by Dr. Ahmed al-Raysouni | Translated by Suhaib Webb
Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah Man of God: Part I | Part II
His Humility and Treatment of Others
Even though Ibn Tamiyyah reached lofty heights regarding his knowledge and acts of devotion, he remained humble; demolishing his self worth, denying himself [any status].
Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Many a times Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah would say, ‘I am nothing, and nothing [good] has come from me.’ If any one praised him to his face he would say, ‘By Allāh until now I am renewing my Islām at every moment and I have failed to enter into Islām properly.’
He used to sing, “I am poor, the son of a poor man. And that was the state of my father and grandfather.’”
Ibn al-Qayyim said, “I heard the Sheikh of Islām, Allāh sanctify his soul, say, “The one cognizant of Allāh does not assume he has a right over anyone, nor does he fancy himself better than others. For that reason, he does not ask others, does not burden them, nor does he harm others.’”
His Renunciation of this Life and Longing for the Hereafter
Sheikh al-Islām Ibn Tamiyyah was indifferent to this life focused on the Hereafter.
One of his classmates and colleagues ̓Alm al-Dīn al-Barāzalī noted, “His way was one way: preferring poverty, reducing his reliance on this life and refusing to accept any opportunity presented to him regarding [to take from] the dunya.”
It was reported during Ibn Tamiyyah’s time that a king, al-Nāsir, came to him saying, “I have heard that the people obey you and that you are contemplating taking the kingdom?” Upon hearing this Ibn Tamiyyah responded in such a loud tone that those present heard him saying, “I want to do that? By Allah! I am your subject. The kingdom of the extravagant does not equal even a few cents to me!”
His Charity and Kindness to the Poor
During his life time tremendous sums of gold and silver, horses, cattle, and crops were presented to him and he gave them all away, spending on those in need and never taking anything.
Al-Hāfidh ibn Fadil said, “He worked spending in charity until, if he found nothing to give, he would remove some of his garments and give them to the poor.”