We will say at the very outset that the books written by the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain) do not mention anything in the name of "Salafiyya" or a "Salafiyya madhhab." These names, forged later by the la-madhhabi, have spread among the Turks through the books of the la-madhhabis translated from Arabic to Turkish by ignorant men of religion. According to them:
"Salafiyya is the name of the madhhab which had been followed by all the Sunnis before the madhhabs of Ashariyya and Maturidiyya were founded. They were the followers of the Sahaba and the Tabiin. The Salafiyya madhhab is the madhhab of the Sahaba, the Tabiin and Taba at-Tabiin. The four great imams belonged to this madhhab. The first book to defend the Salafiyya madhhab was Fiqh al-akbar written by al-Imam al-azam. Al-Imam al-Ghazali wrote in his book Iljam Al-awam 'ani 'l-kalam that the Salafiyya madhhab had seven essentials. The 'ilm al-kalam of the mutakhirin (those who came later) began with al-Imam al-Ghazali. Having studied the madhhabs of the early 'ulama' of kalam and the ideas of Islamic philosophers, al-Imam al-Ghazali made changes in the methods of 'ilm al-kalam. He inserted philosophical subjects into 'ilm al-kalam with a view to refuting them. Ar-Radi and al-Amidi conjoined kalam and philosophy and made them a branch of knowledge. And al-Baidawi made kalam and philosophy inseparable. The 'ilm al-kalam of the mutakhirin prevented the spreading of the Salafiyya madhhab. Ibn Taymiyya and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya tried to enrich the Salafiyya madhhab which later broke into two parts; the early Salafis did not go into details about the attributes of Allahu ta'ala or the nass of mutashabih. The later Salafis were interested in detailing about them. This case becomes quite conspicuous with the later Salafis such as Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya. The early and the later Salafis altogether are called Ahl as-Sunnat al-khassa. The men of kalam who belong to Ahl as-Sunnat interpreted some of the nass, but the Salafiyya opposed it. Saying 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-Ashari and al-Maturidi were founded later. These two great imams explained the knowledge of itiqad and iman communicated by Salaf as-salihin, arranged it in classes and published it making it comprehensible for youngsters. Al-Imam al-Ashari was in al-Imam ash-Shafi'i's chain of disciples. And al-Imam al-Maturidi was a great link in al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's chain of disciples. Al-Ashari and al-Maturidi did not go out of their masters' common madhhab; they did not found new madhhabs. These two and their teachers and the imams of the four madhhabs had one common madhhab: the madhhab in belief well-known with the name Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. The beliefs of the people of this group are the beliefs of the Sahabat al-kiram, the Tabiin and Taba' at-Tabiin. The book, Fiqh al-akbar, written by al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, defends the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. The word 'Salafiyya' does not exist in that book or in al-Imam al-Ghazali's Iljam Al-awam 'ani 'l-kalam. These two books and Qawl al-fasl(69), one of the explanations of the book Fiqh al-akbar, teaches the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat and answers the heretical groups and philosophers. Al-Imam al-Ghazali wrote in his book Iljam al-awam: "In this book I shall inform that the madhhab of the Salaf is right and correct. I shall explain that those who dissent from this madhhab are the holders of bidat. The madhhab of the Salaf means the madhhab held by the Sahabat al-kiram and the Tabiin. The essentials of this madhhab are seven." As it is seen, the book Iljam writes the seven essentials of the madhhab of the 'Salaf.' To say that they are the essentials of the "Salafiyya' is to distort the writing of the book and to slander al-Imam al-Ghazali. As in all the books of Ahl as-Sunnat, it is written after the words 'Salaf' and 'Khalaf' in the section on "Witnessing" in the book Durr al-mukhtar, a very valuable book of fiqh: "Salaf is an epithet for the Sahaba and the Tabiin. They are also called the Salaf as-salihin. And those 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat succeeding Salaf as-salihin are called 'Khalaf.'" Al-Imam al-Ghazali, al-Imam ar-Radi and al-Imam al-Baidawi, who was loved and honored above all by the 'ulama' of tafsir, were all in the madhhab of Salaf as-salihin. Groups of bidat that appeared in their time mixed 'ilm al-kalam with philosophy. In fact, they founded their iman on philosophy. The book Al-milal wa 'n-nihal gives detailed information on the beliefs held by those heretical groups. While defending the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat against those corrupt groups and rebutting their heretical ideas, these three imams gave extensive answers to their philosophy. Giving these answers does not mean mixing philosophy with the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. On the contrary, they purged the knowledge of kalam from the philosophical thoughts interpolated into it. There is no philosophical thought or philosophical method in al-Baidawi's work, or in the tafsir of Shaikh-zada, the most valuable of its annotations. It is a very nefarious calumny to say that these exalted imams took to philosophy. This stigma was first attached to the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat by Ibn Taymiyya in his book Al-wasita. Further, to state that Ibn 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 path and those who have deviated into error differ from each other. Before those two people there was not a madhhab called "Salafiyya," nor even the word 'Salafiyya'; how could they be said to have tried to enrich it? Before those two, there was only one right madhhab, the madhhab of Salaf as-salihin, which was named Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. Ibn Taymiyya tried to distort this right madhhab and invented many bidats. The source of the books, words and heretical, corrupt thoughts of today's la-madhhabi people and religion reformers is only the bidats invented by Ibn Taymiyya. In order to deceive Muslims and to convince the youth that their heretical path was the right path, these heretics devised a horrible stratagem; they forged the name "Salafiyya" from the term "Salaf as-salihin" so that they might justify Ibn Taymiyya's bidats and corrupt ideas and drift the youth into his wake; they attached the stigmas of philosophy and bidat to Islamic 'ulama', who are the successors of Salaf as-salihin, and blamed them for dissenting from their invented name Salafiyya; they put forward Ibn Taymiyya as a mujtahid, as a hero that resuscitated Salafiyya. Actually, the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain), who are the successors of Salaf as-salihin, defend the teachings of itiqad of Ahl as-Sunnat, which was the madhhab of the Salaf as-salihin, and, in the books which they have written up to our time and which they are still writing today, they inform that Ibn Taymiyya, ash-Shawkani and the like have dissented from the way of Salaf as-salihin and have been drifting Muslims towards perdition and Hell.
Those who read the books At-tawassuli bi 'n-Nabi wa bi's-salihin, Ulama' al-muslimin wal-mukhalifun, Shifa' as-siqam and its preface, Tathir al-fu'ad min danasi 'l-itiqad, will realize that the people who invented the corrupt beliefs called "New Salafiyya" are leading Muslims towards perdition and demolishing Islam from within.
Nowadays, some mouths frequently use the name of 'Salafiyya.' Every Muslim should know very well that in Islam there is nothing in the name of the madhhab of Salafiyya but there is only the madhhab of Salaf as-salihin, who were the Muslims of the first two Islamic centuries which were lauded in a hadith ash-Sharif. The 'ulama' of Islam who came in the third and fourth centuries are called Khalaf as-sadiqin. The itiqad of these honorable people is called the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. This is the madhhab of iman, tenets of faith. The iman held by the Sahabat al-kiram and by the Tabiin was the same. There was no difference between their beliefs. Today most Muslims on the earth are in the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. All the seventy-two heretical groups of bidat appeared after the second century of Islam. Founders of some of them lived earlier, but it was after the Tabiin that their books were written and that they appeared in groups and defied Ahl as-Sunnat.
Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) brought the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat. The Sahabat al-kiram derived these teachings of iman from the source. And the Tabiin Izam, in their turn, learned these teachings from the Sahabat al-kiram. And from them their successors learned, thus the teachings of Ahl as-Sunnat reached us by way of transmission and tawatur. These teachings cannot be explored by way of reasoning. Intellect cannot change them and will only help to understand them. That is, intellect is necessary for understanding them, for realizing that they are right and for knowing their value. All the scholars of hadith held the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat. The imams of the four madhhabs in deeds, too, were in this madhhab. Also, al-Maturidi and al-Ashari, the two imams of our madhhab in beliefs, were in the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. Both these imams promulgated this madhhab. They always defended this madhhab against heretics and against materialists, who had been stuck in the bogs of ancient Greek philosophy. Though they were contemporaries, they lived at different places and the ways of thinking and behaving of the offenders they had to meet were different, so the methods of defense used and the answers given by these two great scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat were different. But this does not mean that they belonged to different madhhabs. Hundreds of thousands of profoundly learned 'ulama' and awliya' coming after these two exalted imams studied their books and stated in consensus that they both belonged to the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. The scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat took the nass with their outward meanings. That is, they gave the ayats and hadiths their outward meanings, and did not explain away (tawil) the nass or change these meanings unless there was a darura to do so. And they never made any changes with their personal knowledge or opinions. But those who belonged in heretical groups and the la-madhhabi did not hesitate to change the teachings of iman and 'ibadat as they had learned from Greek philosophers and from sham scientists, who were Islam's adversaries.
When the state of the Ottomans, who were Islam's guardians and the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars' servants, dissolved, succumbing to the centuries' contrivances carried on by freemasons, missionaries and the nefarious policy waged by the British Empire, who mobilized all their material forces, the la-madhhabi took the opportunity. With devilish lies and stratagems, they began to attack Ahl as-Sunnat and demolish Islam from within, especially in those countries, for example in Saudi Arabia, where the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat are not allowed to talk freely. The immeasurable gold dispensed by the Wahhabis helped this aggression spread all over the world. As it is understood from the reports from Pakistan, India and 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 madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat procured them those abominable advantages. In one of the books they wrote in order to mislead the students in the madrasas and Muslims' children, it is written, "I have written this book with a view of eliminating the bigotry of madhhabs and helping everybody to live peacefully in their madhhabs." This man means that the solution to eliminating the bigotry of madhhabs is in attacking Ahl as-Sunnat and belittling the scholars of 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, it is written, "If a thinking person hits the point in his thinking, he will be rewarded tenfold. If he misses, he will get one reward." Accordingly, everybody, no matter if he is a Christian or a polytheist, will be rewarded for his every thought; and he will get ten thawabs for his correct thoughts! See how he changes the hadith ash-Sharif of our Prophet (sall- Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), and how he plays tricks! The hadith ash-Sharif declares: "If a mujtahid hits the point as he extracts rules from an ayat karima or from a hadith ash-Sharif, he will be given ten thawabs. If he is wrong he will be given one thawab." The hadith ash-Sharif shows that these thawabs will be given not to everybody who thinks but to an Islamic scholar who has reached the grade of ijtihad, and that they will be given to him not for his every thought but for his work in extracting rules from the Nass. For, his work is an 'ibada. Like any other 'ibada, it will be given thawab.
In the time of Salaf as-salihin and of the mujtahid 'alims, who were their successors, i.e., until the end of the fourth century of Islam, whenever a new affair came about as a result of changing life standards and conditions, the mujtahid scholars worked day and night and derived how the affair must be done from the four sources called al-adillat ash-Shariyya, and all Muslims did the affair by following the deduction of the imam of their madhhab. And those who did so were given ten thawabs or one. After the fourth century, people went on following these mujtahids' deductions. In the course of all this long time not one Muslim was at a loss or in a dilemma as to how to act. By and by no scholars or Muftis had even been educated for the seventh grade of ijtihad; therefore, today we have to learn from a Muslim who can read and understand the books of the scholars of one of the four madhhabs, and from the books translated by him, and adapt our 'ibadat and daily life to them. Allahu ta'ala declared the rules of everything in the Qur'an al-karim. His exalted prophet Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) explained all of them. And the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat, learning them from the Sahabat al-kiram, wrote them in their books. These books exist all over the world now. The usage of any new thing that will come about in any part of the world till Doomsday can be exemplified in one of the teachings in these books. This possibility is a mujiza of the Qur'an al-karim and a karama of Islamic scholars. But it is essentially important to learn by asking a true Sunni Muslim. If you ask a la-madhhabi man of religion, he will mislead you by giving you an answer inconsistent with books of fiqh. We have previously explained how the youth are deceived by those la-madhhabi ignoramuses who have stayed in Arab countries for a few years, learned how to speak Arabic, frittered away their times by leading a life of amusement, pleasures and sinning, and then, getting a sealed paper from a la- madhhabi, from an enemy of Ahl as-Sunnat, went back to Pakistan or to India. Youngsters who see their counterfeit diplomas and hear them speak Arabic think that they are religious scholars. Whereas, they cannot even understand a book of fiqh. And they know nothing of the teachings of fiqh in books. In fact, they do not believe these religious teachings; they call them bigotry. Of old, Islamic scholars looked up the answers to the inquires made to them in the books of fiqh, and gave the inquirers the answers they found. But the la- madhhabi man of religion, being incapable of reading or understanding a book of fiqh, will mislead the questioner by saying whatever occurs to his ignorant head and defective mind, and will cause him to go to Hell. It is to this effect that our Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) declared: "The good alim is the best of mankind. The bad alim is the worst of mankind." This hadith ash-Sharif shows that the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat are the best of mankind, and the la-madhhabi are the worst of mankind, because the former guide people to following Rasulullah, viz. to Paradise, and the latter lead them to their heretical thoughts, viz. to Hell.
Ustad Ibn Khalifa Aliwi, a graduate of the Islamic University of Jami' al-Azhar, wrote in his book Aqidat as-Salafi wal-khalaf: "As 'Allama Abu Zuhra writes in his book Tarikh al-madhahibi 'l-Islamiyya, some people, who dissented from the Hanbali madhhab in the fourth century after Hegira, called themselves Salafiyyin. Abu 'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi and other scholars in the Hanbali madhhab, too, by proclaiming that those Salafis were not the followers of Salaf as-salihin but were the owners of bidat, belonging to the group of Mujassima, prevented this fitna from spreading. In the seventh century Ibn Taymiyya waged this fitna again."(70)
The la-madhhabi have adopted the name 'Salafiyya' and say "great imam of Salafis" for Ibn Taymiyya. This word is true in one respect since the term 'Salafi 'had not existed before him. There had existed Salaf as-salihin whose madhhab was Ahl as-Sunnat. Ibn Taymiyya's heretical beliefs became the source for the Wahhabis and other la-madhhabi people. Ibn Taymiyya had been trained in the Hanbali madhhab, that is, he had been Sunni. But, as he increased his knowledge and reached the grade of fatwa, he took to self-sufficiency and began to assume superiority to the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat. The increase in his knowledge brought about his heresy. He was no longer in the Hanbali madhhab, because being in one of the four madhhabs requires having the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat. A person who does not have the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnat cannot be said to be in the Hanbali madhhab.
The la-madhhabi take every opportunity to vilify the Sunni men of religious duty in their own country. They have recourse to all kinds of stratagem to impede their books from being read and the teachings of Ahl as-Sunnat from being learned. For example, a la-madhhabi person, mentioning a true scholar's name said, "What's a pharmacist's or a chemist's business in 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 religious knowledge. He is unaware of the fact that the Muslim scientists observe the Divine Creation every moment, realize the Creator's Perfect Attributes that are exhibited in the book of Creation, and, seeing the creatures' incapability compared to Allahu ta'ala's Infinite Power, continuously perceive that Allahu ta'ala is not like anything and is far from all defects. Max Planck, a famous German nuclear physicist, expressed this very well in his work Der Strom. But this la-madhhabi ignoramus, relying on the document which he got from a heretic like himself and on the chair provided by him, and perhaps enraptured with the fancy of the gold supplied from abroad, presumes that religious knowledge is in his own monopoly. May Allahu ta'ala upgrade this wretched person and all of us. May he also protect the innocent youngsters from the traps of these certified thieves of religion. Amin.
In fact, the said scholar served his nation humbly for more than thirty years in the field of pharmacy and chemical engineering. But at the same time, getting religious education and working day and night for seven years, he was honored with the 'ijaza given by a great Islamic scholar. Crushed under the grandeur of scientific and religious knowledge, he fully saw his incapability. In this realization he tried to be a servant in its due sense. The greatest of his fears and worries was to presume, by falling for the charms of his diplomas and 'ijaza, that he is an authority on these subjects. The greatness of his fear was conspicuous in all his books. He did not have the courage to write his own ideas or opinions in any of his books. He always tried to offer his young brothers the valuable writings of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat that were admired by those who understand them by translating them from Arabic or Persian. His fear being great, he had not thought of writing books for many years. When he saw the hadith ash-Sharif, the first page of Sawaiq-ul Muhriqa, "When fitna becomes widespread, he who knows the truth must inform others. Should he not do so, may he be accursed by Allah and by all people!" he began to ponder. On the one hand, as he learned the superiority of the Ahl as-Sunnat scholars' understanding and mental capacity in religious knowledge and in the scientific knowledge of their time and their perseverance in 'ibadat and taqwa, he saw his humbleness: with the ocean of knowledge that those great scholars had, he deemed his own knowledge just a drop. On the other hand, seeing that fewer and fewer pious people could read and understand the books written by the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat and that the ignorant heretics had mixed themselves with men of religious duty and had written corrupt and heretical books, he felt grieved; the threat of damnation declared in the hadith ash-Sharif dismayed him. Also the mercy and compassion he felt for his dear young brothers, compelling him to serve them, he began to translate and publish his selections from the books of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat. Alongside the innumerable letters of congratulation and appreciation that he had received, now and then he came across criticism and vilification on the part of the la-madhhabi. Because he had no doubt about his ikhlas and trueness to his Rabb and to his conscience, trusting himself to Allahu ta'ala and making tawassul to the blessed soul of His Messenger (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and those of His devoted servants, he went on with his service. May Allahu ta'ala keep all of us on the True Path He is pleased with! Amin.
The great Hanafi scholar Muhammad Bahit al-Muti'i, a professor at Jami' al-Azhar University in Egypt,wrote in his book Tathir al-fu'ad min danisi'l-itiqad:
"Of all people, prophets ('alaihimu 's-salatu wa 's-salam) had the most exalted and maturest souls. They were immune from such things as being wrong, erring, unawareness, perfidy, bigotry, obstinacy, following the nafs, grudge and hatred.
Prophets communicated and explained the things intimated to them by Allahu ta'ala. The teachings of Islam, commands and prohibitions communicated by them, are all true. Not one of them is wrong or corrupt. After prophets, the highest and maturest people were their sahabas since they were trained, matured and purified in the sohbat of prophets. They always said and explained what they heard from prophets. All the things they conveyed are true and they are far from the above-mentioned vices. They did not contradict one another out of bigotry or obstinacy, nor did they follow their nafs. The as-Sahabat al-kiram's explaining the ayats and hadiths and employing ijtihad for communicating Allahu ta'ala's religion to His servants is His great blessing upon his umma and His compassion for His beloved prophet, Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). The Qur'an al-karim declares that the Sahabat al-kiram were stern towards disbelievers but tender and endearing with one another, that they performed salat diligently, and that they expected everything and Paradise from Allahu ta'ala. All their ijtihads, on which ijma' was formed, are right. All of them were given thawab since the reality is only one.
"The highest people after the Sahabat al-kiram are those Muslims who saw them and were trained in their sohbat. They are called the Tabiin. They acquired their religious knowledge from the Sahabat al-kiram. The highest people next to the Tabiin are those Muslims who saw the Tabiin and were trained in their sohbat. They are called Taba' at-Tabiin. Among the people coming in the centuries after them until Doomsday, the highest and the best ones are those who adapt themselves to them, learn their teachings and follow them. Among the men with a religious authority coming after the Salaf as-salihin, an intelligent and wise person whose words and deeds agree with the teachings of Rasulullah and the Salaf as-salihin, who never diverges from their path in beliefs and deeds, and who does not exceed the limits of Islam, 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 imams. Muslims must find such a scholar, ask him and learn what they do not know and should follow his advice in everything they do, because a scholar in this capacity will know and let people know the spiritual medicines which Allahu ta'ala created to protect His servants from erring and to make them always act correctly; that is, he will know the curatives for the soul. He will cure psychopaths and the unintelligent. This scholar will follow Islam in his every word, every action and every belief. His understanding will always be correct. He will answer every question correctly. Allahu ta'ala will like his every action. Allahu ta'ala will give guidance to those who seek the ways to His consent. Allahu ta'ala will protect those who have iman and who fulfill the requirements of iman, against oppression and trouble. He will make them attain nur, happiness and salvation. In everything they do they will be in ease and comfort. On the Day of Resurrection, they will be with prophets, Siddiqs, martyrs and salih (devoted) Muslims.
"No matter in what century, if a man with a religious position does not follow the declarations of the Prophet and his Sahaba, if his words, deeds and beliefs do not agree with their teachings, if he follows his own thoughts and exceeds the limits of Islam, if he oversteps the four madhhabs in those sciences which he could not understand, he will be judged to be a corrupt man with religious positions. Allahu ta'ala has sealed off his heart. His eyes cannot see the right path. His ears cannot hear the right word. There will be great torture for him in the hereafter. Allahu ta'ala does not like him. People of this sort are prophets' enemies. They think that they are on the right path. They like their own behavior. Whereas, they are of Satan's followers. Very few of them come to their senses and resume the right path. Everything they say seems kind, delightful or useful, but all of what they think and like are evil. They deceive idiots and lead to heresy and perdition. Their words look bright and spotless like snow, but, exposed to the sun of truth, they melt away. These evil men with religious positions, whose hearts have been blackened and sealed off by Allahu ta'ala, are called ahl al-bidat or la-madhhabi men with religious positions. They are the people whose beliefs and deeds are not compatible with the Qur'an al-karim, with the hadith ash-Sharif or with the ijma' al-Umma. Having diverged from the right path themselves, they mislead Muslims into perdition, too. Those who follow them will go to Hell. There were many such heretics in the time of Salaf as-salihin and among the men of religious authority 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 cannot escape the disaster. They are like people affected with a contagious disease. Those who have contact with them suffer harm. We must keep away from them so that we should not be harmed by them."
Of the corrupt, heretical men of religious position, Ibn Taymiyya has been the most harmful. In his books, particularly in Al-wasita, he disagreed with the ijma' al-Muslimin, contradicted the clear declarations in the Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif, and did not follow the path of Salaf as-salihin. Following his defective mind and corrupt thoughts, he deviated into heresy. He had much knowledge. Allahu ta'ala 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 scholar Ibn Hajar al-Makki (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) wrote in his book Fatawa al-hadithiyya:
"Allahu ta'ala made Ibn Taymiyya lapse into heresy and perdition. He made him blind and deaf. Many scholars informed that his deeds were corrupt and his words were false, and they proved it with documents. Those who read the books of the great Islamic scholars Abu Hasan as-Subki, his son Taj ad-din as-Subki and Imam al-'Izz ibn Jamaat, and those who study the statements said and written in response to him by the Shafii, Maliki and Hanafi 'ulama' living in his time, will see well that we are right.
"Ibn Taymiyya slandered and cast nefarious aspersions upon the scholars of tasawwuf. Furthermore, he did not hesitate to attack Hadrat 'Umar and Hadrat 'Ali, who were he archstones of Islam. His words overflowed the measure and rules of decorum, and he threw arrows even at steep cliffs. He stigmatized the scholars of the right path as holders of bidat, heretics and ignoramuses.
"He said, 'Corrupt ideas of Greek philosophers disagreeable with Islam were placed in the books of the great men of tasawwuf,' and strove to prove it with his wrong, heretical thoughts. Young men who do not know the truth may be misled by his ardent, deceitful words. For example, he said:
'Men of tasawwuf say that they see the Lawh al-mahfuz (71). Some philosophers, such as Ibn Sina, call it an-nafs al-falakiyya. They say that when man's soul reaches perfection, the soul unites with an-nafs al-falakiyya or al-'aql al-fa'al while awake or asleep, and when a person's soul unites with these two, which cause everything to happen in the world, he becomes informed of the things existing in them. These were not said by Greek philosophers. They were said by Ibn Sina and the like, who came later. Also, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi and the Andalusian philosopher Qutb ad-din Muhammad ibn Sa'bin said statements of this sort. These are the statements of philosophers. Such things do not exist in Islam. With these words they diverged from the right path. They became mulhids like those mulhids called the Shia, Ismailiyya, Qaramitis and Batinis. They left the right path followed by the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat and of the hadith and by those Sunni men of tasawwuf like Fudail ibn 'Iyad. While diving into philosophy on the one hand, they struggled against such groups as the Mutazila and Kuramiyya on the other hand. There are three groups of men of tasawwuf: the first group are adherent to the Hadith and the Sunnat. The second group are the heretics like the Kuramiyya. The third group are the followers of the books of Ikhwan as-safa and the words of Abu 'l-Hayyan. Ibn al-'Agwbi and Ibn Sa'bin and the like adopted philosophers' statements and made them statements of men of tasawwuf. Ibn Sina's book Akhir al-isharat 'ala maqami 'l-arifin contains many such statements. Also, al-Imam al-Ghazali said such things in some of his books, such as Al-kitab al-madnun and Mishkat al-anwar. If fact, his friend, Abu Bakr ibn al-'Arabi, tried to save him from it by saying that he had taken to philosophy, but he could not. On the other hand, al-Imam al-Ghazali said that philosophers were disbelievers. Towards the end of his life he read [the Sahih of] al-Bukhari. Some said that this made him give up the ideas he had written. Some others said that those statements were ascribed to al-Imam al-Ghazali to defame him. There are various reports about al-Imam al-Ghazali in this respect. Muhammad Mazari, a Maliki scholar educated in Sicily, Turtushi, an Andalusian scholar, Ibn al-Jawi, Ibn 'Uqail and others said many things.'
"The assertions quoted above from Ibn Taymiyya show his ill thoughts about the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat clearly. He cast such aspersions upon even the greatest ones of the Sahabat al-kiram. He stigmatized most of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat as heretics. Meanwhile, as he heavily denigrated the great wali and the qutb al-'arifin Hadrat Abu 'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili on account of his books Hizb al-kabir and Hizb al-bakhr and cast squalid aspersions upon the great men of tasawwuf such as Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi, 'Umar ibn al-Farid, Ibn Sab'in and Hallaj Husain ibn Mansur, the scholars in his time, declared unanimously that he was a sinner and a heretic. In fact, there were those who issued fatwa stating that he was a disbeliever.(72)
A letter written to Ibn Taymiyya in 705 A.H. (1305) reads: 'Oh my Muslim brother, who considers himself a great scholar and the imam of this time! I loved you for Allah's sake. I disapproved the scholars who were against you. But hearing your words, unbecoming to love, has puzzled me. Does a wise person doubt that the night begins when the sun sets? You said that you were on the right path and that you were doing al-amru bi 'l-maruf wa 'n-nahyi 'ani 'l-munkar. Allahu ta'ala knows what your purposes and intentions are. But one's ikhlas is understood from his deeds. Your deeds have torn off the cover from your words. Deceived by those who follow their nafs and whose words are unreliable, you have not only defamed those living in your time but also stigmatized the diseased as disbelievers. Dissatisfied with attacking the successors of Salaf as-salihin, you have slandered the Sahabat al-kiram, especially the greatest ones. Can't you imagine in what a situation you will be when those great people ask for their rights on the Day of Resurrection? On the minbar of Jami' al-jabal in the Salihiyya city, you said that Hadrat 'Umar (radi- Allahu ta'ala 'anh) had some wrong statements and disasters. What were the disasters? Which of such disasters were reported to you by Salaf as-salihin? You say that Hadrat 'Ali (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) had more than three hundred errors. If it had been true for Hadrat 'Ali, would you have one right word then? Now I am beginning to act against you. I shall try to protect Muslims against your villainy, because, you have overflowed the measure. Your torture has reached all the living and the dead. believers must shun your evil.'
"Taj ad-din as-Subki listed the matters on which Ibn Taymiyya disagreed with Salaf as-salihin as in the following:
1 - He said, 'Talaq (divorce as prescribed by Islam) does not become actual; [in case it happens,] it is necessary to pay kaffara (equal to that which is paid) for an oath.' None of the Islamic scholars that came before him had said that kaffara might be paid.
2 - He said, 'Talaq given to a haid (menstruating) woman does not become actual, nor does the talaq given to her during the time of her purity become actual.'
3 - He said, 'It is not necessary to make qada for a salat omitted deliberately.'
4 - He said, 'It is mubah (permissible) for a haid woman to perform tawaf of the Kaba. [If she does] she will not have to pay kaffara.'
5 - He said, 'One talaq given in the name of three talaqs is still one talaq.' Whereas, before saying so, he repeatedly said for many years that ijma' al-Muslimin was not so.
6 - He said, 'Taxes incompatible with Islam are halal for those who demand them.'
7 - 'When taxes are collected from tradesmen, they stand for zakat even if they do not intend [for zakat],' he said.
8 - He said, 'Water does not become najs when a mouse or the like dies in it.'
9 - He said, 'It is permissible for a person who is junub to perform supererogatory salat without making a ghusl at night.'
10 - He said, 'Conditions stipulated by the waqif (person who devotes property to a pious foundation) are not taken into consideration.
11 - He said, 'A person who disagrees with ijma' al-umma does not become a disbeliever or a sinner.'
12 - He said, 'Allahu ta'ala is mahall-i hawadith and is made up of particles coming together.'
13 - He said, 'The Qur'an al-karim was created in the Dhat (essence, person) of Allahu ta'ala.'
14 - He said, 'The 'alam, that is, all creatures are eternal with their kinds.'
15 - He said, 'Allahu ta'ala has to create good things.'
16 - He said, 'Allahu ta'ala has a body and directions; He changes His place'.
17 - He said, 'Hell is not eternal; it will go out at last.'
18 - He denied the fact that prophets are impeccable.
19 - He said, 'Rasulullah [sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam] is no different from other people. It is not permissible to pray through his intercession.'
20 - He said, 'It is sinful to go to Medina with the intention of visiting Rasulullah.'
21 - He also said, 'It is haram to go there to ask for shafa'a (intercession).'
22 - He said, 'The books Tawra and al-Injil did not change in vocabulary. They changed in meaning.'
"Some scholars said that most of the above-quoted statements did not belong to Ibn Taymiyya, but there
has been none who denied his saying that Allahu ta'ala had directions and that He was made of particles coming together. However, it was declared by consensus that he was rich in 'ilm, in jalala and in diyana. A person who has fiqh, knowledge, justice and reason must first observe a matter and then decide about it with prudence. Especially, judging Muslim's disbelief or apostasy or heresy or that he must be killed requires very minute observations and utter circumspection."
Recently it has become a fashionable to imitate Ibn Taymiyya. They defend his heretical writings and reproduce his books, particularly his Al-wasita. From beginning to end, this books is full with his ideas unconformable to the Qur'an al-karim, the Hadith ash-Sharif and ijma' al-Muslimin. It rouses great fitna and faction among the readers and causes hostility between brothers. The Wahhabis in India and those ignorant men of religion who were caught in their traps in other Muslim countries have made Ibn Taymiyya a banner for themselves and have given him such names as 'Great Mujtahid' and 'Shaikh al-Islam.' They embrace his heretical thoughts and corrupt writings in the name of faith and iman. For stopping this terrible current, which brings about faction among Muslims and demolishes Islam from within, we must read the valuable books written by the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat which refute and rebut these heretics with documents. Among this literature, the Arabic book Shifa as-siqam fi ziyar ti khayri 'l-anam written by the great imam and the profoundly learned scholar Taqi ad-din as-Subki (rahmat-Allahu ta'ala 'alaih) destroys Ibn Taymiyya's heretical ideas, eliminates his faction and exposes his obstinacy. It prevents the spreading of his evil intentions and wrong beliefs.
F O O T N O T E S
(69) The books Fikh al-akbar, Iljam and Qawl al-fasl have been reproduced by Hakikat Kitabevi in Istanbul.
(70) In this book of 340 pages, several bidat' of the
Salafis and the Wahhabis, their slanders about Ahl as-Sunnat and the replies to them are written in detail. It was printed in Damascus in 1398 A.H. (1978).
(71) For detailed information about Lawh al-mahfuz, see chapter 36 in Endless Bliss, III.
(72) The profound Islamic scholar 'Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi wrote the names of these superiors of tasawwuf on the 363 rd and 373 rd pages of his book Al-Hadiqat an-nadiyya and added that they were awliya' and that those who would speak ill of them were ignorant and unaware.