His Innov at ive Nullification
of Multiple Divorce
His Innov at ive Prohibition of
Reject ion of His Fatwa
H.\u00e2fiz. al-S.afad\u00ee's Reject ion
of His Fatwa
al-D\u00een al-H.arr\u00e2n\u00ee al-Dimashq\u00ee al-H.anbal\u00ee (661-728) was one of the most influent ial scholars of the lat e H.anbal\u00ee school, praised by the h.ad\u00eeth Mast er S.al\u00e2h. al-D\u00een al-` Al\u00e2'\u00ee as "Our shaykh, mast er, and
the sign-post of the people of knowledge, the inheritor of Prophets, the last of those capable of independent legal reasoning, the most unique of the scholars of the Religion, Shaykh al-I sl\u00e2m ..."
achieved great learning. Shaykh al-I sl\u00e2m , al-H.\u00e2fiz. al-Taq\u00ee al-Subk\u00ee
said: "He memorized a lot and did not discipline himself with a
shaykh." He taught, authored books, gave formal legal opinions,
and generally dist inguished himself for his quick wit and
al-Qayyim, al-Dhahab\u00ee, Ibn Kath\u00eer, and Muh.am mad ibn Ah.m ad ibn ` Abd al-H\u00e2d\u00ee al-Maqdis\u00ee (705-744) as well as the H.anbal\u00ee jurist and h.ad\u00eeth narrat or Sir\u00e2j al-D\u00een Ab\u00fb H.afs. ` Um ar ibn ` Al\u00ee ibn M\u00fbs\u00e2
reluctance to make use of their knowledge despite their st at ure in knowledge, pious scrupulosity, and asceticism . The reason for this was the looseness of their tongues and their tactlessness in blunt speech and excessive criticism , such as Ibn H.azm and Ibn
An illustration of Ibn Taym iyya's am bivalent st at us is the fact that, although the Sh\u00e2fi` \u00ee h.ad\u00eeth Mast er al-Mizz\u00ee did not call anyone else Shaykh al-I sl\u00e2m in his time besides Ibn Taym iyya, Ibn Ab\u00ee ` Um ar al-H.anbal\u00ee, and Im\u00e2m Taq\u00ee al-D\u00een al-Subk\u00ee, yet the H.anaf\u00ee
scholar ` Al\u00e2' al-D\u00een al-Bukh\u00e2r\u00ee issued a fat w\u00e2 that if anyone called Ibn Taym iyya Shaykh al-I sl\u00e2m they would comm it disbelief and authored against the lat ter a book entitled al-Muljima li
Ibn N\u00e2s.ir al-D\u00een al-Dimashq\u00ee countered this fat wa by authoring
al-Radd al-W\u00e2fir, in which he list ed all the authorities who had ever
written in praise of Ibn Taym iyya or called him Shaykh al-I sl\u00e2m .
Shaykh ` Abd al-Fat t\u00e2h. Ab\u00fb Ghudda includes Ibn Taym iyya am ong
the scholars who never married and extravagant ly names him
"Shaykh al-I sl\u00e2m and the St andard-Bearer of all st andard-bearers"
in his book al-` Ulam \u00e2' al-` Uzz\u00e2b, which he wrot e after he took up
then joining between reason and transmission, st ill, I do not
think you would reach the level of Ibn Taym iyya. No, by All\u00e2h!
you would not even come near it. Yet, I saw what happened
to him - how much opposition he faced, desert ion, rightful and
wrongful declarat ions of heresy, apostasy, and mendacity!
signs of the Salaf on his face. Then he became lightless, dark
and somber to countless droves of people, a wicked
Anti-Christ and disbeliever according to his enem ies, while
In the ` Ibar al-Dhahab\u00ee, after praising his teacher, st at es: "He also had some st range opinions on account of which he was at tacked." Ibn ` Abd al-H\u00e2d\u00ee in al-` Uq\u00fbd al-Durriyy a makes a similarly
meandrous admission that his teacher was accused of innovat ion:
"He gave vent to cert ain expressions whom early and lat e Scholars
never dared use while he boldly indulged them."
In his biographical monograph al-Durratu al-Yat \u00eemiyya f\u00ee al-S\u00eerati
al-Taymiyya, al-Dhahab\u00ee report s that Ibn Daq\u00eeq al-` \u00eed said, upon
meet ing with Ibn Taym iyya: "I saw a man with all the sciences [laid
open] before his eyes, taking what he wished and leaving what he
wished." Asked why he did not debate him, Ibn Daq\u00eeq al-` \u00eed
answered: "Because he loves to speak (yuh.ibbu al-kal\u00e2m ) and I
Im\u00e2m S.al\u00e2h. al-D\u00een al-S.afad\u00ee said: "The Shaykh, Im\u00e2m, and
erudite scholar Taq\u00ee al-D\u00een Ah.m ad ibn Taym iyya - All\u00e2h have mercy
on him! - was imm ensely learned but he had a defective
int elligence (` aqluhu n\u00e2qis.) that em broiled him int o perils and
made him fall int o hardships."
he was barred from teaching after he issued his Fatw\u00e2 H.am awiyya
in which he unam biguously at tributes literal upward direct ion to
All\u00e2h (swt ). He was refut ed by his cont em porary, Im\u00e2m Ibn Jahbal
al-Kil\u00e2b\u00ee (d. 733) , in a lengt hy reply which T\u00e2j al-D\u00een al-Subk\u00ee
reproduced in full in his T.abaq\u00e2t al-Sh\u00e2fi` iyya al-Kubr\u00e2. Ibn Jahbal
magnificent epist le Raf` al-I shtib\u00e2h f\u00ee Ist ih.\u00e2lat al-Jiha ` al\u00e2 All\u00e2h
("The Removal of Uncert aint y Concerning the Impossibility of
Direct ion for Allah (swt )" ) cited in full in his Shaw\u00e2hid al-H.aqq (p.
Ibn Taym iyy a then returned to his activities until he was summ oned by the authorities again in 705 to answ er for his ` Aq\u00eeda W\u00e2sit.iyy a. He spent the few following years in and out of jail or defending
although at one point it was officially announced in Damascus that "Whoever follows the beliefs of Ibn Taym iyya, his life and property are licit for seizure."
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