Question: Who is Ibn Taymiyyah, whom Wahhabis [Salafis] call Sheikh-ul-Islam and follow? What did our scholars say about him?
He was formerly a Hanbali scholar of fiqh and hadith. Then he became a la-madhhabi. He was jailed in Egypt twice due to his writings that went against Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah. He was born in 1263 in Harran [a town of Urfa province in Turkey]. He died in 1328 while he was imprisoned in the citadel of Damascus.
Ibn Taymiyyah could not appreciate the superiority of Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah scholars. He denied Tasawwuf (Sufism) and, therefore, deviated from Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah. His books are sources for opponents of the four madhhabs who call themselves Salafists. Opponents of the four madhhabs praise him and address him as the master of restorers (mujaddids) of Islam. That Ibn Taymiyya was unfortunate and misguided is written in the books Sayf-ul-Jabbar and Talim-us-Subyan. The latter was written in Persian.
In the book Tathir-ul-fuad min-danis-il i'tiqad written by Muhammad Bahit, who was a Hanafi scholar in Jami-ul-Azhar, and in the other books, such as At-Tawassuli bin-Nabi wa bis-Salihin, Shawahid-ul-Haqq, Jawahir-ul-Bihar, Sayf-ul-Jabbar, and Talim-us-Subyan, it is proven with evidence that Ibn Taymiyyah lapsed into heresy.
Ibn Battuta, Ibn Hajar al-Makki, Imam-i Subki, Izzaddin bin Jama'a, Abu Hayyan Zahiri, Zahid al-Kawthari, Yusuf an-Nabhani, Imam-i Sharani, Ahmad bin Sayyid Zayni Dahlan, Sheikh-ul-Islam Mustafa Sabri Efendi, and many other scholars wrote refutations to Ibn Taymiyyah and explained his heresy and kufr beliefs. Necip Fazıl Kısakurek said, "Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi stated, 'Ibn Taymiyyah was a mulhid who damaged the religion from within.'" (Turkiye'nin Manzarası [The Scenery of Turkey])
It is written on the 107th page of the tafsir of Sawi that he was misguided and misguiding others.
Islamic scholars stated:
"He was a person whose knowledge was made by Allahu ta'ala a cause for his misguidance." [Ibn Hajar al-Makki Fatawa-i Hadisiyya]
"Ibn Taymiyyah was such a person that great scholars gave answers to his corrupt opinions and flimsy evidence and showed the ugliness of his ideas. [Muhammad] Izz ibni Jama'a [Shafi'i scholar of fiqh and hadith who served as a qadi in Damascus, Egypt, and Jerusalem] said about him, 'He was a person whom Allahu ta'ala misguided, led astray, and made wear the shirt of lowness. He foolishly raised objections to Islamic scholars and especially to the Rightly Guided Caliphs.'" [Ibn Hajar al-Makki Al Jawhar-ul-Munzam]
"The ideas of Ibn Taymiyyah are worthless. He was misguided and misguiding Muslims. He deviated from the consensus of Muslims and took a heretical path. Islamic scholar stated in unanimity that he was a heretic. Kutbud-Bardiri wrote this in detail in his commentary on Mukhtasar." [Tahir Muhammad Sulayman Zahiratul-fiqhil-Kubra]
"Kitab-ul-Arsh is one of his most awful books. There were scholars who said that a person who addressed him as Sheikh-ul-Islam would become a disbeliever." [Imam-i Subki] (He says so in the supercommentary on Nabras.)
"Whoever follows Ibn Taymiyyah, his property and life is halal [lawful]." (Mirat-ul-Janan, supercommentary on Nabras)
Ibn Taymiyya says in his Kitab-ul-Arsh, "Allah sits on the Arsh, and He leaves space for His Messenger to sit next to Him." In his book As-Sirat-ul-Mustaqim, he declared some notable companions, such as Ibn Abbas, disbelievers. (Kashf-uz-Zunun)
In his book Al-Abudiyyat, he says that making dhikr of Allahu ta'ala's name is innovation and heresy, and he made vicious slanders on Sufi masters. Ibn Taymiyyah said, "The existence of the Arsh is beginningless [qadim]." (Sharh al-Aqaid al-Adudiyya)
While descending from the minbar of the mosque of Damascus, he said, "Allah descends from the sky to the earth just as I am descending now." [Ibn Battuta Tuhfat-un-Nuzzar]
Even Abd ar-Raziq Pasha, who was a disciple of Abduh and followed in his footsteps, said:
"Just as Wahhabism is linked to Ibn Taymiyyah in one respect, so the reformists ideas of Abduh, who is called the restorer [mujaddid] of the current century, are linked to Ibn Taymiyyah."
Ibn Taymiyyah said, "It is not necessary to make up qada salats." However, making up a qada salat is obligatory in all of the four madhhabs. He claimed that the torment of Hell would not be eternal. However, there are many Qur'anic verses stating that disbelievers will remain in Hell eternally. (Al-Baqara 81, Al-Ahzab 65, Fussilat 28, Az-Zukhruf 74)
By saying "Umar made a lot of mistakes," he objected to the hadith-i sharif that says "Allahu ta'ala has put the true word on the tongue of Umar [He never makes a mistake]." Even if the majority of the Companions erred in the matters deduced by way of ijtihad, their errors were related to ijtihad. It cannot be known whether a mujtahid erred in his ijtihad because an ijtihad does not invalidate another ijtihad. For this reason, those honorable people, who were mujtahids, should not be criticized. Though the ijtihads of the four madhhabs are different from one other, their founders did not criticize one another on the basis of difference in their ijtihads.
He attacked Sufi masters, such as Hadrat Sadraddin al-Konawi and Ibn Arabi and said, "The books of Ghazali are full of fabricated hadiths." (Hadiqa)
Hadrat Imam-i Sharani stated:
"Ibn Taymiyyah denied Tasawwuf [Sufism] and made defamatory remarks on the Awliya'. One must beware of reading his books in the same way as one bewares of predators." [Tabakat-ul-Kubra]
Hadrat Imam-i Suyuti stated:
"Ibn Taymiyyah was arrogant and full of himself. It was his habit to represent himself as superior to everybody, to look down on the person whom he talked to, and to make fun of great scholars." [Kam-ul Muarid]
Muhammad Ali Bey said in his Hitat-ush-Sham:
"Ibn Taymiyyahs and Priest Luthers aims were identical. Whereas the Christian reformer was successful, the reformer of Islam was unsuccessful."
Hadrat Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani stated:
He spoke ill of the great ones of the Companions and said "It is haram to set out on a journey to visit the grave of the Messenger of Allah. [Hadrat] Ali's iman was not valid because he was a child when he believed. [Hadrat] Uthman had excessive love for wealth." [Ad-Durar-ul-Kamina]
Hadrat Ibn Hajar al-Makki said:
"Ibn Taymiyyah denied the immunity of prophets from sins. However, it is one of the attributes of prophets."
He objected to one's visiting the blessed grave of our Master the Prophet and those of the Companions, the Awliya', scholars, and pious Muslims. He considered it haram to use them as a means for intercession. [Fatawa al-Hadisiyya]