying Dhahabi’s writings it emerges that he is not very particular about the use of exact words; he is more interested in conveying his message. So, at one place he speaks of chair and at another of pulpit. Had Baytar studied the matter carefully, he would not have raised such points. Ibn Kathir, an ardent admirer of Ibn-e-Taymiyya, reports (73):
“One Friday 10 Safar 683H Ibn-e-Taymiyya started his tafsir session at Jamey Umawi from a special pulpit provided for him.”
In Durur al-Kaamina Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani states (74): “He used to deliver sermons from pulpit.
Further he mentioned:
“They explained that he (Ibn-e-Taymiyya) talked about Hadith nuzul and descended two steps down his pulpit, asserting that the descent is like his stepping down.” (75)
It is clear from Ibn Kahtir’s writing that a pulpit was provided to Ibn-e-Taymiyya. It could be of three steps, as is prescribed by Sunnah. In Arab countries it has generally twelve steps. Since it was a smaller pulpit, Dhahabi may have referred to the same as a chair. It is nonetheless certain that Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to speak from the pulpit. Baytar, however, charges a pious traveler with lying.
Another writer alleges that “travelers are liable to telling lies”.
Anyway, this is the approach of followers of Allama Ibn-e- Taymiyya.
106 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama All Power belongs to Allah.
Hadith Nuzul
A booklet Sharah Hadith al-Nuzul has been published by the name of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya from Damascus, Syria. On p.58 it is stated:
“When Allah descends to the heavens of the universe, the Divine Throne (Arsh) gets empty”. This is the view of a small group.
Another group’s contention is that one cannot say whether the Divine Throne (Arsh) remains vacant or not.
The third group insists that notwithstanding descent; the throne does not fall vacant. Ibn-e-Taymiyya subscribes to the last belief.
We have noted Ibn Jahbal’s version, according to which Ibn- e-Taymiyya believes that Allah exists on the throne high above. In this context he quotes Hazrat Ja’far Sadiq’s statement:
“Whoever holds that Allah exists in something, out of something or is on something, commits association (Shirk), because
If is within something, He would be surrounded.
If He is on something, that thing elevates Him.
If He is of something, He is a (
Muhdith) created being.”
The Divine Throne is a created entity. Allah is in the same state in which He was, before the creation of the Divine Throne. Allah is Self-Subsisting. The majority of ulama are on this consensus and wellbeing exists in this belief. Allah is (Qayyuum)
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ever sustaining, everything owes its existence to Him, be it the Divine Throne or the Chair, and the Heavens or the Earth. His Existence is not because of anything.
Ibn Batutah’s first-hand version is that Ibn-e-Taymiyya descended one step while Ibn Hajar speaks of two steps. It is likely that on one occasion it was one step and on another it was two steps. In either case the reference is to his (Ibn-e-Taymiyy’s) descent, without the pulpit falling vacant. This is Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s stance (Allah descended without the Devine throne falling vaccant). For affirming the same he demonstrated his own descending.
In my opinion there is nothing odd here about Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s conduct. So doing, he illustrated his stance. For example, on
reciting: “The whole earth is like His handful”,
one may close his fist or on reciting:
the hands are wide open”, one may spread his hands.
“His both
Fawqiyyat (Being on the high above) and Ma‘iyyat (Being of someone with somebody)
It is beyond comprehension as to why Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s supporters are so upset over Ibn Batutah’s account. Does Ibn-e-
Taymiyya not agree to this point:
exists by His Being on the Divine Throne”.
(76)
“Allah
Likewise, for the Quranic assertion: “He is
with you wherever you are”, did he not write that Allah is with human beings in the sense that He mixes up with them. Rather, He is on the Divine Throne, watching everything from the high on. He is their witness and well-informed of them. And he writes:
“The moon is one of the signs of Allah. It is one of His small
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creations and is in the heavens. He accompanies everyone, be a
traveler or a non-traveler.”
He (Ibn-e-Taymiyya) illustrated Allah’s accompany (Ma’iyyat) with reference to the example of moon by declaring it as knowlegable accompany (Elmi Ma’iyyat).
Allama Abu Hayyan, on studying the views of Allama Ibn-e- Taymiyya on the affirmation of Allah being on the high above and His occupying the Divine Throne, comments (77):
“One group takes it in its literal sense that His (Holy) Being stays on ARSH (Divine Throne). May Allah protect us against what the wrong-doers utter. Allah is Mighty and Great to transcend all this.”
Israelite Reports
Regarding Hadith nuzul Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya says (78):
“Israelite reports may be mentioned only at secondary level which is called as Mutabe‘at (Which is followed in the presence of other one), not
as the first-rate pieces of evidence in themselves.”
After spelling out this principle, he narrates the Jewish story that how once Prophet Job (Ayyoob) (peace be upon him) was surrounded by clouds and he heard this voice from the clouds: “O Job! I am Allah. I am close to you and descend near you.”
For supporting his contention Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya relies even on the Israelite report.
Although this is mentioned in “Bab al-I‘tisam bil-Kitab wal- Sunnah” of Mishkat on the authority of Imam Ahmed and Bayhaqi
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that Hazrat Umar called on the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “We come across Jewish reports and these strike us as sound. Can we record these?” He (Prophet) replied: “Are you dadzzled as Jews and Christians were awe-struck earlier? I have brought to you clear, luminous Shariah. Had Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) been alive today, he had no option other than that of following me.”
Had the Israelite reports been any good, Hazrat Umar would not have received the above advice.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya does not refrain from Israelite reports in order to support his contention. Jews draw the picture of God in purely human terms, sitting on a throne, with his limbs. Ibn-e-Taymiyya is doing all these. He cites such reports which are rejected by Hanbalis.
Allama Ibn Jawzi
Ibn Imad writes about a great scholar of his day, Allama Abu al-Faraj Abd al-Rahman ibn Ali, popularly known as Allama Ibn Jawzi Hanbali with Siddiqui lineage (d.597Hij) (79):
“On being asked about the number of his works, he told that these were more than 340. Some of these are in several volumes while some are quite brief. Hafiz Dhahabi said “No other scholar, to the best of my knowledge, has authored so many works”.
The portion of one of his (Ibn Jawzi’s) books, Daf‘o Shabh al-Tashbih wal-Radd a‘la Mujassima is cited by Ustadh Abu Zahrah in his book- Ibn-e-Taymiyya (pp. 272-276).
I (author) explain that portion in brief:
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“Whosoever has made some odd observation among our scholars (Hanbali Scholars); the following three have written books”:
Though soul is not Allah’s attribute (sifat). Those who are making relative (of the word) as attribute are committing innovations.
2- They take ahadith sifaat as metaphorical. Only Allah knows the true meaning of what is metaphorical. They insist on taking things in their apparent, outward sense. What a strange stance! Since Allah alone knows its meaning, how can anyone determine its apparent sense either? In general istawa and nuzul respectively mean to sit and descend.
3- They assert attributes with regard to Allah. However, His attributes should be as conclusively established as is His Being.
4- They don’t discern between the famous reports and inauthentic reports in ascribing Attributes to Allah. An instance of the former is : “Allah descends to the heavens of the universe”, and of the latter is : “I saw the Lord in a good condition.”
5- They do not draw any distinction between marfu‘ and maqtu‘ Hadith. The former can be traced back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while the latter stops at a Companion (Sahaabi) or Successor (Taabe‘i) and is not traceable to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
6- At places they interpret a word whereas they do not do so at another place. For example in Hadith “Whoever walks towards Me, I rushes towards him”. They interpreted that Allah set
it as an example for reward.
7- They take Ahadith in their sensory sense. For example,
1- 2- 3-
Abu Abdullah Ibn Hamid (d.403) Qaazi Abu Ya Ala (d.458)
Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Zaghwani (d.527)
They have brought a bad name to the Hanbali School. They talk like commoners. They take Allah’s attributes in purely a sensory sense. They literally interpret the Hadith that Allah created Adam in His own image and affirmed for Him a form and expressions, two eyes, face, jaws, throat, glow on face, two hands, fingers, palm, small fingers, thumb, chest, thighs, shanks and two feet. They did not, however, mention the head, as they had no report regarding it. They take Allah’s names and attributes in their outward sense only. For such innovations they have no proof of any kind. They do not pay any heed to those clear commands which deny such apparent meanings.
They resent the charge of anthropomorphism, asserting that they are Ahl al-Sunnah. However, their stance is patently anthropomorphic. A group of people became their followers. I (Ibn Jawzi) advised both these leaders and their followers:
“Follow the example of your Imam Ahmad. He was mercilessly whipped yet kept saying: “How may I affirm that which has not been said?”
Allama Ibn Jawzi spells out their seven errors which are mentioned below:
1- They mistakenly affirmed akhbaar (informations) as Divine Attributes, though these are relatives (Idhafaat) and every relative is not an attribute. Allah says.
“I breathed My soul into him”.
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they hold that Allah descends with His being; moves from one place to another and He roams around. And they add that it happens in a way we do not understand. Thus they leave their listeners confused. They act irrationally.
Ustadh Abu Zahrah’s Stance
We have already noted Ustadh Abu Zahrah’s statement. He does not like to discuss Ibn-e-Taymiyya in the category of three Imams, Abu Hanifah, Malik and Shafai. His contention is (80): “Ibn- e-Taymiyya has not stated anything new; rather he has reaffirmed the earlier ones. Earlier ones were not so gifted to make such a forceful presentation which Ibn-e-Taymiyya did. However, studying Ibn Jawzi’s assessment of Ibn-e-Taymiyya he (Ustad Abu Zahra) concedes: “Despite my efforts I could not locate Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s refutation of Ibn Jawzi. Certainly some earlier masters maintain silence about certain expressions, as for example regarding istawa. They did not translate it. Some offered its symbolic explanation. For example, the appearance of the Lord is explained as the command of the Lord.”
Ibn-e-Taymiyya has followed those whom Ibn Jawzi has refuted. He maintains that Allah with His being is infact on the Divine Throne. He also insists high above direction for Allah.
In view of all this Ustadh Abu Zahrah had to say(81):
“After having presented these differing views, we are not inclined towards Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s interpretation of metaphorical entities. His version lands us into the dilemma of anthropomorphism. The general public is in particular vulnerable on this account. We prefer Ghazali’s approach in that as it draws one closer to the straightway (siraat-e-mustaqim). We realize that Ghazali’s explanation of the earlier masters is much better and sound. Yet we will not use it as a pretext for attacking Ibn-e- Taymiyya for affirming the superiority of Ghazali’s approach. We nonetheless consider it much better and secure.”
Allama Ibn al-Humam’s Writing
Asqalani stresses (82) that Ibn-e-Taymiyya spent thirty years in resolving these issues. In Rabi al-Awwal 698 Hijri the Ulama rose, for the first time, against his religious decrees. The more Ibn-e- Taymiyya got entangled with these issues, the more hostile Ulama turned to him. Ibn-e-Taymiyya addressed these issues on hundreds of pages yet the problem remained intractable. For illustrating the stance of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama‘a on the issue, (83) reproduced below is an extract from Allama Ibn al-Humam, a renowned researcher of his time:
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“Allah’s istawa (i.e. His stay) is definitely over the ARSH (Divine Throne). Yet one should believe that His istawa (Stay) is not that anybody is sitting on another or touching it or near to it. Rather, it is in the sense that it befits Allah alone and of which the knowledge is only with Him. In sum, one is obliged to believe in istawa on the Divine Throne, along with the rejection of any anthropomorphism. If it is interpreted in the sense of His isteela (Supremacy), it is valid. However, it is not definite because there is no evidence for that meaning. What is definite is already stated by us. If it is apprehended that people might be misled or confused by the literal description of istawa in terms of any physical description like to be close with some object, proper sitting etc. for protecting them against it, it will be all right to explain istawa’s meaning as isteela (Allah’s supremacy). Such a meaning is admitted by lexicon. Istawa is metaphorically employed by Arabs for describing control over someone or something, e.g. Bishr had istawa over Iraq, and it means Bishr had isteela over it. And Arab says, when we became stronger and on Iraq Bishr had istawa, we killed our enemies. (Here istawa has the meaning of isteela).
The same holds for all the expressions of the ilk such as the finger, hands and feet. Because these are Divine Attributes in the sense which befits Him. We may explain these in order to remove
any anthropomorphic impression in the public mind. For example, the finger and hand may be taken to mean power and control. Same is true about Yameenullah, which is used for black stone (Hajr-e-aswad) in reference to respect & honour. Yet such interpretations should not be taken as the final word. In the opinion of our scholars these expressions are metaphoric and their exact meaning cannot be found in this world. Had it been so, we would have arrived unanimously at their meaning.”
Glory be to Allah! What a pithy and inspiring the above extract is. Neither has it raised the irrelevant points about the Arsh (Divine Throne) remaining vacant nor about the moon light. Nor does it draw upon any silly Israelite report. It suffices all the relevant issues in a nut shell, without neglecting anything important. This short description is better than a long text that causes confusion.
Sheikh Akbar
Qutb al-Aqtab Hazrat Muhammad Ibn Ali Hatimi Andalusi popularly known as Ibn Arabi, carrying the title of Sheikh Akbar was born on Monday night, 17 Ramadan 560 Hijri in Andalus. He died on Friday night 22 Rabi al-Thani 638 Hijri in Damascus and lies buried at Jabl Qasiyun, which is presently known as Swalihiyya.
Allama Yusuf Nabhani informs (84): “The title, Sheikh Akbar was given to Ibn Arabi by Sheikh al-Shayukh, Ghauth Zamaan Abu Madyan. He gained education from leading scholars and spiritual knowledge from Sheikh Jamal al-Din Yunus Qasaar, who was a caliph of Ghauth Azam Hazrat Syedna Abd al-Qadir Jilani. According to Nur al-Din Abd al-Rahman Jami, (85) Ibn Arabi’s writings are more than five hundred.
Allama Asqalani has informed (86), “He has too many writings. Some of these are brief running into 8 pages while some are larger and up to 100 in volumes. He wrote a Tafsir (detail explanation of
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Qur‘an) entitled as al-Tafsil fi Asrar Ma‘ni al-Tanzil. It is in 64 volumes, covering up to the story of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). Most of it has been plagiarized.
Amid his works the most famous are Futuhat Makkiya and Fusus al-Hikam. Maulana Jaami mentioned that Khawaja Muhammad Parsa, Caliph of Syed Muhammad Baha al-Din Naqshband, used to say that the latter is the soul while the former is the heart. According to Jami, as compared to others, these two works contain more realities & mysteries. No one else has unraveled so many mysteries. Those critical of him, are prompted by partisanship or conformity or out of their ignorance of terminology.
The following is reported in Mir‘at al-Janan(87), Nafhaat al- Uns and Shadhrat al-Dhahab(88:
That once Sheikh al-Shyukh Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi and Sheikh Akbar came across each other on the way. They both had a glance at each other and proceeded. Someone asked Ibn Arabi about Suhrawardi. He replied: “He is someone immersed deep into Sunnah.” Then that person asked Suhrawardi about Arabi, he replied: “He is an ocean of realities.”
Sheikh Ibn Arabi was one of the Divine Signs. Allah had divulged to him secrets, mysteries and realities. This may be better appreciated by those who possess both outward (Ilm-e-Zahir) and inward (Ilm-e-Batin) knowledge. Sheikh Yusuf Imam Safdi says (89): “The knowledge ascribed to him was not invented by him. However, he was a specialist in that field. The experts of this field (i.e. secrets, mysteries and realities) say that divine inspiration (kashf) helps to gain such knowledge.”
When this was reported to Zayn al-Din Khaafi, he commented: “It is a sound remark by him. My addition to it is that when a servant is adorned with Divine Conduct and becomes aware of
the realities, Divine Force (Jazbat-e-Elahiyya) attracts him, as a result of which his own being turns feeble and his attributes vanish. He becomes free of all else other than Allah. And then Divine Attractants (Tajalliyat-e-Elahiyya) overtake him and he merges with the Divine Being, leading to the disappearance of all else. He witnesses that the realism of everything is Allah and this is the first stage. When he ascends to the higher level, he finds that everything exists due to the grace (Faizan) of Divine Existence (Wujood-e- Elahiyya) and does not find the Divine Existence only.”
Sheikh Abd al-Ghani Naablisi quotes while explaining the statements of Sheikh Akbar, Ibn Faaridh, A‘feef Talmisaani, Ibn Saba‘ een and A bd al-K arim al-Jaili (90):
“These scholars and their followers believe in Existence of One Being (wahdat al-wujood) until the dooms day, God wish. Their stance is not discordant with that of Ahl al-Sunnah wal- Jama‘a. They are free from criticism. Those opposing them, lack the understanding and familiarity with the terms employed by the mystic teachers (MaSheikh). It is also out of their ignorance of the fact that their knowledge is premised on divine inspiration (Kashf) and revelation (A‘yaan) while the others’ knowledge rests only on thoughts, patterns and intellect. The starting point of their approach is the fear of Allah and good deeds. In contrast, others are based only on the knowledge gleaned from books and on deriving benefits from fellow human beings. The culmination point of these mystic teachers is the witnessing of the Ever
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Living, the Self Sustaining while others rest with only drawing
stipends and amassing worldly gains.”
Hazrat Abd al-Ghani Naablisi was one of the great scholars and spiritual masters and author of books. His above statement about the persons of wahdat al-wujood is authentic. Sheikh Mujaddid Alf-thaani was fully familiar with the path and with the secrets and mysteries of Existence of One Being (wahdat al- wujood). He linked it with stage of heart, saying (91):
“As Allah takes one above the stage of the heart, these mysteries gradually decrease. The more he advances, the more detached he turns.”
On the greatness of Sheikh Akbar he states (92): “Prior to him no Sufi master had articulated these secrets and mysteries. Some in ecstasy had exclaimed “ana al-haqq” and “subhani” yet no one had identified its rationale. Sheikh Akbar stands as an evidence and argument for this band.”
While paying tribute to the contributions of Sheikh Akbar he continues (93):
“Earlier masters had not so clearly articulated the issue of Existence of One Being. Whoever reached a higher stage pronounced only ecstatic utterances and could not reach the core of the issue. Nor could he ascertain any mystery. When it was the turn of Sheikh Akbar, however, he elucidated the issue at length and like any grammatical rule, he explained it under several sections and chapters. Yet a group could not comprehend his elucidation and holding him guilty they reproached him. Actually on most of the issues Sheikh Akbar is in the right and his opponents are in error. For having addressed and resolved the issue he should be complimented, rather than be reproached and discredited.
Those blessed souls were favoured by Allah, like the two following rivers, with a barrier and one could not overtake the
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 119
other. The two rivers are Shariah and tariqah and moderation is the barrier between the two. Such persons acclaimed the exalted status of Sheikh Akbar.
“So many eras have passed yet there has not been like unto him.”
Combined in him were both, inner and acquired knowledge. He was so overwhelmed with the doctrine of Existence of One Being that he cared about nothing else. He kept himself to himself, without seeking any reward or praise. Nor did he care about the reproach directed against him. Rather, he showed more kindness to his opponents. Someone from Damascus had made it compulsory for himself to curse Sheikh Akbar ten times a day. When he died, Sheikh Akbar joined his funeral. On returning home he sat facing qibla and did not stand at the time of meals. From dawn until Isha he remained engaged. Then he rose cheerfully and took food. On being asked he told: “I submitted to Allah that I will not eat food until he is forgiven. I recited la ilah il Allah 70, 000 times for his pardon and he was eventually forgiven.”
During his life and even after his death he was teased very much, which is matchless. He foretold this in Futuhat: “While I was asleep next to Maqam-e-Ibrahim (The stone on which Prophet Abraham stood while constructing K‘abah), one of the pious souls from the high on conveyed to me Allah’s message: “Get closer to Maqam-e-Ibrahim. He was kind and forbearing.” It was then I realized that I will be subject to much torment. For the above, two traits are related to patience and fortitude.” What was conveyed to him came true and he fully abided by the advice given to him. May Allah keep sending His mercy on him! (94)
120 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama Key to the works of Sheikh Akbar
Ibn-e-Taymiyya brands the same Sheikh Akbar as the devil of
the Islamic community. (95) Even a key to the works of Sheikh
Akbar has been compiled. Regarding this UstadhAbu Zahrah writes 96):
“The basis which permeates the concept of Existence of One Being (wahdat al-wujood) is that the existence of all creatures, be they Jinns, devils, unbelievers, wicked persons, dogs, pigs, and all things including impurities, unbelief, depravity, and sin represent the Existence of Lord itself rather it should be in the sense that there is a distinction and separation between their existence and the Existence of Lord; as they owe their existence, care, and survival to the Lord. They observed multiplicity in the universe, which is sightable & comprehendable to the mind & senses; hence they deduced the above principle which may negate multiplicity and affirm unity. For them the existence of creatures signifies the Divine Existence itself.”
One of the views of Ibn-e-Taymiyya
Ustadh Baytar quotes Ibn-e-Taymiyya thus (97):
“Whoever opposes my works (should realize that) I know his school (mazhab) better than he does.”
Undoubtedly Ibn-e-Taymiyya was a very well-read person, gifted with exceptional memory and a thorough study of various schools of Islamic thought. No doubt the one living in the house knows well about it. (98) Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya was brought up by Hanbali scholars and he studied other schools on his own. There is a world of difference between the knowledge imparted by teachers and self study and the same discrepancy lies in understanding own school (Mazhab) and other schools
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 121
(Mazaahib). His pronouncements on Hanbalism are no doubt valid sound yet it is not so in the case of his ruling on other schools, including Sufism.
Ibn Imad makes an excellent point in remarking (99):
“Some Ulama gave profound advice to the person who requested that Ibn Faaridh’s “Qasidah Taaiyah” be recited and explained to him. They asked him to leave it. The one who starves and spends nights like Sufi masters will himself observe the same what was observed by these sufis.”
Sheikh Murshidi’s Incident
In Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s day a Sufi master, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah ibn Abi al-Majd Ibrahim lived in a small village Murshid Kahlan. Accordingly, he became famous as al-Mirshidi (d. Ramadan 737). The following contains some accounts of his: Ibn Kathir’s al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya, Imam Yafa‘i’s Mirat al-Janan, Ibn Imad’s Shadhrat al-Dhahb (incidents of 737 Hijri), Ibn Hajr Asqalani’s Durar al-Kaamina (III, 462) and in some of Dhahabi’s writings. All acclaim his spiritual achievements, stating that he lived in a desert in Yemen yet he enjoyed much fame, as people from all parts visited him, including nobles, scholars and rulers. He lived on his own yet he provided meals to everyone and served them food of their choice. Imam Yafa‘i, Allama Ibn Syed al-Naas etc., called on him and paid tribute to his Sufi accomplishments. Ibn-e-Taymiyya ridicules him as well for being makhdoom.
Regarding this Mawlana Syed Manazir Ahsan Gilani writes (100):
“The word Makhdoom is used for a person who is supposed to have some jinn under his control and avails their services. In
122 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
other words, it represents makhdoom-ul-jinn. It was a common term of that period. Sheikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya has used this word frequently for sufis without regards; he used this term as a weapon for any person at any time. The example of this specific way is rare among Islamic scholars. Rather I can say that even his followers did not employ this term so indiscriminately”.
And it is also written: (101)
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn-eTaymiyya al-Harrani is a class unto
himself in criticizing Sufi masters”.
And it’s written: (102)
About some of Imam Ghazali’s writings, Sheikh al-Islam Ibn- e-Taymiyya complains that he (Ghazali) tried to flee away from the mesh of philosophy yet his legs remained trapped in the intestines of philosophy. Sheikh al-Islam is a towering scholar; his greatness of knowledge and religious aspects comes into mind, otherwise I think the same holds true of him as well. It emerges from his writings that his mind got so entangled in the law of cause and effects, he criticizes Sheikh Murshidi. It is beyond his thought that how could Sheikh Murshidi provide choicest meals to his guests, without any material resources at his disposal.”
Mawlana Gilani’s above extract gives some idea of Ibn-e- Taymiyya’s treatment of Sufi masters. He may hold anything as the key to the works of Sheikh Akbar, especially out of his belief that he knows others’ stance better than they themselves.
In Nafahaat al-Uns the mystic Sheikh Abd al-Rahman Jami holds that those opposing Sheikh Akbar either suffer from partisanship and prejudice or on account of their unfamiliarity with terminology.
The key to the works of Sheikh Akbar as formulated by Ibn-e- Taymiyya, now should be compared to the views of Imam Rabbani Mujaddid alf Thani Sheikh Ahmad Farooqi Sirhindi.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 123 Hazrat Mujaddid’s Statement
This is from his four pages long letter to Sheikh Abd al-Aziz Jawnpuri, in which he explains the Sheikh Akbar’s and his own stance. First, he describes the former, based on his writings (103):
“Sheikh Muhi al-Din and his disciples maintain that the Names (Asma) and Attributes (Sifaat) of Allah are His own Being (Zaat). The Being (Zaat) and Attributes (Sifaat) creates distinction & demarcation in Allah’s knowledge. This first stage is in concise form and is the very first manifestation which is called Haqiqat-e- Muhammadi (Allah’s blessings be upon him). In its detail form, these are called A‘yaan-e-thabitah which are the realities of potentials (Haqaaiq-e-mumkinaat). The image of A‘yan-e-thabitah reflected outwardly and that reflection is existence of possibilities. Since reflection and shadow is something imaginative, potentials too are speculative, nothing in real. Since all these imaginative and speculative reflections are the artifice ofAllah; therefore strong belief and self-subsisting is for it. It is beyond decline; rewards & punishments are subjected upon it.”
While explaining the two couplets of Khawja Baqi Billah, Hazrat Mujaddid has further elucidated the stance of Sheikh Akbar, adding that the Sheikh insisted on not doing away with the imaginative and speculative existence and does not consider decline for that. For Sufis, the existence of universe (a‘alam) is a strong imagination while Ulama consider it as a weak presence.
Towards the end of his letter to Sheikh Abd al-Aziz Jawnpuri, he (Hazrat Mujaddid) writes:
“Ulama and Sufi masters has opted either side of the path of safety & moderation; the center portion has been given to me. Had mystic masters found the reflection of realities of potentials and its Zil (shadow) they would not have denied the outward existence (wujood-e-khaareji) of the universe and not stuck to the doubt & imagination. Had Ulama been aware
124 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 125
of this secret, they would not have proposed real existence for potentials besides Allah and would have rested with the reflective existence (wujood-e-zilli).”
On wahdat al-wujood Hazrat Mujaddid’s stand is that the stance of Sheikh Akbar and ulema ahl-e-sunnat wal-jama‘at is of moderation. He described the differences of both the parties as Shaik Akbar has taken one side of the right path i.e. strong imagination of universe, whereas the other group (ulema) has chosen the other side of the path i.e. weak presence of universe. By the Grace of Allah, the middle portion of the path of moderation has been given to me.
In sum, the stance of Sheikh Akbar is that all things, be these collectively (kulliya) or individually (juzya), mentally (zahniya) or outwardly (Khaarjiya), masses (jawaahar) or characteristics (a‘araaz), there is something that separates each one of them from others and another thing that joins them. The thing which joins them becomes the motive for their discard and the starting point for the orders & rules to be carried out. This joining factor is known as haqiqat al-Haqaaiq and infact this is wahdat al-wujood.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya has devised a key, based on the expressions of the words employed by Sheikh Akbar, which opened the way for error and misguidance. Mujaddid Alf Thani, however, was a specialist in both the fields (Ilm-e-zaahir & Ilm-e-baatin), fully familiar with the jargon of Sufi masters. His key brings into relief Divine Mercy. (104)
Tawheed Uluhiyat (The Oneness of the Holy Being which can be worshiped) & Tawheed Rububiyat (The Oneness of the Holy Being Who is the Lord (Preserver) of everything which exists)
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya has made the key of the wordings of Sheikh Akbar so that he (Sheikh Akbar) may be accused as unbeliever & astray. Kaukani says (105):
“Ibn-e-Taymiyya opposed so strongly to Ibn Arabi on the issue of wahdat al-wujood that he branded him the devil of the (Islamic) community.”
Yet Ibn-e-Taymiyya has been unconsciously influenced by Sheikh Akbar’s philosophy. The latter has discussed subtly tanzih and tashbih. For him, the perfection of faith consists in affirming both because Tanzih amounts to restricting while tashbih erects limits. Allah is above and beyond both. For Allah transcends all barriers and limits. He is beyond the beyond of the beyond.
Sheikh Akbar says in four lines stanza, “If you agree to Tanzih and you say that Allah T‘aala is Munazzah, then you restrict Him in hidden and if you only agree to Tashbih, then you decided the limit for Him. You should say Munazzah and Mushabbah to Allah so that you may become leader in M‘aarifat (realities)”
As a result of Sheikh Akbar’s influence on his mind, Ibn-e- Taymiyya presented a new idea- of the two kinds of Tawheed i.e. Tawheed Uluhiyat and Tawheed Rububiyat. Tawheed Rububiyat is widely recognized. Even unbelievers and polytheists acknowledge it. The Quran affirms the same thus:
“If you were to ask them: “Who created the heavens and the earth? They will certainly reply: “Allah”. (Luqman 31:25).
Messengers were sent down for vindicating Tawheed-e-Uluhiyat Allama Dayjawi’s Refutation
My sheikh, Sheikh al-Mashaaikh al-Azhar, an eminent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Dayjawi Shafai (106) has written an insightful article on the above issue in al-Azhar journal, Noor al-Islam (IV, p 254- 260 and 319-330). Some of its salient points are:
Ibn-e-Taymiyya and his followers have divided Tawheed into the categories of Uluhiyat and Rububiyat. Such a division is not endorsed by Shariah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never asked
126 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
one to believe in these two kinds. For the Divine Being Who is
worshipped, is the Lord as well. Allah says:
“He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, so worship Him and be constant in His worship” (Maryam 19:65).
In the above verse Lordship (Rububiyat) is equated with worshiping Allah. Had the Lord been not able to harm and benefit, it would be pointless to worship Him. Furthermore, the Quran declares:
“[As shaitan (Satan) has barred them from Allah’s sway] so why they don’t worship (prostrate themselves before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens & the earth and knows what you conceal & what you reveal.”
(Al- Naml 27:25).
The above verse asserts that Allah alone should be worshipped, that He owns the absolute Authority and Power. The Quran further says:
“He will never enjoin you to take the angels or Prophets for lords (gods). Will he enjoin you upon unbelief when you have submitted yourselves to Allah’s Will?
(Aale- Imran 3:80).
In this verse it is needless to add, the unbelievers and polytheists believed in number of gods. The Quran states: “O two companions of prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the one, the Irresistible?” (Yusuf 12:39).
In this verse it is pretty much clear that the unbelievers and polytheists believed in number of lords.
It further says: “And yet they deny the Most Gracious. Say “He is my Lord. None has the right to be worshipped but He. In Him I have placed all my trust and to Him I shall return with repentance.” (Al- Ra‘d 13:30).
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 127 Again it is clear from this verse; the unbelievers did not take
Allah, the Most Gracious as their Lord.
The Quranic directive is: “As for myself, Allah alone is my Lord, and I associate none as partner with my Lord.” (Al-Kahf 18:38).
The above verse is directed against those who had refused to accept the Lordship (Rububiyat) of Allah.
In the light of the above verses, how it can be said that the unbelievers and polytheists believed in the Lordship of Allah or that they did not subscribe to the multiplicity of gods. On the Day of Judgement they will, however, regret their error and tell their false gods:
“By Allah, we were surely in manifest error, when we assigned to you a position equal to that of the Lord of the universe.” (Al- Shu‘ara 26:97-98).
Allah directs:
“When they are told: “Prostrate yourselves before the Most Gracious, they say: “and what is the Most Gracious? Shall we prostrate ourselves before whomsoever you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) command us to prostrate?” This even further increases their aversion.” (Al-Furqan 25:60).
The unbelievers thus disputed regarding Allah. Those who will confess their error to their false gods on the Day of Judgement that we commited error for having equaled you with Lord of universes; how it can be said for, who deny the Most Gracious and cling to the multiplicity of gods, that they believe in Oneness of Lordship. Had this divergence not been there in Oneness of Lordship, why would have mankind been asked as part of its eternal
pledge with the wordings, “Am I not your Lord?” (7:172)
128 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Had everyone adhered to Allah’s Lordship, the angels in the
grave would not have asked the dead: “Who is your Lord?”
If Phir‘aun (Pharaoh) claimed, “I am your lord, most high” (79:24), he also said as recounted in the Quran: ‘If you choose an ilah (god) other than me, I will certainly make you one of the prisoners.”(Al-Shu‘ara 26:29).
The above quoted verses make it plain that (the Holy Being) who is Ilah, is the Lord and who is Lord, is Ilah. There is no God other than Allah and there is no lord except Him.
Mediation (Tawassul)
According to Allama Dayjawi, seeking mediation from Prophets and saints is not discordant with the belief in monotheism because in Shariah or in Arabic idiom tawassul (mediation) is not some mode of worship. Allah has made the universe operating on the principle of cause & means. On the Day of Judgement He will pardon the misdeeds of sinners on the intercession (Shafa‘at) of Messengers and the pious people. If this is not so, what is the concept of intercession? Neglecting or denying means & mediations, runs contrary to Divine Laws on which the proceeding of the universe goes on. It is totally wrong to mistake mediation as a mode of worship. Allah has asked man to seek mediation. It may be sought from both the living and the dead, because help is sought only from Allah, not from the mediator.
I, Abul Hasan Zaid (author) says, in “Bab al-Istisqa” of Sahih al-Bukhari one comes across this report related by Hazrat Anas: “In the days of famine, Umar used to seek Divine Mercy of rain through the mediation (Waseela) of Hazrat Abbas. He said: “O Allah, we used to mediate through our Messenger and You used to bless us with rain. Now we mediate through his uncle that You bestow rain upon us.” The narrator, Hazrat Anas says that after this, it rained.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 129
The above report has led some to think that it is improper to seek the mediation of the dead. Had this not been so, Hazrat Umar would have mentioned the Prophet (peace be upon him) as the mediator. This is not true because Hazrat Umar did not take Hazrat Abbas as the mediator in an absolute sense; he referred to his tie with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and affirmed the Prophet’s glory. Thus in the real sense, he took the mediation of the prophet (peace be upon him). Since Muslim community has tremendous regard for the Prophet’s family and Companions, they do so out of their respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him). Love & respect for them signifies love & respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself.
Tirmidhi’s following report features in “Bab Manaqib al- Sahabah” of Mishkat that the Prophet (peace be upon him) remarked:
“Fear Allah, Fear Allah with regard to my companions. Fear Allah, Fear Allah regarding my companions. Do not make them a target after I am gone. Whoever loves them does so out of love for me and whoever turns against them does so out of hostility towards me. Whoever torments them, tortures me. And whoever torments me does so against Allah, and whoever does so against Allah is liable to be caught soon.”
When Allah grants an exalted status to a person, it is eternal. In his tract al-Tawassul bi Syed al-Rusul (p.12), Syed Siddique Hasan Khan writes:
“The mediation of scholars consists in their good deeds and excellent features. They have gained excellence owing to their good deeds. When one seeks the mediation of a scholar and says,
130 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
O Allah! I take the mediation of that A‘alim (Islamic scholar).
Here, the mediation is due to his scholarly contribution”
In his Dalail al-Nabuwah Imam Bayhaqi relates Hazrat Umar’s report: “When Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him) committed the error, he supplicated: “O Lord! Pardon me through the mediation of Muhammad.” Allah replied: “As you have sought the mediation of Muhammad, I have forgiven your lapse.”
It is reported in Hisn Haseen, and the collections of, Tirmidhi, Nasai Ibn Majah and Haakim that when someone is in need, he/ she should thoroughly do ablution (wuzu), offer two rakah nafil Prayer and make this supplication:
“O Allah! I ask my need from You. I draw Your attention seeking the mediation of Your Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is the Messenger of mercy. O Muhammad (peace be upon him)! I take you as the mediator in paying attention towards Lord so that He may fulfill my need. O Allah! Accept his intercession for me.”
Hazrat Uthman ibn Hanif and his children used to instruct this supplication to people and used to recite it on facing some difficulty. Out of His grace, Allah relieved people of their hardships. Let this be clarified that only Nasai mentions that two rakah nafil Prayer be offered.
Hafiz Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Ali Khatib Baghdadi copied an authentic statement of Imam Shafai (107):
“I seek blessings from Abu Hanifah. I visit his grave every day. On being faced with some need, I offer two rakah Prayer and invoke Allah being near to him. Soon my need is fulfilled.”
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 131 Istigatha (Invocation)
Allama Dayjawi maintains: “What is the unbelief in invoking Messengers and saints? One invoking, seeks help from Allah that his hardship be relieved through the pious person. Even if the dead is invoked, there is nothing wrong in it. The one invoking thinks that Allah has granted some spiritual power to that deceased person. His power is akin to that of angels and he benefits people by Allah’s command and consent. Such a plea is not tainted by unbelief or polytheism. Ibn-e-Taymiyya thinks that the invoking person invests the deceased with Uluhiyat (attribute of being worhsipped). It is an absolutely wrong notion and a lie. Such a person does not entertain any such belief.
Messengers, saints and martyrs are alive inside their graves and invoking with them is valid. Druing the days of Harrah, Hazrat Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab used to hear azan coming out from the Prophet’s grave. Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama maintains that they (messengers, saints and martyrs) hear inside their graves and listen to what the visitors say and supplicate for them. Each world has its own laws. What happens in barzakh (The gap between the death of a person and the Day of Judgment) is different from what takes place in this world. Every act of respect does not constitute worship. Nor is every supplication a mode of worship. In many formulae (Quanic verses- du‘a (supplication) is used, though not in the sense of worship. Given this, invocation should not be taken as an act of worship.
Imamat-E-Kubra
Asqalani writes (108): “A group is of the view that Ibn-e- Taymiyya was after the leadership (Imamat-e-Kubra). He rejoiced in relating the account of Ibn Tawmarat. This factor also contributed to the prolongation of his imprisonment.”
132 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Tawmarat Masmudi Barbari is popularly known as Ibn Tawmarat. He was from the western side. Allama Ibn Kathir has mentioned him in his account of the year of 514 Hijri (109) and in his history Imam Yafa‘i has related his account at length. (110) He was born on 10th Muharram 485 Hijri and died in 524 Hijri. He arrived in Baghdad for studies and was enrolled in Jamia Nizamia and studied under Imam Ghazali and other scholars. Then he went to Hijaz and after performing Hajj he returned home. He was a pious, devout, perfect worshipper and God-fearing person, excelled in intelligence, evoked awe and was a bold, spirited person, gifted with eloquence. He enjoined good and forbade evil. He had a good sense of humor and received everyone warmly. He put up with the inconvenience caused to him by others. He used to keep one wooden stick and a small water bag (Chhaagal) only, for day to day use. Often he kept quiet. He had a large head, wheatish complexion, sharpness and brightness in his eyes and an awesome personality. His modesty and simplicity was evident from his appearance and deportment. In 514 Hijri he founded the Muwahhidin dynasty and appointed a young person, Abd al-Malik ibn Ali as the king. For ten years he saw the growth of this empire. Even during this period he maintained the same simple, frugal life style. His sister used to arrange one piece of bread for him by weaving cotton daily. That single piece of bread sufficed him for day and night till the end of his life.
His success lays in his excellent conduct as he deals according to the Quranic verse (Al-Mu’minoon 23-96) “Repel evil with that which is better”. As a result, even his enemies turned into his friends and he served well the cause of Islam.
Although Ibn-e-Taymiyya used to mention Ibn Tawmarat, he got himself entangled into unnecessary and useless issues. Owing to his harshness, he estranged even his allies and friends. It is stated
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 133 in Kawakib Durriya (p 186): “The powerful among his associates
turned weak and the spirited ones into cowards”.
On Monday, 6th Sh‘aban 726 Hijri, the royal decree for his imprisonment in the castle was served and he was taken there. As he was being taken, he expressed joy. We could not understand why he was so happy. He replied: “I looked forward to it. There is much good in it.” (111)
How he was held in great esteem thirty years before, praised by the scholars of the time. Now, in his last days how much hardship he faced.
Controversial Issues
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya was a Hanbali. On certain issues he has exercised ijtihad. Ulama have classified these acts of his into four categories:
1. The ones in which he has disregarded the more familiar view of Imam Ahmad Hanabal, opting for his (Imam Ahmad) less known views. In doing so, however, he followed Imam Ahmad. There are 26 such issues.
2. The ones in which he has abandoned his Imam and opted for the view of any of three leading Imams. It has 16 instances.
3. The ones in which he has disregarded the views of all the four schools (i.e. Hanafi, Shaf‘ai, Maliki & Hanbali). There are 17 such issues.
4. The ones in which he has abandoned the majority (jamhur) viewpoint, disregarding the consensus (ijma‘a) view of Muslim community. There are 39 such issues, of which ten are related to divorce.
Thus, these are 98 such issues in total. There may be some
134 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
more; however, these belong to any of the above four categories. Ulama have not criticized Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya for the issues of the first two categories, because he did not disregard the major community; however, leading Ulama have condemned him for the issues of the last two categories. Doing so, they are prompted by the Prophet’s following sayings (112):
1. “Adhere to the majority viewpoint. For one who is isolated strays from the community and gets into Hell.”
2. “Certainly Allah will not let my community (ummat), or (in other reference) Muhammad’s community (ummat), unite on some error. Allah’s hand is on the group. Whoever cuts off from the group, will be hurled into Hell lonely.”
In the days of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya, Ahl Sunnah wal-Jama‘a followed any of the four Imams and this represented the major community (sawad-e-a‘azam).
Tatars destroyed Islamic caliphate while Allama Ibn-e- Taymiyya tore into pieces the respect and dignity of major community & the consensus view of Muslims. Ulama deeply regretted it.
If, Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya follows Ithna Asharis on the issue of divorce abandoning the majority viewpoint then his leading disciple, Ibn Qayyim tried to support Ithna Asharis on the issue of mut‘ah. Now in the 14th century, some of his followers demanded that Surah al-Falaq and surah al-Nas be deleted from the Quran and that the indispensable statement of Islam should be recited differently thus: “ashhadu anna Muhammadan kana Abduhu wa Rasuluh” should be recited in place of “ashhadu anna Muhammadan Abduhu wa Rasuluh
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 135 and “La ilaha illallah kana Muhammadur Rasulullah” in place of
La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah.”
His supporters argue on these false statements that Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya has cited this from some Companions (Sahabah) or their Successors (Tabe‘en) in his defense. Has Ibn Qayyim and others not made a similar claim? Have they not cited the statement of some Companions or Successors?
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya says (113): “It is said about Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar that on returning from a journey he used to say salaam at the Prophet’s grave. It was, however, not the practice of the Caliphs and leading Companions. He (Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar) also considered those spots for offering Prayers where the Prophet (peace be upon him) did offer and used to pass through those places where the Prophet (peace be upon him) had stayed or crossed. It was again not the practice of most of the Companions (Sahabah). Rather, Caliph Umar, his father desisted from these practice.”
At another place Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya states: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) has directed that Umar be followed”. His directive is: “Follow these two persons after me– Abu Bakr and Umar.” Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s above contention is regarding the visit to graves and regard for relics. However, Hazrat Umar’s ruling on divorce is much more important than the visit to graves & regard for relics, because the ruling on divorce was given by him in consultation with Companions and the same has been endorsed by all the four leading Imams & the majority.
Caliph Ali had thought of revising it, during his era and he mentioned it to Qaazi Abu Amr Ubaidah ibn Amr al-Salmani al- Kufi, who was Hazrat Abdullah ibn Masud’s disciple. In his Taqrib al-Tahzib Hafiz Ibn-e-hajr Asqalani writes: “Qaazi Shuraih used to consult him (Abu Amr Ubaidah al-Kufi) on contentious issues.” Qaazi Ubaidah told Hazrat Ali: “The consensus of the community included your opinion also. We prefer that consensus to your
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individual opinion.” Hazrat Ali was pleased on hearing it and he
gave up the idea of revising Hazrat Umar’s decree.”
Elsewhere Asqalni states (114):
“Companions had consensus on the issues of divorce and mut‘ah in the era of Caliph Umar. It is not on record that anyone from the Companions differed on these issues in the period of Hazrat Umar. The consensus of the Companions on these two issues indicates us that some of the Companions may have some abrogating principle (Nasikh) with them on these issues, which may not be known to others before. Anyone who disregards the consensus of the Companions on these two issues, his opinion will not be accepted. Rather, the consensus of Companions will prevail.”
What a pity that on the issue of divorce, Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya disregards the same advice which he gives about visiting the graves, insisting that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had directed that Hazrat Umar’s opinion be followed. Ibn-e-Taymiyya conveniently forgets that it is not only Hazrat Umar’s ruling but also the consensus view of Jury Companions (As-haab-e-shura). I wish Ibn-e-Taymiyya had acted on Qaazi Ubaidah’s golden advice.
Strangely enough, today following Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s unconventional views are regarded as the sign of perfect faith. It is gleefully said that the Egyptian govt. has legalized Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s opinion on divorce in 1347H/1929 AD, which is also the viewpoint of Ithna Asharis. Egyptian govt. has legalized prostitution as well and prescribed no punishment for the violation of Shariah.
“Towards Allah is our refuge & grievance; all power & authority rest with Him.”
Concluding Discussion
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya claims (115) that he is more familiar with
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the stance of his opponents. Some therefore, tend to think that his knowledge is all-embracing and that he is always right. For examining this, let me now focus on his opinion on visiting graves. Allah is the Supporter and the provider for an ability.
Visiting Graves
Ibn-e-Taymiyya spent years on discussing this issue, as is evident from his extensive writings on the subject. This opinion of his has hurt many pious persons.
Prior to him some persons had forbidden general Muslims from visiting graves. Taking the cue from them, Ibn-e-Taymiyya specifies that it is not lawful to undertake a journey for visiting the graves of Messengers and the grave of the leader of Messengers, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well. This offensive opinion hurt Muslims the world over. Hafiz Ibn-e-hajar Asqalani (116) and Allama Qastalani (117) term it as an odious opinion. At the behest of some, Safi al-Din Bukhair wrote al-Qawl al-Jali in support of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya; however, on this issue too, he regards Ibn-e-Taymiyya as guilty of having made a serious mistake. (118)
Hadith la tashuddur Rihaal:
This Hadith is Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s main plank that a journey should not be undertaken except for these three mosques—Al- Haram mosque, the Prophet’s mosque and Al-Aqsa mosque. The Hadith does not specify as to where one should not go; it only prescribes the above three. According to Arabic idiom, this Hadith may be taken to mean that no journey is to be undertaken for visiting any mosque other than these three. Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya did not endorse Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar’s practice. Prior to him some scholars had forbidden Muslim public from visiting graves and resorted to the same Hadith. Ibn-e-Taymiyya has
138 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
adopted the views of these people by generalizing it further, and
has stopped from visiting the graves of Messengers too.
Imam Ghazali’s Statement:
On this issue Imam Ghazali has written 119):
“Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, ‘A journey should not be undertaken except for three mosques—Al-Haram mosque, my own mosque and Al-Aqsa mosque.’
“The above Hadith is taken by some Ulama to mean that it forbidden to visit blessed places and the graves of Ulama and the pious. However, it does not appear as a sound opinion to me because there is permission for visiting graves. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is on record having said: “I had forbidden you from visiting graves. Now you should visit these.” The above Hadith “la tashuddur Rihalis specific to mosques, not to other places. For all mosques other than these three are same. There is a mosque in every town. Given this, it is pointless to visit any other mosque. However, it does not apply to other (Mashaahid) holy visit-able places. Their degree of blessedness varies, subjected to the (buried) person’s proximity with Allah. If a person lives in a place which does not have a mosque, he may travel to a town for a mosque and may even settle there.
We do not know if the person who prohibits for visiting the graves, will also apply the same logic to the graves of Prophets like Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham), Hazrat Moosa (Moses) and Hazrat Yahya (John) (peace be upon them) or not. It is hardly likely that anyone will prohibit it. When he approves for visiting the graves of prophets, then the graves of saints, scholars and other noble souls would also come under this decree. And it may be possible that visiting the graves is the reason for the journey like one use to visit scholars during their life time.”
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What is considered as highly unlikely by Imam Ghazali is a virtuous act in the opinion of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. What a big difference!
Hafiz Ibn Hajr’s Statement:
Regarding the above Hadith, Allama Asqalani states (120): “The exemption clause in the above will be taken as either general or specific. In the latter case, it will mean that no journey is to be undertaken, except for visiting those three mosques. There is no sound basis for such an interpretation because in this case, doors will be closed on all the journeys for social ties or for legal redressal. In former case, it has to be construed in a specific sense and further more it should be more specific which must be closer to the exemption. Its correct interpretation then will be that no journey should be undertaken for offering salah in a mosque other than these three mosques. Thus, the view of a person, who forbids because of aforementioned hadith that no journey is to be undertaken for visiting the Prophet’s holy grave or any pious person’s grave, got refuted.”
It is evident from the above, that it is permissible to visit a mosque for observing its architecture, as for example the Jama Masjid of Cordova (Qurtuba) in Spain. There is nothing wrong if one prays inside it on reaching there.
Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani also maintains: “This Hadith is specific to mosques that no journey is to be undertaken for visiting a mosque other than these three. It does not apply to journeys for study, visiting the pious and one’s kith and kin, for business and for excursion. This view is reinforced by the report which Imam Ahmad has related from Shahar ibn Haushab on the authority ofAbu Saeed Khudri. Shahar says: “I was sitting beside Abu Saeed when someone mentioned the visit to Mount Toor for offering Prayer. Abu Saeed said: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him)
140 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
forbidding a journey for a mosque other than these three, Haram,
the Prophet’s mosque and al-Aqasa mosque.” Hafiz Ibn Hajr points out that despite some weakness; it is Hasan Hadith (i.e. it can be employed for deducing a point).
Allama Ayni’s Statement
On the above Hadith he observes (121): “Ulama differ on the grounds for undertaking a journey. According to Nawawi, there is no excellence in undertaking journey to any mosque other than these three”. This is designated by him as the majority viewpoint (maslak-e-jamhoor). Ibn Bataal points out that it is related to a vow (Nazar). If one vows to pray in any mosque other than these three mosques and he has to undertake a journey for it; in the opinion of Imam Malik, he should better pray in any mosque of his own town. However, if the vow is for any of these three mosques, he should undertake journey and pray there. If one does so only for following the pious by way of offering Prayer in their mosque or has the intention of seeking blessings there, it is all right, even though it may entail a journey.
In the light of Allama Ibn Bataal’s above view, there is justification for those who travel from distant places in order to offer the last Friday Prayer of Ramadan (Jum‘atul Vid‘a) in the Jame‘y mosque, Delhi.
All praise and gratitude be for Allah.
Allama Ibn al-Humaam’s Statement
His version regarding the visit to the Prophet’s grave is as follows (122): “According to our scholars, of all the desirable acts (Mandubaat), the best one is to visit the Prophet’s grave. It is stated in Manasik al-Farsi and Sharah al-Mukhtar that it is
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 141 almost obligatory on one who can afford it. Daraqutni and Bazzaar
report the Prophet’s saying (peace be upon him):
“Whoever visits my grave will enjoy my intercession.”
Another report by Daraqutni is:
“Whoever comes with the sole intention of visiting my grave owes me the claim of being his intercessor on the Day of Judgement.”
One more report by Daraqutni is as follows:
“Whoever performs Hajj and visits my grave after, this is as similar as one who visits me during my life time”.
If one is obliged to do Hajj, he should perform it first and then visit the Prophet’s grave. If it is his nafl Hajj, it is his choice whether to do Hajj first or visit the holy grave. When someone intents to visit prophet’s holy grave, he should make the intention of visiting the Prophet’s mosque also, for it is one of those three blessed mosques, regarding which there is a directive to undertake journey. On the way to his grave one should keep reciting durood.
According to this feeble person (Ibn Al Humaam), it’s better to have the intention only for visiting the Prophet’s grave and after arriving in Madina one should visit the Prophet’s mosque as well. If Allah blesses him with another opportunity, next time he should have intention for both together because this adds to the Prophet’s glory.
My suggestion for intending first for the Prophet’s grave is based on the Hadith:
142 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
“He should have no intention other than that of visiting my
grave.”
After arriving in Madina he should better take bath, or at least perform ablution. One should put on clean clothes and if possible new ones and then visit it on foot. Throughout, one should bear in mind the Prophet’s glory. After offering salaat va salaam upon the Prophet (peace be upon him), if one recites the verse 56 of Surah al-Ahzaab
followed by reciting durud seventy times. In response, the angel says: “May Allah
have His blessings and mercy upon him and on you i.e. the person offering salaat va salaam.” Then that person’s wish is fulfilled.
Sheikh Abd al-Haq’s Statement
In context to Hadith la tashuddur rihaal Sheikh Abd al-Haq states (123):
This feeble person, writer of these wordings, Abd al-Haq son of Saif al-Din Turk Bukhari, Hanafi Dehlvi is of the view that this Hadith underscores the glory of these three mosques. In other words, if one undertakes a journey, it should be for only these three mosques. It is not proper to take pains for visiting any other place. Yet this Hadith does not disallow a journey for any other place.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s divergence of opinion
On the explanation of above Hadith Ibn-e-Taymiyya differs with the majority viewpoint in two respects. One is related to
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what is exempt. For him it is forbidden to undertake any journey other than for these three mosques. He insists on negation, which is denied by other scholars.
In view of this divergence there is no question of any forbidden act. For forbidding something clearly, primary textual reference is essential. Once there is divergence of opinion, that act is no longer forbidden in the absolute sense.
In his support Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya has cited the report of Basrah ibn Abi Basrah, which is as follows:
“When Basrah met Abu Hurayrah after his visit to Mount Toor, Basrah told him: Had you met me before the visit, you would not have proceeded. Then he related to him the above Hadith about visiting only the three mosques.”
Although Toor is only a mount and does not have any mosque, yet Basrah brought that Hadith to the attention of Abu Hurayrah. In other words, the prohibition is general.
In response to it Ulama contend that the prohibition is very specific, as it is clear from hadith of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, which he reports from Shahar ibn Haushab, pointedly states that, “The person offering Salah should not undertake journey for visiting any mosque other than Masjid-e-Haram, Masjid-e-Aqsa and my own mosques”.
Another argument of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya is that Imam Malik did not approve the expression, “visiting” the Prophet’s grave, as mentioned by Qaadhi ‘Ayadh in al-Shifa. Ibn-e-Taymiyya has, however, not stated the full context of Qaadhi ‘Ayadh’s writing, as a result his message has got somewhat distorted. Reproduced below is his writing in full:
144 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama Qaadhi ‘Ayadh Maliki’s Statement
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Chapter: On visiting the Prophet’s holy grave and the excellence of the one sending benedictions (salaat v salaam) upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) and about the supplication (124):
Visiting the Prophet’s holy grave is a well known custom among Muslims, on which everyone agrees, it is an excellent act about which there is fondness and inclination. I have this report from the chain of narrators involving Qaadhi Abu Ali, Abu al-Fadhl ibn Khairun, Hasan ibn J‘afar, Abul Hasan Ali ibn Umar Daraqutni, Qaadhi Muhamli, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Razzaq, Musa ibn Hilal, Ubaidullah ibn Umar and Nafe‘y from ibn Umar that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever visits my grave is assured of my intercession.”
And Anas ibn Malik says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever visits me in Madina, taking it as a good act, will be my neighbor and I will be his intercessor on the Day of Judgement.”
There is another Hadith:
“Whoever visits me after my death is like the one who called on me in my life time.”
Imam Malik’s Statement
It is said that Imam Malik did not approve the expression, “we visited” the Prophet’s grave. Qadhi Ayaadh Maliki has explained in detail, quoting the statements of senior scholars. He states that there is disagreement on the wordings of Imam Malik because prophet (peace be upon him) has said:
“Allah has cursed those women, who visit graves”.
However, the above is abrogated by Prophet’s other statement which reads thus:
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“You were stopped from visiting graves. Now you should visit
these.”
Another Prophetic statement refuting the prohibition is: “Whoever visits my grave.” The same expression ziyarah (visiting) is used in other Ahadith in the same context.
As to the contention, another point is that a visitor is better than whom he visits, but it is pointless because it does not apply to every visitor. Nor it is some general principle. It is said in other hadith (about ahl-e-Jannat) that the dwellers of Paradise will visit Allah. The same expression ziyarah (visiting) is used in the context of Allah. Thus the use of this expression is not prohibited.
Abu Imran’s Statement
Abu Imran said, “Imam Malik disliked saying tawaaf-e-ziyaarat (revolving around the K‘aba during specific time of Haj) or saying zurna Qabr an-Nabi [(we performed ziyaarat to the grave of Prophet (peace be upon him)]”. Since the word ziyaarat is too common and used in everyday speech for visiting anyone. Hazrat Imam wanted a special, exclusive word for him, and therefore he preferred that one should better say that he presented his salaam in the huzoor (being near) of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Let this be borne in mind that it is desirable to visit one another and that it is obligatory to undertake a journey for Prophet’s blessed grave. What Abu Imran means by obligatory that it is an act for which there is persuasion and encouragement. He does not use it in the sense of fardh (a religious duty obligatory on someone).
According to Qaadhi ‘Ayadh, Imam Malik’s disapproval of the wordings “zurna qabr an-Nabi” (i.e. we visited the grave of the prophet) is because of the word zurna (visiting), is pointing towards the grave. However, if it is said zurna an-Nabi (we visited
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 147 the prophet) then he would have preferred it. There is other saying
of the Prophet, which reads as follows:
“O Allah! Do not let my grave turn into some idol to be worshipped. Allah’s wrath has been on the community that turned the grave of their Messenger as places of worship”. Imam Malik wanted that the word ziyarat should not be used in context to the grave so as to avoid any similarity from the people who turned the grave of their Prophets in to the worshipping place. It is for slamming the doors on turning his grave into a worshipping place.
These are the wordings of Imam Malik; it has nothing in common what Ibn-e-Taymiyya has asserted. According to Abu Imran, it is not only legal but an encouraged and desirable act in the opinion of Imam Malik to undertake a journey to the Prophet’s holy grave. For Qaadhi ‘Ayadh it is a well-established practice among Muslims on which there is a consensus. He has cited authentic Ahadith with perfect chains of narrators in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has exhorted the Muslim community to visit his grave for gaining benefits in both the worlds.
Imam Malik and Mansur Abbasi
Qaazi ‘Ayaz has recounted the following incident (125). Once the Caliph (Mansoor Abbasi) entered the Prophet’s mosque speaking aloud along with his retinue. Imam Malik was inside the Haram (Masjid an-Nabi). He told Abu Jafar Mansoor Abbasi: “O Amir al-Mominin! Do not raise your voice in this blessed mosque. Allah has instructed believers in the following manners (126):
O you who believe! do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and when speaking to him do not speak aloud as you speak aloud to one another, lest all your deeds are reduced to nothing without you even realize it. Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of the Messenger of
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Allah are the one, whose hearts have been tested for God fearing by Allah. For them shall be forgiveness and a great reward. Surely most of those who call out to you, (O Prophet), from behind dwellings, are devoid of understanding.
(Al- Hujurat 49: 2-4)
The Prophet’s exalted status remains the same after his demise. Upon hearing this Abu Jafar Mansoor was filled with humility and apology and he told Imam Malik: “O Abu Abdullah! When I plead, should I face Qibla or the Prophet (peace be upon him)?” He replied: “Why do you turn away from him? He is the mediator for you and your very first father, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) on the Day of Judgement. You turn to him, taking him as the interce ssor. Allah will accept his intercession.(127) Allah says:
“If whenever they wronged themselves, they had come to you, praying to Allah for forgiveness, and had the Messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would have indeed found Allah All- Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Al- Nisa 4: 64)
This is Imam Malik’s inspiring message to the sinners among Muslims that they should visit the Prophet’s shrine, take him as the mediator and repent their sins. The Prophet (peace be upon him) will seek forgiveness for them and Allah will shower His favors & kindness on them.
However, Ibn-e-Taymiyya objects even to this saying (128): “They think that even after his demise he is like the living
being.”
It is followed by his arguments.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 149 Allama Samhodi’s Statement
Allama Samhodi has recounted hand written wordings of Abulfateh on behalf of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s report on the authority of Abd al-Malik ibn Amr, Katheer ibn Zaid and Dawud ibn Abi-swaleh. It reads as follows (129):
“Marwaan saw someone placing his cheeks on the holy grave of the Prophet. Marwaan held him by the neck and asked him as to what he was doing. He clarified: “I do not approach the stone. Rather I am here, presenting myself before the Prophet (peace be upon him). I heard him saying: “Do not feel worried about faith as long as the pious are in power. Do feel sad when the reign of power is in the hands of the impious.”
It should be known that the person at the grave was Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (the famous companion-sahaabi).
Hafiz Ibn Hajr’s Writing
Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani informs about Saalim ibn Abdullah ibn Umar (130): “Hazrat Saalim used to seek blessings (barkat) at the sites between Makkah and Madina where the Prophet (peace be upon him) had offered Prayers.” Ibn Hajr also relates about ‘Utbaan that he took the Prophet (peace be upon him) to his home and the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered salaat in his home. Utbaan then onwards used to pray at the same spot. Then Ibn Hajr stated, “This is a concrete proof for seeking blessings (barkat) from the relics of the pious (Aasaar as-Saliheen).”
Saalim, the son of Abdullah ibn Umar, did what he had noted his father doing, as is reported in Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s al-Radd ala al-Akhnai (p. 108). On p.114 he wrote about Saalim, that he used to seek blessings from the place where prophet used to put his holy hand on the pulpit and on p. 169 he states that on return from a journey to Madina he used to offer two rakah prayer in the
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Prophet’s mosque and then used to visit the Prophet’s holy grave, with his back towards Qiblah, placing his right hand over the blessed grave and used to offer salaam. Then he used to offer salaam to the graves of Abu Bakr and his father, Umar.
Taking graves as places of worship
Ibn-e-Taymiyya illustrated from the Ahadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has forbidden that graves be taken as places of worship. These Ahadith have nothing to do with visiting graves. Imam Ghazali rightly points out:
“We do not agree with this reasoning of Ibn-e-Taymiyya because there is a clear permission for visiting graves.”
Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s strange reasoning
In the account of Hajj, Ulama state that after Hajj
“It is desirable (Mustahab) to visit the Prophet’s holy grave”.
In reference to this report, Ibn-e-Taymiyya meant that ulama’s objective is to visit the Prophet’s mosque. (131) How strange it is, Ibn-e-Taymiyya changed altogether the purpose of the visit. He twisted the message of Ulama.
This indicates what Ibn-e-Taymiyya means by his assertion that he knows better the views of his opponents than they themselves. (132)
His knowledge consists in distorting (the messages of ulama) according to his whims.
Hanafis clearly maintain that the visit to the Prophet’s grave is one of the most desirable acts. It is almost an obligatory act, as is specified in Manaasik Kirmaani, Sharah Mukhtar and Fataawa
Abu Layth. We have already noted the verdicts of Allama ‘Ayni and Ibn al-Humam. Ibn al-Humam pointedly states that the intention should be for the holy grave, not for his mosque. Allama Qaazi Khan records the following supplication to be recited on leaving the holy grave (133):
“O Allah! Do not make this our last visit to our Prophet’s blessed grave. Enable us to visit it again, O the Most Glorious and the Noblest One. Then one should pray for the Prophet’s Companions, Abu Bakr and Umar. May Allah be pleased with both of them! One should present salaam to both and then states his wishes.”
The above supplication makes no reference to the Prophet’s mosque.
Qaadhi ‘Ayadh has spelled out the respected Maaliki ulama’s viewpoint (Mazhab) in detail. Abu Imran categorically says that it is obligatory to visit his grave. Qaadhi Ayadh says that this obligation is in the sense of encouragement and desirable act. Imam Malik is giving out the glad news to the Muslims that one should visit his holy grave and offer salaat o salaam, repent their sins with true heart, take him as the mediator and seek for his intercession (Shafa‘at), the Prophet in turn, will seek forgiveness for them and Allah will pardon their sins.
Imam Ghazali, Allama Taqiuddin Subki, Hafiz Ibn Hajr, Allama Qistalani, and Allama Dayjawi are Shaf‘ai. All these ulama restrict the application of the Hadith La tashudur Rihal only to a mosque and regard the journey for the holy grave as the blessed act. They
152 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
consider all those Ahaadith as authentic which Ibn-e-Taymiyya
dismisses as fabricated one.
Hanabila’s Viewpoint
Hanbalis have an identical stance on the issue, similar to those of Shafais, Malikis and Hanafis. Allama Taqiuddin Abul Hasan Ali Subki (d.756) writes (134):
“Hanbalis maintain the same view. Abu al-Khattaab Mahfuz Kuludaani Hanbali states in his Kitab al-Hidaaya, while discussing Hajj: “After performing Hajj it is desirable to visit the graves of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his two Companions.”
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Saamiri says in his Kitab al-Mustau‘ab, chapter “Baab Ziyarah Qabr Rasul Allah”: “Upon arriving in Madina, one should better take bath to etner Madina and then visit the Prophet’s mosque, by placing his right foot first and then approach his grave and while facing his grave, with Qibla to his back and the pulpit to the left.”
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 153 Afterwards Abu Abdullah Saamiri discusses the account of
salaam and thus supplication.
“O Allah! You have stated in the Quran: “If whenever they wronged themselves, they had come to you, praying to Allah for forgiveness, and had the Messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would have indeed found Allah All-Forgiving, The Most Merciful.” (Al- Nisa 4: 64) I have come to Your Messenger, seeking forgiveness and ask You to grant me forgiveness, as You did it for those who had called on him in his life time. O Allah! I have turned to you, taking Your Messenger as the mediator.”
It is followed by an extensive supplication and the directive that on leaving Madina one should visit his grave and then depart.
On the visit to the Prophet’s grave Allama Dayjawi has written in his article (please refer magazine noor al-Islam, al-Azhar university, Egypt):
“All the four scholars endorse the view that it is desirable to visit the Prophet’s grave. They have spelled out at length its norms. Hanabila do not have any difference of opinion on this. However, Ibn-e-Taymiyya and his followers have destroyed the unity of the community. They misconstrue the visit to his grave in the sense of the Quranic verses which are related to unbelievers and idolaters. Their misdeed aims only at fragmenting Muslims: “O Lord! Do not turn away our hearts once You have guided us on right path, and give us Your grace. You are the Giver of everything.”
Ahadith Ziyarah
Ustadh Allama Sheikh Muhammad Bakheet Muti‘i Hanafi in magzine Tattheer al-Fuad min Ans al-Itiqad, Allama Samhodi in book Wafa al-Wafa and Allama Subki in book Shifa al-Saqam fi Ziyarat Khair al-Anam have discussed in detail those 17 Ahadith recounted by Imam Ghazali, allama Ibn al-Humam and other
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Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 155
leading scholars in their books. They have cited the views of Hadith scholars. Some of these are authentic (Sahih), some less authentic (hasan) and some weak ones (Dha‘eef). On the whole, however, these are clinching evidence.
Allama Samhodi says (135) that after signing the peace pact when Hazrat Umar was returning from Jerusalem to Madina, he told Ka‘b Ahbaar who had embraced Islam by then:
“Do you want to accompany me to Madina and visit the Prophet’s grave?”
Had such a visit not been a blessed act, Hazrat Umar would not have asked Ka‘b to do so.
However, with one stroke Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya rejects all such Ahadith as fabricated ones, asserting (136):
“The consensus view of all Ulama al-Hadith is that they are weak, rather fabricated reports. No reliable narrator has related these.”
Eminent Ulama of all the four schools have accepted these reports after much rigorous scrutiny, branding some of these as authentic (saheeh), some as less authentic (hasan) and some as weak ones (Dha‘eef).
Will Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s pronouncement alone reject all these blessed reports which have been accepted and practiced for centuries by the Muslim community?
Allama Dhahabi was fan of Ibn-e-Taymiyya. When he noted such harshness in Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s stance, he had to say (137):
“I wish you had spared the Ahadith cited by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. You constantly attack these in order to devalue and reject these.”
Allama Ibn Humam’s research
Allama Ibn al-Humam has carried out an excellent research on authentic and inauthentic Ahadith. Relevant points are stated below. Those interested in a detailed study should consult his original work. (138)
“This declaration is unjustified that the most authentic Hadith is the one featuring in both the collections of Bukhari and Muslim, and then less in degree is the one in only Bukhari’s and lesser in degree is the one only in Muslim’s. Then those ahadith which are based on the conditions of both, Bukhari as well as Muslim, then those which are based on the condition of Bukhari only and then which are based on conditions of Muslim only . This declaration is not worth-following and to follow this decree is not correct. The most authentic is the one, of which the narrator fulfills all the conditions stipulated by Bukhari and Muslim. If a Hadith is up to this standard, then how can we say that Bukhari’s or Muslim’s collections are more authentic? For, many Ahadith cited by Bukhari and Muslim have been called into question by Hadith scholars. The important point thus is the evaluation of narrators and to look in to the conditions whether they are fulfilled or not.”
Allama Ibn al-Humam further states:
There is divergence of opinion among Ulama on the conditions. One holds a narrator untrustworthy whereas the other hails him as reliable. Those ulama which can’t exercise ijtihad (an opinon given after analysing all relevant points) or unable to rank narrators are satisfied with the majority view. However, those gifted with
156 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
deep understanding, evaluate narrators and also examine the conduct of the leading Companions (Akaabir-e-Sahabah). It may be possible that the Hadith cited by Bukhari as authentic (Saheeh), may be less preferred (Marjooh) for them and they may regard the Hadith as authentic (Saheeh) which Bukhari does not. It is in terms of its chain (Sanad) that a Hadith is reckoned as authentic (Saheeh) or less authentic (hasan) or weak (Dha‘eef). On the basis of incidents & bylaws a Hadith with a strong chain may be weak or vice-versa.”
According to Abul Hasan Zaid, (author of this work) Ibn Humam’s above account is indicative of the stance of Ayimma Mujtahedin (leading Imams). Imam Malik has related the Hadith of raising the hands (Raf‘e Yadain) on the authority of Zuhri and Saalim Ibn Abdullah that while commencing Prayer, on doing ruku and on raising from ruku the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to raise his hands. This report on Zuhri’s authority features in Bukhari’s collection. For Hadith scholars it has an excellent chain, rather a golden chain. Yet Imam Malik does not act on this Hadith. It is stated in Kitab al-Fiqh ‘ala Mazahib al-arb‘a:
“Raising the hands up to the shoulder on commencing Prayer is desirable. To do so in other postures is undesirable (139).”
Although the above Hadith has a strong chain, it has not been practiced in view of the circumstantial evidence. That is why Imam Abu Hanifah too, has not followed it.
It is clear from Allama Ibn al-Humam’s statement that Imams have been acting for centuries upon reports which may be less preferred or even weak for Hadith scholars . For jurists this does not create any problems. The Ahadith which have been used by the jurists (Fuqaha) proves their authenticity and is the clinching argument for us to act on these.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 157 Seeking blessings from Relics
We have already noted Abu Ayyub Ansari’s incident in Allama Samhodi’s statement. Also, we have taken note of Abu Utban’s incident and of Saalim ibn Abdullah ibn Umar in Allama ibn Hajar’s statement. Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya has recorded Abdullah Ibn Umar’s practice. Now I write incidents involving Caliphs Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar.
Bahariyya relates (140) that my uncle Khaddash saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) eating in a big bowel. He requested him to give that bowel which the Prophet gave. That blessed bowel was in our house. Whenever Hazrat Umar visited us, he asked us to serve him zam zam water in that bowl which we did. He drank it and sprinkled on his head and face what was left. By chance there was theft in our house and that bowel too, was stolen. After this when Hazrat Umar visited us and as usual asked for that bowel. When we informed him of its theft, he exclaimed: “Vow, what can be said about him! Even the Prophet’s bowel was stolen.” He, however, did not curse or abuse the culprit.”
Ulama have stated in their works (141) that Abu Bakr had told his son: “If there is conflict among Arabs, you should go off to that cave where I had taken refuge along with the Prophet (peace be upon him). By Allah’s will, you will keep getting your sustenance there every morning and evening.”
The Abode of Devils
Ibn-e-Taymiyya has rejected all the Ahadith about visiting the Prophet’s holy grave as fabricated and false. Likewise, on relics (Aasaar-e-Mubarakah) his stance is (142):
158 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
“Those visiting caves in mountains and other places in Syria, Egypt, the Arabian peninsula, Khorasan and other areas, their objective is to pay reverence to these sites. The point is that any place, other than mosques and Hajj sites, which they revere is actually the abode of devils, who at times appear in the human forms there.”
Let us bring to mind the blessed sites of Mount Tur, the Tuwaa valley, Ghaar-e-Hira (Hira cave) and Ghaar-e-Thawr (Saur cave) and the holy place of Baitul Muqaddas (Jerusalem) where the angel appeared in the human form. Allah says: “We sent to her Our spirit and he appeared to her as a well-shaped man.” (Maryam 19:17).
What the abode of devils has to do with these sacred sites? One is left wondering over Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s above assertion.
Asqalani advises very well regarding Ibn-e-Taymiyya (143):
“The issues on which he has erred, he should not be followed.

He is helpless (to think)”
These are the offshoots of his innovation of fragmenting the philosophy of monotheism (Tawheed) and inventing a new one of Tawheed al uloohiyyah and ruboobiyah. He has been misled by his own thoughts.
Supplication for Help
Hadith scholars narrate this blessed supplication (144):
“As one’s animal runs away he should call out: O servants of Allah! Help me.” (Bazzar)
And the other saying is, “As one’s animal runs away he should
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 159 call out: O servants of Allah! Help me. May Allah have mercy on
you!” (Ibn Abi Shayba, mauquofan) If one needs help, he should say:
“O servants of Allah! Help me, O servants of Allah! Help me, O servants of Allah! Help me”.
Tabaraani says that it has been a tried and tested supplication. Imam Jazari has recorded it in his Hisn Haseen, the sacred book was completed by him on Monday, 22 Dhi-al-Hijjah, 791 Hijri. Since that day it has been a highly popular work. Ulama have contributed their notes and explanations over it and it has been regularly recited by Muslims. I do not know whether Ibn-e- Taymiyya has passed any judgement on this blessed supplication or not. However, at present some persons have developed some reservations against it. For dispelling their doubt, the following brief account is provided.
Sheikh Sulayman ibn Abd al-Wahab Najdi Hanbali says (145):
“Haakim in his Sahih, Abu ‘Awana and Bazzaar on sound authority and Ibn Sunni from Ibn Masu‘d have related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised: “As your animals runaway
160 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
into wasteland, you should call out: ‘O servants of Allah! Stop it
(thrice). Allah’s servants will detain it.”
Tabaraani reports: “If one seeks help he should say: O servants of Allah! Help me.”
Imams have quoted and circulated this Hadith in their books for the benefits of Muslim community. No one has challenged it. The following scholars have cited it. Imam Nawawi in Kitab al- Azkaar, Ibn Qayyim in al-Kalim al-Tayyib and Ibn Mufleh in al- Aadaab. After citing it Ibn Mufleh adds: “Abdullah, son of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal says: My father told me that he performed Hajj five times. Once he lost the way while he was travelling on foot. He started saying: “O servants of Allah. Give me directions and he kept reciting it until he found the way.”
The above Hadith is authentic and noble scholars & persons have acted upon it, as a result of which they were relieved of distress. Qaazi Thanaullah Paanipati writes in his tafsir of Surah al-Naazi‘aat (146): About the details of al-mudabbirat
“Baghawi says on the authority of Ibn Abbas, “it is a band of angels with assignments given to them by Allah”.
Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib used to hear adhan from the Prophet’s holy grave during the period of Harrah. There are creatures of Allah engaged in performing their duties.
Conclusion
We have provided a brief account of Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Allah caused his birth in the golden period of Islam and blessed him with knowledge and other excellent features. Even his detractors acknowledge his excellence. As long as he endorsed the majority of ulama (Jamhoor-e-ulama), he gained esteem and
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 161
popularity. However, since the day he expressed his atypical views, deviating from the majority view and the stance of Ulama, his popularity started declining. Even his close associates parted company with him and he died in prison.
Allama Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani, a great scholar, was opposed to Ibn-e-Taymiyya’s unconventional views and he wrote his foreword to al-Radd al-Wafir. In it he expresses a very sound and balanced opinion about Ibn-e-Taymiyya:
“Notwithstanding all his excellence Ibn-e-Taymiyya is a human being, liable to error, while following the right path as well. Most of his views are right and one should draw upon these and perform divine supplication for Ibn-e-Taymiyya. He should not, however, be followed on the issues in which he had erred. He is helpless in those views.”
I fully appreciate Allama Asqalani’s above evaluation of Ibn- e-Taymiyya. As goes the saying that only a genius recognizes another genius. I conclude this work with this supplication:
“O our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who preceded us in faith and do not let us have any grudge against the believers. O Lord! You are Most Clement, Most Merciful. Peace be upon Messengers. All excellence is for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”
162 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Notes and References
  1. 1  This is the same monastery of Shah Ghulam Ali which was visited by Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohawi and Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi for taking Hadith lessons from the greatest jurist and scholar of the day, Mawlana Shah Abdul Ghani Mujaddadi Dehlavi.
  2. 2  His other two notable works are: Maqamat Akhiyar i.e the biography of Shah Abul Khair. It is in Persian and was published in 1395 H. The other is Hazrat Mujaddid awr unke Naqidin in Urdu. Mir Zahid Ali Kamil has translated it into English and is being published from Lahore.
  3. 3  May Allah reward Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abu Sa‘eed Mujaddadi Masumi Rampuri who let me draw upon the Manuscript copy of this work!
  4. 4  It is a famous Hadith in the collections of Bukhari and Muslim, narrated by Hzt. Umar. Among Hadith scholars it is known as Hadith Jibrail. The quoted portion is part of it.
  5. 5  This article in full appears on p 122 of this book.
  6. 6  This tract features in Allama Subki’s Tabaqat al- Shafa‘iya al-Kubra, Vol. 5, page 181-212. He mentioned Ibn Jibrail in place of Ibn Jahbal; however, in Durar-e-Kaamina, Shazarat Azzahab and others, the name is Ibn Jahbal.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 163 7 Majmu‘a Rasail, p. 119.
8 This Hadith is included in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim.
9 Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, 13, 136. 10 Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya, 14, 136. 11 Mirsad al-‘Ibad, MSS, p. 9
12
Alhawadis al Jamiah p. 331
13 Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya 13, p. 202 14 Shadhrat al-Dhahb, 5, p. 271
15
Al-Durar al-Kaamina , Vol. 1, 159
16 In “Kitab al-Iman” of Mishkat is the Hadith: “One whose love and hate for someone is for the sake of Allah alone perfects his faith.”
17 Shadhrat al-Dhahb 6, p. 155-156. 18 Tazkira, p. 161-162.
19
Shadhrat al-Dhahb 1, 250.
20 Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 10, 253. 21 Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya, 10, 336. 22 Hadi al-Sari, p. 445.
23 Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 14, 137. 24 Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab, p. 24 25 Al-Durur al-Kaamina 3, 26-27 26 Tazkira, p. 166
27 Al-Durur al-Kaamina 3, 27. 28 Al-Durur al-Kaamina 3, 27
164 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 165
  1. 29  Tazkira, p. 166.
  2. 30  Al-Durur al-Kaamina, 3, 308.
  3. 31  Al-Durur al-Kaamina, 1, 153.
  4. 32  Fath al-Bari 9, 310.
  5. 33  Kitab al-Radd ‘ala al-Akhnai, p. 189
  6. 34  Tazkira, p. 169-170.
  7. 35  Al-Nasiha al-Dhahbiya
  8. 36  Tazkira , p. 254
  9. 37  His full name is Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ma‘ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abd al- Karim Riqqi. Riqqa is a small town besides the river Euphrates. He was a Hanbali scholar of the day, known for his piety, scholarship and eloquence. Occasionally he attended sama‘ gatherings. Among his disciples are Barzali and Dhahbi. He was settled in Damascus. He was born in 647 and died in 703. He lies buried in Qasiyan.
  10. 38  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 6, 133.
  11. 39  Imam Ibn-e-Taymiyya, p. 615.
  12. 40  Tarikh Dawat wa Azimat, 2, p. 65
  13. 41  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 5, p. 412.
  14. 42  Kitab Ibn-e-Taymiyya p. 107
  15. 43  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 6, p. 37.
  16. 44  Al-Durur al-Kaamina, 4, p. 15.
  17. 45  Hayat Shayukh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya p. 32
  18. 46  Suyuti’s al-Jame‘y al-Saghir
47 Baytar’s Kitab, p. 31
48 Tazkira p. 251
49
Tazkira p. 171
50
Fath al-Bari, 3, p. 53
51
Fath al-Bari, p. 819 and 820. 52 Abjadul uloom, p. 817.
53 Al-Durur al-Kaamina 1, p. 58
54 Al-Durur al-Kaamina, 1, 374
55 Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 14, p. 139-140
56 Tabaquat al Shaafi‘ah al Kubra 5, pp. 181-212.
57 Tarikh Dawat wa Azimat 2, pp. 70-71
58 Tarikh Dawat wa Azimat 2, p. 75
59 Ibn-e-tamiyya by Ustad Abu Zohra, p.13
60 Mishkat, “Bab al-Mashi bi al-Janaza”
61 Mawlana Bhaujyani, Shaikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya pp. 776-777.
62 Majmu‘a Rasail, p. 126
63
Ruhlat-e-Ibn-e-Batutah 2, p. 146
64
Ruhlat-e-Ibn-e-Batutah 1, p. 4
65
Ruhlat-e-Ibn-e-Batutah 1, 50
66
Tarikh Hindustan, 2, p. 108-109
67
Al-Durur al-Kaamina 3, p. 480-481
68
Kitab al-‘Ibr by Ibn-e-khaldoon p. 181-182 69 Suyuti’s al-Jame‘y al-Saghir
166 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 167
  1. 70  Manaqib al-Imam al-Azam Abi Hanifah 2, p. 199
  2. 71  Hayat Shayk al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya p. 47
  3. 72  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 6, p. 81.
  4. 73  Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 13, p. 330
  5. 74  Al-Durur al-Kaamina , 1, p. 53
  6. 75  Al-Durur al-Kaamina, 1, p. 154
  7. 76  The tract al-‘Aqidah al-Wastiyah in Rasael Kubra 1, p. 395
  8. 77  Tafsir Abu Hayyan 4, p. 307
  9. 78  Sharah Hadith al-Nuzul p. 97
  10. 79  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 4, p. 331
  11. 80  Ibn-e-Tamiyya by Abu Zahrah, p. 371
  12. 81  Ibn-e-Tamiyya by Abu Zahrah, p. 293
  13. 82  Al-Durur al-Kaamina 1, p. 145
  14. 83  Al-Masaira fi al-‘Aqaid al-Munjia fi al-Akhira 1, p.30
  15. 84  Jame‘y Karamat al-Awliay 1, p. 119
  16. 85  Nafahaat al-Uns, MSS, p. 693
  17. 86  Lisan al-Mizan 5, p. 313
  18. 87  Miraat al-Janan 4, p. 101
  1. 89  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 5, p. 193
  2. 90  Shadhrat al-Dhahb 5, p. 191-192
  3. 91  This tract Edwah al-Maqsud min Ma‘ni Wahdat al- Wujood was published by al-Ab Aghnatioos ‘abdah khalifatul Yasoo‘ee in a book, pp. 306-317. I (the author) have the photocopies of these pages. These wordings are on page 307
92 Maktubat Sharif vol.1, Letter No. 291 93 Maktubat Sharif vol. 2, Letter No.1 94 Maktubat Sharif vol. 3, Letter No. 89 95 It is from Shadhrat al-Dhahb
96 Kokani, Imam Ibn-e-Taymiyya p. 615
97
Kitab Ibn-e-Taymiyya pp. 331-332
98
Hayat Shaikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya, p.31
99 An instance for this point is istehsan. Hanfis branded istehsan as qiyas khafi. Other schools (Mazaahib) misconstrue it as “the order without any Shariah basis”. However, on clarification they recanted their position.
100 Shadhrat al-Dhahb vol. 5, p 191. 101 Maqalat-e-Ihsani, p. 369
102
Maqalat-e-Ihsani, p.310
103
Maqalat-e-Ihsani, p.339
104 Maktubat Sharif vol. 2, Letter No.1 105 Al-A‘raf 7: 156
106
Kitab Ibn-e-Taymiyya, p. 615
107 Hayat Kibar Ulema is a body of thirty distinguished al-Azhar scholars. Al-Azhar top officials are elected by this body. Shaikh Yusuf was a leading member of this prestigious body.
108 Tarikh Baghdad 1, 123
109
Al-Durur al-Kaamina ,vol. 1, p. 155 110 Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya vol. 12, p. 186
168 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 169
  1. 111  Miraat al-Janan vol. 3, 232-241
  2. 112  Miraat al-Janan, p. 86
  3. 113  Mishkat, “Bab al-I‘etisaam min al-Kitaab wal-Sunnah”
  4. 114  Kitab al-Radd ‘ala al-Akhnai, p. 108
  5. 115  Fath al-Baari, vol. 9, p. 319.
  6. 116  Baytar, Hayat Shaikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya, p. 31
  7. 117  Fath al-Bari, vol. 3, p. 53
  8. 118  Irshad al-Sari, vol. 2, p. 344
  9. 119  Majmu‘a Rasail, p. 119
  10. 120  Ihya al-Ulum 1, 119
  11. 121  Fath al-Bari vol. 3, p. 54
  12. 122  Umdatul Qari, vol. 3, p. 682
  13. 123  Fath al-Qadir vol. 2, p. 336
  14. 124  Ashe‘at al-Lam‘at vol. 1, p. 348
  15. 125  Kitab al-Shifa vol. 1, p. 74-75
  16. 126  Kitab al-Shifa 2, 34
  17. 127  Al-Hujurat, 49 : verses 2-4
  18. 128  Al-Nisa, 4: verse 64
  19. 129  Al-Radd ‘ala al-Akhnai, p. 54
  20. 130  Wafa al-Wafa, 2, 410
  21. 131  Fath al-Bari, 2, 469
  22. 132  Al-Radd ‘ala al-Akhnai, p. 15
  23. 133  Hayat Shaikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya, p. 31
  24. 134  Fatwa Qazi Khan 1, 151
135 Shifa al-Saqam, pp. 54-55
136
Wafa al-Wafa, 2, 409
137
Al-Radd ‘ala al-Akhnai, p.189
138
Al-Nasiha al-Dhahbia 8th segment
139 Fath al-Qadir, “Bab al-Nawafil,” 1, 317-318 140 Al-Fiqh ‘ala al-Madhahib al-arb‘a, p. 189 141 Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d, 7, 81
142 Musnad Abi Bakr, p. 50; Lissan al-Mizan 6, 131; Kanz al-‘Ummal (Kitabul Fitan) Hadith No.99; Bayhaqi’s Dalail al-Nabuwah.
143 Al-Radd ‘ala al-Akhnai, p. 175
144 “Introduction” to
al-Radd al-Wafir
145 Hisn Haseen , Section 4
146
Al-Sawa‘iq al-Ilahiya fi radd ‘ala al-wahabiya p. 35 147 Tafsir Mazhari, 10, 187
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172 Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama
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  3. 44  Tarikh Da‘wat wa ‘Azimat vol. 2 by Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Ma‘arif, Azamgarh, 1377H.
  4. 45  Imam Ibn-e-Taymiyya by Kaukani. Madina Press, Madras, 1379H.
  5. 46  Hayat Shaikh al-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyya by Ataullah Bhaujyani. Lahore, 1381.
  6. 47  Tazkira by Mawlana Azad. Lahore.
  7. 48  Maqalat Ihsani by Manazir Ahasn Gilani. Majlis Ilmi,
    Karachi, 1959.
  8. 49  Al-Masairah by Allama Ibn Humam. Amiriya, Cairo, 1317H.
  9. 50  Shaikh Yusuf Dayjawi’s article in Mujalla Nurul Islam Azhar, 4: 254-319.
  10. 51  Al-Radd ‘ala Ibn-e-Taymiyya fi Khabr al-Jihat.
  11. 52  Zaghl al-Ilm wa al-Talab by Allama Dhahbi. al-Qudsi, Damascus, 1347H.
  12. 53  Al-Naisha al-Dhahbiya by Allama Dhahbi. al-Qudsi, Damascus, 1347H.
  13. 54  Al-Aqida al-Wastiya by Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya in Majmu‘a Rasail Kubra I, 387. Amira, Cairo, 1323H.
  14. 55  Sharh Hadith al-Nuzul by Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya. Maktab Islami, 1381 H.
  15. 56  La Tashuddu al-Rihal by Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya in Majmu‘a Rasail Kubra 2, 53.
Allama Ibn-e-Taymiyya and His Contemporary Ulama 173 57 Kitab al-Radd al-Akhnai by Allama. Salafiya, Cairo.
58 Al-Sawaiq al-Ilahiya by Allama Sulaiman ibn Abd al- Wahab. Istanbul, 1395H.
59 Shifa al-Asqam by Allama Subki. Istanbul, 1396H. 60 Al-Tawassul bi al-Nabi by Abu Hamid ibn Marzuq.
Istanbul, 1395H.
61
Al-Radd al-Wafir by Allama Ibn Nasir in Majmu‘a
Tisa Rasail, I, Cairo, 1329 H.
62
al-Qawl al-Jali by Safi al-Din al-Bukhari in Majmu‘a
Tisa Rasail, II, Cairo,
1329 H.
63
Al-Kawakib al-Durriya by Shaikh Mar‘ai in Majmu‘a
Tisa Rasail, III, Cairo, 1329 H.
64
Al-Tawassul bi Syed al-Rusul by Syed Siddiq Hasan
Khan.
65 Tathir al-Fuad by Shaikh Muhammad Bakhit Muti‘i. Muntaha al-Arab fi Lughat al-‘Arab. Lahore, 1871.