Ibn Taymiyya / Shah Wali Allah /
Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr

by Sh. G. F. Haddad

As-Salamu ʿalaykum:

Some clarifications on statements attributed to Shah Waliy Allah and Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, Allah have mercy on them.

al-Hafidh Imam Hujjatul Allah Shah Wali Allah al-Dahlawi ( A Sufi and Wali of Allah ) said in his book Maktoobat ma3a manaqib al-Imam Bukhari wa Fa'daail Ibn Taymiyyah ( published in Farsi and Arabic and in the Indian Sub continent known as Maktoobat Imam Shah Wali Allah Dahlawi ) page 18-23: wa kadhalik Ibn taymiyyah. fa inna qad taha'qaqna min haalih annu aalim bi kitaabiAllah wa maa'nih al-laghwaiyyah wal shareeah wa hafidh li Sunnati rasulil Allah salllahu 'alahi wa salim. wa Athaar as-Salaf arif bi maa'niha .......dhul lisaan wa bilaaghah fi dhib an Aqeedah ahl Sunnah...lam ya'athir anhu fisq ( as the Jahmites claim ) wa la bid'ah. ALLAHUMA illa hada al-umuur alati dhayq alaihi la-jalaha, wa laysa shay minha illa wa ma'ahu daleel min al-kitaab was Sunna wa ATHAAR as-Salam....."

Al-Tufi al-Hanbali as reported by Ibn Hajar in the Durar, and al-Dhahabi in the ʿIbar state the contrary: fisq, zandaqa, and bidʿa were indeed attributed - rightly or wrongly - to Ibn Taymiyya - may Allah forgive him. Furthermore, the evidence now is overwhelming to that effect and there is a lot more literature and analysis available in the hands of the Scholars.

Here is a brief recent Taymiyyan heresiography:

1. Fataawaa Ibn Taymiyya fil-Meezaan [Ibn Taymiyya's Fatwas under Investigation]. By the Mauritanian Shaykh al-Sayyid Muhammad Ahmad Miskah ibn al-ʿAteeq al-Yaʿqubi, Allah reward him. 500 p. (Damascus 2000.)

2. Al-Kaashif al-Sagheer ʿan ʿAqaa'id Ibn Taymiyya [Minor Exposure of the Beliefs of Ibn Taymiyya]. By Saʿid ʿAbd al-Latif Fawdah. 500 p. (Amman 2000).

3. Risaala fil-Radd ʿala Ibn Taymiyya fi Mas'alati Hawaaditha laa Awwala Laha [Epistle in Refutation of Ibn Taymiyya in the Question of 'Created Matters without Beginning']. By al-Imam Baha' al-Din al-Ikhmeemi al-Misri (700-764). Ed. Saʿid ʿAbd al-Latif Fawdah. 128 p. (Amman 1998) This was written in refutation of Ibn Taymiyya's belief that the world is of a pre-eternal nature and exists with Allah since pre-eternity as an "ever-abiding created object" (makhluqan da'iman!), thus making it necessarily existent in His Essence (mujaban bi al-dhat) and [making Him] not acting deliberately (la faʿilan bi al-ikhtyar), elevated is He beyond that! Dr. al-Buti in Kubra al-Yaqeenaat al-Kawniyya pointed out that this is nothing other than Aristotelian philosophy and, before him, Imam Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini said that whoever holds such a doctrine is considered a kafir.

4. Risaala Shareefa feemaa Yataʿallaqu bi Kam al-Baaqi min ʿUmr al-Dunya [Noble Epistle Concerning the Remainder of the Life of this World]. by Imam al-Sanʿani. Ed. al-Wasabi al-Mathani. (Sanʿa', 1992). This is a refutation of the same heresy as in #3.

5. Al-Qawl al-Wajeeh fi Tanzeeh Allah Taʿala ʿan al-Tashbeeh [The Eminent Discourse Concerning Divine Transcendence beyond All Resemblance to Created Things]. By Shaykh al-Sayyid Abul-Hasanayn ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Makki al-Hashimi rahimahullah. 111 p. (Amman 1995.)

6. Al-Salafiyya al-Muʿaasira: Munaaqashaat wa Ruduud [Contemporary Salafism: Discussions and Refutations]. By Shaykh al-Sayyid Abul-Hasanayn al-Makki al-Hashimi rahimahullah. 230 p. (Amman 1996.)

7. Al-Farq al-ʿAzeem bayn al-Tanzeeh wal-Tajseem wayaleeh al-Muqtataf fi Naqd al-Tuhaf [The Tremendous Difference between Transcendence and Anthropomorphism]. By Saʿid ʿAbd al-Latif Fawdah. 72 p. (Amman 2001.) Contains a valuable commentary on al-Shawkaani's ʿAqida titled al-Tuhaf fi Madhhahib al-Salaf.

8. Tasheeh al-Mafaaheem al-ʿAqdiyya fil-Sifaat al-Ilaahiyya [The Redress of Doctrinal Understandings of the Divine Attributes]. By Shaykh ʿIsa ibn Maaniʿ al-Himyari. 300 p. (Cairo 1998.)

the Imam Shah Wali Allah defends the position of Salaf us Salih regarding Istawa ( which is a thorn for Ash'arites/Jahmites),:

"Wa Qad zakar annahu qaal: Innal Allah Ta'ala fawqal Arsh.....(Shah Wali Allah:) wal HAQQ fi haza al-Maqaam in Allah t'ala athbaata li nafsih JIHA AL-FAWQ....

It is doubtful that Shah Wali Allah wrote the above since it is strictly speaking - as stipulated in the ʿAqida Tahawiyya - a heretical statement to say "innAllah taʿala athbata li-nafsihi jihat al-fawq." The correct statement would be "innAllaha ta'ala adaafa ila nafsihi sifat/khabar al-fawq." See Tasheeh al-Mafaaheem al-ʿAqdiyya on this.

Surely, it would be far better for one's Religion for the Mutashaabih of the Qur'an to be "a thorn" (if such were the case) than a toboggan to likening the Creator to the created. The Salaf said, how sweet does each bidʿa seem to the people of bidʿa! And Mulla ʿAli al-Qari said in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, citing Imam al-Razi: "The anthropomorphists worship nothing other than an idol."

annahu hal yajib ta'wilah ?.....(Shah Wali Allah responds): akhbarani Abu Tahir an Abih anhu qaal: qaala al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani: LAM YUNQAL AN al-NABI SALLAHU 'ALAIHI WA SALLAM WA LA AN AS-SAHABA MIN TARIQ SAHEEH al-tashreeh bi-wujub ta'wil shay min dhaalik ya'ni al-mutashaabihaat....."

The above is a thoroughly munqatiʿ broken chain. Between the father of Abu Tahir (Abu Tahir = Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Kurdi al-Madani) and the Hafiz Ibn Hajar there are no less than four missing links.

Furthermore, the Hafiz authentically indicated otherwise in the Fath, for example: "The hadith 'If one of you stands in prayer, let him not spit in front of him for Allah is in front of him'... constitutes a refutation of those who say that Allah Most High is on the Throne 'in person.'" (Fath 1989 ed. 1:669). See also the 1959 ed. 3:37-38, 6:136 [Jihad], and Tawhid ch. 23 last par.). The whole point of Ibn Baz's published aspersions on Fath al-Bari and the recent auto-da-fé or public burning of that peerless book was that he and his ilk deemed it to contain unacceptable ta'weel in their view.

Hafiz ibn Abdul Barr al-Maliki wrote (citing ibn Hafiz Khuwaizimdaad): "The people of the innovated sects in the view of [Imam] Malik and the remainder of our companions are the people of kalaam. Every person of Kalaam is from the people of the innovated sects and innovations, whether he is an Ash'ari or other than an Ash'ari, and his witness is never accepted in Islam. Indeed, his witness is to be ostracised and he is to be punished for his innovation, and if he persists then repentance is sought from him." (Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm wa fadlih, 117/2)

1. Abu ʿAbd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Khuwayz Mindaad al-Basri did narrate hadith but he did not become known as a Muhaddith, much less a Hafiz but was one of the Jurists and Usuliyyun of the Malikis.

2. Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad died in 390. He is NOT a companion of Imam Malik but came 200 years and seven biographical layers later. When he says "Maalik said..." he is not a reliable source unless he is confirmed independently. This, even if he produced his chain to Malik's supposed statement; what then if he does not even have a chain!

3. Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad's reports from Maalik "contain anomalies" and he "contradicts the Madhhab in both Fiqh and Usul nor do the [Maliki] experts rely on his positions" according to al-Qadi ʿIyad (d. 544) in Tartib al-Madaarik (Moroccan ed. 7:77-78). ʿIyad also said: "He was not insightful in his positions nor strong in fiqh. Abu al-Walid al-Baji said of him: I never heard him mentioned once by the Ulema of Iraq."

4. ʿIyad also exposes Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad as an extremist in his anti-kalam stance: "He alienated the Mutakallimin of Ahl al-Sunna and ruled that all of them were among the people of vain lusts (ahwa') concerning whom Malik said his famous statement on [avoiding] their marriage, [rejecting] their witness and leadership, and alienating them." Ibn Farhun (d. 799) cites all of the above in al-Deebaaj al-Mudhahhab (#491).

5. Imam Malik meant the Muʿtazilis and their sub-sects by consensus in the statement in question, as is made clear (among other sources) by Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr himself in his report from the same Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad in the previous page cf. Jaamiʿ Bayaan al-ʿIlm wa Fadlih (1994 Saudi ed. 2:942-943 #1800). It is known that Imam Malik never retained any Muʿtazilis, Qadaris, or Khawaarij in his Muwatta' as narrators, while the Two Shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim) and their students such as Imam al-Tirmidhi did narrate from Qadaris and even Jahmis. See on this the relevant chapter in Imam al-Suyuti's Tadrib al-Raawi.

6. Clearly, the misguided view Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad expressed in including the Ashʿaris among the people of innovation was rejected by his own School and is not considered in the least valid by the major Maliki Huffaz and Fuqaha' such as Qaadi ʿIyaad, al-Maazari, Abu Bakr ibn al-ʿArabi, Abul-Walid al-Baaji, al-Qurtubi, and others - all thorough Ashʿaris.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©


See also other pages on Ibn Taymiyya:

•   Ibn Taymiyya
•   Ibn Taymiyya and Sufism
•   Ibn Jahbal on Ibn Taymiyya
•   Missed Prayers & Ibn Taymiyyah
•   Ibn Taymiyah within the Hanbali madhab
•   Imām Ahmad's ʿAqīda and Pseudo-H. anbal ʿAqīda
•   Debate with Ibn Taymiyya: ON TASAWWUF Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari

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latest update: 2012-07-05


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