Shaykh ul-Islâm ibn Taymiyyah

Abu Safwan Farid Ibn Abdulwahid Ibn Haibatan

From 'Ibn Taymiyyah's Essay on Servitude'

As for the author, his calibre and prestige goes without saying. He is the great scholar, Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him. Scholars of Islaam acknowledge his astonishing excellence in all fields of knowledge - and Allaah favours whom He chooses.

His name is Ahmad Ibn 'Abdul-Haleem Ibn 'Abdis-Salaam. His kunyah is Aboo al-'Abbaas and he is also referred to as Taqiyy ad-Deen. As for his most common appellation: Ibn Taymiyyah, scholars give different accounts for why he was referred to by this term. Some say that one of his ancestors performed hajj through the route of Taymaa and he saw a maid (there) who had came out of a tent, when he returned (to his homeland) he found that his wife had given birth to a daughter and they raised her up to him, whereupon he said: "O Taymiyyah, O Taymiyyah" i.e., she resembled the maid he had seen at Taymaa. It is also said that the mother of his grandfather Muhammad, was named Taymiyyah and thus he came to be ascribed to her. [1] He was born in Harraan, an old city within the Arabian Peninsula between Shaam [2] and Iraq, on the tenth or the twelfth of the month Rabee' al-Awwal in the year 661H. He later fled at a young age with his family to Damascus because of the terrible conditions of his homeland and those surrounding it as a result of the occupation by the Tartars.

His family was renowned for its knowledge and stature; both his father and grandfather were people of scholarly repute. Three of his brothers were also known for their knowledge and excellence: 'Abdur-Rahmaan, 'Abdullaah and his half-brother, Muhammad.

1. His Early Life

Ibn Taymiyyah was brought up, cared for and nurtured by his father. He obtained knowledge from him and the other shaykhs of his era. He did not confine himself to the knowledge of those around him but also directed his attention to the works of the scholars before his time by way of perusal and memorisation.

The following observations can be drawn from his early life:

1. The strength of his memory and speed of his comprehension.[3]

2. His strict observance of time from an early age [4], which later led the rest of his life to be filled with actions such as jihaad, teaching, commanding the good, forbidding the evil, writing books and letters and refuting opponents.

3. The scope and strength of his effect and arguments. A Jew accepted Islaam at his hands whilst he was still very young. [5]

4. He started issuing legal verdicts at the age of nineteen [6] and started teaching in Daar al Hadeeth as-Sukriyyah when he was approximately 22 years of age. [7]

5. His initial sources of knowledge centered around diverse sciences like: Tafseer; Sciences of the Qur'aan; the Sunnah; the Six books; Musnad Imaam Ahmad; Sunan ad-Daarimee; Mu'jam a-Tabaraanee; Sciences of Hadeeth and narrators; Fiqh and it's Usool; Usool ad-Deen and sects; language; writing; mathematics; history and other subjects like astronomy, medicine and engineering. This is quite evident from examining the works he later authored; any topic he tackled and wrote about leaves the reader thinking that Ibn Taymiyyah was a specialist in that particular field.

2. His Teachers [8]

He took his knowledge from a great number of scholars and he himself mentioned a number of them as related by adh-Dhahabee directly from him. [9] This particular chronicle of shaykhs includes forty male scholars and four female scholars. The total number of scholars whom he took knowledge from exceeds two hundred. [10]

The following is a selection of some of his teachers:

  • Aboo al-'Abbaas Ahmad Ibn 'Abdud-Daa'im al-Maqdasee

  • Aboo Nasr 'Abdul-'Azeez Ibn 'Abdul-Mun'im

  • Aboo Muhammad Ismaa'eel Ibn Ibraaheem at-Tanookhee

  • al-Manjaa Ibn 'Uthmaan at-Tanookhee ad-Dimashqee

  • Aboo al-'Abbaas al-Mu'ammil Ibn Muhammad al-Baalisee

  • Aboo 'Abdullaah Muhammad Ibn Abee Bakr Ibn Sulaymaan al-'Aamiree

  • Aboo al-Faraj 'Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Sulaymaan al-Baghdaadee

  • Sharaf ad-Deen al-Maqdasee, Ahmad Ibn Ahmad ash-Shaafi'ee

  • Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul-Qawee al-Maqdasee

  • Taqee ad-Deen al-Waasitee, Ibraaheem Ibn 'Alee as-Saalihee al-Hanbalee

  • His paternal aunt, Sitt ad-Daar bint 'Abdus-Salaam Ibn Taymiyyah

3. The Jihaad and Actions of Ibn Taymiyyah

The life of Ibn Taymiyyah was distinguished with the tremendous qualities of ordering the good, forbidding the evil and performing Jihaad for the cause of Allaah, He combined his roles of teaching, issuing legal verdicts and writing with actions of the highest magnitude. His whole life was in fact filled with jihaad. With a very brief examination of his life in this area we can point out at a number of incidents:

a. His destruction of idols and places [11] that were worshipped besides Allaah and prevention of people from visiting such places: [12] This practical aspect was preceded by two stages: the first, by explaining the reality of these shrines in that many of them were fabricated and that many of the graves that were glorified and journeyed to were in fact not even those of whom they were attributed to. [13] The second, by way of intellectual discourse through direct debates, books and letters and explaining the shirk and innovations connected to such acts and also through presenting the opinions of opponents and refuting their arguments.

b. His stance against the Christians:
He wrote a letter to the then Christian King of Cyprus inviting him to Islaam and exposing the lies and corruption being committed by the priests and monks whilst they knew fully well that they were upon falsehood. After mentioning the devoutness of the King, his love for knowledge and good conduct towards the people, Ibn Taymiyyah then invited him to embrace Islaam and adopt the correct belief. He did this in a gentle and exemplary manner addressing his intellect, and entrusted him to behave benevolently towards the Muslims in Cyprus, not to strive to change the religion of a single one of them. [14]

He also engaged in debates with Christians, some of which he himself referred to in his book al-Jawaab as-Saheeh. [15]

c. He took many stances against the Soofiyyah. A famous one was against the Bataa 'ihiyyah. [16] He refuted them and exposed their satanic behaviour such as entering into fire and emerging unharmed and claiming that this was an indication of their miraculous nature. He explained that even if they did this or flew in the air it would not be an evidence that could be used to declare their violations of the Sharee'ah to be correct. [17] He challenged them by proposing to also enter into the fire with them on the condition that they first wash themselves with vinegar and hot water. Ultimately, they were exposed and defeated and they agreed to a complete adherence to the Book and Sunnah. [18]

d. In the year 699H, he and a number of his companions rose against some taverns; they broke their utensils, spilt their wine and chastised a number of them, which caused the people to come out and rejoice at this. [19] [20]

e. As for his stances against the rulers, they were famous. One of the well-known ones was his stance against Qaazaan, the ruler of the Tartars. At a time when the Tartars commanded awe and authority, he spoke to the ruler with strong words concerning their actions, spread of corruption and infringement of the sanctities of the Muslims whilst they themselves claimed to be Muslims. [21] Likewise, his strong words with Sultan an-Naasir, convinced the Sultan to refrain from pursuing a course of action which was impermissible. [22]

f. Ibn Taymiyyah also had an effect in causing the rulers to assume their role of commanding the good and forbidding the evil. An example of this is when bribery became widespread and became an influencing factor in holding offices and even in abolishing capital punishment in the year 712H, An official decree was sent to Damascus, from the Sultan, citing that no one should be granted a post or office through money or bribery and that the killer is to be punished by the law of the Sharee'ah; this decree emanated through the advice and consultation of Ibn Taymiyyah. [23]

These are some examples that demonstrate the efforts of Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in ordering the good and forbidding the evil.

One also notices when reading his biography that Ibn Taymiyyah had the assistance of a number of companions in carrying out such tasks.

Ibn Taymiyyah played a great role in establishing jihaad against the Tartars. He clarified the reality of their condition and showed that it was an obligation to fight them, firstly, because of the consensus of the scholars on the obligation of fighting any group that openly rejects and resists the laws of Islaam and secondly, explaining that this ruling is applicable to the Tartars because of their condition.

He elucidated the causes for victory and explained that it was not impossible or difficult to achieve victory over them if the Muslims adopted the causes that achieve victory such as judging by the Sharee'ah, putting an end to oppression, spreading justice and being sincere in one's intention when performing jihaad in Allaah's cause.

We find Ibn Taymiyyah ordering the people in the battle of Shaqhab, which took place in the month of Ramadaan, to break fast in emulation of the guidance of the Prophet (SAAS). Again, when Ibn Taymiyyah encouraged the Sultan to perform jihaad, the Sultaan asked him to take position by his side to which Ibn Taymiyyah replied: "The Sunnah is for each man to stand behind the flag of his people and we are from Shaam so we will only stand with them." [24]

After performing jihaad against the Tartars and defeating them, we see Ibn Taymiyyah analysing the battles, expounding upon the beneficial lessons that can be derived from them and illustrating the areas of similarity between these battles against the Tartars and the battles of the Prophet (SAAS). [25]

The majority of references do not make mention of Ibn Taymiyyah's role in jihaad against the Christians before their final expulsion from Shaam. Al-Bazzaar however, does mention the following when discussing the bravery and strength of heart of Ibn Taymiyyah: "They relate that they saw of him at the conquest of 'Akkah, such a display of bravery that was beyond description. They say that he was a reason behind it's seizure by the Muslims because of his deeds, advice and sharp perception." [26]

As for the Raafidah, they fortified themselves in the mountains of al-Jard and al-Kasrawaaniyyeen. Ibn Taymiyyah headed for them in the year 704H with a group of his companions and requested a number of them to repent and they enjoined the laws of Islaam upon them. In the beginning of the year 705H, Ibn Taymiyyah went to battle with a brigade and the deputy Sultan of Shaam and Allaah aided them over the Raafidah. [27]

These are examples of the jihaad of Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, and his unification of knowledge with action.

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah held a lofty status amongst the scholars of his time. This was for a number of reasons, such as his
ability to clarify matters that were vague to the other scholars of his time, such as the issue of fighting the Tartars and the issue of the wealth obtained from some of the sects of the Raafidah. [28] Ibn Taymiyyah expounded upon these matters and clarified them to the people.

In the year 701H, a Jew came from Khaybar alleging that he had a letter from the Messenger of Allaah (SAAS), which abrogated the Jizyah that the Jews had to pay to the Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah exposed his lies and critically scrutinised and invalidated the letter from a hadeeth point of view and relying upon historical knowledge. [29]

Whilst Ibn Taymiyyah was in prison in Cairo, Ibn Katheer mentions: "Difficult legal questions used to be sent to him from governors and specific people, which the Jurists could not deal with, and he would respond from the Book and Sunnah in a way that would bewilder the minds." [30]

Another reason was his role in jihaad; he was not only a brave soldier but also an instructor and leader. He was sought after for advice and military strategy.

Most importantly, one of the greatest causes behind his exalted rank amidst the scholars and common folk alike was his comprehensive knowledge. When he gave a lecture; delivered a sermon; gave a legal ruling; wrote a letter or authored a book in any field, he would produce a level of knowledge that far excelled the other scholars of his time. This is why Ibn Taymiyyah became a reference point amongst the people. Whenever two people fell into dispute over a matter - and they could be from the people of knowledge and students alike as noticed from some questions - his opinion would be the deciding factor.

Al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabee said: "He is far greater than the likes of me to inform on his qualities. If I were made to swear (by Allaah) by the corner (of the Ka'bah) and the place (of Ibraaheem), I would swear that I have not seen with my two eyes the like of him and by Allaah, he himself has not seen his own like in knowledge." [31]

Al-Haafidh al-Mizzee said: "I have not seen the like of him and nor have seen the like of himself. I have not seen one more knowledgeable of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and more compliant to it than him." [32]

Al-lmaam Ibn Daqeeq al-'Eed said: "When I met Ibn Taymiyyah, I saw a person who had all the types of knowledge between his eyes: he would take of it what he desired and leave of it what he desired." [33]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalaanee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned in the context of refuting the one who opposed that Ibn Taymiyyah be termed 'Shaykhul-lslaam': "The acclaim of Taqiyy ad-Deen is more renown than that of the Sun and titling him Shaykhul-Islaam of his era remains until our time upon the virtuous tongues. It will continue tomorrow just as it was yesterday. No one refutes this but a person who is ignorant of his prestige or one who turns away from equity." [34]

Shaykh Kamaal ad-Deen Ibn az-Zamlakaanee, who debated with Ibn Taymiyyah on more than one occasion, said: "Whenever he was questioned on a particular field of knowledge, the one who witnessed and heard (the answer) concluded that he had no knowledge of any other field and that no one possessed such as his knowledge. The jurists of all groups, whenever they sat with him, they would benefit from him regarding their own schools of thought in areas they previously were unaware of. It is not known that he debated anyone whereby the discussion carne to a standstill or that whenever he spoke on about a particular field of knowledge - whether it be related to the sciences of the Sharee'ah or else - that he would not then excel the specialists of that field and those who are affiliated to it." [35]

He also said: "The prerequisites of ijtihaad were combined within him in the way they should be he was very proficient in authoring very well and in excelling in expression, arrangement, classification and explanation." [36]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer said "...It was rare for him to he hear something and not memorise it and he occupied himself with the sciences. He was intelligent and had committed much to memory and thus, became an Imaam in tafseer and what pertained to it. He had (comprehensive) knowledge of fiqh; it was said that he had more knowledgeable of the fiqh of the madhabs then the followers of those very same madhabs in his time and other times. He was fully aware of the different opinions of the scholars. He was a scholar in Usool, the branches of the religion, grammar, the language and other textual and intellectual sciences. He was never overcome in a sitting and no noble (scholar) would speak to him on a particular science except that he thought that this science was the specialty of Ibn Taymiyyah and he would see him as being well-versed in it and having perfected it.. As for hadeeth then he was the carrier of its flag, a haafidh in hadeeth, and able to distinguish the weak from the strong, fully acquainted with the narrators and being proficient in this..." [37]

Abu Hayyaan al-Andalusee said: "By Allaah, my two eyes have never seen the like of Ibn Taymiyyah." [38]

Al-Haafidh Badr ad-Deen al-'Aynee al-Hanafee said: "He is the Imaam, the noble, the masterful, the pious, the pure, the devout, the proficient in the two sciences of hadeeth and tafseer, fiqh and the two fundamentals (i.e., the Book and Sunnah) with determination and precision. He is the sharp sword against the innovators, the authority, who established the matters of the religion and the great commander of the good and forbidder of evil. He possessed (noble) concern, bravery and embarked upon that which frightened and deterred. He was of much remembrance, fasting, prayer and worship." [39]

Ibn Taymiyyah was put through many trials throughout his life and it is extremely difficult to deal with them and present them properly in this brief discussion on him so I will merely list the more famous ones.

  • His ordeal because of his treatise al-Hamawiyyah in the year 698H.

  • His ordeal and debates because of his treatise al-Waasitiyyah in the year 705H.

  • His ordeal, summons to Egypt and imprisonment there in the year 705H for 18 months.

  • His ordeal with the Soofiyyah in Egypt after his release.

  • His deportation to Alexandria in the year 709H and imprisonment there for 8 months.

  • His ordeal because of specific verdicts related to divorce and resultant imprisonment in the year 720H, for five months.

  • His ordeal because of his legal verdict banning the undertaking of journeys specifically to visit graves and resultant imprisonment in the year 726H until he passed away, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in the year 728H.

Ibn Taymiyyah's response to these ordeals was always a positive one which turned these trials and tribulations - by the favour of Allaah - into great opportunities for increasing eemaan and reacting positively in knowledge and action. His summons to Egypt, for example, led him to debate and thoroughly deal with the innovators who had spread their beliefs throughout the region. His role in prison was another manifestation of this blessing, such as his efforts in educating the prisoners and nurturing them to the extent that the dissemination of knowledge and religion within the prison excelled certain institutions outside the prison. This happened in both Egypt and Alexandria. His decision to remain in Egypt after being released, was as he mentioned in a letter [40] to his mother, because of matters necessary to religion and the world. This brought about much goodness in aiding the Sunnah and suppressing innovations. One of the greatest positive results was the books and papers he wrote and authored within prison. He also pardoned those who oppressed him, even when Ibn Taymiyyah had the opportunity to exact revenge. One of his opponents, Ibn al-Makhloof, the Maalikee Judge said: "We did not see the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah; we incited against him but were not able to overpower him, when he was able to overpower us, he instead pardoned us and pleaded on our behalf." [41]

Another positive outcome was that these ordeals in themselves were a reason for the widespread circulation of Ibn Taymiyyah's works. [42]

He had many students and those that were affected by him are countless, some of his students were:

  • Ibn Qayyim alJawziyyah, Muhammad Ibn Abee Bakr, (d. 751H).

  • adh-Dhahabee, Muhammad Ibn Ahmad, (d.748H).

  • al-Mizzee, Yoosuf Ibn 'Abdur-Rahmaan, (d. 742H).

  • Ibn Katheer, Ismaa'eel Ibn 'Umar, (d. 774).

  • Ibn 'Abdil-Haadee, Muhammad Ibn Ahmad, (d. 744H).

  • al-Bazzaar, 'Umar Ibn 'Alee, (d. 749).

  • Ibn Qaadee al-Jabal, Ahmad Ibn Hasan, (d. 771H).

  • Ibn Fadlillaah al-'Amree, Ahmad Ibn Yahyaa, (d. 749H).

  • Muhammad Ibn al-Manjaa Ibn 'Uthmaan at-Tanookhee, (d. 724H).

  • Yoosuf Ibn 'Abdul-Mahmood Ibn 'Abdis-Salaam al-Battee, (d. 728).

The existing works of Ibn Taymiyyah are great in number, despite the fact that a proportion of his works have perished.

He was a very quick writer. His brother 'Abdullaah said: "Allaah blessed him with the ability to write quickly and he used to write from memory without copying." [44] Ibn Taymiyyah had a scribe who used to make copies of his work because of the fact that he used to write so fast. There was a person known as 'Abdullaah ibn Rasheeq al-Maghrabee who used to write the works of the Shaykh; Ibn Katheer says of him: "He could make out the handwriting of the Shaykh better than the Shaykh himself." [45] He used to take a lot of time out to review his works as he did when he came out of prison because of the issue of divorce - in the year 721H. [46] After his return to Shaam in the year 712H, he dedicated a lot of time to authoring lengthy works. [47] He would pay great attention to the writings that used to be attributed to him; [51] it seems that the constant fabrication about him by his enemies and the twisting of his words was a reason for this.

He would not delay in answering questions that came to him and he authored and wrote from his memory while in prison. [52]

Some of his works are:

  • Minhaaj us-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah

  • Daar Ta'aarud al-'Aql wa an-Naql

  • al-lstiqaamah

  • Iqtidaa' as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem Li Mukhaalafah As-haab al-Jaheem

  • Naqd Maraatib al-ljmaa'

  • as-Saarim al-Maslool 'alaa Shaatim ar-Rasool

  • al-Jawaab as-Saheeh li man baddala Deen al-Maseeh

  • ar-Raad 'alaa al-Mantiqiyyeen

  • ar-Raad 'alaa al-'Akhnan'ee

  • Naqd at-Ta'sees

  • an-Nuboowaat

There are so many other works that have been included in Majmoo al-Fataawa, which is a compilation of his writings and verdicts put together by Ibn Qaasim and his son. These include:

  • Qaa'idah fee Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah

  • al-Waasitah bayna al-Haqq wa al-Khalq

  • Qaa'idah Jaleelah fee at-Tawassul wa al-Waseelah

  • ar-Radd al-Aqwan 'alaa maa fee Fusoos al-Hikam

  • ar-Risaalah at-Tadmuriyyah

  • al-'Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah

  • al-Wasiyyah al-Kubraa

  • al-Hamawiyyah al-Kubraa

  • Sharh Hadeeth an-Nuzool

  • Kitaab al-Eemaan

  • Amraad al-Quloob wa Shifaa' uhaa

  • al-'Uboodiyyah [50]

  • al-Wasiyyah as-Sughraa

  • al-Furqaan bayna Awliyaa' ar-Rahmaan wa Awliyaa' ash-Shaytaan

  • al-Furqaan bayna al-Haqq wa al-Baatil

  • Muqaddimah fee Usool at-Tafseer

  • Tafseer Soorah al-Ikhlaas

  • Raf' al-Malaam 'an al-A'immah al-A'laam

  • al-Hisbah

  • al-Amr bi al-Ma'roof wa an-Nahy 'an al-Munkar

  • as-Siyaasah ash-Shar'iyyah

  • al-Madhaalim al-Mushtarakah.

It is appropriate here to discuss this aspect of Ibn Taymiyyah's life, mainly to exhibit that the discussion he presents in his book does not emanate from one who is void of enacting such descriptions found within this discourse and that it does not merely derive from his academic knowledge and excellence.

In fact, one who reads his biography will realise that Ibn Taymiyyah had a great attachment to his Lord which manifested in his worship and strong reliance on Him, this is how we deem him to be and we do not put anyone's commendation in front of Allaah's.

Those who wrote his biography discussed the worship, ascetism, piety, selflessness, humility and generosity he was famous for. [51]

Ibn al-Qayyim says of Ibn Taymiyyah's remembrance of his Lord: "I heard Shaykul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah (AZ) sanctify his soul, say, 'Remembrance to the heart is like water to fish. What will be the state of the fish if it becomes seperated from the water?...I once attended fajr prayer with Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, he then sat and remembered Allaah (AZ) until it was nearly midday. he then turned around and said to me, 'This is my early morning meal, if I do not take this breakfast, my strength will drop.' " [52]

A great manifestation of his worship was in his genuine reliance upon his Lord and his belief in the decree of Allaah. At times when he was subjected to the severest forms of treatment, he had the greatest reliance upon his Lord. When the news of his expulsion to Alexandria came to him and it was said to him: "They are plotting to kill you, expel or imprison you." He replied: "If they kill me it will be a shahaadah for me. If they expel me, it will be a hijrah for me; if they expel me to Cyprus, I will call its people to Allaah so that they answer me. If they imprison me, it will be a place of worship for me." [53]

Ibn al-Qayyim also says: "He used to say frequently in prostration when imprisoned, 'O Allaah, assist me to remember you, to be grateful to you and to worship your properly.' and he said to me once, 'The one who is (truly) imprisoned is the one whose heart is imprisoned from Allaah and the captivated one is the one whose desires have enslaved him.' " [54]

When he was ultimately banned from having any books, papers and pens during the latter stage of his final imprisonment, Ibn Taymiyyah devoted all of his time to worship and reciting the Qur'aan. He remained in this state for a short period of time until he passed away on the twentieth of Dhu al-Qa'dah of the year 728H. He fell sick for the few days that led to his death.

This came as an enormous shock to the people and they turned out in enormous numbers.

Historians regards this as one of those rare funerals and they compare it to the funeral of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Ibn Taymiyyah died at a time when he was imprisoned, with resentment from the Sultaan and when may of the jurists and Soofiyah were mentioning many things about him. However, despite that, his funeral was one witnessed by many and was famous.

Al-Bazzar says: "Once the people had heard of his death, not a single person wanted to be in Damascus who was able to attend the prayer and wanted to, remained until he appeared and took time out for it. As a result, the markets in Damascus were closed and all transactions of livelihood were stopped. Governors, heads, scholars, jurists came out. They say that none of the majority of the people failed to turn up, according to my knowledge - except three individuals; they were well known for their enmity for Ibn Taymiyyah and thus, hid away from the people out of fear for their lives." [55]

Ibn Katheer mentions that the deputy Sultaan was absent and the State was perplexed as to what it should do. Then the deputy of the prison came to give his condolences and sat by Ibn Taymiyyah. He opened the entrance for those of his close companions and beloved people to enter upon him. They sat by him, cried and praised him. [56] "Then they started to wash the Shaykh... they only let those who helped in the washing to remain by him. Amongst them was our Shaykh al-Haafidh al-Mizzee and a group of senior righteous and good people; people of knowledge and eemaan... then they proceeded with him to Jaami' al-Umawee. There was so many people in front of his janaazah, behind it, to it's right and to it's left. None but Allaah could enumerate them, then one shouted out "This is how the janaazahs of the Imaams of the Sunnah are to be!" At that, the people, started to cry... when the adhaan of dhuhr was given they prayed after it straight away against the usual norm. Once they finished prayer, the deputy khateeb came out - as the main khateeb was absent and in Egypt - and he led the prayer over Ibn Taymiyyah... Then the people poured out from everywhere and all the doors of the Jaam'i... and they assembled at al-Khayl market." [57]

On open land, his janaazah was placed down and his brother, 'Abdur-Rahmaan, led prayer over him. Then his janaazah was taken to his grave and he was buried in the Soofiyah graveyard by the side of his brother, 'Abdullaah, may Allaah have mercy upon them all.

People then arrived praying over him at his grave, those who had not yet managed to pray previously. Whenever news of his death reached a region, the people would gather in the main mosques and prayer over him, especially in Shaam, Egypt, Iraq, Tibreez and Basra. [58]

May Allaah reward Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah with goodness and grant him al-Firdaws al-A'laa and may He cause those after him to benefit from his knowledge.


  1. Refer to Al-'Uqood ad-Durroyyah min Manaaqib Shaykhul-Islaam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah of Ibn 'Abdil-Haadee, pg.2, tahqeeq of Muhammad Haamid al-Faqee, 1365H print, Matba'ah Hijaazee, Cairo and Siyar 'Alaam an-Nubalaa of adh-Dhahabee, 22/289, tahqeeq by a number of researchers, takhreej and supervision by Shu'ayb al-Arna'oot, Mu'assasah ar-Risaalah, Beirut.

  2. An old name that represents the areas of Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon.

  3. Refer to al-'Uqood ad-Durnyyah, pg. 4, and al-Kawaakib ad-Durriyyah Fee Manaaqib al-Mujtahid Ibn Taymiyyah by al-Karmee al-Hanbalee, pg.80, tahqeeq of Najm `Abdur-Rahmaan Khalaf, 1406H print, Daar al-Gharb al-Islaamee, Beirut.

  4. Refer to ar-Radd al-Waafir 'alaa man za'ama bi anna man sammaa Ibn Taymiyyah Shaykhul- Islaam Kaafir by Ibn Naasir ad-Deen ad-Dimashqee, pg. 218, tahqeeq of Zuhayr ash-Shaaweesh, first edition, 1400H, al-Maktab al-Islaamee, Beirut, and A'yaan al-'Asr 'an Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah, Seeratuh wa Akhbaaruh 'inda al-Mu'arrikheen by al-Munajjid, pg. 49.

  5. Refer to al-A'laam al-'Aliyyah Fee Manaaqib Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah by al-Bazzaar, tahqeeq of Zuhayr Shaaweesh, 3rd edition, 1400H, al-Maktab al-Islaamee, Beirut.

  6. Sharaf ad-Deen al-Maqdasee (d. 694H) gave him permission to deliver legal verdicts. He later used to take pride in this, saying, "I gave him the permission to give legal verdicts." See al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer, 13/341, first edition 1966, Maktabah al-Ma'aarif, Beirut, and al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 4.

  7. Refer to al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 5; al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah, 13/303; ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 146 and adh-Dhayl 'alaa Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah of Ibn Rajab, 2/388, tahqeeq Muhammad Haamid al-Faqee, 1972 print, Matba'ah as-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyyah, Cairo.

  8. Refer to Majmoo ' Fataawa Shaykhul-lslaam, 18/76-121, compilation and arrangement of 'Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Muhammad Ibn Qaasim and his son Muhammad, first print 1381H, Mataabi' ar-Riyaadh; Dhayl Ibn Rajab (2/387); al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (14/136-137); al-Waafee bee al-Wafayaat by as-Safadee (7/16); Tadhkirah al-Huffaadh of adh-Dhahabee (3/1496), fourth edition 1388H, Daa'irah al-Ma'aarif al-'Uthmaaniyah, India; ad-Durar al-Kaaminah fee 'Ayaan al-Mi'ah ath-Thaaminah (1/154) of Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalaanee, second edition 1395H, Daa'irah al-Ma'aarif al-'Uthmaaniyah, India and others.

  9. It is recorded in Majmoo 'al-Fataawa 18/76-121.

  10. al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 3 and al-Kawaakib ad-Durriyyah, pg. 52.

  11. Read for example his destruction of a pillar, at Masjid at-Taareekh in Damascus, which people used to seek blessing from. Nahiyyah min Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 10-11; al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 13/34; as-Sulook lee Ma'rifah Duwal al-Mulook of al-Miqreezee, tahqeeq Musfafaa Ziyaadah, second print 1957, Matba'ah Lajnah at-Ta'leef wa at-Tarjamah, Cairo and Badaa'i' az-Zuhoor fee Waqaa'i' ad-Duhoor of Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn 'Iyaas al-Hanafee, tahqeeq Muhammad Mustafaa, second print 1402H, al-Hay'ah al Misriyyah al-'Aamah lee al-Kitaab, Cairo.

  12. See examples of this in Naahiyah min Hayaat Shaykh Al-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah by his attendant, Ibraaheem Ibn Ahmad al-Ghayaathee, pg. 6-24, tahqeeq of Muhibb ad-Deen al-Khateeb, third edition 1396H, al-Matba'ah as-Salafiyyah, Cairo.

  13. Refer to Ra's al-Husayn of Ibn Taymiyyah recorded in Majmoo 'al-Fataawaa, Vol. 27 and also 17/500, 27/173 and 27/61 on the topic of Nooh's grave.

  14. Risaalah al-Qubrussiyah of Ibn Taymiyyah, within Majmoo ' al-Fataawaa, Vol. 28. This is available translated along with a number of Ibn Taymiyyah's letters: Ibn Taymiyyah's Letters from Prison, published by Message of Islam, U.K.

  15. Al-Jawaab as-Saheeh lee man Baddala Deen al-Maseeh of Ibn Taymiyyah, 2/172, printed under the supervision of 'Alee as-Subh al-Madanee, Matba'ah al-Madanee, Cairo.

  16. They are referred to as al-Ahmadiyyah and ar-Rafaa'iyyah in attribution to their founder Ahmad ar-Rafaa'ee, originally from one of the villages of al-Bataa'ih.

  17. Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If you see someone walking on water or flying through the air, then do not believe him until you ascertain his conformity to the Sunnah."

  18. See Majmoo' al-Fataawaa, 11/456-457, al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg.194 and al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah 14/36.

  19. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/122-123.

  20. Such incidents that the Shaykh performed are of course done within the guidelines and principles pertaining to commanding the good and forbidding the evil. Ibn Taymiyyah himself discusses such guidelines in his treatise al-Amr bi al-Ma'roof wa an-Nahy 'an al-Munkar.

  21. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/89; al-'Alaam al-'Aliyyah, pg.69; al-Kawaakib ad Durriyyah, pg. 93 and Dawlah Banee Qalaawoon fee Misr, pg. 178 of Muhammad Jamaal ad-Deen Suroor, Daar al-Fikr al-Arabee, Cairo.

  22. Al-Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 281; al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/54; al-Kawaakib ad-Durriyyah, pg. 138 and Husn al-Muhaadarah fee Taareekh Misr wa al-Qaahirah of as-Suyoofee, tahqeeq Muhammad Aboo al-Fadl Ibraaheem, first print 1967, Daar Ihyaa' al-Kutub al-'Arabiyyah.

  23. See Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/66.

  24. See Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/26.

  25. Al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 121.

  26. Al'-Alaam al-'Aliyyah, pg. 68.

  27. Refer to al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 179-194, al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/35 and as-Sulook, 12/2. Read another incident of his jihaad in Majmoo' al-Fataawaa, 11/474.

  28. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/78.

  29. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/19.

  30. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/46.

  31. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 35. The edition of Ar-Radd al-Waafir under this section is also the first edition but its year of print is 1393H.

  32. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 128.

  33. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg 59.

  34. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg 144. This statement of Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, is included towards the end of the book Ar-Radd al-Waafir. Ibn Hajar was one of the scholars who wrote an approval of the book Ar-Radd al-Waafir by Ibn Naasir ad-Deen ad-Dimashqee (d. 842), which contains scholarly praise and accounts of Ibn Taymiyyah by more than 80 scholars. It was written in refutation of the unjust, partisan, oppressive and ignorant statement 'Whoever refers to Ibn Taymiyyah as Shaykhul-Islam is a Kaafir'!

  35. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 58.

  36. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 58.

  37. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah of Ibn Katheer, 14/157, tahqeeq Maktab at-Turaath, 1413H, Daar Ihyaa at-Turath al-Islaamee, Beirut.

  38. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 63.

  39. Ar-Radd al-Waafir, pg. 159.

  40. Read the English translation of this heart-stirring letter in Ibn Taymiyyah 's letters from Prison. [t]

  41. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/54.

  42. Al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 283.

  43. See for example Ar-Radd al-Waafir and ash-Shahaadah az-Zakkiyyah fee Thanaa' al-'A'immah 'alaa Ibn Taymiyyah of al-Karmee al-Hanbalee, tahqeeq of Najm 'Abdur-Rahmaan Khalaf, first print 1404H, Mu'assisah ar-Risaalah, Beirut.

  44. Al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 64.

  45. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/229.

  46. Al-'Uqood ad-Durriyyah, pg. 327.

  47. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/67.

  48. See Majmoo' al-Fataawaa, 27/315.

  49. Al-'Alaam al-'Aliyyah, pg. 22, al-Kawaakib ad-Durriyyah, pg. 81 and ad-Durar al-Kaaminah, 1/163.

  50. The translation of which, is the book before you. It is located in volume 10, pages 149-236 of Majmoo' al-Fataawaa.

  51. See al-A'laam al-'Aliyyah, pg. 36-41, 42, 48 & 63 and al-Kawaakib ad-Durriyyah, pg. 83-88.

  52. Al-Waabil as-Sayyib of Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 60, Daar al-Bayaan.

  53. Naahiyah min Hayaah Shaykhul-Islaam, pg. 30.

  54. Al-Waabil as-Sayyib, pg. 61.

  55. Al-A'laam al-'Aliyyah, pg. 82-83.

  56. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/138.

  57. Al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah, 14/138.

  58. Refer to Al-A'laam al-'Aliyyah, pg. 85

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