Many reform movements and thinkers were influenced by
Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, and they praised and openly expressed appreciation
for his works. Many have in some ways attributed their understanding or the
basis of their movement to the reformation ideas set forth by Ibn Taymiyyah.
Yet, they cannot truly claim to be on the way of Shaikhul-Islam because even
though, these movements/thinkers find common cause with Shaikhul-Islam in some
aspects of his life and ways, they differ with him in his fundamental approach.
The focus of Ibn Taymiyyah's Dawah and efforts was towards the
establishment of Tawheed and negation of worship to other than Allah. While he
wrote extensively on a large array of subjects, all of this was secondary to
establishing the worship of Allah. Therefore, political movements of today that
make the establishment of their version of 'Islamic state' as the primary goal,
while they consider the call to establishing the pure worship of Allah as an
hindrance can never claim affiliation to the way of Ibn Taymiyyah.
Ibn Taymiyyah did call for openness in reviewing the positions
of the Madhhahib and on the validity of resorting to Ijtihad where needed. This
was so that blind-following of madhhabs would not be an obstacle in returning
back to the original state of affairs and following that which is closest to the
proofs. His Dawah strives to refer back to the understanding of the Salaf, the
guided Muslims at a time when Islam was free of deviations and innovations.
If a new age thinker finds common cause with Ibn Taymiyyah in
his opposition to the blind-prejudice towards Madhhabs, but then wishes to
replace this with something worst like his own interpretations or modernist
ideas or the like; then he cannot claim affiliation to the way of Shaikhul-Islam
Ibn Taymiyyah whose fundamental call was returning back to the understanding of
Likewise, Shaikhul-Islam followed the way of the Salaf in his
approach to the Muslim rulers even if they were sinful. When the Tartars
attacked Shaam (Syria and neighboring areas), Ibn Taymiyyah called upon the
rulers of his time and the Muslims in general to rise to the occasion and fight
them. Even though the Tartars outwardly professed the shahadah, Ibn Taymiyyah
considered them disbelievers because of their complete adherence to the laws of
Genghis Khan al-Yasiq, and absolute disregard for both the Islamic Sharee'ah and
the sanctity of life.
If someone today draws parallels between the Tartars and some
Muslim rulers these days without taking into account the various factors and
conditions and does actions that cause corruption in the land and shedding of
blood then such a person acts contrary to the teachings of Shaikhul-Islam and
cannot attribute his way to the way of Ibn Taymiyyah.
Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah rose the flag of belief and understanding of Ahlus-Sunnah
in his lifetime, in an era when innovation, misguidance, and corruption was
widespread and had the upper hand. His courage in face of adversity, his
standing up for the truth, his patience under trial and his positive outlook to
the end has a lot of lessons in it for every student of knowledge and caller to
the way of Allah. May Allah increase the rewards of Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah
and enter him into Jannah al-Firdaus and may He cause those who came after him
to benefit from his knowledge. Ameen