Subki’s Allegations Against ibn Taymiyyah

Posted on September 1, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Imam Subki said of ibn Taymiyyah,

His learning (knowledge) exceeded his intelligence.

Al-Subki said what he said because he was known in history as an Ash’ari bigot, who did not spare his own Sheikh al-Dhahabi from harsh criticisms. He not only had problems with Ibn Taymiyya, he had problems with the Hanbalis, and the Salafi Shafi’is, Malikis and Hanafis in bulk.

Ash’aris produced a number of intelligent mutakallims, such as al-Juwaini, al-Ghazzali, al-Shahrastani and al-Razi, who made huge contributions to the evolution of Ash’arism. Al-Subki, on the other hand, was just a bigot.

It is important to take note of a historical fact the so-called Muslim philosophers’ school came to an end by the death of Ibn Rushd, for they simply could not produce a philosopher as intelligent as him who would continue their legacy. At that time, of course, al-Ghazzali was always triumphant over the philosophers, giving them a deadly blow by writing his famous ‘Incoherence’, and thereby, strengthening the Ash’aris.

Very similarly, the Ash’ari legacy came to an end by the death of al-Razi, the like of whom the Ash’aris could not produce ever after, and again, as was the case with al-Ghazzali’s triumph over the philosophers, Ibn Taymiyya give the Ash’arites a deadly blow, championing the Madhab of the Salaf, and there simply wasn’t an Ash’arite of the calibre of al-Razi to counter him.

This is why, if you read al-Subki’s al-Sayf al-Thaqil in refutation of Ibn al-Qayyim’s nuniyya, he is simply parroting arguments that have been already refuted by Ibn Taymiyya in detail. He could not come up with anything new, because he was simply an unintelligent bigot. Most of the Ash’arite apologetics we see today are worse than al-Subki in their bigotry and even more ignorant of kalam.

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