Ibn and apply the orthodox view of not asking

Ibn Taymiyya placed main
importance on exposure as the only consistent source of knowledge about God and
about a person’s religious obligations towards Him. The human mind (‘aql)
and its authorities of reason must be respectful to revelation. According to Ibn
Taymiyya, the only proper use of ‘aql was to recognize Islam
in the method the Prophet and his companions (Sahabat) did, and then to secure it against divergent groups. When
debating the nature of God, he claimed, one must admit the metaphors originate
in the Qur’an and sunna and apply the orthodox view of not
asking how (bi-la kayf) attributes exist in God. This means that one
believes in all the attributes of God stated in the Qur’an and sunna without
inspecting the nature of these, because the human mind is unqualified of
understanding the everlasting God. For example, one accepts that God is mounted
upon a throne above the heavens without questioning how this is possible. This
same attitude is held for all of God’s attributes such as his sight, his hearing
or his hand.

Ibn
Taymiyya’s disagreement compared to the Sufis is on two levels. First, there is
the theological position that God has features and that one of these features
is God as creator. Ibn Taymiyya believed that the Qur’an determinedly creates
that God is the one who shaped, created and contributed form to the universe. Thus,
there happens to be difference between God the creator and the created beings.
This is an absolute discrepancy with no opportunity of inclusion. He then went
on to say that those who band God of his features and deny that he is the
creator are just one step away from falling into the belief of wahdat
al-wujud. This is the foundation for the second part of his disagreement.
Ibn Taymiyya believed that a Sufi is simply someone who is overcome by an eruption
of emotion. For example, someone may deny God’s features but could then be stunned
by a feeling of love for God. However, the basis of that person’s knowledge is
not a dependable information from the Qur’an, and so their weak logical basis
collapses with the blitz of emotion. For according to Ibn Taymiyya, sense awareness
and emotions cannot be reliable, and the likelihood of being led astray by them
is compounded when one has a basis of knowledge which is itself misbehaving and
aberrant. One holds a proper belief in God and maintains a proper relationship
with him, Ibn Taymiyya argued, by establishing a foundation of knowledge based
on the Qur’an and authentic sunna. 

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