Appraising Sufism in the Thought of Ibn Taymiyyah and Hasan al-Banna
A Comparative Perspective
Sufism as a religious trend has attracted a lot of scholastic polemics among Muslim scholars. One of the popular critics of Sufism is Ibn Taymiyyah whose thoughts have indelibly influenced the teachings of modern Salafiyyah. In the course of waging war against the propagation of Sufism, modern Salafi scholars have branded counterpart scholars noticed with traces of sympathy for the adherents of mysticism, including Hasan al-Bannᾱ, the founder of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Against this backdrop, this work examines, with comparative analysis, the thought of Ibn Taymiyyah and Hasan al-Bannᾱ over Islamic mysticism and the mystics. The purpose of the comparative study is to decide whether the two scholars' views regarding the subject are responsible for the disagreement among their adherents. The research is library-based and adopts descriptive and analytic methods. The bulk of the information was gathered from the works of the two scholars, the works on the duo, and relevant materials on the subject. The findings of the research showed that there is no significant difference in the thought of the two scholars over mysticism. However, Al-Bannᾱ contrary to Ibn Taymiyyah had once been a core member of a Sufi Order, the assertion which has since constituted a source of controversy over the proper status of Al-Bannᾱ as either a Sufi adherent or as a fair critic. It recommends further research over the cause of disparity regarding Sufism between Ibn Taymiyyah and modern Salafis.
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