Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) Polarised the Scholars

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) had an ambivalent status amongst the scholars.  Some loved him, and others heaped vitriol upon him.  For example, the Shafi’i muhaddits, Imam al-Mizzi (r.a.) did not call anyone else “Shaykh al-Islam” in his time besides Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), Imam ibn Abi ‘Umar al-Hanbali (r.a.), and Imam Taqi ad-Din as-Subki (r.a.), yet the Hanafi scholar, Imam ‘Ala’ ad-Din al-Bukhari (r.a.) issued a fatwa that if anyone called Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) “Shaykh al-Islam”, they would be committing disbelief.  He also authored against Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), a book entitled al-Muljimah li al-Mujassimah, “Curbing the Anthropomorphists”.

Imam ibn Naswir ad-Din ad-Dimashqi (r.a.) countered this fatwa; he wrote ar-Radd al-Wafir, where he listed all the authorities who had ever praised Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) or called him “Shaykh al-Islam”.  Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah ibn Abu Ghuddah (r.a.) named him “Shaykh al-Islam” and “the Standard-Bearer of all Standard-Bearers” in his book al-‘Ulama’ al-‘Uzzab, which he wrote after he took up residence in Najd.  Amongst the entirety of the scholars of Sunni Islam, no one was more polarising than this man.


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