THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
AHLE SUNNAH SCHOLARS AND
AHLE SUNNAH SCHOLARS
The first group is that of the profound Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. They have corrected heresies, wrong deeds and superstitions that have been introduced among Muslims by ignorant people and by the enemies of Islam. They have revealed the true knowledge transmitted by the Ahl as-Sunnat mujtahids as they had heard it from as-Sahabat al-kiram. They did not say anything from themselves. They are called "mujaddidin" (renewers). The Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) praised them and foretold that they would come and render service to Islam: "After me, a scholar will appear every hundred years. He will strengthen my religion." Mujaddidin were praised in this hadith: "The scholars of my umma are like the prophets among the Children of Israil."
The absolute mujtahids such as al-Imam al-A'zam (the Greatest Imam) Abu Hanifa, al-Imam ash-Shafi'i and the like, who were madhhab leaders, al-Imam ar-Rabbani Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi, the 'ulama' who were attached to the madhhabs in each century and Hadrat al-Mahdi, who will come in the future, are of these mujaddidin.
Some hypocrites, who use the religion as a means for political purposes and worldly advantages, have been representing themselves as religious men and murshids. Every one of them has been writing that he himself is the very mujaddid predicted in the hadith. The ignorant believe one of them and call him a mujaddid. Whereas, Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa salam) explained the characteristics of mujaddidin. He said that they all would be in the path of as-Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu anhum). And those who are in this path are the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. These mujaddidin, who were predicted in the Hadith, have been the great scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnat, the apples of Muslims' eyes. They did not say anything from their own mind or opinions, nor did they give ayats and hadiths meanings according to their own ideas and understanding. They have tried to spread and emphasize the meanings given by the scholars of tafsir and hadith.
In the basic books of Islam, there is no mawdu' hadith or heretical belief or deed which the enemies and the ignorant have tried to introduce into Islam. The mujaddid's duties are not to change the religious books of Islamic scholars, nor to disesteem the value of religious knowledge in these books, nor to add new information to them. His duties are to reveal the religious teachings that are written in these books but have been forgotten later, to explain and teach them to everybody. Such an exalted scholar of Islam is called a "mujaddid" rather than a "reformer".
Religion reformers in the second group believe in and pay respect to the Qur'an and Hadith, but they refuse their meanings and the knowledge given in the books of Islamic scholars. They derive meanings from the Qur'an and Hadith according to their short sight. They differ from the knowledge of the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars on many points. They are called "ahl al-bid'a" (heretics).
Our Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) predicted also that they would appear. The Hadith ash-Sharif says, "My umma will part into seventy three groups. Seventy two of them will go to Hell, and one will not go to Hell owing to its iman." [This hadith is reported in many valuable books. For example, it is written on the first page of the translation of Al-milal wan-nihal that it exists in the four books of Sunan and that it is explained more detailedly in at-Tirmidhi's book. It is also written in the Sahihain of al-Bukhari and Muslim. Furthermore, it is written on the 609th page of Sharh al-Mawaqif, which is one of the greatest kalam books taught in high grades of madrasas, and in the 67th letter in the second volume of Maktubat by al-Imam ar-Rabbani. The ahl al-bida and disbelievers deny this hadith.]
There are other types of religious heretics who are insidious disbelievers. These enemies of Islam, by disguising themselves as Muslims and uttering gentle words such as, "We renovate the religion, reproduce its main sources and restore it to its former position," try to demolish Islamic faith, to change and defile the true meanings of Quranic verses and Ahadiths. They strive to demolish Islam form the inside. Because they pretend to be Muslims and say, "We renovate the religion and purify (or "cleanse") it from superstitions," ignorant people suppose such disbelievers to be real mujaddids. They believe in them. Thus such reformers are very successful. In order to deceive Muslims, they praise a few Ahl as-Sunnat scholars and write that they admire them, yet they dislike most of the teachings written in their books and call them superstitions. Of the hadiths written in these great scholars' invaluable books, they say "mawdu', made-up" about the ones which do not suit their purposes and which hinder their advantages. They force the heretical, harmful things they themselves make up to be accepted as true. Thus, they try to blemish these great scholars. Another group of them constantly speaks ill of, or even attribute disbelief to, one or two of the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars.
From the term 'religion reformers', we Muslims understand the la-madhhabi (non-madhhabite, non-Sunni) people, that is, members of the second and third groups. The group which is declared in the above-quoted hadith to possess the true faith and will not go to Hell for this reason is called the "Ahlus-Sunnat wal-Jama'at". This hadith shows that a person is either a Muslim or a disbeliever. And a Muslim is either a Sunni or a heretic. Then a person who does not belong to the Ahl as-Sunnat is either a heretic or a disbeliever.
Today, Muslims should be very learned lest they should be deceived by these destructive religion reformers who have spread all over Muslim countries. Freemasons, the insidious enemies of Islam, in order to cause Muslims to depart from their religion, try on the one hand to make the government administrators freemasons. On the other hand, they educate freemasonic men of religious profession. Freemasonic administrators try to pass laws prohibiting what is fard and commanding what is haram or even disbelief and, to exalt the reformist men of religious profession, who are their associates in the guilt.
ABUL A'ALA MAUDUDI
Mawdudi introduces Imam al-Ghazali as a reformer in his book The Revivalist Movement in Islam. He writes:
"Imam al-Ghazali extirpated the Greek thoughts so as to remove their effects from Muslims' minds. He corrected the mistakes of those who attempted to defend Islam against philosophers and scholasticism according to their own thoughts. He revealed the rational effects of the principles of belief, reopened the spirit of ijtihad, arranged the programs of education, introduced the moral principles of Islam and invited the government and officials to follow Islam. Yet he was inefficient in the knowledge of the Hadith, and he dwelt too much on rational knowledge and inclined to tasawwuf more than necessary."He attributes defects to this great scholar, who has been one of the greatest Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. He calls these imaginary defects "dangerous attitude". He extravagantly goes on:"Ibn Taymiyya removed these dangers, revived Islam's spirit of idea and morals and accomplished the explorations of renewal. A little before him, no one had dared to invite the people to Islam out of the fear of being calumniated; the narrow-minded scholars had cooperated with the cruel rulers, and it was his lot to unfurl the flag of renewal against them. He was profound in interpretation of the Qur'an and a leader in the Hadith and he took Islam from where al-Ghazali had left it forward. He defended Islamic faith and found more beautiful proofs for Islamic spirit than al-Ghazali had. Al-Ghazali's judgement had remained under the harmful influence of rational thoughts. Ibn Taymiyya was more effective and chose the way of reason, which was closer to spirit of the Qur'an and Sunnat. Thus, he won a wonderful success. Men of knowledge did not know the interpretation of the Qur'an. Those who were educated scholastically were not able to establish the connection between themselves and the Qur'an and Hadith. It has been only Ibn Taymiyya's lot to accomplish the real explanation of Islam. He made ijtihads by deriving his inspiration directly from the Holy Book, from the Sunnat, and from the way of living of the Prophet's companions. Ibn al-Qayyim, his disciple, studied over the divine causes, the meanings of which had not been solved, and put Islamic rules. By clearing out the evil effects that had leaked into Islamic system, he purified and refreshed it. He attacked the bad customs that had been accepted as parts of Islam and had been support for religious punishments and tolerated by scholars for centuries. This honest act turned the whole world against him. Those who came later raced with one another to calumniate him."
How could Mawdudi ever say "ignorant" about these profound scholars, like Imam Gazali whom Rasulullah (sal-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) praised?
JAMAL AD-DIN AL-AFGHANI
Ali Pasha (d.1871, buried in the Sulaimaniya Mosque yard), who became Grand Vizier five times during the times of Sultan 'Abd al-Majid and Sultan 'Abd al-'Aziz, was a freemason. He brought Jamal ad-din al-Afghani, a religion reformer hostile to Islam, to Istanbul, and in co-operating with him he began to reform the religion. But the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars were vigilant enough not to leave the field to them. They proved Jamal ad-din's disgrace, and Ali Pasha could not support him.
Jamal ad-din al-Afghani was born in Afghanistan in 1254 A.H. He came to Kabul in 1261. He stayed there for ten years. He read many books on philosophy. For some time, he spied for the Russians upon Afghanistan and received much money from the Russians. In 1285, he came to Egypt and became a freemason. Ali Pasha brought him to Istanbul and assigned him duties. Hasan Tahsin, the rector of the University of Istanbul and another freemason educated in Paris by the Grand Vizier Rashid Pasha and announced to be a disbeliever by the Shaikh al-Islam, had him give lectures that year. But, when he spoke recklessly, the great scholar Hasan Fahmi, the Shaikh al-Islam, gave the fatwa that he was a disbeliever. Hasan Fehmi Effendi was one of the profound scholars of his time and the hundred and tenth Shaikh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire. He had won the first place in the examination of ru'us. He became a mudarris, that is, a professor of religious knowledge at the university. He educated many disciples. Having been promoted through many positions, he became the Shaikh al-Islam. When Sultan 'Aziz went to Egypt, he prepared the khutba delivered at the Juma prayers. He kept long company with Hadrat Shaikh Saka, the famous scholar at Jami' al-Azhar. The Egyptian scholars appreciated his knowledge. Because of this same scholar's righteous opposition, Jamal ad-din was disgraced. Ali Pasha had to dismiss Jamal ad-din from Istanbul. It is written in the book Ad-durar by Adib Ishaq of Egypt that Jamal ad-din was the chief of the freemasonic lodge in Egypt. He inoculated Egyptians with ideas of revolution. In order to increase his fame, he pretended to side with those who prepared the event of "A'Rabi Pasha" against the British. He made friends with Muhammad 'Abduh, the Mufti of Egypt. He inoculated him with his reformatory thoughts. Muhammad 'Abduh wrote: "Before I saw Jamal ad-din my eyes had been blind, my ears deaf and my tongue dumb." In London and in Paris, Jamal ad-din wrote many harmful articles on reform in the religion. In 1886 he came to Iran. He did not keep quiet there, either. Fastened with chains he was left inside the Ottoman borders by five hundred cavalrymen. He went to Baghdad and London. He wrote articles against Iran. Thence he came to Istanbul, where, co-operating with the Bahais he made the religion a means for politics. He tried to stir up a rebellion in Iran. A year later, his chin became cancerous and he died in 1314 A.H. (1897). He was buried in the Cemetery of Shaikhs near the Macka Barracks in Istanbul. An American had a tomb built for him. After the Second World War, his bones were taken to Afghanistan. Freemasons write differently about his hostility against Islam, his revolutionary and mischievous adventures. They are not ashamed of saying "ignorant, reactionary" about the Shaikh al-Islam and Muslim scholars just in order to show him great.
Great Muslim scholar Hadrat Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi (d. in 1362/1943) said, "It was Ibn Taymiyya who invented the heresy of reform in the religion first. Later on, this heresy was led to unbelief by the ignorant and by the enemies of Islam."
Ibn Taymiyya was born in Harran in 661/1263 and died of disease in prison in a fortress in Damascus in 728/1328. He did not like the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. He denied tasawwuf entirely. He called the apples of the eyes of Islam such as Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi and Sadr ad-din al-Qonawi "disbelievers". Whereas, he was not too ignorant not to know that he who called a Muslim "disbeliever" would himself become a disbeliever. It is a pity he tried to adapt Islam to his own opinion and narrow mind and, denying the facts which he could not comprehend, he went astray. 'Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sharani (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), one of the leading 'ulama' of Islam and a specialist in 'ilm at-tasawwuf, exposed Ibn Taymiyya's this deplorable state in this Tabaqat al-kubra, in the preface of which he wrote: "Only walis can recognize a wali. If one who is not a wali or does not know anything about wilaya does not believe in wilaya, this indicates his obstinacy and ignorance." Now, as such is Ibn Taymiyya's denial of tasawwuf, his belittling 'arifs. One should not read such people's books, keeping away from them as if running away from beasts of prey. Abu 'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili, one of the superiors in tasawwuf, reported the state of those who had denied awliya' in detail." Therefore, Ibn Taymiyya's followers bear hostility against Hadrat 'Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sharani and have aimed their arrows of slander at this great scholar of Islam.
Ibn Taymiyya said that the early Muslims had adapted themselves to the Qur'an and Hadith, but the madhhab leaders who had appeared later had introduced their own opinions, and he blamed the Ahl as-Sunnat. Whereas, as written in the seventeenth article above, the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars, in regard to religious knowledge, have never departed from the way of narration (naql). They have not followed their own points of view. It is accepted unanimously by Muslim scholars that especially al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) followed the narration in every respect and held his own point of view inferior to it. [For documented explanation, see the 27th chapter in Endless Bliss I.] While slandering the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars in this respect, Ibn Taymiyya himself interpreted the Qur'an according to his own point of view. Thus, he himself differed from the early Muslims. This shows that he was not sincere in his word. He said that the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars had misunderstood the Qur'an and Hadith and that even the Sahabat al-kiram had gone wrong on many points, that he himself corrected Allahu ta'ala's religion and that only he understood the true meaning of the Qur'an. He disliked the great mujtahid of the first and second centuries of the Hegira, who had been praised in the Hadith, and the Muslim scholars who have spread the mujtahids' madhhabs all over the world. Because of this, he began to fall into disesteem in front of the men of knowledge. The authorities of religion co-operated and began to observe minutely the way he had taken, and it was understood to be heretical and harmful. The chair of professorship that he had inherited from his father was taken back from him. But still he did not keep quiet. He reproduced the words of the heretical group called "Mushabbiha" and said that Allahu ta'ala was material and an object. He supposed that the Creator was in the shape of man. By giving wrong meanings to symbolic (mutashabih) ayats and hadiths according to his own comprehension, he went wrong. He was so badly fixed in this heretical belief that one day he said on the pulpit of the mosque in Damascus, "Allahu ta'ala descends on the earth from the sky as I descend now," and got down from the pulpit. Ibn Battuta reported this. The 'ulama' of the four madhhabs, by writings answers refuting these words of Ibn Taymiyya, prevented the deterioration of Muslims' itiqad. The book Ar-raddu 'ala 'l-mushabbihi fi qawlihi ta'ala ar-Rahmanu 'ala 'l-Arsh-istawa by Muhammad ibn Jamaat, who was a Shafi'i scholar of fiqh and hadith and had been the Qadi Of Egypt, Damascus and Quds and passed away in 733 (1333), is full of these invaluable answers. In the fatwa book Tatarhaniyya and in Al-milal wa 'n-nihal and in many other books, it is written that the groups of Mujassima and Mushabbiha, that is those who believe Allahu ta'ala to be a material being who sits, gets down and walks on the 'Arsh, were disbelievers. In 705 A.H. scholars and officials, justifying Egyptian Sultan Nasir's decision, imprisoned Ibn Taymiyya in the well of Cairo fortress because he spread such heretical words. Because he gave wrong fatwas which the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars did not consider permissible, he was again imprisoned in the Damascus fortress in 720. His words about visiting prophets' graves and blessed places also made a mess and caused fitna. For this reason, he was imprisoned again in Damascus in 726. In 728 (1328), he got sick in the dungeon and died.
Ibn Taymiyya said that he was in the Hanbali madhhab. Whereas, one has to believe in accord with the Ahl as-Sunnat so that he can be in one of the four right madhhabs. Many words of his indicate that he did not belong to the Ahl as-Sunnat and, on the contrary, he disliked the Ahl as-Sunnat. He represented himself as a mujaddid, as a reformer. Hanbali scholar Mar'i (d. 1033 A.H.) wrote a biography of Ibn Taymiyya titled Kawakib, in which he quoted Ibn Taymiyya's writings that did not recognize the necessity of following the imams of madhhabs and even the ijma'. Though he attacked the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars because they had done qiyas, he himself did qiyas on many points, especially in his book Majmuat ar-rasa'il wal-masa'il. He did not believe in the greatness of awliya' and attacked visiting graves. He changed the hadith, "One shall set off on a long journey only for visiting three mosques," into "Only three mosques are to be visited," and said that it was a sin to visit even Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) tomb. Hadrat Ibn Hajar al-Haitami answered this in detail in his book Fatawa al-fiqhiyya. In the 222nd article of the book Nuzhat al-hawatir by 'Allama 'Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani (d. 1341/1923), it is written that Muslim scholar Muhammad 'Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi of India (d. 1304/1887) debated upon this subject with Muhammad Bashir, a la-madhhabite Indian. Ibn Taymiyya was aggressive against the madhhab of Hadrat Abu 'l-Hasan al-Ashari, one of the greatest Ahl as-Sunnat scholars, and against this profound scholar's explanation of qadar and of the Names of Allahu ta'ala and against his interpretation of the ayats about the punishment in the next world. He said that the punishment in Hell would not be eternal also for disbelievers and that every kind of tax paid to the State would be accepted as zakat. He did not admit that the words incompatible with what the four madhhabs had unanimously declared were of disbelief. He strived to rebut the honor and fame of the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. In al-Jabal mosque in Salihiyya, he said that Hadrat 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) had made many mistakes. In another gathering, he said that Hadrat 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh) went wrong three hundred times. (astaghfirullah al-Azeem!!!) A hadith, which is written in the book Kunuz by al-Manawi, in Imam Ahmad's Sahih and in the book Mirat al-ka'inat, states: "Allahu ta'ala has put the true word on 'Umar's tongue," by which Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) meant that Hadrat 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) would never go wrong. Ibn Taymiyya opposes this hadith by saying, " 'Umar made many mistakes," Whereas, he was learned enough to know of this hadith. He was much learned on the Hadith, but he went wrong as much. It was true that many of the Sahabat al-kiram except 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) might have made mistakes in those matters that were to be understood through ijtihad. But their mistakes were the mistakes in ijtihad. For this reason, even the mistakes of those great people and also of the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars in those matters understandable through ijtihad will be rewarded (thawab) in the next world, since all of them were mujtahids. As for Ibn Taymiyya's mistake in the teachings pertaining to belief, it took him away from the right path and caused the punishment he deserved to increase. By presuming himself to be a mujtahid, he became above himself and led himself to disaster. He went further and mercilessly attacked the great men of tasawwuf such as Sadr ad-din al-Qonawi, Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi and 'Umar ibn al-Farid. He said that al-Ghazali's books were full of mawdu' hadiths, and he did not neglect to criticize our scholars of qalam. He could not understand that the madhhabs arose out of the differences of ijtihad and supposed that they were the results of philosophical thoughts. He considered it as a guilt that the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars had said that the old churches in Muslim countries should not be touched, and for this reason, he spoke ill of the great men of Islam.
Mawdudi, like Ibn Taymiyya, misrepresents Imam al-Ghazali as defective.
Great scholar Ibn Hajar al-Makki, in commenting on the causes of disbelief, wrote that the person who would claim to have found fault with Imam al-Ghazali's writings either envied him or was an atheist. [Al-alam bi kawati al-Islam, p.137, with references to Ibn as-Subki and other scholars.] Hanafi scholar Ibn 'Abidin wrote at the end of his Al-'uqud Durriyya, "One who says that Imam al-Ghazali was not an alim is the most ignorant among the ignorant and the worst of fasiqs. He was Hujjat al-Islam and the most superior of the scholars of his time. He wrote very valuable books on fiqh. Some rules of the Shafi'i madhhab was based on his books."
Prominent Muslim scholars have declared that Ibn Taymiyya departed from Islam and became a renegade. Profoundly learned scholars such as Ibn Battuta, Ibn Hajar al-Makki, Taqi ad-din as-Subki and his son, 'Abd al-Wahhab, 'Izz ad-din Ibn Jamaat and Abu Hayyan az-Zahiri al-Andulusee, each of whose words have been regarded as documentary evidence, considered him a man of Biddah, a heretic. Even those who said he was a heretic did not deny his knowledge, intelligence and zuhd, but, a hadith written in MishkatThe worst of the bad is the bad man of religion." Hadrat al-Imam ar-Rabbani Ahmad al-Faruqi wrote in his fifty-third letter: states,
"The good scholar is the best of mankind. The bad scholar is the worst of mankind. Men's happiness and disaster depend upon scholars. A great man saw the Satan sitting unoccupied and asked why he was lazy. The Satan said, 'The heretical scholars of the present time do my work. They do not leave any work for me to lead the people astray.' "Imam as-Subki, too, used to praise Ibn Taymiyya's knowledge and intelligence much. Burhan ad-din ibn Muflih wrote in his Tabaqat that Imam as-Subki praised Ibn Taymiyya much in the letter he had written to az-Zahabi. But, Imam as-Subki, in his work Ar-raddu li Ibn Taymiyya, and his son 'Abd al-Wahhab, in his Tabaqat, wrote that Ibn Taymiyya departed from the Ahl as-Sunnat and went astray. Many persons whom he inoculated with his ideas, especially his disciples Ibn al-Qayyim and az-Zahabi, praised him too much. 'Ali al-Qari ' and Mahmud Alusi, who are considered as religious scholars because of their annotations for famous books and who lived on writing on the Qur'an and valuable books, and Muhammad 'Abduh, who claimed to be a mujtahid, followed in his footsteps and departed from the Ahl as-Sunnat. Yusuf an-Nabhani, one of the profound scholars of the present century, in his book Shawahid al-haqq, and Shaikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri Effendi, one of the great Ottoman scholars, in his book Al-'ilm wal-'aql, and Abu Hamid ibn Marzuk, a Damascene scholar, in his two-volume work, which was partly published by offset under the title At-tawassulu bi 'n-Nabi wa Jahalat al-Wahhabiyyin in Istanbul in 1395 A.H. (1975), proved Ibn Taymiyya's heresy with documents.
Those who approve Ibn Taymiyya, in order to prove his being judged and imprisoned unjustly, write:
"His writings against the men of tasawwuf offended them. His fatwas about divorce made the scholars of fiqh feel hostile towards him. And his fatwas about the Divine Attributes hurt the scholars of kalam. Therefore, the scholars of kalam, fiqh and tasawwuf co-operated against him, and he was punished."They think that they can make everybody believe that religious scholars would become hostile towards or torture or denounce a Muslim because of a few words. They misrepresent him as a victim of oppression and the scholars as cruel. Whereas, Ibn Taymiyya rose in rebellion against the Ahl as-Sunnat. He spread the fire of fitna over the Muslim world. For example, when Abu Hayyan, a scholar of Arabic, came to Cairo in 700 A.H., Ibn Taymiyya said to him, "Who is Sibawaih that you call him a scholar of Arabic! There are exactly eighty mistakes, which you cannot distinguish, in his book."
Hearing these words which would not become a man of knowledge, Abu Hayyan preferred to keep away from him and censured him in his Qur'an commentary Al-bahr and also in its abridgement titled Nahr.
Ibn Hajar al-Askalani quotes az-Zahabi in his book Durar al-kamina, "When talking on knowledge, Ibn Taymiyya used to get angry, try to defeat the person whom he talked to and offend everybody." Imam as-Suyuti wrote in his book Kam' al-mu'arid, "Ibn Taymiyya was arrogant. He was self-conceited. It was habit to represent himself as superior to everybody, to slight the person whom he talked to and to make fun of great Muslims." Muhammad 'Ali Beg, a Damascene scholar, wrote in his book Hittat ash-Sham, "Ibn Taymiyya's and Priest Luther's aims were alike. While the Christian reformer was successful, the reformer of Islam was unsuccessful." Mawlana Muhammad Ziyaullah, one of the prominent 'ulama' of Pakistan and the imam and Khatib of the city of Siyalkut, wrote in the 93rd page of his work The Truth of Wahhabism (Published in Urdu in 1969): "Mawlawi 'Abd al-Hayy Luknawi (d. 1304 A.H.), the great alim of India and the author of hundreds of invaluable books known by the world, said in his book Ghais al-ghamam, 'Like the predecessor Ibn Taymiyyat al-Hurrami, the successor ash-Shawqani was very learned but less intelligent. The latter was exactly like, even more inferior than the former.' "
Goldziher writes that Ibn Taymiyya deemed the right madhhabs to be bidat' and, saying that they changed the early purity of Islam, attacked them and also opposed the Ashari madhhab and tasawwuf and announced visiting the graves of prophets and awliya' to be a sinful act.
Mustafa 'Abd ar-Razzaq Pasha, former Rector of the Jami' al-Azhar and student-follower of Muhammad 'Abduh, wrote: "When issuing fatwa, Ibn Taymiyya did not follow any madhhab, but he acted in accordance with the proof he himself found. He denied the kashfs of tasawwuf leaders."
Ibn Taymiyya wrote about Sadr ad-din al-Qonawi: "Sadr ad-din, a friend to Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi, surpassed his master in scientific knowledge and kalam, yet he was more disbelieving, less learned and had less iman than his master had. Since such people's faith was disbelief, more skillful of them were more excessive in disbelief." Some Islamic scholars said that Ibn Taymiyya was a disbeliever, and most others said that he was one of ahl al-bidat. Shaikh al-Makki, a scholar contemporary with Yavuz Sultan Salim Khan, answered the attacks against Hadrat Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi and wrote: "Ibn Taymiyya said that disbelievers would get out of Hell after burning there for many years and supported this claim with the hadith, 'Some day the doors of Hell will open and grass will grow on its ground.' He also quoted some other hadiths. Whereas, it is clearly stated in the Qur'an that disbelievers will remain in Hell eternally. There has been tawatur and ijma' on this fact. Most scholars said that Ibn Taymiyya opposed the tawatur and ijma." [Al-janab al-gharbi, Rashid Effendi section, Sulaimaniyya Library.]
'Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sharani wrote: "Those who say that all the inhabitants of Hell will go out and that Hell will become empty, in fact, oppose the Qur'an and Hadith. The Ahl as-Sunnat scholars, the just imams, unanimously said that the punishment in Hell would be eternal for disbelievers. The ayat, 'We will throw those who part from the believers' path into Hell,' is an answer to them. The first division of Hell, where those believers with a lot of sins will be punished, will become empty. Its other divisions, where disbelievers will be punished, will never be emptied. believers will be set free from the punishment by attaining shafa'a and only their place will become empty and grass will grow on the ground of the first division of Hell. Imam al-Qurtubi writes that the above hadith is mawkuf, that it was not reported to have been heard from Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam). Hadrat Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi, too, said that the doors of Hell will never be opened and that disbelievers will remain in Hell eternally. Those scholars who said that they would go out of Hell meant that sinful believers will go out." [Mukhtasaru tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, p.96.] Ibn Taymiyya, putting forth the hadiths telling that believers will go out of Hell, denied the ayats, tawatur and ijma'. Calling the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars "disbelievers" causes one to become a disbeliever. It is written in the subject on the Qadi of the book Radd al-mukhtar that it is disbelief to deny the hadiths which were not interpreted differently by the Salaf as-Salihin and which are of tawatur. Maliki scholar Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah of Tanja, who is famed with the name Ibn Battuta, gave many quotations from Ibn Taymiyya that were incompatible with Islam and wrote:
"Ibn Taymiyya had much knowledge. But there was something wrong with his mind... I was in Damascus. In the Friday salat, he, after reciting the khutba, descended the stairs saying, 'Allahu ta'ala descends on the world's sky as I descend now.' Ibn Zahra, a Maliki scholar, told the congregation the badness of these words in detail. The ignorant majority of the congregation had believed Ibn Taymiyya to be on the right path and liked his pompous words much. Upon the Maliki scholar's word, they beat him with their hands and shoes. He fell down. His turban fell off and his silk skull-cap appeared. Under the pretext of this [Islam forbids man to wear silk clothes], they took him to the Hanbali Qadi. The Qadi punished him with tazir and imprisoned him. Maliki and Shafi'i scholars said that this tazir was unjust. The affair was taken to Nasir the Ruler. A council of scholars was appointed and they came to the conclusion that Ibn Taymiyya caused partition (fitna) among Muslims. With the command of the Sultan, he was imprisoned in Damascus." [Tuhfat an-muzzar, p.9. The author of this history work, Ibn Battuta, dictated it to his secretary, Ibn Jazi. It has been translated into many languages. The second translation into Turkish by Muhammad Sharif Beg was printed in Istanbul in 1335 A.H. (1917). The above-quoted passage is also quoted in Yusuf an-Nabhani's Jawahir al-bihar in the entry "Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi".]May Allahu ta'ala endow comprehension and guidance to the right path upon those who believe in the inferiority of our madhhab leaders to him, whose heresy was understood and who was punished by the scholars of his time and by all Muslims! May He protect Muslim children against believing heretics! Amin.
Ibn Hajar al-Makki wrote: "One of Ibn Taymiyya's superstitious absurdities was his denial of tawassul or istighatha, putting Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) as an intermediary when praying to Allahu ta'ala. No scholar before him had ever said so. Because of this absurd idea of his, he became the subject of Muslims' conversations. The opposite of his fatwa is the truth. It is always good to put Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) as an intermediary. He could be put as an intermediary before and after he was born, and in this world as well in the next world. One of the proofs showing that he could be put as an intermediary before he was born is the fact that prophets and the awliya' of their ummas had done so. Ibn Taymiyya's slanderous word was not based on any fact or rule. A hadith reported by Hakim an-Nishapuri, a hadith scholar, declares that, 'When Adam ('alaihi 's-salam) was mistaken, he said, 'O my Rabb! Forgive me for the right of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam).' Allahu ta'ala said, 'I have not created Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) yet. How do you know him?' And he said, 'O my Rabb! When Thou created me and gave me soul, I raised my head and saw the writing, "La ilaha ill Allah Muhammadun Rasul Allah," all around the 'Arsh. I understood that Thou had put the name of him whom Thou loved most among Thine human creatures next to Thine Name.' And Allahu ta'ala declared, 'O Adam! You have said the truth. Among Mine human creatures, he is the one whom I love most. Since you asked my pardon for his right, I have forgiven you immediately. If it were not for Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) I would not have created you.' Muhammad's ('alaihi 's-salam) right' means 'Allahu ta'ala's loving and cherishing him very much' or 'his rights upon other human creatures' or 'his right which Allahu ta'ala, as a blessing upon him, recognizes upon Himself'. Likewise, it was said in a hadith, 'What is human creatures' right upon Allahu ta'ala?' In this context, 'right' does not denote something that must be done by Allahu ta'ala, for Allahu ta'ala does not have to do anything. He does it if He wills. Asking something from Allahu ta'ala for Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) right cannot be said to be polytheism since it is not asking it for him. Allahu ta'ala declares that He loves His Messenger ('alaihi 's-salam) very much and that He has endowed a high rank upon him. Allahu ta'ala is asked to give for the right, for the sake of his love and this high rank. One of the blessings, gifts which Allahu ta'ala has endowed upon His Messenger is that He accepts those prayers sent through his right, through his high rank. For the person who disbelieves this blessing, the greatest loss is his deprivation of it. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was put as an intercessor when he was alive, too. An-Nasai and at-Tirmidhi reported that a blind man came to Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam). He begged him to pray so that his eyes might open. Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) said to him, 'I will pray if you wish, but you can be patient if you like. Patience will be better for you.' When the man said, 'I would like you to pray. I have nobody to lead me. I am in great difficulties,' Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) said, 'Perform ablution and then say, "O my Rabb! I turn towards Thee through Thine Beloved Prophet, whom Thou hast sent as a blessing upon people. I ask from Thee! O Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)! I turn towards my Rabb through thee. O my Allah! Make him an intercessor for me!" ' Also Imam al-Baihaki reported that the blind man stood up and, seeing, walked away. Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) himself did not pray but taught him the prayer. He wanted him to turn towards Allahu ta'ala, to entreat Him and to put Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) as an intercessor and wished his prayer to be accepted in this way. He was and has been put as an intercessor both when he was alive and after his death. The Salaf as-Salihin, after his death, said this prayer very often and attained their purposes through it. As reported by at-Tabarani and al-Baihaki, a man whose request was not accepted by the Caliph 'Uthman (radi-Allahu 'anh) went to Hadrat 'Uthman ibn Hanif, a Sahabi, and asked his help. He taught him this prayer. When he approached the Caliph after saying the prayer, his request was accepted. In a hadith reported by at-Tabarani, Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam), when praying, said, 'For the right of Thine Prophet and Thine other prophets preceding him'. Tawajjuh, tawassul, istighatha and tashaffu' through him, through other prophets or awliya' all mean the same thing. Islam has also declared it permissible to put some kind of deed or 'ibada as an intermediary. The Hadith informs that, of old, some people who were imprisoned in a cave, entreated by mentioning their old deeds done only for the sake of Allahu ta'ala and the stone that had plugged the opening of the cave opened the way and they were rescued. While a prayer is accepted for the sake of one's good deeds, it is certain that the prayers sent through those who have performed the best deeds will be accepted. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi-Allahu 'anh) prayed for rain by putting Hadrat 'Abbas (radi-Allahu 'anh) as an intermediary. None of us, Sahabat al-kiram objected to it. The reason why he did not pray through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) or through his blessed grave but through Hadrat 'Abbas was because he deemed himself very low and considered Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) relatives higher than himself. His praying through Hadrat 'Abbas, in actual fact, was praying through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam). The words 'tawassul', 'tawajjuh' or 'istighatha' do not show that the one through whom is prayed is higher than the one to whom is prayed, because the one with a high status is made an intermediary in asking from the one with a higher status. 'Istighatha' means 'asking for help from somebody by putting someone else as an intermediary'. The former is higher than the intermediary. Muslims, when praying through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) or awliya', do not think otherwise. No other thing comes to their hearts when saying these words. Allahu ta'ala alone is the One who is prayed to and is asked from; the Prophet is an intermediary, a mediator between. Only Allahu ta'ala helps by creating or making; the Prophet is the cause, the intermediary of the help. Allahu ta'ala is the Real Helper, and Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) is the symbolic helper. A hadith reported by al-Bukhari declares, 'On the Day of Resurrection, they will pray first through Adam, then through Musa and then through Muhammad ('alaihimu 's-salam).' 'Praying through Rasulullah' means 'asking him to pray'. He is alive in his grave and understands the demand of the person who asks from him. According to an authentic narration, there was dearth in the time of Amir al-Muminin 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) and a Sahabi visited Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) grave and said, 'O Rasul-Allah! Pray for your umma so that it shall rain! Your umma are about to perish.' Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) showed himself to him in his dream and said that it would rain. And it did rain. He also said in the dream, 'Go to 'Umar! Tell him my greetings! Give him the good news that it will rain. Tell him to act mildly.' 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) was severe and strict in carrying out the commands of the religion. The Sahabi told the Caliph about his dream. The Caliph listened and wept. According to some reports, this Sahabi was Bilal ibn Harith al-Muzani (radi-Allahu 'anh). Here, the point is not the dream but the Sahabi's praying through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) at his dream. As it is seen, Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) can be asked also after his death, as it was done when he was alive, to pray so that one's wishes might come true. In addition to the fact that wishes have come true through his praying and intercession, there is the fact that others' prayers sent through him before he was born, when he was alive or after his death have been accepted. On the Day of Resurrection, he will intercede with Allahu ta'ala for his umma, and his intercession will be accepted. This fact has been reported as ijma' by Islamic scholars. Hadrat 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas (radi-Allahu 'anhuma) reported the hadith saying that Allahu ta'ala declared to 'Isa ('alaihi 's-salam), 'O 'Isa! Believe in Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)! And command your umma that those of your umma who will live in his time believe in him! Had it not been for Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), I would not have created Prophet Adam ('alaihi 's-salam). Had it not been for Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), I would not have created Paradise and Hell. I created the 'Arsh on the water. It moved. When I wrote, "La ilaha ill Allah," on it, it stopped.' This hadith was reported with sahih references by Hakim. Would not a prayer be accepted, which is asked for the sake of such a prophet, who has such a high status and infinite honor, and who attained Allahu ta'ala's blessings? Would not a prayer sent by asking for his intercession be accepted?" [This passage is translated from Ibn Hajar al-Makki's Jawhar al-munzam. It is also quoted in Shawahid al-haqq.] The prayers which Nuh[This passage is translated from Ibn Hajar al-Makki's Jawhar al-munzam. It is also quoted in Shawahid al-haqq.], 'Ibrahim and other prophets had asked for the sake of Muhammad ('alaihimu 's-salam) are written in tafsir books.
Imam as-Subki, as quoted Shawahid al-haqq, said:
"There are two forms of tawassul of Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam); the first one is to ask from Allahu ta'ala for the sake of his high status and baraka. One of the terms 'tawassul', 'istighatha' and 'tashaffu' ' is used when praying so. All of them mean the same. He who prays by expressing one of these terms asks from Allahu ta'ala by putting Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) as an intermediary. He asks from, prays to, Allahu ta'ala through him. In even worldly affairs, He immediately gives the thing which is asked from Him by putting someone whom He loves very much as an intermediary. The second form of tawassul of Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) is to ask him to pray to Allahu ta'ala so that one may attain one's wish, for he is alive in his grave and understands what is asked from him and he can ask for it from Allahu ta'ala. Also in the next world, he will be asked to intercede, and he will intercede, and his intercession will be accepted."Shihab ad-din ar-Ramli, as quoted in the book Shawahid al-haqq, said:"Prophets and awliya' can be made intermediaries even after their death. The mujizat of prophets and the karamat of awliya' do not cease after their death. The hadith clearly declares that prophets are alive and perform salat and hajj in their graves. It is known also that martyrs are alive and they help warriors." Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab read Ibn Taymiyya's and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya's books and deviated from the right path. He got their ideas fixed into his mind.(Courtesy other sources)