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The ‘Ulema on Imam Ibn Kullab

Posted by muhammedm on December 19, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

– Imam At-Taj as-Subki says in his Tabaqat, “and Ibn Kullab in any case is from the Ahlus Sunnah… the father of Imam Razi, Diyaud Din al-Khatib, mentioned Ibn Sa’id (ibn Kullab) in the end of his book ‘Ghayatul Maram fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam’ that from the scholastic theologians of Ahlus Sunnah in the days of al-Ma’mun was ‘Abdullah bin Sa’id at-Taymi who destroyed the Mu’tazilites in the gatherings of al-Ma’mun…”
– Ibn ‘Asakir in Tibyan writes regarding Ibn Abi Zayd’s, known as the Little Malik, epistle to a Ibn Isma’il al-Baghdadi al-Mu’tazili, “and you’ve attributed Ibn Kullab to Bida’, and then you didn’t mention anything that would be known as bida’ such that it be called bida’. And what has reached us is that he was a follower of Sunnah and took to refuting the Jahimites and others from the people of bida’h.”
– Ibn Qadi Shuhbah writes in his Tabaqat, “He was from the great scholastic theologians and from the Ahlus Sunnah, his path and that of Al-Harith al-Muhasibi, Imam Ashari’ followed.”
– Jamal ud Din al-Isnawi in Tabaqat as-Shafi’iyah writes, “He was from the great scholastic theologians and from the Ahlus Sunnah…. Al-‘Ibadi mentions him in the Tabaqah (rank in regards to level of students) of Abi Bakr As-Sayrifi that he said, “He is from our companions the Mutakallimin”.
– Imam Dhahabi in Siyar writes, “The man is closest of the scholastics theologians to the Sunnah rather he’s from their Munatharihim”. Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arnaout writes under Imam Dhahabi’s comments, “He was an Imam of the people of Sunnah in his time and was their source. Imam al-Haramayn described him in al-Irshad as him being from “our companions”.”
– ‘Allamah Ibn Khuldun writes, “until Shaykh Abul Hasan al-Ashari came on the scene… he was on the path of ‘Abdillah bin Sa’id bin Kullab and Abi al-‘Abbas al-Qalanisi and al-Harith al-Muhasibi from the followers of Salaf and on the path of Sunnah.”
– ‘Allamah Bayadi writes, “And Imam Abu Muhammed ‘Abdullah bin Sa’id al-Qattan preceded Imam Ashari in defending the madhab of Ahlus Sunnah.”
– After Hafidh quotes Ibn Nadim’s words wherein he says Ibn Kullab is from the Hashawiya, “he means by it that he’s upon the way of the Salaf in leaving ta’wil of the Ayat and Ahadith related to the Sifat, and they are called al-Mufawwidah.”
– Hafidh says in al-Fath, “Imam Bukhari in what he narrates from the difficult tafsir he relates from the people of that fann (science) such as Abi ‘Ubaydah, An-Nadr bin Shumayl, al-Fara’ and others, as for juristic issues most of them from Shafi’, Abi ‘Ubayd and their likes, and issues of Kalam then most of them from Al-Karabisi, Ibn Kullab and their likes.”

As for Imam Ahmed’s censure of Karabisi, Ibn Kullab, al-Muhasibi was because of their delving into Kalam issue not because of their position. The Hanbalis took Imam Ahmed’s statement to another level such that they went against many of the Imams. Imam Bukhari himself says in Khalq, “as for what the two groups who ascribe to the Madhab of Imam Ahmed and each calling itself to it, for the narrations are not established, and sometimes they don’t understand the subtleness of his (Imam Ahmed’s) madhab, but what is well known from Ahmed and the people of knowledge is ‘the Kalam of Allah ta’ala is ghayr makhluq and whatever else besides it is makhluq, and they disliked delving into it and poking in matters that are difficult. And they avoided the people of Kalam and those who delved and argued except in matters that knowledge has been given and the Prophet’s explications.”

Imam Ahmed said, “whoever says the Quran is created is a Jahimi, and whoever says the Quran is the Kalam of Allah ta’ala but doesn’t say it’s ghayr mukhluq is Waqifi, and whoever says Lafhdi (my lafhd) of the Quran is makhluq is a Mubtadi’.” From the Imams who were explicit in their statements regarding the lafdh issue were Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Tabari, al-Karabisi and others. And the Hanbalis censured those who were explicit in their statements and went against Imam Ahmed’s statements, and from those who were attacked by the Hanbalis were Al-Karabisi, Imam Tabari, and others.

The Ibanah is also on the tariq of Ibn Kullab as the Imams have stated, yet some of the Hanabilah in the time of Imam Ashari didn’t accept his work. Refer to Siyar, Lisan al-Mizan and others. This is another proof that Imam Ibn Kullab was from the followers of the salaf as everyone agrees that Imam Ashari’s madhab was explicated in Ibanah which was written after Imam Ashari left the Mu’tazili madhab.

So we ask todays so-called Hanbalis who use Imam Ahmed’s statement without context, who was correct Imam Ahmed or Imam Muslim, Imam Bukhari and others who were explicit in the lafdh issue? We also ask the reader to see the descrepency in the description of Ibn Kullab by the above scholars and todays’ so called Hanbalis wherien they insult Ibn Kullab and deem him to be a mubtadi’!

Ma’ Salamah


13 Responses to “The ‘Ulema on Imam Ibn Kullab”

  1. faqir said

    salam sidi

    see also:

  2. Abul Hussain said

    I couldn’t but notice the inaccuricies in your article.

    Imaam adh-Dhahabee said:

    Ibn Kullaab: The head of the Mutakallimeen (speculative Theologians, kalaamists) of al-Basrah in his time, Abu Muhammad, Abdullaah bin Sa’eed bin Kullaab al-Qattaan al-Basree. The author of works in refutation of the Mu’tazilah and perhaps he agreed with them [in affairs].

    No need for your links that distort info. (Admin’s comment)

    • muhammedm said

      What inaccuracy would that be? My intention was not to translate everything that imam Dhahabi wrote regarding Ibn Kullab. Just because he agreed with some things of the mu’tazilites doesn’t mean he was amongts them. From your implication we would say everything the mu’tazilites held was incorrect and consequently we must hold what is contrary to their positions, which no one would say.

  3. Maymûnah said

    Salam, who are the shuyukh of Imam ibn Kullab ?

  4. Sunnisme said

    Barak Allahu fikum ! Al Imam Ibn Kullab (rahimahu Llah) is one of the great scholars of the sunnah that unlike say the wahhabis innovators.

    Wa as salam !

  5. Al Husayn said

    As salamu ‘alaykum, may Allah bless you for this website.

    See also in french :

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