As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 8


His Legacy Lives on: Impacts of Ibn Taymiyyah's Dawah on reformation in Arabia and India

His Legacy Lives on:

Ibn Taymiyyah's efforts and reformist endeavors energized the call towards returning to the pure religion, and the impact of his Dawah were seen much beyond Egypt and Syria, where he resided. After his death, the value and appreciation of his writings grew, while his opponents sank into oblivion.

Ibn Taymiyyah's legacy lives on in the Dawah of the scholars, movements and institutions that forward the call to Tawheed and Ittiba. They benefited greatly from Shaikhul-Islam's works and appreciated his wisdom and strong comprehension of the religion. The essence of Ibn Taymiyyah's Dawah can be seen in these scholars or institutions, in that they

1. Give priority to establishing the pure worship of Allah, and warn against all manifestations of Shirk.

2. They promote the correct understanding of the Deen and clarify the doubts and distortions of the innovative sects.

3. They appreciate and refer to the teachings of all the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah but refrain from bigoted partisanship towards particular individuals thus opposing the destructive blind-following.

4. They call for the practical implementation of Islamic teachings whether in one's personal behavior, in transactions or in the society, and in taking Allah's Legislation to be the most supreme.

The most notable impact of Ibn Taymiyyah's teachings in the modern era can be seen by the effect on the most prominent reformer of the eighteenth century, Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab (rahimahullah). He raised the banner of Tawheed in the Arabian Peninsula at a time when practices like veneration and invoking graves, trees and stones for help, making vows to them and believing that they can harm or benefit were rampant. Arabia was seen largely as lawless and plunged in anarchy. The efforts of Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab's dawah eradicated all the open forms of Shirk including the many tombs that had become places of worship for other than Allah. It made Qur'aan and Sunnah to be the law of the land. It became a stepping-stone for the Dawah of Tawheed to spread to places far and wide like Sudan, Indonesia and most notably to India.

Like other parts of the Islamic world, during the sixteenth century, India too was plagued by various heretical groups that spread deviant practices amongst the people like saint worship, grave worship, innovations in worship, exaggeration in the status of the Ahlul-Bayt and the righteous, superstitions and sorcery. In addition to this, the people were away from the actual sources of Islam the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. The curriculum that was used in Islamic institutions included over 40 books on subjects like, logic and philosophy that had little to do with the actual religion. The study of Tafseer was limited to the starting two and half portions of the Qur'aan, and al-Mishkaat was the only book used to study hadeeth and that too, just for blessing and not for knowledge. It was well accepted amongst the scholars that the conclusions of the Madhhabs of Fiqh took precedence over the hadeeth.

As the biography of many scholars shows, their contact with students of Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab during Hajj and Umrah, was a reason for their change in perspective and attitude towards the Hadeeth.

Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehelvi (1703-62) was from the first and most prominent scholars who believed in the permissibility of Ijtihad when necessary and encouraged the study of Hadeeth. He recognized the dangers and divisions caused by blind-adherence to Madhhabs and called for greater understanding and openness between the Madhhabs. He emphasized monotheism and called upon the deviation of Sufism to be kept in bounds - though he did not shun Sufism entirely.

Shah Waliullah's successors continues with his reformation ideas, until his grandson Shah Ismael Shaheed, openly called towards the way of the Salafus-Saleh and overtly called to Tawheed, rejected Shirk (as seen in his book, 'Taqwiyatul-Eeman') and vehemently opposed the fanatic blind-following of Madhhabs that results in giving the ruling of a Madhhab authority over the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Shah Ismaeel strengthened the dawah that calls towards a return to the way of the Salaf and the revival of the study of Tafseer and Hadeeth. As a result, the study of Hadeeth flourished and the subsequent generation of Indian scholars contributed greatly to the science of Hadeeth by authoring books on the explanation of hadeeth and publishing Hadeeth compilations that were only found as manuscripts.

Amongst the most prominent Ahlul-Hadeeth scholars in India were Shaikh ul-Qul Mia Syed Nazeer Hussain Dehelwi (1320H) - He taught hadeeth for over 60 years and anyone related to the study of hadeeth in the India subcontinent was either his student or the student of his students - Nawaab Siddiq Hassan Khan Kanoojee (1307H), Imamul-Mufassireen Abul-Wafaa Thanaaullaah Amritsari (1367H), Abdullaah Rauparee (1384H), Moulana Muhammad Junaghadi (1360H), Ubaidullah Mubarakpuri, Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri (1353H) the author of Tuhfatul Ahwazee the explanation of Sunan At-Tirmidhee, Shams ul-Haqq Azeemabadi - (author of Aun al-Mabood, the explanation of Sunan Abu Dawood), Muhammad Hussain Batalwee, Abdul-Azeez Rahimabadi (1320H), Moulana Ismaeel Salafi, Allama Muhammed Daood Ghaznawi, Moulana Muhammad Dawood Raaz, Shaikh Badee ud-Deen Shah Sindhi, Shaikh Muhammad Saadiq Sialkoti, Allama Ehsan Ilaahi Zaheer, and many others.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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