Refuting a misconception about Ibn Taymiyyah
Fatwa No: 253168

Question

Is it true that shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) held the belief that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is siting with Allaah on the throne? May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

This opinion is reported from Mujaahid  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him  in the context of the interpretation of the saying of Allaah (which means): {…It is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.} [Quran 17:79] The opinion is that Allaah is to make His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sit with Him on the Throne. Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said regarding the misconception of Al-Jahmiyyah: "On the authority of Mujaahid {…It is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.}, i.e. 'He makes him sit on The Throne'. Ibn Taymiyyah commented: This Hadeeth should be interpreted according to its apparent indications like other Ahaadeeth of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) that deal with the issue of Allaah's Attributes. It may also refer to a special position for the seat of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) beside the Throne. The evidence for this is that Al-Aa’mash reported that Abu Saalih reported that Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “When Allaah created the creation, He wrote in His Book which was with Him on the Throne that My Mercy overcomes My Anger.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]." [End of quote]

The view of most scholars, however, is that the praised position is the intercession. The elaboration of Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah which you have seen, was based on the presumption that the tradition was authentic. So, how can we blame the Shaykh for mentioning what the Salaf (righteous predecessors) were reported as saying? Moreover, he interpreted it in a manner befitting the Majesty and Greatness of Allaah, and in a way which does not involve resembling Allaah to any of His Creations.

Allaah Knows best.

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