Qadi Yusuf al-Nabhani (d. 1932 CE/1350 AH) on the Jala al-Aynayn of Nu’man al-Alusi

Qadi Yusuf al-Nabhani (d. 1932 CE/1350 AH) on the

Jala al-Aynayn of Nu’man al-Alusi



Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani said :

“This book is one of the most dangerous of books for the Muslims in general and the immature student in particular. They should not be allowed to study this book, lest it should poison their minds. As regards the learned scholars, they have not to worry at all, for they know the erroneous thinking of Ibn Taymiyya and of the thinkers of the Wahhabite movement; and they also know the truthful stand of al-Subki, Ibn Hajar and all the leaders of the Muslim Community. They are also fully conversant with what is haqq (truth) and what is batil (falsehood), what is good and what is evil, and how these are intermixed and confused by (Ibn Taymiyya) and his disciples. The Ulama are not to be beguiled by the rhetorical flourishes of these people and by their tempting views. These are the slips of Ibn Taymiyya, which have been described by the three great leaders – Ibn Hajar, al-Subki and his son Taj al-Din al-Subki, especially on the problems relating to istigatha (to invoke someone other than Allah for help), ziyara (to undertake a journey to visit the shrines of saints), notion about the jiha (direction) etc. These are such sensitive problems that only the great Ulama can know their intricacies. However this book is extremely dangerous for the general public and for the immature students.”

A bit further on Shaykh al-Nabhani said:

“I wonder at him. Sometimes he, when confronted, shows himself as a Hanafite by Madhhab, but he belongs to a family of learned people of Baghdad. All were the Ahl al-Sunna wa’l Jama’a (The People of the Approved Path and the Community). But he defends the errors and slips of Ibn Taymiyya, who is a Wahhabite and not a Hanafite, and who does not belong to the creed of the ancestors, the great leaders of the Shafi’ite school of law. He may also sometimes show the tendency of serving the Wahhabite prince Siddiq Hasan Khan of Bhopal (India). But this Siddiq Hasan is not an original thinker or writer. His book entitled the Ghaliyat al-Mawa’iz is nothing but a copy of the Zawajir and the Sawa’iq, etc of Ibn Hajar, but he did not quote anything from Ibn Taymiyya. Allah knows why he did so. However, he reviles Ibn Hajar and Taqi al-Din al-Subki. He is disrespectful to them and wilfully neglects to use the word ‘al-Imam’ or the ‘Shaykh al-Islam’ for him. He uses other epithets like ‘al-Qadi al-Subki’, or simply ‘al-Subki’, while he had been the Grand Qadi of Syria and was one of the chief scholars of his time, and was given the ex officio title of Shaykh al-Islam and that of Qadi al-Qudat.

In respect of these merits, Ibn Taymiyya, who lacks them, does not deserve to be called ‘Shaykh al-Islam’. He was nowhere a Qadi, never had he been a teacher, much less that he be called the leader of the scholars. He was a man condemned for his false notion of jiha (direction in connection with the Essence of Allah), in addition to his innovatory views about ziyara, and istigatha. Al-Subki was according to the general consensus of the scholars, one of the illustrious leaders of the Ahl al-Sunna wa’l Jama’a Jama’a (People of the Approved Path and the Community). His son Taj al-Din was also a leader, the son of a leader. I wonder what urged the writer of the Jala al-Aynayn to take up the matter of comparing Ibn Taymiyya to him! This is a proof of the fact that he is one of the innovators and is not from among the people of the Sunna. For, the like souls fly together (as birds of a feather flock together). His soul has a great affinity with that of Ibn Taymiyya. Other souls cannot associate with the souls of these illustrious leaders of Islam. But excellence and virtue cannot dispense with knowledge and learning.”

A bit further on Shaykh al-Nabhani said:

The author of the Jala al-Aynayn does not favour only ibn Taymiyya; he favours and has a bias for all the Wahhabites. He decides and speaks not only against Ibn Hajar but also against Ibn al-Subki and his son and against all the People of the Approved path and the Community, from among the Shafi’ites, the Hanafites, the Malikites and the main body of the Hanbalites also. Whoever should care to study this book with a clear and unprejudiced mind, will certainly come to the conclusion that he had done a great wrong to himself, to his father, and to all the Muslims in general, and above all to the Chief of the Messengers in particular, and that he had soiled his soul with the impurities of the Wahhabite innovations, which cannot be washed away even with the waters of the whole world upto the day of Resurrection. He has seriously injured himself and has also injured the feelings of all those who might study his book – may they be belonging to any of the four schools of law – even the justice minded Hanbalites also – by reviling them, as long as this world should exist or as long as this book should remain on the surface of the earth.”

A bit further on Shaykh al-Nabhani said:

“I wish I could know how the (author) had chosen for himself and for his father – as he quotes from his Tafsir entitled Ruh al-Ma’ani – to revile the great leaders of the Muhammadan Community, especially in respect of what these leaders and scholars of the Umma (Community) of all these long ages have agreed upon, e.g. concerning the problem of ziyara and istigatha, while it is one of the essential duties (of the Muslims) to pay homage to the Prophet – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – and to do him all honour and respect; and what Ibn Taymiyya and his party of the Wahhabites hold is not to be taken into consideration. They think and imagine about the ziyara and istigatha with the mind of a biggest fool, and in addition they imagine that it involves ‘divinity’ when they visit (the shrine) or they invoke him for help, while, in fact, the innovation lies in their being guilty of disrespectfulness to the Prophet – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- which is evidently felt by a man with the faintest ray of Iman (faith) in his heart. By my life, this is something which a wise man cannot choose for his brother, much less for himself and his father. By my life he has done harm to his father. He seems to be proud of having discussed these problems in his Tafsir and he has supported the Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan and his colleagues, and says that he also followed this Madhhab (school of thought).

I have heard some of the scholars of the Blessed Makka, giving an odious remark on him and on his father, for; in his book he has been too bold in attacking him and reviling the people of the Approved Path and their school of thought, and especially the Imam al-Subki and his son, and also Ibn Hajar. He has been guilty of exaggerating in admiring the virtues of Ibn Taymiyya and in extolling his views, and also those who resemble him. I made the difference between Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Hajar known to them. All of them began to revile Ibn Taymiyya.”


For Shaykh al-Nabhani’s biography see the file here

I am indebted to brother Abdul Aziz from Delhi for sending me this translation he had in his possession as published in a magazine known as Islamic Culture and Times (Jan. 1985, translated by Dr. Rana Ehsan Elahie)

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