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Tawassul according to Hanbalis

Posted by muhammedm on January 24, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Ibn Taymiyya says after quoting (from Ibn Abi Dunya’s work ‘Mujabi ad-Dua’) an incident from the time of the salaf in which the individual did tawassul, he (Ibn Taymiyya) says: “I say this dua’ and similar (dua’) has been narrated that the Salaf used to ask (in supplication) with, and it’s been reported in the Mansak that Imam Ahmed (encouraged) tawassul through the Prophet in his dua’”. Page 147 Qa’ida al-Jalila

1- Abu ‘Abdillah al-Ardibly said, I heard Aba Bakr bin Abi al-Khasib say, “Safwan bin Salim was mentioned in the presence of Imam Ahmed, to which Imam Ahmed said, “water is sought through this man’s sayings, and rain descends through him being mentioned” (Tahdhib al-Kamal of Hafidh Mizzi)
2- Imam Ahmed’s son wrote in al-Masail, “I heard my father say, “I performed five Hajj, two of them mounted and three on foot, or two on foot and three mounted, on one of the Hajj I forgot the route while I was walking, so I said, “O servants of Allah ta’ala guide us to the path (the road), I kept on saying it until we came upon the path”, or something similar to the saying. Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated it as well with an authentic chain, Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali mentioned it in al-Adab as-Shari’ayah, Shaykh Albani said in his work ‘as-silsilah ad-Da’if wal Mawdu’ah, “Imam Ahmed considered the hadith of Ibn Abbas to be strong, which al-Hafidh considered good, because he (Imam Ahmed) practiced it, and his son, Abdullah, said regarding the narration as ‘al-Hadith’.
3- Imam as-Samuri said in al-Mustaw’ib, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul to Allah ta’ala, thru Shuyukh, Zuhhad, people of knowledge and virtue from the Muslims to Allah ta’ala in seeking rain.
4- Imam Taqi ud Din al-Adami in his al-Munawwar said, “Tawassul through the pious is allowed”.
5- Imam Ibn al-Muflih writes in al-Furu’, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, and it’s said it’s recommended.”
6- Imam al-Mardawi writes in al-Insaf, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, this is the correct opinion in the madhab. It’s said that it’s recommended. Imam Ahmed said in his work entitled ‘al-Mansak’, which he wrote for al-Marruthi, “Tawassul is done thru the Prophet, peace be upon him, in dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works.”
7- Imam al-Hajjawi said in al-Iqna’ on the commentary of Imam al-Buhuti, “there’s nothing wrong with doing tawasswul through the righteous”.
8- Imam Ibn Najjar in his work entitled, ‘Muntaha al-Iradat, on his commentary of Imam Buhuti, “Tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
9- Imam Mari’ al-Karmi writes in Ghayatul Muntaha, “Likewise tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
10- Ibn ‘Imad al-Hanbali writes in Shadharatu ad-Dhahab in the biographical note on as-Sayyid Ahmed al-Bukhari, “His grave is visited and sought blessing through it”.
11- In the book ‘Kashshaf al-Qina of al-Buhuti, “as-Samuri and the author of at-Talkhis said, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul thru Shuyukh, and the God fearing scholars for rain. He said in al-Madhab, “It’s allowed to seek intercession with Allah ta’ala through a righteous person. It was said to Marwidhi, “Tawassul is done through the Prophet in Dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works. Then he said, “Ibrahim al-Harbi said, “Dua’ at the grave of Ma’ruf al-Karkhi is well known and is accepted.”
12- Imam Ibn al-Jawzi said in al-Manaqib Imam Ahmed, “on the authority of Abdullah bin Musa, that he said, “My father and I went out on a dark night we visited Ahmed, darkness was intensified, so my father said, “O my son, let’s do tawassul to Allah ta’ala through this righteous slave until the path can be seen for I have not been doing tawassul through him except that my needs are met. Then my father made dua’ and I said Amin to his dua’, then the sky lighted as if it was a full moon night until we reached the place.”
13- Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaqib Imam Ahmed narrates the story of tawassul and tabbaruk of Imam Shafi’I through the shirt of Imam Ahmed.
14- Ibn Abi Ya’ala al-Hanbali writes in at-Tabaqat, “a grave was dig at the side of the grave of Imam Ahmed, and he (another individual) was buried in it, and the people took much soil from his grave as way of blessing, and people frequented his grave, night and day for a long time, and would finish the Quran, and would increase their dua’, and it has reached me that there has been thousands of Khatamat (recitiation of whole Quran) at his grave for periods of months”.
15- Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali in his Mughni writes, “It’s recommended to seek rain through a person whose righteousness is well known.”

Others from the Hanabilah who had no problem with Tawassul: ‘Allama Ibn ‘Aqil, Shaykh ‘AbdulQadir al-Jilani, Qadi ash-Shawkani (not a Hanbali but admired by salafis), Shaykh Umar at-Taghlabi, ‘Allama as-Saffarini in his Thabat, and others.

Now for those who want to say it’s bida’ and shirk, let them point their fingers at the likes of Imam Ahmed and other Hanabilah. And keep in mind there isn’t a single criticism of Hanbalis on Tawassul until Ibn Taymiyya came on the scene and his position is rejected by the later Hanbali scholars such as as-Saffarini, Ibn Muflih, Buhuti and others, and all of these later scholars were great admirers of Ibn Taymiyya especially as-Saffarini, whose work is loaded with Ibn Taymiyya work.

For a summary of salafi scholars’ stance on tawassul through the Prophet, Shaykh Albani considered it a bida’ that was invented after the first three generation. Shaykh Bin Baz, “it’s forbidden, bida’, because it’s a means for excessiveness and shirk”. << A sad attempt at trying to interpret Imam Ahmed's position to their own liking.

Ma’ Salama


Posted in Fiqh, Miscellaneous | 11 Comments »

Sufi Khirqa (cloak): Hafidh Ibn Taymiyya, Hafidh as-Sakhawi, Hanbali Sufis

Posted by muhammedm on January 16, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

This post is concerning a particular aspect of the issue on Khirqa (the cloak of the Sufis). Salafis are known to speak out against almost everything that is done by Sufis. I thought I would write a little bit about the Khirqa from the writings of ‘Allama Ibn Taymiyya, and while I was reading Maqasid al-Hasanah, I came upon the narration of Sayyidina ‘Ali dawning the cloak on Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri, and so I thought that would be good addition to the post. And then I thought of how much todays salafis have a great dislike for the sufis, but great respect for the Hanbalis, and rightfully so, since the Hanabilah have produced great Ulema, that being said, I took notice of the fact that many Hanabilah took the sufi path, and wore the cloak, as this post will make clear. It should be kept in mind that these Hanabilah listed below aren’t just regular Hanbali Ulema, but they are referred to as Shaykh ul Hanabilah, or Shaykhul Islam. And salafis have taken recourse to their works, and called themselves Hanbalis, which I believe is a great lie when it comes to the issue of tasawwuf, and so here it is:

‘Allama Ibn Taymiyya on the Khirqa:
“As for the wearing of Khirqa which some of the Mashayikh garb the spiritual students (Muridin), it doesn’t have a basis with relied upon evidence from the Kitab and Sunnah. The olden Mashayikh and most of the later ones didn’t clothe the spiritual students; however a group from the later ones considered it and liked it.
Some of them sought evidence from the fact that the Prophet, peace be upon him, gave Umm Khalid bin Sa’id bin al-‘As a clothing, and said to her, Sana?”, and al-Sana in the language of al-Habasha is goodness/excellence. She was born in the land of Habasha, that’s why he addressed her in that language. They also seek evidence with the hadith of the Burda which was knitted by a woman for the Prophet, peace be upon him. One of the Sahaba asked him for it, and he gave it to him, and (the Sahabi) said, “I wanted it to be my kafan”.
In these two ahadith there’s no evidence for the manner in which they use it, for the giving of a man to someone else which he will wear is like giving him that which will benefit him, and the taking of the clothing from the Prophet, peace be upon him, concerned (to obtain) blessing (barakah) like the taking of his hair for blessing. This is not like wearing a piece of clothing or a hat in a manner of following and imitating, however it resembles from another angle renouncing the king which they renounce from the one who befriends them, as if it’s a hallmark and a sign for Wilayah and Karamat.
This is why they deem it as noble. The purpose of this and other things like it is to be put under the category of permissible acts (Mubahat), and if it’s combined with a righteous intention, it would be excellent/good (hasan) from this angle, as for deeming it a Sunnah and a path to Allah ta’ala then the matter is not like it.
As for ascription of the group (Sufis) to a particular Shaykh, then there’s no doubt that people are in need of those who teach them al-Iman and Quran, just as how the Sahaba learned from the Prophet, peace be upon him. And the Tabi’in learnt from them, and through this is the obtainment of following the foremost in goodness. Just as a man learns Quran from someone, and things like it (the Shariah), it is likewise that he learn the Inner (Batin) and the outward (Thahir) Din.
Source: Majmu’ al-Fatawa

‘Allama as-Sakhawi in Maqasid al-Hasanah:
In the hadith of Hasan al-Basri receiving the khirqa from Sayyidina ‘Ali, which is fabricated as many of Huffadh have said, including Ibn as-Salah, Ibn Dihya, Hafidh ibn Hajar, ‘Allama Sakhawi writes, “(the position) was held by a group of scholars, even those who wore it and gowned others, such as Ad-Dimyati, Ad-Dhahabi, al-Hakkari, Abi Hayyan, al-’Alai, Mughlataya, al-Iraqi, Ibn al-Mulaqqin, al-Abnasi, al-Burhan al-Halabi, Ibn Nasir ud Din…I have discussed this in a separate treatise as well as in other of my works, while taking this position (of Hasan not wearing the claok from Sayyidina ‘Ali), I’ve gowned the khirqa to a group of Sufis, by way of imitation of their concern regarding the khirqa, even in front of the honored ka’aba, by way of seeking blessing with the mentioning of the righteous and following the ones who have established (this) from the relied upon Huffadh.
Hafidh Sakhawi wore the khirqa from: al-Mahyuwi, Abi Madyan al-Ashmumi, Abi al-Fath al-Fawi, Umar an-Nabtiti and others.

From Dhayl Tabaqat al-Hanabilah by Ibn Rajab
1. Muhammed bin Ahmed bin Umar bin al-Husayn bin Khalaf al-Baghdadi al-Qati’I al-Azji al-Hanbali born in the year 546 Hijri, he received the khirqa from Abi an-Najib as-Suhrawardi, and gave him Ijaza.
2. Muhammed bin Ahmed bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Isa bin Abi ar-Rijal, as-Shaykh, al-Faqih al-Muhaddith, az-Zahid, born 572 Hijri, he wore the khirqa of tassawuf from Shaykh Abdillah al-Batayihi, the companion of Shaykh Abdul Qadir,.
3. Muhammed bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar al-Muhaddith as-Sufi al-Katib, born in the year 623 Hijri, wore the Khirqa of Tassawuf from as-Suhrawardi.

From the Thabat of ‘Allama as-Saffarini al-Khalwati
1- ‘Allama As-Shaykh Abu at-Taqi ‘Abdul Qadir bin Shaykh ‘Umar bin Shaykh Abi Taghlab al-Hanbali as-Sufi al-Qadiri Mufti As-Sadat al-Hanabilah fi Dimishq.
2- Mustafa bin as-Sayyid Kamalluddin al-Bakri al-Khalwati (a Sufi Tariqa), after praising his shaykh with wonderful words he (as-Saffarini) says, “He gave me permision (to narrate, teach, etc) all of them (the works he lists which includes al-Mawlid), and (he gave me permision) in the al-Khalwatiyya Tariqa, and that I give authority and permision whomever I deem approriate for it (in the Tariqa).” (sadly the salafi editor has a problem with the Sufi as-Saffarini, as well as with Shaykh ‘Abdul Ghani an-Nabulusi, who was one of ‘Allama as-Saffarini’s biggest Shayukh as is apparent).
3- He says about himself, “I’m Ahmed bin Salim as-Saffarini, of HanbalI Madhab, Athari in regards to ‘Aqidah, and Qadiri in regards to method/way (of Tassawuf). Page 268

From Mashikha of Abu al-Mawahib ‘Abdul Baqi al-HanbalI (practically all of the Shuyukh were Sufis, though I restricted myself to HanbalI Sufis from his work.)
1- ‘Abdul Baqi Taqi ud Din bin ‘Abdul Baqi al-HanbalI, known as ibn Badr, the father of the author of the work Mashikha, writes quoting his father, “I took the Sufi Tariqa from the son of my uncle, Shaykh Nurud Din the Khalifa of Muhammed al-’Alami, he encouraged me to seek ‘ilm. Shaykh Muhammed al-’Alami gave me Ijazah (permision) in al-Quds to initiate in awrad, dhikr, etc.”
2- Regarding Shaykh Ayuub bin Ahmed al-Khalwati he (the author) says, “and from them our shaykh and teacher in the Khalwatiya Tariqah, and in Shariah Shaykh Ayyub…”
3- Shaykh ‘Isa bin Muhammed al-Maghribi ath’alabi, “Imam of the two Harams, the scholar of the two west and east” He took from Shaykh Sa’id bin Ibrahim al-Jazairi, “dhikr and wore the Khirqa” from him. Even though the shaykh is Maliki, I’ve brought him to show how the Imams of the two Haram were sufis.
4- Muhammed bin Ahmed al-Khalwati al-Hanbali

For more on Sufi Hanbalis who took the Tariqa you can refer to As-Suhb al-Wabilah ‘ala Daraih al-Hanabilah by Ibn Humayd an-Najdi al-Hanbali, a Hanbali biographical work, the author was born after Shaykh AbdulWahhab and before the recent Salafi movement. As an added bonus, the readers can see the difference between salafis and hanbalis, as the muhaqqiq is vocal on his stance. So for those who want to label anyone and everyone who dawns the sufi cloak and are judgmental on anyone who takes the sufi path, are they ready to label these Hanabilah, whom I’ve restricted to the sufi path for were I to list those who were known as ‘sufis’ the list would end in pages, as deviant or misguided they so easily label others as such?

Ma’ Salama

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Lie from Pseudo-Hanbali: The Salaf and the Hanabilah didn’t negate Makan

Posted by muhammedm on January 11, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

This post is regarding the nonsense that one of our pseudo-hanbali salafi has supported which is ‘He’s in a makan’ (we seek refuge in Him from such utterances). The individual has taken upon himself in ‘refuting’ the hundreds of ulema who have negated makan, from the time of the salaf until recent times. The individual has labeled this negation of makan as a belief of Ahlul Kalam, when in realty all of this is negating resemblance to creation, as He Himself has said, “there is nothing like Him”. This ayah provides the basis for many of the negation that the ulema have negated. It should also be kept in mind that the Karramiyya believe the throne to be a place for Him, as Shaykh Abdul Qahir al-Baghadadi stated in his al-Farq bayn al-Firaq. The individual also has repeated time and time again that negation of makan wasn’t done by the Hanabilah nor the salaf, and on top of that he had the audacity to affirm makan for a tabi’, to prove his nonsensical ideas. He said, “step up and see how misguided they are, then shut up and learn that they are using baseless evidences or using themselves and their own scholars as proof against the Hanaabilah”, a couple of things need to be noticed, he has labeled those who negate makan, which is in response to the many quotes of negating it, as misguided, and then he adds that the Hanabilah didn’t negate it. This individual has said the same about them (the Hanabilah) that they don’t negate jism, which was proven to be 100% false. In his journey to vilifying the creedal points of our religion, he has on the way vilified and tried to taint the great ulema which include the Salaf, such as Dhun nun al-Misri and al-Zajjaj, about whom I’ve written a small biographical sketch.

He also said, “I ask Allah Most High on His Throne above the seven heavens for His help in destroying this Jahimi belief of Him being nowhere.” Notice how he argues by saying that it’s a Jahimi belief so that automatically people will desert this statement all together. On top of that he has the audacity to label negation of makan as being a tenet of a misguided sect, keep in mind ulema for centuries have held this statement and implicitly he has labeled our ulema as holding ‘jahimi belief’ (we seek refuge in Him from such slander). On top of that, he has gotten the Jahimi belief wrong; since they say Allah ta’ala is everywhere (Siyar al-‘Alam an-Nubala li Dhahabi). The blunders of this individual have increased immensely, and can only be rectified by coming back to the righteous path as explicated by the Ulema using the sources of our Din.
As a side note, many of the quotes underneath are by scholars who were the authority in their times, and were given titles such as Shaykhul Islam, or Shaykh ul Hanabilah.

1 – “It’s not allowed to describe Him as being in very place or in a place” Al-Mu’tamid fi Usul ad-Din by Qadi Abu Ya’ala.

2 – “’Imaduddin Ahmed bin Ibrahim al-Wasiti al-Hanbali, student of Ibn Taymiyya about whom he said, “’Imaduddin is the Junayd of our time” said, “Allah ‘azza wa jallah was when there was no makan, ‘arsh water… and how He was in pre-eternity… He is now as He was…” Nasihatul Ikhwan li Imam al-Wasiti al-Hanbali

3 – “He’s not restricted or contained in a place, He’s not subjected to time, nothing resembles Him, nothing escapes His knowledge or will, He’s Exalted from Tharfiyya (time and place).” ‘Allama Mari’

4 – “So whoever believes or says that Allâh is, in His essence (bi-dhâtihî), in every place or in a place, is a kâfir. It is obligatory to categorically affirm that He (swt) is separate (bâ’in) from His creation. Allâh (swt) was when there was no place then He created place and He is now as He was before He created place.” [p. 489] the Hanbal Shaykh al-Islâm, the Imâm and Musnid Shams al-Dîn Muhammad ibn Badr al-Dîn ibn Balbân al-Dimashqî al-Sâlihî’s ( 1006- 1083) titled al-Ifâdât fî Rub` al-îbâdât wal-âdâb wal-Ziyâdât.

5 – Ibn Balbân’s words are reiterated verbatim by Sulaymân ibn `Abd Allâh ibn Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb in his epistle on `Aqîda titled al-Tawdîh. `an Tawhîd al-Khallâq fî Jawâb Ahl al-`Irâq

6 – “Whoever believes or says, “Allah ta’ala with His essence is in a place, then he’s a kafir. Rather it’ necessary to believe that He… was and there was no makan, then he created makan, and He is as He was before he created makan.” Page 35-36 al-‘Ayn wal Athar fi ‘Aqaid ahl al-Athar li Shaykh Abdul Baqi al-Hanbali.

7 – “Exalted is He that He have as an attribute/description of being contained in places, this is corporeality in essences.” Ibn ‘Aqil Shaykh ul Hanabilah.

8 – “It’s necessary for us to believe that His essence isn’t contained in any makan…” Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali.

9 – Ibn ‘Adil al-Hanbali in various places in his tafsir, entitiled ‘Al-Lubab fi ‘Ulum al-Kitab’

10- Dhun Nun al-Misri negation of Hadd (limit), location and modality as quoted by ‘Hafidh Abi Nu’aym in his Hilya.

11 – The Mufassir’s, Az-Zajjaj, negation of Makan in his Tafsir Asma’ullah al-Husna.

12 – “Because He was whenthere was no Makan, then he created Makan, and He is now as He was before creating Makan”, ” (if someone says)He is with His Essence in every makan or in a Makan, then he’s a Kafir”. Ibn Hamdan al-Harrani al-Hanbali, 690 Hijri, work entitled ‘Nihayatul Mubtadi’in fi Usul ud Din, page 31.

13 – Abu Nasr As-Sijsi said, “He was when there was no Makan, then He created Makan, and He is as He was before creating Makan”. Page 34 Nihayatul Mubtadi’in.

14 – Abu Muhammed Rizqullah bin ‘Abdil Wahhab at-Tamimi Shaykh bin said, “we don’t say the ‘Arsh is His Makan, because places are His creation”. Page 35 Nihayatul Mubtadi’in.

15 – “The Scholar of the Hanbalis in Hijaz, and Sham, their Imam, the Faqih, Righteous Muhaddith, the ‘Abid, Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Udah bin ‘Abdillah Sufan bin Shaykh ‘Isa bin al-Haj Salamah al-Qudumi An-Nabulusi al-Hanbali of Athari Madhab resident of Medinah, born 1247 Hijri.” Agrees with and quotes the words of Imam Ibn Balban and ‘Shaykh AbdulBaqi regarding makan in agreement. “(from what we will mention) a small portion of the ‘Aqaid of the Imams of Hanabilah, which we have taken and studied from our great scholars and Imams, which indicate them being free from Tashbih and Tajsim, and from every vile belief.”
On page 145 the author says, “whoever believes He ta’ala is in a Makan or in every Makan, then he’s a renegade (Mulhid), misguided innovator.” Source: Al-Manhaj al-Ahmed fi Daru’ al-Mathalib al-lati Tunma li Madhab al-Imam Ahmed.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam

2 of the quotes are from Shaykh Haddad’s website.

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Dhun Nun al-Misr as-Sufi and al-Zajjaj al-Mufassir

Posted by muhammedm on January 7, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Dhun Nun al-Misri (Allah ta’ala have mercy on him)

“Az-Zahid, Shaykh of Misr (Egypt), Thawban bin Ibrahim. He narrated from Imam Malik, Imam Layth, Bin Luhay’a, Fudayl bin ‘Ayyad, Salim al-Khawwas, Sufyan bin ‘Uyayna and others. Those who narrated from him include: Ahmed bin Sabih al-Fayumi, Rabi’ah bin Muhammed at-Tai, Ridwan bin Muhaymid, Hasan bin Mus’ab, al-Junayd bin Muhammed az-Zahid, Miqdam bin Dawud ar-Ra’ini, and others. He narrated only a few hadith, and wasn’t an expert in it. Daraqutni said, “he narrated from Malik Ahadith, in which are difficulties, and was a religious orator.” Bin Yunus said, “he was a wise eloquent scholar he passed away in Dhil Qi’dah in the year 245 Hijri.”
Sulami said regarding the trail of the Sufis, “Dhu an-Nun was the first want in his land to speak about spiritual states, to which Abdullah bin Abdul Hakim censored him, and the scholars of Egypt deserted him, and it spread that he spread that he invented this knowledge which the Salaf didn’t speak about, and they left him and labeled him an opostate.”
‘Ali bin Hatim said, ‘I heard Dhu an-Nun say, ‘Quran is the Speech of Allah ta’ala, and is not created (is eternal).” Yusuf bin al-Husayn said, “I heard Dhu an-Nun say, “what image comes in your mind, then Allah is not that”.
He passed away in the year 246 Hijri.
Page 2047 Siyar al-‘Alam of Imam Dhahabi.

‘Thawban bin Ibrahim, one of famous Mashayikh, Ibn Khalkan wrote a biographical note about him in al-Wafayat, and mentioned his merits and states, and stated his death was in the year 245 Hijri. He’s considered amongst those who narrated Muwatta from Imam Malik, Ibn Yunus mentioned him in Tarikh Misr, and he was eloquent and wise.”
Bidaya wa an-Nihaya li Ibn Kathir

It should be kept in mind that there is no censure on the terminology (of the Sufis) as long as the meaning is sound, and what Dhun Nun al-Misri spoke about and is recorded doesn’t contradict any ‘Aqidah of Ahlus Sunnah, his statements of ‘Aqidah, two of which are recorded here, are in clear conformity with Ahlu Sunnah. Scholars have accepted him and quoted him abundantly which shows that he wasn’t deviant, scholars such as Imam Nawawi, Hafidh Ibn Hajar, Hafidh Ibn Qayyim and others.

az-Zajjaj, The Grammarian and Mufassir (Allah ta’ala have mercy on him)
“Ibrahim bin as-Sirri bin Sahl Abu Ishaq az-Zajjaj, was from the people of virtue and religion, of good path and belief, from his works are Ma’ani al-Quran an exegis, Khalq ul Insan, Tafisr Jami’ al-Mantiq, he passed away in 310… He said in his last breath, “O Allah ta’ala raise me upon the madhab (path) of Ahmed bin Hanbal, as is mentioned in Mawdu’at al-‘Ulum of Tash Kobri and Tarikh Mir’at al-Jinan.”
Page 16 Tabaqat al-Mufassirin of Ahmed bin Muhammed al-Udnarwi

“Ibrahim bin as-Sirri bin Sahl Abu Ishaq az-Zajjaj, he was a virtuous religious individual, of good (correct) belief, he authored great works, from them Ma’ani al-Quran and other beneficial works.”
Al-Bidaya wan Nihaya Ibn Kathir

Hafidh Ibn al-Jawzi says the same in al-Muntadham, page 512. That he was of good ‘Aqidah.

‘Al-Imam, the Grammarian of his time, Abu Ishaq…”
Siyar al-‘Alam an-Nubala’ li Dhahabi Pg 2588

Suffice it to say major Mufassirin quote him in their works. For those who want to attack him because of ta’wil, then it should be made clear that the Salaf did ta’wil, and what Zajjaj did wasn’t something new or in contradiction to Ahlus Sunnah.
These two biographical notes are presented because of the slander that a neo-hanbali salafi (ironic since he claims he follows the salaf but vilifies them whenever he gets a chance) attacked these two personalities from the salaf, and I thought it would be best to write about them from the pen of such scholars as Imam Dhahabi and Hafidh ibn Kathir.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam

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Shihab ud Din as-Suhrawardi as-Sufi As-Shafi’i

Posted by muhammedm on January 3, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Many people have taken to criticising those whom they disagree with, especially the sufis, amongts them is Shaykh Shihab ud Din the author of ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif, here is a biographical sketch from two ulema, Imam Dhahabi and Imam Ibn Kathir, filled with praise. These two historians and Ulema are relied upon by virtually everyone. For those who want to criticise Shaykh as-Suhrawardi let them also criticise these two Ulema, from amongst the hundreds who agree with them.

“‘As-Shaykh al-Imam al-‘Alim al-Qudwa az-Zahid al-‘Arif al-Muhaddith Shaykh ul Islam unique from the Sufis, Shihab ud-Din Abu Hafs, and Abu ‘Abdillah ‘Umar bin Muhammed bin ‘Abdillah bin Muhammed…bin Abi Bakr as-Siddiq al-Qurashi at-Taymi al-Bakri as-Suhrawardi as-Sufi. Born in Rajab in the year 539 Hijri, He kept company of his uncle, Abu an-Najib, studied fiqh, wa’dh and Tassawwuf with him. He accompanied Shaykh Abdul Qadir (Jilani) for a little while, Shaykh Abi Muhammed bin ‘Abd in Basrah…
Ibn al-Dabithi said, ‘he entered Baghdad, and had a firm footing and eloquent toungue in Tariqa (Tassawwuf), he was in charge of a number of Sufi hospices, and sent different students to different places.”
Ibn al-Najjar said, ‘Shihab ud Din was the Shaykh of his time in knowledge of reality; he was sought in the spiritual upbringing of students, calling people to Allah ta’ala and for spiritual wayfaring. He kept company of his uncle and trod the path of exertion and spiritual exercises. He studied fiqh, khilaf, and Arabic, and heard (hadith), then he took to seclusion, dhikr and fasting until it occurred to him in his old age to present to the people (the din) and speak to them, so he held gatherings of sermons in the madrasa of his uncle, his sermons would benefit many. Many would attend his gatherings, the elite and common folk accepted him, and he became famous. Many repented at his hands, and reached Allah ta’ala through him, his companions became guiding stars. He sent his students to Syria, and to Sultan Khuwarizm Shah, and he gained honor and respect that none had seen…
Ibn An-Najjar continued, ‘I studied various works with him, and kept his company for a while, he was honorable and truthful, he wrote a book on Tassawwuf in which he explained the states/condition of the people (sufis), and he taught it many times, meaning ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif. He dictated near the end of his life a refutation of philosophers’…
He wore the Sufi cloak from his uncle. Abu an-Najib. Shaykh Shihab ad-Dun, Allah ta’ala have mercy on him, passed away in the year 632 Hijri.”
Source: Siyar al-‘Alam an-Nubula li Hafidh ad-Dhahabi Page 4296

“The author of ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif, Umar bin Muhammed… The Shaykh of Sufis in Baghdad, he was from the giant righteous individuals, and from the leaders of the Muslims…He obtained much wealth which he distributed amongst the poor and the needy, he performed Hajj once and with his company were many of the poor, whom Allah ta’ala only knows… Ibn Khalkan mentioned much of his poetry and praised him. He passed away in the year 630 Hijri, Allah ta’ala have mercy on him.”
Source: Al-Bidaya wa an-Nihaya of ‘Allama Ibn Kathir.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam

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