Who is Ibn Taymiyya?June 25, 2021
Ibn Taymiyya (Arabic: تقي الدين أحمد بن تيمية Taqi ad-Din Ahmad Ibn Taimiyya, 1263-1328, Hijri: 661-728) is one of the most important scholars of Salafiyya / Ahl hadith understanding and his views have influenced various Islamic scholars and movements. .
Ibn Taymiyya, whose full name is Ebu’l-Abbas Takyyuddin Ahmed bin Abdulhalîm bin Mecdiddin bin Abdüsselâm bin Taymiyya, was born in Harran on the 10th Rabiulevvel of 661 according to the Hijri calendar. There were also those who said that his date of birth was 12 Rabiulevvel. Because of the Mongol invasion, he went to Damascus (Dimash) with his family as a child. At that time, Damascus was a very important city in terms of science and culture. His birth and upbringing during the Mongol invasions affected his character and had reflections on his political thought.
Ibn Taymiyya’s father was also a scholar and after he came to Damascus, he had a lecture and preaching chair in the Umayyad Masjid there. Ibn Taymiyyah, whose grandfather was also a great Islamic scholar, was directed to a scientific career from an early age by his family. After they came to Damascus, his father started to work as a professor in Sükkerriyya Darulhadisin. Ibn Taymiyya received his first education here. First of all, he studied the Qur’an, then turned to hadith and started hadith studies. At this time, he was also interested in Hanbali fiqh and started to work on this subject. Apart from these, he was also interested in Arabic language grammar and Arabic history. Considering the criticisms he made on philosophy and logic, he was probably also interested in philosophy and logic , and made various researches on these subjects. His father passed away when he was just 21 years old. After his father’s death, he started to teach in his father’s group despite his young age.
In addition to his personality as a jurist (legal scholar) and hadith scholar, Ibn Taymiyya also made various discourses on akaid issues. He made general criticisms, mostly anonymously, against Sufism, which started to become widespread during his lifetime. He also wrote various treatises on this subject, his general discourse and these put him in an important position in terms of criticism of Sufism. Especially the criticisms against Muhyiddin Ibn-Arabi’s views have an important place in this field.
He had thoughts that contradicted the Ash’ariyya sect in matters of Akaid, and he avoided interpretations based on reason or philosophy and logic. He pushed the administrators of this period, who were affiliated with the Ash’ariyya sect, and most of the people to oppose him.
Meanwhile, he took an active role and fought against a developing Mongolian invasion. Especially his position in the war and his insistence on inviting the people to war against the Mongols set him apart from many other scholars.
This type has made many enemies because of its oppositional aspects. He decided to go to Egypt upon invitation. Here he was unfairly imprisoned on the grounds of various things. He was released after spending about a year and a half in the dungeon. During this period, he was also subjected to various tortures.
In the following period, great conflicts arose between him and the Sufis in Egypt. He often got into arguments and made great criticisms. After a while, Taymiyya was imprisoned again in order to calm down this general turmoil and discussion, which caused the reaction of the administration. However, this period of imprisonment was lighter than the first, because this time the judges of the period stood by him and ensured that he was sentenced under better conditions. He was released shortly after. However, the new administration of the period decided to exile him to Alexandria and Ibn Taymiyya went to Alexandria. When the throne of Egypt changed hands again, Ibn Taymiyya returned to Cairo to be invited.
When he was in his fifties, he moved back to Damascus upon a call for a war against the Mongols. But the war did not take place. Nevertheless, Ibn Taymiyya, who continued to reside in Damascus, focused on fiqh. Although he follows the Hanbali school, it cannot be said that he is completely affiliated with the school. From time to time, he agreed with the views of the four sects of fiqh (law) and sometimes he had opposite views, and he did not hesitate to explain them. Although the administration forbade this behavior, Ibn Taymiyya did not hesitate to present his own opinion and issue fatwas when it contradicted the views of the four madhhabs.
Although the administration repeated the ban, as a result of Ibn Taymiyya’s continued behavior, Ibn Taymiyya was imprisoned in the fortress of Damascus. He was released after nearly six months in prison. Although Ibn Taymiyya continued his studies on fiqh, he continued to work on other subjects as well. Around this time, anti-government groups put forward one of his old fatwas, causing him to fall out with the administration, and Ibn Taymiyyah was imprisoned again. During his imprisonment, the pressure increased and he was finally forbidden to read and write in prison. Ibn Taymiyya died two years later, in 1328, as a result of an illness he caught.
Ibn Taymiyya is a versatile person