SALAFIYYA: We will say at the very outset that the books of the Ahl as-Sunnat savants do not mention anything in the name of the salafiyya or of a salafiyya madhhab. These names, forged by the Wahhâbîs and by the lâ-madhhabî, have begun to spread among the Turks as a common concomitant of the books written by the lâ-madhhabî and translated from Arabic to Turkish by ignorant men of religion. According to them, “Salafiyya is the name of the madhhab that had been followed by all the Sunnîs before the madhhabs of Ash’ariyya and Mâturîdiyya were founded. They were the followers of the Sahâba and the Tâbi’în.
The Salafiyya madhhab is the madhhab of the Sahâba, the Tâbi’în, and the Taba’at-Tâbi’în. The four great imâms were affiliated with this madhhab. The first book to defend the Salafiyya madhhab was written by al-Imâm al-a’zam and was entitled Fiqh al-akbar. Al-Imâm al-Ghazâlî states in his book Iljâmul-awâm ’ani-l-kalâm that the Salafiyya madhhab has seven essentials. The mutaakh-khirîn’s ’ilm al-kalâm begins with the advent of al-Imâm al-Ghazâlî. After studying the madhhabs of the earlier ’ulamâ’ of kalâm and the ideas of Islamic philosophers, al-Imâm al-Ghazâlî made changes in the methods of ’ilm alkalâm.
He inserted philosophical subjects into ilm al-kalâm with a view to refuting them. Al-Râdî and al-’Âmidî conjoined kalâm and philosophy and made them one branch of knowledge. And al-Baidâwî made kalâm and philosophy inseparable. The mutaakhkhirîn’s ’ilm al-kalâm prevented the spreading of the Salafiyya madhhab. Ibni Taymiyya and his disciple, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, tried to enrich the Salafiyya madhhab. Later, the Salafiyya madhhab broke into two groups: the early Salafîs did not go into details about the attributes of Allâhu ta’âlâ or the nass of mutashâbih; the later Salafîs were interested in detailing them.
This case becomes quite conspicuous with the later Salafîs, such as Ibni Taymiyya and Ibni al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya. The former and the latter Salafîs altogether are called the Ahl as-Sunnat alkhâssa.
The Ahl as-Sunnat ’ulamâ of kalâm interpreted some of the nass, but the Salafiyya are opposed to it. By stating that Allah’s face and His coming are unlike people’s faces and their coming, the Salafiyya differs from the Mushabbiha.”
It is not right to say that the Madhhabs of al-Ash’arî and al-Mâturîdî were founded later. These two great imâms explained the knowledge of i’tiqâd and îmân as it was communicated by the Salaf as-sâlihîn. They arranged it in classes, and published it after making it comprehensible for youngsters. Imâm al-Ash’arî is in al-Imâm ash-Shâfi’î’s chain of disciples. And Imâm al-Mâturîdî is a great link in al-Imâm al-a’zam Abû Hanîfa’s chain of disciples.
Al-Ash’arî and al-Mâturîdî did not go out of their masters’ common Madhhab; they did not found new madhhabs. These two and their teachers and the îmâms of the four Madhhabs had one common Madhhab: the Madhhab well-known with the name of the Ahl as-Sunnat wa-l-Jamâ’at. It would be more correct to call it a firqa (group). The beliefs of the people of this group are the beliefs of the Sahâba, the Tâbi’în and the Taba’at-Tâbi’în. The book Fiqh al-akbar, written by al-Imâm al-a’zam Abû Hanîfa, defends the Madhhab of the Ahl as-Sunnat. The word salafiyya does not exist in that book or in Imâm al-Ghazâlî’s book, Iljâm alawâm ’ani-l-kalâm. We have read those two books several times.
Qawl al-fasl, one of the commentaries to the book Fiqh al-akbar, is of more than four hundred pages, and teaches the Madhhab of the Ahl as-Sunnat and answers the heretical groups and philosophers. Thinking that the books Qawl al-fasl and Iljâm would be very useful, we reproduced them by offset. Hakîkat Kitâbevi has offset them a second time by using the same films. Imâm al-Ghazâlî states in his book Iljâm-al-awâm: “In this book I shall explain that the Madhhab of the Salaf is right and correct. I shall explain that those who dissent from this Madhhab are holders of bid’at. The Madhhab of the Salaf means the Madhhab held by the Sahâba and the Tâbi’în. There are seven essentials in this Madhhab.” As can be observed, the book Iljâm imparts the seven essentials of the Madhhab of the Salaf. To say that they are the essentials of the Salafiyya is to distort the text and to slander Imâm al-Ghazâlî. As in all the books of the Ahl as-sunnat, it is written after the words ‘Salaf’ and ‘Khalaf’ in the section dealing with bearing witness in the book Durr-ul-Mukhtâr, a very valuable book of Fiqh: “ ‘Salaf’ is an epithet for the Sahâba and the Tâbi’în. They are also called the Salaf as-sâlihîn. And those ’ulamâ’ of the Ahl as-Sunnat succeeding the Salaf as-sâlihîn are called the ‘Khalaf’.” The Taba’ at-tâbi’în, too, are included in the Salaf as-sâlihîn. Imâm al-Ghazâlî, Imâm ar-Râdî, and Imâm al-Baydâwî, who were loved and honoured above all by the ’ulamâ’ of Tafsîr, were all in the Madhhab of the Salaf as-sâlîhin. Groups of bid’at that appeared in their time mixed ’ilm al-kalâm with philosophy. In fact, they founded their belief on philosophy. The book al-Milal wa-n-nihal provides detailed information on the beliefs held by those heretical groups. While defending the Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat against those corrupt groups and rebutting their heretical ideas, these three imâms gave extensive answers to their philosophy. But supplying these answers does not mean mixing philosophy with the Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat.
On the contrary, they purged the knowledge of Kalâm from the philosophical thoughts interpolated into it. There is not a single philosophical thought or philosophical method in al-Baydâwî’s work or in the tafsîr of Shaikh-zâda, which is the most valuable of books of Tafsîr. It is a very nefarious calumny to say that these valuable îmâms took to philosophy. This stigma was first attached to the ’ulemâ of the Ahl as-Sunnat by Ibni Taymiyya, in his book Wâsita. Furthermore, to state that Ibni Taymiyya and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya tried to enrich the Salafiyya madhhab is to divulge a very important crux where those who are on the right way and those who have deviated into the wrong path differ from each other. Before those two people there was no Salafiyya madhhab, nor even the word “Salafiyya”; how could they be said to have tried to enrich it? Before those two people, there was only one true Madhhab, the Madhhab of the Salaf as-sâlihîn, which was called the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-Jamâ’at. Ibni Taymiyya spoiled this true Madhhab, concocted many bid’at’s, and caused the appearing of the nuisance of Wahhâbism. The source of the books, the words, the heretical and corrupt thoughts of today’s Wahhâbîs, lâ-madhhabîs and religion reformers are only the bid’ats concocted by Ibni Taymiyya. In order to deceive Muslims and to convince the youth that they are on the right way, these heretics devised a horrible stratagem: they forged the name “Salafiyya” from the “Salaf as-sâlihîn” so as to authenticate Ibni Taymiyya’s bid’ats and corrupt ideas and drift the youth into his wake; they attached the stigmas of philosophy and bid’at to the Islamic ’ulamâ’, who are the successors of the Salaf as-sâlihîn, and they blamed them for dissenting from their invented epithet, Salafiyya; they put forward Ibni Taymiyya as a mujtahid, as a hero that resuscitated the Salafiyya. In actual fact, the ’ulamâ’ of the Ahl as-Sunnat, who are the successors of the Salaf as-sâlihîn, defended the teachings of the i’tiqâd of the Ahl as-sunnat, which was the Madhhab of the Salaf as-sâlihîn. They report in the books which they have written up to our time and which they are still writing today that Ibni Taymiyya, ash-Shawkânî and the like and also Wahhâbîs have dissented from the way of the Salaf as-sâlihîn and have been drifting Muslims towards perdition and Hell.
People who read the books entitled at-Tawassuli bi-n-Nabî wa jahâlatu-l-Wahhabiyyîn and ’Ulamâ-al-muslimîn wa-lwahhâbiyyûn and the book Shifâ’ as-suqâm and its preface, Tathîr al-fu’âd min danis-il-i’tiqâd, will realize that the people who have
invented the heretical beliefs called the New Salafiyya are leading Muslims towards perdition and demolishing Islam from within. Recently some mouths have been resounding with the appelation ‘Salafiyya’. Every Muslim should know very well that Islam does not contain a path called the Salafiyya madhhab.
There is only the Madhhab of the Salaf as-sâlihîn in Islam. The Salaf as-sâlihîn are the Muslims of the earliest two Islamic centuries, who were lauded in hadîth-i sherîfs. The Madhhab of these honourable people is called the Madhhab of the Ahl as-Sunnat wa-l-Jamâ’at. This Madhhab is the Madhhab of îmân, the tenets of faith. The imân held by the Sahâba and by the Tâbi’în was the same. There was no difference between their beliefs.
Today most Muslims on the earth are in the Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat. All the seventy-two heretical groups of bid’at appeared after the second century of Islam. Founders of some of them lived before them, but it was after the Tâbi’în that their books were written, they appeared in groups and defied the Ahl as-sunnat.
Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ taught the credal tenets of the Ahl as-Sunnat. The Sahâba derived these teachings of îmân from this source. And the Tâbî’în, in their turn, learned these teachings from the Sahâba. And from them their successors learned them. Thus the teachings of the Ahl as-Sunnat reached us by way of transmission and tawâtur. These teachings cannot be explored by way of reasoning. Mind cannot change them. Mind can only help understand them. That is, mind is necessary for understanding them, for realizing that they are right, and for knowing their value. All the savants of Hadîth held the credal tenets of the Ahl as-sunnat. The imâms of the four Madhhabs of deeds were in this Madhhab, too. Also, al-Mâturîdî and al-Ash’arî, the two imâms of our Madhhab of belief, were in the Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat. Both these imâms promulgated this Madhhab. They always defended this Madhhab against heretics and against materialists, who had been stuck in the bogs of ancient Greek philosophy. They lived in different times, and since the ways of thinking and behaving of the offenders they had met were different, the methods of defence used and the answers given by these two great savants of the Ahl as-sunnat were different. But this does not mean that they belonged in different Madhhabs. Hundreds of thousands of profoundly learned ’ulamâ and Awliyâ coming after these two great imâms studied their books and stated in consensus that they both belonged to the Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat. The savants of the Ahl as-sunnat took the Nass (âyâts and hadîths with clear meanings) with their obvious meanings. That is, they gave the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs their apparent meanings, and did not interpret these meanings unless it was necessary. And they never made any changes according to their personal knowledge or opinions. But those who belonged to heretical groups and the lâ-madhhabî did not hesitate to change the teachings of îmân and worship as they had learned from Greek philosophers and from sham scientists, who were Islam’s adversaries.
When the Ottoman state, Islam’s guardian and the servant of the Ahl as-Sunnat, collapsed, succumbing to centuries of contrivances carried on by freemasons, missionaries and the nefarious policy waged by the British Empire, who mobilized all their material forces, the lâ-madhhabî leaped at the opportunity.
With fiendish lies and stratagems, they began to attack the Ahl assunnat and to demolish Islam from within, especially in those countries where the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat are not allowed to talk freely, e.g. Saudi Arabia. The innumerable gold coins dispensed in Saudî Arabia helped this aggression spread all over the world. As it is understood from the news coming from Pakistan, from India, and from African countries, some men of religion with little religious knowledge and no fear of Allah were given posts and apartment houses in return for their buttressing up these aggressors. Especially, their treachery of deceiving youngsters and estranging them from the Ahl as-sunnat Madhhab provided them these abominable advantages. They wrote books in order to mislead students in the madrasas and the children of Muslims.
In one such book, the author states: “I have written this book with a view to eliminating the elements of bigotry in the madhhabs and helping everybody to live peacefully in their madhhabs.” This man writes that he considers eliminating the bigotry of tha madhhabs to mean attacking the Ahl as-sunnat and belittling the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat. He thrusts a dagger into Islam, and then says he does this so that Muslims will live in peace. At another place in the book he writes: “If a thinking person hits thepoint in his thinking, he will be rewarded ten-fold. If he misses, hewill earn one reward.” According to him, everybody, whether he isa Christian or a polytheist, will be rewarded for his every thought,and he will earn ten thawâbs for his correct thoughts! See how he changes our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ hadîth-i sherîf, and how he plays tricks! The hadîth-i sherîf declares: “If a mujtahîd hits the point as he extracts rules from an âyat-i-kerîma or from a hadîth-i-sherîf, he will be given ten thawâbs. If he errs he will be given one thawâb.” The hadîth-i sherîf shows that these thawâbs will be given not to everybody who thinks, but to an Islamic savant who has attained the grade of ijtihâd. It also indicates that he will be given them not for his every thought but for his work in extracting rules from the Nass. For, his work is an act of worship. Like any other worship, it will be given thawâb.
During the time of the Salaf as-sâlihîn, and of the mujtahid imâms, who were their khalaf, that is, until the end of the four hundredth Islamic year, whenever a new situation came about as a result of changing life standards and conditions, the mujtahid savants worked day and night and derived how the situation must be dealt with from the four sources called al-adillat ash-Shar’iyya, and all Muslims performed their religious businesses exemplified in that situation by following the deduction of the imâm of their Madhhab. And those who did so were given ten thawâbs or one. After the four hundredth year people went on following these mujtahids’ deductions. In the course of this long period not a single Muslim has been at a loss or in a dilemma as to how to act.
Ever since, no savants or muftîs have been educated even for the seventh grade of ijtihâd; therefore, today we have to learn from a Muslim who can read and understand the books of the savants of one of the four Madhhabs, and from the books translated by him, and adapt our worships and daily lives to them. Allâhu ta’âlâ declared the rules of everything in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. His exalted Prophet Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ explained all of them. And savants of the Ahl as-sunnat learned them from the Sahâba and wrote them in their books. These books exist all over the world now. The handling of any new situation that will come about in any part of the world till Doomsday can be exemplified by one of the teachings in these books. This practicability is a mu’jiza of the Qur’ân al-kerîm and a karâmat of Islamic savants. But it is essentially important to learn by asking a true Sunnî Muslim. If you ask a lâ-madhhabî man of religion, he will mislead you by giving you an answer disagreeable with books of Fiqh.
I have previously explained how the youth are deceived by those lâ-madhhabî ignoramuses who stay in Arabic countries for a few years, learn how to speak Arabic, fritter away their times leading a life of amusement, pleasures and boudoir, and then, getting a sealed paper from a lâ-madhhabî, from an enemy of the Ahl as-sunnat, go back to Pakistan or to India. Youngsters who see their counterfeit diplomas and hear them speak Arabic think that they are Islamic savants. But, in fact, they cannot even read a book of Fiqh. And they know nothing of the teachings of Fiqh in a book. In fact, they do not believe these Islamic teachings; they call them bigotry. Of old, Islamic savants looked up the answers to the inquiries made to them in books of Fiqh, and gave the inquirers the answers they found. But the la-madhhabî man of religion being incapable of reading or understanding a book of Fiqh, will mislead the questioner by saying whatever occurs to his addled head and defective mind, and will cause them to go to Hell. It is to this effect that our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ declared: “The good ’âlim is the best of mankind. The bad ’âlim is the worst of mankind.” This hadîth-i-sherîf shows that the Ahl as-sunnat savants are the best of mankind, and the lâmadhhabîs are the worst of mankind. For, the former guide people to following Rasûlullah, i.e., to Paradise, and the latter lead them to their heretical thoughts, i.e., to Hell.
Ustâd Ibn Khalîfa ’Alîwî, a graduate of the Islamic University of Jâmî’ al-Azhar, states in his book Aqîdat as-salafi wa-l-khalaf:
“As ’Allama Abû Zuhra writes in his book Târîkh al-madhâhibi-l-Islâmiyya, some people, who deviated from the Hanbalî Madhhab called themselves Salafiyyîn. Abu-l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzî and other savants, who were in the Hanbalî Madhhab too, proclaimed that those Salafis were not the followers of the Salaf as-sâlihîn, that they were holders of bid’at, that they belonged to the Mujassima group: thereby they prevented this fitna from spreading. In the seventh century Ibni Taymiyya incited this fitna again.” The book writes the various bid’ats held by the Salafîs and Wahhâbîs and the aspersions they cast upon the Ahl as-sunnat in detail, and answers them. The book was printed in Damascus in 1398 A.H. . It has 340 pages. Lâ-madhhhabîs call themselves Salafiyya. They say that Ibni Taymiyya is the greatest imâm of the Salafiyya.
Their assertion is correct in one respect: the word salaf did not exist before Ibni Taymiyya. The existing word was salaf-i sâlihîn, and their i’tiqâds were of the Ahl-i sunnat Madhhab. The heretical ideas of Ibni Taymiyya became a reference source for Wahhâbîs and other lâ-madhhabîs. Ibni Taymiyya was trained in the Hanbalî Madhhab. That is, he was Sunnî. But, as he increased his knowledge and reached the grade of fatwâ, he took to selfsufficiency and began to assume superiority over the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat. The increase in his knowledge brought about his heresy. He no longer remained in the Hanbalî Madhhab.
For, being in one of the four Madhhabs requires having the belief of the Ahl as-sunnat. A person who does not have the belief of the Ahl as-sunnat cannot be said to be in the Hanbalî Madhhab.
The lâ-madhhabîs take every opportunity to vilify Sunnî scholars of Islam in their own country. They have recourse to all kinds of stratagem to prevent people from reading their books and learning the teachings of the Ahl as-sunnat. For example, a lâmadhhabî person mentioned this faqîr’s, (i.e. the late blessed Islamic scholar Hüseyn Hilmi Işık’s,) name, and said: “What business does a pharmacist or a chemist have with religious knowledge? He must work in his own branch and not meddle with our business.” What an ignorant and idiotic assertion! He thinks that a scientist will not have Islamic knowledge. He is unaware of the fact that a Muslim scientist observes the Divine Creation every moment, realizes the Creator’s perfect Attributes that are exhibited in the book of Creation, and, seeing the creatures’ incapability versus His infinite power, continuously perceives that He is not like anything and that He is far from all defects. Max Planck, a scholar in atomic science, explains this in his book Der Storm very well. But this unlearned lâ-madhhabî, relying on the document which he obtained from a heretic like himself and on the chair provided by him, and perhaps enraptured with the fancy of the gold coins dispensed in Saudî Arabia, presumes that Islamic knowledge is his own monopoly. May Allâhu ta’âlâ help this poor man and all of us! May He save those pure youngsters who have fallen into the traps of licenced thieves of faith! Âmîn.
Yes, I served my nation humbly for more than thirty years in the field of pharmacy and chemical engineering. Yet at the same time, by receiving an Islamic education and by working day and night for seven years, I was honoured with the ’ijâzat given by a great Islamic savant. Crushed under the grandeur of scientific knowledge and Islamic scholars, I have fully seen my incapability.
With this realization I have been trying to be a servant in the proper sense. The greatest of my fears and worries is to fall for the charms of my diplomas and ’ijâzat and to presume that I am an authority in these subjects. The greatness of his fear is conspicuous in all my books. I have not had the courage to write my own ideas or opinions in any of my books. I have always tried to offer my young brothers the valuable writings of the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat that are admired by people who understand them, by translating them from Arabic or Persian. My fear being great, I did not think of writing books for many years. When I saw the hadîth written on the first page of the book Savâik-ulmuhrika:
“When fitna becomes rife, he who knows the truth must inform others. Should he not do so, may he be accursed by Allah and by all people!” I began to ponder. On the one hand, as I learned of the superiority of the Ahl as-Sunnat savants’ understanding and mental capacity in Islamic knowledge and in the scientific knowledge of their time and their perseverance in worship and taqwâ, I saw my inferiority; with the ocean of knowledge that those great savants had, I deemed my own knowledge only a drop. On the other hand, seeing that fewer and fewer pious people could read and understand the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants and that ignorant heretics mixed themselves with men of religion and wrote harmful and heretical books, I felt grieved; the threat of execration declared in the hadîth dismayed me. Also the mercy and compassion I felt for my dear young brothers compelled me to serve them, I began to translate and publish selections from the books of the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat. Alongside the innumerable letters of congratulation and appreciation that I have received, now and then I have heard of rebukes and vilifications on the part of the lâ-madhhabî. Because I have no doubts about my ikhlâs and trueness to Allah and my conscience, trusting myself to Allah and receiving tawassul from the blessed soul of His Messenger and those of His devoted slaves, I go on with my service. May Allâhu ta’âlâ keep all of us on the path with which He is pleased.
The great Hanafî savant Muhammad Bahît al-Mutî’î, a professor at Jâmi’ al-Azhar University in Egypt, states in his book Tat’hir-ul-fu’âd min denis-il-i’tiqâd: “Of all people, Prophets ‘’alaihimussalâtu wassalâm’ have the highest and the maturest of souls. They are immune from such things as being wrong, erring, unawareness, perfidy, bigotry, obstinacy, following the nafs, grudge and hatred. Prophets ‘’alaihimussalâtu wassalâm’ state and explain the facts intimated to them by Allâhu ta’âlâ. The teachings of Islam, commands and prohibitions communicated by them are all true. Not a single one of them is wrong or corrupt.
After Prophets ‘salawâtullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ the next highest and the maturest people are their Sahâba. For, they were trained, matured and purified in the sohbat of Prophets. They always said and explained what they had heard from Prophets.
All that they communicated and explained are also true. They are also immune from the abovementioned vices. They did not contradict one another out of bigotry or obstinacy, nor did they follow their nafs. Their explanations of the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs, and their employing ijtihâd for communicating Allah’s religion to His slaves, are a great blessing of Allah’s upon this Ummat and is His compassion for His beloved Prophet, Muhammad ‘’alaihis-salâm’. The Qur’ân al-kerîm declares that the Sahâba were stern towards disbelievers but tender and endearing with one another, that they performed salât diligently, and that they expected everything, including Paradise, from Allâhu ta’âlâ. All their ijtihâds on which there has been an ijmâ’ (consensus) are correct. All of them were given thawâb. For, there can be only one correct way.
“The next highest people after the Sahâba are Muslims who saw the Sahâba and were trained in their sohbat. They are called the Tâbi’în. They had received all the knowledge they had through the Ashâb-i kirâm. The next most valuable after the Tâbi’în are people who saw the Tâbi’în and attained their sohbat (teachings).
They are called the Taba’ut-tâbi’în. Of the people coming in the centuries after them until Doomsday, the highest and the best ones are people who adapt themselves to them, learn their teachings and follow them. Of the men of religion coming after the Salaf assâlihîn, an intelligent and wise person whose words and deeds agree with the teachings of Rasûlullah and the Salaf as-sâlihîn, who never diverges from their way in beliefs and deeds, and who does not exceed the Islamic limits, will not fear others’ denigrations.
He will not succumb to their misguidance. He will not listen to the words of the ignorant. He will use his mind and will not go out of the four Madhhabs of the mujtahid imâms. Muslims must find such a savant, ask him and learn what they do not know, and follow his advice in everything they do. For, a savant in this capacity will know and let people know the spiritual medicines which Allâhu ta’âlâ created to protect His slaves from erring and to make them act always correctly; that is, he will know the curatives for the soul.
He will cure psychopaths and the unintelligent. This savant will follow Islam in everything he says, in everything he does, and in everything he believes. His understanding will always be correct.
He will answer every question correctly. Allâhu ta’âlâ will like his every action. Allâhu ta’âlâ will give guidance to those who seek the paths He likes. Allâhu ta’âlâ will protect those who have îmân and who fulfill the requirements of îmân despite oppressions and troubles. He will enable them to attain nûr, happiness and salvation. In everything they do there will be ease and comfort. On the day of Rising, they will be with Prophets, Siddîqs, Martyrs and Sâlih (devoted) Muslims.
“No matter in what century, if a man of religion does not follow the Prophet and his Sahâba’s declarations, if his words, deeds and beliefs do not agree with their teachings, if he follows his own thoughts and exceeds the Islamic limits, if he oversteps the four Madhhabs in those fields of study which he could not understand, he will be judged to be a heretical man of religion; Allâhu ta’âlâ has sealed off his heart. His eyes cannot see the right way. His ears cannot hear the right word. There will be great torment for him in the Hereafter. Allâhu ta’âlâ does not like him.
People of this sort are the enemies of Prophets. They think that they are on the right path. They like their own behavior. However, they are the devil’s followers. Very few of them come to their senses and resume the right course. Everything they say will be charming and falsely-adorned, and may seem to be useful. But all the things they consider and like are evil. They will coax idiots into heresy and perdition. Their words will look bright and spotless like snow. But, exposed to the sun of truth, they will melt away. These evil men of religion, whose hearts have been blackened and sealed off by Allâhu ta’âlâ, are called ahl al-bid’at, or lâ-madhhabî men of religion. They are people whose beliefs and deeds are not compatible with the Qur’ân al-kerîm, with hadîth-i-sherîfs or with the ijmâ’ al-ummat. Having diverged from the right way themselves, they mislead Muslims into perdition, too. Those who follow them will go to Hell. There were many such heretics during the time of the Salaf as-sâlihîn and among the men of religion that came after them. Their existence among Muslims is like gangrene [or cancer] in one of the parts of the body. Unless the disease is done away with, the healthy parts will not escape the disaster.
They are like people affected with a contagious disease. Those who have contact with them will suffer harm. We must keep away from them so that we should not be harmed by them.”
Of the corrupt and heretical men of religion, Ibni Taymiyya is the most harmful one. In his books, particularly in his al-Wâsita, he disagrees with the Ijmâ’ al-muslimîn, contradicts the clear declarations in the Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs, and does not follow the way of the Salaf as-sâlihîn. Following his defective mind and corrupt thoughts, he deviated into heresy. He had much knowledge. Allâhu ta’âlâ made his knowledge the cause of his heresy and perdition. He followed the desires of his nafs. He tried to spread his wrong and heretical ideas in the name of truth.
The great savant Ibni Hajar al-Makkî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, an author of many fruitful books, states in his book entitled Fatâwal-hadîthiyya: “Allâhu ta’âlâ made Ibni Taymiyya fall into heresy and perdition. He made him blind and deaf. Many savants reported that his deeds were corrupt and his words were false, and they proved it with documents. People who read the books of the great Islamic savant Abu Hasan as-Subkî and his son Tâj-ad-dîn as-Subkî and the books of Imâm al-’Izz ibni Jamâ’a, and those who study the statements made in response to him by the Shâfi’î, Mâlikî and Hanafî ’ulamâ’ living during his time, will easily see that we are right.”
Ibni Taymiyya slandered and cast nefarious aspersions also upon the great savants of Tasawwuf. And he did not hesitate to attack Hadrat ’Umar and Hadrat ’Alî, Islam’s archstones. So insolent and indecorous was he with the statements he made that he would shoot arrows even at steep cliffs. He stigmatized the savants of the right path as bid’at holders, heretics and ignoramuses.
He states: “The heretical ideas of Greek philosophers disagreeable with Islam were incorporated into the books of the great men of Tasawwuf,” and strives to prove it with his own wrong and heretical thoughts. Young people who do not know the truth may be misled by his ardent and falsely-adorned words.
For example, he states: “Men of Tasawwuf say that they see the Lawh-i mahfûz. Some philosophers, such as Ibni Sîna (Avicenna), call this an-nafs al-falakiyya. They say that when men’s souls reach perfection they unite with an-nafs al-falakiyya or al-’aql alfa’âl when they are awake or asleep; these two are the causes of all the events in the world; when a person’s soul unites with these two he becomes aware of the things existing in them. These were not said by Greek philosophers. They were said by Ibni Sînâ and the like, who came later. Also, Imâm Abû Hâmid al-Ghazâlî and Muhyiddîn ibn al-’Arabî and the Andalusian philosopher Qutbad-dîn Muhammad Ibni Sab’în made statements of this sort.
These are philosophers’ statements. Such things do not exist in Islam. With these words they diverged from the right path. They became mulhids called Shî’a, Ismâ’îliyya, Qarâmitîs and Bâtinîs.
They left the right way followed by the savants of the Ahl assunnat and Hadîth and by Sunnî men of Tasawwuf like Fudail ibn ’Iyâd. While diving into philosophy on the one hand, they struggled against such groups as the Mu’tazila and Kurâmiyya on the other hand. There are three groups of Tasawwuf: the first group are adherent to the Hadîth and Sunnat. The second group are heretics like the Kurâmiyya. The third group are the followers of the books of Ikhwan as-safâ and the words of Abu’I-Hayyân.
Ibn al-’Arabî and Ibni Sab’în and the like adopted philosophers’ statements, and turned them into statements of the men of Tasawwuf. Ibni Sînâ’s book, Âkhir al-ishârat ’alâ maqâmi-l’ârifîn, contains many such statements. Also, Imâm al-Ghazâlî said such things in some of his books, such as in his Al-kitâb al-madnûn and Mishkât al-anwar. In fact, when his friend, Abû Bakr ibn al’Arabî, warned him that he had taken to philosophy, he tried to save himself from it, but he could not. On the other hand, Imâm al-Ghazâlî said that philosophers were disbelievers. Towards the end of his life he read al-Bukhârî. Some said that this made him give up the ideas he had written. Others said that those statements were written for defaming Imâm al-Ghâzâli. There are various rumours about Imâm al-Ghazâlî in this respect. Muhammad Mâzarî, a Mâlikî savant educated on the island of Sicily, Turtûshî, an Andalusian savant, and Ibn al-Jawzî and Ibni ’Uqail and others said many things.”
The assertions quoted above from Ibni Taymiyya reveals his ill will about the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat clearly. He cast such aspersions upon even the greatest ones of the Sahâba. He stigmatized most of the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat as heretics.
Meanwhile, as he heavily denigrated the great Walî and the qutb al-’ârifîn Hadrat Abul-Hasan ash-Shâdhilî on account of his books Hizb al-kebîr and Hizb al-bahr and cast squalid aspersions upon the great men of Tasawwuf, such as Muhyiddîn Ibn al-’Arabî and ’Umar ibn al-Fârid and Ibni Sab’în and Hallâj Husain ibni Mansûr, the savants during his time declared unanimously that he was a sinner and a heretic. In fact, some of them issued a fatwâ stating that he was a disbeliever. [The profound Islamic savant ’Abd al-Ghanî an Nablusî gives the names of these superiors of Tasawwuf in the 363rd and 373rd pages of his book al-Hadîqat an-nadiyya, says that they are Awliyâ’ and that those who speak negatively about them are ignorant and unaware.] A letter written to Ibni Taymiyya in 705 [1305 A.D.] stated: “O my Muslim brother, who considers himself a great savant and the imâm of his time! I loved you for Allah’s sake. I disapproved of the savants who were against you. But hearing your words that are incompatible with my loving you has consternated me. Does a wise person doubt that the night begins when the sun sets? You said that you were on the right way and that you were performing al-amru bi-l-ma’rûf wa-nnahyi’ani-l-munkar. Allâhu ta’âlâ knows what your purposes and intentions are. But ikhlâs will be seen in a person’s deeds. Your deeds have torn off the cover hiding your words. Following the example of people who have been enslaved by their nafs and whose words are unreliable, you have not only defamed people living in your time but also stigmatized your own dead ancestors as disbelievers. In addition to attacking the successors of the Salaf assâlihîn, you have slandered the Sahâba, especially the greatest ones. Can’t you imagine in what a situation you will be when those great people sue you for their rights on the Day of Rising? On the minbar of Jâmi’ al-jabal in Sâlihiyya city you said that Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ had made some misstatements and incurred disasters. What were these disasters? Which of these disasters did the Salaf as-sâlihîn tell you about? You say that Hadrat ’Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ had more than three hundred errors. Supposing that had been the case with Hadrat ’Alî, could you have made a single correct statement, then? Now I am beginning to act against you. I shall try to protect the Muslims against your villainy for you have overflowed the measure. Your torture has provoked all the living and the dead. Believers will have to evoid your evil.”
Tâ-jad-dîn us-Subkî states that Ibni Taymiyya disagrees with the Salaf as-sâlihîn in the following matters:
1— He says: “Talâq (divorce as prescribed by Islam) is not binding. But it becomes necessary to pay kaffârat (equal to that which is paid) for an oath.” None of the Islamic savants that came before him said that kaffârat must be paid.
2— He says: “Talâq given to a hâid (menstruating) woman is not binding.”
3— He says: “It is not necessary to make qadâ for a salât omitted deliberately.”
4— He says: “It is mubâh (permissible) for a hâid woman to make tawâf of Ka’ba. [If she does so] she will not have to pay kaffârat.”
5— He says: “One talâq given in the name of three talâqs is still one talâq.” However, before saying so, he kept saying for many years that the ijmâ’al-Muslimîn was not so.
6— He says: “Taxes incompatible with Islam are halâl to those who demand them.”
7— “When these taxes are collected from a tradesman, they stand for zakât even if he does not intend [for zakât],” he says.
8— He says: “Water does not become najs when a mouse or the like dies in it.”
9— He says: “It is permissible for a person who is junub to perform supererogatory salât without making a ghusl at night.”
10— He says: “Conditions stipulated by the wâqif are not taken into consideration.”
11— He says: “A person who disagrees with the Ijmâ’ alummat does not become a disbeliever or a sinner.”
12— He says: “Allâhu ta’âlâ is mahall-i hawâdith, and He is made up of particles.”
13— He says: “Qur’ân al-kerîm was created in the Dhât (Essence, person) of Allâhu ta’âlâ.”
14— He says: “The ’âlam, that is, all creatures are eternal with their kinds.”
15— He says: “Allâhu ta’âlâ has to create good things.”
16— He says: “Allâhu ta’âlâ has a body and directions, He changes His place.”
17— He says: “Hell is not eternal; it will go out at last.”
18— He denies the fact that Prophets are sinless.
19— He says: “Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wasallam’ is no different from other people, it is not permissible to invoke through his intercession.”
20— He says: “It is sinful to go to Medina with the intention of visiting Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wasallam’.”
21— “Also, it is harâm to go there to ask for shafâ’at (intercession),” he says.
22— He says: “The books Tawrât and Injil did not differ textually. They differed in meaning.”
Some savants said that all the statements quoted above did not belong to Ibni Taymiyya, but none of them denied that he said that “Allâhu ta’âlâ has directions and is a composition of particles that came together.” However, it was declared by consensus that he was rich in ’ilm, in jalâlat, and in diyânat. A person who has fiqh, knowledge, justice and reason must first observe a matter and then decide about it with prudence. Especially, judging a Muslim’s disbelief or apostasy or heresy or deciding that he must be killed requires very minute observations and utter circumspection. Quotations from the book Fatâwal-hadîthiyya by Ibni Hajar-i Makkî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ end here. Recently, it has become a fashion to imitate Ibni Taymiyya.
They defend his heretical writings and reproduce his books, particularly his al-Wâsita. This book, from beginning to end is full with his ideas that are disagreeable with the Qur’ân al-kerîm, with hadîth-i-sherîfs and with the Ijmâ’al-Muslimîn. It causes great fitna and faction among the readers and causes fraternal hostility.
The Saudi Arabian Wahhâbîs, and ignorant men of religion who were caught in their traps in other Muslim countries, have made Ibni Taymiyya a banner for themselves; they give him such names as ‘The Great Mujtahid’ and ‘Shaikh al-Islam’. They embrace his heretical thoughts and harmful writings in the name of faith and îmân. For stopping this terrible current, which brings about faction among Muslims and demolishes Islam from within, we must read the Ahl as-sunnat savants’ valuable literature refuting and rebutting them with proofs. Among this literature, the book Shifâ us-siqâm fî-ziyârati-khayril-anâm, written by the great imâm and the profoundly learned savant Taqî-ad-dîn as-Subkî, destroys Ibni Taymiyya’s heretical ideas, eliminates his faction, and exposes his obstinacy. It prevents the spreading of his evil intentions and wrong beliefs.