Ibn Taymiyyah

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Ibn Taymiyyah
Born 1263
Harran, Sultanate of Rum
Died 1328
Damascus, Mamluk Sultanate
Occupation theologian, jurist
Title Sheikh al-Islam
Successor Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Notable works The Collected Fatawa (posthumous)
Averting the Conflict between Reason and Tradition
The Creed of the People of Wasit
The Correct Response to those who have Corrupted the Religion
The way of the Prophet's Sunnah
Book of Faith
The Refutation of the Logicians
Following the Straight Path
The Book of Shariatic Governance
The Hisba in Islam
Diseases of the Heart and their Cures
Fundamentals of Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil

Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) was an Islamic theologian and scholar of the Qur'an and Hadith who was influential in promoting literalism in Islam, and curtailing the spread of philosophy in the Islamic world.


Ibn Taymiyyah was famous for both refusing to have a female companion at any point in his life and refusing to work for the government.[1] He spent most of his life working as a religious scholar and political activist, and as a result of his nonalignment with both the popular religious and political orders of his time, was imprisoned on six separate occasions during his life.[2]


Sunni Islam

He was a staunch defender of Sunni Islam, today comprising up to 90 percent of all Muslims,[3][4][5][6][7] arguing for strict adherence to the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, which contained all the religious and spiritual guidance necessary for human salvation.


He rejected the arguments and ideas of the philosophers, arguing that logic and reason are not reliable means of reaching religious truth and that the intellect must be subservient to revealed truth.


He was also known for his devotion to jihad saying it was the best of the forms of voluntary service man can devote to Allah, being superior to pilgrimage, as well as to prayer and supererogatory fasts, "as is shown in the Book and in the Prophetic Sunnah". This view is supported by Islamic Scripture.[8][9]

Probably his most famous fatwa was issued against the Mongols, when he declared that jihad upon the Mongols was not only permissible, but obligatory, on the grounds that the Mongols could not be true Muslims despite the fact that they had converted to Sunni Islam because they ruled using 'man-made laws' (their traditional Yassa code) rather than Islamic law or Shari'ah, and thus were living in a state of jahiliyya, or pre-Islamic pagan ignorance.

Arab racial supremacy

Ibn Taymiyya had the following to say about non-Arabs vis-a-vis Arabs:

The Arabs are more intelligent than those other than themselves and are more capable in ‎delivery and expression . . . verily, what the people of the sunnah are upon is the belief ‎‎(i’tiqaad) that the Arab race is better (afdal) than the Non-Arab race. Whether (the Non-‎Arabs) are Hebrews, Aramaic, Romans, Persians and other than them . . . not simply due to ‎the fact the prophet peace be upon him is from them – even though this is [a point] of ‎superiority – but instead, they themselves are superior within themselves . . . [for] Allah the ‎Most High has designated the Arabs and their language with rulings that are peculiar and ‎unique.‎
Ibn Taymiyyah’s Iqtida al-Sirat al-Mustaqim‎, Vol. 2 pg. 399-431‎

See Also

  • Philosophy - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Philosophy


  1. Al-Matroudi, Abdul Hakim Ibrahim (2015-02-14). "Ibn Taymīyah, Taqī al-Dīn". Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on October 18, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  2. An-Na`im, Abdullahi Ahmed (2010). Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Futnture of Shari'a. Harvard University Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-674-03456-3.
  3. Islām - Encyclopædia Britannica (2010)
  4. Sunnite - Encyclopædia Britannica (2010)
  5. Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population - Pew Research Center, October 7, 2009
  6. Tracy Miller - Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population - Pew Research Center, October 2009
  7. Comparison of Sunni and Shia Islam - ReligionFacts
  8. "Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle is better than standing in prayer for sixty years." - Saheeh related by Ibn Ade and Ibn Asakir from Abu Hurayrah 4/6165. Sahih al Jaami as Sagheer no. 4305
  9. "Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."" - Sahih Bukhari 1:2:26