Saturday, June 9, 2007

Ibn taymiah descending down the minbar

Even if one was to denounce Ibn Battuta's account as being a false and fabricated statement, one may wish to know that the greatest scholar of Hadith in his time, Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafidh Ahmad ibn Hajar al- Asqalani (Rahimahullah) has reported an incident in al-Durar al- kamina (1, 164) where again Ibn Taymiyya descended the steps of the minbar in order to illustrate his understanding of how Allah descends (nuzul) as early as the year 705/1305 AH (some 21 years before Ibn Battuta's account). Hafiz Ibn Hajar's source for this incident was one of Ibn Taymiyya's own disciples by the name Sulayman Najm al-Din al-Tufi al-Hanbali (d. 716/1316)

Also Taqi al-Din al-Hisni mentioned it who lived before the Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani.

bn Taymiyya's conception of Allah's bodily descent is also stated in his own writings, as shown from the following excerpt from his al-Ta'sis fi al-radd `ala asas al-taqdis, written as a refutation of Imam al-Razi who was a fierce enemy of the Karramiyya and other anthropomorphists:

The Creator, Glorified and Exalted is He, is above the world and His being above is literal, not in the sense of dignity or rank. It may be said of the precedence of a certain object over another that it is with respect to dignity or rank, or that it is with respect to location. For example, respectively: the precedence of the learned over the ignorant and the precedence of the imam over the one praying behind him. Allah's precedence over the world is not like that, rather, it is a literal precedence (i.e. in time). Similarly the elevation above the world could be said to be with respect to dignity or rank, as for example when it said that the learned is above the ignorant. But Allah's elevation over the world is not like that, rather He is elevated over it literally (i.e. in space). And this is the known elevation and the known precedence

Source :Ibn Taymiyya, al-Ta'sis al-radd `ala asas al-taqdis 1:111.

It should be clear that the above in no way represents the position of Imam Ahmad or his school. As Ibn al-Jawzi reported in his Daf` shubah al-tashbih: `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn `Umar al-Dabbas related to us that Rizq Allah ibn `Abd al-Wahhab al-Tamimi said: "Ahmad ibn Hanbal did not attribute a direction to the Creator.

Source: Ibn al-Jawzi, Daf` shubah al-tashbih p. 135.

Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 911/1505; Rahimahullah)

Imam as-Suyuti wrote in his book Kam' al-mu'arid : "Ibn Taymiyya was arrogant. He was self conceited. It was his habit to represent himself as superior to everybody, to slight the person whom he talked to and to make fun of great Muslims."

Hafiz al-Sakhawi (d. 902/1497; Rahimahullah)

Hafiz al-Sakhawi (a student of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani) stated in his al-I'lan (English translation in 'A History of Muslim Historiography', pg. 284, by F. Rosenthal): "There are also those scholars of great learning, austerity, and asceticism whom people avoided and whose knowledge they were careful not to utilize, because of their loose tongue and lack of tact, which caused them to talk and criticize excessively. Such men were Ibn Hazm and Ibn Taymiyya."