Zain-ud-din Abdur-Rahman relates that after completing 80 recitals of the Qur’aan, Ibn Taymiyyah started it all over again with him. However, when he reached the closing verses of Surah Al-Qamar – “Lo! The righteous will dwell among gardens and rivers firmly established in the favour of a Mighty King” – he expressed his desire to continue the recital further with Abdullah ibn Muhib and his brother Abdullah az-Zara’ee. These brothers were both pious and pure of heart, and their recital pleased Ibn Taymiyyah very much. He did not, however, complete this recital of the Qur’aan before the knell summoning him to heaven was sounded.
The Shaikh had been indisposed for a few days when the Governor of Damascus called upon him. At his request to pardon him for the inconvenience caused on his account, Ibn Taymiyyah replied: “I have already forgiven you and all those persons who have been hostile to me. They knew not that I was in the right. I bear no malice nor have I any grievance against the King for putting me in jail at the instance of the theologians. He did not do it of his own accord and is free from all responsibility in this regard. I have pardoned every man in this affair except those who are enemies of God and His Prophet.”
Ibn Taymiyyah was taken ill 22 days before his death. His health gradually deteriorated till the journey’s end drew near on the night of the 22nd of Dhul-Qa’da, 728 A.H., when he quit the world aged 67 years. “Everyone that is thereon will pass away there remained but the countenance of thy Lord of Might and Glory”. (ar-Rahman 55:26-27)
The crier of the Citadel Mosque announced Ibn Taymiyyah’s death from the minaret. In turn, this was repeated by the guards in the turrets and before long the news has spread like wildfire throughout the whole city. The gates of the fort were thrown open to allow wave after wave of teeming crowds to come and pay their last homage to their departed teacher. With tears brimming in their eyes, many of them kissed the forehead that frequently remained prostrated before the Lord.
The bier was brought to the Ummayad Mosque for the funeral service. The thronging crowd which was getting stronger every moment was so great that the soldiers has to force their way through, carrying the bier with great difficulty. With this vast multitude jostling and pushing to get near the bier many lost their shoes. At last the procession reached Suq al-Khalil where another funeral service was led by Ibn Taymiyyah’s younger brother Zain-ud-din Abdur-Rahman. After the service, Ibn Taymiyyah was laid to rest in Maqbarat-us-Sufiyah (1) by the side of his brother, Sharaf-ud-din Abdullah. It is estimated that some 60,000 to 100,000 persons of which at least 15,000 were women joined the funeral procession. (2)
In several Islamic countries lying to the south and east of Syria funeral services were held in absentia for Ibn Taymiyyah. Ibn Rajab, a chronicler who write Tabalaqat-ul-Hanabilah, says that funeral services were also held in several nearer and far-off lands like Yemen and China. “The funeral service of an expositor of the Qur’aan will now be held,” was the announcement made after Friday Prayuers in a far-off city according to travellers returning from China.
By Shaykh Sayyed Abu’l Hasan Ali an-Nadwi from Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s Life and Achievements
Published by UK Islamic Academy