Encounter with the Tartars

In the year 699H, when the Tartar ruler, Qazaan, was about to attack Damascus, Ibn Taymiyyah boldly confronted him while others trembled in his presence. He reminded Qazaan of the Tartar infringements on the sanctities of the Muslims and was able to convince him not to attack the city, he said, ‘You claim to be a Muslim. I have been told that you have with you a Qadhi and an Imam, a Shaikh and a mu’adhdhin; yet, you have deemed it proper to march upon Muslims. Your fore-fathers were heathens, but they always abstained from breaking the promise once made by them. They redeemed the pledges they made, but you violate the word of honor given by you. You trample underfoot your solemn declarations in order to lay a hand on the servants of Allah!’ [Al-Kawakib ud-Durriyah, p. 25, also see, al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (14/122-123)] Ibn Taymiyyah’s courage impressed Qazaan who left Damascus unharmed and freed those whom he held captive.

Though some of the Tartar rulers claimed to be Muslims, they had little regard for following the religion of Islam or for the sanctity of life. Ibn Katheer says, ‘during the time of Jahiliyah, the people used to abide by the misguidance and ignorance that they invented by sheer opinion and lusts. The Tatar (Mongols) abided by the law that they inherited from their king Genghis Khan who wrote al-Yasiq, for them. This book contains some rulings that were derived from various religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of these rulings were derived from his own opinion and desires. Later on, these rulings became the followed law among his children, preferring them to the Law of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. Therefore, whoever does this, he is a disbeliever who deserves to be fought against, until he reverts to Allah’s and His Messenger’s decisions, so that no law, minor or major, is referred to except by His Law.’

In the year, 702H, the Tartars attacked again and this time they found Shaikhul-Islam in the ranks of the soldiers. Since it was Ramadaan, Ibn Taymiyyah issued a fatawa for the breaking of the fasts for the soldiers. His presence in the battlefield had a great influence in defeating the Tartars and conquering Shaqaab, and this was the last ever battle between the Tartars and Muslims. Shaikhul-Islam says, ‘This was a magnificent victory, the like of which the Muslims had not seen [in that age]: the imposing edifice of the Tatar kingdom, that had humiliated the people of Islam, was never routed or defeated the way it was defeated at the gate of Damascus in the great battle [of Shaqaab] during which Allah showered upon us so many of His Favors that we cannot enumerate them, neither generally nor specifically.’ [Manaqib ash-Sham wa-Ahlih (Virtues of al-Sham and Its People)]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter – http://www.qsep.com

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