Al-salamu `alaykum 
 
The following is a short biography of Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon 
him). The biography is  very short. Since acknowledges things both for and 
against Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon him), evenhandedly, and without 
taking sides. 
 
Many thanks for brother Isa Martin for forwarding this. Does anyone know the 
author of the work, and its official location? 
 
----- Original Message ----- 
Ibn Taimiyah 
Biography 
 
Taqi ud-Din Abu-l-'Abbas Ahmad Ibn 'Abd al-Halim Ibn 
'Abd as-Salam Ibn Taimiyah al-Harrani al-Hanbali, was 
born on Monday the 10th of Rabi' al-Awwal 66l H./22nd 
of January 1263 C.E. at Harran. His father fled with 
his family from Harran to Damascus in the year 667 
H./1268 C.E. out of fear of the Tatars who invaded the 
land of Islam and were very close to Harran. In 
Damascus, the center of Islamic studies at that time, 
Ahmad Ibn Taimiyah followed in the footsteps of his 
father who was a scholar of Islamic studies by 
studying with the great scholars of his time, among 
them a woman scholar by the name Zainab bint Makki who 
taught him hadith. 
 
He completed his studies when he was a teenager and at 
age 19 he became a professor of Islamic studies. Well 
versed in Qur'anic studies, Hadith, fiqh, theology, 
Arabic grammar and scholastic theology, etc., he 
started giving fatwas on religious legal matters 
without following any of the traditional legal 
schools, the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. He 
defended the sound prophetic traditions by arguments 
which, although taken from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, 
had hitherto been unfamiliar to people of his time. 
The freedom of his polemics made him many enemies 
among the scholars of the traditional Orthodox 
Schools, who falsely accused him, of all kinds of 
heretical beliefs. Among them was the famous Muslim 
medieval traveler, Ibn Batutah, who visited Damascus 
while Ibn Taimiyah was in jail. This did not hinder 
Ibn Batutah in testifying in his book that "he 
witnessed Ibn Taimiyah on the pulpit saying, 'every 
night Allah descends to the lower heaven like my 
descent', and he descended one step down the pulpit".1 
From reading this 'aqidah we learn that Ibn Taimiyah 
accepted the attributes of Allah without questioning 
(bi-la kaifa).2 
 
He fought heretical innovations in religion which were 
wide spread during his time all over the Muslim world, 
especially certain acts and beliefs of some Sufi 
orders, like saint worship and visiting saints' tombs, 
and throwing themselves in the fire. His attack on the 
sufis caused him a lot of trouble with the authorities 
whose leaders were under the influence of certain sufi 
leaders. 
 
Ibn Taimiyah's fight was not limited to the sufis and 
the people who followed the heretical innovations; in 
addition, he fought against the Tatars who attacked 
the Muslim world and almost reached Damascus. The 
people of Syria sent him to Egypt to urge the Mamluke 
Sultan, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria to lead his 
troops to Syria to save it from the invading Tatars. 
When he realized that the Sultan was hesitant to do 
what he asked of him, he threatened the Sultan by 
saying: "If you turn your back on Syria we will 
appoint a Sultan over it who can defend it and enjoy 
it at the time of peace". He was present at the battle 
of Shaqhab near Damascus against the Tatars which took 
place during the fasting month of Ramadan and gave a 
fatwa to the army to break their fast in order to help 
them against their enemy, as the Prophet Muhammad 
(peace be upon him) did during the battle of the 
liberation of Makkah. The Muslims won the battle 
against the Tatars and drove them away from Damascus 
and all Syria. Ibn Taimiyah's courage was expressed 
when he went with a delegation of 'ulama' to talk to 
Qazan the Khan of the Tatars to stop his attack on the 
Muslims. Not one of the 'ulama' dared to say anything 
to him except Ibn Taimiyah who said: "You claim that 
you are Muslim and you have with you mu'adhdhins, 
judges, Imam and sheikh but you invaded us and reached 
our country for what? While your father and your 
grandfather, Hulago, were non-believers, they did not 
attack the land of Islam, rather, they promised not to 
attack and they kept their promise. But you promised 
and broke your promise."3 
 
All this jihad against the enemies of Islam did not 
help Ibn Taimiyah with the 'ulama'. The authorities 
put him in jail many times until he died in jail 
because of his daring and free progressive opinions on 
many legal and social issues which angered his 
opponents, the followers of the Orthodox Schools of 
law. 
 
However when Ibn Taimiyah had the chance to punish his 
opponents among the 'ulama' who caused him all kinds 
of trouble and put him in jail many times, he showed 
the utmost of magnanimity and forgave them when the 
Sultan an-Nasir Qalawun gave him the chance to do so. 
He said: "If you kill them you will never find 'ulama' 
like them." The Sultan said: "They harmed you many 
times and wanted to kill you!" Ibn Taimiyah said: 
"Whoever harmed me is absolved, and who harmed the 
cause of Allah and His Messenger, Allah will punish 
him."4 
 
The Muslim historians, like adh-Dhahabi, Ibn Kathir, 
Ibn al-'Imad al-Hanbali and many others praised Ibn 
Taimiyah and considered him one of the greatest 
scholars of Islam of all time. 
 
Ibn Taimiyah died in jail in Damascus on the night of 
Sunday-Monday 20th Dhu-l-Qa'dah 728 H./26-27 September 
1328 C.E. 
 
The people of Damascus, who held him in great honor, 
gave him a splendid funeral and an estimated 200,000 
men and 15,000 women attended his funeral. He was 
buried at the Sufi cemetery in Damascus5 where his 
mother was buried. 
 
Ibn Taimiyah's Writings 
In spite of all the turbulence in his life, as 
discussed earlier, Ibn Taimiyah was able to write many 
books and pamphlets on all branches of Islamic 
knowledge. His pupil; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah, compiled 
a list of the works of Ibn Taimiyah which contains 350 
works. Here are some of them: 
 
A: Qur'anic Studies and Tafsir: 
 
1. al-Tabyan fi nuzul al-Qur'an. 
2. Tafsir surat al-Nur. 
3. Tafsir al-Mu'awidhatain (chapter 113 and 114). 
4. Tafsir Surat al-Ikhlas (chapter 112) 
5. Muqaddimah fi 'Usul al-Tafsir. 
B: Fiqh (Islamic Law): 
 
1. Majmu'at al-Fatawa al-Kubra. 5 volumes. 
2. Majmu' Fatawa Ibn Taimiyah. 37 volumes. 
3. al-Qawa'id al-Nuraniyah al-Fiqhiyah. 
4. Kitab Manasik al-Hajj. 
5. Risalah fi al-'Uqud al-Muharramah. 
6. Kitab al-Farq al-Mubin baina al-Talaq wal-Yamin. 
7. Kitab fi 'Usul al-Fiqh. 
8. Risalah fi Raf al-Hanafi Yadaihi fi al-Salah. 
9. Risalah fi Sujud al-Sahwu. 
10. Mas'alat al-Half bil-Talaq. 
C: Tasawwuf (Sufism): 
 
1. al-Furqan baina Awliya' al-Rahman wa-Awliya' al- 
Shaitan. 
2. Amrad al-Qulub wa-Shifa'uha. 
3. al-Tuhfah al-'Iraqiyah fi A'mal al-Qulub. 
4. al-'Ubudiyah. 
5. al-Risalah al-Tadmuriyah. 
6. Darajat al-Yaqin. 
7. Bughyat al-Murtad (al-sab'iniyah). 
8. Ibtal Wahdat al-Wujud. 
9. al-Tawassul wal-Wasilah. 
10. Risalah fi al-Sama' Wal-Raqs. 
11. al-'Ibadat al-Shar'iyah. 
D: 'Usul al-Din and 'Ilm al-Kalam: 
 
1. Risalah fi 'Usul al-Din. 
2. Risalah fi al-Ihtijaj bil-Qadar. 
3. Jawab Ahl al-'Ilm wal-Iman. 
 
[end] 
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