Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Yahya MICHOT, “Ibn Taymiyya’s Critique of Shi‘i Imamology”

Yahya MICHOT, “Ibn Taymiyya’s Critique of Shi‘i Imamology”

Ratings: (0)|Views: 150|Likes:
Published by Yahya Michot
Translation of Three Sections of his “Minhaj al-Sunna”, in “The Muslim World”, Vol. 104/1-2, Jan. - April 2014, p. 109-149. ADVERT & SAMPLE
Translation of Three Sections of his “Minhaj al-Sunna”, in “The Muslim World”, Vol. 104/1-2, Jan. - April 2014, p. 109-149. ADVERT & SAMPLE

More info:

Published by: Yahya Michot on Jul 13, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/06/2014

pdf

text

original

 
the Sunnı¯ “kings.” He moreover counter-attacks, once again on the two fronts of history and theology of the ima¯mate. Historically, it is for him beyond doubt that the victories of the Muslims on the battlefield had all been achieved by Sunnı¯ armies. Theologically, theSunnı¯ rulers might have been sinning, unjust, far from perfect, but such leaders are stillbetter, in respect of the objectives of the ima¯mate, than the putatively perfect andinfallible, but generally powerless, ima¯ms in whom the Twelvers believe, and than theone whose return they wait for, “an inexistent ima¯m, who has no reality.” As for the value of the Sunnı¯ religious scholarship denigrated by al-H· illı¯, IbnTaymiyya’s certainty that it is superior is based on his trust in a collective quality control of knowledge. All Muslims earnestly desire to know everything about theProphet and his Message. But in by far greater numbers more people prefer to follow,for example, the teachings of Ma¯lik, al-Sha¯fi
ı¯ and Ibn H· anbal rather than those of theseventh, the eighth and the ninth Shı¯
ı¯ ima¯ms. Why is this so, Ibn Taymiyya asks,except because the people learn more from, and have more confidence in, thoseSunnı¯ scholars than the Shı¯
ı¯ ima¯ms? Indeed, the numbers speak for themselves, andthe Damascene theologian obviously relishes contrasting the multitude of Sun¯scholars with the very limited number of Shı¯
ı¯ shaykhs of some fame. More than sixty Sunnı¯ ulema of different periods are mentioned by name in these three sections,against five Shı¯
ı¯ ones other than the ima¯ms. For Ibn Taymiyya, the discrepancy between Sun¯ and Shı¯
ı¯ religious scholarships is thus enormous and the variousSunnı¯ subgroups are all “more knowledgeable, more just, and further from ignoranceand injustice.” Even more important, Sunnı¯s are ready to learn from Shı¯
ı¯ scholars, whereas Shı¯
ı¯s reject Sunnı¯ scholarship.Ibn Taymiyya expresses various other views in the text introduced here but they areless central to our project of archaeological excavation of the ideological sources, orexpressions, of the sectarian divide between Sunnı¯s and Shı¯
ı¯s. To evaluate the validity of Ibn Taymiyya’s Islamic historiography is a task for the historians of Muslim societies. Whatever that evaluation may be, at this point what is more important is to underlinethe constant Taymiyyan concern to refute al-H· illı¯, not only as a Sunnı¯
 faqı ¯h 
, but as anhistorian. The divide between these two authors and, inasmuch as they are championsof their respective communities, the divide between Sunnı¯s and Shı¯
ı¯s reflects theprofound divide between a concern for historical events and realities, and an indul-gence of myth, legend, and fable. Moreover, we cannot fail to remark, in theima¯mologies of Ibn Taymiyya and al-H· illı¯, the realism, pragmatism, populism of theformer and the idealism, absolutism, elitism of the latter. If such traits also characterizetheir respective communities, their mutual otherness is a meta-theological reality they had better learned again to live with, lest they unite in a mutually assisted destructionof each other.I leave to the disciples of Edward Said to decide whether these conclusions are, orare not, too orientalistically essentialist
 wa la¯ uba¯lı ¯ 
 . . . As for whether the majority of Muslims being Sun¯s and the Shı¯
ı¯s being a minority is a cause or effect of thecharacteristics just mentioned,
 Alla¯hu
lam 
 . . .
I

 T

 C
 
 S

¯
¯
 I

¯

115
© 2014 Hartford Seminary.
 
him. Likewise, when he attends with people the Friday prayer, a collective prayer,sessions of knowledge (
majlis al- 
ilm 
), and makes a raid with them, the fact that one of those associated with him in such [activities] has sins that are peculiar to him does notharm him. The authorities in charge of the [public] affairs (
wula¯t al-umu¯
) are in thesame position (
manzila 
) as others: one shall associate himself with them in what they doin the matter of obedience to God and not associate himself in what they do in the matterof disobedience to God. This was the way (
sı ¯ra 
) the ima¯ms of the people of the Housebehaved with others. Whoever follows them in this is thus the one who takes them asmodels, not someone who disassociates (
tabarra 
) himself from the early vanguard [of Islam], the mass of the people of knowledge and religion, and assists the unbelievers andthe hypocrites in their enmity against them, as is done by those of the erring Ra¯fid· ı¯s whodo it.9) The ninth viewpoint will consist in saying [this]: — Better than an inexistent ima¯m, who has no reality, is a capable ima¯m by whomthe commandment over people
131
is organized concerning most of what is advantageousfor them. By him the roads are thus made secure; by him is implemented what isimplemented of the penalties; by him is repelled what is repelled of injustice; by himobtains what obtains as to waging jihad against the enemy; by him is obtained what isobtained as full acknowledgement of one’s rights.
 [115]
 The Ra¯fid· ı¯s lay claim to aninfallible (
ma 
·u¯
) ima¯m although they have nothing, inwardly, except an inexistent(
ma 
du¯
) ima¯m and, outwardly, except someone highly unbelieving (
kafu¯
) or highly unjust (
·alu¯
). The ima¯ms of the people of the Sunna, even if one postulates what waspostulated about them in the matter of injustice and sins, are better than the ima¯mshaving appeared in whom the Ra¯fid· ı¯s believe, and better than an inexistent ima¯m, whohas no reality. As for the rest of the ima¯ms, who were existent, the people of the Sunnafollow the example (
tamma bi- 
) of these as they follow the example of their like. They and their like are indeed ima¯ms. Someone following the example of these [Shı¯
ı¯ ima¯ms]together with [the example of] their like among the rest of the Muslims is better thansomeone following their example exclusively. Knowledge is indeed [both] reporting(
riwa¯y
) and comprehending (
dira¯y
). The more numerous ulema are in [someknowledge] and the more in agreement they are thereon, the stronger [this knowledge]is and the more deserving it is to be followed. Among the Shı¯
ı¯s there is no good about which the people of the Sunna do not associate themselves with them. As for the good whichisparticulartothepeopleoftheSunna,theShı¯
ı¯sdonotassociatethemselveswiththem about it.10) The tenth viewpoint will consist in saying [this]: — For everyone among the people of the Sunna it is possible to counter what thisIma¯mı¯ said by means of something which will be stronger than what [he said]. About thelike of Sa
ı¯d b. al-Musayyab,
 Alqama, al-Aswad [b. Yazı¯d], al-H· asan al-Bas·rı¯,
 At·a¯
 b. Abı¯
131
Amr al-na¯
. Another possible meaning: “the affairs of people”.
I

 T

 C
 
 S

¯
¯
 I

¯

135
© 2014 Hartford Seminary.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->