Quotes from `Asqalani on

Ibn Taymiyya

What was wrong with Ibn Taymiyya?


1.) Some of His Statements

Translated from Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's biography of Ibn Taymiyya.1

He said [correctly in this case]3: "I am Ash`ari," and … that His saying: { The Merciful established Himself over the Throne } is not taken according to its external meaning (laysa `ala zaahirihi ), and I don't know in what consists its meaning, nay only Allah knows it…1

(Najm al-Din Sulayman ibn `Abd al-Qawi) al-Toofi (al-Hanbali) said:

"He used to bring up in one hour from the Book and the Sunna and language and speculation (a quantity of material) which no-one could bring up in many sessions, as if these sciences were before his very eyes and he was picking and choosing from them at will. A time came when his companions took to over-praising him and this drove him to be satisfied with himself until he became proud before his fellow human beings, and became convinced that he was a scholar capable of independent reasoning (istash`ara annahu mujtahidun). Henceforth he began to answer each and every scholar great and small, past and recent, until he went all the way back to `Umar (r) and faulted him in some matter. This reached the ears of the Shaykh Ibraaheem al-Raqiyy who reprimanded him. Ibn Taymiyya went to see him, apologized, and asked for forgiveness.

"He also spoke against `Ali (r) and said: He made mistakes in seventeen different matters...

"Because of his fanatic support of the Hanbali school he would attack Ash`aris until he started to insult al-Ghazali, at which point some people opposed him and would almost kill him...

"They ascertained that he had blurted out certain words concerning doctrine (Dabatu `alayhi kalimaatin fi al-`aqaa'id mugheera) which came out of his mouth in the context of his sermons and legal decisions, and they mentioned that he had cited the tradition of Allah's descent (to the nearest heaven), then climbed down two steps from the minbar and said: "Just like this descent of mine" and he was categorized as an anthropomorphist (wa nusiba ila al-tajseem).

"They also mentioned his refutation of whoever uses the Prophet ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) as a means (man tawassala bi al-nabi sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) or seeks help from him (aw istaghaatha)...…

He replied: "I do not concede that spatial confinement and divisibility are (necessarily) properties of bodies (anaa laa usallimu anna al-taHayyuz wa al-inqisaam min khawaSS al- ajsaam)," whereupon it was adduced against him (ulzima) that he held Allah's Essence to be subject to spatial confinement.…

"Others considered him someone who conceals unbelief [zindeeq] due to his saying that the Prophet ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) is not to be sought for help (laa yustaghaathu bihi) and the fact that this amounted to diminishing and impeding the establishing of the greatness of the Prophet ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) ..…

"Others considered him a hypocrite [munaafiq] because of what he said about `Ali:... that he had been forsaken (makhdhoolan) everywhere he went, had repeatedly tried to acquire the khilafa and never attained it, fought out of lust for power rather than religion, and said that "he loved authority while `Uthman loved money." He would say that Abu Bakr had declared Islam in his old age, fully aware of what he said, while `Ali had declared Islam as a boy, and the boy's Islam is not considered sound upon his mere word... In sum he said ugly things such as these, and it was said against him that he was a hypocrite, in view of the Prophet's ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) saying (to `Ali): "Only a hypocrite would show you hatred." [p. 153-155]

2.) Ibn Taymiyya's Confusion

One example of his apparent confusion:3

So we see here4 that Ibn Taymiyya on one hand is saying, that Ahmad did NOT use WEAK HADITH for encouraging what is ordered by a shari'ah ruling AND that whoever said he did was wrong; whereas four paragraphs later he completely reverses himself and says that Ahmad called a hadith WEAK *and* he ACCEPTED IT to encourage someone to keep what is ordered by a shari'ah ruling! This is a disturbing method which we will see Ibn Taymiyya employ in numerous other places. We question here: was it intentional or was he just confused???

Written by the the Salafi/Wahabi scholar Dr. Rabi'a bin Hadi 'Umayr al-Mudkhali 5

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions


This text was earlier published at [sunnah.org - ibntay03].

  1. Translated from Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's biography of Ibn Taymiyya in al-durar al-kaamina fi a`yaan al-mi'at al-thaamina [The Hidden Pearls Concerning the Famous People of the Eighth Century] Hyderabad: Daa'irat al-ma`aarif al-`uthmaaniyya, 1384 H, vol. 1:144-160.

  2. On the 25th of Rabee` al-awwal of the year 707 and it was witnessed by a huge array of scholars and others.

  3. Added by the editor, OKN
    There are many more such examples on the the sunnah.org site.

  4. From [sunnah.org - ibntay10]

  5. Commentary of Dr. Rabi'a bin Hadi 'Umayr al-Mudkhali, professor in the Islamic University of Madinah al-Munawwara, on Ibn Taymiyya’s book "al-qaida al-jaleela fit- tawwasali wal-waseela", page 162, para 478.

    So we see here, that even today's scholars of Islam, who follow his own Salafi/Wahabi school, admitted to Ibn Taymiyya's confusion and weakness in hadith knowledge. And this is surprising in one who so adamantly accuses countless people of being liars and lying in almost every page of his book. - From [sunnah.org - ibntay10]

See also:

Abu Hamed Ibn Marzouk on Ibn Taymiyya:
Refutations of Ibn Taymiyya's Two Tawheeds

by Dr. Ahmad Hijazi al-Saqqa
[Regarding Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Qayyim, Ibn `Uthaymeen]


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latest update: 2017-04-18

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