As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 8


A Word of Caution

      A Word of Caution:

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 the Salaf.

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

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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