28 - On the 490th page, he says,
"The hadith ash-Sharif related in the Sahih of Muslim and by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi on the authority of 'Imran ibn Husain (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) declares, 'The best among my umma are those who live during my time. The best after them are the ones who comes after them. And the best after them are the people who come after them.' This hadith ash-Sharif is written in the Sahih of al-Bukhari, too, and begins with 'The best of you'. 'The best' means the best in knowledge, faith and deeds. They had refused and annihilated the bidat'. Although the bidat' increased in the third century after the Hegira, still there were many 'ulama', and Islam was much respected and people performed jihad. The hadith ash-Sharif written in the Sahih of Muslim and related by 'Abdullah ibn Masud is one of similar hadiths. But, in this hadith, reference is made to three following centuries. Thus, it is understood that goodness was greater than evil until the end of the fourth century of the Hegira."
This hadith ash-Sharif praises the 'ulama' of the Ahl as-Sunnat (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) since they were the greatest and most prominent people of those four best centuries. This superiority of the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat was affirmed through the unanimity of millions of Muslims who lived during their time. That author praises the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat and quotes as documents for himself the ijtihads they wrote in their books whenever it suits his interest. On the one hand, he feels obliged to praise the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat, and on the other hand, he dislikes the meanings they gave to ayats and hadiths and alleges that many of these interpretations were polytheistic. He is not ashamed of saying "polytheists" for Ahl as-Sunnat. That author frequently quotes from the book of hadith scholar Ismail ibn 'Umar ibn Kathir 'Imad ad-din, because Abu 'l-Fida 'Imad ibn Kathir ash-Shafi'i al-Basri, who died in Damascus in 734 A.H. (1372), based his fatwas on Ibn Taymiyya's opinions.
See our Important Disclaimers and Legal Information