Friday, 16 July 2010

The Refutation of Him Who Attributes Direction to Allah by Ibn Jahbal

The Refutation of Him 
Who Attributes Direction to Allah
Ibn Jahbal

“He [ibn Taymiyya] was immensely learned 
but he had
defective intelligence
(عقله ناقص aqluhu naqis)!”
[Said by Imam Salahud-Din As-Safadi]

This is a brief review of the book
Ar-Raddu ‘Ala Man qala bil-Jiha :
The Refutation of Him

[Ibn Taymiyya]

Who Attributes Direction to Allah,
that was recently published byAqsa Publications. Arabic written by:

Imam Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi
[670-733 A.H.]
described by

Adh-Dhahabi as “the erudite scholar, the guiding leader of the Muslims” and also “The Mufti of the Muslims” [Al-’Ibar 4:96]
Ibn Kathir said of him, “The Shaykh, the admirable Imam, the Mufti of the Muslims” and “He was from the authoritative fuquha (jurists)!”

Translated into English by: Dr. G.f. Haddad Foreword by: a master Shafi’i of our time, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi Al-Akiti, May Allah (SWT) continue to preserve him! Introduction by Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawji Al-Albani, as reviewed by Shaykh G.f. Haddad with him in his home.

*This is, to our knowledge, the first of the many refutations of Ibn Taymiyyah by his contemporaries translated into the English language.

A marvelous refutation, and one that was preserved and reproduced by 
Taqiyud-Din as-Subki for the Muslims to benefit from some 700 years later.

The first 94 pages of the introduction of this masterpiece explores all that was said, in both praise as well as condemnation, of Ibn Taymiyya.

*Shaykh Gibril Haddad walks the reader through page after page of the masters of Islam condemning Ibn Taymiyya for his heresies which include, but are not limited to:

§ His innovative Nullification of Triple Divorce

a point in which there is Ijma’ of the Ummah regarding, and a point which Ibn Rajab refuted after having himself held the devious opinion of Ibn Taymiyya regarding it. (48-50)

It is interesting to note that Imam Salahud-Din al-’Ala’I 
*whoever violates Ijma’ commits apostasy
– a declaration he seemingly makes against Ibn Taymiyya! [see: page 28]

§ His Prohibition of Travel to Visit 
the Prophet Muhammad
(Sallallahu Alaihe-e-Wa-Sallam)

*The Book contains the Hanbalis’ view of this fatwa being ridiculous, as well as As-Subki’s as well as Hafith al-’Iraqis as well as Hafith Ibn Hajr al-’Asqalani’s, as well as Hafith Safadi’s, Hafith al-Qari’s rejection, Imam Al-Khafaji’s and goes on to quote around 10+ more rejections of this specific heretical fatwa of Ibn Taymiyya! (pg 51-57)

a claim he was put in jail for by the Sunnis, and that had no scholarly precedent before it!

§ His revival of Ibn Hazm’s vicious non-Sunnah style, which has been refuted by the masses. This was pointed out by Imam As-Safadi, and his poor etiquette also manifested in his followers, was pointed out by Adh-Dhahabi (see page 67)

§ His excessive involvement into philosophy
(and in fact his holding of many Aristotelian views)
Also see:

despite that fact that his followers bash Sunni Kalam! [See page 68]

§ His deviations in his creed,

specifically holding them to be literal and thus anthropomorphic – unfounded in Sunni Doctrine, and a doctrine Ibn Taymiyya repented of in front of many scholars – signed by ibn taymiyya as well as many scholars that were present at the time (reference in the book) - early in his career, which Shaykh Gibril covers in his introduction!

Shaykh Gibril includes a brief refutation of Ibn Taymiyya’s deviant creed by the Ottoman Imam, Al-Kawthari exposing Ibn Taymiyya’s true tajsim (ascribing corporeality to Allah ) and tashbih on pages 80-83.

§ His incredulity of Imam Ahmad’s fatwa on seeking tabarruk with the Grave of the Prophet Muhammad (s) 
This particular incident is authentic and mentioned by Badrud-Din al-’Ayni in his Sharh of the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari! See (page 77.)

§ His denial of tawassul through the Prophet Muhammad (s) and Righteous, a bida’ah on his behalf, and refuted thoroughly by his contemporaries, as well as those before him! (page 78)

§ His lie, and invention that Imam al-Asha’ri supposedly converted then re-converted back to the way of the “salaf”, when ibn taymiyya himself was not upon the way of the salaf in order to make such a claim to begin with! 
See page 79!

§ His denial of the eternity of hell fire

(page,84-85) : which is covered well by Shaykh Gibril and shown to contradict Ijmaonce again.

This masterpiece includes fatwas and quotes of the contemporaries, not restricted to Ibn Jahbal as the title professes, of Ibn Taymiyya refuting his heresies and reviling his bida’ah. It includes fatwa after fatwa, and reference after reference for the Sunni to show his pseudo-salafi opponent, most of whom are ignorant of the facts regarding this figure.

Ibn Taymiyya was in fact prohibited by the Sunnis from giving fatawa, according to Ibn Rajab in his Dhayl Tabaqat Al-Hanabilah [see page 36 of this work we are reviewing].

After the detailed introduction to the book by the translator, the book is then given an introduction by Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawji Al-Albani, a defender of Ahlus Sunnah in this era, particularly against the evil insinuations brought forth by the pseudo-salafi and neo-Muqatili movement of our sad time. Shaykh Wahbi begins his introduction by defining “who” the “salaf” are.

Quoting Imam Abul Hasan Al-Asha’ri,
“They are the companions with regards to their sayings and deeds and in [all the rulings] they interpreted and extracted through their juridical exertion.”
[page 107]
He continues with other sayings and explanations from giants such as Imam al-Ghazzali, Khafaji as well as later ‘Ulama’ such as Dr. Buti, a true thorn in the sides of the pseudo-salafi movement. He discusses the khalaf - the opposite of the salaf – and their place in Islam as well. The real fruit of his introduction is his detailed discussion on ta’wil and its different meanings used within the law, as well as its establishment amongst the salaf, much to the dismay of the anti-ta’wil movement that is paid for by oil dollars.

Examples of its usage:
§ Synonymously with tafsir.
§ General ta’wil
§ Specific Ta’wil
§ et cetera

He goes on to quote the explanations of the Shaykh M. Abu Zahra and Imam Ibn Daqiq al-’Id who argued “if ta’wil is close to the language of the ‘arabs it is not disapproved…!” [pg 119] 
It is interesting to note that Ibn Daqiq Al-’Id, one the scholars praise more than ibn Taymiyyah, once met ibn Taymiyyah and disagreed with his propositions. 
He was asked why he didn’t refute him, and Ibn Daqiq Al-’Id stated that Ibn Taymiyyah loved to talk (kalaam), whereas Ibn Daqiq Al-’Id didn’t!
In the footnotes Shaykh Haddad quotes Hafith Ibn Hajr who quotes Ibn Daqiq Al-’Id as stating the Sunni stance,
“We say concerning the various Attributes that they are real and true according to the meaning Allah ta’ala wills for them. As for those who interpret them, we look at their interpretations: if it is close to the rules of language in use among the Arabs we do not reject it, and if it is far we relinquish it and return to basic belief while declaring transcendence.” (pg 119)
One of the most ridiculous beliefs held by Ibn Taymiyya is that insinuated, as well as refused to deny for Allah , a body jism“.

Ibn Jahbal refutes this claim in depth within his treatise, as well as the many other ridiculous insinuations and claims of ibn Taymiyyah.

When one reads what the ‘Ulama’ of his time have said about him – what they witnessed first hand – one realizes why Ibn Taymiyyah was imprisoned. The pseudo-salafis would have us believe that it was because of jealousy by other scholars, a claim they wish were true, but one realizes very quickly that this was a man who said one thing and believed another.
He was a man who openly, boastfully even, contradicted the Ijma’ of the Muslims multiple times without even taking a second look at the results of what he was saying. In one moment he repents from his heresies and a few years later his continues preaching his evil.
This work clearly exposes Ibn Taymiyyah, not by wishy washy modern scholars, but by the scholars, masters, and fuquha’ of his era and those after him; the Ibn Jahbals, As-Subkis, his own students, and many who had befriended him only to see that his opinions were truly anthropomorphic (Abu Hayyan for example).
This book is a must read for all english speaking Muslims. 
It details the life of a controversial figure in Muslim history who has shaped Muslim thought in our era, due to big oil dollars of course. It reveals views he held that no pseudo-salafi would dare tell the layman.
We recently compiled:

While looking through the many biographies, as I checked some 15 different bios, of Imam An-Nawawi, I found agreement upon the fact that he was a stalwart Sunni. 

Yet, when we look to the biographies of Ibn Taymiyyah by those same Sunnis,we see that this was a man full of creedal problems, as well as social problems. This is a man who was troubled, as can be seen by many of his egotistical actions. It is why Imam As-Safadi said that his intellect was lacking. Yes, he was a jurist, maybe even a Mujtahid, but he thought himself more than what he was and allowed himself to say what he had no authority to say.

The pseudo-salafis would have us believe that he was a Mujtahid Mutlaq, yet the Mujtahidin do not contradict Ijma‘, and most of all they have impeccable adab towards Allah and the Muslims, both lacking from Ibn Taymiyyah, as described by Ibn Jahbal in his work, as well as Taqiy-ud-Din Al-Hisni Al-Husayni in his refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah as well.

May Allah (SWT) bless our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihe-e-Wa-Sallam) , His family, and His followers. Amin!
1 Al-’Ibar 4:96


We say to him: What do you say concerning the mention of  “several eyes” (a‘yun), the mention of the “flank” (janb), the mention of the single “shin” (saq), and the mention of the “several hands” (aydi)?
If we take these literally then we must affirm a being that has one face with many eyes, a single side, many hands, and a single shin!

What being on earth is possibly uglier?

And if you take the liberty of interpreting this and that to be dual or singular, then why does Allah not mention it, nor the Prophet, nor the Salaf of the Community?

Chapter Seven. The Absurdity of His Literalism, pp. 221-223)

Wahabi Devil
Ismail Ebrahim Patel
from UK
(Harris Hammam of the IA and other Wahhabi/Salafi Forum's)

Wahhabi^Harris Hammam
(age 26)
This Pseudo-Hanbali admits Imam Tabari believed in creation of place yet persists!

This Wahhabi is hell-bent on refuting anything that the Ahlus Sunnah Mutakallimun hold, this topic being one of them, not only does he continue to go down the road of ‘refuting negation of makan’, but he says that some of the early Salaf ascribed makan to Him.

Wahhabis explicit statements in which he says: 
that at one point ‘makan’ wasn’t there, but came into being, thus it (makan) being a creation.
In the quotes below he says: 
“The most that can be deduced from all of this is that Allah was present when there was no place.”
This is an explicit statement from him saying:
“ Imam Tabari’s quote means that there was NO PLACE when Allah ta’ala was present in pre-eternity.”

Now if he wants to continue with his stubborn rant about ascribing place to Him, then that would mean that He is in creation, as he himself has said at one time or another there was not place, hence it’s a creation.

In the second quote he says:
“when in fact he was clearly referring to pre-creation.
Why did you say ‘is’, which denotes the present tense, when in fact the Khalifah was talking about pre-creation when nothing had been created, including place? Why didn’t you say ‘was’?”

This quote is explicit that the psuedo-hanbali believes makan to be a creation, yet he continues to argue that it’s wrong to negate it and it’s fine to say He is in makan, as his quote “Why didn’t you say ‘was’? implies since he’s arguing that it’s fine to say makan is created, yet it’s ok to say He’s in place now, and we seek refuge in Allah ta’ala from such beliefs.  1st quote and  2nd quote]



Imam Ibn Hamdan al-Hanbali 

on one who says Allah ta’ala in a place!

“Whoever says He is, with His essence, in every place or in a place is a Kafir, because the statement necessitates pre-eternity of place…”
[Nihayatul Mubtadi’in li Ibn Hamdan Pg. 33]

Wahhabi Devil 
The same ^Wahhabi Devil says:
“Firstly, Janb and Saq are affirmed by us no problem. We stick to the Nass.
Secondly, A’yun and Aydee only come when they are Mudaaf to the plural 1st person pronoun (denoting the Ta’dheem of Allah ). In this case, if the Mudaaf Ilaih is plural by word, the Mudaaf also has to be plural by word. This is the Arabic way of expressing things. It does not mean that Allah has several eyes or hands.
Thirdly, some scholars have said that such verses refer to the angels. This is a strong opinion.
Fourthly, a question (forgive me for my ignorance): Where has Aydee come for Allah ?
Fifthly, who are they to question the kayfiyyah of Allah ’s Jamaal?

Sixthly, these people are the same guys who do not affirm Soorah, Yad and Wajh for Allah as literal attributes as befit His Majesty. I guess they have nothing to look forward to in Jannah in terms of Ru’yah, with Allah outside place and their created gazes confined to space… Absolutely illogical”
It is very telling that part of the literalist defense is rebuking others for delving into the kayf (modality, the how) of Allah ’s existence, and how their attitude contradicts the manner of the right-guided Salaf that we affirm these truths without interpretation or we accept a suitable interpretation the reaches beyond what is blatantly “illogical” in contradicting what Allah has said about Himself and commanded us to say about him: namely Surah Ikhlas.

The literalist response at some point often rebukes this by saying, “well, why can’t Allah be however He likes? Why does he have to conform with your own preconceptions about reality” Subhan Allah ! I only recalling here such terms from Trinitarian Christians defending their three-headed Godhead! And yet we see in the Quran that the Trinity is denied and reject through a rational argument that denies the notion of a Trinity (or polytheism) not because Allah doesn’t ‘want to be that way’, but saying that Allah is exalted above it, His Existence is beyond having a consort or son. Despite Allah ’s unfathomable transcendence, the Christians claim that He needed a son to save humanity, and the anthropomorphists say that He has eyes, all the better to see with, my dear.

Sh Hamza Yusuf mentioned something interesting, I think in a talk on Sura Yasin. He mentioned that the first verse he looked for to judge a translation is 42:9. He mentions here that how the translator deals with this verse demonstrates how careful he is with the grammar, because the “wa” of this verse is not one of conjunction (in the same sense of ‘and’) as if to say “There is nothing alike to Him, (yet, despite that) He is the Hearing, the Seeing” — negating that this Hearing and Sight is anything like that of humanity’s. For your information, AJ Arberry (which more people should rely upon) has the verse: Like Him there is naught; He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.
So I wanted to expound on the athar of Al-Hasan Al-Basri where he stated that that the Prophet Muhammad (s) was asked “Where is Allah ?” To which Allah revealed,
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My slave asks regarding me, [tell him] I am near (Innee qareeb)…
I wrote the following over at ma’rifah:
Yes May Allah bless the brother. It seemed though that some question this chain up to Hasan Al-Basri, which I can not really see how it would be da’if as I read some no name pseudo-salafi claiming. Here is the basic breakdown in brief:
Al-Hasan ibn Yahyah is thiqah, Abdur-Razzaq is thiqah,

The only possible slight defect mentioned by some dumb wahhabi was that Ja’far ibn Sulayman was accused of “Shi’ism”. But we know that the wahhabis are ignorant of what “shi’ism” used to mean – as they think it is the same as the Irani shi’ism of today. It only shows their own stupidity, and I wish they would gain some knowledge on this issue as I am tired of having to trash their ridiculous comments on because of this point!

Ja’far ibn Sulayman [Ad-Duba'i] is Saduq (honest) – and was accused of having some “Shi’ism” in him [grading of Ibn Hajr and was agreed to by Hafith S. Arna'ut] which is common amongst many trustworthy narrators – though many deemed him thiqah as well.

Imam Ahmad had said of him, “There is nothing wrong with him.” It was said to Ahmad that some say his hadith should not be recorded to which Imam Ahmad said, “That is only because he had shi’i tendencies, as he would narrate ahadith regarding the virtues of ‘Ali and the people of Basrah were extreme regarding ‘Ali.” [tahthib at -tahthib]
In other words, Imam Ahmad rejected the notion his hadith should not be narrated and deemed him acceptable!
Ibn Ma’in declared him thiqah. Though ‘Abbas narrates from Ibn Ma’in that he said, ‘Yahya ibn Sa’id did not [deem it fit] to record his narrations’ – in other words he weakened him. Ibn Sa’d said that he was trustworthy, though had weakness in him, and was of a shi’i persuasion. Ibn Hajr quotes Imam ‘Abdu-Razzaq defending him, calling him a virtuous man! Abu Ahmad declared that his hadith were passable (salih), and that he had ‘many reports, and he was Hasan Al-Hadith, well known for his shi’i tendencies, ‘and I hope that he has nothing wrong with him, and he reported narrations regarding the two shaykhs [i.e. Abu Bakr and Umar] virtues with narrations that are not munkarah … and he is according to me (‘indi), one whose hadith must be accepted!

Ibn Hajr quotes several people as saying that he did not revile the two shaykhs, but that he did have anger towards them. Ibn Hibban basically states that he was of the trustworthy narrators, and that as long as there is not a hadith from that supports his specific madhdhab of bid’ah then his narrations, according to “our Imams of Ahlul Hadith” are to be accepted.
Ibn Al-Madini said of him, “He is thiqah according to us!”
Imam Al-Bazzar said, “And we have not heard a single person disparaging him in his hadith, as there are no mistakes in them, rather they mentioned him due to his shi’i tendencies, and as for his hadith then they are mustaqim (upstanding).”
[All quotes from Hafith Ibn Hajr's Tahthib At-Tahtib entry vol 1. 1106 ihya turath al-arabi]
‘Awf is ‘Awf ibn Abi Jamilah Al-’Arabi who Al-Hafith said is, “thiqah, he delved into Qadr, and had shi’i tendencies.”
It amazes me how some of the ignorant pseudo-salafis can not seem to get their minds around the fact that just because someone has some bida’ah in them, the scholars accepted his hadith as long as his memory was sound and he was virtuous, as Ibn Hibban stated.

This is a man who was criticized for two bida’ahs of his era: shi’i tendencies and Qadari tendencies, yet Imam Ahmad declared him “Thiqah, acceptable hadith!” Ibn Ma’in, “Thiqah!” Abu Hatim, “Saduq, Salih!” An-Nasa’i says about him, “Thiqah, established!” Ibn Sa’d, “Thiqah, he had many hadith!” He also said, “Some of them [scholars of hadith] said that His affair was elevated as he took from Al-Hasan that no other took from him!” Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari said, “He was, according to them all, declared established!”
And then there is Al-Hasan Al-Basri (radiya Allahu anhu, wa qaddasa Allahu ruhu) and we all know of his status!

One could argue it is mursal, but such an athar is a proof according to the majority. Furthermore, how would he have known that this question was posited to the Nabi ‘alayhis salam from the Sahabah? They told him of course! Such is why the mursal athar from an established and trustworthy tabi’i, and by Imam Ash-Shafi’i's standard ‘of the elders of the tabi’in’, is accepted!
Wahhabi/salafi says:
"If you want to know the answer to the question “Where is Allah ” meaning where is Allah ’s Essence, then see the slave girl hadeeth."

The Nabi ‘alayhis salam did not say “essence”. You are putting words, and thus meanings, as well as beliefs in a hadith, and for it you are a distorter of the Sunnah! You should fear Allah and remain silent about these narrations as the Salaf did, but instead you delve into them and distort the wordings and the meanings!
He (‘alayhi salam) asked her “where is Allah ”, and she pointed – according to one narrative – to the heavens. In the hadith in Sahih Muslim, which according to some has shadh wording, she says “fis-samaa’”. And there is no proof in this at all that she meant it literally. And the same can be said for the aayah “He is near”, for it is not meant literally either! In this case the Nabi was asked “Where Allah ” was, and he answered, “He is Near!” as commanded by Allah . Allah did not command him to say “in the heavens”, and Allah himself, glorified and exalted above what you claim upon him, has squelched you!
So it is funny how you pseudo-salafis take one literally and not the other – both cases without any clear proof that they should be taken either way! Your response shows clearly that you people interpret the texts away from the words of the Prophet Muhammad (‘alayhis salam)!
Imam Ibn Jahbal and his reply to
Ibn Taymiyya’s al Aqida al Hamawiyya on Jiha

The following is an English translation of Imam Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi's (d. 733 AH) al-Raddu ‘ala Man Qala bil-Jiha published under the title: The Refutation of Him [Ibn Taymiyya] Who Attributes Direction (Jiha) to Allah. The Introduction was by the late Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawji (d. 2013), and translation and notes by Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad.

The following is a foreword by Dr. Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti from Oxford, England:

Like the Judaic and Christian theological traditions, the Islamic one also, - arguably with less crassness - faced the problems of scriptural literalism that result in an anthropomorphic theology. As the early (salaf) Muslim community became more sophisti­cated and began to lead the world in scientific progress - and especially from the time of Islam’s Doctor Angelicus, al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111) - Muslim theologians came to embrace and insti­tutionalize the case for tawil. This was Islam’s systematic solu­tion of the problem, through a canon of figurative interpretation of scripture as a necessary tool of hermeneutics.

Not only did the method of tawil keep anthropomorphism in check through offering a middle way in the understanding of Divine Attributes as limited by human language, but it served to reconcile Divine Scripture with the discoveries afforded by hu­man reason. This legitimization of tawil by the classical ' ulama and its systematic treatment in the Golden Age of Islam made it an established doctrine among Muslim theologians. It became the standard position in later (khalaf) orthodoxy within the Sunni tradition (alongside the formerly dominant, simpler alter­native, and utterly unexplainable “non-method”: tafwid) - the cultural milieu that brought forth this work.

This short theological tract, Fi Nafi al-Jiha, or On Denying Direction to God, by the Ash'ari theologian and celebrated Shafi'i jurist, Qadi Ibn Jahbal (d. 733/1333), is a clinical rebuttal of the controversial fatwa, the 'Aqida Hamawiyya, penned by his legendary contemporary, Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328). It is considered, rightly, a classic manifesto of anti-literalism, which embraces the successful pro-tawil Ghazalian theses advocated centuries earlier - to the extent that Ibn al-Subki (d. 771/1370) reproduced the whole of Ibn Jahbal’s work in his magisterial Tabaqat.

The present volume is a special “all-Damascene” edition, which contains the very first (and definitive) English translation of Ibn Jahbal’s Arabic text; completed by an authorized, nay Damascus-trained and native scholar, Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad, who possesses the complete and exclusively Dimashqi ijaza going back to the original Damascene author; and supple­mented by superb scholarly documentation and a running com­mentary. The volume includes the Muqaddima of one of Damascus’s senior living Hanafi jurists, Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawji, which presents an up-to-date explanation of figurative interpretation in Islamic theology The volume is also prefaced by another introduction, which catalogues the problematic po­sitions of the redoubtable Ibn Taymiyya raised by scholars throughout the ages including his own students, regarding which a Dimashqi muhaddith recently quipped: “The mistakes of the great are the greatest mistakes.”

This convenient Collectio Errorum by Shaykh Haddad is not a zero-sum critique. In fact, it will be appreciated for it isolates Ibn Taymiyya’s unquestionably controversial materials from the rest of his vast corpus - thus enabling one to take the good and leave the bad; and this list will be a service to the non-scholar who might want to benefit from reading the works of this prolific Hanbali jurist, one who is now enjoying a greater following and who indeed can be said to be a phenomenon of present-day Islam.

Along with a work by an earlier Hanbali theologian, the Daf Shubah al-Tashbih of Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597/1200), this medieval contribution by Ibn Jahbal remains one of the most important texts refuting the anthropomorphists of the Muslim world. This will be an indispensable reference for advanced students of Isla­mic theology, other professional theologians, and modern aca­demics needing primary source materials in English or a source book on the controversies surrounding Ibn Taymiyya’s theology.

This same work embodies, moreover, a contemporary exer­cise in polemic representing the longstanding views in the con­formist tradition of Muslim theology, whether via tawil or tafwid, and whether in the schools of the Ash'aris, Maturidls or Hanbalis. In particular, it pits itself against one of the two oppo­site non-conformist readings of the Qur’an and Sunna; and in general, it highlights the pitfalls of a literalistic mindset which plagues all scripturally-based religions.

Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

Research Fellow in Islamic Theology, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University.


Translator’s Introduction
Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi 11
The Controversy Surrounding Ibn Taymiyya’s Orthodoxy 13
The Sunni Stand Against Anthropomorphism 15
Ibn Taymiyya’s Life and Teachings 27
Al-‘ Ala’is Summary of Ibn Taymiyya’s Deviations 28
His Teachers and Students 31
Divided Opinions Concerning Him 32
Al-Dhahabi's Synopsis of His Case 34
“He was Very Learned but Lacked Intelligence” 3 5
The Hanbalis’ Prohibition Against Him Giving Fatwa 36
The Fatwa Hamawiyya Attributing Direction to Allah 37
His Several Imprisonments 39
His Equivocations Under Interrogation 40
Al-Tufi’s Summary of Ibn Taymiyya’s Deviations 41

His Former Admiration of Shaykh Muhyl al-DIn Ibn ‘Arab! 44

His Sufi Affiliation with the Qadiri Tarlqa 45
His Innovative Nullification of Triple Divorce 48
Ibn Rajab Supports then Rejects His Fatwa on Divorce 49
His Prohibition of Travel to Visit the Holy Prophet 50
The Hanbali Rejection of this Fatwa 51
Shaykh al-Islam al-Subki’s Rejection of this Fatwa 52
Shaykh al-Islam al-Iraqi’s Rejection of this Fatwa 53
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar’s Rejection of this Fatwa 54
Hafiz al-Safadi’s Rejection of this Fatwa 54
Hafiz al-Qarfi's Rejection of this Fatwa 55
Imam al-Kafaji’s Rejection of this Fatwa 56
Other Rejections of this Fatwa 56

Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi’s Fanatic Defense of His Teacher 57
The Hadith “Whoever Visits My Grave, My Intercession is Guaranteed for Him” 59
His Last Days and Repentence from His Activities 64
His Abandonment by His Former Admirers 65
His Revival of Ibn Hazm’s Vicious Style 67
His Excessive Involvement in Kalam and Philosophy 68
Al-Dhahabi's Bayan Zaghl al-'Ilm and His Nasiha to Ibn Taymiyya 69
Al-Subki's Summary of Ibn Taymiyya’s Deviations in Doctrine 72
Al-Haytamis Summary of Ibn Taymiyya's Deviations 73

Ibn Taymiyya’s Incredulity of Imam Ahmad’s Fatwa on Tabarruk with the Prophetic Grave 77
His Denial of Tawassul and His Denial of Such Denial 78
His Invention of a Post-Conversion Reconversion of al-Ash‘ari 79

Al-Kawtharls Scathing Exposure of His Anthropomorphism 80
Ibn Taymiyya’s Denial of the Eternity of Hellfire 84
His Invention of a Double or Triple Tawhid 86
Al-Tubbani's Refutation of His Multiple Tawhids 87
Ibn Taymiyya's Verbose Methodology in Disputation 90
His Climbing Down the Pulpit to Illustrate the Divine Descent 94
His Appearance 95

The Revival of His Teachings by the Wahhabi Movement 95
Selected Taymiyyan Heresiographical Literature 100
Al-Nabhani's Verdict on Ibn Taymiyya 105

Shaykh Wahbl Sulayman Ghawji’s Introduction 107

The Salaf, the Khalaf, Ta’wil and the Correction of Errors in 'Aqida 107
The Salaf 107
The Khalaf 110
Ta’wil 115
Preconditions for Accepting Ta’wil 118
The Later Need for Ta’wil According to Ahl al-Sunna 123
Ta’wil Does Not Mean Negation of the Attributes 125
Putting to Rest Certain Insinuations and Warning of
Certain Scholarly Errors That Pertain to Doctrine 128

Ibn Jahbal: Refutation of Him Who Attributes Direction to Allah 145
Chain of Transmission for this Book 147
Author’s Introduction 151
The Hashwiyya or Vulgar Anthropomorphists 153
Malik and Shafi'is Understanding of Tawhid 160
The Ash'aris are Closer to the Salaf than the Hashwiyya 162
The Doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna 164
The Requisites of Transcendence (Wazaif al-Taqdis) 171
Refutation of Ibn Taymiyya’s Claims
Preliminaries 173

Chapter One: The Fallacy of His “Proofs from the Qur’an”

and the Hashwiyya s Self-Contradictions 177

Chapter Two: The Fallacy of His “Proofs from the Sunna” 189
Chapter Three: Parenthesis: His Understanding of
the Withness (ma'iyya) and Height of Allah " 195
Chapter Four: His Peculiar Understanding of “with,” “in,’’“above,” and “on” 203
Chapter Five: His Understanding of the Heaven to Mean “the Height” 207
Chapter Six: His Rhetoric Against the Mutakallimun 217
Chapter Seven: The Absurdity of His Literalism 221
Chapter Eight: His Calumnies Against the Sunni Theologians 227
Chapter Nine: His Attribution of Unbelief and Heresy to the Ulema 233
Chapter Ten: His Unreliable Manner of Quoting the Salaf 237
Chapter Eleven: [Imam al-Ghazzali’s] Ethics of Tawhld 257
Upholding Divine Transcendence 258
Belief and Confirmation 259
Admission of Incapacity 260
Keeping Silent 260
Refraining from Paraphrasing 262
Ceasing Cogitation 263
Believing Firmly in the Knowledge of the Prophet 263
Chapter Twelve: Kalam Dialectic in the Qur’an and the Rejection of Imitation 265
Chapter Thirteen: Warnings of the Great Sufi Shaykhs against Literalism 269
Chapter Fourteen: Leave Quranic Exegesis to its Experts 273
Chapter Fifteen: Quranic Proofs Negating Direction 275
Chapter Sixteen: Qur’an and Sunna Yield No Evidence for Anthropomorphists 279

Appendix I: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya 283
Appendix II: Shaykh Wahbl Sulayman Ghawji al-Albani: A Brief Bio-Bibliography 297
Bibliography 303
Indexes 325
Index of Quranic Verses 327
Index of Narrations 329
General Index of Arabic Terms, Names and Works 333


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 (Edited by ADHM)