دار التوحيد Dr'ul Tawhd

Author Topic: AN EVALUATION OF BOOKS REGARDING VARIOUS BRANCHES OF ILM | IBNU TAYMIYYAH  (Read 55 times)

Izhr'ud Dn

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بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الحَمْدُ للهِ وَحْدَهُ، وَالصَّلاة وَالسَّلامُ على مَنْ لا نبيَّ بَعْدَهُ، وَبَعْدُ

An Evaluation of Books Regarding Various Branches of Ilm (Knowledge)
Shaykhul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullh[1]

The 18th Question:

Shaykhul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah was asked about a soldier who owns a feudal estate. This soldier transcribed Sahh Muslim, Sahh al-Bukhr, and the Qurn with his own hand. He also intends to write Hadth and the supreme Qurn. If he hears of paper or pens, he buys them with a thousand Dirhams and says, Inshllh, I will write the Hadth of the Rasl and the Qurn on all of these papers. And he has many far-fetched hopes. So, is the soldier sinful or not?

Which Tafsr (exegesis) is closer to the Kitb (Book) and the Sunnah: az-Zamakhshar, al-Qurtub, al-Baghaw, or other than these?

If a person transcribes a book such as Ihyu Ulmid Dn, Qtul Qulb, and Kitbul Mantiq for himself or to sell, is he rewarded or recompensed? Please give us a Fatw

The Answer:

It is not a sin for him to intend to write the books of the various Shar Ulm (religious sciences) and to do so. For verily, writing the Qurn, the Sahh (authentic) Ahdth (pl. Hadth), and the existing, established books of Tafsr are from the greatest of means of coming closer to Allh and acts of obedience.

When it comes to the books of Tafsr which are available to the folk, then the most authentic one is the Tafsr of Muhammad bin Jarr at-Tabar Rahimahullh. For verily, he mentions the statements of the Salaf with the established chains of narrations. Likewise, it does not contain Bidah and does not narrate from those who were blamed like Muqtil bin Bukayr and al-Kalb.

There are many books of Tafsr which report the chains of narration like the Tafsr of Abdur Razzq, Abd bin Humayd, Wak, Ibnu Ab Qutaybah, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Ishq bin Rhyah.

As for the three Tafsr books which were asked about, the one which is most free of Bidah and weak Ahdth is the Tafsr of al-Baghaw. However, it is an abbreviation of the Tafsr of ath-Thalab. Al-Baghaw omitted the weak Ahdth and the Bidah found in it and he also omitted other things from it.

As for the Tafsr of al-Whid, he is a student of ath-Thalab and was more knowledgeable than him in the Arabic language. However, the Tafsr of ath-Thalab is free of Bidah, even if he has mentioned some Bidah while blind following others. The Tafsr of ath-Thalab and the Tafsrul Bast, al-Wast, and al-Wajz of al-Whid contain many important benefits, and they also contain many inferior things from Btil narrations and other things.

As for the Tafsr of az-Zamakhshar, then his Tafsr is packed with Bidah and it is on the path of the Mutazilah with regards to denying the Sift (attributes of Allh) and the Ruyah (the believers seeing Allh in paradise), also the view that the Qurn was created. He also denied that Allh pre-ordained the creation, that He created the actions of the slaves. It also contains other than this from the fundamental principles of the Mutazilah.

The fundamental principles of the Mutazilah are five. They name these principles at-Tawhd, al-Adl, al-Manzilatu Baynal Manzilatayn, Infdhul Wad, commanding the good and preventing evil.

However, in their sight, Tawhd particularly encompasses denying the Sift. This is why Ibnut Tmart named his companions the Muwahhidn (Monotheists). In reality, this is merely Ilhd (heresy) in the Names and yt of Allh.

In their sight, al-Adl encompasses belying the Qadar (pre-ordainment of Allh). This is the creation of the actions of the slaves, the pre-ordainment of the creation, and having power over something.  Some of them deny that Allh knows and wrote what will happen beforehand. However, this is the opinion of their Aimmah (pl. Imm). These people are the dignitaries of az-Zamakhshar. For verily, his Madhhab is the Madhhab of al-Mughrah bin Al, Ab Hshim and his followers, and the Maddhab of Abul Husayn.

The Mutazilah upon his path are of two types: Musyikhiyyah and Khashabiyyah. As for al-Manzilatu Baynal Manzilatayn, in their sight, it is that a Fsiq (corrupt person) cannot be called a Mumin (believer) by no means, just as he cannot be called a Kfir (disbeliever). Thereby, they positioned such person between the two categories (Mumin and Kfir).

As for Infdhul Wad, in their sight, it means that the Fussq (pl. Fsiq) of this religion will remain eternally in Hell; they will not get out of it by means of intercession or any other way, just as the Khawrij have said.

In their sight, commanding the good and preventing evil encompasses the legality of revolting against the Aimmah (pl. Imm/rulers) and fighting against them with the sword.

These principles jam-packed the book of az-Zamakhshar with expressions that most people will not find nor understand the meaning therein, alongside that which is found in it of the fabricated Ahdith and little narration from the Sahbah and Tabin

The Tafsr of al-Qurtub is much better than this and is closer to the path of Ahlul Kitbi was Sunnah (the People of the Qurn and the Sunnah) and further from Bidah. Even though all of these books definitely contain things to be criticized, it is obligatory to act justly between them and to give every owner of rights its due rights.

The Tafsr of Ibnu Atiyyah is better, it is more authentic in narration and research, and far distant from Bidah than the Tafsr of az-Zamakhshar, even though it contains some Bidah. Rather, it is better than it. Nay, it could even be the most preferred among the above-mentioned books of Tafsr. However, the Tafsr of Ibnu Jarr is more authentic than all of these books of Tafsr.

There are many other books of Tafsr like the Tafsr of Ibnul Jawz and al-Mward.

As for the book Qtul Qulb, and the book al-Ihy has followed it in what it mentions of the actions of the heart such as patience, gratitude, love, at-Tawakkul (reliance), at-Tawhd (monotheism), etc. Ab Tlib is more knowledgeable in Hadth, the Athar (statements of the Salaf), and the statements of the masters of the sciences of the hearts from amongst the Sfiyyah and others in comparison to Ab Hmid al-Ghazzl. Likewise, Ab Tlibs speech is more correct, more precise, and further away from Bidah alongside the fact that there are weak and fabricated Ahdith and many other rejected things in Qtul Qulb.

As for what is found in al-Ihy of the destructive actions such as the speech about pride, vanity, showing off, envy, and what is similar, then most of it is narrated from the speech of al-Hrith al-Muhsib in ar-Riyah. Some of these statements are accepted, some are rejected, and there is a controversy pertaining to others.

Al-Ihy contains many benefits, however, it also contains objectionable material. For verily, it withholds corrupt material from the speech of the philosophers regarding Tawhd, Nubuwwah (prophethood), and the Hereafter. When the knowledge of the Sfiyyah is mentioned, it falls in the category of those who take an enemy of the Muslimn (pl. Muslim) and dons him with the clothes of the Muslimn.

The Aimmah of the Dn have denounced this Ab Hmid regarding his books and they said: Ash-Shif (the cure) made him sick -meaning the book ash-Shif by Ibnu Sn (Avicenna) regarding philosophy.

Al-Ihy comprises many weak, rather, fabricated Ahdth and thr, and it also contains things from the mistakes of the Sfiyyah and their hoaxes. Nonetheless, it also comprises some of the speech of the Mashyikh (pl. Shaykh) of the Sfiyyah who are knowledgeable and upright with regards to the actions of the heart which is in accordance with the Qurn and Sunnah, and other things from the Ibdt (acts of worship) and Adab (manners/etiquette) which are in accordance with the Qurn and Sunnah. These comprise most of what is mentioned therein. For this reason, the Ijtihd of the people have fell in a paradox and they have disputed concerning it.

As for the renowned books of Hadth such as al-Bukhr and Muslim, then there is no book under the sky more authentic than the books of al-Bukhr and Muslim after the Qurn. After them, the most authentic books are those which bring the two books together, such as al-Jamu Baynas Sahhayn by al-Humayd and the one by Abdul Haq al-Ishbl. The books of Sunan, such as the Sunan of Ab Dwd and an-Nas, the Jmi of at-Tirmidh, the books of Musnad, such as the Musnad of ash-Shfi and the Musnad of Imm Ahmad follows them. The Muwatta of Mlik contains Ahdth, thr, and other narrations. Al-Muwatta is from amongst the most valuable books. So-much-so that ash-Shfi said, After the Book of Allh, there is no book under the sky more authentic than the Muwatta of Mlik. With this word, he means the works written in its method. For verily, the Mutaqaddimn (past generations) would gather together what was reported from the Nab Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam, the Sahbah, and the Tabin in one chapter; the books of ar-Ray, which are named the books of Fiqh (jurisprudence) was not establish.

These are followed by the works collecting the Musnad Hadth (Hadth which have an uninterrupted chain of narration reaching the Nab Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam) that deal with bringing together the Sahh of al-Bukhr and Muslim and other beloved books.

Whether a person writes these works for his own or to sell them, he gets rewards for writing them. As the Nab Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,


إِنَّ اللهَ يُدْخِلُ بِالسَّهْمِ الْوَاحِدِ ثَلَاثَةً الْجَنَّةَ: صَانِعَهُ، وَالرَّامِيَ بِهِ، وَالْمُمِدَّ بِهِ.
Verily, Allh enters three people in Paradise due to a single arrow: the one who produced it, the one who shot it, and the one who extended it.[2]

Therefore, writing these works in order to benefit oneself or for someone else to benefit from is like this. In both cases, rewards are received.

As for the books of Mantiq (logic), these books do not include a science ordered by the Sharah, even though the Ijtihd of some people resulted that Mantiq is Fard-i Kifyah and other people say that sciences cannot be upright without it, as was stated by Ab Hmid. This is a grave mistake, both intellectually and according to the Sharah. As for it being a mistake intellectually, all the intellectuals of the Children of dam composed of all classes who speak regarding Ilm preserved their respective Ilm without Greek logic. As for it being a mistake according to the Sharah, then it is necessarily known from the religion of Islm that Allh did not make learning this Greek logic necessary for the people of knowledge and faith.

As for logic itself, then portions of it are truth and others are falsehood. Much or most of what it withholds of truth is not needed. As for its portions which are needed, then most innate natures manage without it, the feeble-minded does not benefit from it, and the wise does not need it. The damage it inflicts on those who are not aware of the knowledge of the prophets is much more than the benefit it brings. For verily, it contains invalid, negative rules which have become widespread among many virtuous people. It has also been the reason for their hypocrisy and the invalidity of their Ilm. The statement of the person who says, Logic is completely true is false. By contrast, there is corruption in their words about definition, the Dht (essence related) and Aradh (accidental) Sift (attributes), the categories of analogy, Burhn (proofs) and its sources, which we have explained elsewhere. The scholars of the Muslims have already explained this. Allh knows best.
 1. Al-Fatwl Kubr, 5/84-87.
 
 2. Ab Dwd, Hadth no. 2513; at-Tirmidh, Hadth no. 1637; an-Nas, Hadth no. 3146; Ibnu Mjah, Hadth no. 2811; ad-Drim, Sunan, Drul Bashir, Hadth no. 2592; Ahmad, Musnad, Hadth no. 17321, 17335, 17337, 17400.
Shaykh'ul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullh stated,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

"The lim (scholar) recognizes the Jhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jhil. The Jhil does not recognize the lim since he has never been an lim." (Shaykh'ul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majm'ul Fatw, 13/235)

 

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