A study into the 'philosophy' of Imam Ibn Taymiyah and 'Takfir!'
It never started with Russian invasion of Afghanistan or the Jihad-phobia of 'Mard-e-Momin Ziaul Haq.' These events only help expedite the journey to the bottom of the hole. Please kindly read revisit the history If you don't know who Imam Ibn Taymiyah was? You will not know what are the actual roots of a 'Talibenic mindset! ' This is the history of 'philosophical origins' of terror killing rampant nowadays in the name of 'Takfir.'
If you don't comprehend and fully recognise the jurisprudence of 'Takfir' and trace the original author of this concept; you will not understand the origins of the violence within the realms of political Islam that has become so unbridled. The roots of modern-day Salafis/Wahabbism/Talibanization dates back to the 13th century to a man known as Ibn Taymiyah. Though it wasn’t until the 18th century when a man by the name of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab brought about a transformation that changed the course of Islam until then the Hanbali thought dominated, though an active subterranean puritan movement of Ahle- Salaf was raising its tentacles.
The beginning of the end: Ibn Taymiyah in the 13th century approved of the Hanbali school of thought which was found by the scholar Imam Hanbal during the 9th century. Sunni scholars painstakingly referred him as outside the nexus/hub of Islam. His new-fangled ideological philosophy using the explanation of reviving Islam’s basic teachings reinserted a new puritanical violent thought that of the concept of Takfir. The scholars from all four schools of thought ordered Ibn Taymiyah imprisonment due to their undisputed view' that Ibn Taymiyah had perceptibly and deliberately wandered off the rightly ordained trail and discarded the instilled 'benevolence and magnanimity' in favour of 'puritanical obstructions.'
Ibn Taymiyah considered acts like visiting graves to treasure dead ones as faithlessness and 'Shirk.' Predominantly the Shias and the Muslims who ascribed to Sufi tendencies suffred the full brunt and were declared heretics. Ibn Taymiyah reasoned them as infidels and condoned their the slaughter as legitimate. 'Taliban' today following those injunctions kill fellow brothers Muslims with equal enthusiasm in the name of Takfir. It was Ibn Taymiyah’s verdict on Takfir that is the major contention today in 'Majmu’a al-Fatawa (Compilation of Religious Verdicts),' Ibn Taymiyah wrote:
“Nay it is known from the Salaf Imams that Takfir (to be considered non-Muslim) be issued against anyone that says that Quran is created he must repent or otherwise be killed.”
“To recite the intention loudly is not permissible according to the Muslim scholars, nor did the Prophet, Caliphs or Sahaba, Salaf or Imams perform it. Whoever claims it is Wajib (compulsory), he must be taught the law and then to repent from that opinion. If he insists on it then he must be killed.”
Who are Salafis by Ibn Taymiyah: ''In order to establish the criterion for what ’pure’ Islamic teachings were, he used the yardstick of referring to the first three generations of people who lived after the Prophet. These included the Sahaba (companions), Tabi’een (individuals who had seen the companions) and Taba-Tabi’een (individuals who had seen the Tabi’een).These three generations are generally coined up under one term referred to as the Salaf (the pious ancestors).''
The above-mentioned beliefs of Ibn Taymiyah were relatively new within the Muslim world and were difficult to establish and spread under the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, dominant in those days. Hanbali scholars stopped associating Ibn Taymiyah with the Hanbali school of thought and criticized him. Owing to his status as a 'Mujtahid' he promoted the teachings of the Salaf, a new school of thought emerged within the mainstream. Though majority of the Sunni scholars from all the diverse school of thoughts slated and condemned Ibn Taymiyah, he was still able to gather followers and any individual ascribing to his teachings would then be referred to as a Salafi.
How Ibn Taymiyah thought became the dominant version: It was only after marriage of Ibn Taymiyah understanding nearly five hundred years later with Ibn Abdul Wahab that set the broadened stage of 'Takfir philosophy.' It later became the basis of Ikhwans and violent Ladenism in contemporary age further refined defined and adopted by Maududi, Syed Qutab and Dr. Fadl. Ibn Abdul Wahab hailed from a region known as Najd and deliberated on Islamic edicts in the city of Mecca. He was seriously influenced by the works of Ibn Taymiyah. That changed the course of Islam in the contemporary times. It was the inception and sowing of seed that led to the rise of Wahabbism from Salafists. Ibn Abdul Wahab set himself on a undertaking to revitalize the teachings of Ibn Taymiyah that had long been forgotten in a region where Islam had initiated.
The explosive sacred matrimony of guns and minds: Ibn Abdul Wahab returning to his town, he began to preach and gained followers. One of the first tasks he approved was the levelling of the graves on which sepulchres had been erected, for him it was symbol of idolatry. Additionally, he had reinitiated the stoning sentence for individuals who committed adultery and was able to effectively carry out this sentence on a female who was found culpable of the sin. It is then he formed an association with the sovereign of Najd, known as Muhammad ibn Saud, and it was here that would start the journey of the expansion of Wahabbism – the teachings of Ibn Taymiyah through cooperation of Ibn Abdul Wahab.
The obliteration of Caliphate of Ottomans: Though the creation of an 'Islamic caliphate,' or empire, has long formed part of Al-Qaeda's world-view, and it is a vision that seems to have unsettled many in the west. But it just a militants' propaganda. They have no interest in unity of Islam they want 'fitna' and political control of the Peninsula from their rival clans. It is these very Salafi 'Puritans' who had torn Caliphate apart when it existed. Osama bin Laden often talked of deposing Muslim rulers, seen as indebted to Western powers, and abolishing modern state borders to unite all Muslims under a caliphate - an Islamic state where God's word was law ruled over by a caliph, or "successor" to Prophet Muhammad. But ironically it was concordant between Ibn Saud and Ibn Abdul Wahab who were irrefutably not in favour of the cultural aspects that the Ottoman Empire had brought to the Arabian/Muslim world and recommended that such thing were nothing but non-constructive modernization in religion.
Ibn Abdul Wahab and Ibn Saud both died but their words stayed put and helped removed what Arabs called the chains of slavery of Turkish Caliphate; their thought impacted the region and carried on to surviving through their followers who had taken their movement further by removing what they termed as the 'revisionist heretical Ottomans' in 1925 from Arab regions as Turks lost the First World War and rise of Young Turk movement. It is interesting to note that 'Arab nationalism' not Islam played a great role in keeping Wahabbism successful and growing, and caused the defeat of the Ottomans who were considered outsiders. The defeat of the Ottomans was also collectively a result of the British government allying with the Saudi-Wahhabi movement against the Ottoman Empire. The political expediency of the War World War 1 and the recklessness of siding of the 'Ottoman Caliph of Islam' with the losing Germans.
It had also something to do with the non -Arab nature of the Caliph. The Ottoman family, the 'House of Othman' of Turkish origin, and was not a member of the Prophet's family. They were always considered as a usurper by the Arabs. According to the Islamic tradition, a caliph had to trace his lineage to Prophet Mohammed (Umayyads and Abbasids are examples of this). Blood is thicker than ties of Islam, 1400 years of history is living prove. The 'Talebanic mindset' of today requires that the religion had to go back full 1500 years. The modernisation and linking with the world was not adequate. Yet, no universal Caliphate or global unity is possible, going by what happened to the 'Ottoman Caliphate' under the name of Arab revolt.
What grudge possibly could Arab Osama bin Laden have with the westerners; it was his ancestors who destroyed Caliphate! It was not until 400 years after the Mamluks defeat at the hands of Ottoman Caliph Selim I that under Lawrence of Arabia as the head of the Arab armies; Arabs captured Damascus and installed an interim Arab administration, deputizing for King Feisal the son of Sheriff of Mecca. So after 400 years of Turkish rule, the Arabs were once again a power to be reckoned with in the contemporary world, though very much below the authority and strength which Lawrence had intended for them. Is Al-Qaeda going to re-install Caliphate that their forefathers in the name of 'Arab revolt and nationalism' busted? Al-Qaeda militants are talking about setting up a caliphate in west Iraq, and militants calling themselves Al-Qaeda in Yemen also said recently a caliphate is their goal. Very noble goals indeed but the way they are handling communal differences between various strains of Islam is absolutely murderous. A Caliphate being conceived on orgies of blood!! It enormously took two wars with Mamluk and Safavid armies to unite the Caliphate the last time.
The association between Ibn Saud and Ibn Abdul Wahab is of a disposition that has survived until now. This concord was additionally reinforced by the wedlock of Ibn Saud’s son to Ibn Abdul Wahab’s daughter. Jointly, they premeditated to govern various nearest regions and eventually the entire motherland. Realising the dream of completely executing the teachings of Abdul Wahab. Ibn Abdul Wahab had rejuvenated and invigorated the teachings of Ibn Taymiyah.
The seizure of the Grand Mosque was also carried out by the Salafis: All sins of the 'faithful' are hoarded on outsiders, enemy within is never talked about. Even austere Saudi Arabia in 1979 for Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Otaibi was deviating from strict Islam. He proclaimed that the ruling Al Saud dynasty had gone astray because it was dishonest, pretentious and had destroyed Saudi culture by a friendly policy of Westernization. His grandfather had ridden with Abd al Aziz in the early decades of the century, and other family members were among the leaders of the Ikhwan.
The contemporary 'philosophical' connection between Bin Ladenism, TTP, and the icons of extreme violence with the tenets and creeds of Ibn Taymiyah: Today in a full circle of events it is most regrettable that the 'jurisprudence of 'Sharia' that endorsed Taleban and Al-Qaeeda to eliminate Muslims stems from Dr. Fadl's interpretation of philosophy of Ibn Taymiyah. Twenty years ago, Dr Fadl became al-Qaeda's intellectual figurehead with a crucial book setting out the rationale for global jihad against the West. He is said to be "one of Ayman Al-Zawahiri's oldest associates, and his book Al-'Unda fi I'dad Al-'Udda - "The Essentials of Making Ready [for Jihad", was used as a jihad manual in Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. It was like what Das Kapital was to the Marxists.
It was him who first led EIJ into the Ibn Taymiyah 'Takfiri' theology that allows Muslims to excommunicate other Muslims for any petty offence against Sharia and lawfully kill them in Jihad. 'Sayyid Imam al-Sharif,' aka Dr Fadl, the person who helped bin Laden create al-Qaeda. Fadl is reported to be one of the first members of Al Qaeda's top council. Sharif, a surgeon who is still known by his underground name of "Dr Fadl", is famous as the author of the Salafi jihadists' "bible" - Foundations of Preparation for Holy War. Dr. Fadl cut off contact with the group after 1994, living in Yemen until 2001 when he was arrested and sent back to Egypt. Sharif’s accusations resonate particularly well as he is one of the founding fathers of al Qa’eda. This recantation and damning indictment of Zawahiri is no less a denunciation than Marx denouncing Friedrich Engels as his editor of the book. He is now the most important al Qa’eda dissident and wrote:
"Every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers," writes Dr Fadl. He thinks 9/11 "a catastrophe for Muslims," because Al Qaeda's actions "caused the death of tens of thousands of Muslims—Arabs, Afghans, Pakistanis and others."
Why Talibans kill anyone and everyone 'Tafkir' : According to Dr. Fadl, in 'The Compendium, 'Among those who were not only sinners but apostates of Islam and deserving of death.' According to Fadl, 'the rulers of Egypt and other Arab countries, those who obey them, and those who participate in elections. The infidel's rule, his prayers, and the prayers of those who pray behind him are invalid,' Fadl decrees. ''His blood may be shed legally by true Muslims. I say to Muslims in all candor that secular, nationalist democracy opposes your religion and your doctrine, and in submitting to it you leave God's book behind." Other Muslims who are actually infidels include anyone employed by the government, the police, and the courts, and anyone who works for peaceful change instead of violent jihad. In addition, those who disagree with these ideas are also heretics and deserve to be killed.'
This turnabout in my opinion is a damning indictment of unacceptability of Ibn Taymiyah in the course of modern civilisation, the 'zero tolerance for any supporter or leader in a country that did not strictly follow Shari’ah law' is just back to jundle law. Dr Fadl recanted his thesis that was definitely the cause celebre of the 'Global Inc of terror.' It was the concept of 'Tafkir' that tied Egyptian, Saudis, Pakhtoons and Nejadis. Using the broad definition of 'Tafkir' this book actually cemented the ideological underpinning of terror infested Al-Qaeeda; it was this massive ideological groundwork that saw 'Asir boys' trapped in the tentacles of the organisation.
If the legality of killing as connected to divine license is withdrawn, their is no validity of killing in the name of religion. The equation that completed terror killing and killing of Muslims was invention of the concept of 'Tafkir' 'philosophy' rooted in the writings of Imam Ibn Taymiyah by Dr Fadl, he provided the missing link of Islamic theology to the equation of Alqaeda terror = Islam+ wanton killing; once he backed from the myopic interpretation of jurisprudence that supported Tafkir, the license to kill from Allah is revoked and therefore without Islam license all this terror is just cold blooded killing and murder.
Today we look for change, a great change does not appear in emptiness; it were the political ideals of the Enlightenment that influenced the American Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It was sparked by philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), physicist Isaac Newton (1643–1727), and philosopher Voltaire (1694–1778) originating about 1650 to 1700. When a culture demands a change they should look into the mirror and try to find where are their Spinoza's, Locke's, Newton's and Voltaire's?
A society/civilisation that considers Ibn Taimiyyah /Abdul Wahhab/Syed Mawdudi/ Syed Qutub/Dr. Fadl as their Spinoza's and their mainstay philosophies, there is no chance in hell of any illumination? Dark ages shall continue to harness the minds! Let all of these maniacs recant the philosophy of destruction erroneously accredited as divine; it has no legal or celestial origins and is inept for the modern world to exist, if the author who construed it has accepted his error, so should all the others and sundry. Break the chains of ignorance and the dark past.