Ibn Taymiyyah: Repelling Ahlul-Bid’ah is more virtuous than regaining Acre in Palestine from the Crusaders

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Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728H, rahimahullaah) said in Majmoo’ al-Fatawa (28/232):

“From the well-known narrations that have reached us is that Shaikh Abu ‘Amr b. as-Salaah (died 643H) commanded that the school of learning that was in the hands of Abul-Hasan al-Aamidee (died 631) be seized. He said: Seizing it from him is more virtuous than seizing control of ‘Akkā [from the Christian Crusaders].

English: Acre. Arabic: عكّا‎, ʻAkkā, is a city in the northern coastal region of Palestine. The city sits on the coast of the Mediterranean, linking the waterways and commercial activity with the Levant. Historically, it was a strategic coastal link to the Levant. In crusader times it was known as St. John d’Acre after the Knights Hospitaller of the St. John order who had their headquarters there.

  • Ibnus-Salaah was an Imaam and scholar of hadeeth, author of the famous, Muqaddimah ibn as-Ṣalāḥ fī `Ulūmil-Ḥadīth.
  • Abul-Hasan al-Aamidee was a Soofee, philosopher, misguided doubter.

The Salaf, the pious earlier generations of this Ummah, understood that the spread of innovations and misguidance weakens Islaam and weakens the strength of the Muslims – innovations split the ranks of the Muslims and divide them. That is why the great Scholars of the past would refute the innovators and regard their refutations as a Jihaad in the path of Allaah. Imaam adh-Dhahabee stated in Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa (10/518): Muhammad b. Yahyaa adh-Dhuhlee (rahimahullaah) said:

I heard Yahyaa b. Ma’een say: “Defending the Sunnah is more virtuous than Jihaad in the Path of Allaah [on the battlefield].” So I said to him: “A man spends from his wealth, he tires himself out and fights, yet this one [who defends the Sunnah] is better than him?!” He replied: “Yes, by a great deal.”

So whilst the Muslims in their great numbers are drowned in misguidance, innovations and sins and are far from the correct ‘Aqeedah (belief) and the pure Sunnah, they will see the blessings bestowed upon them diminish and calamities become great, and they shall taste the humiliation – and we ask Allaah for safety from fitan. The Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

“When you partake in interest transactions, you hold on to the tails of cattle, you become satisfied with cultivation and you abandon Jihaad in the path of Allaah – then Allaah will send down upon you humiliation, and He will not remove it until you return back to your Religion.

(Reported by Abu Dawood in his as-Sunan.)

Note: The Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) stated that the cure is to return back to the Religion, i.e. Islaam. And Islaam begins with Tawheed, the rectification of the Aqeedah, and this is the basis of Jihaad as Imaam as-Sa’dee stated.

It is not the great numbers of the Muslims in their various deviations and sects that gives them success, rather it is their united ‘Aqeedah, their adherence to it, their dutifulness to Allaah and their piety. Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

“The nations are about to invite one another and come upon you just as those eating invite others to share in their dish.”

Someone asked:

“Is that due to our small numbers on that day?”

He (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) replied:

“Rather at that time you will be great in number, but you will be like the scum carried upon the flood water torrent – and Allaah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of the enemy and cast a weakness into your hearts.

So someone asked:

“What is that weakness?”

He responded:

“Love of this world and hatred of death.”

(Abu Dawood, no. 4296)

So the affair of rectification is achieved by returning to the Deen of Allaah, holding on to the correct belief (‘aqeedah), clinging to the methodology of the Sahaabah, abandonment of innovations that cause enmity and hatred, the abandonment of the groups of innovation (ahlul-Bid’ah), being dutiful to Allaah, following the Sunnah, keeping away from the destructive sins – being sincere and having patience upon all of that. Therein lies success in this life and the next.

Allaah, the Most High, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ

Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. When Allah intends misfortune for a people, there is no repelling it and there is not besides Him any patron for them.

Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:11

Allaah blesses those who do good and are upon His worship, He aids them and supports them. When they disobey Him, oppose Him, change His Religion with innovated acts of worship, then He sends down His humiliation until they return back to the pure Religion that was revealed to Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) upon the way of the Companions (radiyallaahu ‘anhum).