Regarding Ibn Taymiyyah and the 'Naseehah Dhahabiyyah' Ascribed to Imaam adh-Dhahabee - Part 3
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Monday, June, 29 2009 and filed under Ibn Taymiyyah
Key topics: Adh-Dhahabee Naseehah Dhahabiyyah Ibn Taymiyyah Al-Kawtharee Adh-Dhahabee Naseehah Dhahabiyyah Ibn Taymiyyah Al-Kawtharee

This is another insight into the "Naseehah Dhahabiyyah" ascribed to Imaam adh-Dhahabee:

Question 195: What do you say regarding "an-Naseehah adh-Dhahabiyyah", or "ar-Risaalah adh-Dhahabiyyah" which is ascribed to Imaam adh-Dhahabee and which he (supposedly) directed towards Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, and a portion of it is in the foreword to the book "Siyar A'laam in-Nubulaa", and he referred to its source, in the book "Bayaan Zaghal ul-Ilm" of adh-Dhahabi?

The Answer: Indeed the Imaam, adh-Dhahabee is from those who greatly honour (with praise and respect) Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, and he is from amongst the just historians. His book "Siyar A'laam in-Nubulaa" is from the most precious of books. He has provided historical accounts of the noblest luminaries of this ummah, and he mentioned their biographie. And it is a beneficial, pleasant book, its approach being of the highest degree, excellent. He passed over the notables of the Ummah and classified them according to [their] generations and gave biographical accounts of them.

And at the end of the tabaqaat (generations of scholars) he gave a biographical account of Shaykh ul-Islaam, however the biography of Shaykh ul-Islaam was from the missing section of as-Siyar [and thus not published]. And from our good opinion is that the writer of the manuscript of Ibn al-Wazeer's "al-Awaasim wal-Qawaasim" wrote in its margin, when Ibn al-Wazeer mentioned Ibn Taymiyyah, he mentioned in the margin (of his manuscript) saying: "And I took possession of the biography of Ibn Taymiyyah by the Imaam adh-Dhahabee in Siyar A'laam in-Nubulaa", and then quoted it from its beginning to its end...

Note: You can see this biography here.

...And Imaam adh-Dhahabee had also gave a biographical account of one who came before Ibn Taymiyyah and that is the Imaam an-Nawawee. As-Sakhaawee quoted in "al-Manhal al-'Adhb ar-Rawiyy" much of the biography of an-Nawawee from "Siyar A'laam in-Nubulaa". The biography of an-Nawawee is present in the scection of "Siyar A'laam in-Nubulaa" that is printed. Thus, the end of the book as-Siyar is incomplete by two generations, the generation of an-Nawawee and that of Ibn Taymiyyah.

And ad-Dhahabee (rahimahullaah) praises Ibn Taymiyyah in the bulk of his books, and he does not praise him except that he praises him to the sky. And ad-Dhahabee in the view of both one who is distant and one who is close to him, is just [to the extent that] Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee (rahimahullaah) said, "I drank the water of Zamzam more than one time and made intention with more than one intention..." and from amongst those things he intended was drinking the water of Zamzam that he be like Ibn Taymiyyah in his knowledge of the sects and religious factions, and he drank Zamzam once [with the intention] that he become like Ibn Taymiyyah in [his knowledge of] men.

There emerged a group who showed enmity towards Ibn Taymiyyah, some of them did not understand his words, and some of interpreted his words upon the foundational principles of those besides him, so such a one did not act justly, even if he [Ibn Taymiyyah] spoke the truth. So for example, an-Nawawee in al-Majmoo' says, "Whoever claims Allaah is a jism (body), then he is a disbeliever by the unanimous agreement of the Muslims".

And Ibn Taymiyyah when he was asked, "Can the [saying] be applied to Allaah that he is a jism (body)?". So he replied: "This is innovated speech, however I do not declare the one who says Allaah is a body (jism) to be a disbeliever". So then they said, "Ibn Taymiyyah says that Allaah is a body (jism)". And Ibn Taymiyyah says, "This is innovated speech" and in other places in his books, such as "Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool", he says, "We say to the one who says Allaah is a body (jism): What is your intent by this? If your intent is that Allaah is divisible and separable (into parts), then this is a statement of disbelief, the one who says it is more severe in disbelief than the Jews and the Christians. And if the intent of the one who says it is that Allaah is true (i.e. exists and is true and real), that He is separate from the creation (aalam) and can be alluded to, then this is an innovatory statement, but the one who says it is not a disbeliever".

So when he spoke generally in the subject and said "We do not declare the one who says Allaah is a body (jism) to be a disbeliever", they took his general speech and threw it upon the principle spoken of by others, and upon other than his own (i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah's) principles. And the same occurred with many other issues.

Then in this time, and also in the past, a school of thought emerged - the chief proponent of which is [Muhammad bin al-Husaynee] al-Husanee, the author of "Kifaayat ul-Akhbaar" - [and this school of thought] declared Ibn Taymiyyah to be a disbeliever on account of some disturbing expressions from Shaykh ul-Islaam, the bulk of which were taken from him during his argumentation with the opponent, and not during the course of his establishing and corroborating the aqeedah.

And it is permissible for a person, when arguing with his opponent, to make (a meaning) of falsehood to become imperative, and for him to say it. Allaah the Most High said, "Say: If ar-Rahmaan has a son, then I am the first to worship (him)". So striking (an example) of falsehood in order to silence the disputant and to expose his falsehood and the flaw in his speech is an acceptable, considered approach.

And [regarding] Ibn Taymiyyah, both the one distant from him and the one close to him acknowledges his intelligence, and acknowledges his remarkable acquaintance with the sects and the religious factions.

And another group is found which took upon itself to attack Ibn Taymiyyah and to arrive at making takfeer of Ibn Taymiyyah through any route possible, they described him with evil qualities [the expressions of which] I am ashamed to speak of.

And amongst those known for his enmity to Ibn Taymiyyah is a Turkish scholar, he is Muhammad Zaahid al-Kawtharee. His enmity to Ibn Taymiyyah is well known, and he is the one that first manifested the risaalah "an-Naseehah adh-Dhahabiyyah", and he attached it to adh-Dhahabee. And al-Kawtharee claimed in his first edition of this risaalah that he found this risaalah in the handwriting of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah, and he took a photo of the script. And twenty years ago, in India, the book "Tabaqaat ush-Shaafi'iyyah" of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah was printed. And this book, by unanimous agreement, is that of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah, without any differing (on this matter). The verifier looked at numerous manuscripts, and amongst them, that of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah, and he affirmed the script of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah in his introduction to "Tabaqaat ush-Shaafi'iyyah". So the one who compares between the script of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah that is claimed in the risaalah of al-Kawtharee, and between the script in the book "Tabaqaat ash-Shaafi'iyyah", you will find a difference between the heavens and the earth.

Hence, this risaalah is falsely ascribed to adh-Dhahabee on account of its contents. Because what is found in it opposes what is in the other books of adh-Dhahabee. And it is false also from the angle of its ascription (to adh-Dhahabee).

And our brother, Shaykh Muhammad Ibraaheem ash-Shaybaanee has written a large book regarding the nullification of the ascription of this risaalah to Imaam adh-Dhahabee, and he did not focus on the external critique, he focused on the internal critique (based on its contents), meaning by disputing on the basis of the contents of the risaalah and comparing it with what is in the other books of adh-Dhahabee.

And in light of these comparisons he made apparent the baselessness and spuriousness of what is in this risaalah and the impossibility of it having [come from the] tongue of the Imaam adh-Dhahabee.

Whoever wants more detail let him look at the book of our br.other Shaykh Muhammad ash-Shaybaanee.

Source: Mashoor Salmaan.

Note: Muhammad ash-Shaybaanee assumes that the manuscript was in fact that of Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah and he argued that since Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah is an avowed opponent of Ibn Taymiyyah, then that casts doubt upon its veracity. See this article for details.