In Defence of the Four Imams-Ibn Taymiyyah
“This championing of his views by such people has led to their opponents-who are ignorant of many of the works of the Shaykh-to assume that Ibn Taymiyyah was also one of those who exhibited intolerance with legal differences and that he was one who condemned anyone for following one of the four surviving Sunni schools of Islamic law (fiqh). On the contrary, Ibn Taymiyyah was himself an adherent of the Hanbali School of law, and Ibn Al-Zamlaknai praised him as being one of those who reached the level of mujtahid in the school”
From the Dr. Abdullah Ali’s introduction to “In Defence of the Four Imams” by Ibn Taymiyyah
Available NOW at Lamppost-Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali’s English translation of Ibn Taymiyyah’s Raf’ al-Malamm ‘an al-I’immat al-A’lam (Removing Blame from the Distinguished Imams).
Dr. Ali has entitled his translation “In Defence of the Four Imams”. This translation includes an introduction by the translator, detailed notes of explanation, and appendixes to aid the reader’s understanding of this classic work. This unique work may spark some controversy given the common assumption that Ibn Taymiyyah opposed the four schools of Islamic law-(Maliki, Hanbali, Shafi’i, and Hanafi). Dr. Ali’s translation and explores this issue and more in this thought-provoking book. Some of the questions answered by this work includes:
■ Why did the distinguished jurists, notably the Four Imams of early Muslim history differ?
■ Why do some of their views apparently contradict authentic scriptural texts?
■ And why do their followers seem to prefer their opinions even when they outwardly contradict sound prophetic traditions?
In this unique work of Ibn Taymiyah, his primary aim is to present cogent answers to these questions as he displays humble deference towards his predecessors.:
He begins his work by mentioning three excuses as to why the eponymous four Imams sometimes contravened the import of sound prophetic traditions. He then proceeds to explicate ten things prompting them to adopt one of the three aforementioned excuses.