Shaykh ibn 'Atha'illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) Refuted Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) on Tawaswswul

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ibn ‘Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) corrected Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) erroneous notions regarding tawaswswul.  He said, “Is there any true believer who believes that there is someone who can reward him for his good deeds and punish him for his bad ones other than Allah?  Besides this, we must consider that there are expressions which should not be taken just in their literal sense.  This is not because of fear of associating a partner with Allah (s.w.t.), and in order to block the means to idolatry.  For whoever seeks help from the Prophet (s.a.w.) only seeks his power of intercession with Allah (s.w.t.) as when you yourself say, ‘This food satisfies my appetite.’  Does the food itself satisfy your appetite?  Or, is it the case that it is Allah (s.w.t.) Who Satisfies your appetite through the food?

As for your statement that Allah (s.w.t.) has forbidden Muslims to call upon anyone other than Himself in seeking help, have you actually seen any Muslim calling on someone other than Allah (s.w.t.)?  The verse you cite from the Qur’an was Revealed concerning the idolaters and those who used to call on their false gods and ignore Allah (s.w.t.).  Whereas, the only way Muslims seek the help of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is in the sense of tawaswswul, by virtue of the Privilege he has Received from Allah (s.w.t.), and tashaffu’, by virtue of the power of intercession which Allah (s.w.t.) has Bestowed on him.

As for your pronouncement that istighatsa’ is forbidden in the shari’ah because it can lead to idolatry, if this is the case, then we ought also to prohibit grapes because they are means to making wine, and to castrate unmarried men because not to do so leaves in the world a means to commit fornication and adultery.”


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