"….He has not placed any Hardship upon you in Religion…" [TM Qur'an  22:78]

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Say: O my Lord let my entry be by the gate of truth and honour, and likewise my exit by the gate of truth and honour; and grant me from Your  presence an authority to aid (me). [TMQ 17:80]

Shaykh al-Islam  Taqi  ud-Din Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad Ibn al-Halim ibn Abd al-Salam Ibn Taymiyah al-Hanbali  was born in , 661 AH(1263 AC) in Haran, which is now in Eastern Turkey, near the border of northern Iraq..
His family had long been renowned for its learning. His father 'Abdul-Halim (Shihab al-Din), uncle Fakhr ud-Din and grandfather Majd ud-Din were great scholars of Hanbalite school of jurisprudence and the authors of many books.
His family members were forced to leave their native place  before the approach of the Mongols and to take refuge in Damascus. At that time, Ibn Taimiyah was seven years old. His father 'Abdul-Halim was appointed as Professor and Head of the Sukkariyah Madrasah. Endowed with a penetrating intellect and a wonderful memory, Ibn Taimiyah studied, at an early stage, all the disciplines of jurisprudence, Ahadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), commentaries of the Quran, mathematics and philosophy, and in each he was far lead of his contemporaries.
Among his teachers, was Shams ud-Din Al-Maqdisi, first Hanbali Chief Justice of Syria following the reform of the judiciary by Baibars. The number of Ibn Taimiyah's teachers exceeds two hundred. Ibn Taimiyah was barely seventeen, when Qadi Al-Maqdisi authorized him to issue Fatwa (legal verdict). Qadi remembered with pride that it was he who had first permitted an intelligent and learned man like Ibn Taimiyah to give Fatwa. At the same age, he started delivering lectures. When he was thirty, he was offered the office of Chief Justice, but refused, as he could not persuade himself to follow the limitations imposed by the authorities.

Imam Ibn Taimiyah's education was essentially that of a Hanbali theologian and jurisconsult. But to his knowledge of early and classical Hanbalism, he added not only that of the other schools of jurisprudence but also that of other  literature, in particular of philosophy and Sufism. He had an extensive knowledge of Quran, Sunnah, Greek philosophy, Islamic history, and religious books of others, as is evident from the variety of the books he wrote. Though he preferred the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, he was never biased in favor of it. In his writings, he frequently quoted the opinions of all four of the well-known schools of jurisprudence, even others. In a number of matters, he himself held opinions different from those of the four schools.
In fact, he was an original thinker (Mujtahid) who merely drew upon the wisdom of the four established schools.

In all his reformative efforts, Ibn Taimiyah accepted the Quran and the Sunnah as the basic criteria. In matters where there was no clear guidance from the Quran and the Sunnah, he never hesitated to venture into rational thought and took the path of Ijtihad or creative originality an initiative.

Some of his works are:

  • Minhaaj us-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah

  • Daar Ta'aarud al-'Aql wa an-Naql

  • al-lstiqaamah

  • Iqtidaa' as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem Li Mukhaalafah As-haab al-Jaheem

  • Naqd Maraatib al-ljmaa'

  • as-Saarim al-Maslool 'alaa Shaatim ar-Rasool

  • al-Jawaab as-Saheeh li man baddala Deen al-Maseeh

  • ar-Raad 'alaa al-Mantiqiyyeen

  • ar-Raad 'alaa al-'Akhnan'ee

  • Naqd at-Ta'sees

  • an-Nuboowaat

Ibn Taymiyah lived during a time of great upheaval Islam and Muslims had during that period been afflicted by such disasters that no other nation had experienced. One such affliction was the invasion by the Tatar. They came from the east and inflicted overwhelming damages. Another was the onset of the Prankish people (the Crusaders) from the West to Mesopotamia and Egypt, they occupied its ports, and nearly subjected all of Egypt to their rule, had it not been from Allah's Mercy and victory over them. But another affliction was that the Muslims themselves had been divided, and their swords lifted up against their fellows.
He Fought on all fronts, militarry and Ideological, to defend Pure Islam and the Supremacy of the Qur'an and Sunnah.. His Jihad led to him being imprisoned by the authorities who were under the influence of heretical groups, but he continued to write and speak even from Jail.

When he was ultimately banned from having any books, papers and pens during the latter stage of his final imprisonment, Ibn Taymiyyah devoted all of his time to worship and reciting the Qur'aan. He remained in this state for a short period of time until he passed away on the twentieth of Dhu al-Qa'dah of the year 728H. He fell sick for the few days that led to his death.

This came as an enormous shock to the people and they turned out in enormous numbers.

Historians regards this as one of those rare funerals and they compare it to the funeral of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Al-UBUDIYAH transaled by Nasirudin al-Khattab
The Political Thoughts of Ibn-Taymiyah - Prof Qamaruddin Khan
Saviours of Islamic Spirit - A H Ali Nadwi



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