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Fahm'us Salaf

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The Trial of Ibn Taymiyyah and His Defence of the Salafi Aqidah
« on: December 26, 2015, 07:06:34 AM »
The Trial of Ibn Taymiyyah and His Defence of the Salafi Aqidah (Creed)Modified
Shaykh'ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu’at'ur Rasa‘il'il Kubra, 1/413-421


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (With the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy): A mentioning of what occurred concerning this blessed Aqidah (al-Aqidat'ul Waasitiyyah) from studies which were made evident by its compiler to the opponents.

The Shaykh, Alam'ud Din mentioned that the Shaykh (i.e., Ibn Taymiyyah) –may his secret be sanctified– spoke in the gathering of the ruler, al-Afram, when he was asked about his creed. So, the Shaykh presented his Aqidat'ul Waasitiyyah. He said: I wrote this approximately seven years ago, before the arrival of the Tatars to Sham. So I read it in the gathering.

Then, Alam'ud Din mentioned from the Shaykh, that he said: "The reason for writing it was that one of the judges of Waasit, from the people of goodness and Religion, complained to me about the condition of the people in his land, within the state of the Tatars. He complained about the overwhelming condition of ignorance and oppression and the obliteration of the Religion and knowledge. So he asked me to write for him an Aqidah. So I said to him: “Indeed, people from amongst the Imams of the Sunnah have already written works of Aqidah.” So he persisted in the request and said: “I would not like, except an Aqidah that you have written.” So I wrote this Aqidah for him whilst I was sitting after Asr.

Therefore, the leader pointed to the author, so he read it to those who were present, word for word. So some of them objected to my statement in it: “And from Iman in Allah is to have Iman in whatever Allah has described Himself with and in whatever His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has described Him with; without Tahrif (distortion), nor Ta’til (denial), nor Takyif (asking how), or Tamthil (likening).” So the intended meaning of this was to negate Ta’wil, which is to direct the word away from its apparent meaning, either by obligating that, or by merely making it permissible.

So I said: “Indeed, I amended the term, ‘Ta’wil’ to the term, ‘Tahrif’ because Tahrif is a term that has been rebuked in the Qur‘an. Hence, I strove to follow the Book and the Sunnah with this confinement. Thus, I negated what Allah rebuked from Tahrif. I did not mention within it the word Ta’wil, because the term has a number of meanings, as I have explained in its proper place from al-Qawaa’id. So the meaning of the term Ta’wil in the Book of Allah is not the same meaning of Ta’wil employed in conventional usage by the latecomers from amongst the people of Usoul (basic principles) and Fiqh. Moreover, this is not the meaning of the term Ta’wil employed in conventional usage by many of the people of Tafsir and the Salaf.”

And I said to them: “I mentioned the negation of Tamthil, but I did not mention Tashbih (resemblance), because Tamthil has been negated by Allah in the text of His Book, where He said:


لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ

There is nothing like unto Him.” (ash-Shura 42/11)

So they took to mentioning the negation of Tashbih and Tajsim (attributing a body to Allah), and they exaggerated greatly concerning this. So they raised objections with what some of the people have attributed to us from that. (Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Muftari alayhi, 50-68)

So I said: “My statement, ‘without Takyif, nor Tamthil,’ negates all falsehood. I only chose these two terms, because the negation of Takyif has been narrated from the Salaf, as was stated by Rabi’ah (d.136H), Malik (d.179H), Ibn Uyaynah (d.197H) and other than them. This is the statement that the scholars have received by acceptance: “Istiwaa (ascension of Allah above the Throne) is known, and the Kayf (modality) is unknown. It is obligatory to have Iman in it, and to ask about it is an innovation.”1 So these Scholars of the Salaf agreed that the Kayf (modality) was not known to us. Therefore, I negated that in following the Salaf of the Ummah. Additionally, this is negated by the text. So performing Ta’wil upon the Ayaat pertaining to the Attributes enters into the reality of the One being described, but the reality of His Attributes are not known. So this is from the Ta’wil that is not known, except to Allah, as I affirmed in the sole principle I mentioned concerning Ta’wil, its meaning and the difference between our knowledge of the meaning of speech and between our knowledge of its Ta’wil. Likewise, Tamthil has been negated in the text and in ancient consensus, in addition to the sound intellectual proof for its negation and for the negation of Takyif. Therefore, Allah made it unknown to mankind.”

So whilst speaking about that, I mentioned the speech of al-Khattabi, where he mentioned that this was the Madhhab of the Salaf. It is to pass along the Ayah pertaining to the Attributes and their Ahadith upon their apparent meaning, along with negating the Kayfiyyah (modality) and Tashbih from them.2 So the speech concerning the Attributes is a branch of speech concerning the Dhaat (Essence).3 I mentioned this in following his (al-Khattabi) example and in conforming to his precedence. So since affirmation of the Dhaat (Essence) is affirmation of Wujud (existence), not affirmation of Takyif, then likewise, affirmation of the Attributes is affirmation of existence, not affirmation of Takyif.

So one of the elder opponents said: “So at that point it becomes permissible to say that He is a Jism (body), who is not like the Ajsaam (bodies of the creation).” So some of the nobles and I said to him: “It can only be said that Allah is to be described with whatever He described Himself with and with whatever His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has described Him with. And there does not exist in the Book and the Sunnah anything to indicate that Allah is a Jism, such that this could become obligated. And the first one to say that Allah is a Jism was Hishaam Ibn'ul Hakam ar-Raafidi. And as for our statement, then it is the moderate path amongst the sects of the Ummah, just as the Ummah is the moderate path amongst the rest of the nations. So they are the moderate path in the issue of the Attributes of Allah amongst the people of Ta’til: the Jahmiyyah and the people of Tamthil: the Mushabbihah.”

So it was said to me: “You have written the belief of Imam Ahmad (d.241H).” And they wished to end the dispute with the excuse that this was a Madhhab that was followed. So I said: “I have not related anything, except the Aqidah of all the Salaf'us Salih, not just Imam Ahmad specifically.”

And I said: “Indeed, I granted respite to those who opposed me in anything from it for three years. So even if they were to come with a single word from the three early generations in opposition to what I had mentioned, then I would repent from that. And it was upon me to bring the statements of all of the groups from amongst the three early generations in agreement with whatever I had mentioned, from the Hanafiyyah, the Malikiyyah, the Shaafi’iyyah, the Hanbaliyyah, the Ash’ariyyah, the Ahl'ul Hadith and other than them.”

Then, the disputant sought speech concerning al-Harf (letters in the Qur‘an)4 and as-Sawt (voice).5

So I said: “That which has mentioned about Ahmad and his companions that they held the voices of the reciters and the letters inside the written copies to be Qadimun Azli (ancient and eternal) is a fabricated lie. This was not stated by Ahmad, or by any of the Muslim Scholars.” So I brought out notebooks, and in them was what Abu Bakr al-Khallaal (d.311H) mentioned in his book, as-Sunnah from Imam Ahmad. And there was included in them what was collected by his companion, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi (d.294H), from the speech of Ahmad and the speech of the Imams of his time. It was mentioned that whosoever stated: ‘My recitation of the Qur‘an is created,’ then he is a Jahmi. And whosoever said: ‘My recitation is not created,’ then he is an innovator.

I said: “So what about the one who says: ‘My recitation is eternal?’ And what about the one who says: ‘My recitation is ancient?!’”

So the disputant said: “Indeed, he attributes to Ahmad people from the Hashawiyyah, the Mushabbihah and their like who spoke with such.”

So I said: “The Mushabbihah and the Mujassimah outside the companions of Imam Ahmad are greater in number than those amongst his companions. So all of these Kurdish groups are Shaafi’iyyah, and they have within them Tashbih and Tajsim the likes of which is not found amongst the other groups. And the people of Jilaan are Shaafi’iyyah and Hanbaliyyah. So as for the pure Hanbaliyyah, then they do no possess that which other than them possess. And the Karraamiyyat'ul Mujassimah are all Hanafiyyah.”

And I said to him: “Who from amongst my companions is Hashawi with the meaning that you desire, al-Athram Abu Dawud al-Marwazi? Abu Bakr al-Khallaal (d.311H)? Abu Bakr Ibn Abd'ul Aziz? Abu'l Hasan at-Tamimi? Ibn Haamid (d.403H)? Qadi Abu Ya’laa (d.458H)? Abu'l Khattaab? Ibn Aqil?” And I raised my voice and said: “Name them! Reply to me, who are they?!"

Is it with that lie and fabrication of Ibn'ul Khatib (i.e., al-Fakhr'ur Razi) upon the people with regards to their Madhaahib that you nullify the Shari’ah and obliterate the signposts of the Religion; just as he and other than him quoted from them that they would say: ‘The ancient Qur‘an is the voices of the reciters and the letters in the written copies, and that the voice and the letters are ancient and eternal.’

Who has said this? And in which books is this found stated by them? Speak to me! And likewise, from which of them has it been quoted that they said Allah will not be seen in the Hereafter, despite conforming to what he claims and the introduction that has been quoted from them?”

And then the issue of the Qur‘an came up, and that was the issue that it is the speech of Allah, which is not created. It began from Him and to Him it shall return. Some of them had a contention concerning ‘from Him it began and to Him it shall return.’ And they sought an explanation for that.

So I said: “As for this statement, then it has been narrated and confirmed from the Salaf, such as what has been recorded from Amr Ibn Dinaar (d.126H). He said: ‘I have met people for seventy years, and they all said: ‘Allah is the Creator, and everything else besides Him is created, except for the Qur‘an.’ So it is the speech of Allah, it is not created, from Him it began and to Him shall it return.’ (Darimi, ar-Radd ala'l Jahmiyyah # 344; an-Naqd ala'l Marisi 116; Bayhaqi, as-Sunnan 10/205; al-Asma wa's Sifaat 245; Diya‘ud Din al-Maqdisi, Ikhtisas'ul Qur‘an # 50)

So the meaning of, ‘from Him it began,’ is that He spoke it, and He was the One who revealed it from Himself. It is not as the Jahmiyyah say, that it was created in the wind or other than it, and that it began from other than Him.

And as for, ‘and to Him shall it return,’ then it means that the Qur‘an will be hidden with Allah during the end of time, it will be absent from the written copies and the chests. So there will not remain a single word from it in the chests, and there will not remain a word from it in the written copies. And the majority of those present agreed to this.

So I said: “Likewise, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:


وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ الْعِبَادُ إِلَى اللَّهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُ

"The servants do not draw closer to Allah with anything like that which has come from Him." (Tirmidhi, #2911; Ahmad, Musnad, 5/268; Ibn Nasr, Qiyam'ul Layl, 41-42, 122; Bukhari, Khalq Af’aal'ul Ibaad #509; Bayhaqi, al-Asmaa wa's Sifaat 305; Khatib, Tarikh Baghdaad, 7/88, 12/220) meaning the Qur‘an.

And Khabbaab Ibn'ul Aratt (radiyallahu anh) said: “O Hantaah! Draw close to Allah with whatever you are able. So Allah is not drawn closer to with anything more beloved to Him than that which came from Him.” (Ajuri, ash-Shari’ah 77; Bayhaqi, al-Asmaa wa's Sifaat, 310-311)

And I said: “Indeed, Allah spoke with it Haqiqatan (in reality). And this Qur‘an that Allah revealed upon Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) is the Haqiqah (real) speech of Allah. It is not the speech of anyone other than Him, and it is not permissible to say unrestrictedly that it is a mentioning from the speech of Allah, nor an expression of His speech. Rather, when the people recite the Qur‘an, or write it within the books, then that is not excluded from being the speech of Allah. So the speech is only connected in reality to the one who stated it in conveyance and meaning.

So some of them became agitated by the affirmation of it being the speech of Allah in reality after he concurred that Allah spoke it in reality. Then, he concurred that since it had been clarified to him that it was correct to negate the metaphorical, then it was not correct to negate this. And he mentioned the statements of the early Scholars that were narrated from them and the poetry of the poets, which were all connected to them. These were their statements in reality. So when he mentioned therein that the speech is only connected in reality to the one who originally said it, not to those who said it in conveyance afterwards, they held this speech as being good and glorified it.

And I mentioned what the Salaf of the Ummah had agreed upon from Allah the Glorified being above the Throne, with a true meaning Ala Haqiqatihi (upon its real sense). There was no need for Tahrif, except to protect against false suspicions. And the meaning of:


وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

And He is with you wherever you are.” (al-Hadid 57/4) is not that He is mixed in with His creation. Since, this is not obligated in the Arabic language. And it is in opposition to what the Salaf of the Ummah were agreed upon, and it opposes what Allah has made the creation naturally inclined to. Rather, the moon is a sign from the signs of Allah; it is from the smallest of His creations. So it is complacent in the sky, yet it is with the traveler wherever he may be.6

So when I mentioned that all of the Names of Allah, which the creation were named with, such as the term, al-Wujud (Existence), which is a statement of reality upon al-Waajib (Allah, the One whose existence is obligatory) and al-Mumkin (the creation, whose existence is merely possible, as they were created by Allah), two elders disputed: “Is it a statement of Ishtiraak (sharing similar qualities) or Tawaatu (the very same in all senses)?” So one of them said: “It is Mutawaatu (the very same in all senses).” And another said: “It is Mushtarik (sharing similar qualities), in order to avoid Tarkib (composition).” And this one said: “Indeed, Fakhr'ud Din mentioned that this dispute is built upon the question: ‘Is His Existence the source of His Maahiyah (Essence), or not?’ So whoever says: ‘Indeed, the existence of everything is the source of its essence,’ then this is a statement of Ishtiraak (sharing similar qualities). And whosoever says: ‘His Existence is an extension of His Essence,’ then this is a statement of Tawaatu (the very same in all senses).” So he held the first view to be stronger than the second, which was that the existence is an extension of the essence, in order to aid the position that this is a statement of Tawaatu. So the second one said: “The Madhhab of al-Ash’ari and Ahl'us Sunnah is that His Existence is the source of His Essence.” So the first one objected to that.

So I said: “As for the theologians of Ahl'us Sunnah, then according to them, the existence of everything is the source of its essence. As for the other statement, then it is a statement of the Mu’tazilah: that the existence of everything is an extension of its essence. So each of these positions is correct from an angle. So the correct view is that these names are stated with Tawaatu, as I have already affirmed in other than this place. As for this issue being built upon the existence of something being the source of its essence, or other than that, then this is from the errors that have been connected to Ibn'ul Khatib. So if we were to say that the existence of something is the source of its essence, then it is not obligatory for the name to be stated for it and for something else similar to it with an Ishtiraak in wording only, as occurs in all collective nouns. So the name of the shape is a statement about this shape and that shape with Tawaatu.

So the source of this shape is not the source of that shape. Therefore, the name demonstrates the extent of similarity between them, and it is universally absolute. However, it is not found to be absolute with the condition of non-restriction, except in the mind. And it does not become binding from that to negate the extent of similarity between the existent sources outside, since that would negate the names that are Mutawaati‘ah (the very same). That is the case with the majority of existing names in the languages. These are collective nouns in the language. So it is a name that is connected to something and whatever else resembles it, whether it be a concrete noun, or a descriptive noun, whether it is an inanimate object or a derivative, and whether it is a type of logic or knowledge or none of that. Rather, in the language, the collective noun enters into categories, groups, types and the like. All of these names are Mutawaati‘ah and the sources of their appellations are outwardly distinguished.”

This was the last of what was connected to the Shaykh with regards to the debate, which was conducted in the presence of the ruler, the judges, the jurists and other than them.

Hafidh adh-Dhahabi said: “Then there was agreement that this was a good Salafi creed.”



Quote
1- Rabi’ah ar-Ra’i (d.136H) said: “al-Istiwaa‘ is not unknown, and how it occurs is not comprehendible, and from Allah is the Message, upon the Messenger is to convey and upon us is to affirm.” (Bayhaqi, al-Asmaa wa's Sifaat # 516; al-Laalikaa‘i, Sharh Usoul'il I’tiqaad # 665; Ibn Taymiyyah, Majma'ul Fatawa, 5/365; Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Hamawiyyah 80)

Imam Malik (d.179H) said: “al-Istiwaa‘ is known, and how is unknown, and to have Iman (faith) in it is obligatory, and to question it is an innovation.” Then he said to the questioner: “I do not think, except that you are an evil man.” So he ordered him to be expelled. (Bayhaqi, al-Asmaa wa's Sifaat 516) with the wording: “al-Istawaa‘ is not unknown and how is unknown, to have Iman in it is obligatory and to question it is an innovation.” Bayhaqi also relates, as does Darimi in ar-Radd ala'l Jabmiyyah with a good Isnaad, as Ibn Hajr says that Imam Malik said: “The Most Merciful ascended as He Himself described, and it is not to be asked ‘How?’ Since how is unknown.” (Bayhaqi, al-Asmaa wa's Sifaat, 516; Darimi, ar-Radd ala'l Jahmiyyah, 55; Ibn Hajar, Fath'ul Bari, 13/406)

2- It was stated by Khattabi (d.388H): “The Madhhab of the Salaf with regards to the Attributes of Allah is to affirm them as they are Ala Dhaahir (with their apparent meaning), negating any Tashbih (resemblance) to them, nor Takyif (asking how they are).” (Mukhtasar'ul Uluww #137)

3- Khatib'ul Baghdadi (d.463H) said: “So the Asl (basic principle) is that speech about the Attributes is speech about the Dhaat (Essence) of Allah, so it follows it in that and takes it as a model of example. So when it is known that the affirmation of the Lord of the Worlds, the Mighty and Majestic, is affirmation of existence, then likewise, affirmation of His Attributes is only an affirmation of existence, not an affirmation of limitation (Tahdid) and modality (Takyif). So when we say: ‘Allah has a Hand, Hearing and Seeing,’ then these are only Attributes that Allah has affirmed for Himself. And we do not say that the meaning of Hand is power, nor do we say that the meaning of Hearing and Seeing is knowledge. And we do not say that these are bodily limbs and tools to perform actions. Rather, we say that it is obligatory to affirm them, but to make Tawqif (stopping at the texts of the Book and the Sunnah) of what is mentioned concerning them.” (Ibn Qudaamah, Dhamm'ut Ta’wil, # 15; Dhahabi, al-Uluww, 185)

4- It was narrated from Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma ajmain) who said: “When Jibril (alayhi salam) was sitting with Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), he heard a strange sound from above, so he raised his head and said: This is a door from the sky that has been opened today, it has never been opened, except upon this day. So an angel descended from it, so he said: This is an angel that has descended to the earth; it has never descended except today. So he greeted them and said: I give you glad tidings of two lights that I have come to give you, they have not been given to anyone before you, al-Fatihah and the last Ayah of al-Baqarah. You will not recite a letter from them, except that it will be given to you.” (Muslim; Nasai; Hakim; Ibn Hibban)

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu anh) said: “Learn the Qur‘an. Verily every letter from it that is written, ten rewards are obtained, and ten sins are expiated. I do not say that ‘Alif Laam Mim,’ is ten, rather, I say that Alif is ten and Laam is ten, and Mim is ten.” (Ibn Abi Shaybah, 10/461)

Shu’ayb Ibn Habhaab said: “Whenever a man used to recite with Abu'l Aliyah (d.90H), and he did not recite as he recited, rather, he said: As for me, then I shall recite it as such and such. He said: So I mentioned that to Ibrahim an-Nakha’i, so he said: I see that your Companion has heard that whoever disbelieves in a single letter from it, then indeed he disbelieves in all of it.” (Ibn Abi Shaybah, 10/513-514; Ibn Jarir Tabari, Tafsir, # 56)

5- The Imams of the Salaf used to affirm as-Sawt (Voice) for Allah. Stated Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Hanbal: "I asked my father (i.e., Ahmad ibn Hanbal) about a people who say: When Allah spoke to Musa (alayhi salam), He did not speak with a voice. So my father said: Of course! Indeed, your Lord the Mighty and Majestic spoke with a voice. We relate these Ahadith as they have come." (as-Sunnah # 533)

Imam Abu Bakr al-Marrudhi, the companion of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, said: "I heard Abaa Abdullah (i.e., Imam Ahmad) and it was said to him that Abd'ul Wahhaab was speaking and he had said: Whosoever claims that Allah spoke to Musa without a voice, then he is a Jahmi, and an enemy of Allah, and an enemy of Islam. So Abu Abdullah said: How beautiful is what he has said, may Allah pardon him." (Ibn Taymiyyah, Dar‘u't Ta’aarud, 2/37-39)

Abdullah Ibn Ahmad said: "I said to my father (i.e., Imam Ahmad): Verily there are those who say that Allah did not speak to Musa with a voice. So he said: These are the heretical Jahmiyyah, they only use Ta’til (denial), and he mentioned the narrations in opposition to their statement." (Ibn Taymiyyah, Majma'ul Fatawa, 12/368)

6- Shaykh'ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) said: "They (i.e., Ahl'us Sunnah) do not make resemblance between His Attributes and the attributes of the creation, because for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) there is no comparison, nor equal, nor partner, and there is no analogy for Him with His creation."(Sharh'ul Aqidat'ul Waasitiyyah, 1/127)
Whosoever desires الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah (honour, power and glory) then to Allah belong all الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah [and one can get honour, power and glory only by obeying and worshiping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ al-Kalim al-Tayyib (the goodly words), and الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ al-Amal al-Saalih (the righteous deeds) exalt it (the goodly words i.e., the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds). (Fatir 35/10)

 

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