Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) was an Islamic theologian and scholar of the Qur'an who was influential in promoting fundamentalism in Islam, and curtailing the spread of philosophy in the Islamic world. He was a staunch defender of Sunni Islam, today comprising up to 90 percent of all Muslims, arguing for strict adherence to the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, which contained all the religious and spiritual guidance necessary for human salvation.
He rejected the arguments and ideas of the philosophers, arguing that logic and reason are not reliable means of reaching religious truth and that the intellect must be subservient to revealed truth.
He was also known for his devotion to jihad saying it was the best of the forms of voluntary service man can devote to Allah, being superior to pilgrimage, as well as to prayer and supererogatory fasts, "as is shown in the Book and in the Prophetic Sunnah". This view is indeed supported by Islamic Scripture.
Probably his most famous fatwa was issued against the Mongols, when he declared that jihad upon the Mongols was not only permissible, but obligatory, on the grounds that the Mongols could not be true Muslims despite the fact that they had converted to Sunni Islam because they ruled using 'man-made laws' (their traditional Yassa code) rather than Islamic law or Shari'ah, and thus were living in a state of jahiliyya, or pre-Islamic pagan ignorance.
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- "Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle is better than standing in prayer for sixty years." - Saheeh related by Ibn Ade and Ibn Asakir from Abu Hurayrah 4/6165. Sahih al Jaami as Sagheer no. 4305
- "Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."" - Sahih Bukhari 1:2:26