Tag Archives: Ibn Taimiya

Brussels Terror Attack: Due to Western Ignorance of the Barbaric Darkness of Ibn Taimiya’s theological system – Part III

Brussels Terror Attack: Due to Western Ignorance of the Barbaric Darkness of Ibn Taimiya’s theological system – Part III

 

By Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

 

In two earlier articles published under the titles “Brussels Terror Attack: Due to Western Misperceptions – Part I” (https://megalommatiscomments.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/brussels-terror-attack-due-to-western-misperceptions-part-i/) and “Brussels Terror Attack: Due to Western Ignorance of Evil Theological Systems – Part II” (https://megalommatiscomments.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/brussels-terror-attack-due-to-western-ignorance-of-evil-theological-systems-part-ii/), I highlighted the Western ignorance of the Muslim World and more specifically of the fact that the extremist way of life, mindset and belief are approved and shared by many hundreds of millions of Muslims in countries other than the evil cradle of Salafism / Wahhabism, i.e. Saudi Arabia; I called that dimension of Western misperception of the Islamic World ‘sociopolitical’. Then, I proceeded through a historical-religious analysis, emphasizing the putrefaction process caused to the Islamic religion by the different Islamic theological systems, and I established a link between the three successive layers of alteration caused by the theological systems of Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Ahmed ibn Taimiyah, and Muhammad ibn Abdulwahhab. In the present article, I will expand further on the nefarious impact that the barbarism of Ibn Taimiyah had on Islam as religion, spirituality, culture, and civilization.

 

As I described in the previous article, “Ahmed ibn Taimiya was the ugly and perverse child of his time“, meaning the period of the Crusades and the Mongol invasions that resulted in the destruction of Baghdad. In fact, his theological system was an introverted reductionism that triggered an overwhelming indifference for, and an abysmal hatred of, the “other”. These characteristics were intensified by ibn Taimiya’s followers who instructed Muslims to limit themselves to basics and to abstain from any contact with, or study of, the “other”.

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WHY TROUBLES GO DEEPER THAN MERE WAHHABISM: THE EVILNESS OF IBN TAIMIYA’S THEOLOGICAL BARBARISM
Of course, after the year 1291 (Fall of Acre), when the last Crusader was out of the Orient, the Islamic World recovered from the Crusades and the Mongol invasions, and continued to expand in terms of imperial power, advance in terms of civilization, and prosper in terms of economic recovery and wealth accumulation. But there were two main negative points that survived for some centuries, gradually spread across the entire Muslim World, and finally prevailed:

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A – The introversion gained momentum among the populations, irrespective of the success of the armies and the caliphs. It was combined with a genuinely un-Islamic reductionism (I mean of course ontological reductionism) as Ibn Taimiya followers – in order to control the masses – diffused the pathetic opinion that Philosophy, Arts, Letters and Sciences are useless, because “only few things are necessary for man to gain the ticket to the Paradise”: by hating and ignoring the “other” (which is a non-Islamic attitude and stance of life) and by preaching and diffusing this mindset, attitude and behavior, the followers of Ibn Taimiya addressed the fears, the sorrow, and the horror generated among the Muslims because of the Crusaders and the Mongols.

B – The bullying exercised by the masses that followed the theologians, who accepted Ibn Taimiya’s heretic theological system, started having an impact in the long run and progressively all the scholars, scientists, artists, architects, mystics, and philosophers came under attack, got dispersed, and disappeared.

For the first time, around the years 1350-1400, within Islam was formed a driving force which was pushing toward ignorance, darkness, hatred and barbarism. 

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It is obvious that such evil force could not exist without targets. Even worse, the targets had to be close. Shia Muslims and Oriental Christians were the first to be targeted. Then, it was the turn of the mystics, the Sufis, the philosophers, the erudite scholars, the astronomers, the chemists, the architects, the poets, the intellectuals, and the artists.

 

An inherent element of the evilness of Ibn Taimiya’s system is uniformity; the hatred of the other – in and by itself – eliminates every chance for diversity. At the social level, this situation means that you cannot differ, because you then become the “other”, and you get subsequently targeted. This means that you cannot carry out experiments in Chemistry, you cannot make sidereal observations in the Observatory, you cannot meditate, and you cannot explore or study anything, because “only few things are necessary for man to gain the ticket to the Paradise” and because the quasi-totality of the population, who are ignorant and uneducated, are not involved in these activities. This means that, by being a genuine scholar, polymath, mystic, explorer, erudite intellectual, philosopher, scientist, architect, artist or author, you differ, you automatically become the “other”, and consequently you are immediately taken as target.

 

During those centuries many Muslim scholars, polymaths, mystics, explorers, erudite intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, architects, artists or authors were persecuted – not by the power of the Sultan and Caliph but – by the average people at the very local, social level; they were forced to stop their scientific, philosophical, artistic or spiritual activities, they were obliged to move to other countries, and they were killed. And a systematic disregard for the Islamic Spiritual, Intellectual, Academic and Scientific Heritage was imposed, so that average Muslims forget the Golden Era of Islam, i.e. the greatness that the filthy and evil minds of ibn Hanbal and ibn Taimiya were virtually unable to ever reach.

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Last, in cases of illustrious names of the foremost Islamic scholars of the Golden Era of Islam, the likes of al Farabi (Alpharabius), Muhyiddin ibn Arabi, ibn Sina (Avicenna), Nasir al Din al Tusi, ibn Rushd (Averroes), Al Ghazali, and others, they were all systematically, uninterruptedly and viciously denigrated, defamed and execrated by the uneducated, uncultured and sullen followers of the tenebrous theology of ibn Taimiya. This continues down to our times.

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As regards ibn Taimiya, he gave the evil example; speaking against al Ghazali, he said: “This Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, despite his brilliance, his devotion to Allah, his knowledge of kalam and philosophy, his asceticism and spiritual practices and his Sufism, ended up in a state of confusion and resorted to the path of those who claim to find out things through dreams and spiritual methods” (Majmu’ al-Fatawa, vol. 4, p.71).

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It goes without saying that this force destroyed the Islamic Civilization, driving the Muslim World to a bestial level of total insignificance around the years 1600-1700. For reasons which rather pertain to foreign affairs, not one caliph / sultan decided to oppose openly and drastically the force of darkness. We refer mainly to the Ottoman times now, because Sunni Islam in Europe, Asia, and Africa was multi-divided in the period 1300-1500, until Selim I (Yavuz Sultan Selim, the ‘stern’ one) reinstated the Caliphate in its magnitude. When the expanded Ottoman Empire was engaged in ferocious battles against Spain in Western Mediterranean, against Austria-Hungary in Central Europe, against Abyssinia in the Horn of Africa, and occasionally against Iran (and later Russia) in the East, it would be impossible for a Caliph (the Sultan) to trigger a deep social chasm by arresting the followers of the vicious, Satanic theological system of Ahmed ibn Taimiya and by declaring an open war against them. Sultans, in their majority, tried to basically rule against the dark ideas of these ignorant people, without turning openly against them.

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Through the above, one can conclude that a great number of populations that traditionally belonged to and followed the Shaffi’i, Hanafi and Maliki schools of jurisprudence started being gravely affected and genuinely altered because of the socially forced diffusion of the villainous system of Ahmed ibn Taimiya, a Hanbali.

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In a way, viewed through a historical perspective, the diffusion of that system across 96-98% of all the Muslims’ territories (the rest 2-4% representing the Arabian Desert) represents a late and indirect form of Hanbalization of the Shaffi’i, Hanafi and Maliki schools of jurisprudence.

In fact, this process never stopped; it was only spread over and over.

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However, in the whole process, there is particularly critical moment, a date that can be taken as the turning point in the down spiral, from Civilization to Barbarism within Islam. This can be safely and accurately determined; it is 1580. Why this date is so important and what happened then in Istanbul are essential for the entire world to know, because today’s tragic events and terror attacks are only a mere reproduction of that ominous day.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 

My very best wishes for a Happy Eid al Adha!

My very best wishes for a Happy Eid al Adha!
عيد سعيد!THE TRAVELS OF IBN BATTUTA 1 2 3 4 5
Bayramınız kutlu olsun!
عید مبارک!

May the people of beleaguered Damascus live next Eid in full peace, concord, and prosperity, without the diverse enemies of their country being able to harm them in any sense!

 
Muhammad Shamsaddin
– Enjoy the Islamic music in audio file!
– Hope you love Ibn Batuuta’s reading which reveals how evil were considered in his time the heretic teachings of Ibn Taimiyah who so much disaster brought to Islam!

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Medieval Sourcebook:
Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1354-ibnbattuta.asp

Ibn Battuta arrives at Damascus pp. 65-73

I entered Damascus on Thursday 9th Ramadan 726 [9th August, 1326], and lodged at the Malikite college called ash-Sharabishiya. Damascus surpasses all other cities in beauty, and no description, however full, can do justice to its charms.

The Ummayad Mosque

The Cathedral Mosque, known as the Umayyad Mosque, is the most magnificent mosque in the world, the finest in construction and noblest in beauty, grace and perfection; it is matchless and unequalled. The person who undertook its construction was the Caliph Walid I [AD 705-715]. He applied to the Roman Emperor at Constantinople, ordering him to send craftsmen to him, and the Emperor sent him twelve thousand of them. The site of the mosque was a church, and when the Muslims captured Damascus, one of their commanders entered from one side by the sword and reached as far as the middle of the church, while the other entered peaceably from the eastern side and reached the middle also. So the Muslims made the half of the church which they had entered by force into a mosque and the half which they had entered by peaceful agreement remained as a church. When Walid decided to extend the mosque over the entire church he asked the Greeks to sell him their church for whatsoever equivalent they desired, but they refused, so he seized it. The Christians used to say that whoever destroyed the church would be stricken with madness and they told that to Walid. But he replied “I shall be the first to be stricken by madness in the service of God,” and seizing an axe, he set to work to knock it down with his own hands. The Muslims on seeing that followed his example, and God proved false the assertion of the Christians.

This mosque has four doors. The southern door, called the “Door of Increase,” is approached by a spacious passage where the dealers in second-hand goods and other commodities have their shops. Through it lies the way to the [former] Cavalry House, and on the left as one emerges from it is the coppersmiths’ gallery, a large bazaar, one of the finest in Damascus, extending along the south wall of the mosque. This bazaar occupies the site of the palace of the Caliph Mu’awiya I, which was called al Khadri [The Green Palace]; the Abbasids pulled it down and a bazaar took its place.

The eastern door, called the Jayrun door, is the largest of the doors of the mosque. It also has a large passage, leading out to a large and extensive colonnade which is entered through a quintuple gateway between six tall columns. Along both sides of this passage are pillars, supporting circular galleries, where the cloth merchants amongst others have their shops; above these again are long galleries in which are the shops of the jewellers and booksellers and makers of admirable glass-ware. In the square adjoining the first door are the stalls of the principal notaries, in each of which there may be five or six witnesses in attendance and a person authorized by the qadi to perform marriage-ceremonies. The other notaries are scattered throughout the city. Near these stalls is the bazaar of the stationers who sell paper, pens, and ink. In the middle of the passage there is a large round marble basin, surrounded by a pavilion supported on marble columns but lacking a roof. In the centre of the basin is a copper pipe which forces out water under pressure so that it rises into the air more than a man’s height. They call it “The Waterspout” and it is a fine sight. To the right as one comes out of the Jayrun door, which is called also the “Door of the Hours,” is an upper gallery shaped like a large arch, within which there are small open arches furnished with doors, to the number of the hours of the day. These doors are painted green on the inside and yellow on the outside, and as each hour of the day passes the green inner side of the door is turned to the outside, and vice versa. They say that inside the gallery there is a person in the room who is responsible for turning them by hand as the hours pass.

The western door is called the “Door of the Post”; the passage outside it contains the shops of the candlemakers and a gallery for the sale of fruit.

The northern door is called the “Door of the Confectioners “; it too has a large passageway, and on the right as one leaves it is a khanqah, which has a large basin of water in the centre and lavatories supplied with running water. At each of the four doors of the mosque is a building for ritual ablutions, containing about a hundred rooms abundantly supplied with running water.

A controversial theologian

One of the principal Hanbalite doctors at Damascus was Taqi ad-Din Ibn Taymiya, a man of great ability and wide learning, but with some kink in his brain. The people of Damascus idolized him. He used to preach to them from the pulpit, and one day he made some statement that the other theologians disapproved; they carried the case to the sultan and in consequence Ibn Taymiya was imprisoned for some years. While he was in prison he wrote a commentary on the Koran, which he called ” The Ocean,” in about forty volumes. Later on his mother presented herself before the sultan and interceded for him, so he was set at liberty, until he did the same thing again. I was in Damascus at the time and attended the service which he was conducting one Friday, as he was addressing and admonishing the people from the pulpit. In the midst of his discourse he said “Verily God descends to the sky over our world [from Heaven] in the same bodily fashion that I make this descent,” and stepped down one step of the pulpit. A Malikite doctor present contradicted him and objected to his statement, but the common people rose up against this doctor and beat him with their hands and their shoes so severely that his turban fell off and disclosed a silken skull-cap on his head. Inveighing against him for wearing this, they haled him before the qadi of the Hanbalites, who ordered him to be imprisoned and afterwards had him beaten. The other doctors objected to this treatment and carried the matter before the principal amir, who wrote to the sultan about the matter and at the same time drew up a legal attestation against Ibn Taymiya for various heretical pronouncements. This deed was sent on to the sultan, who gave orders that Ibn Taymiya should be imprisoned in the citadel, and there he remained until his death.

The Plague of 1348

One of the celebrated sanctuaries at Damascus is the Mosque of the Footprints (al-Aqdam), which lies two miles south of the city, alongside the main highway which leads to the Hijaz, Jerusalem, and Egypt. It is a large mosque, very blessed, richly endowed, and very highly venerated by the Damascenes. The footprints from which it derives its name are certain footprints impressed upon a rock there, which are said to be the mark of Moses’ foot. In this mosque there is a small chamber containing a stone with the following inscription “A certain pious man saw in his sleep the Chosen One [Muhammad], who said to him ‘Here is the grave of my brother Moses.'”

I saw a remarkable instance of the veneration in which the Damascenes hold this mosque during the great pestilence on my return journey through Damascus, in the latter part of July 1348. The viceroy Arghun Shah ordered a crier to proclaim through Damascus that all the people should fast for three days and that no one should cook anything eatable in the market during the daytime. For most of the people there eat no food but what has been prepared in the market. So the people fasted for three successive days, the last of which was a Thursday, then they assembled in the Great Mosque, amirs, sharifs, qadis, theologians, and all the other classes of the people, until the place was filled to overflowing, and there they spent the Thursday night in prayers and litanies. After the dawn prayer next morning they all went out together on foot, holding Korans in their hands, and the amirs barefooted. The procession was joined by the entire population of the town, men and women, small and large; the Jews came with their Book of the Law and the Christians with their Gospel, all of them with their women and children. The whole concourse, weeping and supplicating and seeking the favour of God through His Books and His Prophets, made their way to the Mosque of the Footprints, and there they remained in supplication and invocation until near midday. They then returned to the city and held the Friday service, and God lightened their affliction; for the number of deaths in a single day at Damascus did not attain two thousand, while in Cairo and Old Cairo it reached the figure of twenty-four thousand a day.

The good and pious works of the Damascenes

The variety and expenditure of the religious endowments at Damascus are beyond computation. There are endowments in aid of persons who cannot undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca, out of which are paid the expenses of those who go in their stead. There are other endowments for supplying wedding outfits to girls whose families are unable to provide them, andothers for the freeing of prisoners. There are endowments for travellers, out of the revenues of which they are given food, clothing, and the expenses of conveyance to their countries. Then there are endowments for the improvement and paving of the streets, because all the lanes in Damascus have pavements on either side, on which the foot passengers walk, while those who ride use the roadway in the centre.

The story of a slave who broke a valuable dish

Besides these there are endowments for other charitable purposes. One day as I went along a lane in Damascus I saw a small slave who had dropped a Chinese porcelain dish, which was broken to bits. A number of people collected round him and one of them said to him, “Gather up the pieces and take them to the custodian of the endowments for utensils.” He did so, and the man went with him to the custodian, where the slave showed the broken pieces and received a sum sufficient to buy a similar dish. This is an excellent institution, for the master of the slave would undoubtedlv have beaten him, or at least scolded him, for breaking the dish, and the slave would have been heartbroken and upset at the accident. This benefaction is indeed a mender of hearts–may God richly reward him whose zeal for good works rose to such heights!

The hospitality and friendship received by Ibn Battuta

The people of Damascus vie with one another in building mosques, religious houses, colleges and mausoleums. They have a high opinion of the North Africans, and freely entrust them with the care of their moneys, wives, and children. All strangers amongst them [i.e., among North Africans like Ibn Battuta] are handsomely treated and care is taken that they are not forced to any action that might injure their self-respect.

When I came to Damascus a firm friendship sprang up between the Malikite professor Nur ad-Din Sakhawi and me, and he besought me to breakfast at his house during the nights of Ramadan. After I had visited him for four nights I had a stroke of fever and absented myself. He sent in search of me, and although I pleaded my illness in excuse he refused to accept it. I went back to his house and spent the night there, and when I desired to take my leave the next morning he would not hear of it, but said to me “Consider my house as your own or as your father’s or brother’s.” He then had a doctor sent for, and gave orders that all the medicines and dishes that the doctor prescribed were to be made for me in his house. I stayed thus with him until the Fast-breaking when I went to the festival prayers and God healed me of what had befallen me. Meanwhile, all the money I had for my expenses was exhausted. Nur ad-Din, learning this, hired camels for me and gave me travelling and other provisions, and money in addition, saying “It will come in for any serious matter that may land you in difficulties”–may God reward him !

Funeral customs

The Damascenes observe an admirable order in funeral processions. They walk in front of the bier while reciters intone the Koran in beautiful and affecting voices, and pray over it in the Cathedral mosque. When the reading is completed the muezzins rise and say “Reflect on your prayer for so-and-so, the pious and learned,” describing him with good epithets, and having prayed over him they take him to his grave.

Ibn Battuta leaves Damascus with the annual pilgrim caravan

When the new moon of the month Shawwal appeared in the same year [1st September 1326], the Hijaz caravan left Damascus and I set off along with it. At Bosra the caravans usually halt for four days so that any who have been detained at Damascus by business affairs may make up on them. Thence they go to the Pool of Ziza, where they stop for a day, and then through al-Lajjun to the Castle of Karak. Karak, which is also called “The Castle of the Raven,” is one of the most marvellous, impregnable, and celebrated of fortresses. It is surrounded on all sides by the river-bed, and has but one gate, the entrance to which is hewn in the living rock, as also is the approach to its vestibule. This fortress is used by kings as a place of refuge in times of calamity, as the sultan an-Nasir did when his mamluke Salar seized the supreme authority. The caravan stopped for four days at a place called ath-Thaniya outside Karak, where preparations were made for entering the desert.

Thence we Journeyed to Ma’an, which is the last town in Syria, and from ‘Aqabat as-Sawan entered the desert, of which the saying goes: ” He who enters it is lost, and he who leaves it is born.”

Crossing the desert from Syria to Medina