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
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.