Originally Posted by faqir
As for Ibn Taymiyya being a Mujtahid in the Hanbali Madhhab, then i don't think there is unanimity on that from with in the Hanabila. His fiqh verdicts are not the strongest within the madhhab. As for his making "Ijtihad" and hence having the possibility of being rewarded or even pardoned - then the first question that should be asked : "Is there any Ijtihad when it comes to enunciating the intricacies of Allah's Names and Attributes?"
There is no scope for Ijtihad in fundamental creedal points, but only in the issues connected to Fiqh. Ibn Taymiyya's digressions from the Hanbali Madhhab are in aqeeda (e.g. How to understand the Attributes of Allah, the question of Ta'wil, Eternality of Jahannam etc) and Fiqh (e.g. Tawassul, Ziyara, three Talaq's in one sitting etc) - and his digressions are out of step with Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (ra) in some aqeeda and fiqhi issues also.
Some later Ulama mentioned that ibn Taymiyya apparently violated Ijma on at least 50 points, to the extent that one of the later rulers of the Muslim Umma had banned his works. Within the Hanbali school, the fiqhi verdicts of Imam ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi are far more stronger than Ibn Taymiyya's for example.
I think it would be more worthwile for those readers here who have a soft-spot for ibn Taymiyya/ibn Qayyim - to take some valuable time out to study the verdicts of the most famous Ulama in their time, as well as after - to see what the overall ruling on ibn Taymiyya should be. I can see that there are a number of admirers of Shaykh Nuh Keller here, so it should be apparent what he has to say on Ibn Taymiyya (see Masud.co.uk).
It is not from the Way of the Imams of al-Jarh wal Ta'dil to quote general Ta'dil on ibn Taymiyya, and ignore the Jarh Mufassal on him. Example, in this time al-Albani praised Sultan al-Ulama, Imam al-Izz ibn Abdas Salam, but this Imam was attacked by ibn Taymiyya since he was an Ash'ari who openly refuted a faction of the Hanabila he considered to be innovators in aqeeda (see Dr GF Haddad's translation of Imam al-Izz ibn Abdas Salam's: Mulha fi I'tiqad Ahlul Haqq). A Saudi-based Wahhabi by the name of Ubayd al-Jabiri said that may be al-Albani didn't know of the jarh against Imam al-Izz, so therefore the Ta'dil of al-Albani is negated. This same principle must therefore be applied to ibn Taymiyya - but his blind followers fail to follow up the same principle when it comes to ibn Taymiyya! Double standards due to over-whelming Ta'assub I'd say.
I have a list of over 70 major Ulama who made Jarh on ibn Taymiyya and his violations in various aspects of the deen. Those in the full know are more preferable to listen to than those who tackle this issue from a biased, partisan way in his defence. May be more will be posted on Ibn Taymiyya in the future here. And Allahu a'lam.