Reason & Revelation: Ibn Taymiyyah vs. Asharites

theology

The decisive difference between Ibn Taymiyya and opponents such as al-Ghazali and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi is not about whether reason is a foundation (asl) of revelation –
they all agree that it indeed is – but what claims follow from that. Ibn Taymiyya clarifies this only late in his work, namely at the beginning of the 34th viewpoint (wajh) of his Dar’ T’aarud al-‘aql Wa al-Naql:
“Those who oppose revelation and prioritize their opinion over what the Messenger conveys, they [also] say: “Reason is the foundation (asl ) of revelation. If we prioritized revelation over reason, this would mean the dismissal of the foundation of revelation.” This statement is indeed correct on their part (sahih) if they acknowledge the truth (sihhat) of revelation without objecting [to it].” Continue reading →

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Ibn Taymiyyah’s Personal Account Of His Damascus Trial (Part 2)

The amir signalled that I not read the written creed myself, the better to avoid suspicion. He gave it, instead, to his secretary, Shaykh Kamal al-Din [al-Zamlakanl]. The latter read it aloud to those in attendance, word for word, while everyone listened. Those who had objections would stop him at various points to voice their objections. The amir would also inquire about a point from time to time. Everyone knew of the antagonism and undisciplined passions harboured by a party among those in attendance, some of which was widely known among the people. Some of this [antagonism] was due to theological differences, and some of it was based on other things. Continue reading →

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Personal Account Of His Damascus Trial (Part 1)

In the name of God, the Ever-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

1. Praise be to God, the Ever-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving, Master of the Day of Judgment. I bear witness that there is no god except God alone, Who has no partner, no aid and no assistant. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger whom He sent to all of humanity, may God’s blessings and abundant salutations be upon him, his family, his Companions and the rest of God’s righteous servants. Continue reading →