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Ibn Arabi
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This Ibn Arabi should not be confused with al-Imaam Ibn AL-Arabi al-Maalikee the author of "Ahkaam al-Quraan al-Atheem" his famous tafseer
 
 

Who was Ibn Arabi?

He was a prominent Sufi; in fact he was an extreme Sufi. His name was Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Taa’i al-Andalusi. The scholars have told us about him in response to a question which was put to them. The question was as follows:

What do the imaams of the religion and the guides of the Muslims say about a book which has been circulating among the people, the author of which claims that he wrote it and distributed it to people by permission of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which was given to him in a dream which he claims to have seen? Most of this book contradicts what Allaah revealed in His Books and is opposed to what His Prophets said.

Among the things that he says in this book are: Adam was called insaan because in relation to the truth (Al-Haqq), he was like the pupil [insaan]  of the eye, the part that can see.

Elsewhere he said: Al-Haqq which is transcendent is the physical creation which you can see.

Concerning the people of Nooh he said: if they had turned away from their worship of [their idols] Wudd, Siwaa’, Yaghooth and Ya’ooq, they would have lost more of Al-Haqq.

Then he said: Every object of worship is a manifestation of Al-Haqq. Those who know it, know it, and those who do not know it, do not know it. The one who has knowledge knows what he is worshipping and in what image the object of his worship is manifested. These many and varied manifestations are like the limbs of a physical image.

Then he said concerning the people of Hood: They reached a true state of closeness (to Allaah) and were no longer remote. The heat of Hell no longer affected them and they gained the blessing of closeness to Allaah because they deserved it. They were not given this delicious experience as a favour, but because they deserved it as a result of the essence of their deeds, for they were on a straight path.

Then he denied the idea of the warning against those of mankind against whom the word of punishment is justified.

Should the one who believes in what he says be denounced as a kaafir, or should we accept what he says, or what? If the person who listens to him is an adult of sound mind, and does not denounce him by speaking or in his heart, is he a sinner, or what?

Please explain to us clearly and with proof, as Allaah has taken the covenant from the scholars on that basis, for negligence [on the part of the scholars] causes a great deal of confusion to the ignorant.  (‘Aqeedah Ibn ‘Arabi wa Hayaatuhu by Taqiy al-Deen al-Faasi, p. 15, 16).

(The author) mentioned the response of some of the scholars:

 Al-Qaadi Badr al-Deen ibn Jamaa’ah said:

The passages quoted, and other similar parts of this book, are bid’ah and misguidance, evil and ignorance. The religiously-committed Muslim would not pay any heed to them or bother to read the book to find out more.

Then he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) could never give permission in a dream for something which goes against and contradicts Islam; on the contrary, this is from the evil insinuations or whispers of the Shaytaan and a trap whereby the Shaytaan is playing with him and tempting him.

His words about Adam, that he is the pupil of the eye, and his likening Allaah to His creation, and his remark that ‘Al-Haqq which is transcendent is the physical creation which you can see’ – if by ‘Al-Haqq’ he is referring to the Lord of the Worlds – is a clear statement of anthropomorphism [likening Allaah to His creation] and he has taken this notion to extremes.

With regard to his denial of what has been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah concerning the warning: this makes him a kaafir in the view of the scholars of the followers of Tawheed.

His comments about the people of Nooh and of Hood is vain and false talk which deserves to be rejected. The best way of dealing with that is to destroy this and all other similar passages of his book, for it is no more than fancy words, an expression of baseless ideas and an attempt to introduce into the religion ideas that do not belong to it. The ruling on this is that it should be rejected and ignored. (Ibid., p. 29, 30).

 Khateeb al-Qal’ah Shaykh Shams al-Deen Muhammad ibn Yoosuf al-Jazari al-Shaafa’i said:

Praise be to Allaah. His comment about Adam being called insaan is anthropomorphism [likening Allaah to His creation] and is a lie and falsehood. His belief that the idol-worship of the people of Nooh was valid is kufr. Anyone who says such a thing cannot be approved of. His comment that ‘Al-Haqq which is transcendent is the physical creation which you can see’ is false and contradictory, and it is also kufr. His comment that the people of Hood had reached a true state of closeness (to Allaah) is a lie against Allaah, and by saying this, he has rejected what Allaah said about them. His remark that they were no longer remote and that Hell became a blessing and a joy for them is a lie and a rejection of everything that was revealed to the Prophets; the truth of the matter is what Allaah said about that, that they (the people of Hood) will abide in the torment forever.

Concerning those who believe what he says – and he knows what he said – the same ruling applies to them as to him: that they are misguided kaafirs, if they have knowledge. If they do not have knowledge, then the person who says that out of ignorance should be told the truth and taught about it, and should be stopped if possible.

His denial of the warning to all people is a lie and a rejection of the consensus (ijmaa’) of the Muslims. No doubt Allaah will bring about the punishment. Islam offers definitive evidence that a group of sinners from among the believers will be punished, and the one who denies that is regarded as a kaafir. May Allaah protect us from wrong belief and denying the Resurrection. (Ibid., p. 31, 32).

 Ibn Taymiyah said:

The Muslims, Christians and Jews all know something which is a basic principle of the Muslims’ religion: that whoever says of any human being that he is a part of God is a kaafir, he is regarded as a disbeliever by all these religions. Even the Christians do not say this, although their belief is a major form of kufr; no one says that the essence of creation is part of the Creator, or that the Creator is the creation, or that Al-Haqq which is transcendent is the physical creation which you can see.

Similarly, his remark that if the Mushrikeen turn away from idol-worship, they will have turned away from Al-Haqq to the extent that they have abandoned idol-worship, is obviously kufr according to the basic principle that is common to all the religions. For the religions are agreed that all the Prophets forbade idol-worship and regarded as disbelievers those who did that; the believer cannot be a believer unless he disavows himself of worshipping idols and of everything that is worshipped instead of Allaah. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning);

“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allaah Alone’” [al-Mumtahanah 60:4]

 -- and he quoted other aayaat as proof -- then he said:

Whoever says that if the idol-worshippers give up their idols, they will have turned away from Al-Haqq to the extent that they have abandoned idol-worship, is an even worse kaafir than the Jews and Christians, and the one who does not regard them as kaafirs is an even worse kaafir than the Jews and Christians, for the Jews and Christians regard idol-worshippers as disbelievers, so how about one who says that the one who gives up idol-worship has turned away from Al-Haqq to the extent that he has abandoned idol-worship?!  Let alone the fact that he says, The one who has knowledge knows what he is worshipping and in what image the object of his worship is manifested. These many and varied forms are like the limbs of a physical image and the energy in a spiritual image; nothing but Allaah is being worshipped in everything that is worshipped. He is an even greater kaafir than the worshippers of idols, for they only take them as intercessors and mediators, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “ [The Mushrikeen say] ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah’” [al-Zumar 39:3]

“Have they taken (others) as intercessors besides Allaah? Say: “Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence?” [al-Zumar 39:43]

 They acknowledged that Allaah is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and the Creator of the idols, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, if you ask them: ‘Who created the heavens and the earth?’ Surely, they will say: ‘Allaah (has created them)’” [al-Zumar 39:38] (Ibid., 21-23)

 Shaykh al-Islam also said:

 When the faqeeh Abu Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam came to Cairo and they asked him about Ibn ‘Arabi, he said:

 He is a vile and evil shaykh who says that the world is eternal and does not see anything haraam in any sexual relationship.

 He mentioned the belief that the world is eternal because this is what [Ibn ‘Arabi] believed, but this is well-known form of kufr and the faqeeh Abu Muhammad denounced him as a kaafir because of this. At that time Ibn ‘Arabi had not yet said that the universe was God or the universe was the image and essence of God. This is a greater form of kufr because those who say that the universe is eternal still believe that there had to be Someone Who brought it into existence, that from the One Who must exist comes that which may exist. Those shaykhs who met him [Ibn ‘Arabi] said that he was a liar and a fabricator, and that in his books such as al-Futoohaat al-Makkiyyah etc. there were lies which could not be concealed from any intelligent person.

Then he said: 

I have not even mentioned one-tenth of what they mentioned about kufr, but people who do not know about them have been deceived by these ideas, just as they were deceived by the Baatini Qaraamitah when they claimed to be descendents of Faatimah and said that they belonged to the Shee’ah, so the Shee’ah began to like them without knowing of their hidden kufr. So the person who is attracted to them is one of two things: either he is a heretic and hypocrite, or he is misguided and ignorant. With regard to these pantheists (ittihaadiyoon), their leaders are the leaders of kufr and must be executed, and their repentance cannot be accepted if they are seized before they repent, for they are among the greatest heretics, those who make an outward display of being Muslim whilst concealing kufr in their hearts, those who conceal their beliefs and their opposition to Islam. Everyone who follows them, who defends them, who praises them, who admires their books, who is known to help them, who does not like to speak against them or who makes excuses for them by saying that we do not know exactly what these statements mean, who says ‘How can we be sure that he wrote this book?’ and other excuses which no one but an ignorant person or a hypocrite would come up with, must be punished.

Indeed, it is obligatory to punish everyone who knows about them but does not help to resist them, because campaigning against these people is one of the most serious duties, for they have corrupted the minds and religious belief of many shaykhs, scholars, kings and princes, and they are spreading corruption throughout the world, preventing people from following the path of Allaah. The harm that they cause to the religion is greater than that done by those who damage the worldly interests of the Muslims but leave their religion alone, such as bandits on the highways and the Tatars (Mongols) who took their wealth but left their religion alone. Those who do not know them should not underestimate the danger they pose. Their own misguidance and the extent to which they misguide others defies description.

Then he said:

Whoever thinks well of them and claims not to know how they really are should be informed about them. If he does not then turn his back on them and denounce them, then he should be classed as one of them.

Whoever says that their words could be interpreted in such a way that it does not contradict sharee’ah is one of their leaders and imaams. If he is intelligent, he should know what they really are. But if he believes in it and behaves like this openly and in secret, then he is a worse kaafir than the Christians.  (Ibid., p. 25-28 – adapted and abbreviated)

 

Among the scholars who declared ibn Arabi to be a disbeliever - one of the Imaams of his time - al-Allaamah Burhaan ad-Deen al-Baqaa`ee [809-885H] authored a work entirely devoted to this in which he mentions the names and statements of tens of scholars from the time of ibn Arabi to his time who declared him to be a disbeliever. He mentions even more who declared him to be a deviant and worse - some of them sufis themselves. Insha`Allaah I will mention a few of them here and the interested reader can refer to the aforementioned book for more detail. The name of the book is ‘Tanbeeh al-Ghabbi ilaa takfeer ibn Arabee’

Ibn Arabi said concerning the worshippers of the cow at the time of Moses (AS)
as in his ‘Fusoos’ (pg. 192), “Moses (AS) was more knowledgeable of this matter than Haaroon because he knew what the Companions of the Cow (truly) worshipped. This is because he knew that Allaah had decreed that none was to be worshipped save Him Alone and that when Allaah decrees a thing it must occur. Therefore when Moses censured his brother Haaroon it was because of Haaroon rejecting (what the Companions of the Cow did) and his inability to truly comprehend it. For the Gnostic is the one who sees the Truth (Allaah) in everything, indeed he sees the Truth to be everything.

[Therefore ibn Arabee thought that the action of these people was correct because what they were worshipping was in reality Allaah!! Refuge is sought with Allaah]

(1). Zayn ad-Deen al-Iraaqee [the teacher of ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee] said, “these words are disbelief from the one who utters them due to a number of reasons…”

It is known that ibn Arabee believed that Pharaoh was correct when he said ‘I am your lord most high’ as in Fusoos (pg. 210).

Haafith al-Iraaqee said, “his saying concerning the statement of Pharaoh, ‘I am your lord most high’ that it was correct for him to say that…there is not doubt that the one who says this statement, and it is authentic that he said it while possessing his intelligence and not being coerced then he is a kaafir..."

(2). The son of Al-Iraaqee, Imaam Walee ad-Deen Ahmad al-Iraaqee said under the twenty first issue of his ‘Fataawaa al-Makkiyyah,’ “there is no doubt in including the Fusoos that is famous from him amongst the clear and explicit disbelief. The same applies to his ‘Futoohaat al-Makkiyyah.’ If these books are truly written by him (ibn Arabee) and he believed in what he wrote when he died then he is a kaafir who will remain for eternity in Hellfire. There is no doubt concerning this.

(3). Ibn Sayyid an-Naas and ibn Daqeeq al-Eid and other scholars all mention from their shaykh al-Izz bin Abdis Salaam (who was contemporary to ibn Arabee) that he said about him, “an evil shaykh, a liar.” This was mentioned by adh-Dhahabee via many routes.

(4). Abu Hayyaan [b. 654H] in his famous tafseer under aayah
5:17

(5, 6). Ibn Hajr and his Shaykh al-Balqeenee. Ibn Hajr says in his biography to ibn al-Faarid in his ‘Lisaan al-Meezaan,’ “I asked our Shaykh Siraaj ad-Deen al-Balqeenee about ibn al-Arabee and he promptly replied that he was a kaafir.”

(7). Al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabee, “and how would it be if the Shaykh (i.e. Sayf ad-Deen Alee al-Hareeree, the Sufi)
saw the words of ibn Arabee which are pure kufr and heresy, he would say ‘this is the Dajjaal that is awaited.’”

He also said, “if his (ibn Arabees) words are not kufr then there is no kufr in the world.” [I quote this from memory]

 

Ibn Khaldoon said:

Among these Sufis are: Ibn ‘Arabi, Ibn Saba’een, Ibn Barrajaan and their followers who follow their path and their religion. They have many books in circulation that are filled with blatant kufr and repugnant bid’ahs, trying to interpret clear texts in very far-fetched and repugnant ways, such that the reader is astounded that anyone could attribute such things to Islam.  (Ibid., p. 41).

 Al’izz Ibn Abdul salam (d 660 H): He said about Ibn Arabi “An evil liar sheikh who claims that this world is eternal (i.e. was not created by Allah) and embraces promiscuity.” and he is also reported to have made takfeer of him as well

 

Abu Zar’ah ibn al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi said:

Undoubtedly the famous book Al-Fusoos contains blatant kufr, as does al-Futoohaat al-Makkiyyah. If it is true that he wrote this and continued to believe in it until he died, then he is a kaafir who is doomed to eternity in Hell, no doubt about it.

and here are the others who decided that he was a kaafir based on his books:

1.Imam Shahabudeen Ahmed bin Yahya bin Abi Hajlah Al-Talmasani Al-Hanafi.
2.Imam Abdul Lateef As-Saoudi (Died on 736 Hijri)
3.Imam Al-Hussien bin Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Ali Al-Hussienie Al-Alawai As-Shafie well known as Al-Ahdal.
4.Sultan Al-Ulema Izzudeen Abdul Aziz bin Abdus Salaam bin Abil Qasim As-Sulami As-Shafie
5.Imam Muhammed bin Muhammed bin Ali bin Yusof well known as Imam Ibn Al-Jazri As-Shafie
6.Imam Al-Qatalani
7.Imam Badurudeen Ibn Jama'ah
8.Imam Imaadudeen Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Wasithi
9.Imam Abu Hayyan Muhammed bin Yusof Al-Andlusi well known as Ibn Abi Hayyan
10.Imam Taqyudeen Shiekhul Islam Ali bin Abdul-Kaafi As-Subki As-Shafie
11.Imam Al-Hafiz Taqyudeen Al-Faasi
12.Imam Baha-udeen As-Subki
13.Imam Sharafudeen Isa bin Masoud Az-Zawawie Al-Maliki
14.Imam Noorudeen Ali bin Ya'qoub Al-Bakari As-Shafie
15.Imam Najumdeen Muhammed bin Uqaiel Al-Balisie As-Shafie
16.Imam Abu Umamah Muhammed bin Ali Ibn An-Naqqash Al-Misri As-Shafie
17.Imam Jamuludeen Abdullah bin Yusof bin Hisham well known as Imam Ibn Hisham
18.Imam Shamsudeen Muhammed Al-E'ieerie As-Shafie
19.Imam Lisaanudeen Muhibudeen Ibn Al-Khatheeb Al-Andlusi Al-Maliki
20.Imam Shamsudeen Abu Abdullah Muhammed Al-Mousili As-Shafie

 The position of al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani as quoted by Al-Faasi,
who said:

"during the rule of al-Dhahir Barqooq, there was a person named, Ibn al-Ameen who was extreemly fanatic for Ibn Arabi, the Author of Al-Fusus. I was making many declarations about the faults in the book, exposing his disrepute and short coming. In Egypt, there was a man named, Al-Shaikh Sifa who was close to At-Dhahir. He threatened me with the said shaikh, to inform him about me so that he would mention to the Sultan that there is a group among them I (Ibn Hajr) who mention the righteous with disrespect, and something on that line. [...until he said] I said: Come, let us make Mubaahalah ( Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) and(solemnly) invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie. - Surah Al-Imaraan, 60). So he said to me, 'Bismillaah' - (indicating his agreement). And I said to him: 'Say, O Allah, if Ibn 'Arabi is misguided, then curse me with Your Curse' so he repeated that. Then I said, O Allaah, if Ibn 'Arabi is rightly-guided, then curse me with Your Curse. Then we parted. <...> Then while strolling in a park in Egypt at night,
he sensed something touching his leg. He told his companions that something soft touched his leg, look what it is? So
they looked but they did not see anything. Then he left, and became
blind before he reached his residence, and he was dead before day light
. And this happened in Dhulq'idah in the year 797 and the Mubahalaa took place in Ramadaan. He (Ibn Hajar) said, At the time the Mubahalaa took place, I informed those present that in a Mubahalaa, it is rare for the liar to go unpunished. Alhamdulillah, it happened as it was supposed to. I got respite from his evil, and became free from the effect of his deceit."

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