Ibn Taymiyya on the incident of Dhat al-Anwat

The Wahhabi sect make use of the following narration as an evidence to prohibit the practice of seeking tabarruk (blessings):

“Make for us a Zaatu Anwaat like theirs,” at which the Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Allaahu Akbar! Verily, that which you have said – by Him in Whose Hand is my soul – is the same as was said by the Children of Israel to Moosa: “Make for us a god such as the gods which they (the polytheist Egyptians) have.” Then he (may Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Verily, you are an ignorant people who will follow the way of those who were before you.” (Narrated by At-Tirmizi)

The reality of the matter is that this narration is against the practice of imitating non-Muslims, and not about validity or invalidity of seeking Tabarruk. Ibn Taymiyya, who is the Luther of Islam in the eyes of the Wahhabi sect, comments on the meaning of this narration:

“So the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, repudiated them merely resembling the unbelievers in taking a tree, maintaining it and hanging their weapons on it. So how about something much greater than that when one makes resemblance to the idol worshippers or actually commits shirk ?” This is quoted from Iqtida’ us-sirat il-Mustaqim Li-Mukhalafati Asbab il-Jahim, vol.2, pp. 648-649. Thus Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, rightly made the connection – like the rest of Muslim Orthodoxy – that the story of Dhat Anwat had nothing to do with committing idolatry or worshipping. No, rather it had to do with imitating the unbelievers in their customs.

[Taken from Shaykh Abu Jafar al-Hanbali’s “The Divine Lightning“, Pg. 235 footnotes]

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